Monday, January 12, 2009

A+ Schools to begin grading school board performance

According to this PG article, volunteers will attend agenda review and legislative review sessions.

One question is- will copies of the agendas be given to volunteers in advance? Without the agendas, these meetings can be boring and difficult to follow.

Another question is- if much of the actual discussion of issues is moved to committees- should volunteers sit in on these meetings as well?


Anonymous said...

It is not the school board that needs to be graded, but the PPS personnel at Bellefield from Roosevelt on down. The big wigs are making the decisions that taxpayers/parents with vested interests are complaining about. He and his cronies that he brought in are the problem. The elected board members just dance to his tune. They don't make the decisions, they just rubber stamp them. Sure they argue, posture and sometimes make fools of themselves, but central administration is pulling the strings. Wake up people! Your cries are in vain. Nobody on Bellefield is listening. The A+ announcement sounds good, but it is just more smoke and mirrors.

Questioner said...

Here's a more detailed article, clarifying that one factor in grading will be the availability of agenda review materials. That will be a help, because it has not been clear whether these materials were available in advance to the public.

The article reports that a joint grade will be received for the joint responsibility of good governance.

Anonymous said...

Sarcastic comments would be OK with me if all board members truly made decisions in the best interests of PPS not themselves.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The problem is not with or without a grade of the performance / output from the board.

Rather, it is getting the right people, people of reason, people with skills, people who can act from principle, onto the board at the outset.

The efforts of A+ Schools and 'better government' folks needs to be spent on the election process. We need a full Monty on what these candidates are about, who they support, what they desire, how they intend on leading, what they will do, what they have done, etc.

I'd love to hear 3 or 4 30-40 minute policy talks from each candidate seeking a school board position. I'd love to see A+ Schools moderate a series of debates among candidate well in advance of the next election and nomination period.

I'd love to see in-school events, on Grant Street events, in media events, and on 'main street' events -- of course.

Where are the debates?

That is the big question.

We need to have our democratic process work -- by giving it some attention. Now, we've just punted on first down and given the authority to the hired administrators who are with little accountability.

Anonymous said...

Until you have a professional school board of people who have some semblance of intelligence, you will have the petty partisanship you see from the likes of the PPS school board.

What we have in Oakland right now is a microcosm of local, state and federal government; a lot of lobbyists who are trying to push some agenda, a lot of consultants who would be scared stiff to be in front of a classroom, a lot of task forces and special interest groups who simply vie for power and voice.

Anonymous nailed it nicely;any taxpayer with his senses would be amazed at the waste in this district, from personnel who DON'T have anything to do with instruction, to purchases that get warehoused, never used, and sold on the cheap at auction.

Where is Andy Sheehan when you need him?

This administration is a bloated corporate entity that needs re-structured at the top. It has betrayed the best interests of the students, it has torpedoed the best attempts of teachers.

How can PPS employ so many people who have either have nothing to do with educating children or are a huge impediment?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Without rigor within our democratic (small "D") landscape, the professional people won't be part of the school board. We do need people who have some semblance of intelligence. The way to attract them to the board is to put their fate with the voters into the hands of reason and their own doing -- not as it is now.

Questioner said...

Ca you be more specific Mark- what exactly would we do differently?

Anonymous said...

We need board members who will represent their constituents and not central administration. This group does not stand-up to Roosevelt and his people. The board, central administration, and the PFT are all in cahoots together and it is not for our good.

Anonymous said...

Let's get something straight....the PFT lost its fangs a long time ago. Blaming them is indicative of a 20th century mentality. They won't strike, they sign off on items that most unions would abhor, they bend over backwards to please administration---please, the PFT isn't part of the equation.
Look, Roosevelt knows he is losing large numbers of students in the city with his ridiculous decisions.

And he doesn't care.

Losing students means lowering the number of staff at the schools. And that's ok by him.

To any parent out there who wants to witness the meaning of "government waste", perform an audit of PPS spending and make it retroactive a few years. Ask yourself where the money has gone. Ask yourself if a bloated central administration is really necessary in these tough economic times. Ask yourself why the superintendent sees fit to accept a raise on a yearly basis.

The school board is only part of the problem. They actually like having a "name" in Mark Roosevelt.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to suggest that the PFT is involved in decision making, only that they too, like the elected board, dance to Roosevelt's tune. He pulls the strings. Absolutely central administration should have staff cuts. There are too many chiefs and not enough indians. And the chiefs are out of touch with reality.

Anonymous said...

When you have a district that has half the number of teachers withing the administration system, something is terribly wrong.
All too often, these people are failed teachers who are scared to death of returning to the classroom but who earn a nice paycheck as they complete job justification duties. Nice gig if you can get it.