Homer Simpson’s Principles of Management in Gilbert Public Schools

 It’s really sad when the Superintendent of Gilbert Public Schools channels the Homer Simpson philosophy of management:

Homer Simpson: “The three little sentences that will get you through life:
Number one: cover for me.
Number two: oh, good idea, boss!
Number three: it was like that when I got here.”

Homer Simpson’s Words of WisdomBS  were on full display at the July 28, 2015 meeting of the Gilbert Public schools Governing Board. Christina 3-2 Kishimoto lauded the work of her *Talent Management staff,* even though there were at least 20 teaching positions open and more than 90 vacant support staff positions listed on the Human Resources website a week before school doors open.

The big questions this year are the same as previous years: will the schools open on time? Will the school buses have drivers? We know at least one school bus will operate, the school bus Christina 3-2 Kishimoto will commandeer for her *first day of school* ride with her pals from the Gilbert Town Council and the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce.

Those lauded Talent Management folks couldn’t answer some simple questions at that meeting: are GPS open positions properly posted and filled according to employment laws and GPS policies? Fumble, bumble, tumble and trouble … bunch of eduspeak and flash to tap dancing. Homer Simpson would be so proud.

A member of the community had blasted those highly paid, six-figure salaried folks early in the evening, so maybe that Chief Talent Officer was rattled. Is that her permanent state of mind? Rattled? From the looks of the human resources fallout across the district, well, it might be true. But Christina 3-2 Kishimoto is so secure in her three year contract, she doesn’t care.

That citizen who excoriated the GPS administrators at the top of the food chain spoke about the previous GPS board meeting at which two board members in a permanent minority wanted to amend GPS contracts for employees to eliminate the $2,500 hostage clause threatening all GPS employees. Christina 3-2 Kishimoto said that wasn’t possible, so shut up and sit down. Wouldn’t you know that an item on the consent agenda was to amend employment contracts?

In spite of murky language on the agenda, citizens figured out the amendment was for the contracts of four administrators at the top of the food chain, known as *Assistant Superintendents* or something like that, and it was basically a gift of public funds: $800 reimbursement for *executive physicals* each year. You see, even though GPS pays those very special employees six figure salaries, gives them thousands of dollars in transportation allowances, and gives them the entire amount of GPS employees’ annual contributions for health care ($7,091.00, according to their contracts), Christina 3-2 Kishimoto was adamant about giving them $800 more, even when she wouldn’t countenance amending any of the other employment contracts with draconian provisions that offend citizens of The Town of Gilbert, Arizona.

Here’s the bottom line: that $800 pretty much covers the employee deductible that other, lesser paid employees pay out of their pockets each year. Before co-pays. Those top dogs also get incredible amounts of time off, and can sell back leave that they don’t use. Of course, why would they ever take a day off? They can take vacations while taxpayers pick up their tabs at luxury resorts in exotic locales … but we digress. That cute little item was removed from the consent agenda for some public discussion; you could see Christina 3-2 Kishimoto seething and fuming in her chair.

When she had enough, *SuperDrK,* as she has taken to calling herself said, “Enough is enough. I promised that $800 to my top minions and you better approve it or else!” All that was missing was stamping her feet and peeing on the carpet. Somehow, in the real world, you would expect that those four top minions were slouching in their seats, trying to disappear before the anger of ordinary citizens, who didn’t know about this clever tricksy gift of public money to some unworthy educrats, was unleashed. Like we said, Homer Simpson philosophy of management.

Various board members got into extensive discussions about bullet points that GPS will use to persuade the public to support another override and bond issue. That was another cute little item on the consent agenda that got itself removed for public discussion; Christina 3-2 Kishimoto was not amused. Things did not bode well when Good Old Charlie Santa Cruz said he wanted to put employee salaries as the first bullet (which was laudable on its own), but Charlie said it was necessary for the *optics* if the override was to get passed. Homer Simpson management.

Good Old Jill *Let the IdiotsWork at Walmart* Humpherys almost started crying again because she really, really, really wants that money to be channeled into *student achievement* above all else. “If we put the override money into salaries,” she said, “we’ll have to keep the cuts to programs that we’ve already made.” Board member Julie Smith called out Silly Jilly by pointedly explaining that priorities are choices and nothing more. Board members choose to support certain things and choose not to support other things. How hard is that to understand?

Daryl Colvin pointed out that none of this made any difference (after some v-e-r-y lengthy public discussions to edit the bullet points) by saying, “It’s all just a marketing message, and the board and superintendent are going to spend the money the way they want to spend it anyway.” Suddenly Lily Tram got off the fence and decided she could support a bullet point that merged *increase salaries* with *student achievement.* She expected everybody to make nice and sit down and shut up, of course. Lily Tram got a lesson in herding cats: they don’t respond well to commands from on high. Homer Simpson management.

What we got for all that public discussion was another 3-2 vote for the GPS marketing bullet points.* How exciting for the audience! How compelling for voters! But it doesn’t matter, all the kerfuffle was just about optics and marketing. And the fools in the GPS superintendency still wonder why the community doesn’t trust them. They also wonder why voters won’t roll over and give them more tax money to squander. Silly rabbits, most of the people singing your praises are profiting from your largess in dispensing tax dollars … for the kids, indeed. In this case, you might get just what you pay for.

Happy first day of school to all the kiddoes who are still enrolled in Gilbert Public Schools! GPS lost 1,000 students last year, and most likely will fight tooth and nail until they finally are forced to give up the numbers for this year. Oh yeah, those student attendance numbers were *troublesome* to the auditors in the past. Once again, GPS: 100 years of tradition unhampered by progress.

Homer Simpson: “Bart, with $10,000, we’d be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like … love!”

Big Fat Asterisk: What is it with GPS educrats and little things like grammar and spelling? The reason so much time at this board meeting was consumed with editing bullet points is because the original bullet points, or FAQs or whatever you call them, were illiterate. Even Friends of KishimotoBS said that. Even now, the link on the “District Homepage” [scroll down a long, long way] is to FAQ’s – apostrophes are not the way to make a word plural. Sheeesh. Here’s what  is shown online, doubled down on stupidity ignorance:

 Election Fact Sheets
 **Coming Soon**

Election FAQ Sheets 
Override and Bond FAQ’s (English) – pdf
UPDATE: We looked again on Friday, August 7, 2015, three days after this post was published. The offending apostrophe was gone. Good job! This time, please learn something from your (repeated) mistakes.

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