Friday, April 23, 2010

Is "The Board" a Monolith?

Image with 2008 board election results.

All this talk about getting rid of "the board" made me go back and look at past results.

Since 2008, there have been many faces on the Board of Education, with some appointees having only a brief tenure. For example, Vickey Sheppard resigned after winning re-election for a three-year term. Joseph Ruffin Sr. was appointed to succeed her and ran in the 2009 election, but was defeated by Katherine Peterson for the two-year balance of the term. So three people have held that seat over three years.

In 2009, Bridget Rivers resigned after winning a City Council seat and Sandra Chambers was appointed to serve until the April 2010 election. Chambers did not seek the unexpired term, which was won this year by Keisha Edwards, who will have to run again in 2011 for a full term. Again, three people have or will have occupied this seat.

Next April, incumbents Peterson, Edwards and Agurs Linward "Lenny" Cathcart Jr. may face challengers. But how can voters heap blame on "the board" when some members have had only short tenures?

So right there, four new people have served or will serve in two of the board's nine seats. It is unlikely that appointees had time to take the mandated board member training or to understand their roles.

Of the 2008 original slate of Rivers, Sheppard and Cathcart, only Cathcart remains an incumbent to run in 2011. Peterson and Edwards would be the two other incumbents.

Another new face on the board is Brenda Gilbert, who won a full three-year term in 2009, and of course Renata Hernandez will be serving for the first time.

So where is this implacable, monolithic board?



Blogger olddoc said...

I reiterate my contention that despite the results of this last election, and despite our present mayor's track record in appointments-no CFO etc., an appointed board places responsibility for quality directly upon the community's political leadership.

There will be accountability which I afraid the 13% turnout in this election does not indicate.

7:48 AM  

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