At last night’s school board meeting, there was the usual self-congratulatory remarks about the success of a new classroom teaching method that has yet to take place, and the usual enthusiasm over everything in general. I have been to more meetings than anyone should have to endure, but I’ve never heard the words “amazing” and “exciting” used as much in 90 minutes as I hear in N-MUSD school board meetings. My gift to them next Christmas will be a thesaurus.

So is everything really so great? Apparently not.

During the public comments,  two people spoke about the recent contract termination of John Caldecott, who was the district’s human resources guru. He was also known as a nice person. These two people spoke of Caldecott’s excellent reputation in the state, then mentioned his complaint against the superintendent and the board’s denial of his request to make certain documents public.

What’s that? You didn’t know Caldecott had been terminated? And you didn’t know he had initiated legal action? Well, that’s strange. Then again, maybe it’s not so strange. The school district line has a lot in common with that of the PR folks at Disneyland: “All is always well and nothing bad ever happens here.” At Disneyland, which I will affectionately rename “Measles-land,” for the purposes of this blog, there has been so little communication about the outbreak that began in the part of the park known as “Incubatorland” that one would think no diseases have ever been contracted there. I recently asked a Measles-land cast member what she has been told about the outbreak. Not much, apparently. “They posted a notice backstage but that was it.”

The PR folks at Measles-land are one up on the school district which, after making so much happy noise about the departure of Chuck Hinman, can’t seem to find  the words on their website to describe the termination of a respected employee: There is no notice of it on the N-MUSD site.

Then I started to connect the dots and realized that the staff review study recently requested by the Super after Hinman’s announcement may not have been the random act it seems. My spidey sense tells me it has more of a connection with Caldecott’s termination. Did Caldecott stumble on something that was amiss? Was he terminated because he planned to protest this “amissment?”

The fun last night was watching the seven bobbleheads sit in stunned silence when their secret was exposed. Not only did I hear it, but so did Nicole Shine of the Daily Pilot. Here is the link to her story which notes the unusual timing of their Caldecott announcement:,0,1454370.story

I mean, did they really think that just be the sheer will of their rubber stamping policies that the truth about “HRgate” would never be told? Apparently, they did, which serves as more support for those of us who believe that this board lives in a bubble.

In any case, stay tuned for more HRgate news. Something tells me Caldecott is not going down without a fight.