Last month, the district announced a quarterly newsletter that contained this passage:

“The purpose of the newsletter will be to share information with community members to keep abreast of our successes, challenges and issues that shape our work and mission to produce contributing members of a 21st Century [not the insurance company] society and economy.”

First, will someone on Bear St. – anyone – stop revealing their ignorance and stop referring to it as the “21st Century” (capital C)? That is, unless you mean the insurance company, in which case, don’t change a thing.

In that passage, it’s the promise to keep community members abreast of the challenges that made me smile. This is something the district has never done before unless it has been compelled to do so and I have no faith they will ever discuss any challenges in any meaningful way unless ordered.

How do I know? Because past behavior is an accurate predictor of future performance, and if they did not discuss the shocking financial news revealed by John Caldecott, or even mention the Swun Math debacle or the disgraceful delay in staff contract negotiations, the Boss-Huntington lawsuit, or area representation, or the status of the Gold Ribbon application investigation (Where’s the report???), I have no faith that they will do in three months.

At a time when the world is communicating at unprecedented levels, the school district continues its legacy of saying only what it needs to in order meet some obligation or get through the latest controversy.

By my count, there has been one Daily Pilot commentary by a school board club member in the last five years. There are no board member blogs – not that they’d discuss challenges if there was a blog – and no regular outreach of any kind. They have learned that uninitiated communication only gets them into trouble so the policy is to shut down.

So they can go ahead and issue their little quarterly newsletter, but don’t try to convince this taxpayer that it will discuss the real, serious challenges facing the district.

There is a school board meeting in about two weeks, on Sept. 27.

Steve Smith

P.S. Where’s the Gold Ribbon investigation report?