Saturday, May 28, 2011

CCR 05-28-11: Team Work Exclusion

the Controversial Committee Report

“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

If you want to have an entertaining evening, start watching the Irving ISD board meetings. And a case in point would be the meeting this past week for the swearing-in of two new board members.

The recent election witnessed Steven Jones and Gail Wells -- two political unknowns -- defeating two incumbent board members. While there were many reasons given for these upset victories, there is only one legitimate explanation...voters are tired of the status quo by a current board that appears to be a rubber stamp for the administration.

What made the swearing-in meeting humorous was the profoundly petulant attitude exhibited by members of the current board. Wailing and rationalizing about the election results seemed to be the order of the day for most of these folks. In fact, one of the board members stated that she was so distraught over the results of the election that “personal healing” was required. What? Did this personal healing involve alcohol? Do you think she has been as emotionally distressed by the increased tax hikes imposed by the district during her tenure? Does she realize that over 50% of all property taxes paid by Irving citizens go to supporting the Irving ISD? Does the IISD budget need to include Prozac pills for popping during future board meetings if she is this distraught with two new board members?

With the pre-election board members (now dubbed the RSB...Rubber Stamp Brigade) yammering about “team work” that the two new board members should exhibit, the RSBs 5-2 vote for board officers was an indication that the status quo would be the order of the day. The five entrenched shellbacks quickly became hypocritical in their actions and disregarded their "team work" mantra with these votes.

It appears that the RSB members can talk the talk, but stumble badly when attempting to walk the walk. Of course, their actions are always prefaced by “doing what is best for the kids.” Somehow, kids today are more inclusive and willing to compromise than the RSB members seem to be when it comes to demonstrable actions.

If the RSB members actually believed what they said, then it would have gone a long way in advancing inclusion and team building by electing one of the newest board members as a board officer. Instead, the RSB members performed a typical ”in your face” maneuver by supporting and electing fellow RSB-devotees. Sadly, the RSB members failed to see that the new board members are on the same page as the voters...which is not the page the RSB members are on -- the status quo.

Let’s face it. Being an officer on the Irving ISD board is not rocket science and doesn’t require tenure on the board to be able to serve effectively. If you can sell sheet music, then you would be qualified to hold a board officer's position. And it certainly doesn’t take genius IQ levels to read, analyze and make decisions based on information presented to a board member. However, wading through the administrative “educational spin” will be a challenge.

Perhaps, the RSB members are fearful that someone is going to peer behind the curtain and discover why Irving schools are not ranked in the top tiers of urban districts in Texas. Only two of thirty Irving ISD schools ranked “Exemplary” in 2010. Not a very impressive record when one considers how much is being spent on each student!

It is apparent that the two new board members will have their work cut out for them if there is going to be any change in seeing the Irving ISD return to a fiscal and educational track of excellence. Shifting staff around the administrative offices and creating personnel buffers only places layers of bureaucracy between teachers and their being able to perform at exceptional levels with students.

And if most of the future votes on board matters are 5-2 (the two being Jones and Wells), then the voters should be assured of at least one thing: Two board members are attempting to do what is right, not just what the superintendent’s bidding might be.

A reader sez: “AAAAAAAAAAA-MEN!” Anonymous

We Say: OK, but remember that there should always be a separation between church and state...Mark Holbrook

A reader sez: “WELL DONE!” Anonymous

We Say: If this board was only cooking steaks instead of spending our tax bucks then we would agree...Mark Holbrook

A reader sez: “I don't have a problem with the new members not being officers this year, it gives them an excuse for some of the bad decisions being made.” Anonymous

We Say: If they only had an excuse for all the bad decisions made before the recent election…..Mark Holbrook

A reader sez: “I am shocked that you could suggest the twosome should have been elected as board officers as a show of team work. They should be candidates instead for an early recall election.” Anonymous

We Say: Maybe you should trail a ground wire if this shocks you. Prior decisions of this board have made utility rate hikes look like small sparks.

A reader sez: I would not have voted for a just-elected member of the board for an office regardless that it is just functional. Functionality is important and so is protocol which should reward experience to a reasonable extent. Anonymous

We Say: While true, it would have at least reflected the board’s mindset at that time: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...Mark Holbrook