GPS Goes Transparent on the Superintendent Search. Bravo!

Giving credit where credit is due, Westie applauds the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board for making public the results of the superintendent survey. Bravo! This survey is vastly different from the usual Office of Talent Management BS, because it doesn’t require log-in to participate … meaning the district retaliation squad was not able to identify who wrote what on the survey. Here’s another round of applause because the board allowed the public to read what folks wrote on the survey, as opposed to the usual percentages for how many votes each option on the survey received as the sum total of the results. Board members, you’ve made real progress in transparency. Wasn’t that easy?

Thousands of people participated in  the survey, even in the middle of the summer, which indicates how deeply citizens of Gilbert care about education and their public school district. Most of the 8,000+ comments were thoughtful and revealed common threads. ASBA and the GPS Governing Board were impressed, but even this level of citizen involvement is dwarfed by the amount of traffic this blog receives each and every month. A few commenters wanted to be sure the search committee knows about Westie’s blog, so they linked to it. Superintendent candidates should study Westie’s blog to round out the big picture of what really happens in GPS. Hint, hint.

Many of the comments on the survey appeared to be from Westie’s beloved birdies. BTW, if Westie had posted earlier about how the board rewarded folks in OTM, who famously have taken care of themselves first or how the GPS payroll people have screwed employees for the past year and a half while collecting five-figure bonuses denied to teachers, some of the superintendent survey comments might have been even more pointed.

VALUING TEACHERS was at the forefront of many suggestions, as in PAY TEACHERS MORE!!! There was no love lost on former superintendent Christina Kishimoto, and there were many comments about the damage she did to the district during her three year reign. There were negative comments about the GPS governing board, too.

The board would hear more of this sort of commentary if people had an avenue to give genuine feedback to GPS. Otherwise, people take their issues with GPS to Westie, and you all know what happens then. Hey, GPS, you really, really need an Inspector General who works for the board. Your Internal Auditor who works for the superintendent cannot act as an independent examiner of fraud unpleasant issues. Now, back to the survey results.

There were many laudatory comments about Chandler Unified School District and statements that teachers leave GPS to go to Chandler. One comment would have GPS clone Camille Casteel as superintendent, with good reason: Chandler had 280 teacher positions to fill for this school year, with 1,500 applicants for those slots. Chandler is excelling; GPS is not. No amount of happy talk from the GPS interim superintendent can change the fact that GPS is the District of Last Resort.TM

With the current GPS board members speaking nostalgically about *bringing back* former GPS employees, citizens have reason to be concerned, especially from a legal point of view. Do they want to bring back the folks in the superintendency who filed a lawsuit against a parent of a SpEd student because she would not sit down and shut up as she was told? Or the folks who destroyed a server and it’s contents, leading to a criminal investigation? How about the superintendency folks who were subjects of a theft, embezzlement, felony investigation by the Gilbert Police Department for handing out unauthorized bonuses … very much like the five-figure bonuses Christina Kishimoto gave out.

There were repeated suggestions to bring back Shane McCord, a former assistant superintendent from the days when the Loose Zipper Brigade was in the saddle in GPS, so to speak. Westie knows that the enthusiasm for Shane McCord could have been affected by the *vote early and vote often* option inherent in the survey mechanism, sort of like bots inflating social media commentary. So the raw number of votes for bringing back Shane McCord does not correlate to that same number of people making the suggestion. Best guess: ten or less respondents named Shane McCord as the ideal GPS superintendent.

What will happen if GPS does hire Shane McCord for this position? Answer: Westie’s job as GPS Education Watchdog will be a whole lot easier! Public records already on file could fill this blog for a long, long time to come. GPS really doesn’t have any idea of what public records have been produced that have been passed along to Westie; in fact, GPS doesn’t know what public records have been directly handed over to Westie. If you ask Keyboard, she’ll say that Westie has a mind like a steel trap for the minutiae of the history of GPS. [blush] We call it connecting the dots, and we’re happy to share the results with citizens of Gilbert, Arizona.

How about good old Wally Delecki, who just headlined the 2017 GPS convocation? His contribution to the sordid history of the GPS Devil Dogs was [ahem] rather remarkable:

Walter Delecki, the superintendent of schools, said that he has heard “rumors” of white supremacists in Gilbert schools, but he dismissed the notion that Devil Dogs are racists, noting that many of their victims are not members of minority groups. “White supremacists don’t beat up white people, to my knowledge,” he said.

Former superintendent Dave Allison once signed a consent agreement with the Office for Civil Rights, apparently without telling the board. He also brushed off religious and racial profiling of a 13 year old GPS student at Mesquite Junior High School that brought the U.S. Department of Justice into monitoring GPS for five years:

Good Old Dave Allison pooh-poohed the idea, saying he just didn’t believe it.  It was a bunch of politics, sensationalized by the press. Dave’s denials didn’t hold water, and GPS was monitored for a long, long time, turning in regular reports about disciplinary actions in the schools that went into great detail about each report … assistant superintendents all say it wasn’t their job and they don’t know much of anything.

Keep in mind that Hamilton principal Ken James is a GPS alumnus from the days of the Loose Zipper Brigade. GPS deserves some of the credit for his decision to NOT report allegations of sexual assault against students at Hamilton High School … as required by law. That’s just the kind of lawless behavior that GPS was so proud of in years past.

Sure, bring back the same former GPS Top Dogs who set the district on the path it’s on now … losing thousands of students, alienating those students’ families, p*ssing off employees and all their allies, family members and friends. You’ll make Westie’s job as GPS Education Watchdog really, really easy.

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