With schools, the only certainty is uncertainty

The deciders?
The deciders?
Last night, among other things, the School Board who shall not be named voted to delay their search for a new Superintendent at the suggestion of national search firm Proact..

Who, in their right mind, would want this job?

Think about it: 23 members who can’t seem to come to a decision on anything. 16 of whom would be gone or at least on their way out by the time the new Super takes office. The chance that a vote on a new Super would involved a majority of the “leavers”, and a minority of the “stayer” is not only real, but likely.

Add to that, the litany of questions that have yet to be answered, and the search for a new administrator became too heavy a lift for the search firm.

The irony, yesterday we received a questionnaire from Proact about what we, as parents of an MCS child would like to see in a new Super.

Brilliant irony.

In addition to giving up on the search for a Super, the board took a vote on delaying the merger, which failed. The argument for delay has now come from both sides of the charter surrender vote, which is pretty interesting up to the point that you realize that state law doesn’t allow for a delay in the merger. The timeline is set forth in Norris-Todd, and affirmed by Judge Mays. Short a ruling on the constitutionality of the timeline provision, which is pretty solid honestly, delay isn’t going to happen, so let’s just stop talking about it and get on the to the business of actually getting ready for next year, mmmmkaaay?

The board did vote to approve outsourcing of custodial services to GCA. I don’t generally support this kind of action, but the question hasn’t been about whether or not to outsource for weeks. It’s been about who to outsource to.

I found out late last night that GCA also has a contract with Metro Nashville Public Schools, something that might have been reported before and I just missed. I’m asking my Nashville readers to report back. I know I’ve got a lot of teachers from Nashville that read. I want your perspective on their performance so we at least know what to expect. Hit me up on my contact page if you don’t have my email address or on the tweeter @vibinc.

Other things include transportation and school closings, though I think school closings is a bit of a distraction considering all the other things going on. Seems like we could have brought this up in July, after the approval of the new budget and the start of the next fiscal year, and that would have allowed more time to actually consider some of the open questions that are hindering the release of a proposed budget from Interim Supt. Hopson.

Maybe there’s something about a timeline that I’m missing here. I don’t really know.

Rootin' Tootin' Angry Commissioners
Rootin’ Tootin’ Angry Commissioners
In any case, I’m sure the County Commission and Mayor Luttrell are itching to get this budget, if for no other reason than to have something to practice hitting the wastebin from their chair. If the new budget comes in as expected at $1.3b (which is $40m more than last year) you can expect to see exasperated looks and Bugs Bunny style steam springing from the ears of folks, not to mention the normal hyperbole that has little if any basis in fact. I’m talking directly to you Chris Thomas/Wyatt Bunker/Heidi Shaffer.

The bellyaching will, no doubt, be more pronounced than the aftereffects of eating a raw pork chop.

In other action, the board approved a policy that would pay teachers based on performance rather than experience and educational attainment, an irony if nothing else. I get that “book learnin’” doesn’t necessarily make you a better teacher, but shouldn’t teachers, who are in the business of education, always be seeking more education? Isn’t that a valuable thing to seek? Apparently not.

I’ll be taking a deeper look at the whole teacher evaluation/pay issue later this week to hopefully better explain the policy that was adopted by the board last night.

So I guess we’re still in wait and see mode until the next meeting of that August body who shall not be named. Until then, there are a lot of questions to be answered. The largest of which begins with a b, ends with a get and has U all up in the middle of it.

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