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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Who to vote for - Clarkston School Board

I believe that the CCS school board is dysfunctional and changes are needed.  The public can do something about that when they vote on November 6th, by voting for the board members that will redirect the board to perform the functions that all school boards have an obligation to perform.  Please vote for Susan Boatman, Joan Patterson, and Betty Reilly for Clarkston School Board.  A vote for them will result in the changes to the school board that the district needs.  You can learn more about them at electbpr.comI also believe that Craig Hamilton is also worth voting for.  I have spoken to Craig at school board meetings and I believe that he also sees the board's dysfunction and wants to see the changes that the district needs.

Conversely, it is key NOT to vote for:
  • Cheryl McGinnis, the top current rubber stamp board member up for re-election who supported the $20 million tech bond and open schools of choice in the district,
  • Kelli Horst, the top Dr. Rock cheerleader who has publicly sided with the current rubber stamp board members and Dr. Rock on anything being promoted by Dr. Rock, and was one of the ring leaders of the "Say Yes to the $20 million bond" group as well as supporting open schools of choice in the the district,
  • and Theresa Adriaens, the "absentee candidate" (not attending any board meetings and off the radar at the schools) who is a staunch Dr. Rock supporter.
Per the Center for Public Education, an initiative of the National School Boards Association, (available here),

"The local school board is a critical public link to public schools. Whether elected or appointed, school board members serve their communities in several important ways.

  • First and foremost school boards look out for students. Education is not a line item on the school board’s agenda—it is the only item.
  • When making decisions about school programs, school boards incorporate their community’s view of what students should know and be able to do.
  • School boards are accessible to the public and accountable for the performance of their schools.
  • School boards are the education watchdog for their communities, ensuring that students get the best education for the tax dollars spent."

I wish that the Clarkston Community Schools School Board would actually become a group of seven professional adults representing the wants and needs of the public, focused on the direction and control of the school system in order to ensure that the students are educated safely and to the best possible degree given the funds the district has to spend on that endeavor.  That is what the school board is supposed to be doing. 

I see Joan Patterson, Susan Boatman, and Rosalie Lieblang living up to those school board responsibilities.  On the other hand, I see Cheryl McGinnis, Steve Hyer, Barry Bomier, and Elizabeth Egan ignoring the wants and needs of the public, not requesting the proper data from administration (financial and program data especially) that they should have before making decisions on those subjects, and allowing their direct employee, the superintendent, Dr. Rock, to take over the board's responsibilities to direct and control the school system and the board, ignore the public's comments and desires, and to keep himself and the school board as inaccessible as possible from the public.  Mrs Patterson, Mrs. Boatman, and Mrs. Lieblang have requested data they are not only entitled to as board members, but the data should have been supplied to them prior to being asked to make decisions for the district.  Time and again, Dr. Rock has ignored or refused their requests.  A change in the board is what is needed to stop this behavior.    

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