Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's a whole new BOE

I watched much of last evening's MNPS BOE meeting via the 'net while preparing dinner. Since a great deal of that meeting was a tutorial on the system it didn't require my full attention having received OJT in this over the summer. I was glad that this overview was done at their first meeting. It needed to be and Pam Garrett ought to be commended for ensuring it was.

I would encourage folks who are interested in how the board actually works to view the 'policy governance' portion. I expect that in the near future it will be available to download from the Internet and I'll link to it for your convenience. I think it's very important for the taxpayers, voters and parents of Davidson County to understand this governing system as they attempt to interact with the board. I believe Mr. Ralph Schulz of the Adventure Science Center does an excellent job at clearly explaining it for lay people.

The introduction of the cabinet members is also very handy information and I hope that, as I've suggested, the actual PowerPoint presentation slides will be available to the public so that we can more easily follow along. There was some valuable information being shared but having a hard copy of that information would be a good resource for the community.

I was disappointed to hear that by unanimous consent the first vote of this new board included providing themselves laptops or fax machines and phone lines. I never bought the plea that not having those tools may keep a poor person from participating on the board and I never understood why the taxpayers even had to provide these in the first place. We've got teachers across the county paying for supplies out of their own pockets and taxpayers viewing this as an unnecessary perk. Great, you've staked out your parity with the council members. How does that really help the children of MNPS?

I did miss hearing the committee appointments that were to be announced at the end of the meeting. Mr. Kindall asked early on about when those were going to be announced. Ms Garret, as chair, remained firm though and reiterated that they'd be announced at the end of the meeting. I'm waiting to hear back from MNPS what those were.

The BOE will hold a 'retreat' this Friday and Saturday. I expect it will be an intense time for them as they get to know one another and their jobs, set priorities for the upcoming year, begin the evaluation of Dr. Garcia and decide who is going to lead this newbie board. It will be my earnest prayer that they'll be able to work together, set aside previous allegiances and relationships, hold the director accountable and will be able to quickly bring about the changes that must be made.

It's time to walk the campaign talk. God speed.

1 comment:

brittney said...

I watched it too, and was so happy to see that they weren't spending precious time talking about which school buildings can be named after what people and whether or not those people, if they did something unsavory, could have their names removed from said school buildings. That is what I saw happening when I tuned in last time.

How THAT really helps the Metro students is truly beyond my grasp. (Not that it's a far reach, granted.) I couldn't believe the breaths wasted on such irrelavent nonsense.