Guidelines

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, May 20, 2015

Newpoint: "You Know Enough, You Know What You Need to Know, Now Vote!"




Because we are the body that contracts, not the district, it is somewhat unsettling to be told, "This is enough, the contract violations are enough, now vote!" 

So to articulate for the record exactly why I voted the way I did, My "NO" vote to the closure of all of the Newpoint schools was by no means a defense of Newpoint's contract violations or an affirmation of the way Newpoint ran their schools. 

It was a "NO" to the start-stop, on again, off again approach that the district has utilized here-the spiritless, feckless, almost craven way in which Newpoint was not investigated in May of 2014 for the multiple issues that were known at that time . After all, in May of 2014 we had just approved a multi-year, multi-million dollar charter contract with Newpoint five-flags the month before.  Maybe if an investigation was done then, that start-up on July 1st may have bee pulled back?  Who knows, right?  So my vote last night was by no means meant to imply I feel Newpoint is blameless, It was a "NO" for lots of reasons, partly the way this whole Newpoint mess has been handled.  

I voted "NO" because there are still unresolved allegations not yet fully known to all that staff was hindered from doing this investigation in a more timely fashion and telling the board. 

I voted "NO" because there have been dramatic, disturbing leadership failures in the district that led to this not being investigated when it should have been, leading to the School Board being left in the dark which is unacceptable.

It was a "NO" vote expressing my significant angst with the sloppy way the Superintendent failed to keep the school board appraised of the issues at Newpoint. (I guess I'm the only one who thought that was a legitimate beef, but I won't accept being treated like a mushroom.) 

It was a "NO" because I know there were allegations from a year ago that were not followed-up on that could have led to a plan to correct these issues at all the Newpoint schools, but nobody did anything to follow up sufficiently. Most importantly-- had action been taken when it should have, In May/June of 2014, student safety could have been bolstered over this past year, instead of being compromised multiple times. 

So my "NO" vote was over this whole sloppy, choppy, and frankly deficient process utilized to make a "problem" go away and disappear for what I believe to be political expediency. The process matters, and everyone--even those "EVIL" Charter School Operators--- who is facing closure deserves a full accounting of ALL allegations to be known before the governing board takes a vote. 

Otherwise we are subverting due process for expediency. That's what Third-World Banana Republics do, I don't want America, Florida, or Escambia County to be like them....

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