If I were a public school superintendent, I would do things differently. I have heard that beginning teachers in Seattle make between $75,000 or $85,000 a year. Let's say it's on the low end, that's a lot of money. Without extra pay, I would extend the hours of school and say that every teacher must work until 9 p.m. one day a week. This evening time and after school time for kids and young people would be for extra curricular activities, drama, music, physical education, homework, home economics, etc. Many kids have to supervise themselves after school and in the evenings. Schools should be open to the community. English as a second language classes could be taught. Extra languages could be taught. So much is possible. So much fun. This is so needed for kids and families who have to work three jobs just to make ends meet.
As long as I am dreaming, I would also use the gym for roller skating every day. That's exercise that is pure fun. Every school would have Zumba and roller skating every day. Everyone would also walk or run around the track for an hour a day too, which includes all teachers and staff because exercise is needed and good for everyone.
I would also encourage teachers to blend subjects and I would encourage only the most creative teachers giving them the special perks. Teachers who reach students are golden. Teachers under whom children thrive are golden. Tenure would be out with me. No old farts sitting collecting pay checks under my watch who don't teach or abuse their position.
Bullies wouldn't be allowed. Kids who come to school need to feel safe and be safe. No bullies or aggressive behavior should be tolerated. No kids should be made fun of or harassed. Often teachers tolerate this behavior and some get right into it themselves. My husband was brilliant. He was a Mensa and scored in the 99th percentile but in school, he was the kid shut in the lockers, thrown in trash cans, and his head thrust in the toilet. This shouldn't happen to the best and the brightest. It sure wouldn't happen under my watch.
Of course, the main focus would be on math, science, and reading. Every student would participate in National Novel Writing Month and Script Frenzy in the spring. In every school there would be a spelling bee and a geography bee. Students would know history and who all the world leaders are. Competence would be valued.
If budget issues are a concern, I would cut football and team sports and encourage running. That would sure make me unpopular in the world of football people everywhere. Oh, well, I am just dreaming....................