The Charlottesville School Board had the right idea when it authorized engineering teacher Matt Shields to commercialize an instruction program he had innovated at Charlottesville High School.

Under school system policy, any such creations developed by employees as part of their jobs are owned by the school system itself. The policy is not unusual; similar expectations often exist in both public agencies and private enterprises.

For Charlottesville, the policy is a wise effort to prevent conflict of interest and to ensure that employees are properly focusing on their jobs, rather than manipulating their jobs for self-interest.