Saturday, April 18, 2015

SPASD: Of Bullyism, Rumormongering, and Juvenile Threats

The SP-EYE signal was spotted and acknowledged.
We warned you.
SP-EYE went into semi-retirement because things were in good hands.
The district was moving forward after years of being stuck in neutral under the inattentive "command" of SuperNintendo Culver.
And then, after Culver did the TubeSteak Boogie, a process was enacted to replace him.

And now a bunch of rumor-mongering bullies of the adult kind has to go and stomp their feet and whine.

Just our cup o' tea!  W love to deal with backstabbing MFs who respond only to rumors!

Yep...we heard the bitching.  We heard the brazen group that chose to speak at the school board meeting of April 13, 2015.
You know what we heard?  A bunch of passive aggressive bullies.
Employees of the district and those more cowardly ones, that could somehow coerce someone else to speak up, talked about the "internal candidate" finalist for school district administrator position.
Really?...did you people listen to yourselves?
Yours was a brazen act of bullyism that, had it been directed to your children, you would be hellbent for leather.
Were you so clever to plan that if you were vocal enough you might get the "internal candidate" to withdraw from contention?
In any case, somehow (no facts are available people) the process ended in a failed search, So now the NEW school board, with 3 new members will be starting at square one.   July 1 comes fast folks, too fast to complete a new search.  So how is THAT good for "the children"?

Oh, but we could go on for hours; instead lets focus on some of the more interesting ruors that have been propped up to be fact:

RUMOR:  The process was complete before it started.  The board had their person all along.
Really?  You think those people went through the exhausting process they did if that were the case?
You haven't been taking your meds, have you?
Let's remember that the board consists of 7 members.  If there were 4 votes to do such a thing, don't you thing they just would have gone ahead and skipped the search and done that?  Not even a board from, say, 9 years ago would have done that.
So, your theory is they went through all the time, wasted all the search and review committees' time, only to keep pushing their candidate to the top.   Seriously, you should write for Hollywood, that story is better than the plot of most films in the last 6 months.

RUMOR:  The internal candidate is not licensed.
Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't.  But what IS true is that a school board can request an emergency license for someone close to finishing their requirements for up to a year...and it can be extended!
And what do you suppose would have happened over the past school year if Dr. Culver had been hit by a bus?  The "Assistant" superintendent would have stepped in...right?  And that would have been fine.
You may want to check some facts---there's a novel thought!---and see if (A) this is even true, and (B) if it is, is it just a single class that's needed?
We find it very hard to believe that the application would have even been considered if having the necessary licensure was an issue.

Statement:  How can you hire someone that has no superintendent experience?.
Newsflash people, the good Dr. Culver had never been a "superintendent" before we hired him here.
His prior position was ASSISTANT Superintendent/Direct of Instruction.... the position held by Alice Murphy for years, and now by Stephanie Leonard-Witte
 Geee... who was on that school board that hired Dr. Culver???  Shame on them!

How exactly does one get to be a superintendent without ever having been one?  It's a finite pool, people!  If it's never refreshed, then eventually it dries up.  Have none of you hired someone fresh out of school or who has the qualifications but not the absolute experience? Someone that fit like a glove otherwise?  Really?  If that's the case, this community is, indeed, doomed.

Oh...and her's another newsflash.  The "other" external candidate comes from a district about 20% of the size of Sun Prairie.  Yep... that whole district of students could fit comfortably in the high school here.   How qualified does that make HIM to run Sun Prairie? And given his field of study and aspirations (just look where he applied), do you really think he'd stay in Sun Prairie long enough to even be able to define "making a difference" let alone actually make one?  There were quite a few support staff, teachers, and a majority of community members that saw SPASD as nothing but a very temporary lily pad for that frog.  Oh that's right...they don't count.

False statements/conclusions about the candidate pool.
It seems some people are spouting non-truths that the pool consisted only on in-state candidates, and it was unacceptably small.
First, the statement that there were no out-of-state candidates is flat out wrong.
Second, if you find 18 applicant "embarrassing" then perhaps you should catch up on news instead of gossiping with disgruntled school district staff.  Perhaps you would have heard about our Governor, Act 10, and his proposed school cuts in the 2015-2017 budget!
Think that MIGHT have something to do with it.
Also, you whiny-ass types tend to speak without any real information,  We actually received MORE applicants than other districts.

