Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Shelton's Critics Returned to School Board

Ferguson and Barnett rejoin divided board


It is now officially open season on post-election analysis in the Fayette County School Board race.

Amanda Ferguson
Doug Barnett
The two most vocal critics of Superintendent Tom Shelton were returned to a school board that is more decidedly 3-2. It is perhaps providential that Shelton still enjoys three reliable members who were not up for election this time around. The group includes the heavy-handed Melissa Bacon, Daryl Love and the board's disappointing chairman. Along with Shelton, board chair John Price is most responsible for oversight of the budget. Both he and Shelton are CPAs. Neither did the math.

As Dr. Shelton is well-aware, the Kentucky constitution requires an efficient system of schools. So it was not providential that State Auditor Adam Edelen just gave the citizens of Fayette County a pile of evidence that says the district is anything but. It has been my experience that despite any other shortcomings, the Fayette County Schools were always well-run. That, most regrettably, seems no longer to be the case. The best that could be said following the auditor's scathing report was that no money was missing - a very low standard of business practice. And incidentally, wasn't having businesspersons run the schools supposed to show traditionally-trained school administrators a better way?

So what does the reelection of Amanda Ferguson and Doug Barnett mean for the Fayette County Board of Education?

Ferguson told the Herald-Leader she attributed her win to "people wanting someone to speak up and ask questions."Barnett attributed his win to his advocacy for schools and for a special-education task force and to the public wanting accountability as a result of the state audit. "I think it was a referendum on the audit," he said.
 more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/11/04/3520264_fayette-race-results-school-board.html?sp=/99/322/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/11/04/3520264_fayette-race-results-school-board.html?sp=/99/322/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

What is the public telling its schools?

Did today's vote send a signal to the Fayette County School Board?

What will be the reaction in the schools?

What will be the reaction on the board?

Will the majority begin to hear the minority and look for middle ground...or just out-vote 'em?

Respect to Roger Cleveland and Natasha Murray for their willingness to serve. Congratulations to Amanda Ferguson and Doug Barnett on the victory.


Anonymous said...

Will the big three run next year? Or, will they excuse themselves from the race citing family or health issues?

Ferguson and Barnett are poised to continue trying to save the sinking ship that is FCPS.

Anonymous said...

When do you think Shelton will move on? Will he latch onto another job. Fayette County will once again have to hire another lackey to "run" our schools from afar.

Anonymous said...

This fayette middle school teacher is elated. Dr. Cleveland discredited himself by accepting help from ms. Akins who works for the schools. Ferguson's opponent seemed to be unreliable managing her own credit, so how could she help to balance the budget? We need a new superintendent. I really think Barnett and Ferguson understand this and the level of fear the teachers of fcps face in trying to battle a district under the spell of test scores.

suzannah williams said...

Is there any recourse for the teachers, parents, and citizens of Fayette Co. if the majority three on the board vote to renew Shelton's contract? What sort of actions and statements can or should be made by the public to influence the board?

Brenda Allen said...

Richard, thanks for continuing to report, investigate, ask questions and give insight. Your blog is invaluable to those of us who remain interested in education. You give us what we can't get from the Herald Leader. With Ferguson's and Barnett's sound re-elections, the voters in their districts are sending a very clear message on what they require of their elected board officials. Price, Love and Bacon should take heed. We'll see how this unfolds. Richard, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

The wind of change is blowing hard! Time for Shelton and his failed system of chiefs to go. There are many hard working employees in the district who are tired of the mismanagement and bullying. Most just want to do their job- and do it well.

Congratulations to the victors! Let's get to work!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Mr. Barnett and Ms. Ferguson (for whom I voted yesterday at my polling place, Cassidy Elementary)!

I also would like to thank Dr. Cleveland and Ms. Murray for running.

It is of utmost importance that our Board Members always run opposed by viable candidates.

Board members Price, Love, and Bacon should take note of the outcome of this election. The number one issue they will face in their campaigns in 2016 will be how they vote on whether to retain or fire Tom Shelton.

Tom Shelton likewise should immediately change his behavior towards paraeducators, school nurses, teachers, and parents. He needs to act quickly to change the FCPS culture of creative accounting, concealment, favoritism, and retribution.

Mike Winkler

Anonymous said...

I thought the margin of victory for both Barnett and Ferguson was impressive. I didn't believe that Ferguson would have must trouble dispatching Murray. Barnett's margin of victory over Cleveland was surprising to me. I thought Barnett would have a much tougher time with that race.

It looks like the public has been paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is that Shelton is leaving to be Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents. While that is good news for FCPS, how sad that he would be in a position to possibly influence every school district in the state. Another good ole boy slap on the back. And we wonder why Kentucky fails at education.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only teacher in the school system who feels that roz Akins should be disciplined for supporting a candidate? Rules should apply to all fayette county employees even the wife of a state board of education member who is pastor of bracktown baptist. SHAME

Anonymous said...

Brenda Allen, thank you for defending those of us in FCPS who feel we have been wronged by Dr. Shelton and his minions.

Richard Day said...

Thanks Brenda.

November 5, 2014 at 5:00 PM:
I have not heard anything about Shelton going to KASS, but if it's true, I have a different opinion. Shelton would do an outstanding job for KASS and would already seem to be their defacto leader due to his work with the Council for Better Education. I think it would be a good fit.

I base this opinion on a couple of things. First, I'm not mad at Shelton. I think he's a great guy who struggled in a very tough job. Second, I assure you, running KASS would be a far cry from running FCPS. He might welcome a lighter load about now.

Thanks for the comments y'all.