We attended the Willoughby-Eastlake School Board meeting last night, and left wondering if the board members really understand how to connect with people. We are not sure if we have ever, we mean EVER, been to a meeting led by a more controlling bunch of, hard-hearted people than the existing W-E school board.
(1) The public must register in advance to speak at their public session, and are allowed a grand total of three minutes. Those not registered in advance cannot speak.
(2) The Iron Maiden running the show reminded the audience that dialog – meaning a “question and answer” session during the meeting is not permitted. Basically, they want you to register to speak, and they will respond to the question at the NEXT board meeting. Obviously, the board members do not feel comfortable with their ability to answer questions honestly, and need time to craft a response. They insist on one-way communication with them doing the talking – not good optics.
(3) Superintendent Steve Thompson responded to a question posed by a taxpayer at a previous meeting asking why the W-E schools have declining test scores. Super Steve implied that it was because the mean old State officials improved their standards by changing the definition of what represents a passing grade.
There are two factors the State uses to give the school district a passing grade: (1) the cut score, and (2) the percentage of the students that must meet or exceed the “cut score”.
Previously, the “cut score’ was 50%, and 75% of the students had to achieve the 50% threshold in order for the school district to get a passing grade. Now the State officials have the audacity to reset the “cut score” to 75% and expect 85% of the students to answer 3/4 (75%) of the questions correctly for the school district to get the passing grade.
Note to school board: Many of the people in your district grew up with a much more rigorous grading scale. To get a “C” average on your report card you had to get 70% – 79% of your answers correct. In many households, striving to be average was not acceptable, and a 50% grade was FAILURE.
(4) After the Superintendent gave his answer, the gentleman in the audience that had posed the question took umbrage with the response, and become quite vocal. When he started to raise his voice, the Iron Maiden, instead of responding to the gentleman in a kindly manner, told him to leave the meeting. The elderly gentleman, obviously slightly handicapped, had to bear the shame of walking out of the meeting with his cane in hand. The Iron Maiden had shown the audience that she is no one to challenge, and she takes no prisoners.
(5) A member of the audience, who had registered to speak, told a heart wrenching story about the insensitivity of the school district when they destroyed a memorial and cut down a tree that was planted in honor of her deceased daughter. She wanted to know who made the decision to destroy the memorial, and why was the decision made. True to form, the clueless, heartless school board would not respond to her questions. Each and every one of the school board members remained silent and should be ashamed of their lack of compassion to a member of their district that was obviously in a great deal of mental anguish. (Ice water does not have to be served to the school board, since it already runs through their veins!)
(We gave our business card to the grieving woman, and told her that we would gladly write about her story, and all she has to do is contact us.)
(LFC Comments: Unfortunately, our public school system promises equality of opportunity, but what they really want is equality of outcome. They want to lower the standards so “no one gets left behind”. They want to squash individual achievements and replace it with “group think”.
In our opinion, the W-E school board has no clue on how to interact with the citizens of their district. Their “ham-handed” approach to conducting public meetings is deplorable.
We predict that their 4.99 mill additional, continuous levy is on its way to another 80% – 20% defeat in November.)