Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Olentangy School Board: the $4000 attempt to silence a fellow board member

"The board felt that this was an appropriate time to come together," said Scott Galloway, Board of Education president. "So much has happened in the past year with the election of new board members, the passage of our operating and bond issue, Dr. Davis' resignation and the ongoing search for a new superintendent. We felt this was the perfect time for us as a group to come together and fine tune our focus so we are providing the best service possible for our students and the community." (emphasis added)
Sure, if your idea of service is operating in violation of sunshine laws or keeping budget data from a fellow board member.

This Gallowaste stunt is nothing less than an attempt to muzzle Jen Smith, the only board member who speaks for the community.
According to Policy Governance, the authoritative source on the Carver Policy Governance Model, "the model enables the board to focus on the larger issues, to delegate with clarity, to control management's job without meddling, to rigorously evaluate the accomplishment of the organization; to truly lead its organization." (emphasis added)

Meddling? Sure, the embezzler always considers the auditor a meddler. Why is asking for financial data considered meddling? Do Gallowaste and the rest of the board have something to hide?

The Ohio School Boards Association provides folks who perform the same nonsense for much less. Of course, Gallowaste loves spending tax dollars. I wouldn't expect less from the executive committee chair of the Delaware County Republican Party -- the party organization that defines waste in government.

Remember, these political machinations are for the kids.

Have these folks no shame?

*OLENTANGY BOARD MEMBERS PARTICIPATE IN WORK SESSION FOCUSING ON COOPERATION TO ACCOMPLISH DISTRICT MISSION
Olentangy Local Schools' Board of Education members will participate in a work session focused on collaboration and cooperation in accomplishing the district's mission "to facilitate maximum learning for every student."

"The board felt that this was an appropriate time to come together," said Scott Galloway, Board of Education president. "So much has happened in the past year with the election of new board members, the passage of our operating and bond issue, Dr. Davis' resignation and the ongoing search for a new superintendent. We felt this was the perfect time for us as a group to come together and fine tune our focus so we are providing the best service possible for our students and the community."

"As with any productive team, there needs to be time to think, discuss, plan and strategize," said Kathy LaSota, deputy director of board development for Ohio School Boards Association. "Work sessions, retreats and workshops are the most common ways for boards to find the time to do this important work. Effective boards put aside their individual agendas and focus their collective energy on providing the best possible education for students by setting a vision with high expectations and standards. The ongoing work of the board is to ensure that board, staff, parent and community commitment to that vision remains strong over time."

The work session will include two experts in the fields of Carver Policy Governance Model and meeting facilitation. Irene Bandy-Hedden helped the Olentangy board re-write their policies based on the Carver model in 2004. According to Policy Governance, the authoritative source on the Carver Policy Governance Model, "the model enables the board to focus on the larger issues, to delegate with clarity, to control management's job without meddling, to rigorously evaluate the accomplishment of the organization; to truly lead its organization."

During the work session, each board member will have the opportunity to clarify or ask questions about their three top priority policies. Bandy-Hedden will be able to provide insight and history regarding specific policy questions.

Carolyn McKanders will facilitate the meeting and help guide the board through the fine-tuning of their governance processes. McKanders is an independent educational consultant specializing in individual, group and organizational development. She is the Co-Director of the Center for Adaptive Schools, an organization whose mission is to help schools develop and sustain professional collaborative cultures by developing technical and social resources to realize continuing student improvement. Olentangy Local Schools uses the Adaptive Schools model on a regular basis to help facilitate the continuous improvement process. McKanders' expertise includes providing polarity management training that helps organizations identify and manage competing tensions inherent in social systems.

The total cost of the entire work session will not exceed $4,000 and will be paid for out of a Board Professional Development fund. "Under Ohio Revised Code, the board may allot at least $20,000 each year or two dollars per student, which ever is greater, for the purpose of professional development so that board members may grow and become better at their jobs just like our teachers," said Galloway. "During the Organizational Meeting held in January 2008, the board unanimously voted to create this fund and the board has not hosted a work session of this nature since 2002. This conference will entirely focus on our needs, policies and actions that work to improve our student achievement. I can't think of a better professional development opportunity for our board members."

The Olentangy Board of Education work session will take place on July 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the district's Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road in Lewis Center. All community members are welcome to attend this important meeting.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

This can't be real (is it?). Those fools are spending $4K on this??

It is so obvious from the language of the press release that they're trying to shame Ms. Smith into getting in line (once again) or to otherwise cease her advocacy of the community.

I think I'll go...with a bushel of rotten tomatoes to throw at those dolts.

You'd think that, with all the financial mismanagement Smith has uncovered and all the wasteful spending she's highlighted they'd muster three hours to analyze those issues; but, no, let's spend $4K on a couple of "educationists" to teach the board about THEIR OWN POLICIES and shape the debate--not about the larger issue of respecting dissent, but about how 1 board member refuses to be coerced by the Gang of Four.

The only thing this board treats with transparency is the animous it has for Ms. Smith.

Paul said...

I hope Ms. Smith isn't shamed into anything. She in fact should feel some sense of accomplishment that her presence and actions are shaking things up.

I've watched a few of the recorded training sessions presented by the OSBA, and while one can legitimately question whether it's worth $4,000 to have them facilitate a training session like this, I think it is appropriate for a school board to spend some time and money gaining an understanding of the law and best practices.

I would advocate the Hilliard School Board having a training session on the Sunshine Laws for example. I'm very sure they've drifted off course on this, and each successive generation of the Board has gotten farther away from what the law demands.

And it may well be worth it to have an outside person sit down with your Board, tell them that they're acting inappropriately, and help them regain effectiveness.

As a singular voice of change, Ms. Smith needs to be patient, and to pick which battles to fight. She needs to continue to press her agenda. I even encourage her to start a blog to make sure she has an unadulterated channel to the public.

PL

Taxpayer of 3 said...

Time for a big group to show up in protest of government waste and secretive dealings.

Let me ask, will their employees, A'Hooie and Becky J. be part of the meeting, even though they are not elected Board Members?

Jim Fedako said...

taxpayer:

Sure, the admin will be out in force to help "guide" the process.

Anonymous said...

I have had enough of this bull. I am going to Central committe members, one at a time and see if "they can't get this Sh- to stop. I think the only way to get some help for Smith is to go at it politically. Maybe if fellow members see this sham for what it is, they will stop.These BONE HEADS are not paying attention to the taxpayers so maybe their own "party members" will make them listen to reason!
Sick of this crap!

Anonymous said...

Hey-maybe if they spend $8,000 they'll become twice as accountable!

Anonymous said...

2:11AM:

2 X 0 is still 0.