by Gilbert resident Susan Hicks
Editor’s Note; a Letter to the Editor submitted by Susan Hicks was recently published in the hard copy version of the Gilbert Republic newspaper. Her letter was a response to Mr. Don Skousen’s letter, published on August 2, 2014. His letter was titled "Nero, Rome…now Gilbert." (Mr. Skousen was a Gilbert School board member from 1972-91.) He stated, "Mr.(Daryl) Colvin’s My Turn column about Gilbert schools (June 21) was really something to read. He somehow neglected to mention the mass exodus of teachers, administrators, including superintendents, who refused to work for the "Blundering Three" members of the school board. It seemed very reminiscent of Nero’s fiddling while Rome burned."
Here is a link to Mr. Colvin’s article as it was published in Gilbert Watch: Colvin: Confidence in Gilbert Schools is Rising.
I would also like to point out that the conservative majority Gilbert School board has a record of outstanding accomplishments, including bringing the school from a B-rating to an A-rating two years in a row. However, the media (aka "messengers of the Democrat message") has done everything possible to smear, denigrate, and tear down the reputation of the conservative board. Mr. Skousen appears to believe everything he reads. See also: The Accomplishments of the Gilbert Schools Governing Board.
Here is Ms. Susan Hicks’s response to Mr. Skousen:
Mr. Skousen, You have had my greatest respect over the last 29 years. You still have it, but I need to say that you’re way off base on your comments regarding Mr. Colvin’s My Turn column.
You mentioned "mass exodus of teachers." What is the root cause of these teachers leaving, as they have done in equal to near equal proportions, in other districts? It is called attrition. (Although some left due to the "Good Ole Boys Club" being exposed.) You forgot to mention that perhaps during the "blundering" oversight of past school boards the teachers were not given a raise. You forgot to mention that teachers have to relocate to a new district to be hired in at the higher rate of pay assigned to their number of years teaching and their educational history. You forgot to mention that some teachers are leaving the profession due to the Common Core Curriculum, and the incessant testing connected to their job performance. You forgot to mention that administrators and/or "Good Ole Boys" club members were given raises by being assigned new job titles or resigning, only to be rehired with higher pay. Hmmm.
You mentioned Superintendents who refused to work for the "Blundering Three"? Really? You are talking about Superintendents who could keep nothing confidential, and lacked professional maturity to take care of business. From the numerous board meetings I attended, we got merely "fair" representation from these interim Superintendents. They were not the cream of the crop. When one becomes part of the problem that is trying to be resolved, ie. lack of integrity, accountability and transparency, you cannot be considered vital to the success of an organization seeking exceptionalism.
Mr. Colvin did the "Blundering Three" justice with his My Turn article….quite precise information on the board’s successes.
Mr. Skousen, sir, who is really doing the fiddling while Rome burns?