Note on the Tribune’s Math Club Article — 12/23/2011

[“Stewardship” accused me of leading the Tribune to report on a controversy about RB’s math club.  Here is my reply…]

Stewardship —

Two folks know I had nothing to do with the Tribune article, me and the person who pitched the story to the Tribune. But it’s OK with me if you think I did. No problem.

As for the school — our issue has been governance. Whatever quality we have, if it’s built on failed governance and its attendant externalities (viz., all we have seen over the last several years), then it is, in a very real sense, false. And, it is part of my approach that the students are better served — by definition — if the district is fully integrated at an organizational level, and not dis-integrated and unaligned, as the new board and administration over the last six months have repeatedly found it to have been.

Furthermore, as one who has upheld the teachers’ — as represented by the union — right to get the best deal they can, i repeat that the same must also be true of the district — as represented by the board. Only two days ago the Landmark again confirmed the district had no legal representation in its last two contract “negotiations.” Such is all too indicative of past boards’ haphazard approach to their fiduciary duties. Is our fiscal calamity any surprise ?

So, one might wonder, what part of this is OK with the ‘Stewardships’ of the world? The obvious misfeasance? The imbalanced results? The deficit spending? The thirty unreleased memoranda of understanding that explicate the contract in undisclosed binding interpretations? The fiscal cliff toward which we are propelled? What the ‘Stewardships’ often intone is the quality of instruction. Fair enough. But since the detriments are self-evident, what evidence is submitted regarding the benefits? And, assuming for the sake of conversation that there is a second Athenian Academy operating over there, is there evidence that such cannot be quickly re-established after the needed workout from our fiscal mess?

On two levels, this is beside the immediate point. The immediate point is we are going broke by 2015. [Not to be persnickety, but here is where one may say, “i don’t care who’s teaching over there, if we are going broke, then something is profoundly out of whack.”]

The fiscal presentation eloquently argued to balance the budget now. If we don’t, the rest is, please pardon the usage, academic. Second, in balancing now, unless the board notices up across-the-board-RIFs, it will be the union and its interpretation of seniority, work rules, etc. that determines which teachers we have — not us. That may be great, it may be awful, but it pretty much will be the way things work. The very teachers in whom Stewardship reposes such trust will determine who stays and goes.

Finally, I hope the ‘Stewardships’ decide to state what ‘ideology’ is at work in formulating the general proposition, “we should not go broke” ? I think governance, delegation, integrity and solvency are non-ideological. But lord knows other apparently disagree. Fine — where is their line ?

It’s a tough ride ahead. The problems are pretty obvious. Let’s work together, get solid and build the finest 1500-student Illinois public high school.

Merry Christmas, c

POSTED FRIDAY DEC 23, 2011 23:35 #
Explore posts in the same categories: Riverside Brookfield High School -- Turnaround

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