Standing up for education

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Dear Editor,

Last week my friend Kara Mueller wrote a letter to the editor that contained inaccuracies on education issues. I wanted to provide some clarity to her three points:
1.  The letter claims I have not stated I am running for school board for the students. Yet my campaign theme has always been “Standing up for students and their teachers.” I stated exactly that in the introductions at the WISE candidate forum and repeated it many times. Is it possible Kara just doesn’t want someone standing up to the Superintendent, whom she hired?
2. The letter claims I want to eliminate the Superintendent position. Not so. We simply need a Superintendent who will make decisions only after doing what we ask our students to do — homework.
3.  The letter insinuates I have violated confidential personnel matters. How? When? She won’t say. What I can say is that confidential personnel matters have indeed been compromised. Kara received communications from the Superintendent in 2013 on confidential personnel matters relating to a teacher.  
The Superintendent had no right to email such information to someone not on the board. The Superintendent shared those records with the board last February, not realizing the “blind copy” recipients showed on the printout. Now the Superintendent refuses to grant access to those school records. That is not only highly unethical, it is a violation of state law (C.R.S. 22-32-103(2): “Each school director shall have access to all school records at all times”). The penalty for violating that state law is, upon conviction, stiff.
I had hoped not to have to bring item 3 public, but Kara’s letter has forced the issue. We need to have the courage to stand up for students and their teachers. That includes standing up to authority and to abuses of power.

Bart Skalla
Ridgway school board member