It has now been two weeks and two days (August 31) since I was sworn in to serve the remainder of a term on the Montgomery school board. Of course, the view is always different on the inside looking out than on the outside looking in. And so it is here.
One of the things I’m trying to do is get a better “feel” for this system and its schools. For me, that means seeing things with my own eyes and listening to people with my own ears.
To this end I have joined one PTA (at a school where the PTA is apparently on life support), gave $100 to support a school program, attended a pep rally, went to one open house, attended a ceremony recognizing nine National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists and attended a ceremony recognizing those who helped Booker T. Washington high relocate after a recent fire.
I have visited three schools.
Also had two board meetings dealing with the next system budget and spent six hours at the Alabama Association of School Boards in a training session.
During my campaign I said repeatedly that if done properly, service on this school board calls for a much bigger commitment of time than most people realize. I still think that. And probably even more so.
As I’ve said before, I think Montgomery has more of a COMMUNITY problem than an EDUCATION problem. Of course, we have major education issues–but until this community decides to truly become engaged to help schools, until we look at public schools as “OUR” schools, until a lot more citizens ask what can I do to help, meaningful progress will largely be wishful thinking.