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Dysfunctional School Board needs to learn its role

July 31, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

The July 21 article "School board to investigate Perkins' resignation" displays another facet of a dysfunctional board that can't do what it is supposed to do and continues to do things that is not and, in the process, continues to undermine district stability and wastes taxpayer dollars. According to the article, Mary Fischer's comments that she plans to recommend an investigation and either "the Board or her, individually, will investigate" is micro-management in its truest and most wasteful form. Fischer, Armstrong, and Scott may take this course of action when it is clearly inappropriate even though they continually failed to investigate the one employee under their auspice that should have been investigated, even after being told to do so by the state on four separate occasions.

The School board should not micro-manage this situation. This School board voted unanimously to give the current Superintendent a two-year contract and to act as the District's CEO to improve the system. Now they intend to undermine her effectiveness, question each decision, and attempt to thwart her efforts when it appears that public opinion over her decisions reaches a certain political fervor. Whether they agree with her decisions or not, unless it rises to the level of "cause" (which is outlined in her contract and Florida statute), they need to support her decisions and let Dr. Graham focus on her plan. It is no different then you telling a baker to bake a chocolate cake but you specify the ingredients. You may demand a specific outcome but the results are not really that of the baker's doing. Just like with the baker, you need to allow Dr. Graham to use her ingredients and her process to bake her cake. If, when the product is delivered, the cake is not the outcome you desired, you get a new baker. Tampering with the ingredients or the process is not only inefficient but poor leadership and Lee County should demand better. The School Board, as a board (since an individual Board member has no power), should set policy and clearly dictate goals and results. Once they have given the direction, they should support the Superintendent in delivering the results.

Steve Teuber

Former School Board, 2002-2010

candidate, District 4



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