I question the dedication of the top-paid educators, as described, who served as superintendents of schools ["LI tops in top-paid educators," News, Oct. 13].

Almost all superintendents once held the position of assistant superintendent of instruction, at lower salaries. This is the most vital position in any district, responsible for day-to-day instructional and curriculum development. People in these jobs directly serve students, which is very different from the role of superintendent. That role mostly involves dealing with state mandates, budgets, boards of education and public relations.

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In my 45 years as a teacher, I witnessed a parade of nine assistant superintendents of instruction, who mostly progressed to the higher-salaried position of superintendent. School boards should consider motivating assistant superintendents of instruction to stay longer, and develop their innovations, by bringing their salaries more in line with those of superintendents.

The assistant superintendent of instruction should be construed as a lifetime mission, not as a steppingstone to the next higher-paying level, especially considering the reported dismal global comparisons of student achievement.

Fred Barnett, Lake Grove