Our superintendent, April Domine, is leading an effort to benchmark innovation in teaching and learning methods and has started some pilot projects using mostly grant money.

To the editor:

Our superintendent, April Domine, is leading an effort to benchmark innovation in teaching and learning methods and has started some pilot projects using mostly grant money.

The New Albany-Plain Local Schools need a new pedagogical model that focuses on the individual student's success and integrates technology into that process in real time. Results from some schools using these methods are stunning in student achievement and in substantially reducing the cost of instruction.

She is using some guidance from Tony Wagner, an expert in this area who visited the district recently, to focus education efforts on helping students build skills in seven areas: problem solving and critical thinking; collaboration across networks; adaptability; initiative; effective oral and written communication; analyzing information; and developing curiosity and imagination. These are the skills children need to succeed as good citizens, in college and in their careers. I endorse this concept and look forward to seeing the specifics of the efforts.

Despite New Albany's 2010-11 state report card ranking of "Excellent," 34 percent of our district graduates that entered college in 2009 needed to take remedial math or English courses, according to the Ohio Board of Regents' August 2011 report.

Under the state's new school ranking system to be implemented next year using more realistic academic standards, New Albany would be rated "B" on the A to F scale. Make no mistake, education in New Albany is above average but there is great room for improvement.

It would be great to know if our teachers union wholeheartedly endorses this approach, even officially taking a vote.

It would be even more impressive if the union voted to forgo its current annual 4-plus-percent salary/step increases and use the savings to fund this effort instead of further burdening taxpayers.

Many other districts' unions have taken zero increases to help taxpayers during these difficult economic times. After all, our district's teachers are among central Ohio's highest paid.

Bob Radigan

New Albany