Missing pages in presentation causes a stir at Baltimore City school board meeting
One might have expected the news of a proposal that would close or revamp 12 schools might result in some tension between school board members and top ranking officials. Instead missing pages from a Power Point presentation of the proposal got folks riled up. The controversy surfaced during Chief of Staff Tisha Edwards’ presentation of the proposed changes. Midway through, she realized that the Power Point was missing several slides, which gave further information about the schools in danger of closure.
Edwards immediately apologized. She said she was well versed enough with the material to explain the missing information.
After Edwards finished, school board member Robert Heck launched into a speech where he said that the presentation was “unacceptable.” He also said he was offended by the fact that the public’s first look at the proposal was incomplete.
“We really sell ourselves short when we can’t make a simple presentation,” said Heck, who initially called the mistake a “minor point.”
Heck’s comments appeared to infuriate city schools CEO Andrés Alonso, who said that the meeting had been filled with several instances of disrespect. After calling the omission in the Power Point presentation “an embarrassment,” Alonso said that his staff works tirelessly and did not deserve the blame.
“They work too hard,” Alonso said. “We owe each other a bit more [respect.]”
The tension was cut when board member Anirban Basu joked that more people were likely watching Conan O’Brien than the marathon meeting after 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night. Alonso laughed and quickly reminded Basu that people were probably watching Jay Leno.