GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s Education Reforms: Pokemon GO

Students pay the price when the school district is adjudged criminally incompetent by citizens; those kids will never get back the years of their lives and educational potential that were squandered by a high-priced *reformer* whose sole objective, apparently, was to shake things up to see what would happen. Now that GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto has an employment contract extending through 2019, she might have to do something she’s never done before: clean up her own messes. 

Unfortunately for GPS, Kishimoto has shown no capability of recognizing, let alone repairing, what’s now broken in the formerly “A” rated school district that has suffered greatly under her *bleedership.* The picture of Kishimoto’s presentation at her expensive convocation is worth a thousand words: Christina Kishimoto is going to *reform* education in Gilbert Public Schools through Pokemon GO. What more could go wrong in a school district where parents are already upset with catastrophic failures of porn filters on student electronic devices and GPS email systems? So now GPS believes that Pokemon GO is the answer to the dilemmas inept admins faced with bringing 1:1 technology to students:

Every virtual Pokémon placed around the world is free advertising for toys, clothing, accessories, movies, apps, videos, games, and more.  Policy changes will only come about through a concerted and coordinated effort from advocates currently working on seemingly diverse issues such as protecting children, privacy, and public space, and limiting corporate power, commercialism, and excessive attachment to screens.

Gilbert Public schools just can’t figure out how to use all that technology taxpayers bought with a tax override and new bond issue. An example: it’s been more than a month since the new website was *revealed,*  and the new website still sucks, even though Christina Kishimoto promised the board back in May 2016 that the new district website and school sites would be ready for the first day of school. That’s what happens when an ignorant superintendent (who thinks she discovered the internet) puts a technology project into the hands of incompetent sycophants (who don’t know their elbows from their asterisks) in the name of “communication matters.” This ridiculous situation was entirely foreseeable, but no one in the GPS administration will even admit how badly screwed up things are. Yet they wonder why students, parents and teachers are leaving the district in droves.

Things are so bad in terms of the GPS website and related technological incompetence, Kishimoto’s minion Irene Mahoney-Baloney-Paige sent out an email to parents on August 4, 2016:

Good Afternoon Parents,
We hope you had a successful start to the new school year.  As you may be aware, we have launched a new website for Gilbert Public Schools.  It is still a work in progress as we migrate a massive amount of content into the new sites.  We appreciate your patience as we continue to improve this great new website.  If you can’t find something, please do not hesitate to call your school, or send an email to webmaster@gilbertschools.net. As a reminder, please clear out your favorites tab, bookmark, cache etc., and re-enter www.gilbertschools.net.  That will ensure you do not have the old site pop up.  Once our sites are fully operational, we will offer Parent night training to help you get the most out of the new sites.
Thank you again for all of your support.
Irene Mahoney-Paige
Director of Communications

Seeing as how the *great new website* shows the public just how inept the current GPS administration is, you would think that even the most bumbling idiot would try to give the struggling webmaster some space. Then maybe, with the magic of unicorn farts and pixie dust, the poor webmaster could just focus on trying to get current information online. But no, since the *under construction* website was made public, and even now that the *under construction* signs have been removed, various GPS admins tell anybody and everybody to email the webmaster so said GPS admins can claim that it’s all someone else’s problem, but they *solved* it. Yeah, sure, and one of these days, maybe all of the web pages will function properly and have relevant content.

Maybe someone should tell Superintendent Christina Kishimoto that the public does the ROFLAO number every time she talks about the new and exciting GPS website. Yeah, that will really happen. No one is going to tell Queen Christina that she has no clothes.

“The Emperor Has No Clothes” is often used in political and social contexts for any obvious truth denied by the majority despite the evidence of their eyes, especially when proclaimed by the government.

And maybe Christina Kishimoto will realize she is the root cause of what’s wrong with GPS now that she’s had two years on the job. Here’s a tip: it doesn’t matter how many times you say something that’s not true, it won’t become true simply because you are wishing really, really hard. [See above commentary about unicorn farts and pixie dust, which won’t work in this case, either.]

With what taxpayers are paying Christina Kishimoto, you would think things would be better than the current GPS Management by Wishful Thinking. A prime example is the new influx of money from Prop 123 — which won’t hit teacher’s pockets until the end of October.  It’s pretty clear that Kishimoto wanted to hold that money back while she waited for the results of the November 2016 election, but the criticism got to be too much for Her Highness. To be sure, Kishimoto has played fast and loose in local election politics in the past, so why stop now?

Here’s what the community is saying about the long, long wait for putting Prop 123 funds in teachers’ hands and into classrooms (at least, the part of the funds that are going to classrooms, but that’s another story: 

I fully understand the skepticism of the public regarding 123 funding when too much of it is going outside the classroom. Prop 123 was sold as the way to improve teacher pay, and hopefully in the next school board election, voters will support candidates who will give much more to teachers and staff.
*****

This is why we have lost community support ~ every time you tell the public that this proposition or that bond will help teachers in the classroom and they vote for it, then the teacher doesn’t actually benefit, voters get mad…I don’t blame them. Misrepresentation has degraded community trust.
*****
Spending way too much on technology. Any successful business person will tell you the most important piece to a company is people. Business drives technology. Technology should never drive business. [Also true in public schools!]
*****
Kishimoto had her contract renewed a year early and included for herself a substantial raise. This seems woefully backwards; our teachers still make less than the surrounding districts and there is a huge turnover rate with both teachers and within the business department.

We’ll close with prescient words from local media celebrity Mike McClellan:

The board majority seems to have bought into the Innovation/Technology emphasis the district administration has pushed. Two things about that.

One is that if GPS believes that those two areas will make us competitive, I’d like to know which of the district’s competitors are outstanding in those areas. Which districts and charters are leaders in those areas, taking kids from us? I don’t believe the district has done any kind of formal exit interviews with parents who are taking kids out of GPS, so I wonder why innovation/technology became the big emphasis.

And secondly, and more importantly, a district can have all kinds of bells and whistles, but the district needs outstanding teachers and building administrators to make those bells and whistles work. I don’t believe the board majority understands that, though I’m not sure about Dr. Santa Cruz, because every time he speaks, he speaks in educationalese that often is difficult to parse.

Again, if the board in fact will have the almost $3 million from Prop. 123 funds next year that they are using this year for the trust fund, that money should be used for salaries, excluding the superintendent and cabinet, who are already well-compensated. Why? Because at the bottom, parents and students bond with teachers and principals and not bells and whistles. Keep our outstanding teachers and building principals and you have a better chance of retaining students. Dr. Santa Cruz ought to know that.

The simplest tasks become impossible in the hands of  idiots, even if they generally are well-meaning people. Board member Jill Humpherys thinks those idiots should be working at Walmart. We agree: send the GPS Top Dogs (who are most assuredly NOT well-meaning people) to work in Walmart!


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