The Irving school board named an interim superintendent today, and it’s Debbie Cabrera. Her permanent job is associate superintendent of business services. But the board is still not talking about Monday’s resignation of Superintendent Dana Bedden.
At this morning’s unusually early 7 o’clock board meeting, president Steven Jones refused to explain the philosophical differences between his board members and superintendent Bedden, or what he wants from the next leader.
“No, no, no, I’m not going to talk about the last superintendent . . . and we are moving forward with great things for the kids in the Irving ISD,” said Jones.
Earlier this week, trustees read a prepared statement about superintendent Bedden’s resignation, then they, and he, said nothing else. Kelley Shannon says the public should be wary when elected officials offer little about important decisions.
“That’s contrary to what we should be doing in a democracy.”
Shannon is Executive Director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.
“When we elect people and we have a government by the people and for the people, we need answers and information about what our elected officials are doing.”
But the school board’s relative silence about Bedden’s departure does not surprise Allan Saxe. The UT Arlington political scientist says controversy swirling around school board politics can be hotter than that in the legislature or any city council. In this case, Jones backed three new board candidates whose victories in May led to a majority that wanted Bedden gone.
“They just like to keep everything as much as possible under wraps, especially like in Irving, for example, where there’s been a lot of upheaval, a lot of controversy. They don’t’ want to throw a lot of political fuel into the fire.”
Saxe says silence may be the best policy as long as voters still have confidence in those they elected.