I imagine for some it’s an ego thing, but for most, I hope, it’s a desire to change things for the better. Besides, “Maintain the status quo” probably isn’t a good campaign slogan.
I keep asking myself why people serve because I have absolutely no idea why several of our school board members are serving. One appears to be of the impression that it’s his job to simply rubber stamp whatever the administration puts in front of him, because “they’re the professionals”.
I’m sorry, Dr Otaigbe, but you were not elected to do nothing. I thank you for your years of service and wish you well, but if you intend to simply rubber stamp whatever the administration puts in front of you until November, as you have most of your career, then do us all favor and step down.
From Math Investigations, which was sold to the school board on omissions, distortions, factual misrepresentations and disregard for the law, to the pool at the 12th high school and elimination of the Ferlazzo neighborhood school, which were carefully kept secrets and only disclosed when citizen activists began asking questions and exposed their existence, this school division has become monster. The school division has never been held to account for any of this, because there aren’t enough school board members willing to hold them accountable.
Your job, school board members, is to stand up to school division to ask questions and challenge their assumptions, to look beyond the materials they give you and do your own research, and to hold them accountable when they lie or omit facts that might make them look bad. You see, the school division has proven time and time again that complete, unvarnished honesty isn’t a virtue they posses.
Look at test scores. For years we’ve heard that our test scores are just peachy keen, better than state and national averages. What we haven’t been told is that our scores are consistently among the lowest in the regions, in every group in almost every subject.
Study after study has shown that class sizes matter; that students do better in smaller classes, yet we have no goal to aim for and no plan for getting there. Were it not for the BOCS, class sizes wouldn’t be coming down at all this year, and teachers wouldn’t be getting a step increase. The majority of you elected school board members have put no effort into reducing class sizes or trimming unnecessary expenditures from the budget, beyond ridiculing and denigrating those who have. If you can’t be bothered to look for yourself, then why are you on that board, unless you think that buying awards is more important than hiring an instructor for visually impaired children?
I started to speak out against what I saw as a poor instructional program forced on my children when my oldest was in 1st grade. My youngest is 2 years behind him. He and his brother will graduate having spent their entire academic careers in schools and classrooms that were jammed to bursting. They will never know what it is like to sit in a classroom with one teacher and 25 or fewer students.
That’s pathetic. That’s 14 years, and we couldn’t get our act together. Pathetic!
Fourteen years is too long to be an accident; to be a bubble. Fourteen years of overcrowded schools and classrooms is the result of elected representatives who are too lazy or ignorant to look beyond the briefing material provided to them by the administration, and administration officials who bank on that lazy ignorance.
Edmund Burke said that,”All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
The tyranny of PWCS is flourishing well, fed by the willful ignorance of our elected officials.