Here is what I concluded after sitting through another school board meeting tonight:
1. No meeting should run until midnight -- at least no meeting where lives are not at risk.
2. People talk about transparency, yet most have no idea what it actually is.
3. Communication between individuals on basic information -- like the time and place of meetings or basic facts on data or timelines -- is a waste of time. That information, even if only one person asks for it, should be immediately and consistently be made public.
4. Acronyms should never be used in a public forum/meeting.
5. Ad Hoc committees should actually get to function as committees and not just as proof-readers for plans generated by an administration that has a stranglehold on the data needed for a real committee to generate viable plans (plans, not plan!).
6. School boards -- any board -- should not wait to be told what it will get but should ask for it wants.
I can barely describe how frustrating it was to watch an elected board try to lavish praise on students, teachers, and principals, debate procedure in an open forum, analyze school performance data, and sidestep the looming budget crisis in the district. Oh, how I want to push the board to get on the front end of the message, to look proactive, instead of reactive. There was a glimmer of hope in one resolution offered hours into the meeting but it was killed by the rest of the board's 'wait and see' approach and nauseatingly-high levels of civility.
And no one should say to me "we face tough choices..." It is time to tell me the choices and don't ask me to sit through 3 hours of minutiae to hear it.
I have an enormous amount of respect for the school board and the commitment its members have made, but we can do better.
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