So MDE was Down Investigating Bay Waveland School Board Trustee Casey Favre……

Folks I could go three for three posting quotes from Macbeth but not today. This past weekend I almost felt like we were treated to some old news and in a way it was old news:

Bay-Waveland School District retains accreditation status after MDE investigation – Cassandra Favre

A preliminary report of an investigative audit dated Dec. 4 from MDE to Superintendent Vikki Landry and BWSD School Board President Mike Bell – provided by BWSD board attorney Ronnie Artigues – stated that MDE found the district in violation of “Process Standards 1 and 1.1.; a board member is acting individually and outside of the role prescribed by law by giving directives to district staff members.” According to Standard 1, “the local school board’s responsibilities shall pertain to matters of setting policy and shall not interfere in the day-to-day operations of the school district that include, but are not limited to, such duties as those relating to personnel and management decisions.” 1.1 states that “the school board assigns all executive and administrative duties to the superintendent.”

And for all the lurid things found by MDE auditors late last year all it took was a response from School Board Attorney Ronnie Artigues supported by the minutes to cause MDE to withdraw their recommendation that the district be placed on probation.

On Jan. 30, MDE issued its response – also provided by Artigues – where MDE withdrew its recommendation for probation.

However, Office of Accreditation Executive Director Jo Ann Malone said in the letter that MDE “still has concerns regarding the allegations made that prompted the investigative audit” because the superintendent and other board members did not provide information in the district’s response that “confirms or contradicts MDE’s findings.”

“Therefore, the MDE will continue to monitor the actions of the board member(s) of the district throughout the 2017-2018 school year or until such time the Office of Accreditation determines the district is fully compliant with all process standards of the Mississippi Public Schools Accountability Standards, 2017,” Malone said in the response.

It took me a couple of reads of Cassandra’s story for everything to sink in and the bottom line is it appears some elements of school board, my guess being the faction that will soon find itself in the minority after Mayor Favre makes his pick top replace School Board Trustee Joan Thomas, dropped a dime on Mayor Favre’s son Casey and blew a whole bunch of smoke up MDE’s hiney about him and that brings us to the old news quality to Cassandra’s story because it was alluded to here on Slabbed in comments last October on the post Bay Taxpayers, Utility Users Stuck paying Excessive Post Katrina Engineering Firm Fees by commenter SuperStar. Starting with this comment and reading down it is clear SuperStar had no use for Casey Favre. Continue reading “So MDE was Down Investigating Bay Waveland School Board Trustee Casey Favre……”

Education still topical behind the scenes here at Slabbed

Those following Slabbed on Twitter saw that yesterday I met with Bay Waveland School Board Trustee Mike Bell. The following Tweet of Cassandra Favre’s story in last Saturday’s Echo was the catalyst:

Trustee Bell also invited both Lana Noonan of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government and Cami Cornfoot, a former Candidate for School Board who remains very active volunteering at the schools to sit in. We had a frank and wide ranging discussion, some of which will be covered in the next post.

To his credit Bell was proactive gathering information from the central office to share with us and that information included a list of top administrator salaries and how they were funded. As Lana pointed out that information alone has news value and it will be shared with the people that read Slabbed. We’re also going to address the toxic environment created by the void left by the departure of former Superintendent Becky Ladner. Hopefully we can distill a very complex and fluid set of circumstances that became evident at the last Board of Trustees meeting.

This much is clear from those observing the School Board, which was dominated by a single forceful personality for the better part of the last 13 years. It now has five individuals that are of five different minds that are working in what is new territory for each. I used the term “fractious” to describe the Board and not in a negative connotation. It’s a good sign the system is working like it should.

Stay tuned.

Continued criticism of Bay-Waveland School Sup’s Partisan Political Activity

Bay-Waveland School Board member criticizes ‘politics’ ~ Geoff Belcher

My own opinion is Board Prez Sherry Ponder has lots to learn about both the Hatch Act and the First Amendment but that is another post. Board Member Maurice Singleton works at the Seacoast Echo, Board Prez Ponder is married to the publisher by way of background.

Here are Board member Mike Bell’s full comments:

As most of you may know, our Superintendent was recently involved in the rebuttal to the Governor’s State of the State address.

I am personally upset with our Superintendents involvement in this political partisan production. Instead of the usual live rebuttal on the house floor, they employed a video production unlike any I have ever seen.

Instead of her remarks focusing on educational issues like we were led to believe they would, and which we the Board of Trustees approved, the comments ran the political spectrum of states issues, government accountability, corruption, unemployment, medical care, hospitals, crumbling infrastructure, gas prices, nuclear waste, the department of transportation and women in the workforce. Continue reading “Continued criticism of Bay-Waveland School Sup’s Partisan Political Activity”