Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Local Blogger

So some local blogger referenced my piece on Wednesday about changes coming to arts education in Howard County. However, he didn't have the decency to name me or link to the article. More than that, he didn't let his audience know that I am a teacher, hcpss parent, and a music professional.

Well, you know...bloggers. What do they know?

The problem is that this blogger is an elected member of the Howard County Board of Education. So, as a professional courtesy, I am going to name him and link to his post.

This post by Brian Meshkin might give you a good feeling about what is going on in our local school system. And I must say it paints a rosy picture of Mr. Meshkin's diligence as a board member. The problem is that I happen to know that it contains errors and omissions which make it less than helpful in assessing the situation.

Do I think this local blogger did this knowingly? No, I don't. I think he just doesn't know. And I think there's a lot more of that going on than you might imagine, because there is an odd working environment out there on Route 108. I am going to hazard a guess that our elected board is a lot less informed about policy changes than we would like.

You know, it must be difficult to get any work done when there are parents and teachers who want to be a part of the process and tell you what they think. Wouldn't it just be easier if you could get everything accomplished without any interruptions?

There's just this little problem about stakeholders.

I want to be clear that I think that our board members work extremely hard, are trying to do what they think is best, and care a lot about their mission. However, I think it is time for a huge rethinking of what the board is responsible for, and how they respond to stakeholders. Take a look at the work of Robert J. Garmston on school improvement. Think horizontal, not vertical.

And to that local blogger who dismissed me so casually this week, I will share this piece of advice that a wise person gave to me: If you call out someone on your blog, even if you don't mention them by name, you're basically saying, "come at me, bro'!"

Deadline to file to run for the Board of Education is Tuesday.



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