Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A 0% Tax Hike and A Math Fight in Pottsgrove

Normally, a zero percent tax hike and an attempt to actually LOWER taxes would be the headline item from a nearly four-hour school board meeting that tested the patience and bladders of several school board members.

And it is. Look, it's the first thing in this headline.

But we here at Digital Notebook tower would be denying human nature if we tried to pretend that's all that happened last night.

There has been a slow-burning fire on the Pottsgrove School Board since last year about  the district's less-than-stellar math scores and last night, Daniel Vorhis, whose name I appear to be doomed to forever misspell on Twitter, gave an update on the district's progress.

It did not go well.

School Board President Rick Rabinowitz and board members Al Leach and Bill Parker all expressed a sense of exasperation with the "slow, methodical" progress, as Rabinowitz described it.

But it was Parker, and his characteristic bombastic approach to commentary, that provided the straw that finally broke the back of Superintendent Shellie Feola's composure.

The two spoke over each other in an exchange which lasted more than 10 minutes with Feola at one point saying "you don't value our opinion, so it doesn't matter."

Other board members, in particular Vice President Matt Alexander, chided Parker for his approach, saying his confrontational manner is counter-productive and Parker replying he would not be silenced.

Alexander told Parker that his approach would continue to ensure that "nothing gets done."

I won't make you hunt for the video in the Storify of the Tweets below, although it is there for the stalwarts among you. Here it is:

In the end, veteran board member Robert Lindgren settle jarred nerves by pointing out the administration had done exactly what the board had asked, but perhaps not as quickly as some would have liked.

There were several other things of import that occurred at the meeting, including the adoption of new grading standards which several of our devoted followers Tweeted about through the course of the evening, but which was adopted without much fanfare.

The board also accepted the resignation of the teacher and baseball coach currently facing charges for having sex with a student in between his bachelor party and wedding, and fired the substitute who was captured on video slapping a student at the middle school.

There was also some interesting comments about the board's use of social media, in particular Rabinowitz's PGSD Discussion page on Facebook, and the appropriateness of keeping it up.

Its a decision he said is his alone to make, and he will make is soon.

You can read about all that and more in the many, many, many Tweets below.

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