Gilbert Public Schools: Blasts from the Past Threatening to Explode Again

Let’s connect some dots about Gilbert Public Schools in 2015 so that we can move on to what’s coming up in the new year of 2016. “What’s past is prologue” already seems to be the 2016 theme for Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and her merry band of scalawags and carpetbaggers.  As George Santayana* famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 

The current crop of Good Old Boys don’t know much about history … GPS history. If they did, they might have tried to cover their tracks a little better. Instead, they’re repeating history through silly antics they think no one can see (if this were a Big Bang Theory TV episode, it would be titled: The Ostrich Ostensity).

What’s past is prologue” is a quotation by William Shakespeare from his play The Tempest… In contemporary use, the phrase stands for the idea that history sets the context for the present. The quotation is engraved on the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. and is commonly used by the military when discussing the similarities between war throughout history.

There are so many similarities between GPS under the Old GOBs and this new crew assembled by Christina Kishimoto, none of whom seem to have ties to “the community” that the new Queen GOB touts at any opportunity. We predicted plenty of prologue would be on display in the *new GPS* back in 2014 when we saw how (and who) was held accountable (or not) for ostentatious abuses of public funds.

We saw more of the same old stuff from the New GOBs, giving out raises and promotions on a whim, in 2015:

Here’s how the newest GPS scam works, as we discovered in the agenda for the May 26, 2015 board meeting: some support staffers were given raises based on … well, anything that the top dogs wanted. If this brings back memories of the Good Old Boys under former Superintendent Dave Allison, you’re on the right track. When questioned about why some support staffers were receiving raises for whatever reason, Superintendent Christina Kishimoto showed everyone why her last district voted 7-0 to send her packing. Kishimoto first confronted the offending board member for having the audacity to ask such a question in the first place. Then Kishimoto demanded to know names, right then.

The second part of the quote from above shows that retaliation is still alive and kicking in Gilbert Public Schools under Christina 3-2 Kishimoto. You would think that she would have learned back in the summer of 2015 that board member Julie Smith cannot be intimidated. Sigh, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Here’s Julie Smith giving Superintendent Kishimoto a lesson as she informs GPS employees how they can respond to threats, intimidation and retaliation from their supervisors:

There is a district policy that addresses what an employee may do when there has been an abuse of authority by someone in a supervisory position. Therefore, it is possible that supervisors who asked teachers, staff members and a student to come to a governing board meeting to promote an issue the superintendent favors could have been subjected to a form of harassment. If this applies to you as a GPS employee, Julie Smith concludes, according to this policy, you can file a complaint with the board.


Here’s Christina Kishimoto responding to Julie Smith and anyone else who might even THINK about not falling into line with what the superintendent has already decided will happen in the Gilbert School District:

Dr. Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent, Gilbert Public Schools, AZ, responds to criticism that she abused her authority by staging repetitious public comments in favor of her Chromebooks initiative when speakers were requested to attend by their GPS supervisors. Kishimoto denies that those comments were coordinated. Kishimoto’s emotional outburst included that she felt badgered and attacked. Kishimoto urged board members to get behind her as superintendent, “Unless you want the chaos to continue. We have to walk to a common beat in terms of what you want to see happening…I don’t want to sit here and feel like I am being badgered as the leader of this district.”


It’s nothing short of amazing that Christina Kishimoto decided to double down on denying that the public comments in favor of Chromebooks at the October 26, 2015 school board meeting were coordinated to boost the GPS administration. You would think that Christina 3-2 Kishimoto would know by now that public records tend to trip up all kinds of schemes perpetrated by public officials and their acolytes. Do you believe for a minute that there is no document trail of GPS top dogs and their boot lickers rallying selected troops to take one for the team and speak out in public in favor of the disastrous Chromebook initiative? More to the point: what do you think are the chances of the public getting hold of those public records? Slim to none? Yeah, we think that’s about right. Hold your bets for a while: as we’ve said before, public records are powerful!

The whole GPS Chromebook project could have been wildly successful had someone learned from the failures of other districts in pushing too much technology too fast. Wait, we take that back — learning from LA schools failures would require technology expertise and a strong hand on the rudder of the GPS contracting process.  We can wish, though: If only GPS had given more thought to the rollout itselfIf only GPS had prepared a better introduction for students before setting them loose with Chromebook filters that could be so easily circumvented… If only someone had spoken up about the crazy decisions apparently made by the seat of someone’s pants to fight, argue and retaliate against people who tried to tell the emperor her clothes were not what she believed them to be, including parents whose children were adversely affected by those crazy decisions… Oh wait, Julie Smith did that, and look where it got her: to the Christina Kishimoto rant archived on YouTube, shown above.

Keyboard: Making decisions *by the seat of their pants* is an improvement over the last GOB administration that focused more attention on their loose zippers than educating students.
Westie: We predict loose zippers are coming back into focus in GPS. That’s all we’ll say about that at this point.

Many members of the community have been appalled at the *official* GPS response to reports of pornography popping up on Chromebooks issued to their children. They’ve been equally disgusted at the tone of some of the educators who spoke disparagingly about parents who dared complain about the inadequacies apparent in the hastily-organized GPS Chromebook rollout. Julie Smith schooled Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and Gilbert Public Schools employees who pooh-pooh whatever parents say if it doesn’t toe the administration line:
Julie Smith calls out administration and their supporters who call out concerns brought forward by anyone who doesn’t fall into line behind what the administration wants as political: “These are parents who care about our community and they care about our kids and they care about how our tax dollars are being spent…We’re creating more problems by not addressing this as it comes up.”


Not surprisingly, it appears that some GPS employees again have taken to anonymous social media comments online. Are they so arrogant that they truly believe this stuff will stay anonymous? [Rhetorical question.] Secure in the knowledge that *their* superintendent has their back (following her announcement during her December 15, 2015 tirade), these GPS folks continue expressing their distaste for anyone who dares object to the predetermined GPS party line: “Now we have to parent these kids so the parents don’t have to?” Public servants, my asterisk! Sheeeesh.



*Big Fat Asterisk:
Do not confuse George Santayana with the great Carlos Santana. BTW, several women who reside in the White Castle could use some style tips from him. These Carlos Santana lyrics will appear prescient in future posts:

I got a black magic woman
Got me so blind I can’t see
That she’s a black magic woman
She’s tryin’ to make a devil out of me.

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