GUSD Concerns from a Responsible Parent Who Has ‘Kids in the Middle’

Dear Editor,
I read with great interest the trustee choice article in the
Dec.15 edition. We live in a small city which struggles with many
issues, race being among them.
Dear Editor,

I read with great interest the trustee choice article in the Dec.15 edition. We live in a small city which struggles with many issues, race being among them.

We also struggle with a sense of not being not “politically correct” enough. It appears even the Dispatch errs on the side of extreme caution, not wanting to offend anyone. The trustee article brings the growing racial divide to the forefront and then in “PC-esque” side-steps the issue of ethnicity, “When Bress finished explaining why she was voting for Heisey, a woman in the back said loudly, ‘That’s B.S.'” The Dispatch infers that the woman might have been Hispanic, yet neither confirms nor denies. That style of reporting fuels the racial divide.

What I did not see in the article was a statement from either Trustee Pat Midtgaard or, better yet, Superintendent Edwin Diaz to clarify if any pre-screening of questions had taken place. If any board members had seen a high number of similar questions to the TWO drawn for Heisey, and not ethically reduced their number, are they guilty of feeding the ferment of ethnic disenfranchisement?

Denise Apuzzo brings up a fantastic comparison. T.J. Owens was a great administrator. From the few times I ever spoke to him he always seemed only interested in educating ALL of the students, and not concentrating on a select few. We got all of this in an administrator who ethnically represented 2 percent, or only 200 students districtwide. Will we receive 15 times the results, dedication, and effort from Javier Aguirre, who ethnically represents a much greater percentage of the Gilroy Unified School District student body?

If, as Jaime Rosso claims, a trustee is needed based on his ability to “cross the language gap” and “engage parents with GUSD to diminish the achievement gap,” it is testament that the existing board of trustees has not been doing their job(s). If the addition of Aguirre will cure all the issues with students with language issues and poor achievement levels, I can live with the loss of Bob Heisey and the comments from a woman of unknown ethnicity in the back row. Do any of us actually believe this is the case?

Make no mistake about it. My children are in the “middle.” Every night when our kids come home from school we ask them, “What homework do you have?” We use EdLine. We help our children with their homework. We email the teachers and ask questions. We go to conferences and back-to-school nights. We do it because it is not GUSD’s job. GUSD can’t. We do not depend on GUSD to do OUR jobs as parents. Maybe if more of the parents like the woman in the back row did likewise ethnicity would play less of an issue in selecting administrators who are tasked with making policy for ALL students.

Mr. Diaz now has a full board. I hope he and the board fight for all students, not just the cream of the crop and the ones who barely speak a language which has become a near de-facto standard worldwide.

Ben Anderson, Gilroy

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