Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yellow Cards = Hearing Aid?

In its valiant attempts to engage the community---wait...did we say engage?---we meant ENRAGE the community, the school board decided to include only the statements made by 2 of the 5 community residents who spoke about the board's plan to implement a 4-yr old kindergarten.

When asked by Rick Mealy Monday night for an explanation from the board, Board president Stackhouse turned to his go-to guy, Tim Culver. Follow-up explanations were requested in writing, so that we could be sure we heard precisely what Culver's explanation was for not including comments from 3 residents.

Culver responded,

"The "yellow card" has been in use since before I arrived Sun
Prairie.It is a tool the secretary for the Board uses to capture the
name,address, and topic of public's testimony. It is obviously not a requirement to speak at a Board meeting, but is critical to her recordkeeping.
If people speaking do not fill
the card out, the secretary is at times unable to hear the specific information and/or capture the gist of the speaker.

So...basically, the "yellow cards", which are NOT a requirement of any board policy, act as a hearing aid!!! If the secretary doesn't have the yellow card, she can't hear the speakers????? We couldn't believe Culver's response that's why we wanted to print it VERBATIM. gets better. The logic is just so inane. Couldn't the secretary SEE that 3 other people got up to the microphone? Wouldn't that have triggered her to take notes as she did for the other 2 speakers? Or is she blind as well as hearing challenged? Or did she just think that 3 people got up to the microphone each to stand for 3 minutes of silence? Surely, with all his degrees and education, Dr. Culver is able to make up some reasonably plausible rationale for the slight??? And wait... Not a single board member noticed that the meeting minutes did not actually reflect what transpired? Do they even READ their board packages?

PUUUHHHLEASSSE!!! How dumb does Culver think people are? Paul Keats gets basically tossed by the wayside, but Culver is allowed to remain securely employed after responding like this to a comunity member? Do board members really think that people don't see what's going on? Look, you don't like some of the community that speak up at meetings. We get that. But for a board that prided itself on being a model of decorum , this is purely bad form. It's arrogant...and it does NOT pass the smell test. So now the board feels like it can selectively filter out comments from the public record?

The whole thing is also quite funny, because the STAR reporter sitting WAAAAY in the back of the room seemed to not only hear what was said,m but managed to captured direct quotes. Gina Covelli didn't have one of those magic yellow cards. How did she manage to hear? Does she have one of those magic hearing amplifiers you see advertised on the TV???? Enquiring minds want to know all about Gina's super-hearing powers.

District resident Rick Mealy had one main comment: "Slow
."His urging was echoed by district resident John Welke."In the past year, several decisions were made that this board and
district rushed into and they've been mistakes
," Welke said.
"Slow it down. There's no reason why this can't wait
until next year."

---Sun Prairie STAR 1-15-09

The school board has done nothing after receiving recommendations from its "Community Engagement Task Force" several months back. Perhaps they've abandoned the idea of engaging the community and instead are working on plans to ENRAGE the community.

...and the hits just keep on coming.