Four New Members Need To Shake Up School Board


Broward’s public schools have an opportunity, a chance for a rebirth.

Do the four new School Board members– three of them elected Tuesday and one in the August primary– have the abilities and backbones to fix the sclerotic system?

Three new members were elected Tuesday:

*Dave Thomas, an ex-military man and Broward school teacher.  He thankfully beat the goofy, inexperienced Jaemi Levine for the open seat.

*Laurie Rich Levinson, who has a business background having worked for, among other, the Brooklyn-based Abraham & Straus Department Store, beat incumbent Phyllis Hope.  Hope was one of two blacks on the School Board.

*Nora Rupert, a former Piper High teacher who had the guts to take on incumbent Bob Parks and chase him out of the race, crushed the Tea Party-endorsed Travis Williamson.

Patti Good, a Dade school administrator who won the primary, is the fourth new member of the School Board.

Can we expect a new direction from the four newcomers?   Do they have the strength to overcome the entrenched bureaucracy, which blocks every effort to change?

Too many school administrators are frightened little lambs. They are scared to rock the boat, try something new or do anything that would cause a fuss.  It is so much easier to do things like they always have been done and collect their generous salary and benefits.  

This status quo has failed.

The four new members have their marching orders: Change. 

They need to do it better.  They need to make the schools work for parents and students. 

We’ll be watching.

15 Responses to “Four New Members Need To Shake Up School Board”

  1. Advice from a Pro says:

    Remember you four that we are counting on you to eliminate politics from the district and focus on education and a shift in business values. Education staff know how to teach lies to the innocent. That’s what they specialize in. Do not allow them to brainwash you. Bring in a new crew to manage the system that you can trust and who have your values in mind. Do this and you have a chance. Fail and you will also be replaced. History will repeat itself because you were too stupid to make a difference.

  2. Hammerhead says:

    The new school board members need to scrutinize the actions of the current and recently ousted board members, whether those board members left of their own volition or at the insistence of law enforcement. The policies and actions taken over the last two years should all be thoroughly reviewed to ensure that the public’s best interest has been served and revisit those issues which are questionable. The reasons are obvious. That goes for staffing decisions, policy changes or revisions, implementation of recommendations by board advisory committees; including the Seiler, Butterworth, Allen commission.

    Review and have staff explain the actions they have recommended in the recent past with a new set of eyes and hold the existing board members accountable after thorough analysis. Don’t let the old guard control the conversation while they attempt to disallow a full accounting of “the rest of the story”. I don’t mean the Notter tongue-in-cheek version, I mean the real facts.

    Buddy has hit the nail on the head when he described the current staff and culture who are bent on maintaining the status quo. The only part he may have omitted is the part about how much they are paid to remain timid, accomodating and willing to please the keepers of the status quo.

    New board members should request a review of the resumes and actual pre-hire experience of all of the high level administrators. This will allow a fresh look at whether the past board has engaged in nepotism and/or cronyism. The tax payers are paying for educated professionals and often getting incompetent jellyfish. Case in point, why does the board hire so many consultants to do the work of their high paid and supposedly qualified staff? The answer might be that staff is not credible or in some cases crooked enough to bring back the twisted recommendations the board expects and requests. Enter the consultanting expert and witness as staff is paid to watch and stay out of the way.

    It is our money and the new board members should be baptized in the new expectations for accountability and fiscally sound decisions based on real data and not massaged data. Come on Buddy, come on people, send a message to be sure the new board members cannot claim, at any time in the future, that they were unclear of our expectations. Send the message before the new board members are corrupted by forces that have been waiting to hold the door for them as they enter their new offices for the first time.

    It costs a lot to overpay known cronies while also paying top dollar for consulting experts. Maybe it is time to benchmark the skills of the in-house experts and escort them to the door when they have been exposed as cronies or imposters. We can’t afford anymore of this…can we?

  3. Nicholas Steffens says:

    Way to kick Jaemi while she’s down. Very mature.

  4. Jeanne Jusevic says:

    I am very excited at the prospect of a new school board. Four new members should infused the requisite enthusiasm that the Board is lacking.

