What’s not to like about Ketta? Unpretentious charisma, great soccer mom, school volunteer. Good character not in question, it’s her judgment that let us down.
Ketta Brown told the Indy, “There’s so much new…coming down from federal and state government…I realize having been on the board for eight years, there’s a very steep learning curve…I bring knowledge of stuff we’re trying to get implemented.”
Public school trustees don’t just implement “stuff” that is “coming down” from Sacramento and Washington. Yet, Ketta embraces federal “common core” curriculum without question or exception. She praises “national uniformity,” so our kids can be profiled in a federal database, move to Arkansas, and fit into national “norms.” She is quick with clichés about our kids becoming more “tech-savvy…like kids in Asia!”
The school board’s job includes compliance with federal and state mandates while retaining max local control of curriculum that our teachers, parents and community support. By her own words Ketta thinks the school board works for federal politicians who imposed “No Child Left Behind,” and now mandated Common Core.
After an eight year learning curve Ketta is still being spoon-fed by the educational bureaucrats she is supposed to oversee. Ketta sees it as normal that school staff and union representatives have a seat at the same table as school board but not parents or taxpayers. She thinks its fine that consultants and vendors give hour-long sales pitches while busy parents wait hours for three minutes to speak on budget and personnel issues in the wee hours late at night.
Ketta had seven years on the job when she voted to the start school year in August with no public hearing, voted to give big salary raises for senior administrators who promptly were reassigned, resigned or were fired (one to escape sexual misconduct charges), just weeks after parents exposed school board’s lack of due diligence.
Ketta thinks asking a few timid questions is enough, but she has never voted against the majority. She has been intellectually submissive as a board member, and she has not earned more years.
Wasting tax dollars, treating parents who dare to dissent as a nuisance, and entrusting students to adults unfit for duty is not “for the kids.” We fell for that and voted for Ketta twice, but no more.