Craig Foster’s Speech From the 11/29/11 Board Meeting

Woodrow Wilson said, “The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.”

By contrast, when this policy first surfaced just 26 days ago, there was a meme going around that the decision had already been made and it was pointless to oppose it. As an influential insider wrote in an email weeks ago, “The policy aspect of this is a done deal. The board has the votes to pass a philosophical policy… If the focus is to stop the policy from moving forward, I think there is no chance of that. That horse is out of the barn.”

I speak tonight not to the policy, but to the process.

You have heard from many, many voices in the last few meetings. Some are in favor of the proposal. Many are not.

8 out of the 12 elementary schools have not endorsed either the timing of the vote or the policy.

2 out of the 3 middle schools have not endorsed either the timing of the vote or the policy.

2 out of the 2 high schools have not endorsed either the timing of the vote or the policy.

None of the Fundraising Chairs at the non-Title I schools have been consulted or have publicly endorsed the timing of the vote or the policy.

Even the insiders at PTA Council failed to endorse your plan.

You have been told to slow down by such usually supportive voices as the district’s own Financial Oversight Committee and the Los Angeles Times editorial board.

And yet, the juggernaut rolls on.

Mine will be one of very few Malibu voices you will hear tonight.

This is not because Malibu does not support raising up all the schools of the district. It is not because Malibu doesn’t care. It’s just that we know the “serenity prayer:”

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

Malibu has learned its voice will not be heard and its contributions will not make a difference. Your closed minds have silenced the voices of your supporters in Malibu.

It is an odd way to start a fundraising campaign…

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11 comments on “Craig Foster’s Speech From the 11/29/11 Board Meeting

  1. You definitely captured the mood of how so many of us are feeling. Thank you for being there and for speaking so beautifully. What a way to begin a fundraising campaign, indeed!

  2. There is nothing else you could have said or done to have changed the direction the Board chose to take. I think you said what we all feel and what needed to be said. This new policy of theirs will fail and we must now chart our own course and look out for our best interests, because the SMMUSD obviously has no intention of doing so. Time to regroup, refocus and organise ourselves for the next challenge, creating our own school district. Well done Craig, and thank you for going to a meeting we all knew was going a waste of time.

  3. The last paragraph sums up how I have felt as a Malibu teacher over the last 18 years. I think the most healthy arrangement for both cities is to govern their schools as they see fit. I think Malibu could be a very strong school district with policies that work in the best interests of the students, teachers and parents. We could run a very lean district that got the money into the classroom where it belongs, spent money on things that made sense and dealt with issues that affect our local students and schools more effectively. As a music teacher, all I would be giving up is “Stairway” which could be accomplished on a smaller scale locally.

  4. This is a beautiful speech. I look forward to helping Malibu build a strong, lean, and locally responsive school district.

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