I should probably feel guilty. I fear that my fixation with the DISD trustee term extensions is the same kind of primal urge that we feel when we see car wrecks. We don’t think we should stare, but we just can’t help ourselves. A discomforting fascination with disaster. I’m rubber-necking. But what are they thinking?
When it all hits the fan, calls for "accountability" usually follow closely behind. Thursday, I heard Nancy Pelosi say that the automaker bailout plan lacked accountability. People want to know who’s accountable for the 50 percent losses in their retirement funds. Nowhere is accountability more enthusiastically sought than in our schools, where TAKKS tests and No Child Left Behind provisions are known within the education community as Accountability Systems. I see that the DISD has hired an investigator and may be looking for a little accountability in the Social Security number mess as well.
What bothers me most, however, is the reason I have heard repeated time and again for extending Trustee terms: stability.
Lack of stability is the argument against TERM LIMITS, not election cycles. Lack of stability is what you can get when experienced and capable officials are forced through term limits to abandon their positions regardless of their own desires or those of the people they represent. DISD Trustees don’t have term limits, but they do have to convince their constituents every 3 years that they deserve to continue on in their unpaid but full time position. When the voters decide there is someone better for the job than the person holding it, it’s called accountability, not instability, and it has little or nothing to do with growing into the job.
If a Trustee has fought the good fight for our children, but feels he/she can be even more effective if given more time in the position, they she should take that up with the voters, not with fellow Trustees. And I don’t care that the job is unpaid. That hasn’t changed, so I am reminded of a line from the theme song of a Saturday morning cartoon of the late ’60s "… you knew the job was dangerous when you took it."
After long period of P-cards, grading irregularities, budget mistakes, RIF’s and now fake Social Security numbers, I can’t think of a less appropriate move by the Trustees.
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