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The Best Record is a Recording

A video recording of the 5.28.19 Whitewater Unified School Board meeting is now online. It is, truly, a genuine good without merely particular ends.  (Every regular and special board session should be online, by the board’s own policies. See Public Records Request, 5.20.19.)

A recording of the full session confirms yet again that the best record is a recording: anything less is partial, incomplete, inadequate. No agenda, no selective reporting, no bowdlerized summary can match the completeness of a recording.

Consider even one example. During the 5.28.19 session, three school administrators reported on the condition of their schools: it was, in total, a twenty-four-minute discussion (as only one key part of a longer meeting):.

These presentations are among the most important ones that a district can give.

And yet, and yet, the local stringer at a dead-tree publication reduced that discussion to only this:

Heard year-end reports on building/program goals for 2018-19 from the district leadership team.

Speaking were Mike Lovenberg, principal at Whitewater High School; Tanya Wojciechowicz, principal at Whitewater Middle School; David Brokopp, principal at Lakeview Elementary School; and Kelly Seichter, director of district curriculum and instruction.

(Indeed, this paltry paragraph did not even accurately list the administrators reporting.)

No, and no again.

Whitewater, and countless other cities big and small, have foolishly relied on below-average sources rather than the best methods and media.

In so relying, they have fallen below the standards and methods of competitive, well-ordered American communities.

There’s no need to settle for anything less than the best methods, seeing again that the best record is a recording.

2 comments for “The Best Record is a Recording

  1. Attendee
    05/31/2019 at 1:10 PM

    Right on target. Here is a question I have for you. In some of your lists of meetings you highlighted the school closed session to discuss employment decisions. However, from your posts since Tuesday it’s obvious that you seem more focused on school performance than the actual employment decision. (that comes across in the canary post.) Is that right?

    • JOHN ADAMS
      05/31/2019 at 1:41 PM

      Thanks for your remarks and question. It’s a fair question. For anyone involved in a significant employment decision, the outcome is meaningful. It’s understandable that the issue would generate interest and intense emotion.

      Highlighting a closed session agenda discussion is significant on its own, but in this district, it has another meaning: not simply what the district has done, but what it has left undone.