“From my cold, dead hands”: CDNIS Reform task force ignored

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The Members at CDNIS channeled Charlton Heston to reject the February recommendations of the school’s Task Force to stymie any substantial change.

Photo: Perennial CDNIS Member and former Board Chairman Richard Wong Che-Keung (黃自強) channels his best Charlton Heston in an attempt to project his absolute and total power.

The Members of the Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDNIS) ignored the efforts of the Task Force on Governance Reform and parent groups in their final recommendations for change in an undocumented Emergency General Meeting that secured their long-term control of school governance.

As previously reported, The Aug 21 announcement by Members instituted the barest of cosmetic change,  in effect no governance reform. The reforms were undertaken with an international education specialist, Marc Frankel, brought in from the United States.

Created in December 2014, the Task Force on Governance Reform was comprised of two representatives from each of the four constituent groups: the parents, the faculty, the Members, and the Board of Governors. The members of the Task Force are Tamiko Lippit (Parent), Wai Yee Lam (Parent; Secretary of the Task Force), Kevin Hoye (Upper School teacher), Fredda McNally (Lower School teacher), Richard Wong (Member), Anthony Chow (Member), Paul Chong (Governor), and Fred Kan (Governor; Chairman of the Task Force). The Task Force met 7 times from December 2014 to February 2015, including meetings with Dr. Marc Frankel, a Senior Consultant and Partner of Triangle Associates.

The Advocates for Governance Reform (AGR), a pro-reform parent group, outlined the differences in a communication to its members released yesterday (Aug 27).

In essence, the changes Members propose endorsing in December 2015 ignore the recommendations of the Task Force, endorsed by parents, and entrenches the same group and governance structure that has caused parent outrage and staff dissatisfaction.  



Furthermore, AGR highlighted changes called for by the Governance Reform Parent Support Group (PSG) that were not included in the Members’ revisions, including the call to keep the Canadian Consulate and Canadian Chamber of Commerce Board positions with full voting rights, the demand for the Members’ Board representative to be a non-voting Observer, and that all amendments to the Articles of Association should be “initiated by the Board… not through amendments by Members”, and that all amendments to the Articles of Association (A&A) “only be made at the Annual General Meeting/Emergency General Meeting”, which should be open to the CDNIS community.

Instead, power will continue to be consolidated in the small circle, opaque Members grouping.