Just when we thought things could not get any worse between the Howard County Public School System Superintendent and the Howard County Board of Education…yesterday happens. First we get the election booting three board members, then we have that first meeting in which the board makes MANY changes to the way things operate which then leads to the lawsuit filed by Dr Renee Foose and let us not forget we have this going on “State board votes to withhold money from Howard schools“…now we get this meeting in which the Superintendent says “I Don’t Care” in a public meeting to the board. Here is a little scenario breakdown from the Facebook Group HCPSS Community Shares:
At the BOE work session for Superintendent’s budget today , both Ms Delmont Small and Ms Ellis expressed concerns that they had not been provided requested information Both felt decisions could not be made without complete and accurate information. Both stated that they ran for office promising transparency and accountability to the community. Ms Delmont Small made a motion to delay the work session until requested information provided. Ms Ellis seconded that motion . Ms French called the motion spiteful. Ms OConnor agreed with her sentiments. During discussion and prior to the vote,staff in the room received communication from Dr Foose to leave the meeting and go back to their offices. Staff started to leave en masse. The Chair and Vice Chair objected and Superintendent stated she didn’t care and further directed staff to leave.
So here is a clip of the end of the meeting from yesterday (this is the really good / bad part of that meeting just before it ended):
A couple of observations:
- The Superintendent saying “I Don’t Care” to the Board seemed VERY disrespectful. I get the meeting was going poorly and it even appeared as if there may not be an actual meeting (because of information her staff did not provide to board members prior the the meeting)…but to send all staff out like that while the meeting was going on seems very “spiteful” – to steal a word used by Sandra H. French during the meeting.
- If there was any question as to who Christine E. O’Connor works for…watch her half way though the video above…apparently she got the same notification (email or text) that the entire school system staff attending received and she decided to just bail on the session as well.
Now…it is only fair that I share the entire video of the session (it is about 20 minutes) so that you can see everything that happened during the session. Here is the video from Barbara Krupiarz’s YouTube page:
My final thoughts…
This public (and even private) fighting has to end soon. The uncertainty it has to be causing within the school system will “flow down” to the teachers and even the students. Before that happens, someone needs to step in and do something about it. There have been the following suggestions made online:
I think it is good to let feelings be known about the current state of affairs btw the BOE and Superintendent…but… these Superintendents are generally collegial friends with each other. We may be more effective by swamping her email box with quick notes stated in the most factual and polite way. We don’t want to have people chalking this up to “difficult parents” or teachers. Don’t give them a reason to dismiss your concerns. I have written to Dr. Salmon and will do so again.