Wednesday, June 24, 2020

District's "Premier 100" Program

A racially-oriented program of Richland 2 School District is the superintendent's pet project, Premier 100. He wants to hire 100 "premier" men of color. A very brief report was presented by a staff person from the District's HR Dept., as part of the June 20, 2020 board retreat.

Frankly, the superintendent's pet project ought to be to hire the best 100 teachers he can - men or women, whatever color. When Richland 2 students graduate, they will enter a world where they are not 82% of the population, and they will need the talents and skills to navigate in the real world.

The HR person's comments start at 42:25 on the June 20, 2020 board meeting video.

At the board retreat Trustee Shadd, one of five black members of the seven-member board, asked (43:22) the superintendent and his staff person from HR how many had been hired as part of that program.

The staff person did not know. She said she didn't have the numbers right there in front of her. WHY NOT? This is not the first time that a staff person has not been prepared with the most basic information to answer a softball question from a Board member.

The responsibility for her lack of preparation falls entirely on the superintendent. He must have reviewed her preparation for the board retreat, and he should have been sure that she could answer anticipated questions. I cannot think of a simpler question that could have been asked. Blowing it off with a "We'll get back to you on that" should not be accepted by the board.

This board should direct the superintendent to make sure that his staff members are prepared. Otherwise, the board's time is wasted! The answer to Shadd's question is Zero.

The superintendent said he would provide information. Again he took over 200-300-400 words to say what could have been said in 10 words.

How can it be that the answer to Shadd's question was not right on her lips or known to the superintendent?

At 46:20 Teresa Holmes finally showed up - sort of. Her first words were heard after the start of the meeting. It was really impossible to know whether she had even attended all of the previous portion of the meeting, because she kept her video off. Was she sitting there in her jammies? The Board Chair should have instructed her to make herself presentable and turn on her video. The public is entitled to see in what state of readiness an elected member shows up at a meeting of the public body!

And all Holmes had to say were words of praise for the woman staffer from the HR Dept. The Board Chair should take care of that.