Had enough yet? Had enough of the phony cheerleading? How about the failure of the superintendent to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong in the district? How about the mystifying support and protection he is given by the trustees, who just cannot or will not see what you and I see?

How about the bad grammar in messages that come from a person with a doctorate?

Here’s the latest. It’s from the Dec./Jan. edition of “School News”:

“In keeping with the goal of raising student mastery of the new standards, our secondary schools have launched the process to select new core instructional math materials. This compliments the efforts that elementary has previously undertaken to select math materials in recent years.” 

Yes, you read it correctly: The superintendent writes that the secondary schools are talking to the elementary schools and saying very nice things about them. They are, as he wrote, “complimenting” them.

Oh, brother. I wrote about the mangling of the language many times years ago when the super would issue those DOTS memos that were full of mistakes. After I wrote about it a few times, the memos improved but now this… “Compliments.” Really???

That’s the small point. The larger point is a horrible rewrite of history, major denial, and a prime example of the aforementioned inability of the superintendent to own mistakes and apologize to the people who pay for all this, including his big salary.

Reading the excerpt from School News, an uninformed person would think, “Gee, the secondary schools are being proactive and searching for a better math program.” But that’s not what happened.

The new math program search was initiated not by the superintendent or any of his also highly-paid bureaucrats, but by a community of teachers, parents, and students, all of whom complained for years about the old program while the district did nothing. Actually, worse than nothing: They ignored input from the very people whose opinions they claim to respect.

The superintendent can use all the fluffy language he wants and try to spin this his way, but there is a bottom line. Ready? According to the official state results, half of the students in the N-MUSD did not meet state math standards. You can see for yourself and check your own school here: https://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2017/Searchhttps://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2017/Search

But that low bar is what passes for success these days.

Teachers, parents, and students are responsible for the new math programs, not the superintendent.

And that’s a compliment.

Steve Smith
N-MUSD Taxpayer