Tuesday, September 8, 2020

9/8/20 Board Meeting - Absolutely Pitiful

A prominent attorney in Columbia suggested to me earlier in the year that I ought to run for the School Board. He told me I'd have a good platform for talking about what's wrong and he added, "But you don't want to win."

The Executive Session ran over about 15 minutes. After the regular meeting got underway, Board Chair Shadd called on trustee-elect Amelia for the Inspirational Moment. First she launched into a long, long, recital of every employment position in the school district and finally thanked them. Then she indicated for a video to start, without preamble, and the first slide was INSPRIATIONAL [sic] MOMENT.  Who reviewed that slide and missed the typo?

Then a long video played, at the end of which was www.clintpulver.com  McKie made no introduction of who Clint Pulver was. Pulver is a professional speaker, and his video is most likely copyrighted.

Board meetings are totally out of control. Chair Shadd makes no attempt to control McKie. The Inspiration Moment should be a "moment", often thought of as about 90 seconds. 

Twenty-four comments were received from the public. Mrs. Roof read the first 12 (although it seemed like more) to the board. Many (most) had to do with the feelings of parents that special ed children and the younger children are being short-changed by being forced into the computer model of learning. Parents feel the District should not use Richland County COVID-19 numbers, which are now influenced by the irresponsible students at USC, whose infections are boosting COVID numbers for the County.

Then the board voted to accept Caution-Parker's "volunteering" to attend a December meeting of the South Carolina School Boards Assn. (SCSBA). That was clearly a backroom deal, because Chair Shadd said that he "understood" that Caution-Parker had volunteered. From a public meeting standpoint, he should have opened the item on the agenda and waited for one of Caution-Parker's buddies on the Squad to nominate her to represent the District at that SCSBA meeting.

But the kicker tonight was the H.R. discussion on new hires. After the staff report, the superintendent took a deep breath and soared into space about his 100 Premier Men of Color program, throwing accountability out the window because it's "his" program, not a Board assignment that would be part of his evaluation.

Mrs. Agostini asked if his program would be successful, if the District hired 100 men of color but lost 150 men of color. The superintendent (often referring to himself in the third person as "the superintendent") took a second deep breath and rambled on. Apparently, that program will be "successful" if just one student has a teacher who looks like him.

Board Chair Shadd should learn how to run a meeting. Perhaps he ought to have a private conversation with "the superintendent" and tell him just to answer questions and not deliver a thesis. And also not to butt in without being recognized by the Chair. But Shadd won't do that. It might hurt someone's feelings.

Somebody should have called "Point of Order" on the superintendent and on McKie. I got fed up at 6;30PM and abandoned the rest of the meeting.

I'm so glad that I thought long and hard about running for the Board and made the smart decision (for me) not to run. The minority is powerless and might as well not even show up for meetings.