by Diane Payne
Testimony to BOE on 10/22/2020
Dr. Hite’s safety protocols for the phased-in reopening hinges in no small part on certified air balancer reports. Even though this is a significant component to reopening safely, nowhere can members of the public locate the companies doing these reports nor their certification for this work. Four companies seem to be receiving 3 million dollars to provide the District with Certified Air Balancing reports: Goldner, Devine, Chadwick, and Emcore. An examination of these companies’ websites fails to indicate that they have certifications in this field. Specifically, are these companies NEBB certified for National Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing work? I am asking today for the following: Direct the public to both where the reports can be viewed and the certification these companies hold for this work.
Dr. Hite noted that there is a “nice little chart” available regarding the ventilation progress. But we don’t want nice little charts. We want the actual credentials and actual reports.
No one disagrees that remote learning is inadequate. Everyone would prefer to safely be back to in-person school. But,COVID is on the rise. Statistics amplify the danger of this disease to POC who often get more serious cases and are more likely to die. The District could not keep students and staff safe in buildings before the pandemic due to asbestos, lead, and mold. School building occupants consistently struggle with inadequate heating systems, windows that don’t work, and a dearth of basic cleaning materials. Now, staff are being sent back into buildings even though ventilation reports will not be completed until November 12th.
Finally, the change to Policy 141 Renaissance Charter schools. I respectfully disagree with Board Member McColgan. These were neighborhood public schools that the District gave away to Charter Operators to supposedly effect “dramatic change”. The dramatic change instituted: some neighborhoods are now public-school deserts, CMO companies and their staff are getting rich, catchment criteria is frequently ignored, and most of them are failing academically and otherwise. This initiative was designed to make it easy for the SDP to take back schools that did NOT make dramatic change. The language change in this policy makes it more difficult thereby abdicating Board responsibility. Dr. Hite promised a Mathematica report on Renaissance Schools. President Wilkerson, in answering a question raised by Board Member Fix Lopez, stated that the District’s legal department would provide information on the status of the school buildings. Neither of these things have occurred. I am asking today that both be provided and I am asking you not to abdicate your responsibility.
Follow-up email sent to the BOE on 10/23/2020
Dear President Wilkerson and Board Members,
Last night, I had a number of questions requiring Board answers. Specifically, where will Certified Air Balancer reports be found on the District website? Where are the Air Balancing (TAB) certifications for the four companies and are these the only companies doing this work? (Goldner, Devine, Chadwick, and Emcore) Where can the Mathematica report on Renaissance Schools be found on the District website? When will the District present its legal information on the specifics of Renaissance school buildings as President Wilkerson indicated would occur?