As I was reviewing the Mariners Absoultely Positively Final Report over the weekend, it occurred to me that the folks advising the superintendent, who was too busy to attend any of the meetings, had gotten input from the teachers and parents at the school, but there is an important constituency they missed.

They should have asked the kids.

At that age, kids are filter-free. They don’t carry around the same baggage as adults – if they have any at all – and are less concerned with the niceties that sometimes temper what would be totally honest evaluations of people or situations.

Kids tell it like it is. They should have asked them what they’d like to see in a new principal, if only to see whether the qualities that the kids have in mind are the same as the adults.

I may be wrong about this and perhaps a parent who was in attendance at the Mariners meeting on June 15 can confirm it, but I would have bet that I heard one of the district representatives say that the Mariners Absolutely Positively Final Report would be posted on the website, either the district’s or the school’s. It is not on either.

What I did find on the Mariners site, front and center, is some Swun Math stuff, including a video titled, “Why Math is Different Now.” Aside from the embarrassingly poor structure of the grammar (C’mon folks – this is basic English!), I wondered what is different about math. Know what it is? Nothing. Nothing is different. Two and two are still four and the sum of the three angles of any triangle equals a straight angle.

What is different is the way it is being taught. And teachers don’t like the way it’s taught.

(Note to YOU: Stop trying to justify the bad decision to employ Swun Math. Do the right thing and dump it, if for no other reason than to restore your lost credibility.)

Steve Smith



Steve Smith