Flat out myth regarding the screening process
Some are accusing the board (and then passing it on as factual) that the board ignored the input of the selection committee?!!!
Really?  We're not hearing anybody who actually served on that committee saying such things.
And where we these concerns when May Ellen Havel-Lang and Caren Diedrich just tossed aside the work of the last Boundary Change committee?  Huh?
You want to know what's egregious?  It's that you frickin' people pushing this flat out fiction are completely disrespecting the many people who took part in this process.

"Word on the street" is so very sadly out of touch with reality.

RUMOR: support staff, professional teaching staff, most district staff, and a majority of the community believe that Mr.Davis was the ONLY qualified candidate.
Wow!  Sounds like you held your own mini-referendum.  Got any data to support that?  
We thought as much.
Sure, we've heard some grumbling.  But the grumbling we've been hearing is coming from a very small subset of DO workers that are scared to death that "Culver time" is over and they will be held accountable to earn those fat salaries that have been bestowed upon them.  Oh...and these folks know who they are.  
During "Culver time", if people didn't like the job they were responsible for, they were allowed to do whatever they preferred to do.   Things didn't get done.  We had the Athletics Direct/athletic fees fiasco.  SOSP has ruled the roost.  Our buildings & grounds group was a shambles.  Gee...who hired the guy that has re-built that group for success.  Oh yeah...that's right...our "internal candidate".We've had piss poor data presented to the public.  There are o MANY other examples, wbut we drink to forget those.

So we're in he minority for wanting to see that chapter closed?  
Yep, we can live with that.  There's a lot of dead wood that needs to green up or face the chopping block in our eyes.

RUMOR: Mr.Davis was told by the board president that " he was our man" but he needed to find a spot on his staff for Mr.Olson.
Oh puh...LEEZ!  That sounds like one of two things: a disgruntled finalist who's pitching a hissy fit because he didn't get the job, or something one would seed to shake the confidence of Mr. Olsen.
We call that bullyism, people.  Its wrong, and it's way more shameful than anything this school board has done.
And if Mr. Davis shared those concerns with someone from the public, then we can tell you that he is DEFINITELY not a guy we want to hire.  We might want someone that can keep things in confidence...just sayin'.
And if someone on the board shared this from what would have had to have been a closed session, that board member (are you listening Caren Diedrich?) should face censure.

It even goes so far that some people are saying that the board was going to create a new position for Erik Olson.  Newsflash, people, he already IS the number two person in the district (and we don't recall any alarm about that).  Does anyone really think there's a position between #1 and #2?  #1A?   #1.5?

FACT:  People are expressing concerns to the school board based on second (and third or fourth hand) information.
Good grief, people!!!!   You need more schooling than our kids.  Its called the telephone game. You know...if you want to get a message out, there are 3 ways to do it:  TELephone, TELL the Communications Manager, and TELL Caren Diedrich.

No matter who you tell, the message blurs along the way.

THREAT of a recall election (if Mr. Olson is hired)
The general public is already clueless about what it takes to be a school board member, but you really failed civics if you think this is more than an empty, childish threat.

Newsflash, geniuses.  State statute requires a petition containing signatures equal to 25% of the votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election for EACH recalled candidate.  And you need to do it in 60 days.  That number would be roughly 6650 signatures.  And THAT is just to hold an election!  
Oh, you people make us laugh!

Brash Statement: The only qualification the internal candidate is that he's a drinking buddy of the board president.
Now you are making serious accusations of both an elected official and a top school official.   You better have some facts to back that up or a damn good lawyer.
This is so juvenile, uncalled for, inappropriate, we're not even going to waste words on it.

We can say one thing though.  If a school board leader has a strong enough working relationship with a district administrator that they might have a drink together to unwind after a meeting, can you find any room for the possibility of seeing that as a good thing?  There are lot of contentious issues we are facing, and it just might be a good thing for the board to have a solid relationship with the superintendent.

But to dare suggest that going out for a drink or two is the only qualification of the "internal candidate" is unintelligent, ill-informed, and just plain asinine.
OK...we spared a few syllables..

Shame on all you fucking people who are engaging in a massive --- in what doesn't even qualify as thinly veiled---- attack on Mr. Olson and his family.  He's done nothing but work his butt off and effected positive change for the past 2 years.  

You know what?  Good luck to you all.   You sow shit and you will reap nothing but shit.  oh yeah....and notice to school board members.....

Someone is talking outside the close sessions (Caren Diedrich)!

You might wanna get the pruning shears and nip that bud.