Sunday, August 25, 2013

Walking with blinders on

The Columbus City School District recently received the news about their own grade card from the State of Ohio. The news wasn't good. Their scores were littered with F and D across the board. I heard the story on the radio one morning as I was driving into work. I was appalled.

For full disclosure on my part, I do not live in the capital city, nor did my children attend CCS. I live in a suburb of the city. My grandson, however will likely be going to CCS in the coming years. I have never done an in-depth study of my own concerning the school district, although I have always paid attention to newscasts over the years. More often than not, the news did not portray a favorable image of the district as a whole.

I suppose my biggest complaint is how the Board of Education has treated the (now retiring) superintendent of the district. Dr. Gene Harris has been the Superintendent of Columbus City Schools now for twelve years. She began her tenure in 2001. Every large organization has its struggles, a fact I fully understand. Your can't turn an aircraft carrier on a dime. But, after twelve years, it appears, according to the state report, that CCS are just simply broken. Within her time of leadership, at no point do I ever remember the school board not giving her a raise, often substantial ones, nor do I ever remember them not lavishing bonus after bonus on her.

Recently, even the mayor of Columbus, Michael Coleman has appeared in television commercials concerning the fate and state of the school district. I ask you now, where has the guidance been for these elected officials if the schools are in such a state of disrepair? Why did these school boards not see the problems for what they were? Why was a superintendent praised year after year and given raise upon raise when at the end of her tenure, after a scandal-filled year, the district seems to be in worse shape than when she started twelve years ago.

If you ever wonder why voters don't want to vote more taxes for school levies...this is the reason.

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