Monday, September 3, 2012

Why Policy Governance is a Cop-Out

Without calling it out as such, John Whalen and Caren Diedrich constantly extol the virtues of policy governance.  And in their minds--well, after July 30th we're clear that not even Caren Diedrich knows what's in her mind---the SPASD school board has historically operated on a principle of policy governance.

Apparently they did not get the memo.  Or their Cliff Notes was missing a few pages.

Because in their minds, the school board simply writes policy--or delegates the writing of policy to administration-- and then steps back with their rubber stamp firmly in hand.

The problem with a policy governance model is that at its very foundation is a committment to ADHERE to the policies.  We've just seen far too many cases where the school district and even the school board either "forget" or outright ignore their own policies.

Perhaps, in their defense, there are simply too many policies to remember.
Scratch that...even we can't begin to accept that rationale.
Plain and simply stated, policy governance will not work as a model when there is rampant abuse of policy and no consequences.  How do you get people to obey the speed limit?  Set up random speed traps.  Issue a few tickets.  Smacking people where they sit is a good motivator.

What exasperates this problem when it comes to Diedrich and Whalen, is that they believe that having to step in and fix things when they are broken constitutes micro-managing.  So...Mr. Whalen, and Ms. you apply the same logic in your private lives?  If your financial advisor is making decisions that loses you money, is it "micro-managing" to step in and issue some directives to squelch the problem?  If you do not like the advice offered by your doctor, do you just blindly follow it, believing that to do otherwise would be "micro-managing"?

We think not.
And thus comes the real question...why do you apply different logic at the board table?

If you do not like what your own policies say/require, then by all means, bring them forward publicly and declare in public how you wish to change them... and the rationale to support the change.  Those are discussions we'd love to hear from you.  Of course, that would actually mean having to prepare a Situation Report.....