Trustees Give Themselves a Failing Grade – Again

It’s report card time again for the Calgary Board of Education trustees. According to their own policies they must self-evaluate their performance every year. Last year’s performance was dismal. According to the report from the June 28, 2011 board meeting, on page 9-53, the trustees found themselves in non compliance with all nine indicators of their working relationship. The report stated that the trustees:

  • do not follow their code of ethics
  • do not trust each other
  • do not respect each other
  • do not communicate honestly with each other
  • do not collaborate to solve problems
  • do not respect confidentiality
  • do not follow the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act

Unfortunately, no improvement has been made in the past year. Today’s board meeting report states that they are again not in compliance with their own policies. Here are a few things that a majority of trustees feel they need to work on (pg. 8-17):

  • being prepared for meetings
  • communicating openly
  • not undermining decisions of the Board
  • focusing on issues rather than personalities
  • being honest
  • not embarrassing each other
  • not disclosing confidential information

In the report the trustees acknowledge that their failure to comply with their own policies “is hindering the board from achieving excellence in governing.” They go on to say that the “failure to comply with these standards has resulted in the Board’s being internally pre-occupied.”

In the Calgary Herald, Chair Pat Cochrane said that honest self-evaluation is necessary for improvement and that the bad report card is nothing that the public should be concerned about.

We beg to disagree. The public should be concerned. There hasn’t been any improvement since last year. If anything, the ability of the CBE Board of Trustees to work together seems to be getting worse. Our students deserve better. Calgarians need a Board that can have healthy, vigorous, public debates about real issues, while still remaining professional and respectful. Sadly, by their own admission, it doesn’t look like the current Board is up to the task.

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