Something is up in the Christina School District involving Superintendent Richard Gregg. The following appears on Board Docs for their next Board of Education meeting on July 10th:
Christina Board Member Rallies For Elizabeth Paige While Discussing Some Pretty Massive Problems With The District & BoardChristina School District, Elizabeth Paige, John Young
Christina School District Board of Education member John Young posted this tonight on his Facebook account. I agree with a lot of what he said. I haven’t written a lot about the divisiveness I believe is going on up there. In my opinion, it is corruption at its finest. Yes, I have my own election to worry about tomorrow. But I’m glad John put into words what he has been feeling, as have many others. It concerns me because I can see some parallels in Capital School District. While the board doesn’t seem to have these kind of issues and the level of manipulation isn’t as high, it is, to some degree, present. This is a long post from John Young, but it is well worth the read. If you live up in Christina, please vote for Elizabeth Paige. She earned her stripes a long time ago and Christina would not be the same without her. It would be much worse…
Well, here we are: tomorrow is the day. Christina faces an election for one seat as we already prepare to welcome Meg Mason in July to replace the outgoing Dave Resler. CSD voters have a pretty stark choice in my opinion. Unbeknownst to many voters, there is a distinctly unique tone to this year’s school board race between Desiree Brady and Elizabeth Paige and for the most part it’s not being created by the candidates themselves. There is a disturbing set of forces in play, in my opinion. I am well aware that what I type next will have people confirming either their love for my willingness to speak the truth of the situation or their hatred of the same thing. I can live with both.
Our district has been in crisis for quite some time now and the processes that have yielded several key results have caused irreparable harm to the ability of our board and district to function well. Please note my very specific use of the word “processes”. Some of the processes that have created deep concern include: the hiring of the acting Superintendent, the referendum campaign, the hiring of a parent engagement coordinator, the hiring of a consultant on climate and discipline issues and most recently the unfinished process of selecting HOW to select the new permanent superintendent. This list is not inclusive of all concerns.
The yield of these processes are not as universally concerning as the actual processes themselves. During each of these processes, the board was controlled by one person and the information shared to the board from both her and the administration has been extremely restrictive and in my opinion damaging to the rights of our taxpayers to have board members make informed decisions. During this period, a minority of board members have asked for more information and sought to push through these political barriers. At almost every turn, these behaviors have been supported by key stakeholders, while in the minority, have chosen to ignore the greater good often to continue parochial support of programs and people they like, need, and desire to see remain in power. Meanwhile, real questions about real issues are not only being ignored, they are being hidden and in some cases the public is being lied to about how the district works. A perfect example is my recent questioning of the contract for school climate and discipline. No one I know in CSD feels we don’t have major opportunity for improvement here; however, I also don’t know anyone that feels the district should just hand over a $49,250 no-bid contract with no public notice or input. Except for the 4 board members that did just that in support of the acting superintendent and the extremely public acknowledgement of previous employment and friendship with the vendor. TO be clear, this is not an indictment of the vendor whatsoever, only the broken process that yielded the result.
The same forces that seek to keep CSD board members in the dark on issues and prevent board members from making informed votes are now seeking to remove one of the three members willing to stand up and actually ask questions in support of CSD not their own agendas. They are aligned to drive out Elizabeth Paige. The planted questions, the stolen signs, the opponent’s campaign, up to and including the obvious employment at the workplace of one of the referendum’s biggest supporters who is close friends with the acting superintendent is simply too much to ignore.
One of this groups most concerning tactics is the one where they distract people by making allegations of failing to collaborate or not being civil. The truth is, to them collaboration is only labeled as such if you agree with them, and their role as civility police is undermined by their own off stage hypocrisy on the same subject. Both are morally bankrupt offerings in the face of board members just trying to actually be stewards of our students, parents, and taxes. It is repulsive to me to watch our district fall prey to these petty and unbecoming tactics. I am well aware that some feel I am a divisive force on the board. I can totally see why. When I ask questions and I don’t get answers, I get mad. Guilty as charged. I would ask those that feel I am the problem to try, if only for a moment, to ask yourself how you would react if you were elected by the public to do a job and other public officials got in your way, on purpose. I can accept criticism on my tactics and can fully admit that my seemingly righteous anger, on stage at times, can be both interpreted and misinterpreted as counterproductive. However, what you get from me is the same, all the time. I am not a chameleon. I was elected to do right by our students and until I am voted off I will not shrink from that responsibility. Not. One. Inch. I only speak of myself in this endorsement letter to paint the picture that a vote for Elizabeth is not a vote for me. She does not act or react the way I do even if she sometimes is just as mad or concerned about Christina processes. A vote for Elizabeth is a vote for the same passion, brought in a different and perhaps much better way. Don’t be fooled by some of the terrible tactics being used to convince you that any sympathy to a cause that happens to be supported by anyone not seeking to remove her means she is in some sort of policy silo.
