The discussion is over the annual approval of schools. Essentially, the Board vote is to confirm to the state that there is a Continuous School Improvement Plan for each school. The Board Action Report, dated November 3, 2010, claims that "All CSIPs are also posted online on our district website."
This statement was false at the time it was made. There were at least two CSIPs missing from the web page - one missing a link and one blank report. The missing link and the blank plan were not corrected (to make the statement true) until the afternoon of the Board vote.
Had the Board members tried to perform oversight and confirm the existence of the CSIPs, they would have seen that at least two of them were missing.
Director Carr spoke to say that, because she was unable to confirm the presence of the CSIPs, she would have to vote against the motion.
Then Director Martin-Morris spoke on the oversight role of the Board:
This is actually, I guess, for my fellow Board members. The thing that I want you to understand is what is being done here is that our Chief Academic Officer, who has reviewed and has looked at all of those documents, is saying to us as a Board that she has done her due diligence and has complied with state law. She is certifying to us that she has done what she was supposed to do. Whether we go in and look at all of those or not, shouldn't be germaine to the vote. The vote is really about the certification that we trust and believe in our Chief Academic Officer that this work was done. And that's what she's doing and that's what this vote is about.Director Martin-Morris is saying that the Board not only does not have a duty to confirm the statements made by staff, but actually has no business confirming the statements made by staff. He is denying all responsibility of oversight and means to school his colleagues on their role. His little talk was to warn them off of trying to do any oversight or seeking independent confirmation of staff statements.
Of course, what was so ironic about all of this was the fact that Director Martin-Morris was saying that the other Board members should just trust Dr. Enfield without verifying her statement and his example was a statement that proved false. That didn't slow him down one bit. On the contrary, it made his point ever sharper. He seemed to be saying that this was a prime example of why the Board shouldn't try to verify staff's claims - because they may prove false. Proof is the opposite of faith and he believes that the Board should have faith, not proof.