The "silver lining" of this SCPR series for Stark County board of education voters is to see for themselves the ugly underbelly of "politics at play" in the oversight (the board members themselves) and administration (superintendents and their staffs) of our taxpayer funded public schools.
First, readers of this blog need to - in order to get the full breath and scope of The Report's dissection of boards of education and school administration - make sure they have read previous blogs.
Here are links to those blogs:
- the Canton City Schools (CCS) Board of Education, in the corporate sense (meaning majority voting pattern),
- the Stark County Educational Service Center Governing Board, in the corporate sense (ESC, which includes yours truly's spouse),
- the upper level management of the CCS (with a focus on the treasurer and superintendent), and
- the upper level management of the ESC with a focus on the legal and superintendent aspects of the regional service center
But make no mistake about it, the CCS/ESC debacle is only "the icing on the cake" of what The Report thinks has been a decades and decades long deficiency in oversight functioning of the ESC board, the 17 local boards of education and the respective administrations; especially in the superintendent to superintendent connection between local school districts and the county level superintendents going back many years.
Yours truly first started out as a community engaged citizen in the early 1980s in attending and engaging Lake Local School District and Lake Board of Trustees members.
Accordingly, as far as Stark County schools are concerned, yours truly goes back to the Herm Sims administration of the Stark County level of school administration.
Additionally, yours truly has the huge advantage of having been married to Mary for 49 years now who is:
- a 35 year retired teacher as an elementary school teacher in the Akron Public School system,
- a ten year long consultant with the former Carson-Dellosa education publishing company,
- one of Ohio's very first board certified teachers by the National Board Professional Standard - Early Childhood Generalist,
- an adjunct professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Akron,
- a member of the Lake Board of Education (1991 - 1995, elected again in 2006)
- a member of the Stark County Education Service Center in 2007 and is unopposed for an additional four years in the election upcoming on November 3rd,
In today's blog, the focus is the insights that the SCPR has garnered since the early 1980s base on the foregoing recitation so as to be in a position to credibly assess the state of boardmanship and superintendency in the Stark County school system.
One of the SCPR's latest treatments of Stark County school systems has to do with the situation in the Canton Local School District in which there has been in place in the opinion of The Report a board of education that is in lock step with the recently retired superintendent.
Readers of this series would do well by themselves to read the blogs on the Canton Local situation to get a sense of how The Report covers local school boardmanship, the links:
Moreover, there are other Stark County local school districts which have come under the scrutiny of the SCPR and in future blogs yours truly will refresh those coverages so as to underscore The Report's continuing interest in the quality of Stark County educational leadership from the superintendents' standpoint and from the board of education membership standpoint.
Over decades of exposure to and involvement with local boards of education and the county level board of education (now, education service centers), yours truly has one overwhelming take-away on the functioning of boards of education vis-a-vis superintendents, to wit:
Superintendents of education, though not elected by the public to anything, are every bit the politician of those folks from Stark County's cities, villages, townships and, of course, boards of education who do have to account to the public in the American process of getting elected by majority/plurality of registered voters in their respective districts.
Moreover, by and large, many if not most of these superintendents cultivate a political relationship with individual members of board of educations designed to dampen member zeal for pursuing incisive questioning of the recommendations of superintendents to ensure that the recommendations are in the public interest as opposed to any parochial interest (e.g. the superintendents' ease of operation, teacher unions, undue athletic prominence, et cetera).
In this ongoing series, sparked by the CCS/ESC controversy, the SCPR will be sharing with the Stark County public how "education sausage" is made among and between superintendents of local school districts, their respective boards of education as they interact with educational officials at the county level.
The Report has already had input from everyday Stark Countians with stories of how their superintendents and boards of education have not given "the public interest" the first priority it must have inasmuch as public education is financed by the Stark County taxpaying public.
Readers can add to this series by sending your anecdotal "education at the local lever story" to firstname.lastname@example.org.