The paralyis is quite evident and the School Board members need to face one unpleasant fact:
People screw up. Board members, staff, management, contractors and even the Superintendent screws up.
Regardless of who, it’s the Board that will get the blame and the media bashing.
The fact that the majority of the current Board was not present at the genesis of the problems over the past few years means absolutely nothing.
Inheritance means everything.
The public and the Department of Education both want to know what the Board is doing to correct the problems listed in the Grand Jury report.
They don’t care what staff is doing. They don’t care what the Superintendent is doing.
Even though I’ve been critical of the Grand Jury report, it did hit the nail squarely on the head in at least some criticisms.
When it comes to such things as temporary COs, paragraph after paragraph, page after page of items and details may cut it for bureaucrats, but won’t cut it as far as the public is concerned.
A simple check list of facilities needs to be posted on the district website with a very visible link so the public can see what’s been done and what hasn’t.
And there had better be measurable progress week after week.
When it comes to gifts, forget the pages of regulations and exceptions such as that which was published in the recent workshop agenda.
Forget the lawyerspeak.
The public wants to see a simple policy defining gifts to be posted on the website with no more than two, maybe three paragraphs of text.
If the Board needs to be held to a higher standard, then it comes with the territory.
Of course the completed forms need to be posted on the district website as well, along with the FORM 6 (statement of net worth and income) filings that members are required to make every year in July.
I can name other areas that need attention and similar monitoring, but you get the point.
The problem now is that the issues are not being directly addressed by the Board itself.
The current standard of Board meetings and workshops sends the wrong message: Let staff tell us how to handle it.
The best way I can phrase it is letting the inmates run the asylum.
Let’s face it.
The Board functions largely by taking recommendations from the Superintendent and senior staff, the very groups that screwed up the system to begin with.
If you think I’m advocating bypassing procedure, I am.
It’s procedure that corrupt and incompetent staff and leadership used to create much of the current mess.
If you doubt me, just go back six months and look how Ed Marko modified procedure to maneuver the Board into creating the Emeritus position.
Facilities LIED about the viability of the swamp land.
Facilities made the recommendations to use temporary COs and took little or no action to correct the problems.
Statistics LIED about the numbers to justify West Broward High.
Statistics not only came up with the evaluation documents slanted to make Till look good, but changed them every year when the responses didn’t go Till’s way, and spun the results to the public.
Technology LIED about no bid contracts and taking vendor paid trips.
A Superintendent LIED about the need for a 3/4 Billion tax increase.
No, not everybody lied, but the lies and misinformation (misdirection) came from people who advised the Superintendent and the Board.
And in too many instances, from the Superintendent himself.
And after more than four years, the current Superintendent has absolutely failed to stem the tide of staff incompetence and corruption.
It’s time for the Board members to step up and take the lead. They’re already taking the heat.