Report Card post­ed on: August 3, 2011

The DTRTFK Board Report Card has been great­ly sim­pli­fied to meet two goals:
1) Make it eas­i­er for read­ers to learn about the crit­i­cal ele­ments of the meet­ing.
2) Make it eas­i­er for the Board Watchers to com­plete.

Number of Board Watchers Reporting: 5

School Board Member Attendance: Airick West, Derek Richey, Arthur Benson, Kyleen Carroll, Joseph Jackson, Duane Kelly, Crispin Rea, and Ray Wilson.

I. Academics-Was there any infor­ma­tive dis­cus­sion on aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment at this meet­ing?

YES — 3

Dr. Prince report­ed on the Senior Capstone Project and adding com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice to grad­u­a­tion require­ments.

NO — 2

Issues of aca­d­e­m­ic sig­nif­i­cance were glossed over because of the dis­cus­sion of polit­i­cal issues–Delano, ACE, L’Academie Layfeyette, etc.

II. Finances-Was there any infor­ma­tive dis­cus­sion on dis­trict finances at this meet­ing?

YES — 5

General Rounds report­ed on the costs asso­ci­at­ed with the con­ver­sion of East High School. Dr. Gwin report­ed in her usu­al clear, con­cise, infor­ma­tive man­ner on the MBE/WBE Audit Summary and report­ed a prof­it of $633,426 in the Child Nutrition Program.

Useful infor­ma­tion was pre­sent­ed. There was not much dis­cus­sion and analy­sis by the board.

III. Superintendent-Was the Superintendent held account­able for dis­trict per­for­mance?

YES — 4

The super­in­ten­dent is held account­able by the mon­i­tor­ing reports; how­ev­er, he and his staff are micro­man­aged by the board. Example: Questioning General Rounds on how he has han­dled the mold in a build­ing. This board needs to trust the pro­fes­sion­als!

Holding some­one account­able is one thing, but this board went over­board and micro­man­aged the mold prob­lem at East High School to death. The same can be said about the ACE mem­o­ran­dum of under­stand­ing. This admin­is­tra­tion has hired pro­fes­sion­als to do the job, and they are doing it. If this board con­tin­ues to ques­tion the abil­i­ty of the admin­is­tra­tion, they will ALL leave, and we’ll be right back where we were two years ago.

NO — 1

The superintendent’s account­abil­i­ty is blurred because of the micro­man­age­ment of the board. It is not their domain to sec­ond-guess how to abate mold.

IV. Board Management-Was the meet­ing well orga­nized and man­aged effi­cient­ly?

NO — 5

I appre­ci­ate that we can read the infor­ma­tion on the large screen. The board mem­bers them­selves scold­ed each oth­er for micro­manag­ing and for under­min­ing the admin­is­tra­tion when nego­ti­at­ing con­tracts. I have seri­ous con­cerns about how this meet­ing was man­aged by the board pres­i­dent. He made a “high­ly irreg­u­lar” sus­pen­sion of rules to mod­i­fy the agen­da. He engaged the chair of ACE when the ACE con­tract was being dis­cussed and the agen­da was not open to pub­lic com­ment.

The board pres­i­dent does not appear to be capa­ble of run­ning a well-man­aged meet­ing. He makes per­son­al com­ments through­out the meet­ing. He sus­pend­ed the rules and board pro­ce­dure for a com­mu­ni­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tive by ask­ing them how he would like to pro­ceed on an issue before the board! Totally inap­pro­pri­ate behav­ior from any school board pres­i­dent.

The rigid pol­i­cy gov­er­nance mod­el does not help but rather gets in the way of prob­lem solv­ing.

This meet­ing start­ed out on a pos­i­tive note but quick­ly dete­ri­o­rat­ed into an embar­rass­ment. There are only two voic­es of rea­son on the board, and they are ignored. The pres­i­dent seems inca­pable of fol­low­ing accept­ed Rules of Order. Asking a mem­ber of the audi­ence how he would like to have the board vote is one of the most inap­pro­pri­ate actions I have ever seen in a board meeting…anywhere. Why can’t board mem­bers use their micro­phones?

V. Did you learn any­thing from attend­ing this meet­ing?

YES — 4

The admin­is­tra­tion pre­sent­ed infor­ma­tive reports includ­ing the MBE/WBE Audit Summary, Food Service Report and what is being done for the health and well­ness of the stu­dents. General Rounds’ report on the con­ver­sion of East High gave good infor­ma­tion and a reas­sur­ing time­line. However, Delano par­ents con­tin­ue to have con­cerns.

The Board is not out of the weeds when it comes to micro­man­age­ment and polit­i­cal favors.

The Administration is doing their job, and the Board is revert­ing to the micro­man­age­ment days of old and seems to be inca­pable of act­ing in a pro­fes­sion­al man­ner.

NO — 1

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OTHER COMMENTS:

Good infor­ma­tion about the dis­trict from the admin­is­tra­tion was pre­sent­ed at this meet­ing. Management of the meet­ing was in very poor form.

Only two mem­bers of this board appear to have pre­pared for the meet­ing. The oth­er board mem­bers do not seem to under­stand the issues brought to the board. They change pro­ce­dures and appear to favor cer­tain com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and the schools they rep­re­sent. The major­i­ty of this board appears to be inca­pable of focus­ing on the dis­trict as a whole. They do not have the skill sets or expe­ri­ence to serve on this board. Dr. Covington and his admin­is­tra­tion deserve a board with the skills set and abil­i­ty to func­tion at a high lev­el.

The delay of the sale of a build­ing to the L’Academie Lafayette would not have hap­pened if appro­pri­ate prepa­ra­tion by the board and the superintendent’s office had tak­en place.

It is too bad an accept­able con­tract could not have been ham­mered out before the meet­ing to allow for Longan School to have been sold.

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