Friday, August 9, 2013

The Facts About That "MSBA Outstanding School Board Award" Nomination Tweet!

Fox C-6 Superintendent Dianne Critchlow has gotten her own Twitter account. It must have been a suggestion at one of the recent administrator training seminars since it appears that quite a few superintendents are now using Twitter to keep the patrons of their district more informed.

Keeping the community informed IS part of a superintendent's job. However, telling the truth or the whole truth is also something that they should do when keeping you informed. I believe our community is starting to see through all of the "smoke and mirrors" being presented by our Superintendent. If not, keep on reading because not everyone in the community is aware of what she has been doing. Those that are informed have been watching our school board sit back and allow it to happen. If your school board fails to respond to your questions, you can pretty much bet that they aren't doing anything and they don't want the public to know what is going on.

Superintendent Critchlow likes to blurt out statements that aren't always true and her statements are starting to catch up with her. I think she does this to justify the enormous amount of salary that our school board has been providing her over the last several years and she thinks that everyone will simply believe her because she is the superintendent. There just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to why our school board has given our Superintendent such enormous raises.

But, it seems to be working that some of the community is still being fooled because the school board keeps giving her incredible raises and the community doesn't seem to care or notice. Perhaps in one of her next Tweets she could post how much she will be earning for the 2013-2014 school year. The school district hasn't yet released this year's salary schedule despite my request for that and the 2013-2014 school year budget.

Last year, Superintendent Critchlow was reported by MO DESE as making $246,824. That's nearly $10,000 more than her salary schedule that was released by the school district to me at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. No one has mentioned how that happened.

So, how does your Superintendent go about trying to boost the confidence of the community in the school board?

She posts on Twitter about the Fox C-6 school board. On Wednesday August 7, 2013, she posted the following message:
Dr. Dianne Critchlow @FoxC6Supt
Congrats to the Fox C-6 Board of Education for their nomination to MSBA's Outstanding Board of Education Award

Wow! That sounds impressive!

It makes you think that the MSBA thinks highly of the decisions made by our school board over the last year and all of the publicity that they and our superintendent garnered for our district and the community. Well, that is until you go to the MSBA's website and find out that 208 other school boards in the state were also "nominated" for the Missouri School Board Association's "Outstanding School Board Award" at

Once you read the what the requirements are for a school board to be "nomimated", her comments lose quite a bit of luster. The Missouri School Board Association's website has Fox C-6 listed as being "ELIGIBLE TO APPLY" for an award. From reading the MSBA's webpage for the Outstanding Boards of Education Award, I don't believe that the term "nominated" is a very accurate statement. Nominated certainly sounds more impressive and would give the community that warm fuzzy feeling that our school board is doing a great job. But, the community probably still hasn't gotten over the fact that school board member Linda Nash's daughter in law was hired as the Food Nutrition Service Director with only a high school diploma over much more qualified candidates. It also probably still remembers the fact that Gee Palmer the wife of school board member Dave Palmer was promoted to the position of District Head Nurse with a 75% pay raise in 2006 while Mr. Palmer was the school board president.

Also, lets not forget the fact that the school district spent over $3 Million dollars to put in artificial turf on the football fields when there aren't enough books for all of the students in the classrooms. Dianne will refute the fact like she did on channel 5 that there aren't enough books for the kids. And, yes, it is a separate budget. We know that. But, then you would have to ask the teachers at the school buildings and find out why a principal told me that they don't hand out books to all students because there aren't enough to go around. Then there is that transparency issue that has been dogging our school district for several years in trying to keep the check payments and budget from the community and how much they are paying in legal fees to fend off federal agencies.

Where is the 2013-2014 School Year Budget?

Where is the 2013-2014 Salary Schedules for our Administrators?

Is Superintendent Critchlow now the highest paid Superintendent in the state of Missouri?

I recommend taking a look at the MSBA's Oustanding Boards of Education Award webpage. There are 6 different performance category awards that one of the 208 school boards in the state that are "Eligible" can apply for:
  • Teaching, Learning and Assessment 
  • Human and Organizational Efficacy 
  • Climate, Culture, and Organizational Efficacy 
  • School Finance Resources 
  • Physical and Environmental Resources 
  • Governance, Leadership and Accountability 

In order to be Eligible to Apply for one of the above awards, a school board must be an MSBA member district, and ALL 7 board members must be certified by the MSBA. The school district must also have scored a 12, 13 or 14 on Missouri DESE's Annual Performance Report (APR) for the current and previous year.

So Fox met the criteria along with another 208 districts out of a little over 500 districts in the state. It's just a matter of putting Superintendent Critchlow's tweet into perspective. It's going to take a bit of effort by the community to install a school board that has Integrity, Honesty and Ethics. Actually, that would be good category for an award. The community's made a start at bringing about change to our school district. But it is up to you to stand up and voice your concerns. Otherwise, our Superintendent will keep sweeping things under the rug until she retires and then it will fall on someone else.

As much as Dianne wants to pump up her status and our school board, the public should know the truth. It's very similar to winning awards for the National District of Character. It's just another award for the school to tout in an attempt to cover up all of the problems within the school district. You should take some time to check out how the Character Education awards are obtained.

Don't be fooled by our superintendent! Our community needs change and it will only begin to happen when the community voices their concerns and asks for change to occur!