Wednesday December 11, 2013
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I will repeat myself : At least 2 members of the Board ( members with seniority on the Board) show a record of poor leadership, poor oversight, poor decision-making, and a clash between what is personal and what is best for public education. See what the Board has given the public over the past 3 years - personnel vendettas against teachers and administrators, a debt of over 1 million dollars, keeping an inept Superintendent who played the Board and allowed or initiated the things mentioned above, and the current leadership crisis. Mr. Hitchcock, who has made some errors, came to the District and heeded what the Board asked be done. At least Mr. Hitchcock made changes and took actions aimed at shaking up a mediocre system of education for students. I repeat: for STUDENTS. The Board talks a good game but can not stand the heat in the kitchen.
Tom, What did we do when we did not have cell phones? Somehow we got by. I agree that using them on an aircraft would be disastrous (unless an emergency). One of the things that makes travel by air tolerable is the low noise factor. People with good manners (such as Kim) control when and where they use a cell phone and generally are very conscious of not irritating others. All of the other folks generally are boors and there seems to be a lot more of them because we can't isolate ourselves from them.
Tom, If I were to give any punishment to this chap it would be on the lower end of what the law dictates, depending on the dictated punishments. I might also elect to give him some sympathy.
Roy, Thanks for the post. Generally I become anxious and concerned about things that have not yet happened and may never happen, but the decision(s) that come forward at this meeting could have huge impacts on the District. I fervently hope that common sense and reason guide the process.
Tom, Zero brains. The term "Zero Tolerance" entails punishing those that break a certain rule or procedure and If applied with Zero Brains, one might see the results detailed in the article. It seems to me that either the policy has been misunderstood or the policy has been incorrectly applied. As example, some sort of "Due Process" should be completed before a conclusion is reached and possible consequence applied. If the Policy is flawed, the investigation is flawed, the conclusion is flawed, it follows that the punishment is flawed. Additionally, decisions made at the school site are appealable to the Board of Education in every state so far as I know, so I wonder if something is missing in the article.
KIm, Your post is very clear and helps clarify what the usual process is. Thank you.
Speaking as a person who continues being interested in public education and those who are educators, I lament the Roundup's lack of specific coverages and wonder: why?? What happened to the 1+ million dollar debt run up under the last Superintendent? What has happened since the current Superintendent gave his resignation? Why has there been virtually nothing printed about these decisions made by the Board of Education? Why have the reasons, backrounds and results of incredibly poor actions by the Board not been investigated and made public? Why have some personal connections between members of the Board and employees of the District not been noted? After all, the Superintendent is under direct supervision by the Board and the Board is supposedly responsible to the public.
I will repeat what I posted earlier: the Federal Government is taking from me a fundamental, basic right - the right to decide what is best for me. I believe that the decision to do so ( and many other decisions/laws/regulations) is based on the concept that government knows what is good for me and can provide for me better than I can. In the strongest way I reject that ! The economics behind "Economy of Scale" (more and larger equals cheaper) , although sensible in many instances, relies on efficiency. I find the inverse to be true when dealing with Government : the bigger is less efficient because it was not ever efficient to begin with. I also consider the concept of General Welfare - the Constitutional provision that imply that the government can do certain things needed by the general population and do so better than other agencies/levels. Social Security becomes acceptable in my mind under those guides but please recall that S.S. at first was a stretch of governmental powers and was contentiously argued at the time. I think that Obama Care does not pass the logic test. The "government knows best and can do it best" is rejected by me. General Welfare concepts are also rejected by me when I learned that the funding is essentially based upon taking from the younger population and using it to fund treatments for older/sicker populations. The law is based upon redistribution of income, the old Progressive or Leftist idea of social engineering. Finally, I am not opposed to assisting lower income people with health care. I am opposed to Obama Care .
Tom, As you stated, the job of the Board generally is to approve all sorts of Policies, Regulations and operational decisions as dictated by law There are, however, always items that have to be approved on an item-by-item basis such as the issuance of various contracts, approval of variances to Policy or Regulations and so on. Also, there are items that come to the Board that involve expulsions, hiring, employee discipline, new laws, etc. In many cases the aboard has had the necessary work performed ahead of time by district staff and only have to approve or disapprove. Finally, there are the "hot" items that by Policy come to the Board for a decision. I can assure you that just keeping an eye on budgetary items that have to be approved or not approved can keep a member of the Board exceedingly busy if a proper job of oversight is being done. To your other question: No one can predict how many candidates might apply or what quality of applicants might apply. The networking process is alive but of limited use. As example, a candidate might know of the employment history of Mr. Hitchcock and could read copies of Board Meeting Minutes. If the candidate does not have better sources of information, the deeper issues and history would likely be a surprise should that person be hired. I recall being interviewed for a job. Before the scheduled interview I poured through Board Minutes over the prior 6 months and then every issue of the school newspaper for that school year. I found issues , controversies and Board decisions that made the vacant job unpalatable. Had I not done homework.... The answer to your question is: perhaps.
As usual Roy brings sound observations and logic to any discussion in regard to education. Who of sound mind would want to come to a District where teachers, administrators, coaches and Superintendents can not feel appreciated and feel that they might not be treated ethically and with dignity?? Examine the examples of leadership by the current Board.
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