I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Gifted Advisory Committee Discord, Part II

I've received two more emails from separate members of the gifted advisory committee that shed some light on the recent discord in that group. This is unfortunate. One of the emails excoriates the committee member that resigned... a portion of that email reads as follows:

"To the School Board of Escambia County,
In this parting shot of a petulant and sore loser, XXXXXXX has demonstrated clearly the contempt for parents and the PATS Center that XXX   has brought to this discussion from the beginning.  It is very instructive to read XXX words and understand that they reflect the often passive-aggressive, sometimes openly adversarial posture of our dysfunctional and misguided Gifted Program.

1. Note in XXX first sentence that XXXXXX aims to minimize us as a small contingent.  It is disingenuous and deceitful to call the 550+ petition signors, or the nearly 50 adult and youth speakers who addressed your board on the subject, a "small contingency".  It is particularly laughable, considering XXXXXXXX, with the full support of the XXXXXXX  XXXXXXXXX, has never been able to raise a fraction of that level of support. 

2. In XXXXX graceless departure, XXXXXXX  makes it a point call us, the citizens who had the audacity to question her course of action, "narrow minded".  Socrates said it best: "When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser".  Little more need said on this topic, except that the
 school district should consider raising the bar of professionalism among XXXXXXXXXXX. The citizens deserve more respect than this XXXXXXXXXXXXX.

3. XXX takes this opportunity to brag at length about the progress being made in the delivery of Gifted Instruction.  While I respect the fact that much hard work may have gone into these efforts, I am telling you in no uncertain terms that the citizens do not consider this direction to be "progress".  We have come to you en masse and told you that the course being plotted by XXXXXXXXXXXX and advocated by the likes of XXXXXXXXXXX is not the course of progress, but the course of failure.  Progress is made by building on the success of the past, (such as the PATS Center)... not destroying it.

4. XXXX repeatedly laments the "politicization" of the issue.  XXXXXXX complains about the use of social networking, of citizens going directly to their elected officials, of the media discussing the issue.  Intelligent people do not fear the public exchange of ideas, we crave it.  In a democracy, how can one criticize the open and passionate exchange of ideas?  Public Education is a public asset...we have a right and a responsibility as citizens to engage in this dialog.  As politicians, you are elected to lead and promote the discussion.  You have done that job well with the formation of this Gifted Council.  The citizens on this council applaud you, even as a XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX refuses to support it. 

5. XXXXXXXXXX resignation comes on the heels of the group rejecting her campaign to lead the group.  We heard XXXX ideas. We witnessed XXXX contempt for the ideas of others.  XXXXXX had the opportunity to present XXXXXXX as a leader, as did others.  When the time came for us to chose a leader, we rejected XXXX divisiveness in favor a truly gifted and talented, respectful and inclusive leader.  XXXXXXXX response was to take XXXXXX ball and go home."

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