Just as anticipated the Board of Education last night spent more time explaining why they have not and will not review curriculum than the amount of time they ever spent to actually look at it and review it. It was sad but true.
Faced with the facts about reviewing textbooks and curriculum from their own by-laws and State Statutes it was a display of obfuscation that was typified by a circuitous oration by Mr. Michaud. In an attempt to disagree with Mr. Barrett and Mr. Malcolm, Mr. Michaud tried to paint their position as digging into minutia concerning curriculum. He continued to speak and attempted to modify his remarks until he had gone so far as to appear to be in agreement with Mr. Barrett. Mr. Barrett responded by saying, “So you agree with me.”
The normally calm and demure Mr. Malcolm showed some frustration at the lack of desire by Board members to take any initiative in reviewing curriculum by reminding members they, “are the Board of Education”. It must be very hard for a dedicated man like Mr. Malcolm after coming to every meeting prepared to see such lack of desire to do the job among some others on the Board.
Dr. Bernard pointed out that it has been the policy developed by verbal direction of the Board of Education nearly ten years ago to not bring curriculum to the Board for discussion, review and approval. The Board has instead had one person as a liaison meet with the curriculum committee.
To her credit Dr. Bernard was open and forthright when she said the administration takes their direction from the Board of Education. In this instance it is clear that the Board has abdicated their responsibility and role in matters of curriculum and textbook review to others. Our elected representatives are looked upon by the community to be leaders, decision makers and guardians of our educational district. It is not unreasonable to expect if they run for the office to in fact be willing to put the required amount of effort in to do the job.
It is not easy to be an elected leader in your community it takes an enormous amount of time and effort to do the job right. It is not a position that should be sought without having the time and commitment to perform on the job. Abdicating your role and responsibility to others is not what you are elected to do.
Too often the current majority leadership on the Board of Education abdicates their responsibility as leaders to others. Their pattern of performance has been to view their role as only being informed of decisions and not to lead and direct.
Too much time has been spent at their meetings conducting dog and pony show presentations that deflect discussion and action on issues. They are allowing the tail to wag the dog. It has gone on far too long and this November they may very well find themselves in the dog house with voters.