She’s been in office a few weeks now, but I’m still considering Arlington School Board member Mary Kadera something of a riddle wrapped up in an enigma (wrapped up in a COVID mask).
Consider last Thursday’s board meeting.
One of the big discussion items was the future of the school system’s virtual-learning program, which was something of a train wreck when it debuted last fall but has become a lifeline for students and parents concerned about having their children back in classrooms during the pandemic.
Superintendent Francisco Durán announced two weeks before the meeting that he wanted the virtual-learning initiative scrapped for a year, so the school district could take a look and, apparently, come back a year later with something better.
The position certainly was not popular with parents of students in the program, who pressed the School Board to overrule it.
One presumes that the fix was in, so to speak, before Durán made his proposal, and that he had ensured he had the votes of at least three of the five board members in support of the position before announcing it. That’s what prudent superintendents do. So the end result was no big surprise, if it was a big disappointment to some parents.
But it was Kadera’s performance at the School Board meeting the raised some eyebrows. At several points during the discussion of the matter, she made clear that she did not believe staff had made the case that the program was not delivering the results needed to warrant retaining it. But then, when push came to shove, she voted with the majority to support its elimination – er, its “pause,” a word the superintendent keeps using and really should retire from his lexicon.
It seems it would have been savvier for Kadera to vote against the superintendent. It would have been a political winner and wouldn’t have stopped the plan from going forward. A “no” would have been a no-brainer, but for whatever reason she opted not pull the trigger and stand against her colleagues and the superintendent.
PLEASE, PUT HIM OUT TO PASTURE: It’s been a year since the death of Rush Limbaugh, and as his successor, WMAL-FM brought in Dan Bongino, who hosts a syndicated radio show emanating from Florida for three hours each weekday.
From the beginning, I tried to give him a chance, but he was something of a mess, broadcasting-wise, from the start, and in recent weeks has become impossible to listen to.
Perhaps he’s a lovely man, but as a broadcaster, he’s decidedly minor-league. Time to try somebody new.
– Scott McCaffrey