Letter: Hinsdale District 86 proposal is competitive and rational

In the dispute between the Hinsdale High School Teachers Association and the Hinsdale High School District 86 Board, the teachers’ union prophesizes academic disaster and teacher instability if their demands for higher salaries, more generous benefits, and more lucrative pensions are not met.

The teachers’ proposal is silent about what they are offering in return. Greater academic rigor? A longer school calendar? A curriculum that pushes intellectual and creative boundaries?

A false narrative has been propagated by some that both schools have overwhelmingly great teachers. The truth is the performance of the high school teachers resembles the bell curve distribution of any large organization. Some teachers are incredible, many are average, and a handful are substandard. But, not all teachers are great. That is hyperbole.

Every student deserves the best teacher — not necessarily the most experienced one or the one with the most advanced degree or the one who has retained his/her job due to tenure. The best teachers inspire and challenge our kids, and themselves are continuously and intensely trained, supervised and developed as educators. Unfortunately, because the union clings to job protection in the form of tenure and is opposed to merit-based pay, our students are not assured of the highest quality education.

I do not buy into the union’s rhetoric about the district’s proposal threatening Hinsdale’s “tradition of excellence.” The tradition starts at home with parents who set the bar high and expect their children to meet it.

I commend the School Board for doing its best to hold the line on costs. Their proposal is super-competitive and rational.

Chris Frank

Hinsdale Central parent

Westmont

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