Thursday, January 10, 2008

Her Thoroughly Artificial Litmus Test for Election

The re-election of Metro School Board Members is linked primarily to one thing: whether or not they satisfactorily represent their constituents. That is the most natural and intrinsic criterion for judging them.

So, when Kay Brooks says that their performance ought to be linked to the performance of School System Director Pedro Garcia, she is demanding that voters who might otherwise be satisfied with what their representative does for them in their zone should judge that leader by an external frame of reference: the mistakes and poor showing that Mr. Garcia might make on his own.

That is not only unfair to these Board Members, it also violates the spirit of representational government.


  1. I disagree with your opinion. We have heard repeatedly how Pedro Garcia is the only employee of the Board. They should be held accountable for his performance, especially if he fails to meet the performance criteria established for him and they allow him to remain in the position.

    If he were a Wackenhut employee (or subcontractor) wouldn't you holdl his employer to task for accountability?

  2. Yes, but I don't link Erica Gilmore's re-election to represent District 19 on the failure of Wackenhut to be accountable or on the failure of the Finance Department to alarm windows at MEC.

  3. I think you are missing the point.

    Dr. Garcia is the one and only employee of the Board. He has failed to meet performance standards. He has lead the schools as they have continued to decline to the point of a state takeover. Why shouldnt the Board members be held accountable if they continue to support him and allow him to remain in his position?

    Using your logic, a Congressperson who supports the President is perfect, so long as he gets me my Social Security check.

  4. Perfect? No.

    The point of electing School Board Members is based first on whether their constituents believe they they are being adequately represented and served. If the constituents identify the employment of Pedro Garcia as an issue effecting their zone and their children, then it will be used as reason to vote for or against their representative.

    But the employment of Mr. Garcia should not be used to trump every other perception voters have of how the Board Member is serving them. If voters are generally happy with the representation they have on the School Board then they will re-elect, with or without regard to Mr. Garcia.

    Ms. Brooks was not herself democratically elected to the School Board, but was placed in by administrative fiat against the wishes of a majority of voters in her District. That explains why she would prefer that School Board Members not represent the voters first and foremost. But just because the representative process was ignored in her case does not mean that we should just keep on ignoring it and force a single Garcia litmus test against popular will, unless voters in each zone decide to use it thusly.

    You are missing the point that the cart should not come before the horse.

  5. Our differences may not be that great. I simply believe the Board Members should be legitimately accountable for the actions of their employee. I dont believe it is the only criteria but it is a legitimate issue.

    Unfortunately it seems your hatred for Kay Brooks trumps every other concern. It appears that anything KB is for you will be against or take issue with.

  6. "Hatred" is too strong a word to describe what I feel toward Kay Brooks' moves on public education and in politics. My feelings may be more accurately described as suspicion and alertness.