Former BOE member Jill Ortman-Fouse exposes extremely dysfunctional staff

Jill Ortman-Fouse:

Do you have any idea how many processes there are? From changing bus routes for road work to turning in hours for home teaching staff—both done on paper. What is your obsession with names? There are around 800 people in central office. Many have been working there decades. They are unfamiliar with the processes used by outside institutions including other school systems. Humans fear change.

You don’t change processes by bullying. It takes time and energy. You commit to the work to make it happen. You can’t pass a resolution if you don’t have the votes. You don’t get the votes if staff don’t trust your idea and aren’t supportive to your colleagues. I started to write a response to your other question I can’t find now, but my phone died.

There are two ways to get questions answered. One, board members ask follow-up questions at the board table, if staff don’t answer it at the table, board staff record it and eventually you get a staff response. Two, board members submit questions to the chief of staff of the board office, that person “bucks the question”to the appropriate department. You may or may not get an answer eventually to your question as it was asked.

I recommended that we have a tracking system like other school systems use where all board members questions are openly recorded so that all board members can see what questions their colleagues are asking, and ensure that those questions were answered. Our chief of staff did not implement that process while he was serving our office as they had other processes I guess he preferred.