It’s been a busy two weeks. I've had to choose between actually getting the job done or blogging. So blogging has fallen behind.
The policy governance overview by Ralph Schulz (of the Adventure Science Center) contained some information that I believe many citizens need to understand, not just candidates and so I’m going to elaborate on this a bit.
We were reminded that the board has essentially three main jobs:
1. Hire a director of schools,
2. Approve the budget,
3. Establish policy for the system.
Mr. Schulz drew a circle representing the BOE. He drew a larger circle around that which would represent the Director of Schools and then even larger circles around those. Then he dissected those circles making ‘pie wedges’ if you will. Each wedge would be different areas such as finance, personnel, transportation, curriculum, etc. In a perfect world the board would have policies in place and the director would be adequately complying with those policies. If the director doesn’t then the BOE boundary of that particular failing pie wedge would be pushed outward into what was intended to be the directors space or if necessary all the way into subordinate spaces beyond the director. Hopefully, things would improve with the additional board attention and then that boundary would revert back to its original place.
Board member Kathy Nevill made a clarifying point when she said that frequently people expect BOE members to act like council members and fix the ‘pot holes’ of the educational system. However, under this policy governance model that really isn’t done. That’s not to say a BOE member can’t inquire about the ‘pot hole’ but the intention is that the BOE member help the constituent work the system and when it comes time to evaluate the Director of Schools they will have to answer for repeated failures in that ‘pie wedge’.
The intention of this governing model seems to be to lay out the goals and policies clearly and then allow the Director of Schools as much freedom as possible to meet those goals and policies.
At was the regular school board meeting. It was at this meeting that Director Garcia told us he was going to file a plan by the October deadline to turn
Following the regular BOE meeting was what was billed as a BOE ‘retreat” where we reviewed the policy governance issues we had in place and touched on the use of MNPS issued equipment and decided that we’d review what was available, who was using what, what the councilmen were receiving and try and anticipate what might be needed in the future. As was reported in the Tennessean and here I have decided to forgo the use of an MNPS provided cell phone, fax machine, extra phone line and laptop. I still haven’t reviewed the health policy information.
That afternoon I gave a short interview with the Nashville Today newspaper. They had seen Wendy Poston at the BOE meeting and wanted my comments and also a comment regarding Dr. Garcia’s proposal to make
That evening was the League of Women Voters forum for all the school board candidates. According to the League’s website http://www.lwvnashville.org/
“The forum will be broadcast on Comcast Channel 19 every week at the following times up until the
Friday: and ”
June 21: Wednesday: I, BOE Chair Pam Garrett and several members of Dr. Garcia’s cabinet met with CM Pam Murray of the 5th Council District to discuss
Looking toward next week I’ll meet the KIPPsters, the BOE will meet just before the council meeting on the budget and they’ll be another installment of the dismissal hearing for an MNPS teacher.