The hits roll on for Williams & Krassner
The new Brooks & Dunn? Rufus & Chaka? Salt-N-Peppa?
Okay okay. You can't proclaim the next hot duo after a mere couple of board meetings and a handful of votes, but ... it was interesting last night that new board members Lew Williams and Terry Krassner not only bucked Superintendent Julie Janssen and/or fellow board members on three separate votes, but did so in tandem.
As we noted earlier, Williams and Krassner made the difference last week in killing the Gulfport-Lakeview merger. But last night, they went on a mini-tear, forming a majority with board members Linda Lerner and Janet Clark to first kill plans to shrink the Palm Harbor IB and re-open Kings Highway Elementary as a fundamental, and then to convince fellow board members to unanimously give Jamerson Elementary parents a reprieve.
The last action was perhaps the most impressive, because a board majority initially appeared inclined NOT to reverse a decision it made last week to end Jamerson's status as a de facto feeder into Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School.
Other board members raised concerns about Jamerson's singular status as a non-fundamental feeding into a fundamental, and whether there was a better match between Jamerson's math and engineering magnet and other middle school programs. But Williams and Krassner politely pressed the same points: Let's don't blindside parents. Let's give them a heads up, talk to them and see what options are available.
"The element of surprise is really big to me," Krassner said. There should be "no surprises for our families."
Williams said he wasn't saying this was the best way to establish a feeder but "it has been a past practice. How do we work with our parents ... as opposed to just saying it's a no go?"
In the end, the boad voted to continue the feeder for a year and, in the meantime, to explore options for a middle school program that might be more appropriate.