Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bored of Education

Midnight! That's when we got out of our second executive session. It was just like the old days when I was first on the Board. Everyone was telling me how SHORT the meetings had been lately, so clearly, it's me.

I did talk a lot. I aggravated: (1) the cafeteria director, by suggesting that the new cafeteria software contained hidden costs she hadn't mentioned (a dedicated server, training for employees); (2) the tech person, by suggesting that we put in the policy she presented a mandate that all teachers use the district's incredibly expensive website-producing software to create websites, instead of allowing 75% of them to ignore its existence; (3) the head of the business department, by saying that although her advocacy for her department was admirable, the position she wanted to add back in post-budget-vote was a perfect example of the squeaky-wheel, knee-jerk crap the Board (and all boards) is reviled for.

I won grudging assent on (1), and she will bring us true costs next time. I lost (2) to the superintendent, who prefers a gentler, peer-based method of getting teachers to develop websites (which I think means we'll never see it happen). But he did promise to talk to the administrative team about the issue and maybe to incorporate it into the mentoring program. I mostly lost (3), because at least two Board members wanted to review the situation next meeting (we have some surplus this year that they might want to apply to the position, which is a terrible use of one-time money, but oh, well).

Now I get to remember what Tuesdays are like on 5 hours of sleep.


Mary Ann said...

Good report, KAZ. Thanks. Who's the cafeteria director now? Isn't it the guy who brought the pretty good food to school when my kids were there in the 90s?

I'm glad you're going to be our squeaky wheel for a while.

KAZ said...

No. Dave Bartholomew was a nice guy and made decent food, but he ran up such debt that I started complaining back in 2002. They finally got rid of him last year and hired Drydenite Suzanne Wixom. I do not think the debt problem will be solved with a change of leadership, though, and I'm calling for us to spend the bucks now on a consultant (or continue to pay the price). Other districts (not all, but some) have break-even cafeteria programs, and Newfield's does so well that they offer every child in the district free breakfast every day and were able to buy their own new walk-in cooler (Dryden's taxpayers are paying for Dryden's new one, to the tune of $20K).