An ugly School Board meeting

I’d hoped that last Tuesday’s meeting (youtubed here) would end by nine so that I could watch the third episode of the Roosevelt’s from the beginning. The Meeting took three hours which clipped off the first half hour of the program. It was a pretty ugly meeting. I began it with a question to the Chair asking upon what Parliamentary authority he prevented non majority board members from placing subjects on the agenda for discussion. After a number of minutes of fruitless discussion we moved on with no explanation.

At about 1:22 (one hour and 22 minutes) Member Harala told me that she was tired of my grandstanding and explained that she understood I felt like a martyr. I had just “pontificated” about the deplorable testing results for minorities and complained once again that Art and I had no ability to place items on the agenda.

As I type this I’m listening to the meeting on youtube in the background. Its a kind of torture. I already lived it once. So far 46 people have watched some part of this meeting on youtube. One of them listened to the whole shebang and sent me a couple emails which included these comments:

I just had the opportunity to watch the school board meeting on youtube… 

…the meeting has left me yelling at my computer.  This board takes things too literally and too personally.  Facts are misheard, interpreted wrongly, and talking about the achievement gap does not mean that anyone is doing anyone about it.  Stats don’t lie.  We have ignored minority populations in favor of hoping our white kids can carry the district before you break down the data.  

*Linda Puglisi 3… ago missed my son, who was held under the water in the Morgan Park pool against his will by a sneaky student who was evading detection by the teacher on purpose.  And NOW the board is going to do something just because my son was able to come up to the surface before passing out and did not require medics coming to the pool?   Makes me see exactly how sad our education system continually refuses to see the students behind the spreadsheets and budgets. 

*Someone take away Rosie’s pom-poms to her cheerleader outfit, and give her a shovel and pail.  She needs to show how things are changing…. not just brag about how things are being talked about.  And no, we don’t need to filter what the public hears.  That is exactly what is WRONG with the SYSTEM.  

* Mike can say both schools [East and West] have the same registration forms.  

However, the STATISTICS of a population that is almost twice as big as the other school suggests that the OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A CLASS is GREATER at the school with the bigger population.  
A percentage of students could sign up for the same class at both high schools.  Say 2% want to take Norwegian.  2% of 950 is a lot smaller number than 2% of 1790.  (for those math challenged, that will be 19 students at the smaller high school to 35 students at the bigger school.  The bigger school would get the class because there is enough students to support the cost of a teacher for one period.  The 19 students would lose out because the district cannot afford to have a class with only 19 students.  

It is simple math.  And demonstrates inequities.

I don’t know how you get through a meeting without a maximum amount of Valium.

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