• Title: School Board Knuckles Under to EL Superintendent
  • Author: Garth Cooper
  • Date: 10/06/2002
  • Additional Categories: Recent Essays, Garth Cooper

School Board Knuckles Under to EL Superintendent

* Comments From EL School Board Members & The Public

I'm afraid I have to take exception with the comments made by Marc Thomas. While I don't personally know the board members as he does, I do believe they have withheld a substantial amount of information from the public. Most likely this was done at the instruction of the superintendent.

Take for example the situation with the buyout of the curriculum director a year ago. The firing of this administrator after only six weeks was a debacle from the beginning. When pressed on the issue, both the superintendent and the school board members insist they are restrained by the terms of the buyout agreement. They say they are explicitly restricted from public comment on the issue. Yet, when the record of the agreement was FOYA'd and reviewed, it is very clear that the former curriculum director is directed not to comment publicly, but there is NO language in the agreement that limits the comments of the board or superintendent.

My feeling is, if they can be so clandestine in that situation, they are very likely to be blocking other information from reaching the public. Again, most likely at the behest of the superintendent, who is supposed to be working for them, not the other way around.

I just want to say that I applaud the professionalism of the teaching staff that remains in East Lansing. They have begun the year with enthusiasm and gusto despite the incredible over-crowding in most classrooms. It's very frustrating to see 30 kids in every 4th, 5th and 6th grade classroom at Pinecrest. Thank you teachers for embracing the challenge and getting off to such a great start. You are to be commended.

Sincerely,

Garth Cooper