Fresno Bee articles about Fresno Unified School District have become too painful for this retired teacher to read. The level of hubris and arrogance that the superintendent and his administrators offer up to explain away every misstep has reached an olfactory overload. The idea that their procedures are “completely legal” and “standard practice” simply doesn’t pass the smell test.
Whatever questions are raised – Superintendent Michael Hanson’s bloated salary, leaseback legality, or teacher morale and safety – the district response resembles an officer at a traffic accident, “Nothing to see here. Let’s keep moving people. Clear the area please.” Even school board members are kept out of the loop for fear of more questions to answer. How dare they not admire the superintendent’s new clothes!
It’s hard for students or teachers to get a straight answer out of this district. I remember asking a vice principal how the district calculated graduation rates – “if we always start with over 1,000 freshmen each year and we usually graduate around 400 seniors, how can the graduation rate be 80 percent?” He sat quiet for a moment then replied “I’m not exactly sure. Somebody else downtown does that.” And that’s the problem.
Gary Sellers, Fresno