Elizabeth Paige and I do not agree on everything, but we do agree on this: our students and our taxpayers deserve a responsive school district befitting the trust and respect owed to its students, parents, educators, administrators and taxpayers alike. She also is an elected official who does not stop in the quest to bring those basic yet quintessential aspects to Christina.
If you value transparency, intellectual curiosity, courage, independent thinking and a reasoned, systemic, analytical approach to policy then please vote tomorrow for Elizabeth Paige. If you don’t value those qualities, please Vote May 11th.
16 To Watch In 2016: Bob AndrzejewskiRobert Andrzejewski
As the acting Superintendent of the Christina School District, Bob Andrzejewski will certainly have his hands full in 2016. He was voted in by the Christina School District Board of Education back in September with a 4-3 vote, and he has been working hard for the district! As a new face for the district, Bob A (as he is known in many circles) has been trying to get Christina to the top of their game! With the pending and potential move of all Christina’s Wilmington schools to the Red Clay Consolidated School District, as well as a potential referendum next year, Bob A will have his hands full!
I have heard mixed things about Bob A since he came aboard the Christina train. But one thing he does have is fans! This one appeared in The News Journal as a letter to the editor on September 11th of this year:
Andrzejewski good choice for Christina
Kudos to the Christina School Board for selecting “Dr. A” to lead the district while Dr. Freeman Williams is on leave. Bob Andrzejewski has been around the block a time or two, but has not lost his passion for education or for seeking the best for educators and students. He is a strong leader and his past successes working with parents, elected officials, business leaders and the Delaware State Education Association will serve the Christina District well. He also knows the “Delaware Way” of working together to make good things happen for students.
Christina School District
That was super nice of Michael Walls to write that about Bob A! It really helps to have your peers recognize you like that. Bob is actually hard at work getting the Christina School District to join the BRINC Consortium. This blended learning-personalized learning group of Delaware school districts already has Brandywine, Indian River, New Castle County Vo-Tech, Red Clay, Appoquinimink, and Caesar Rodney. I imagine Bob A has no other ulterior motives for joining this initiative!
Wait one darn minute! How did that picture get in here. This is about Bob A, not Mike Walls! He already had his moment in here. He isn’t affiliated with Christina anymore. He is working for some company called Modern Teacher now. You can look on their website, just click on the lower left-hand corner! Wait, is that…the same as the above picture? Bob A wants the Christina School District to sign a $49,000 contract with a company that has the former Christina Superintendent working for them? How did that happen? It could be a coincidence, right? It’s not like Walls endorsed the Christina board’s decision to hire him, so there is no conflict of interest there! Oh wait…he did… But let’s be real here. It’s not like Andrzejewski has any ties with personalized learning, right? Right? Oh no. Say it ain’t so…
What in the world is Innovative Educational Associates? Any relation to Robert Andrzejewski? And where did that picture come from? Oh yeah, here. But there surely must be many Andrzejewskis in Delaware, right? Okay, I’ll check the Delaware Chamber of Commerce. Maybe they have something. Okay, but all they have is an address for this Innovative Educational Associates. It’s probably some office complex or something. I’ll check block shopper! They always know this stuff! Uh-oh spaghetti-o’s, not only does it list the same address but it shows the owners of the property to be Robert and Kathleen Andrzejewski! But maybe it’s a quirk and Bob A has nothing to do with the company… Wrong again!!!! I was really hoping I was wrong about this…
So not only does Bob A want Christina to enter into a contract with this Modern Teacher that deals with blended learning that a former superintendent of Christina now works for, but his own company also deals with blended learning, the same as the BRINC Consortium that also is big on blended learning. I’m blended out Bob A! Yeah, I’ll definitely be watching out for Bob A in 2016!