Thursday, June 19, 2008

Daily BOE update

The hullabaloo over the Clarke County Board of Education is continuing to grow, as Sidney Anne Waters announces that she won't seek a fourth term for District Eight. In a letter to the newspaper, she proceeded to ridicule critics of her dismal performance by pulling a Glenn Richardson and daring them, as the ABH put it, to 'put their money where their mouth is' and run for her seat.

Of course, her race was the only one actually being contested as Chinami Goodie, the chairwoman of Barnett Shoals Elementary School's school council, announced her candidacy a month ago. Seeing how unpopular the BOE is right now and that Waters was probably heading for a loss (and that she refused to return phone calls seeking comment all day on Wednesday) I'm not exactly thinking that she's in a position to call others out for a lack of bravery.

The Athens Banner-Herald asks why the existing BOE members aren't outraged, and I think the answer's pretty easy - they're not accountable to anyone. They never face any challenges for office, refuse to speak about personnel matters and, according to Simms, and perfectly content going around and meddling in the affairs of individual schools with no recourse possible.

So, coupled with Waters's resignation, then good. That's one less obstruction toward getting good results on our local BOE, and we need more to step up to the plate and run for office. The even-numbered seats are up for re-election, and they need to face the appropriate scrutiny and debate this community and its schools deserve.


Blogger hillary said...

Aren't you and Waters saying the same thing, just from different perspectives? People should run?

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And don't you live in District Six?


9:48 AM  
Blogger Nicki said...

People should run. However, it's b.s. to suggest that people who don't run have no right to complain.

a. running is expensive.
b. people who have no children are very unlikely to win.

Keep in mind, of course, that the local BOE has a huge impact on all citizens regardless of their perceived closeness to the schools. We all pay the highest legally allowable taxes for a district with one of the most dismal graduation rates in the state, and one which we've been told isn't meeting the needs of industry for qualified workers. We all suffer when the BOE decides to demolish historic property or site a school in close proximity to one of the county's major polluters because it feels like it. We've all suffered for years due to the BOE's racist busing policies. So I think everyone paying taxes in ACC is qualified to have input on the BOE.

However, I'm not the general electorate -- and I doubt the general electorate will ever support a candidate whose connection to the schools isn't fairly evident. Plus I lack the time and don't wish to spend my money on a lost cause. So I'm not running.

I'd like to think there are roles for those who don't want to run, though -- for one thing, the vast majority of parents of kids in ACC schools are too poor to run, and don't they deserve a say in their children's education? We all have a role to play in advocating for prudent use of public funds -- and obviously only a limited number of us can do that from the board responsible for that spending. Finally, the hue and cry that's currently rising isn't rising from the board -- evidently the voices of many people external to it are necessary for change.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it wasn't a "put up or shut up" comment.. I think he should run.

Of course, I appear to be wrong about his ability to do so this year...


1:54 PM  

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