It’s been a busy week, and there is much to share, but I cannot go further without correcting an omission — that of highlighting a key individual in my progress of becoming an effective board blogger.
It is difficult to overstate the impact of a pioneer. Turning on a light in a dark room brings new understanding, but once shown the light can we ever really appreciate the emptiness and lack of awareness from the darkness that preceded? Can we unring a bell? In this case, the room is the world of responsible communication on school board activities and the light is a mere blog, but make no mistake, the bell has certainly been rung.
And the pioneer here is Fred Baldwin, toiling and tolling quietly on his lone state blog, bravely expressing his views on the subject of school transparency, marking out and lighting a path in the hope that someday others would follow.
I’ve known Fred only virtually, only briefly, and while I cannot speak for his stance on all issues, from our very first communications, I knew we owed him a debt. I hope you will visit his blog, but I hope you will also learn from his efforts and enjoy knowing that there are board members willing to stick their necks out in a public way and who take the time to share their wisdom and experience with others across the community.
In addition to his blog commentary on numerous public transparency issues in Pennsylvania, I want to note his efforts to populate the Pennsylvania page on a national wiki dedicated to Sunshine Law information, the Sunshine Review. This wiki is filled with numerous links to resources within Pennsylvania that are of common interest to residents and the press when researching issues. This is a great site and would benefit from the efforts of others to provide links to lots of other relevant information.
It is through Fred that I found Paul Fisher and became more confident that a blog, carefully prepared, can be a source of light in the otherwise dark, mysterious world of school board participation. I encourage other school board members to join the discussion by sharing their insights and experiences for the benefit of all.
Thanks, Fred! Keep up the great work for Pennsylvania and school board bloggers everywhere!