The BOE agenda for Tuesday night has been uploaded to the MNPS website this morning.
Item A(2)(b) would allow current 4th graders at AZ Kelly & Maxwell to remain there for their 5th grade year (transportation provided). Page 3.
Superintendent Pedro Garcia is graded on EE-7 (Budgeting and financial planning) and that can be found beginning at page 8. Board member George Thompson in dual role as BOE member and head of the Council of Great City Schools is quoted as saying:
"Continued improvement needed - The amount allocated for board Development and other governance priorities is unreasonably low for a district our size. Lack of appropriate development breeds confusion as to the Board members' role and thus invites micro-management."Gracie Porter's comments about this essential function are not to be found on this document.
Page 10 is where Karen Johnson's concerns about Metro taking over payroll functions from MNPS are expressed.
"Please provide update on how well most recent payroll change is working. MNEA had expressed concerns. Would like to possibly see employee feedback survey on this."She's also concerned about the contract bids:
"Would like to see information on all who bid for services and who is awarded contracts all in the same document. Would like to see a breakdown if possible on how many are minority owned specificying women owned, African-American owned, Hispanic Owned, Asian Owned, etc..." (Page 11)But this may be the MOST important part of the meeting. The Board is amending their own job description. Much of this is similar to the old version but they've added some specifics and every citizen will want to review this and comment to the Board about this. There is little room in this document for dissension which seriously concerned me back in the summer when I was subject to it and it still concerns me. I understand that the Chair needs to do a better job of running the meeting but muzzling the members isn't the way to go. The public already has little knowledge of Board member opinions on issues--this isn't going to help. How do you encourage 'diversity in viewpoints' and yet require members to 'criticize privately' or 'never embarrass each other or the district'? This document doesn't encourage a healthy airing of the pros and cons of issues facing the community regarding public education.
And what parents are still not going to understand is section 3 which specifically prevents the board from assuming 'responsibility for resolving operational problems or complaints'. Most voters and taxpayers assume that this is part of the reason we have a school board. That stepping in when things aren't working is why they voted for their board member. What they're going to get instead is direction to the central office person in charge, a smile and a 'vote for me' later on.
There are no provisions in this document for those who dare to violate the policy.
Policy Type: Governance Process GP-2
The Board will govern with emphasis on End results for students rather than on interpersonal issues of he Board; encourage diversity in viewpoints, focus on strategic leadership rather than administrative detail; observe clear distinction between Board and Director roles; make collective rather than individual decisions; exhibit future orientation rather than past or present; and govern proactively rather than reactively.
1 The Board will cultivate a sense of group responsibility. The Board, not the Director or staff, will be responsible for excellence in governing. The Board will use the expertise of individual Board members to enhance the performance of the board as a body, but will not substitute individual judgments and opinions for the Board's collective values. Accordingly, members will;
a. focus on issues rather than personalities
b. respect decisions of the full board
c. exercise honesty in all written and interpersonal interaction, never intentionally misleading or misinforming each other
d. criticize privately, praise publicly
e. make every reasonable effort to protect the integrity and promote the positive image of the district and one another
f. never embarrass each other or the district
2. The Board will hold itself accountable for governing with excellence This self- discipline will apply to attendance, preparation for meetings, adherence policymaking principles, respect of roles, and ensuring effective governance capability into the future To ensure that the board's business meetings are conducted with maximum effectiveness and efficiency, members will:
a. speak only when recognized duing meetings
b. not interrupt each other during meetings
c. not engage in side conversations during meetings
0. ask questions for clarification
e. listen for content and understanding
f. not repeat what has already been said during meetings
g. support the chair's efforts to facilitate an orderly meeting
h. communicate in a timely manner to avoid surprises
i. ensure that all members’ voices are heard
j. adhere to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised 10th Edition.
k. refrain from introducing a motion as new business for matters not directly related to the current meeting's agenda items nor related to an issue currently tinder consideration. Instead, any unrelated motions should be accompanied with a request to place the motion on the next regular meeting's agenda for action. [emphasis in the original]
3. The Board will direct, control, and inspire the district through The careful establishment of written policies reflecting the Board's values and perspectives The Board's major policy focus will be on the intended long-term benefits for students, not on the administrate or programmatic means of attaining those benefits. Accordingly members will not:
a. assume responsibility for resolving operational problems or complaints
b. give personal direction to any part of the operational organization
4. Continuous Board development will include orientation of candidates for the Board and new members or the Board about The Board's governance process and periodic Board discussion and evaluation of its process to assure continued improvement
5 The Board will allow no officer, individual, or committee of the board to hinder or be an excuse for not fulfilling its commitments.
6. The Board will monitor its process and performance at each meeting through a debriefing process. Board members' attendance at all meetings and work sessions will be monitored regularly. Self-monitoring will include comparison of the Board’s performance with policies in the Governance Process and Board-Director Relationship categories.
7. The Board may, by majority vote of the members of Board, revise or amend it policies at any time. However, normally a proposed policy revision will b discussed at one session of the Board prior to being approved at a subsequent Board meeting.