Thursday, September 25, 2008

Enough Is Enough: Superintendent Must Be Held Accountable For Mismanagement

When is enough enough?

Sweep it under the rug. Spin it as a blip on the road. Minimize the pain and suffering caused to others.

The voters will be able to hold Trustees Accountable in future elections.

Who will now hold the Superintendent accountable?

The Dallas ISD Superintendent is the highest paid public school official in the State of Texas and one of the top paid Superintendents in America. Dallas ISD pays well.

Yet, Trustees have failed the District by not demanding accountability. Trustees have not fullfilled our responsibility to provide effective oversight

Those who have tried have simply been ignored by the President and Board majority. The District is not the personal fiefdom of the Board President. It is supposed to be overseen by nine equally elected Trustees.

Reform is a powerful word that can be used for positive good, but it is also a word that can hide very selfish anti-democratic agendas.

The Board has sought at every turn to remove its own oversight and has been simply a rubberstamp for the administration over and over again. This has been the philosophy of the Board majority, and it has created this tragic result.

The Board is also being trained to be a rubberstamp Board, to create distance from the public and to essentially carry out an anti-public education agenda.

Like Wall Street, Ross Avenue needs a Board that will ask questions and even say, "No" - not a Board that believes education is a dictatorship of the elite - and not a Board that seeks to remove the public from an equal place at the education table.

It is time and our duty as elected Trustees to hold the Superintendent to the same high standard demanded of all other staff.

Mismanagement is a generous way to put it.

Trustees are elected to make hard decisions in the public interest.

What principal would remain in a campus position after a similar track record of financial mismanagement?

It is time for the Board to hold the Superintendent to the same standard of accountability. However, the personal political agendas of certain Trustees will probably win out.

But the truth is - it all begins at the top. And no one is indispensable - whether on the Board or the staff.

The Board should remove Superintendent Hinojosa and move forward with remedying the financial chaos that has been created on his watch.

Failure to do so is a refusal to meet our responsibility as Trustees to protect Dallas ISD from further financial mismanagement.

Our responsility as Trustees is not to protect a person but to preserve the Dallas ISD educational system for taxpayers, stakeholders and students of the generations to come.