So. Former Mariners El principal Laura Sacks requested a “change of assignment” and the district spokesperson Annette Franco – not Superintendent Frederick Navarro, who hasn’t said a word about the Gold Ribbon mess in the 90+ days it has been a mess – said, “The district is working with her to figure out her assignment for the next school year. “She is still expected to stay within the district.”

So here’s how you paint yourself into a corner… What if this outside, independent investigation shows that Sacks knowingly falsified information on the Gold Ribbon application? Will the district still find a home for her? If yes, how could they justify the employment of someone who committed such a serious breach of ethics?

If no, why make such a statement at this time?

The statement the district should have made is that pending the investigation, Sacks is on special assignment and her future with the district will be determined once the final report has been issued.

Ah, but that takes leadership and we don’t have leadership in the district, we have scrambling – scrambling from one mess to another with poor communication, mixed signals and no consistency in policies.

This one’s an easy call, too: Either the teachers are right about some or all of the accusations of “untruths and inaccuracies” or they’re not. If they’re right the person or people involved should not be employed in this school district. If the teachers are wrong, provide an explanation why and everyone can return to a neutral corner.

Either Sacks was involved in the untruths and inaccuracies or she wasn’t. Pick one.

Either she had help completing the application, or she didn’t. Pick one.

You don’t need to spend taxpayer dollars on a formal investigation, just ask Sacks if she committed the alleged untruths and inaccuracies. Then you ask her who, if anyone, was involved in completing or reviewing the application.

I’ll repeat what I’ve written: This report will be issued while you’re on your vacation and it will declare that the mess – if there is one – is limited to one person at Mariners and that no other schools committed the same mistakes.

Oh, and here’s a suggestion: Promote Annette Franco to Superintendent. She seems to be the only one out in front of all these foul-ups – may as well reward her.

Steve Smith

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