I’ve been saying it for years. John Caldecott has been talking it up lately. Sandy Asper goes in this direction on occasion.

But just in case you need a particularly reliable source, I’ve got one for you.

The problem is that we have a school board and district administration that does not believe it needs to be held accountable to you for anything.

Accusations of malfeasance and a hostile working environment by a respected ex-employee? No response other than to hide behind excuses for not talking.

Cheating scandal and steps taken to prevent future hacking? No response at all.

Operating in the red? No plan offered to get out of it.

Four severely underperforming schools on CM’s Westside? Throw a bone in the form of a couple of new classes, then say nothing.

Common Core tests and the absurdity of using them to measure¬†Common Core’s effectiveness? No comment.

Hiring more managers while the district is bleeding red ink? It’s for “realigning” and “streamlining.” How this realigning and streamlining will improve academic performance was not disclosed.

Recent disclosure by the N-MFT (teacher union) president that district morale is terrible? No comment.

District bus system operating millions of dollars in the red and the disclosure that fares/fees haven’t been raised in almost 20 years? No comment, no plan.

Amazingly, fantasticly, excitingly, and incredibly poor communication from the super’s office on anything meaningful? Obviously, there is no comment!

And, there’s more.

So, just so you know it’s not me, the most qualified source to date has spoken up. In the Comments section of the recent Daily Pilot column by Patrice Apodaca, former school board member Katrina Foley wrote:

“This information should be public record. The days of the board and Superintendent working behind the scenes on district matters really must end. I was on the board in October and the complaints by Mr. Caldecott were never shared with all of the board members. There is an unhealthy culture in the NMUSD that promotes an environment where only the board president is privy.”

You can read the column by clicking here.

So why do these people operate this way? Of course, I can’t say for sure, but I’ve been reporting on school district affairs for 15 years and my guess that the board thinks that you’re too busy, too stupid, or both. They operate this way and allow their administration to operate this way because you have not told them to do otherwise. Then you keep electing them over and over and, well, what would YOU think? If I were one of them, I’d be thinking, “Well, I must be doing something right, ‘cuz I just got re-elected.”

But they’re not doing something right. In fact, they’re doing a lot of things wrong – more things than I’ve ever seen in my 28 years as a resident here.

And now you know it’s not just me.
Steve Smith