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November 01, 2001  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Taking Aim at ‘Dumb Rules’

One district re-evaluates questionable regulations


Is your operation guided by rules and regulations put into place long before your time? Do you ever wonder why certain rules exist? Are there any that you think are just plain dumb? Odds are, the answer is yes and that it’s time you reviewed your rules and regulations to make sure they’re up-to-date and effective. According to an article in Education Week (Oct. 10, 2001), Denver Public Schools’ new chief Jerry Wartgow recently re-evaluated the rules at his district based on suggestions from employees. In making the rounds of the 70,000-student school district over the summer, Wartgow was continually notified by staff and parents of guidelines they thought were outdated, unfair or just plain dumb. In response, Wartgow formed a “dumb rules” committee to examine questionable practices and determine their merit. The committee also outlined steps for removal of those rules deemed unnecessary. Formed in August, the committee has since reviewed more than 160 e-mail submissions and posted about 70 suggestions and responses on its Website at Ellen McEldowney, the district’s general counsel and committee head, says the site has become a “communications mechanism for parents, students and staff members to get superintendent-level attention for problems large and small.”

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