I was invited by School Board President Keven Stevenson to participate in a Stakeholders Meeting with the consultants KISD has hired to do the Superintendent search. A member of the Keller Chamber and I were the only non education people in the room. Not naming any names of people in room, even though it is public record. Some of them were very frank about their dislike of the current administration, and I sure wouldn’t want them to get in trouble.
The topic of the TRE was brought up at one point and I didn’t make many friends in the room. The conversations, even from the consultants, weren’t about how to move forward now the TRE has failed, but how to sell it better. I explained the numbers to the people in the room, how badly the TRE failed even with millions of dollars of effort put into it by the district. I explained that the new superintendent would need to know that he would need to live within the means of the district….period. They didn’t like my statement that I thought the ISD tried to brain wash the students for six months. I also reminded them that NE Tarrant County is very conservative, and they will not stand by to raise taxes. If they didn’t believe it, look at the results from last Tuesday’s election.
The only person that spoke to my defense, a teacher’s union rep. Actually a real nice guy that I stayed after the meeting to chat with some. His quote to me in an email later
“It may be my foolishness but I believe we can all work together to elevate Keller ISD to regain financial responsibility, quality education and community support. We simply need to be bold enough to identify problems and solutions within a genteel and affable debate.”
I applaud him for his thoughts.
The one area I seemed to get a consensus of support is the three personal attributes that I stated the new superintendent should have.
- Being open minded
- Having thick skin
- And not being vindictive
The most surprising thing I got out of the meeting? The general dislike of the outgoing superintendent by the rank and file.
One statement that made my draw drop…”We have a situation where we have Airline Pilots on one of the tracks and baggage handlers on the other and we should make sure things are equal because of it”
After that quote I told the room that there is a movement afoot to split the district because of statements like that. Liberal class warfare here in Keller ISD……..and that sums up the reason why the Flagship school of KISD is so looked down upon by the rest of the district.