Monday, November 4, 2013

CCRs dwT #48: Pogo Lives

Dylan sez…
(a short and timely jotting for CCR twits Tweeters)


dwT #48:   The good thing about being on the sidelines is that you can see both sides of a political issue and weigh the comments and actions of those espousing or defending their position.  The bad thing about being on the sidelines is that you can see both sides of a political issue and weigh the comments and actions of those espousing or defending their position.  And that brings one to the remaining characteristics left when folks define and comment on contentious political issues...the ugly attitudes and actions that can often emerge which are detrimental to the political body supposedly being served.

Backstory clue for the information impaired:   Somewhere along the continuum when change occurs, there must exist a plateau where stability, adherence to stated objectives and the greater good is served.  And by greater good, this does not infer that a particular dogma or subservience to a specific creed or political ideology be inherent or necessary to accomplish the established goals of the elected political body.

     During the past several years, the Irving ISD board of trustees has been party to: Two investigations for violation of the Open Meetings Act; CSCOPE being canned for an in-house curriculum that doesn’t seem to have a bottom line for a total cost; Retirement and death of one superintendent only to have his replacement later terminated; Outlandish cost associated with renovation projects; Staff morale bouncing between highs and lows with more irregularity than the Dow Jones during a governmental shutdown; Board members campaigning for non-school board candidates in local elections; Personnel and staffing issues fraught with cronyism and salaries that could shame a corporate executive; An administration possibly utilizing stealth techniques to promote school board candidates for self-interest purposes; Consultant and professional service contracts egregiously inflated with questionable results obtained; Bond funds spent like lottery winnings; Board representation going from those being led around by a superintendent pulling on nose-rings to those with board members brandishing cattle prods to gain attention or political viability; Entering into partnerships that do little to advance the district’s primary objectives; and a parental/voter malaise for district happenings that verges on being pandemic.  

     And for those not suffering from PADD (Political Attention Deficit Disorder) many of the above events and actions harken back to the early 90’s and the unpardonable board-days of Joan Sears, Pat Norman, Irma Janicek, et al before a change of that guard charted a new and more appropriate course for the district.  And during this time of board realignment, tax payers discovered that this board had also been more interested in allowing a student-peer pressure preaching of a particular dogma rather than striving towards actual student achievement.  Can we have an amen for this duly departed board?

     At the present time, it appears that the Irving ISD board could be heading toward the same stalemate and juggernaut of the 90s if resolution and concurrence of objectives is not achieved, old hatchets buried, moderate views accepted, petty political agendas curbed, and greater attention given to the actual district mission.  Sure, this is a harsh assessment of reality, but after reviewing the above problems and issues, what other assessment might more accurately reflect events currently being handled by the board?  Change should always benefit the district’s stakeholders...not politicos or dogmas!  After all, this is a school board, not a weathervane for a national political agenda.  

          Bottom line:  The tax paying public has grow weary of all the bickering, in-fighting, political agendas, secret seances, gloating, oneupmanship, petty harassing actions, snarky retorts, has beens clinging on, political or religious dogmas promoted, political in-fighting, and an assortment of other maladies hardly necessary to ensure the smooth running of the Irving ISD.  

     And where is the starting point to remedy these matters?  The responsibility for setting the tone and course of action the board takes lies and rest solely with the board president.  And with his year as president of the school board crossing the halfway mark, Steven Jones must recognize, work and demonstrate that the past does not represent the future for the ISD board.  Tax payers have already lived the past and are unsettled by what was left in its wake.  Irving ISD stakeholders deserve better.  If ever positive change was warranted, the time is now...not later.  Steven Jones should immediately begin to implement Pogo’s* insightful admonition: "We have met the enemy and he is us."  Much is at stake and progress does not wait on procrastinators or those bent on political retribution and gamesmanship.  Isn’t it time to quell all the distractions that lend little to the instructional processes, or promote student achievements?   With a new superintendent on the horizon, Irving ISD should make ready for a course of action that brings back the old luster of achievement to the district.

     And if resolution of these issues or the personal idiosyncrasies of a few cannot be rectified so that the best interest of the community is served by the current or a future board, then tax payers have two options.  The first option would be to work toward a total restructure of board representation.  If this doesn’t resolve the issue, then tax payers might want to invest in burdizzos for any board member failing to get the message.  

     However, before constituents decide to utilize burdizzos on any board member for the sane achievement of district goals, a quick survey might be in order.

     Chances are a survey by the current board would discover that a higher percentage of district tax payers prefer coffee over tea.  

     And this begs the question: Isn’t it time to stow all the Tea Party paraphernalia and get down to the business of performing like a school board that is moving forward without imposing stealth dogmas, creeds or political persuasions on Irving tax payers?

For the younger generations, Pogo was a character in a Walt Kelly comic strip.  The CCR staff knows this because they had older parents!

A note from counsel: Some “Tweets” from Dylan Westie have been injected with fabricated nouns, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, adverbs, modifiers and maybe a few dangling participles….Mark Holbrook