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Tenure Protest Expected at Brick BOE Meeting

Backlash expected over tenure votes

Supporters of at least two school employees who were not granted tenure are expected to express their displeasure to township Board of Education members at a meeting Thursday.

Last month, the board voted against granting tenure to principal Allison McConnell, as well as math teacher and former head football coach Patrick Dowling.

Board of Education members are prohibited by law from divulging personnel information, such as the reasoning behind denying tenure to an employee, to the press.

Board President Sharon Kight said those employees who were denied tenure would have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

McConnell has nine years of teaching experience, according to public records, and would have earned $121,847 during the 2012-13 school year. She already holds tenure as a vice principal.

Dowling, who has taught and coached in a number of school districts over the past 25 years, would have made $84,578 per year if granted tenure.

Dowling was hired in Brick after the retirement of long time head football coach Warren Wolf, who would later express his displeasure over Dowling's hiring and run for a seat on the Board of Education. Dowling was not recommended to continue as coach following the 2010 football season, though he remained employed as a teacher in the district.

Supporters of the two employees have promised to voice their displeasure over the non-tenure vote at a meeting of the board which will be held Thursday. The vote has spurred separate online petitions in support of the pair, with the Dowling petition having reached about 800 signatures and the McConnell petition having reached about 100.

The agenda for Thursday's board meeting includes a motion to "approve employment for the 2012-2013 school year" pending a board Human Resources Committee meeting that was scheduled for May 14. No details were given on what employees, if any, would be included in that motion.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Brick Township High School auditorium.

David Fischer May 18, 2012 at 12:22 AM
The BOE does not just select, the job has to be posted and the candidates have to apply. The application is open to anyone who wants to try for the job.
silvana barbera May 18, 2012 at 03:46 PM
im so proud of everyone...we stood our ground last night at the BOE meeting....Ms McConnell deserves this tenure she has done so much for our children and for the school...we will there for her in this fight to get tenure....they are doing a great misjustice if they do not give her tenure..she has given our children stability and consistency which they need to grow up...without her they have nothing .
silvana barbera May 18, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Thats means u do not trust our school system and the teachers,,we have plenty of teachers that perform...young teachers right out college will not do the job of teachers that have been there for years and know what they are doing...i trust and love the teachers at our school they doing an amazing job with our children...our children tests scores have risen tremendously because of these teachers...so again im proud of our teachers.
rn May 19, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Clearly, you don't understand the political environment in a public school. In a typical public school, there are at least three special interest groups- 1. the school board 2. the superintendent and administrators 3. the parents. The school board routinely makes arbitrary decisions- nepotism, favoritism and corruption are rampant. Often, school-board members' relatives occupy teacher positions and are easily re-hired,at the expense of other better-qualified teachers. School board decisions are often made in secrecy. Administrators are pressurized by school-board members, and they in turn pressurize teachers. The administrators often hire teachers and fire them before tenure because this is much cheaper and the law gives them a lot of leeway to do this. In other words, this is a form of modern-day exploitation. Parents are another special interest group. They apply pressure on the teachers thru' administrators and even the Board to give their children better grades. It appears that these days every parent thinks his/her child is college material, even if the student does no work. The kids look at this situation, and see no reason to put in any work, since they will get good grades anyway. So you see, the teacher is in a very tight bind. The only way to protect the teachers' interest is to have the tenure law in place. Unfortunately, the ultimate long-term losers in this are the children who are the Nation's future.
Liz June 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I agree these public school teachers feel that once they get tenure they are safe. I feel this is a big part why our children are graduating with poor education skills. When these students go to OCC most of them need to take remedial classes. We need teachers who take their job serious and are not so worried about saving themselves. Teaching should be like any occupation you don't perform you get fired! We should be ashamed of our education system and what it has become! Teachers are making a great amount of money for a 9 month time plus they have lots of vacation days off. WoW what a nice job!

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