While out of town last weekend I got several e-mails and telephone calls asking if I heard about the situation with the Cobb County school board. Apparently, other school boards may not have learned from the mistakes of our former members.
According to the Marietta Daily Journal, “An analysis of minutes from the board’s executive sessions since January 2007 reveal that the board voted about 55 times behind closed doors and conducted prohibited discussions about 25 times.” Board Chairman Dr. John Abraham admits that voting in executive session is standard operating procedure for them, which he did not know was illegal. The major difference I’m seeing thus far is the Cobb BOE is willing to disclose some of the information discussed and not completely shut their constituents out.
Problems with Clayton’s former BOE was media fodder for what seemed an eternity. I distinctly remember reading AJC vents and posts on this blog from residents of other counties (Cobb included) saying such things would never, ever happen in their county because they are so much more involved with their school system and county affairs as a whole. Any and all negative aspects regarding CCPS were looped relentlessly on television news. And once accreditation was restored, the great news was barely covered.
Despite all that, I wouldn’t wish what we went through on any other county and especially not one more student. But if Mark Elgart and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools get involved with the Cobb BOE, I’ll be curious to see how they handle this situation or if it’s ignored. It will also be interesting to see if Cobb receives the same public scrutiny and negative treatment that CCPS, Clayton students and residents have received.