The Education of a School Board Member:

Newsletter reports to constituents from Rochester City School Commissioner Thomas Brennan 2006 to 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you enjoyed the winter holidays, and with Easter behind us, that we can look forward to nicer weather (although in Rochester we can never be sure). This is my final informal newsletter report to you. My service on the city school board ended at the end of the year. I am a repeat offender, I served (without salary) on two other Rochester area elected public school boards, going back 26 years. Thank you for the opportunity to do this difficult but important work for the city and children we love. I look forward to working along side you, perhaps following the leadership of others now, as we strive for a more open and honorable civic and political culture.

The current school year is ending. A new budget cycle is upon us, and government at every level facing historic fiscal challenges. It is also a time of great ferment about the efficacy of elected school boards in cities (the so called 'Mayoral Control" debate). Some parting reflections are in order. Citizen school board service is important, but often misunderstood. In an era of lower standards and greater bias in media, from the D&C to Fox News, one has to make more of an effort to communicate. Seldom did I see a report in the D&C, about something I had first hand understanding of, which was accurate!

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