Arlington, Texas 2021-02-22 15:15:57 –
Progressive Voice is a biweekly opinion column. The expressed views are for the author only.
“Thank you for your job.”
“Your life is not yours.”
“There is a toxic environment there.”
These are the perceptions among some of the community about what it’s like to be on a board of education these days.If any of the comments apply, why should Do good people run? And why do we need to care?
To begin with, the decisions made by the school board address two of the most valuable things for many who live here: children and their property value. A good school is the most important factor in choosing a place to raise a family and contributes to strong property value. Good schools also have a strong influence on what makes Arlington an attractive place for businesses to find and grow. All of this is at stake and requires strong, principled and experienced leaders who make decisions and think strategically in the school board.
Considering the future board of education vacancy And democracy Caucus Probably in may Progressive voice The editor sat down with a few knowledgeable experts and asked their thoughts on what would make them a top board member.
The big picture, the outlook for the whole system. “The main quality I want to see is the viewer. all Arlington’s. ” Stacy Snyder is a member of the APS Advisory Board (FAC) on Facilities and Capital Programs and is currently Vice Chairman of the Joint Facility Advisory Board (JFAC). “They understand that every decision, borderline or not, affects Arlington as a whole.” Snyder said, “We all have a unique perspective, experience in a particular school. I understand, but he says, “I want to see people who are open to learning and evolving.”
Long-term outlook. Arlington’s school system has been challenging building growth and capacity for the past decade, leading to many construction projects in dissatisfaction with land shortages. Years of FAC veteran Greg Greeley mentions this situation when explaining why he is looking for a long-term view of the candidate. “The idea is more and more’where can we build the fastest?’.” Where should we build the best place for the needs of the system? “
“It’s likely that we’ll need a fourth high school in the next 20 years,” Greeley added. When asked in detail how candidates tackle the problem, “a lot becomes clear.””They said,” in determining the long-term perspective of the candidate, Greeley said. explain problem. “
Deep knowledge of facts, strong work ethic. Many candidates list the various organizations they have been involved with. However, a person’s experience and depth of contribution can vary significantly. To get a clearer picture, Tania Talent, a former board of education member, said: What did you think of last year’s budget? “
Snyder said: “When candidates speak … I want to know that they know their facts. Candidates are not really factual, but they are talking about more angry inequality. If you hear it, it’s a sign. “She is worried about” when people choose anger over information. ” Snyder said: “If x percent of third graders aren’t reading at grade level, I don’t want it. [candidates] It provides a solution without showing me how it works. “
Greeley agrees that school board candidates and members must go beyond courtesy. The question is, “How can this good idea be realized, or can it be realized?” “
It focuses on inclusiveness and fairness. Some people emphasized that Arlington must be a school system that works for students of all kinds. Donna Budway lamented that she was “not behind” during the pandemic. “Arlington must have all its resources and be a school system that can do it for children in second languages, children with disabilities, everyone,” said Special Education. Budway, who has been working on the problem for over 20 years, says.
“”[School Board members] It is important to understand that students with disabilities have no special needs. Rather, they have unmet educational needs and human and civil rights to access to education, “said Citizens and Persons with Disabilities Rights Lawyer, Founder and Co-Chair of the Arlington Inclusion Task Force. Chair Tauna Simmanski adds.
Be bold and ask difficult questions. The “way” to get the job done can be frustrating to both board members and the community, especially if their answers are in conflict. Balance long-term needs with short-term pressure. Know when to listen, learn with respect, and when to stand up. Former PTA Chairman Maurine Shields Fanguy said: “Board members are expected to provide guidance and oversight. hard Questions can be asked, especially early in the process, even if they are awkward for APS staff and superintendents. “
Collaborative personality. A former school board talent said: “Are you an agitator or someone who can work inside the system to enhance it? Some people are very critical of the system they are trying to monitor … they are bulls in a Chinese closet. It goes in like … it certainly wipes out China, but leaves a lot of debris. “
That’s why talent advocates a collaborative spiritual framework. Only 20% of decision makers are members of the school board, with one in five votes. “The board is said to have five alpha personalities,” she observes. “They put themselves on the line [in running for office], Saying “Choose me”, they all have different styles. So you need to be open to listening to and working with the other four leaders. “
The time is approaching for Arlington to “choose one” member of the new school board. Some school boards look like a “thank you job,” while others take a different view. “Service at the school board was one of the most special and rewarding experiences for me,” says a former school board member. “As someone who believes in the positive and necessary effects of giving back to your community, serving on the school board is a community and public service that you and your family are always proud to remember.”
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