The superintendent's latest piece evinces only sadness. He doesn't even seem to understand that his reference to "fabricating the negative" refers to information which came from the state department's Web site, but even that is beside the point.

Even using his numbers, more than half of our schools did not meet state-mandated growth targets. Bellicose bombast in the face of such a fact is tantamount to a football team spiking the ball and doing an end zone dance when they're still on their own 40 yard line.

He states in his piece of July 19, "Lafayette can attain and sustain this goal [DPS of 120 by 2014] â?¦ with annual growth of 3.1," which we have never achieved.

He talks about how many stars schools have, but a school can be labeled "in decline" regardless of how many stars it has. The report prepared by his staff indicated that four of our six high schools ' 60 percent ' are now labeled "in decline."

He states he "does not mind being held accountable for the hard work of our boys and girls, their parents and teachers." This is confusing. Shouldn't any superintendent be "held accountable for the hard work" that he or she does, not for the "hard work" of others?

I have other concerns like how things are being done without board approval, how discipline is out of control, how the disgraceful condition of our campuses is not being addressed, how some funds are being handled, and how difficult it is to get information because of the pall of paranoia which has descended. Intelligent decisions cannot be made without accurate and complete information, and for a public entity, providing information is not a service; it's the law.

I am accused of being "negative," but the numbers speak for themselves (22nd in the state overall, 30th in minority education, 35th in "free/reduced"). People deserve the truth, and I will not be bullied into silence by didactic diatribes, hyperbolic hypocrisy, or supercilious sophistry. The only thing about which I am positive is that our current situation is unacceptable.

You can't solve a problem until you admit that you have one. Far too many children are not getting the education they deserve and need. This is not an indictment of "boys and girls, their parents and teachers," but of the current leadership. The only cause for optimism is that new leadership will be in place in January.

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