Remember the film “Clueless”? It could easily describe the brief but notable career of Daryl Colvin on the Gilbert Public School board.
Colvin, in a recent Arizona Republic column, attempts to provide what he calls “getting the record straight on Gilbert schools override.”
In it, he blames his “no” vote on a new override election on “continued efforts to stir up discord conducted by several individuals and their cohorts . . . who have created an atmosphere of confusion, fear and mistrust.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Colvin’s comment reflects a sad ignorance. Or worse.
Yes, there is an “atmosphere of confusion, fear and mistrust.”
The negativity Colvin notes wasn’t created in a vacuum.
In fact, that atmosphere has been created by the actions of Mr. Colvin and the rest of the board majority, Julie Smith and Staci Burk.
After all, it was Mr. Colvin who began his tenure on the board by describing Gilbert students as “defective widgets.”
It was Mr. Colvin who helped stall and almost kill the Apple deal by his vote against an agreement with the corporation, after only consulting the Goldwater Institute for advice. He chose not to question the officials involved.
It was Mr. Colvin who called the incoming Gilbert superintendent “a left-leaning edu-crat.”
It was Mr. Colvin who called the “A”-rated district full of innovative programs, nationally-honored schools, and outstanding staff and students, a “dinosaur.”
It was Mr. Colvin who asked for the police when the audience applauded at a board meeting.
It was Mr. Colvin who described Common Core as “communist core.”
It was Mr. Colvin who attempted to place in the superintendent’s position a personal friend with zero education experience.
It was Mr. Colvin who enthusiastically supported a plan that would’ve siphoned money from the district to private schools.
In his column, Mr. Colvin claims he is trying to “build trust.”
In his short time in office, he has done anything but that, seeming to inflame parents, students and staff with his ideologically-narrowed vision.
And the results of that vision this year?
The entire staff of the superintendency has retired or resigned, unprecedented in Arizona history.
The first interim superintendent resigned, saying he “couldn’t give the board the help it needs.”
The district’s lawyer resigned.
The entire community relations staff resigned or retired.
Most troubling, over 240 teachers and school administrators resigned this year, including half of the high school principals in the district.
Mr. Colvin is right. The district has an atmosphere of negativity hovering over it. But that atmosphere is concentrated in one place: the board room, where Mr. Colvin’s behavior helps cloud the many achievement of an otherwise outstanding district.
And Gilbert has two more years of Colvin’s Reign of Error.