Trustee Vicki Snell has been very active on Facebook, busy defending the district’s latest missteps, which include a lack of seating and bathrooms and no team rooms at CM High, and a new Williams complaint, and hot classrooms, to name a few

In response to the Pilot’s story about the Williams complaint, Snell wrote on FB:

“Again, the DP publishes a story that not only illustrates the reporters lack of understanding of the resolution passed but promotes the agenda of a group that seeks to confuse these two separate processes. The “annual ” resolution passed is required by the Education Code and addresses the sufficiency of textbooks and materials currently which is verified by a process district-wide involving principals and teachers confirming this requirement.

“While a Williams Complaint regards instructional materials, emergency or urgent facilities conditions that pose a threat to the health and safety of pupils, and teacher vacancy or misassignment and may be filed anonymously, they are filed with the principal, or their designee, of the school in which the complaint arises. It’s my understanding the complaint filed lists no specific school at this time. New math curriculum/materials replacing SWUN were chosen and approved by teachers last school year for grades K-5 and all materials are currently in place. Our grades 6-8 teachers chose and are in the process of piloting two new math curriculum/materials for adoption in the fall. Supplemental materials are also in place.”


I replied:


“Yes, it’s the Daily Pilot’s fault. I suggest Mrs. Snell spend less time on Facebook and more time trying to think of a single substantive recommendation to improve academic achievement, which she has not made in her five years on the school board.”


Snell replied:


“I suggest Mr Smith spend less time on his blog misleading the community and more time getting the facts. His contributions to the school community are to continue to remain uninformed. You were printing misinformation in DP 15 years ago about Adams and you haven’t changed. Pathetic…”



And I replied:



“Resorting to name-calling and putting the monkey on my back is not productive. At Estancia – in your zone – 83% of 11th graders did not meet the standard for math, according to recent test results. Perhaps you can describe the specific actions you are taking to improve this.”


And Snell replied:


“I’m just fighting fire with fire. I’m fed up with you and your personal attacks, name calling, and lies. I will answer your question which I would have thought you would already known. View Board Meeting on September 12 for the analysis of latest SBAC scores throughout the district. Then, view the June 27 meeting for a report on the LCAP…Local Control Accountability Plan…which addresses specific actions. If you really want to know what you are talking about, read the plan on the district website. It talks specifically about individual sites. Do your research.”


And I replied this morning:


“Still waiting for an answer as to what specific recommendations you are going to make to improve academic performance. Perhaps if you spent less time on Facebook and more time doing the job you were elected to do would help.”



I can do this all day. Not a problem. But it should trouble taxpayers that Snell seems to have plenty of time to spar with me but no time to take any meaningful action to boost test scores. That 83% math failure rate for 11th graders at Estancia? That’s for real and you can see it here:


Taxpayers deserve better than a trustee who prefers pointing fingers, slamming a newspaper for reporting the facts, making no substantive recommendations to correct failing performance, and rubber stamping staff recommendations, instead of taking action. They deserve better than someone who confuses sparring on Facebook with doing something.


This board has had plenty of time to try to fix things but they are unable or unwilling, particularly when it comes to academic performance on CM’s Westside. This is true even though we heard Trustee Karen Yelsey declare recently that she is spending more time on CM Westside issues than in her own area.


OK, so let’s see… Yelsey is spending a lot of time on the Westside and 83% of Estancia’s 11th-graders failed to meet 2017 state standards in math. Hmm. Just connecting the dots here.


This board has a long string of serious mistakes, many of which have cost taxpayers a lot of money – a LOT of money – money that could have gone to teachers or new, proven programs instead of creating a bloated, do-nothing bureaucracy. And now we learn that the bureaucrats on Bear St. were working in a comfortable 72 degrees while some classrooms topped 90. Here is an actual classroom thermostat reading at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. during last week’s heat wave:



This board is out of touch. They have bee given enough time to fix things and they have failed. We need new board members in 2018. Four seats will be open: Metoyer, Franco, Yelsey, and Davenport.


But in the meantime, we’ll all have to settle for trustee communication via Facebook…


Steve Smith

Taxpayer, N-MUSD