Author: Billy Townsend

The DSM deal is good for David Robinson. Is it good for you?

Important update below in bold. Some time last year, former Polk Superintendent of Schools Kathryn LeRoy signed a contract with DSM, a Polk-based technology services provider. For full context, DSM’s owner and CEO David Robinson, who describes himself as a “ technology visionary,” is a major contributor to School Board Member Hunt Berryman. Berryman is my incumbent opponent in the…

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A diet without a menu: the Polk School Board’s unStrategic unPlan

The Polk County School District has a 2014-2018 Strategic Plan that is neither strategic nor a plan. It’s one of the many exploding gifts Kathryn LeRoy left behind for us to disarm. Nevertheless, the School Board is meeting today in a retreat to “review and update” this so-called Strategic Plan. So I want to explain to you — and board…

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Change needs to start with the School Board Attorney

The Polk County School District has a very serious problem with its attorney. Indeed, if I am elected, I will have little to no confidence in anything School Board Attorney Wes Bridges tells me. Two very recent events illustrate why. And they demonstrate the costly incompetence and bad faith with which Bridges too often serves the Polk School Board and…

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We need an org. chart — and a new School Board/administrative culture

The Polk County School District has a $1.3 billion budget. That’s billion. With a B. The people who direct that budget work primarily at the central Bartow Office. But good luck trying to figure out who has responsibility for what in spending your education money. Good luck figuring out which human beings actually supervise which human beings. The $1.3 billion…

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Bartow Horror Story: the catastrophic failure of Polk’s testing and student data system

Nothing illustrates the comprehensive rot at the Polk School district administrative and leadership level (talking about the Bartow office, not principals at schools) as powerfully as the failure of the Local Instructional Information System (LIIS) project in the last two years.

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