This isn’t the first time they have battled the other board members too, I have seen Couch and Wright ask hard and probing questions about charter schools and Teach for America in the past. Sadly however like then they caved when it became apparent that the majority of the board wasn’t going to stand up to the privitizers and corporate interests or data wasn’t going to sway the day.
When I went up there yesterday to
tilt at windmills talk about how we needed to wait for all the data to come in and to let people know we had nearly a year before we needed to make a decision, I knew it was a foregone conclusion that the super’s contract would be extended but what I really wanted was for one or more board members to go, hey lets use data when we make a decision, lets think about teachers and/or lets look out for our schools and children and for a second it seemed like there would be three who would cast no votes even if they were symbolic but in the end they all voted for the extension.
As I wrote earlier Couch was not happy about what happened but she said something very interesting when she cast her vote. She said she was making it out of loyalty and several readers have brought up some interesting and great points.
-That’s the Broad Foundation training that every vote has to be unanimous or else the public loses confidence in them. Well, I have lost confidence that they never have rigorous debate and disagreement. Given the Sunshine Laws in this state, when do they thrash issues out?
-I am baffled by Couch’s loyalty comment. To whom is she loyal? The students? The teachers? Vitti? She owes him nothing. I am left to conclude that she owes the charter school advocates who contributed to her campaign. She sits on a “public school” board and is owned by right-wing politicians whose aim is to destroy public schools. I would respect her if she was the lone NO vote (that shows political courage), but to vote AYE and then immediately say she didn’t want to is bizarre. If you didn’t want to, then you shouldn’t have, idiot! You’re not a teenager. Shouldn’t you have moved past peer pressure by now?
Like I said at the beginning of the piece I was appreciative to a point for her efforts but at the end of the day she owes her loyalty to the schools, teachers and children of Jacksonville and she should show it by voting against the corporate interests even if she loses.
If Couch voted yes to give the public a sense of all is well, then it was a wasted voted because anybody who saw last night or who has been following the board over the last few months knows the board is in disarray.