Saturday, February 16, 2008

[LCSD] A Commenter at LT Makes a Good Point

From this comment at LT:

Mr. Alexander, Ms. Shimmin, Mr. Wineteer, we will be watching to see if you have learned to listen to the advice of counsel and avoid further violating the rights of employees of the District. I also want an opportunity to evaluate you and the Board and think that the community should be given that ability.

That last sentence makes a point I've not thought about much: Is there a process in place to evaluate the board members besides voting them out of office? If there isn't, there should be.

More to the point, I wonder how each board member would take to the suggestion of being evaluated by someone else.


Russ said...

I think being voted out of office would be sufficient evaluation. Do they get paid? How would you punish them if they don't meet standards? I guess if they do something illegal, they can be arrested. Other than that, don't like 'em, you gotta vote them out.

Dennis said...


I thought I was clear that there should be some process of evaluation besides voting people out of office.

Essentially, that tells me we have no power to ask them to change - it is akin to, in an employment situation, not having write-ups or annual evals or anything, but being at risk of being fired for every mistake, no matter how big or small.

From an education perspective: There are no detentions, time-outs, suspensions, etc. There is only expulsion as punishment.

Unacceptable, no? Then why is it acceptable here?

On the other hand, I understand that the best answer we have to the question of "who evaluates the top of the hierarchy?" is.... elections. I guess I'm trying to point out that there is a definite limit to that system.

I would rather see the current school board members learn from what I consider their mistakes and change than simply be voted out.

Russ said...

Unfortunately, and not taking sides here, it does rely on the intelligence of the person to notice that people are not liking him or her, and they better change or they'll be gone. And of course, relying on that is foolhardy sometimes. I don't think elected officials would get fired for small errors, as the general voter population just wouldn't notice or care. To evaluate them, you would have to have someone or some group above them. Who would do that? Then, who would manage that group? I see your point, just not sure it is workable. I guess the state could possibly do it, but I think that would still only be over important items.

The same situation holds over city, county and state officials. I have gone to several city and county meetings, and I am amazed that some of these people can put their shoes on the correct feet in the mornings, let alone lead a city or board!

Dennis said...


Why would the evaluating body have to be "over" the school board?

Why not have citizens do it? Even if it's not binding, done well it would provide a good basis for voting.


Anonymous said...

There is always recall, but that is really not fair to the tax-payers---and the troublers know it.
One way to change the lack of accountability would be to give them only a two-year term. That way if they really can't get it right we don't have to wait three-plus years to fix that error. They wouldn't have the same span of time in which to be a loose cannon and cause so much chaos. Knowing they will be up for re-election much sooner seems like a good check and balance.
Even with that I like the idea of the voters having a chance to evaluate the Board, say, yearly. I think since they have the control over the finances and job security of so many people it is just reasonable to hold them to a standard. Gee, how about the Standard of Professional Conduct and Ethics? You know, the ones they take an Oath about when they take Office as a PUBLIC SERVANT of the Citizens of the entire voting area?
Novel thought.

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