We receive Nancy Jester’s blog, Whatsupwiththat?, through our RSS feeds. Normally, Saturday is a slow day for all the blogs we receive. Not this Saturday!
On December 26, 2012, Nancy began a series of posts on her blog, expertly dissecting AdvancED/SACS’ special team report. As has been her practice, Nancy gives specifics, having vetted her facts to be sure of her accuracy.
Today, Saturday, January 12, 2013, Nancy, who obviously has spent the time following the AdvancED/SACS report studying the issues and opportunities, instead of making excuses or spending her energy campaigning to be board chair or vice chair, provides an equitable, customizable solution:
“Change The Game”
“If you’ve read my series of blogs beginning on December 26th, you’ve heard me lament the fact accreditation isn’t based on results for children. Its focus is on “process”, pronouns and sweeping in late into the game after financial incompetence was already discussed and publicly stated by me for almost two years. Apparently, regular accreditation reviews just didn’t catch what this mom with a calculator quickly realized was a deceptive budgeting practice. My advice to the accreditors – (1) rethink the financial “standards and indicators” you review and (2) send in financial professionals, not just educrats, to look at the books.
“My blog posts covered the tortured logic of “The Circle of Trust”. It showed that no matter the mistakes or misinformation of the educrats in writing, reviewing and implementing policy, it is always the board’s fault. If I ask too many questions, it’s pestering, suspicious or distrustful. If I am misled by staff, that’s on me too. Rigid policy is extremely important in accreditation and, as it turns out, in insulating bureaucracies from real accountability and responsiveness. It has the added bureaucratic benefit of sanitizing the bad decisions made every day. Remember, “it’s policy”. Unfortunately, policy is no replacement for human discernment in the life of a child or a community. We have been victims of policy.
“I understand your frustration with the board. As the most consistent “no” vote, I experience this frustration more than most. For what it’s worth, if the board cannot agree to a drastically new approach to the delivery of education and governance of our district, the board should be removed. I do believe that all the members of the board and most of the DCSD administration want to have better results for children. But, they want other things more. Board members and administrators can be removed and the game remains. Rearranging or replacing the chess pieces won’t result in improved outcomes. The game itself is rigged.
“The only way to truly affect change is to change the game itself.”
Continue reading here …