Sunday, January 13, 2008

[LCSD] Warren Beeson's Lebanon Express Comments

I wasn't really going to post on this - it looks like a reprint of what he said at the most recent school board meeting - but IE posted on it, and, well, I felt compelled to respond.

First, a bit of Beeson:

Ladies and gentlemen, this school board is dysfunctional and currently lacking any credibility. The result is, there is no legitimacy attached to your decisions. Furthermore, your history of hasty, reckless, ill-considered decision-making has engendered unreasonable costs (both current and future) for our district; you have damaged our educational processes, and brought harm to the reputation and good name of our community.

This behavior is unacceptable. It cannot continue. It needs to change now, beginning tonight. The oath you took when you accepted this position requires that you uphold the law, follow due process, and respect the rights of all citizens. We the people expect prudent, sound judgment and decisions based on facts. If you follow that path, you can begin to repair your credibility, re-establish your legitimacy, and put our school district back on the path of preparing our young people for happy, successful lives as individuals and as citizens.

Next, IE's comments:

1. The Express showed it's true colors by deciding to make this into an article, and to headline it, "Board behavior is unacceptable," on the Opinion page. I challenge them to run a similar piece headlined, "Superintendent's behavior is unacceptable." Plenty of well-spoken and intelligent community members have made statements about the need for changes in Robinson's behaviors at school board meetings, but none have become a featured article in our weekly newspaper. The Express favors Robinson vs. the voices for change: Small-town politics at work.

2. If you read the statement and substitute the words "the superintendent," or "Jim Robinson" for each reference to the school board, the comments in the article ring true. Try it yourself.

What are the odds someone has written and submitted such a piece (criticizing Robinson) to the Lebanon Express? If no one tries, what is the Express going to print?

I only ask because all I hear from the anti-Robinson folks is the claim "the Express would never do it," which is a hypothetical (meaning it might happen, not that it will happen). I don't ever hear anyone claiming to have tried and been rejected.

The latter would constitute evidence of a point. The former is meaningless propaganda.

(Oh, and if someone has indeed been rejected, it would need to be established that the rejection was for reasons other than a pro-Robinson bias. I just wanted to pre-empt that criticism.)

Furthermore, it is entirely possible - plausible, even! - that Warren Beeson asked the Express to run his comments. That's one way to get free publicity - and folks with experience in public service would should know that.

As for IE's second point... I'd like some evidence. I've seen the evidence for Warren Beeson's comments - the suspension of Robinson comes to mind - but I have seen little to no evidence that Robinson makes ill-considered decisions. Decisions that people might disagree with (and sometimes for good reason), yes - but "hasty" or "reckless?" Really? Which ones?


Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, is there an editorial board of any sort at the express, or is it just AK? My experience has been that they print pretty much everything they get. They've printed everything I've ever sent, even prior to my "connections."

And I'm sure Warren hand-delivered that letter, seeing as how it's just a short walk across the parking lot. That, along with his history in Lebanon, makes that letter something that is definitely work printing, pretty much no matter what the content.

Your point is a good one - I know that the board is dysfunctional, and while I don't doubt that Robinson may be as well, the evidence for that has yet to be clearly seen.


Anonymous said...

Over on the IE Blog it seems pretty clear they think getting rid of Jim Robinson would solve all our School District problems. I disagree.
A show of hands please:
How many people have a boss who makes decisions you don't like--at least some of the time? Co-workers?
OK, how many have parents, a room-mate, or a spouse, who makes decisions you don't like?
Hmmmm, now, how about relatives, friends, or neighbors?
What about people down the road, or on the other side of town?
Ummm--the companies who send us bills?
How about ODOT? City Government? State Government? The Federal Government?
Wait, how about people in other countries?
Really, who here doesn't have people in your lives who make decisions--on a regular basis--which you disagree with?
And seriously, do you never have internal arguments with yourself?
Why would we think that agreeing with Jim Robinson's decisions would make him a "good" Superintendent?

russ said...

The nice thing about internal arguments with yourself (mentioned above) is I am sure to win that argument!

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