You have to hand it to the school board club and the administration: At least they are consistent.

Despite growing community wonderment about the status of the investigation into the Gold Ribbon application at Mariners, district spokesperson Annette Franco was recently quoted in the Daily Pilot as stating that it was “ongoing.” What she did not state, and what the reporter may have failed to ask, was “What is the anticipated delivery date of the final report?”

That’s what we want to know. It’s a simple question. Doesn’t have to be perfect, just put us in the ballpark. A month? Six months? A year? Here’s my guess: After election day, November 8.

Those who are expecting the report to reveal the whole truth and nothing but the truth may be disappointed. The way I figure it, even the clueless gang on Bear St. would not have reassigned the ex-Mariners’ principal if there was any hint that the investigation would turn up a bunch of negative results. Think about it: Why would anyone in power choose to place someone under investigation in a position of authority before the facts are known? Imagine what parents would say if the report were issued and it cast a poor light. Not a pretty picture.

But, stranger things have happened on Bear St. Recently, we’ve seen the seven members of the school board club – three of whom are up for re-election in November – act as though the recent protests against Swun Math are the first they’ve heard of any controversy. There have been serious complaints about Swun Math for years and it’s comical to see the “Who, me?” expressions on the seven faces when speaker after speaker tells them that the program is seriously flawed.

Think about this, too: Have you heard even one school board club member come out and say that it’s time to dump Swun Math now? No. That would take leadership and we don’t have leadership, we have seven rubber stampers who approve whatever is presented to them with very little substantive questioning, if any.

It seems that the only person still championing Swun Math is the superintendent who, by the way, works for the school board club. All the club members have to do is direct the superintendent to change the math curriculum now, and all of this goes away. But as I wrote, that takes leadership.

And I’ll ask again… If this is such a good program, why aren’t the Swun people making their case to the school board club in a public forum?

Let’s not forget the most important point: While the superintendent continues to back Swun and the school board club fails to do the right thing, the people who are truly suffering are our students. Who knows how many kids have been turned off of math in the wake of three years of Swun Math? Who knows how many will be turned off over the next school year because the adults who are supposed to be their education caretakers have chosen to drag their feet?

Even more troubling is this: The district’s annual cheerleading event – which you know as the “State of the Schools” breakfast is in 18 days. (OBTW, this year it starts at 7 a.m. so those who work for a living have more of a chance to attend and the dozens of district employees who will pack the tables will still be able to get in a full day. Gee, I wonder how that happened…)

Don’t expect any revelations in 18 days, either. This is strictly a set-up – nothing but roses and rainbows all over the district. You won’t hear anything about the status of John Caldecott’s revelations, the rodent infestation at CM High, Swun Math, a new free speech policy after the “Dump Trump” t-shirt debacle, or any of the other meaty issues facing them. And you certainly won’t hear anything about contract negotiations.

Remember those? Here’s the opening paragraph of the latest bulletin from the California School Employees Association (CSEA):

“As of this update CSEA and the District have not come to agreement on health insurance or salary. The district plans to deduct $202 from your October 10, 2016 paycheck in addition to what you already pay for health insurance to cover the increase. This deduction can be avoided if the district agrees to put the available monies on health insurance instead of insisting on a salary increase that will only benefit the top earners.”

So while the district continues to pay one executive not to retire and is surely to award the superintendent yet another pay increase next month, they are crying poor to the people who are closest to our students.

There is something easy you can do to show your support. if you attend the school board club meeting next Tuesday at 6 p.m. for whatever cause you are fighting for, the CSEA is requesting that you please wear blue.

I will be wearing blue. My t-shirt will read, “Cubs Baseball” across the front but it’s a great shade of blue.

It’s either that, or a “Dump Trump” t-shirt.

Steve Smith

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