That would be me.

For a fair amount of time now, I have been trying to figure out why the district is conducting these silly “climate” surveys. (In case you don’t know, a climate survey has nothing to do with the temperature of the classrooms. It is supposed to measure parent satisfaction with schools.)

The district’s climate surveys lob a few softball questions at parents, and the survey is set up to almost guarantee a positive response.

But why? Why would the district spend your tax dollars creating and managing worthless surveys when the only value is a blip in its reporting in the Daily Pilot and on the district’s website?

Then I figured it out.

Nothing that goes on in the district happens in a vacuum, that is, there is a larger strategy to everything, whether it’s hiring more useless management to further insulate the superintendent, or suddenly finding the money for air conditioning, or changing the focus of teacher compensation negotiations from higher salaries to more benefits or vice-versa. All it takes is a little time to connect the dots.

In the case of the silly surveys, I believe they were created with the sole purpose of providing justification for the upcoming contract extension and pay raise for the superintendent, and to pad his resume. (Then again, he lives in Long Beach and is not part of our community so maybe the raise is going toward gas money.)

Without these surveys that will show that everything is roses and rainbows, the super would have a lot of explaining to do (see my previous post). And since he’s not very good at explaining anything, this is supposed to make the case that he’s doing a good job.

And that fits with the overall objective of the district and the board. Perception trumps reality. Doesn’t matter if millions of your tax dollars are being wasted each year on a bus system, or that they are borrowing Peter to pay Paul, if the perception is that everything is great, then everything is great. (BTW… Peter and Paul? They’re both you. That’s your hard-earned tax money they’re playing with.)

Maybe they can hand out some awards for this.

Steve Smith