David Pollard of the Proviso Herald wrote an interesting story on SD88. Read the story below and comment on what you think is going on in SD88:
While some District 88 School Board members say dissension among officials is harming students' education, at least one maintains the board is making progress.
Bellwood School District 88 board member Althea Busby compared the board to passengers on a sinking boat.
"We're all in a boat with a hole in it," she said. "Instead of working together to plug the hole, there are some who are putting more water in the boat."
Busby said a change is needed soon.
"When are we as a Board of Education going to take education seriously?" she said. "I grieve because our children aren't being educated properly."
She said action taken at March 31 board meeting, when District 88 Board Member Marilyn Thurman proposed a motion to remove the school district's research evaluation and assessment position, was an example of the school board not focusing on education. Bellwood School Board President Tommy Miller seconded Thurman's motion and it was put to a vote.
The motion failed with three board members voting against it, two in favor and two abstaining.
Busby said she was speaking out of frustration because some members of the board wanted to get rid of the position, which she believes is needed.
"Every time we seem to get ahead in some areas there are factions that seem to pull us back," she said. "The director of evaluation and assessment knows where we were (in terms of academic test scores), where we are and how far we can get."
She said the position is essential to charting the students' academic performance in the district.
"How else can you do that?" she said. "Can you ask a teacher? This is the accountability factor for us to chart our students' academic performance."
Miller said he looked at eliminating the position as way to save $90,000 per year.
"Every year about this time there has been some complaint about a superintendent," Busby said. "This (is the time) when the (board's) concentration should be on the upcoming year."
"There are going to be some disagreements, but we are striving for the wrong things," she added.
Board Member Ronald Anderson said board members' hidden agendas have caused tension.
"The board president thinks he is the board," he said. "He wants to be the board and the superintendent. It's difficult when (superintendents) have that kind of pressure on them and are tiptoeing around."
The district has had a revolving door of superintendents, with four leaving the position since 2005. The current superintendent, Rosemary Hendricks, will start her second year of a three-year contract at the end of May.
Miller didn't respond to Anderson's accusations, but said on every board there are always varying opinions.
"I see a board working," he said. "When you are trying to make decisions, not everyone is going to agree. "On the board people have other opinions and you're not going to come up with the same ideas."
Board member Maria Castrejon agreed with Miller.
"It's never perfect," she said. "Everyone has their own ideas and has a voice. I think we'll be okay."
Miller said the main focus of the board should be doing what is best for the school district.
"The bottom line is you keep working for the kids," he said.