We need good community partnership

Published 10:33pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Selma Board of Education is, no doubt, committed to partnerships with parents, business leaders, community members or any agency or person who is interested in quality education for Selma’s children. So far it has been a good partnership.

The board plans to stop the audience from asking questions or making comments during our work session.

It is my hope that this will not turn off some people who really care about the children’s education.

An educational research ranks parent and community involvement as the third most important factor in improving student achievement.

It is established that higher number of students perform well in schools based on the extent to which parents and the community in its entirety are supportive and involved in school business.

I honestly applaud some community members who come to our work session and board meeting; particularly those who are not staff of the system and presently do not have children in our system.

I may not like everything that some people have to say but I respect the fact that they care and are interested in our overall improvement. Any move to completely ignore their contributions, questions, or concerns during our work session may undermine the partnership.

According to our attorney, Mrs. Campbell, the board may decide to tolerate comments or questions from the audience during a work session.

Information or knowledge is pertinent in decision making process, and I want all the information that I can get during our work session so as to make a good decision.

Experience has shown me that the so called ‘street committees’ may sometimes have pertinent information before it gets to board members. While it is advisable for board members not to discuss issues outside of legal meetings, it may not be wrong to hear about it legal meetings. Besides, shutting out the audience completely, may deny us access to expert opinions.

When we exclude expert opinion, we exclude significant information needed to make wise decision.

For example, if the board is discussing a personnel issue and an AEA official raises hand to comment or ask question, I strongly believe that such should be allowed to speak because they’ve initiated some litigations that caused us money or put us in difficult situations.

Furthermore, if we are talking about school safety and a former or present police officer raises hand to help, I believe he or she should be heard.

I don’t know about the rest, but being a school board member does not make me an expert on all issues.

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