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