In Your Opinion: Decision on Schools Superintendent Was Rushed

Franklin-school-board-officeBy Bill Connell, Somerset.

I was at the meetings where the Super’s contract was discussed.  My support of the Super starts at the fact that being a boss is not a popularity contest, but being a politician is. Having this discussion at campaign time is questionable because it confuses the conversation.  The Supers contract is coming up and needs to be discussed but the people driving the bus have more at stake than the Super’s future. My personal feeling that this was rushed was confirmed when after the vote was taken, a few parents came up to me who I know are involved and supportive of the schools. Their heads were spinning because they did not even know a discussion like this was taking place, no less a decision being made.

Yes C4C is an active group. I have seen them bring up good points of discussion, but I would also liken them to the Republican Party trying to shut down Obamacare.  There is really only one desirable outcome for them. If you took the C4C presence out of the room, which was maybe 15, nobody else was clapping. I also have to say I was part of a company that over a period of four years laid off 100’s of people and it was heartbreaking. When I heard people clapping that someone has just lost their job, it upset me.  I also need to mention after I got up and spoke I was given some cross looks like I had just slaughtered Labrador puppies at the podium. One person graciously said we all have our opinions and respected the process. I appreciated that acknowledgement.

I need to point out that the public made comments but the Board members themselves gave no explanation or tip of the hat to history as to why they voted the way they did. I think on a vote this important; they owed it to the public so give their logic.

Numbers on a chart do in fact lie.  They lie by omission. They lie by lack of context. Franklin and the state of education has changed considerably since we picked our last superintendent, what makes anyone think those numbers will change drastically, just by changing the superintendent?

Finally, I was at the high school last night and it struck me how large, just the high school is, no less the rest of the district. Most of the people at this board meeting were BOE groupies, not the average parent at Franklin.  We have over 7,000 kids and at best 25 parents go to a public meeting to debate this? I do not represent all of Franklin, nor does C4C.  I would have felt the process more credible and less political if the room had a more balanced representation.

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