Say what you will about the School Board here in Clarke County (and we’ve definitely said our piece at AthPo), they’re at least representative of the students they purportedly serve – in the sense that, like the students, the board seems to have the critical thinking skills of Kevin Federline after a six-day bender.
Actually, I’d put the students’ critical thinking abilities up against the school board’s any day of the week. I’m pretty sure that your average 6th grader, even the ones educated in Clarke County, could tell you that it’s a good idea to screen the people who will be spending large amounts of time around students, you know, just to make sure they aren’t child molesters or anything.
Of course, I’m just singing backup to what Jim Thompson wrote yesterday. Sez Jim:
“There's still something you can do to directly affect the quality of public education in Clarke County.
“You can vote.”
Not that Jim would be encouraging people not to vote if he were happy with the Board of Education, but one can still safely presume that, like many of us, he’s just a skosh displeased with the way the Board has been handling the business of educating our kids.
I’ve been giving this one a lot of thought lately, and while there is middle ground with respect to voting most, if not all, of the Board out of office, the first thing you do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.
The problems with the Board of Education go deeper than taking two years to come to a conclusion on background checks, as the ABH editorializes today. It goes deeper than the need for arts education, as the ABH reports today.
The problem is Chernobyl-style failure of leadership.
Now, you can’t pin those leadership failures entirely on Board President Jackie Saindon. There’s plenty of responsibility to go around among the other eight members of the Board, not to mention the Superintendant and his underlings.
Of course, ousting the BOE en masse is not going to happen. We know that. In a year where ACC voters have to deal with competitive races for governor, lieutenant governor, various state legislative seats, and what might be a barnburner of a non-partisan mayor’s race, school board seats are not going to sucking away much time or energy. Also, it goes without saying that finding good candidates to run for local office against entrenched incumbents is slightly more difficult than herding cats. Wet, pissed off cats who forgot to take their lithium.
Is it too late for the Board of Edumacation to turn things around? No, not at all. But unless the elected officials and the school district administration start showing some leadership, the students and teachers and the community as a whole will continue to suffer.
Time to stop digging.