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Board Member Calls for Reform

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After executive session at Monday night’s Oklahoma City School Board meeting, member Steve Shafer read a prepared statement urging board members to commit themselves to making Oklahoma City a better district. Shafer said that to do that, board members must vote on issues put before them and pursue answers to questions from the board clerk or Superintendent Karl Springer. Shafer said that board members often ask for too much information on small topics rather than concentrating on a larger vision and trusting the leadership they have put into place. The actions of the board are unpredictable and do not convey confidence to leaders on decisions regarding management of the district and hiring and firing of employees, he said.

Shafer said that the relevance of his statement was again demonstrated that night when board members voted not to hire Lanette Lowe as principal for Wheeler Elementary School going against Springer’s recommendation. Board member Thelma Parks abstained while Chairman Angela Monson and members Wilfredo Santos Rivera and David Castillo voted no. Though the remaining four members voted yes, the board needed five votes to hire Lowe.

Several board members voiced their disapproval of Shafer’s statement, but Shafer said he will no longer stay quiet about the issues and the honeymoon is over for the board.

I guess the people of Oklahoma City will be watching.

- Staff Writer Dawn Marks

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