Noble a true professional who’s improved district’s educational health

To the editor:

I’d like to take a minute to point out some important aspects that should be considered about the Mehlville School District:

• Elected school board members receive no compensation.

• Property values are directly related to the quality of the local school district. Mehlville should be a destination — a place where people want to live because of the strength of the schools.

• Retaining strong classroom teachers and school leaders is a priority for school boards. This is no different than the approach taken by successful businesses — retention of qualified employees and managers.

• School districts have recurring expenses just like a homeowner.

• It is important that members of the community question the decisions of their elected officials, but it is also the responsibility of those members to provide alternatives to the decisions that were made. Just say “no” is not an alternative.

• The role of a school board member is to ensure that all children who attend the public school district have the best opportunity to learn. The board member does this by making data-driven decisions — based on measurable results, not on opinions or philosophies — to best allocate the public funds that are available.

• The Missouri Department of Secondary Education sets rules for schools which must be followed by the local school board.

Also, academic research shows that strong classroom teachers improve student achievement; a strong school board improves student achievement, according to the Iowa Lighthouse Study; and strong school leadership improves student achievement.

I would also like to add that it takes a true professional to assume the operation and responsibilities of a school district the size of Mehlville. By his actions and performance, Superintendent Terry Noble has proven himself capable of “operating” on the district to improve its educational health — which has a direct impact on the “life” of our property values.

How many of us would begrudge an experienced, qualified surgeon the charges he or she assesses when a human life is saved?

Steve Freund