West Views: Caldwell schools become three-ring circus

Idaho Press-Tribune

As painful as this is to admit, the Caldwell School District has become a three-ring circus.

While a circus might be entertaining and amusing, it’s not the sort of analogy you want to associate with a school district.

Lawsuits and tort claims by the bushel. Never-ending recalls. Superintendents in and out more frequently than NFL coaches who lose 58-0 every week. Caldwell residents cover their faces and peek through their fingers as the adults tear each other apart and the teachers and students are left to pick up the pieces.

So now those who were angry over the process through which Tim Rosandick was ousted as superintendent have their pounds of flesh. They have recalled two of the three trustees responsible for it, and the third is squarely in the cross hairs for next year.

Maybe the recalls were at least somewhat “justified.” Maybe not. We weren’t privy to those executive sessions, so we’ll never know.

Yes, the superintendent fiasco left too many unanswered questions, but this recall leaves even more.

▪ Who will want to replace Amy Rojas and Leif Skyving (and possibly Tom Briten, if he gets recalled as well) when they know that they could be subject to the same torches and pitchforks if they make an unpopular decision?

School board trustee is an unpaid position requiring countless hours of research, sitting in meetings discussing sensitive personnel issues that could alter teachers’ and administrators’ careers, evaluating controversial curricula that will anger one group if you implement it and another if you don’t ... it’s about as glamorous a job as a boom mike operator on a movie set.

▪ How will they find good people to volunteer for this arduous work in such a tempestuous district? Whoever it is, it shouldn’t be anyone who was involved in the recall process. We need new blood with no preconceived agendas or allegiances.

▪ How will this kind of instability and infighting impact future attempts to sell the public on supplemental levies?

The Denver Post

President Obama said the Keystone XL pipeline he killed Friday had taken on an “overinflated role” in the U.S. political debate. And of course he’s right — and his attitude is one of the reasons why.

Even in his speech explaining his administration’s rejection of the pipeline application, he indulged in the kind of hyperbole that he allegedly deplores.

“Frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership” on climate action, he maintained.

Not true. As the State Department concluded months ago, the pipeline would not have materially boosted carbon emissions because the oil from Canada would find its way to the market anyway.

However, this particular pipeline (there are others from Canada that no one seems to care about) became a symbol for green activists, and now is a symbol for the president himself. Global leadership indeed.