Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Board of Education thumbs its nose at the public

It's a kid thing. A parent or teacher lays down the law and the kid (here the famous Calvin) puts thumb to nose and just refuses to cooperate. "Nyah! Nyah! You can't make me!"

You'll recall that I and others filed information requests with the Board of Education to obtain minutes of the September 7, 2006 executive session at which Jim Shon was fired. The BOE ignored my request, which I then sent to the OIP for a decision. The OIP decision required that the BOE release certain information to two of us by close of business November 1. Well, it's November 14 and they still have not sent the required information. Nyah! Nyah!

Instead, the Department of Education (not the BOE) has posted a press release with attached heavily redacted snippets from the minutes. That's to appease the media. I hope the press will understand that this is a ploy to create the impression that the BOE is complying with the OIP request.

Since they haven't released anything to me (Nyah! Nyah!) I don't know if that is what they plan to send, if they plan to release everything the OIP ordered, or if they plan to send nothing at all.

The BOE knows the law. They have had requests before, and have ignored requests before. They have had at least two trainings by the OIP, one in 2004 and another in 2005. They know, for example, that they have to reply within 10 days to a request.

So it really is a case of Nyah! Nyah!

Well, public school students of Hawaii, this is an example of behavior your leaders are setting for you to emulate. Here's your Board of Education saying, "If you don't like the laws, you don't have to follow them!

Just say, Nyah! Nyah! You can't make me!


Keep up the good work. I can't imagine that the redacted minutes comply with the OIP's demands. The public has a right to be informed about the disconnect that exists between the BOE and charter schools. As I've said before, I think the board should reconsider its policy of holding closed door meetings. Such meetings prevent the flow of information to and from the public that is necessary in any sustainable demoncratic form of governance. I look forward to the next installment of this neverending saga.

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