TSBA Sunday

The Tennessee School Boards Association Leadership Conference concluded this morning, followed by the opening of the TSBA Convention.

The Leadership Conference was excellent: I attended one session on utilizing the data gathered from value-added testing, and another on effective leadership techniques.

A perennial feature of the TSBA Convention has always been the exhibit hall, but it does seem that the number of exhibitors has dwindled in recent years.  In fact, as I left the hall this afternoon, it occurred to me that this year’s exhibitors seem to fall into three categories: those providing design/construction services (or products supporting such), companies providing outsource services like transportation, food service, and janitorial, and insurance companies.

We used to see things like curriculum content providers, educational hardware and software, and more actual education-related goods and services.  This year, I don’t think I saw a single one of those.

As much fun as it was to see our new high school to completion, I don’t think we’re going to be ready for another aggressive building project anytime soon.   It’s not that it’s not needed — our preschool facility is in dire condition — but the money just isn’t there to do it.

I am looking forward to tomorrow’s meetings, particularly a presentation from Stephen Smith on the new Legislature and what to expect.  Unfortunately, there is a feeling of resignation that elected superintendents will again be proposed, and that it is more likely to pass.

I think that’s a horrible idea.   But, it’s better to know what’s likely to be at the forefront this year than to forge ahead blindly, hoping for the best.  Actually, given the recent revenue reports in the state, I’m just hoping to avoid the worst.

My dream is for one year — just one — where we could fund everything that’s needed and just a few wants… but that seems unlikely to occur anytime soon.

4 thoughts on “TSBA Sunday

  1. Making the position a popularity contest does not serve well for education. When they were elected before there were some real inept people in the positions and hard to get rid of because they were elected. If appointed and inept you fire them, period. I would hope that they would not even suggest that we return to those days.

  2. You are right about no money for building projects and it is going to get worse before it gets better, unfortunately. The financial meltdown is far from over.

  3. I tend to disagree somewhat with the appointed DOS position. It has been my experience that rural schools fair better with the elected process. They tend to not have the money to seek the “best and brightest” and a way to lure high profile DOS’s. What generally happens is they, the School Board, hires from within the system. Since this is how it is done in the elected races of old, all this system has done has disenfrancised the electorate of the school district and concentrated a big power in the hands of a few people. It did not de-politicize the process and in rural areas made even more political with the same results.

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