There is a new Daily Pilot column by Patrice Apodaca that perfectly sums up the frustration a growing number of people are feeling with the N-MUSD. In it, Apodaca covers the Swun Math mistake  and the Gold Ribbon mess, about which she writes, “Citing employee confidentiality, the district released no details – not one –about the investigation findings. There was no apology, no admission that mistakes were made, no promises to submit future award applications to greater scrutiny and no statements about improving ethics training. Conversely, there was no expression of confidence in the accuracy of the original award application.”

That’s really the heart of the matter: It was bad enough that the Gold Ribbon debacle happened in the first place, but the refusal of the district to take even a morsel of ownership or reveal plans to prevent future faulty applications is unbearable. This one stops at the desk of the superintendent: He signed the Gold Ribbon application and he owes the school and the district an apology.

Don’t hold your breath.

Here’s the link to the column:

For anyone who is not at all familiar with the school board club’s rubber-stamping, Apodaca’s column expertly sums up the arrogance and waste that has plagued taxpayers for far too long.

In a district with a $262 million budget that is supported by nearly half a billion dollars in bond money, it should be running itself, but it doesn’t. Instead, it has lurched from controversy to controversy, problem to problem, all because it lacks someone at the helm with the appropriate experience and temperament to stop problems before they happen.

Really, what it comes down to is abiding by the reply that Chicago Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon gave early in last year’s baseball season when he was asked what the team’s game plan would be for the next few months. Maddon said, “Try not to suck.”

Perhaps thanks are due to the superintendent and the school board club because their arrogance and business-as-usual behavior has awakened a new and growing group of people who are fed up.

The superintendent will never apologize and the board will not hold anyone else accountable, save for the one person they’ve thrown under the bus. What I’d like to see now is a signed declaration from the Mariners’ teachers that they would like to return the Gold Ribbon Award to the state.

That would be the proper example to set for the students at the school and restore the credibility that the district isn’t even aware it has lost.

Steve Smith
Taxpayer, N-MUSD