This commentary originally appeared as a comment on “Principal Cindy Marten Named SD Unified Superintendent.”
The San Diego Unified school board that unanimously agreed to promote Cindy Marten to superintendent because of her accomplishments at Central Elementary is the same board that approved the 2013-14 attrition-based budget strategy that will cut the very strategies and programs used at Central … and other district schools.
Trustee Richard Barrera’s statement in U-T San Diego that it would have been dishonest to hold public forums when the board had already made its choice is commendable, as is Marten’s vow to transfer her work at Central to the entire district. How does she intend to extend her work to 190 additional district schools when the budget will be cut, again, and funding will not be available?
With neither malice nor intention of discrediting Marten’s achievements while at Central, her selection is a slap in the face to countless more qualified district administrators, and as board president, John Lee Evans’ comment that the district needs a passionate educator to take the helm shows how little respect the board has for Dr. Meyer, Dr. Salazar, the area superintendents and many other more experienced and well-rounded administrators. Evans also stated that “we didn’t need to go to the community.” One of the board’s primary goals of increasing parent and community involvement must be restricted to attending PTA and cluster meetings, because the board’s superintendent selection process contradicts what is obviously a hypothetical goal. It is also obvious that Machiavellian discussions have been taking place for quite some time, and Ms. Marten is the board’s politically aligned marionette.
Bella Nguyen-Garcia lives in San Diego.
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