Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Glacial Pace Of Change At The TDSB

Regarded by some as a master of platitudes, Toronto District School Board Director Chris Spence says that things are getting better.

As outlined in The Star's investigative series, the board, in the thrall of Jimmy Hazel's Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council, which forms the backbone of the TDSB’s facilities division, has for years been grossly overpaying for simple repair jobs. This was well-known to administrators and board officials for many years, and in 2006 a review was conducted by consultants Blackstone Partners, who then submitted a report to officials in January of 2007.

Despite the passage of almost six years, we are told today by Mr. Spence that some progress has been made, and the report is “working its way through the committee structure” at the board.

In what passes for clarity, lucidity and justification (cynics might call it base political posturing), the former football player drew a sports analogy:

“To use a football analogy, we are trying to move the yardstick. There is no quick fix,” said Spence, who became director two years after the review. “But I am not running, I am not hiding from the problem.”

“Blackstone took us so far. Some of the work we are doing now will take us farther,” Spence said in the interview.

To continue with Mr. Spence's sports metaphor, given the lack of specifics about this putative progress, combined with the aggregate revelations of the Star's series, some might conclude that it is time for this team to be kicked out of the league.

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