Snazzy headline, no? Well, it is to me. It’s a combination of two taglines my dad used when running for the board of education in my hometown of Monroe, Mich., about 50 years ago. One tagline didn’t work. The other did. But I’m not sure which was which.
I’m going to use this column to tell every voter in Mesa County to heed these words. All while taking my cue from the Mesa Valley Education Association (MVEA) in not endorsing, yet endorsing, candidates.
I’ve been here 21 years. When it comes to the board of education and the performance of Mesa County School District 51, test scores and improving our schools, we seem to be stuck in a rut with the folks the MVEA actually endorses (while trying to convince you it endorses no one). And if you’re honest, its winning candidates are actually making things worse by the year.
This is where I’m not endorsing to keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them with our schools. It’s my hope you can figure out by my not endorsing anyone in particular, those who aren’t being endorsed should have you voting opposite.
I realize this column might upset some folks I know who work in our schools. I never take my writing lightly, especially when it could hurt the feelings of people I know. But I’m not writing to hurt feelings. Hurt feelings are a result of someone’s reactions to what I write. If those feelings occur and you’re not asking me about what I’m writing or why I’m writing, I’m guessing it’s one of two things. You don’t understand my premise (or yours) or there’s guilt there somewhere. There’s nothing I can do about that.
My premise is simple. There are always people in any vocation who just don’t do a good job. And if you think your vocation is immune, I have a vaccine for you. In D51, the people not getting the job done are at the top. And that’s the board and upper administration. And unless we replace folks at the board level, the next group at the top of our administration will be as bad, or worse, than what we have now. So make your vote count, it’s time for a change.
In the spirit of the MVEA, here are my non-endorsements (and I get to do them while saving a bunch of money while claiming I’m not donating to their campaigns or laundering monies via the state version of my association — although for full disclosure, I did give $100 to other folks I’m not necessarily endorsing here, even though I kinda am) via highlighting candidates the MVEA is “helping” because it hasn’t learned the meaning of the word endorsement. Apparently, the members of the MVEA are victims of their own educational shortcomings. Then again, our superintendent jokes about a teacher who asked her what the word vag-ue meant in her presentation, because that teacher didn’t understand it was the word vague. I bet that teacher still has a job. Sadly, so does our superintendent.
So here’s who I can’t endorse. I can’t endorse someone who marches with Black Lives Matter and denies it; associates with radical groups and promotes them on social media; and who lectured the current board on all of the race issues the current board has refused to address — and then wipes (like, with a cloth? for Hillary lovers) his social media history clean to hide all of these actions up to the day he announced his candidacy. I can’t endorse someone who believes schools should be used to educate kids on health care and politics; elements of critical race theory (CRT) while using the lying excuse D51 is not teaching the CRT college course in schools (to get around accusations) even though he knows absolutely elements are being taught and forced on our kids; and thinks these are things needed to be added to the curriculum D51 is already woefully behind on versus the pitiful state averages. And I simply can’t endorse any candidate who attaches herself to the aforementioned candidates because she feels slighted and who’s already been part of the bad direction we’re on as a district.
Finally, I’ll never endorse any candidate the MVEA and state teacher’s union endorse and fund. I must ask: Why is the MVEA still backing candidates who continue to underpay, provide dangerous and inhospitable working conditions and push class sizes that don’t allow for effective education? It’s almost like the MVEA doesn’t have the best interests of its paying members (and our children) at the forefront. Allow me to help: It doesn’t.
A final note on being “for the children.” Every candidate runs on this. It’s just that some want to help kids and others want to mold kids. I can’t support the molders (use any definition you want here). The only candidates I want to become board members are those driven to give my children the best opportunity and environment to learn, And you can’t do that by simply building monstrosities to get your name on a plaque. It comes from getting back to conservative basics in education.
Conservative basics are what Andrea Haitz, Will Jones and Angela Lema want FOR our kids. So make your vote count, it’s time for a change.
Craig Hall is owner and publisher of the Business Times. Reach him at 424-5133 or email@example.com.