Why do people serve in public office?

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.


2 Responses to “Why do people serve in public office?”

  1. James Says:

    The school board answers to no one. They receive over 50% of our county taxes. They act like they listen to us but we know the outcome before it is decided openly because of the politics. Example, we know the name of the 12th High School will be the Colgan school. Inside information has been leaked out several months ago on this before they opened the “forums” for the public to walk in as sheep to feel good about their contributions! Now the school can say they listened. If they actually were educated in the process, the name may follow the genre of the county in keeping it patriotic such as Independence High School in keeping with Freedom and Patriot high schools. The closed door conversations must be interesting with the deals each one makes to get what they want. We as tax payers and parents are slaves to the institution of education. We pay our dues and told what they want. The other example is the grave situation at the 12th high school. We as tax payers end up paying for the up keep for graves that are on the property because the school board decided this. The family who claimed them are not related. There is another family who are related and offered to transport the bodies to another site off of Minnieville Road but was denied because of the squawking by the Lynn family who were not related. Another church nearby offered grave sights as well as an organization was willing to give honor by providing free graves at another location. Now we have to pay out of our taxes the upkeep for these graves. The decision was made months before the public was given opportunity to give input on the matter. So as we were giving our input to the school board, they smirkly smiled at those speaking knowing they already made the decision. Integrity? Honor? Trustworthy? No! But who will hold them accountable? Change needs to occur. Vote in honorable people!!!

  2. Jane Doe Says:

    Good luck with that- I mean that sincerely. I’m a retired PWCS teacher who retired early because I got tired of all the BS at my job, and around the county. Building principals set their staff up for failure. Overcrowding, tolerance of out of control behavior- I was sent to classroom management “refresher” courses THREE times over the years because the children behaved like animals, the kids don’t do their work, and if you say anything to them, YOU are in the hot seat, and then have the unmitigated gall to harass you for dropping SOL scores. This all comes from our self aggrandizing school board, and if I hear one more comment about how wonderful; Betty Covington is, I’ll vomit. She might have been a supportive parent, and an effective member of the board at one time, but is only a figurehead now. Time to go. I can’t even get started on Otaigbe- he’s useless.

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