Friday, April 01, 2011

Dr. Jonita Reynolds on the Three Most Important Issues Facing Fort Bend ISD

Dr. Jonita Reynolds, running for Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees, did finally show up last night at the Fort Bend Employees Association candidate forum. Her timing was exquisite. I saw her coming in the door and she saw me. We exchanged smiles and then she rushed up to the dais where Kevin Daniels was winding up his take on the three most important issues facing Fort Bend ISD.

Daniels was the last candidate to comment.

So just as he was finishing, up goes Dr. Reynolds and she sat at her place on the end. Karrie Washenfelder, the moderator for the evening introduced her and then restated the question.

Without batting an eye, and within a minute of entering the room, Dr. Reynolds dove right in.

Here is what she said (mostly, she really talks fast sometimes):
"There are a number of issues that are facing Fort Bend Independent School District. The plenary issue is the need for all of us to see the district as a complex system. In its totality there are a number of key ingredients that make the district successful. Every stakeholder, business owners, our teachers, the students, the parents, the community leaders, each plays a role in the success of achievement of all of our children. And the need, as I have expressed when I have been going around talking to others, the need for us to work together throughout the community is key to the success and is the number one priority. We can’t fix one thing without being able to anticipate the unintended consequences of impasse of the decisions that have been made. So the system’s approach to the district is first and foremost the number one issue is to that is we need to see that system and approach the solution in a systematic way. "

"The second issue is communication. Whether that communication is perceived as a lack of communication, or mis-communication, or no communication. To not have it begets distrust. I talked to a number of stakeholders within this complex system, for whatever reason there is a sense and perception that the communication is not forthright. And it is important that we have ongoing communication. We listen and talk to each other in a consistent manner, with our teachers because they are indeed the number one asset that will help to help transform the lives of our students. And so I believe that we can minimize what appears to be a lack of transparency and honesty if we can enhance the communication system between groups."

"And last and certainly not least, funding debt remains a challenge but it cannot ever be done on the backs of our children. We cannot sacrifice what is most important and that is educating our children in an excellent manner so that they can compete successfully."

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