Transition Team Offers Familiar Promises

Ears on the Board of Education: October 20, 2022

by Diane Payne

The Transition Team appointed by Superintendent Tony Watlington and the consulting firm of Shawn Joseph and Associates presented its findings, compiled in a 29-page, multi-color pamphlet. Some of Watlington’s actions during his heralded “First 100 Days”  have raised concerns rather than hope for many, especially his failure to embrace a plan rooted in education research of the whole child in favor of retaining the status quo of privatization, outsourcing and standardized testing. Most jarring is Watlington’s demotion of parents and community members from that of stakeholders in the common good of public education to “customers”.  Watlington has even created a new administrative position, “Chief of Communications and Customer Service”; he hired Alexandra Coppadge to fill it.  This disrespectful action reveals Watlington’s lack of understanding of the role of parents, educators, students and community members as members of school communities advocating for safe and healthy schools; he sees them as consumers buying a product, which relegates educators to the status of store managers and students to commodities.

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Board Allows Questionable New Covid Protocols

Ears on the Board of Education:  August 18, 2022

by Lynda Rubin and Deborah Grill

Parents, students, educators and community members who came to the Board’s August action meeting found themselves relegated to seats halfway back in the auditorium. The Board had set up two rows of long tables, covered with blue cloth and stretching the entire width of the room, to seat 440 staff and assistant superintendents, who in previous meetings sat in the first few rows of public seating.  Members of the public, separated by this moat of blue tables, found it even more difficult to see and hear the Board members. 

Seven Board members attended in person:  President Joyce Wilkerson, Vice-President Letticia Egea-Hinton, Julia Danzy, Mallory Fix Lopez, Lisa Salley, Reginald Streater, and Sarah Ashley-Andrews.  Cecelia Thompson and Chau Wing Lam attended remotely. Wilkerson congratulated Streater for being appointed one of eleven USA Justice Fellows by the Eisenhower Fellowship; he will travel the U S and abroad to study racial disparities in education. 

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