Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New Website Draws Criticism

I know that I spoke the other day of the newly created website by Ms. Fisher and Mr. Torres, but I had to bring your attention to an article in today's Toledo Blade about it. Here are just a couple of excerpts from the article:
Board member Larry Sykes asked why the district and three other board members, including himself, were not made aware of its existence in advance of a public announcement that went out Monday night

"It's an elected official's Web site," Mr. Torres told Mr. Sykes. "It is directed toward my positions on education."


I'm sure that Ms. Fisher and Mr. Torres knew they would come upon this type of criticism when they created the site, but I still believe that with or without the entire board backing it, this site is genuinely needed! Hopefully the other board members will also realize the need for this site and join Ms. Fisher and Mr. Torres and show a little bit of unity among the board.

What I cannot believe is the fact that The Blade wrote an article showcasing this criticism! Is The Blade so against any type of improvement or feedback from parents and community members about TPS? It is blatantly obvious that people cannot speak their feelings openly at the board meetings, and most attempts to contact board members and administrators are futile, with exception of one or two. This website gives parents and community members the ability to post their thoughts and feelings, which is something that was way over due, in my opinion.

So check out the above mentioned Toledo Blade article and check out Talking Toledo Public Schools if you haven't already done so!
Thanks for reading!

5 comments:

Roland Hansen said...

I believe the that with more websites about public education there is more opportunity for public input. That is really a no-brainer statement.
I do not agree with detractors on this issue. It is quite common for people to opine that there should be more opportunities for citizens to have input into all of our governmental entities. Cyberspace maximizes that opportunity.
I have several links on my own blog regarding Toledo Public Schools and other educational organizations as part of my own effort to involve and inform the public.

Kate said...

Well, Mr. Torres posted on the site - and he has a point.

Per Ohio's Sunshine Law - IF Mr. Torres and Mrs. Fisher had held a meeting - or sent a 'round-robin' email about this they would have been in violation of the law.

I think there is something making it's way through the court now - about Mr. Sykes, Steel and Ms. Barnett having already held majority board communications last year in violation of the law.

I think that those three should be required to take a class and pass a test on Ohio's Sunshine Law. Apparently they don't know about that law at the Blade either.

Read Mr. Torres posting - I read it and thought 'duh!'. Of course they can't have a board majority having meetings about this.

And really, although Mr. Sykes is so vocal about this - does anyone really believe he would have been interested in working on this with F&T to talk to plain ol' any common person? I don't buy that at all.

Jo said...

roland,
I think the site provides and opportunity that all parents, educators and community members have needed for a long time! I like what I've read, but I do find the site a bit confusing to follow sometimes. But overall I give it 2 thumbs up!

Kate,
Nice to hear from you! I agree, Mr. Sykes never would have had anything to do with the site, mostly because it's not focused around him, but also because he is completely against any type of input from the community about TPS. He stands firm on the old belief that those who are not in an "influential" position with TPS need to just sit back and shut up because they don't matter. Beliefs like that are exactly why TPS is where it is right now. Things MUST change in order for the district to survive!

Kate said...

I agree Jo. I liked what Darlene Fisher posted about the differences at NASA and how critical the outcomes were, based solely on management direction. If the people who had the hands on, compartmentalized, information about the minute areas of concern on the Challenger, the tragedy may have been avoided. There is a great lesson to be learned there. I hope we learn it!

There is a board meeting tonight - hope if you can make - we will finally meet!

Hooda Thunkit said...

"Board member Larry Sykes..."

And, therein lies the problem. . .

And, clueless too :-(