"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Are All School District Boards a Microcosm of Congress?

My experience with my school board is that it doesn't take citizen concerns seriously and is dismissive of those who don't agree with district spending or policy. Kirkwood School District is operating in the same manner of our present Congress: it ridicules and marginalizes everyday citizens by not allowing their comments to the Board to be recorded. This current Congress has been accused of being tone deaf to citizen concerns and wishes, and many citizens in Kirkwood believe this Board mirrors Congress' behavior.

My district will allow public comment before the regularly scheduled Board meeting. When comments are finished, the meeting officially begins. By not taking comments after the official start of the meeting, comments are never published or addressed publicly.

When asked about this practice, I received a response from the superintendent which stated:

"As you know, District practice is not to include items other than regular Board agenda items in the minutes".

As the Board has to approve items to be placed on the agenda, citizen concerns that are in opposition to Board policy have no chance to become an agenda item. In effect, this Board controls the message and provides no record of public comment. Is this the way government is supposed to work?

Does your school board operate in this manner, that of not recording comments from the taxpayers who fund this entity? It's almost as if your opinions don't exist; and they officially do not exist as there is no record of your concerns.

Is your school board a microcosm of Congress?

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