But after Metro failed to meet No Child Left Behind requirements for four years in a row — one of the first two Tennessee districts to do so — state officials have a louder voice in how the district is run.
And its leaders are listening.“Some things have come back to haunt us,” said District 7 board member Edward Kindall, who represents north Nashville. “I can’t totally blame Dr. Garcia or the administration. I think in some instances, we haven’t focused on the right thing.” Tennessean 2007-12-08
Board members want to take the state’s advice and hold off on Garcia’s new ideas until the district gets a handle on the basics. The attitude marks a significant shift in the dynamic between the board, the director and the state Department of Education.
Ya think? Here's some haunting information from the MNPS BOE minutes of November 14, 2006
Ms. Garrett made the motion that the Board affirm the Board’s action on October 18th amending Dr. Garcia’s existing contract to reflect the increase in his salary to $216,000. Ms. Johnson seconded. [VOTE: For-Unanimous (9-0).
Ms. Garret made the motion to renew Dr. Garcia’s contract by adding three years upon the conclusion of the current contract beginning July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2010, based on actions taken at the October 18th special Board meetings. Ms. Johnson seconded. [VOTE: For (5) – Mr. Glover, Ms. Garrett, Ms. Warden, Ms. Johnson, Mr. Fox. Opposed (2) – Mr. Kindall, Dr. Brannon Abstained (2) – Mr. Thompson, Ms. Porter.]
Ms. Garret asked that the minutes reflect the action taken by the Board on October 18th where the motion to extend the Director’s contract was passed with the following vote: For – (5) Fox, Johnson, Warden, Glover, Garrett; Opposed – (3) Kindall, Brannon, Thompson; Abstained – (1) Porter. The motion to increase Dr. Garcia’s salary to $216,000 was approved unanimously with all nine members voting.
Of the current BOE members Warden, Johnson, Glover and Fox voted to extend Garcia's contract another three years. Every last one of them voted to increase his wages. If a pay increase isn't a pat on the back for a job well done, I don't know what is. They can say they didn't vote to renew his contract but the fact remains, they all gave him more money.
“I think when it was revealed to the Board of Education that the district was under corrective action and that the superintendent had not been informing them of that fact, people started to reflect more on what was going on,” Huth said.
And part of the problem here is that the BOE spends a lot of time hearing from Dr. Garcia and his staff about their performance and doesn't have any system in place for hearing alternative views that could provide the much needed other side of the story as they evaluate his performance. When an outside group clearly showed the BOE that MNPS wasn't doing as well as they'd been told, or they believed, they chose to attack the messenger and not examine the message for the truth some are just now beginning to see.
Up for reelection in August:
From Left to Right:
MNPS BOE Chair Marsha Warden, on the BOE since 8/24/2004 , George Thompson, 4 months on the BOE in 1991 and then continuously since 8/1/1996, Gracie Porter , elected in August of 2006 , Ed Kindall , on the BOE since 7/9/1985.