Miller Says Report Not About Silencing School Board Dissent
2014 Education Report Card Committee Co-chair Jackson Miller told members of the Nashville Rotary Club today that the community should not accept more than half of public school students not reading or solving math problems at grade level. Miller gave an overview of the recently released Report Card to Rotary members and praised Metro Nashville Public Schools for expanding the number of schools performing well on state standards and reducing the number of students attending underperforming schools. But, he pointed out, the committee of educators, business leaders and community members who spent more than five months on the report argue MNPS needs to make progress at a faster pace.
He acknowledged the 2014 Education Report Card has come under criticism from some Metro School Board members and education activists for its recommendation that the School Board recommit to the policy governance standard it adopted last year. Miller said that means board members should be free to fully debate issues and vote their conscience, but should support the successful execution of a policy decision once a consensus is formed, rather than continuing to criticize the decision in social or mainstream media.
“No one’s suggesting board members should give up their First Amendment rights,” Miller said. “We’re simply suggesting board members show their leadership by adhering to a policy they’ve agreed upon.” Miller said the report suggests board members enlist the help of a trained facilitator to help update the policy governance model to one in which all board members have confidence.