The GCS Board ought to be ashamed of themselves for how they acted today at their so-called Board retreat. The word ‘pathetic’ doesn’t even describe them…more like ‘disgusting.’

Where do I start?

1. The Mega-Bond…which, after today, has no chance in passing. This Board needs to start talking about a plan B right now.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Today, your school board voted in the affirmative to strip Eastern Guilford H.S. off the original Bond issue and decided to let the County Board come up with the funds to rebuild the school, which is already under construction.

N&R excerpt:

In a surprise vote, school board members agreed to resubmit their bond package to county commissioners — this time without $45 million to rebuild burned Eastern Guilford High School.
Angered by the accusation that they put Eastern in their 2008 bond package to win a sympathy vote from the community, school board members voted 7-4 to take the school out of their construction bond package and let the commissioners come up with a way to fund the rebuilding effort.
Although the issue was not on the agenda, the bond issue came up during a discussion of the 2008 budget process at the board’s semi-annual retreat.
On Jan. 17, county commissioners split the board’s $457 million bond request into two pieces, a $45 million for Eastern and $412 million for a series of new buildings and other projects.
Commissioners accused the school board of using Eastern to get the sympathy vote to help pass a controversial bond.

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s money to rebuild this school. It’s the politics I can’t stand. And there was plenty of it today.

More:  School board chairman Alan Duncan said the board only included Eastern in the bond at the county’s request.
“We did that only after they played politics for months and didn’t do anything,” Duncan said.

There goes Duncan, passing that buck again…so it’s their fault. It’s always the county commissioner’s fault. Then they’ll come back and say, it’s your fault.

Gee, Alan, look who’s playing politics today? Who the hell is playing politics now?

Folks, remember…the only ones being hurt here are your children. Please remember this on election day when you cast your ballot.


2. More cuts to arts/music? Yes, the whole meeting apparently went downhill, and just crashed and burned.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Now the gang of 11 is calling for…get this…MORE cuts to arts and music. Now, it’s not going to be sold to us this way…it’s being sold to us as adding foreign language instruction 2x weekly at about 2/3 of the elementary schools in the county. But doing so would come as a result of cuts in art, music and PE.

San Diego Supt. Terry Grier is recommending the restoration of some of the lost instructional time at about 1/3 of the county’s elementary schools that already suffered reductions this year, but the recommended time is only paltry, at best…it’s not the full time, as has been advocated since September.

This, despite new on-the-record support for full restoration of art/music elective time from Board members Darlene Garrett, Garth Hebert and Jeff Belton.

They still don’t get it. They don’t want to get it.

And now, like it or not, it’s a campaign issue. It’s an election issue. This year’s elections will be decided on school safety, the arts/music, and the Bonds…among other issues.

I suppose no announcements were made today in terms of which incumbent was running for reelection.


What else happened today?


— Achievement Alphabet soup
Gongshu Zhang  This school year it will be especially hard for schools to met AYP, or “adequate yearly progress, ” a No Child Left Behind Act measure of student achievement, says district numbers guru Gongshu Zhang. It’s not that students aren’t improving, he says. It’s that the state has increased the standards so much this year, they will be tough to meet.

— School Climate Task Force
This coming weekend, the group looking at school violence and discipline issues will have its own retreat. Keep your ears open for a February date when the school board will hear back on its full report.

— New superintendent
The board closed the meeting at around 5 p.m. to go into private session to discuss a “personnel issue.” It is likely about the new superintendent search, but the board did not plan to go back into public session with any news.

This other nugget from the N&R’s Amanda Lehmert:

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Interestingly enough, before the meeting closed, board member Jeff Belton criticized unnamed board members he said have been openly discussing information that was debated in closed session. If his fellow board members could not understand the need to keep those discussions private, he asked that they excuse themselves.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. This was likely directed toward Garth Hebert, who was quoted in this week’s Rhino about an alleged “straw-poll’ conducted last month in which Board members may have debated giving the new San Diego superintendent an incentives package (raise/contract extension) to stay here.

But we the people are left to wonder if something’s being hidden and what else is not being told to us.

Folks, GCS’ behavior today was outrageous and should be a call to action to prepare us troops for the battlefield. 2008 will not be an easy year for our children.  We know the cause, and we know what’s right. Their actions today were not right.

The troops are listening…and they’re ready.

These excerpts from comments on the N&R Chalkboard:

The County Commisioners and the School Board’s behaviour is really concerning. I am really thinking about a no vote for the bonds.

It will be the citizens of Guilford County’s pleasure to turn down any and all bonds in May. We have had it with this type of gamesmanship.

Frankly, this kind of game playing by the school board doesn’t do much to repair their image with the public and to build trust that they are a serious group that is competent as the education leaders of the community.


E.C. 🙂