Sometimes when you make a mistake you get away with it. Sometimes you get really lucky and your mistake results in a benefit. Usually, however, when you make a mistake it costs you.
The School Board made a mistake and, if they don't fix it, we will all pay for it.
As a result of Tuesday's election, every member of the Board Student Learning Committee will be leaving the Board at the end of the year. There is no excuse; allowing a committee to consist entirely of Board members who all have the same term of office is just bad planning. This time it will result in a number of losses.
First, all of the Committee's work in progress will be lost. There is no reason to believe that the new committee members will complete the work of the current committee.
Second, all of the Committee's momentum will be lost. The new Committee members will have to start from a dead stop. They will have to set new priorities, generate a new workplan, and start new initiatives all from scratch halfway into the school year.
Third, and perhaps the highest cost of all, all of the experience and institutional memory of the previous committee will be irretrievably lost. In the past year the Student Learning Committee members learned - first hand - why we needed a Program Placement Policy. I seriously fear the consequences of that loss. They learned an critical lesson about Student Transformation Plans - they should seriously fear the consequences of that loss. They learned about Special Education, student discipline, Occ Ed, math curricula, and any number of esoteric details about the state EALRs, GLEs, and graduation requirements. All of this will be lost if the Board doesn't take steps to preserve it.
I suggest two remedies, one to address the immediate problem and one to prevent future such errors.
First, continuing Board members who think they might serve on this committee next year should get together with current Committee members and review the Committee's workplan, minutes, and recent experiences. While there is no replacement for first-hand experience, we must do what we can to keep the momentum and the lessons.
Second, the Board should establish a bylaw which precludes having a committee made entirely of members with the same term of office.
The Board can fix this before it is too late. I hope they do.