Friday, November 11, 2005

Frank Jackson v.s. the Cleveland Board of Education

Today's Plain Dealer ran a story about mayor-elect Frank Jackson's first public attempt at school reform. He will be asking the school board to resign and then reapply for their positions. He would like to have a school board who has a real life connection with the schools, people who have a personal stake in them. He wants the new board members to be public school graduates and have kids who are in or went to the Cleveland schools.

Practical grassroots reform. Makes sense to me.

I find it rather disturbing that a number of the current board members would refuse to resign and reapply. The voters have communicated their lack of confidence loudly and clearly, voting down two levys, withdrawing support from the CEO, and ousting the mayor. The message reflected the perception of disconnection with the political and educational hierarchy. They want a board who they can relate to, someone who knows the problems of the schools first hand, people who are intimately familiar with the district, the streets, and the neighborhoods, not merely occasional visitors. People who are not afraid to send their own children to the city schools.

The people on the board who refuse to resign have none of these qualifications.

Which makes me wonder...

Why are they holding on?
What is their stake?
What are they getting out of this appointment?
What's in it for them?


Jill said...

They are self-aggrandizing control freaks?

Jeff Hess said...

Shalom MaryBeth,

For those of us who don't read the Pee Dee, which board members refused to resign?