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CMS Board Discusses Student Assignment Transparency, Not Goals

Lisa Worf

How do you decide where students go to school? A CMS committee has been wrestling with that question for nearly a year now. Those board members presented their thoughts to the full board Tuesday night. The discussion wasn’t about the goals themselves, but a concern regarding the process. 

The idea of reducing concentrations of poverty at schools, while preserving what’s working at others didn’t come as a surprise to board members. They were all part of policy committee meetings. 

After the suggested goals were presented Tuesday night, discussion was slow. Then, Rhonda Lennon spoke up.

“Policy has already vetted it for hours and hours. It’s kind of pointless for me to bring anything up. I’m moving on,” said Lennon. 

She thinks those student assignment discussions should’ve taken place at regular board meetings when people are used to showing up or watching online. 

“In the end, I will probably vote no on pretty much all of it because it was not vetted in front of the community with the full board,” said Lennon.

“I disagree. It has been vetted in front of the community because we’ve taken extra steps to tape the policy meetings and post them online,” said board member Ericka Ellis-Stewart.    

She and other board members argued this is just the beginning of the process. A new student assignment plan won’t go into effect until at least the 2017-18 school year.

Lennon doubts the board can oversee that process, while conducting a search for another superintendent. Superintendent Ann Clark’s contract expires in July.  The board meets Saturday to discuss how to proceed with that search.