Letters to the Editor - Do they attack just the School Board or do they cast doubt on the newly hired Superintendent? You be the judge. And what's the silly insider stuff about the Board Chairman's hand picked successor? I was involved in that campaign as the incumbent being challenged by Tom Hustad and I don't recall his ever designating an heir to Almanza.

Eileen Zeitz Hudelson's letter 4-2-2005

Under the current superintendent, Duluth schools have avoided the state's list of schools that are not making adequate progress. In Faribault, all public schools are on that list.

How did Duluth School Board members miss the information on Faribault during their search for a new superintendent that ended with the hiring of the Faribault superintendent?

Under Duluth's superintendent, achievement has risen district-wide, the drop-out rate has fallen, and the gap between majority students and minorities and at-risk students has narrowed substantially.

School Board members praised the soon-to-be new superintendent for his experience with minorities and at-risk students. Yet, it is primarily the low achievement of those two groups that has placed Faribault schools on the state's list of poorly performing schools. How did the board members miss the statistics from Faribault?

The Duluth School Board chairman thinks it is "insulting" to pay the incoming superintendent anything less than $130,000. Why does he not care that he insults the current superintendent, who earns only $114,000 despite his excellent record here in Duluth?

The district has seen at least three top administrators choose to leave Duluth. The board chairman's hand-picked candidate for superintendent (at least during the campaign, before any vacancy existed) did not even apply for the position that became available under this board. Do board members think that voters and parents don't see the loss
of valuable educators? Well, maybe the board members do. At the meeting to approve the new contract, the board chairman presented different versions of what committee created it: a committee of three, a committee of two, and the human resources director alone, with board input. And since this discrepancy, like the information on Faribault schools, has not appeared in the local papers, perhaps the board members can hope we don't see what they are doing to our schools.


The Neighbor's letter 4-15-2005

How did Duluth School Board members miss some very basic educational information in selecting a new superintendent - mainly, that the schools in Faribault are all on the list of failing to make adequate yearly progress? (Letter, "Board ignored facts when picking superintendent, April 2.)

Despite that disparity between Duluth (no schools on the list) and Faribault, board members continue to assert that the latter community's superintendent is the perfect choice for our district.

But then, what would one expect from a board that apparently thinks hockey and personal friends are more important than contracts and education? Do they really think the voting public won't notice?