School board gets schooled on thier roles for district

By PAT BROWN,

The Simpson County School District held a work session last Friday as part of their continuing education obligation as well as working to improve educational levels of the children of Simpson County. 

  The conference was directed by Dr. Mike Waldrip, president of the Mississippi School Board Association. 

  Our take on what Waldrip was pushing is that the board need not be concerned with the minutia of the day to day operations that should be focused on the big picture and allow the superintendent, in this case Greg Paes focus on the process of getting the district where it needs to be.  They, the board, also does not need to be involved with the hiring process but more so to ratify or challenge the hiring process. 

  The reason as stated by Dr. Waldrip is that if they, the board, gets involved in the hiring process they in effect can no longer hold the superintendent responsible. 

  The same pretty much applies in the individual schools.  The principal for the most part should be making the hiring decisions and if they are not effective hires then it should be the principal who is ultimately held responsible. 

  Waldrip told the board that the superintendent is responsible to see that the right principals are in place and it is the role of the prinicipal to see the right teachers are in place.  He further stated that you can not have a good school if you have a bad principal. 

  Waldrip was all about the process of how the board should be operating with the staff of the central office.  He told the board they should operating from executive summaries from the administrative staff so they are aware of what the issues are that are being discussed.  Furthermore, the staff reports should have been reviewed with the superintendent and included with his recommendation and or approval to be submitted to the board for their consideration. 

  All of the goals and objectives should be placed on a calendar to allow for accountability and implementation of policies of the board. 

  Waldrip told the board the only time they have any power or influence is when they are in a board meeting otherwise they are just like any other citizen of the community. 

  He said in regard to problems that may arise in the schools those should be addressed at the lowest level because that is where those issues need to be addressed and many times corrected.  He said it is not the role of the board to interject themselves into an issue and that should refer the issues back to the school principals and if not addressed on that level they would then be addressed to the superintendent. 

  In the same way that the board is responsible to hold the superintendent responsible for his actions, it is our responsiblity to hold the school board responsible for their actions.  If our goal is to have an “A” rated school district we must see that they have what is required and then hold them accountable for our children and if they do not preform find a suitable replacement.