Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bad timing

The Nashville Chamber of Commerce will present their annual Report Card on Metro Schools on Tuesday, January 22. Unfortunately, this comes AFTER this weekend's BOE members retreat to discuss MNPS Director of Schools Dr. Pedro Garcia's job performance.

It will also come before the BOE has their own presentation of the Save Our Students breakdown of...well...MNPS's breakdown in meeting the needs of Nashville students. We were told the BOE and Garcia attended another of Nashville Mayor Karl Dean's education meetings instead. This SOS presentation was made before the regular meeting of the Council Education Committee. More on this in a following post. Here's a teaser from their PowerPoint.

So the BOE will go into retreat and discuss Garcia's performance without some important third party information about our school system. I'll say it again, the BOE needs to get and be willing to believe third party information and criticism of the district. Further, it shouldn't be just from groups that have financed their election.

I'll also note that the Chamber has been doing their Report Card for 15 years, but they've only provided five years worth of archive. Granted, it's more than they used to provide. I'm assuming they won't use grades again this year. Too depressing and too hard to finesse.

5 comments:

Nashteach said...

Right below the five downloadable reports is this note:

Note: Earlier copies of reports are available upon request. Please e-mail ebell@nashvillechamber.com if you would like a specific report between the years 1993 and 2001.


Further, it shouldn't be just from groups that have financed their election.

Not sure what you're insinuating here. The board hears from many groups and individuals. The members have been at these Dean public meetings and listened to all kinds of folks, many of whom I'm sure have never given to a board candidate in their lives. SOS and the CoC seem to have plenty of access to these groups. Haven't we known the Garcia evaluation would be in January for a while now? Every month, any individual or representative of a group can request to speak to the board. Are you just making ominous insinuations or is there something specific you're suggesting about a pareticular group?

Is the rest of the SOS presentation or information online anywhere for the public to see and consider? I have satellite and sadly, no Channel Three.

din819go said...

Kay -- this is the first year the Chamber Report Card has NOT used a grade. This was by design of the Chamber. Actually being a former member of the committee (one of the ones with more than three years of time and the history of the report card who were ousted this year) we would have eliminated the grade, too. The thinking is the grade takes away from what is actually in the report. The last five reports got better and better, more direct and hard hitting. Several recommendations from the Citizens Panel as it was called were adopted by the district over the years. It was the time when I was serving that the BOE first received a breakout of data it had been requesting from the district. It was a sad day when the citizens provided the BOE something rather than the district. (Thank goodness the charts will still be a part of the report!) It was when Garcia threw a hissy fit and said no more that the chamber took control of the report and then revamped the membership (this was when the chamber still supported him -- my what a difference a year makes! My concern is this year's report will be a softball at a time when a hardball is needed. That said it is good to read in the CP where the business community has lost it patience with Garcia and as well as their support. Time for a new superintendent. The question is who would want to take over the schools in this city...

Oh yes, most of the SOS data in years past has been wrong and does not compare apples to apples. It has actually been embarassing to see Crafton do this. It will be interesting to see if he is any more factual this year or not. I serioiusly doubt it.

Kay Brooks said...

Thank you for pointing out the line at the bottom. I don't like having to ask for this. It 'outs' a person who may not want to be known. Server space is dirt cheap now days...just go ahead and put it out there. And then there is the time delay and some of us work odd hours.

The board doesn't really hear from many groups like it should, imo. Can request to speak to but 3 minutes isn't enough time to get into much at all AND the BOE members aren't allowed to ask questions of those speakers or to have a meaningful dialogue about their 3 minutes.

You can view the BOE meeting via Metro 3's online stream. The picture is very small, lighting is horrid and I hate that they don't go ahead and allow immediate access to the most recent meetings but it's certainly better than nothing.

As far as I know SOS still doesn't have a website. I'll be uploading some of it myself (they made CD's available at the meeting).

Kay Brooks said...

din819--thanks for clearing up the grade THIS year part.

And if some of this information is wrong show us where. My understanding is SOS gets it right from the DOE stats that MNPS sends to them.

Nashteach said...

BOE members aren't allowed to ask questions of those speakers or to have a meaningful dialogue about their 3 minutes.

Yes, that's a good point.

Time for a new superintendent. The question is who would want to take over the schools in this city...

I can't attest to how serious it is or whether he would want it or not, but a name I've heard dropped is that of Bill Purcell.