The Kishimoto Meeting – Behind Closed Doors, but Why?

by Categorized: Education, Employment, Transparency/FOI Date:

Among the criticisms the Hartford Board of Education heaped on Superintendent Christina Kishimoto was a concern over her communication skills, knocking her for what they said was a failure to keep the board and parents in the loop as she made decisions. Board members said she needed to do better, and she promised she would.

But when Kishimoto and the board got together Tuesday night for a meeting that would decide the future of herHartford Superintendent of Schools Christina Kishimoto tenure – and the future direction of the state’s second-largest school district – both sides made a familiar retreat behind closed doors, leaving parents once again in the dark.

It’s all legal. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act permits – but does not require – agencies to hold executive sessions to discuss “the appointment, employment, performance, evaluation, health or dismissal of a public officer or employee.” Tuesday’s gathering, at which the board unanimously voted against extending Kishimoto’s contract, certainly met that criteria. But why choose to shut out parents and other members of the public?

Operating out of the public eye promotes a level of candor revered by those in government. But the officials who assembled Tuesday night should remember that their primary duty is to the people of Hartford, and they should resist any urge to have one level of honesty for the public and an enhanced level of honesty that comes out only in private.

Tuesday’s vote was not a surprise, and both Kishimoto and various board members have been transparent in expressing their views. This was not a shady back-room deal. But when the conflict between the board and Kishimoto reached a crescendo with a closed meeting that stretched longer than 90 minutes, those involved seemed to lose sight of an important adage: that in a democracy, the people’s business really is the people’s business.

To a Hartford resident, the schools superintendent may be the most important official in the city. The decision on whether she stays or goes is a big deal. So memo to all involved: Next time there’s a discussion as significant as Tuesday night’s, consider leaving the doors open and letting the real bosses see what’s being done on their behalf.

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.

2 thoughts on “The Kishimoto Meeting – Behind Closed Doors, but Why?

  1. kontynuuj

    Thanks for goresso expressing your ideas listed here. The other element is that every time a problem occurs with a pc motherboard, folks should not have some risk associated with repairing the item themselves for if it is not done correctly it can lead to irreparable damage to the whole laptop. It is almost always safe to approach your dealer of a laptop for any repair of the motherboard. They have technicians who may have an knowledge in dealing with notebook computer motherboard issues and can make the right diagnosis and undertake repairs.

    Reply
  2. Dick Patmore

    magnificent issues altogether, you just received a logo new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your post that you simply made some days ago? Any sure?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *