Advertisement

The school board's time

December 28, 1998

Based on reviews from various citizens who find their meetings a long-winded waste of time, the Washington County Board of Education is starting to discuss how to better manage its meeting time. Now that the board has seven members, the board needs to look at how to make board membership more like citizen public service and less like indentured servitude.

One of the ideas behind adding two members to the board was that with more members, the work could be spread around so that individuals, particularly those with full-time jobs, wouldn't find the workload overwhelming. So far members have come up with two good ideas to make that happen.

The first is a consent agenda, which would allow the board to approve routine items discussed earlier in their work sessions. The second is the idea that since meetings are televised on Antietam Cable, they provide an opportunity to involve citizens in the school system. If meeting time can be spent discussing important educational issues, like the "whole language" method of teaching reading versus phonics, for example, citizen interest in the school system should increase.

Advertisement

We would make two other suggestions: Make all meeting materials available on an Internet web site so that people interested in the nitty-gritty details can do the reading ahead of time without forcing the school system to provide multiple (and expensive) paper copies.

And finally, set aside some tome, once a month perhaps, for ordinary citizens to come in and ask some questions about the system. It could be anything from questions on why the school bus takes a particular route to which courses an aspiring doctor should take in high school.

Answering those questions on the air would reinforce the idea that it's everybody's school system, and that the system's officials respect and care about those taxpaying citizens who pay the system's bills. And it sure would be more interesting that another report on the unit cost of cafeteria fish sticks.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|