I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Anger/Frustration/Angst Over Speech not Being Carried Live

Here's a fiery email sent to me about the Obama Speech, my response below.

>>> XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 09/08/09 1:18 PM >>>
Shame on you for letting politics and the "crazy righties" dictate the quality of education in this county. My family and I have lived here for about 2yrs and I can tell you after this, we are going to run as far away from this county and this school district as soon as we can! No wonder Florida has the highest drop out rate in the country! Not my daughter! Not is this school district! We will take her to a real school district that will do what is right for the students, not the Republican party. Keep 'em ignorant seems to be the mission plan. If not then who would vote for them?


I remember talking to you on the phone as this whole episode played out recently. I do not know if the email below is directly aimed at me, but I'll assume it is even though as one board member I have ZERO power to do anything in this district on my own (BTW if I did, we would not be raising your property tax rates this coming Tuesday!).

I recognized from the beginning, last Wednesday, that the Obama speech would be an historic event. As the situation progressed, I realized that the sloppy manner in which President Obama and his team at the DOE were rolling the event out only played into the fears and concerns of many about what the speech would contain. (BTW--The Obama team changed the original lesson plans and altered their original position by releasing the speech before it was given.)

Now that the text of the speech has been released and the speech has actually occurred, everyone knows that it was a fantastic, inspirational address. Mr. Obama is an extremely intelligent, articulate, and charismatic leader. I actually AGREE with Obama on some education issues, including Merit Pay for teachers and better, more rational and meaningful evaluation of tenured employees. I like the person, even though many of his domestic policies run counter to my personal fiscal conservatism. But many in the district, including myself, respect this President and his leadership. As a matter of fact, we (at the district) have the speech linked up at our website so parents can watch it, and the Superintendent is encouraging schools to show the speech in the next few days.

So, think what you will of me, but as one board member I tried to get the district to come out with clear guidance on how the speech would be handled----- this way everyone would be happy. I just wanted to keep all parents in the loop and let the parents decide if they wanted their children to watch. If you want to run me into the ground for that then you may have much bigger personal issues to contend with--much more important than any misguided ideas about what you percieve about this district's (alleged) shortcomings.

Jeff Bergosh

Jeff Bergosh
Escambia County School Board, Dist. 1

No comments: