Are your trustees focused on students?

If you watch a board of trustee public meeting you have likely heard the phrase “we are focused on student success” or we have to look at “students first”.

When the curtain is lifted and you see inside the private meeting room and offices, a much different picture emerges. Thanks to Jeremy Nolais of Metro News, we have 2 large spotlights into the inner working of trustees and senior administration. In both cases, students are nowhere in the conversation. In fact, it seems the priority of the entire organization is to manage its reputation (and their efforts are inadvertently damaging it).

In the most recent case, a total of 41 people who are paid by the taxpayer were involved in answering 5 questions about spending public dollars on an outside communications firm. Read the e mails for yourself in this digital version of Metro’s FOIP request. Are these 41 people focused on student success when avoiding answering the questions asked? Does this affect morale amongst these 41 people and, by extension, the rest of the staff?

The other case that lifts the veil was instigated by 6 trustees (Then Chair Sheila Taylor had left the room) to call the same reporter to “correct” some things he had written in a story. I encourage you to read the transcript or listen to the audio yourself.

If these 2 examples show how the Calgary Board of Education spends its time, I wonder how much time they have left to focus on student success?

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