UPDATE: Since posting this, I have heard from a N-M resident who wrote, “My son’s church, Narrative, was also instrumental in the Campus Clean Up. Instead of holding services, they participated in the clean up. Several of the people are Alumni and are disappointed at the condition of the campus.” 

Thank you, Narrative members, thank you very much.

And from another resident, I was told that school board support was almost non-existent (my word) and that there was an attempt for the district to take credit for the cleanup day by backdating their involvement.

Which brings me to a forgotten point: It’s one thing to fail at your job, but rewriting history, or making it up in the first place, is despicable. Erica Roberts was chiefly responsible for the end of Swun Math but if you read anything from the district on the change, she is not mentioned and you are left with the impression that the change came from inside. It did not. In fact, there is an e-mail trail of attempts to ignore the problem.

That cleanup day? That was community initiated.

A few days ago, I was sent a list, to which I have added a few entries of my own.

See if you can guess what all of these district-related items have in common:

  • The end of Swun Math
  • Language Arts acceleration
  • Increased emphasis on campus security
  • AP math program still in place
  • End of the Estancia stink
  • Refilling of the Estancia pool
  • Deconstruction of the Estancia poles
  • More counselors
  • Acceleration of air conditioning installations

OK, ready for the answer? Here it is:

Though each of these should have been actions taken by the district of their own volition, they were not: Each of these projects was initiated or stopped due to community input.

Oh, sure, the district reps will try to make the case that, for example, they had plans to improve campus security, but they won’t get that past me. I attended most of the school board meetings last year and when I did not, I followed the results. Campus security was not on the radar last year. It was only after Parkland and only after the community realized how vulnerable are our campuses that things started to happen.

Oh, and being an election year helped, too. Look at the campaign info from two years ago for an eye-opening contrast.

Then there was last Sunday’s “Campus Clean-Up Day” at CMHS and MS. The grounds were a mess, but did anyone on the board or in the administration say, “Yuck! We have to do something about this now!” No, they did not. The clean up was due only to the persistence of a community member.

Given some time, I could probably come up with a few more entries, but you get the idea.

This list highlights one of the consistent messages of this blog: The current trustees bring very little, if anything, to the party. They choose instead to let the district “experts” (a term used repeatedly by at least one board member) to come up with ideas, which they the board happily then rubber stamps.

Tennis, anyone?

Sure, they’ll tell you that is the way it is supposed to work; that’s how the system is set up.  Even the CSBA says so! And they may be right. But times have changed and the system is broken, as evidenced by this list and by the outrageous number of other blunders and the healthy raises and bonuses that have been handed out to administrators over the past few years.

The system is old and is beyond repair. Even if it could be repaired, I have no faith that the current crop of trustees knows how to fix it or has the slightest desire to fix it. What seems to be most important is the maintenance of the status quo.

That is one of the main reasons why I am supporting the two challengers for incumbent seats:

In Area 2, I urge you to vote for Michelle Murphy.

In Area 4, please vote for Dr. Gina Nick.

The other two trustee areas have no incumbent running. In those, vote for:

Ashley Anderson in Area 7

Michelle Barto in Areas 5

There have been too many mistakes, too little transparency and accountability, and a woeful shortage of fiscal responsibility. The course correction starts with the election of these four qualified people.

Steve Smith