Monday, November 10, 2008

Board Meeting Report – November 4th

At the last Board Meeting, I specifically asked the Board to be accountable and RESPOND to the public in their requests – not just the "Thank you for your comments" – truly respond, state their positions and be accountable to the community they serve. Simply, they did not and acted as if I was not even in the room.

The only time this Board responds to issues is when they are addressed by the media (or to an issue that the Administration requests – of which it is a "rubber stamp") - NEVER to the public or the "rank and file staff". This is unacceptable when there are huge cuts in services being proposed by the Superintendent. A partial list of issues and abuses brought to them over the last year includes:

Children being denied food and embarrassed at school

School Lunches rising over 100% in a single year (no other school district has prices CLOSE to this)

A multi-million dollar overpayment of a contaminated land purchase

The implementation of a policy to charge PTAs rental fees so they can volunteer their time for our kids

Clear circumvention of procurement procedures to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars for pianos

Clearly ignoring the active promotion of a culture of fear amongst district employees

Ignoring repeated calls to address school closures and dismantling the Terrace Park Middle School Program in a responsible manner

Ignoring fraudulent actions on the part of a Board member, Dr. Bruce Williams and spending thousands of dollars in legal fees that should be going to our kids

Ignoring a clear conflict of interest by another board member, Mr. Gary Noble, to run for a seat he was ineligible to run for (and did anyways with full knowledge of the violation).

And the list goes on, and on.

We need a fundamental change in the School Board to allow us to create a District that is representative of our community, operates effectively and independently from the Administration, provide QUALITY education to our kids and communicate with our parents and district staff.

We need to vote the entire board out of office and start fresh. We need a board that is RESPONSIVE to the needs of the community and is ACCOUNTABLE to the community they serve.

Rick Jorgensen


Anonymous said...

Asleep at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

the school board hasn't been the same since Judy Janes left.

Anonymous said...

Tam pay your bills!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Terrace Park, when will we hear more details about the implementation of the Gifted Program at Brier Terrace Middle--or was that just a ruse so the Terrace Park parents would shut up about the forced move?

Anonymous said...

This is a much better picture than that scary one on your other article. (Although this woman is scary in other ways!) Thank you, Tinkerbell

Anonymous said...

Why not invite the press to future Board meetings? I read in today's Herald newspaper, that Marla Miller is hosting her second public forum regarding the possible closure of two Elementary schools. We all know that they have already made up their minds; the public forums/meetings, are just "procedure" to make it "look good".

Anonymous said...

Message to school board, you all should be ashamed of yourselfs for letting nick keep his job.

Anonymous said...

Judy Janes was the school board member who quit the board and went on to the "private detective" industry. You're probably thinking that I made that up, but it's true.
Maybe her school board position gave her practice for her private detective work.

Rick Jorgensen said...

Re: the Press at Board Meetings - The press is ALWAYS invited. The problem is that they are really only interested with there is something that affects the classroom or kids directly. Board meetings today are always places where they sweep things under the rug - why should they go when they can't ask meaningful questions?

Re: The Gifted Program at BTM, I'm less cynical about this. I think Tony Bryd is trying his best to provide needed services to the gifted community. I heard that the money for the program came from the elimination of Dr. Cartwright's position. This is a long time in coming and it's unfortunate that the Board is destroying the successful K-8 program they have without involving the community more upfront (or listening to actual facts.

BTW: Is ANYONE out there interested in running for McMurray's position next year? We need a candidate that takes action that we as a community can get behind and SUPPORT! said...

Palin has a lot in common with Gary Noble and the rest of the Board. When asked about the purchase of the New Administration Site, Gary said the Board was aware of the appraisal of $3.3 million but couldn't "get into the details".

Just like Palin's understanding of the Bush Doctrine - or any significant contemporary issue - they suggest awareness but pretend like the matter doesn't need to be understood.

Anonymous said...

Repeating: the CPM honors program was eliminated several years ago due to "the high cost of transportation." If they can restore it by eliminating (or not replacing) one position, imagine what they could do if they eliminated other questionably needed administrative positions, their pay raises, phantom pianos, over valued land for a new education palace, etc, etc, etc.

"What's best for kids" doesn't change from one year or one decade to the next; how we get there does. It is the faith and committment to our children that is important. Our children come first; not our careers, not our resumes, not our pocketbooks, not our positions of power and influence. If we have people in authority who get their way by stonewalling the public or bullying their subordinates, they are not putting our children first. They are putting themselves first. We don't need them as role models for our children and grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

marla must live with herself when she does some cuts.
I would think that would be tuff for her in position, not as sup, but as a person of interest.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Richard,

You are right, they only think of themselves and their careers. The heartless reprobates! There is not a roll model in the bunch. They are either overpowering egotistical bullies or wimps, a perfect combination for the demise of the whole fabric of wholesome education for our children.

I am pulling my children out, and going here:

I know of other children who are thriving learning this way. Most of them are way ahead in learning and life skills.

A good way to send the message that we are tired of the disrespect they show us as taxpayers and parents is to walk away.

Walk away smiling, now! Walk Away! Don't Delay, Walk Away!

Anonymous said...

Not only walk away, but vote no on levy and bond sales, and vote out the current board.

Anonymous said...


It is business as usual. A couple years ago, when we were tired of the unresponsive bobbleheads, we attended a board meeting and we repeatedly and specifically asked the board members to say something, anything.

Nick spoke, Marla spoke, no board member said a word.

Anonymous said...

Neither does Justice Clarence Thomas. Makes you wonder where people in authority are when they are at meetings. Perhaps there's something in the coffee they drink before the meeting.

Anonymous said...

has anyone been to other local school board meetings? do they all act like this, or is this behaviour exclusive to ESD?

Anonymous said...

Several years ago (it's been a while since our kids have been in school), I attended several Shoreline board meetings. The board members were engaged in the information presented, asked questions of presenters, were respectful of attendees and generally behaved in an engaged manner.

The Richland School Board was named School Board of the Year last year; Edmonds would NOT be in the running for that honor. The Richland board has been active in encouraging public input as well as input from the professionals who work in their classrooms. What a concept.