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It's Time To Stop Using Mandates For Excuses

We need leadership in our schools that will stop making excuses and start including parents in finding solutions that will provide our kids the best chance to succeed.

In the comments to my last post on the Patch, I was taken to task for name calling and negativity. I got the message. I will end the name calling and try to be more positive. One commenter said he/she hopes I am elected to the school board “for the education you sorely need about mandates and counterproductive state and federal laws”.  I am very familiar with the challenges that federal and state mandates present to our schools and how they make it difficult for our administrators.  

However, I don’t see how these mandates prevent our school district from involving parents more in the decisions and planning for our kids’ education. I don’t see where the mandates require $15 million of our property taxes, money we authorized for fixing and improving our schools, to be used for a sports complex. Many of our neighboring school districts who operate under the same mandates have built stadiums and athletic fields for much less. I don’t know of any mandates that force our school district to spend $12 million on a new district office. I don’t believe mandates excuse misusing our kids’ resources and placing obstacles in the way of parents who want more details about where money is being spent.

It is true our elementary schools are earning outstanding test scores but our middle schools and high school aren’t doing as well. Many parents are taking their kids out of our schools and going to private schools and charter schools in neighboring districts. I believe with more parent involvement and a more cooperative attitude by our district leaders towards parents and employees of BUSD, we can provide parents the choice and opportunities they are looking for elsewhere and turn around our middle and high schools.

I am tired of hearing how the mandates are holding us back. We need leadership in our schools that will stop making excuses and start including parents in finding solutions that will provide our kids the best chance to succeed.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ben May 23, 2012 at 04:56 AM
You go Mr. White!! doesn't matter what is going on outside a school district when those inside of it think buildings are more important than teachers and stuff. beaumont is too busy trying to build itself into recognition with stadiums and buildings way over budget with stupid murals and awards for beautification that it forgot whats really important. The theory that if they build it and pat themselves on the back enough then the people will all cheer at what wonderful people they are is a fantasy they made cause they surround themselves with only people who agree with them. I went to old beaumont high on cherry ave and most of my class went on to great schools- not a pool or theatre in sight. Money doesn't buy a great education, people are what makes education great, and people are getting pink slips while that stadium costs more and more every day. As if a football game will be any better there than those we went to in 03 or before. Hope you make the school board.
For The Kids May 23, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I hope you make the school board too, Lloyd. And please, make parent involvement (still another state and federal mandate) your own personal priority. I'm sure the administration would be grateful for your leadership in that regard.
Carla May 25, 2012 at 09:20 PM
It's disgusting spending 15 millions dollars on a sports stadium that really only about 8 percent of the students will use. What about the other 92%. They could have spent 50,000 or so and fixed up the old stadium. But no, their ego's are got in the way. Schools are for education or all the children in the community, not making sure a few kids get a scholorship to college for sports. Shame on them.
Debbie Phifer May 28, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Well-said, Ben. My brothers and sisters and I went through the Beaumont educational system although 2 of us went to parochial high school. We received a well-rounded education which included music, dance, art, P.E., and many field trips. My grandkids do not have the same opportunities, e.g. they are lucky if they go on one field trip a year and the arts are sporadic @ best. I think we need to seriously pare down the BUSD administration, in fact, get rid of Kayrell and his "misplaced priorities." His salary alone would pay for 3 teachers.
Debbie Phifer May 28, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Mr. White: I think you have the right ideas and you have your priorities straight. I also believe you actually possess integrity, something sorely miss on the BUSD. Good luck with your campaign; you definitely have my vote.

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