Board Of Ed Goes Meta

Diana Li PhotoThe Board of Education is looking to create a committee to discuss ... the Board of Education.

At the board’s Tuesday night public meeting, members discussed a plan to create a new Governance Committee that would “guide and prioritize the focus of the NHPS board,” according to a handout.

“This is a committee that will regularly look at and make sure the Board of Ed is prioritizing its time appropriately, looking at the right data, following up on the right issues, and making sure that we’re having the discussion that are of greatest import to the direction of the board,” said Superintendent Garth Harries (pictured with Mayor Toni Harp at Tuesday night’s meeting).

Board Chair Carlos Torre said that he believes this could become one of the board’s “more important committees.” The current suggestion is to have three people on the committee, all members of the regular Board of Ed; Torre said that the committee could have more depending on interest. All meetings would be public.

The committee would determine future Board of Ed agendas and topics of discussion (currently a one-person job), review and consider longer-term changes in the board’s by-laws, and ensure the board follows up on issues and stays on track.

“This committee would help make sure that we’re following through on things,” said Torre. Right now, without the committee, he said, “we’ll talk about something important ,but then two meetings later it’ll fall to the wayside because we’re inundated with so many other things.”

The new committee will not determine changes to educational vision or policy. The board agreed to set up an ad hoc meeting of the Governance Committee in the coming weeks. Torre said he envisions the committee meeting once a month or maybe more. Depending on how the first ad hoc meeting goes, the Governance Committee may be written into the bylaws for the 2014-2015 academic year.

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posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 28, 2014  9:24am

More snake oil being sold.We should have a elected school board.The new Hybrid School Board is more snake oil being sold.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on May 28, 2014  10:08am

I voted no because of this line…

” The current suggestion is to have three people on the committee, all members of the regular Board of Ed”

It should be a larger committee of people that do not gain. That is one of the issues. Also until the BOE starts to deal with all the fluff jobs (by eliminating them) I have little to no faith that any committee filled with the very people that are part of the problem will make a bit of difference….it is a cheesy PR stunt….and cheesy being the key words. A blind man can see though it!

posted by: Honest in New Haven on May 28, 2014  10:26am

So the BOE will set up a committee of itself to look at itself????  Are they really serious?  Good governance means it is the responsibility of the Chair to make sure the Board stays on course, is dealing with the most pressing and strategic issues, and that “things don’t fall by the wayside”.

posted by: NewHavenTaxTooHigh on May 28, 2014  10:45am

Would be comedic if it weren’t so tragic.

posted by: Brutus2011 on May 28, 2014  10:55am

I want to believe that Torre’s announcement was sincere.

Unfortunately, I agree with other opinions that this is a rather transparent PR move.

Propaganda is generally an effective tool of shadow governments.

posted by: Noteworthy on May 28, 2014  11:17am

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Notes:

1. The new committee of the current BOE will be formed to look at itself.

2. It will have only 3 members, all made up of…the BOE.

3. Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

posted by: Noteworthy on May 28, 2014  11:56am

I’m going to the next BOE with a giant mirror. Then they can fix their hair and have more than 3 members on the committee.

posted by: Elm City Resident on May 28, 2014  2:37pm

Are these pictures accurate?  I thought the BOE meetings occurred at Career and these pictures look like Betsy Ross.  When did this change happen and was there public notice?

[Editor: This month it was held in the Betsy Ross Parish House. They do publicly notice the meetings.]

posted by: connecticutcontrarian on May 28, 2014  3:40pm

This makes about as much sense as letting Congress set up a committee to determine whether they should receive a pay raise. Oh wait..

posted by: Bill Saunders on May 28, 2014  4:57pm

I think the BOE took the playbook from those out of touch ‘neighborhood consultants’, whose recommendation was to hire them for a bigger study…

posted by: Bill Saunders on May 28, 2014  5:05pm

Doesn’t the BOE already have ‘self-governance’, and isn’t that the problem?

posted by: ElmCityVoice on May 29, 2014  7:30am

Other than agreeing with all the above comments, I can imagine this being worth. I’m sure Alex Johnston will be one of the three.

posted by: Mike Slattery on May 29, 2014  11:31am

OK, so far 3 of the 7 will be a housekeeping subcommittee of sorts.  It would be interesting to see what specific powers are granted to that group, and how the appointments are handled.

It would be newsworthy if this committee is empowered to keep topics OFF the table for example, in advance of elected members coming on board.