    I agree that they should do their homework and ask question after question when staff brings policies forward. The defining question should be: is this good for kids or is this to make the school’s life easier? Too often the policies that are enacted are for the benefit of the school, not the child.

    I also hope that these new board members will finally put presure on the Superintendent to increase the number of stakeholders on policy committees. Its is tough trying to protect students rights being the only parent in a room full of staff.

    I am looking forward to watching these new Board members being sworn in and the lively debate that I hope will ensue in the coming months ahead.

  5. BrowardVoter says:

    Change? We shall see. Question: What do each of the 4 newly elected board members have in common? Answer: They are all BTU endorsed. The BTU opposes substantive change in the usual politics of the School Board. Let’s wait with an open mind to see if these folks go against the BTU on any issues.

  6. Jeanne Jusevic says:

    I hate to say this but if the BTU actually beleives that this candidates are beholden to them, they are in for a real surprise.

  7. Amazing Karnack says:

    Karnack foretold that Don Jimmy would ignore his advice and abandon decisions guided by a moral purpose. Karnack foretold that as a result Don Jimmy would be responsible for the worst times ever known for the school district. Karnack says behold the evidence.

    Karnack says the new puppets must be guided by a moral purpose not the evil, self serving strings of their masters. Karnack says if they fail to do this they will face the same fate as Don Jimmy and those wearing orange or about to wear orange. Karnack says there are many now who now the ways of the puppets and their masters. Karnack says every move will be watched and reported.

    Karnack says do not make the same mistakes as those who came before you. Karnack says be wary of growing arrogant and forgetting those who you serve. Karnack says you will be tested early. Karnack says remove the facilitators at all levels and hold both the old and new accountable as you will be held accountable for all. Karnack says it is easier to do the right thing the first time then making excuses for doing the wrong thing over and over again.
    Karnack says your seats are compliments of the train. Karnack says don’t be foolish enough to find yourself in a seat on the train. Karnack says the locomotive breath is all around us. Karnack says never forget the train goes clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

  8. Broward Cleansweep says:

    Hey Jeanne,
    Hear any good jokes lately?

  9. Git R Done says:

    To Jeanne Jusevic, that’s saying like it is, good comment Jeanne!

  10. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    Hey Amazing Karnack,

    Ya’ ain’t so amazin’, you state the obvious in a not so amazin’ dumbed down way….this is the big leagues, man, go drink an o’douls and get revved up, yuck…what a minor leaguer….step up to the plate when you have something riveting and informative to offer…

  11. Coco Kreeak says:

    Jeanne Jusevic says:

    November 3rd, 2010 at 8:19 pm
    “I hate to say this but if the BTU actually beleives that this candidates are beholden to them, they are in for a real surprise.”

    Jeanne… I hope you are not a teacher…your grammar and spelling suck! Did you pass the FCAT? And why did you
    drop out of the race?
    Tell us the truth! Nora was too much for you?

  12. Corey Whiner says:

    @Nick – goofy and inexperienced are kind words considering what could have been printed. How about the “joke of the country” for her injury claim? Or her statement that all schools should be assigned a dog to “take down the kids”? Buddy was being nice

  13. BrowardVoter says:

    Maybe you will be proven correct Jeanne J. But I doubt it given the the history of the relationship between the BTU and Board members. Getting a BTU endorsement means LOTS of votes and politicians want to get re-elected or elected to a different office.

  14. Jeanne Jusevic says:

    When people do not have anything intelligent to say they always go personal. Gee I didn’t have my glasses on when I posted. I used this instead of these.

    Nora Rupert had noting to do with me dropping out of the race.

    Newsflash, Nora Rupert and I are just fine. Was wearing a Rupert tee-shirt election day at Winston Park polling place….me. (DAC did not participate in the School Board races nor did it recommend anyone for the races)

    Hey Corey, oh I mean Broomie.

  15. sbemployee says:

    Someone said before the election that BTU wanted to stack the deck.
    Does anyone know how many are already bought and paid for besides these 4?