Wednesday, July 26, 2023

If media say it, it's true. Right?

Well, let's see about that.

In a gushy news article about Richland 2, fell all over itself to pat Richland 2 on its back. Too bad it didn't tell the story more accurately.

Here's the article:

Notice the catchy headline: 

Richland County School District Two announces systemic change ahead of school year

Now, read the article and see if you can find the "systemic change" referred to in the headline.

Did you notice the glee a couple of weeks ago when the 89% completion percentage of the IG's recommendations was mentioned at a school board meeting? And the "Nancy Pelosi" hand-clapping? Why are the trustees cheering?

The I.G. had slammed Richland 2. Sure, his report was based on the old board (the then-majority, all of whom are gone). What's happening now is that Richland 2 is cleaning up its act. So the "spin" is to say "Look what we have accomplished." 

All smoke and mirrors, folks.

Now here are a couple of statements from the WIS article. Read them and decide how you feel about the truthfulness.

Here's a quote from Supt. Moore:

“'I would describe [the progress] as exceptional. Because in seven months, we’ve reached 89% which is a result of really hard work by the entire district but some key people in particular,' continued Dr. Moore."

The Royal "We"

Notice her "... in seven months, we've reached 89%". Why is she including herself in the credit? Key people? Two of them are already gone! And she wasn't even here.

Moore was hired by Richland 2 (a Post and Courier article referred to her as "newly-minted". Not sure why a new hire would be described as "newly-minted". But that's how the reporter described her.

Her first day at work was July 3. She had no part whatsoever is the first six months of 2023. 

And a better example:

“'My focus this year has been on fiscal accountability as well as our HR practices, which is right in alignment with what the IG report states. Because we have to be very good stewards of the resources that we have, that the public has trusted us with. So, accountability and expectations are the foundation of the work we are doing here in our district,' concluded Dr. Moore."

Her focus this year? She hasn't been here a month yet. So her focus "this year" has absolutely not been on fiscal accountability. Look at the buzzwords right off the "get this right" shelf: "alignment"; "very good stewards"; "accountability"; "expectations"'; "foundation".

"My focus"? She is already claiming the prize for any accomplishment. There is no accomplishment here. It's a business. A business that was doing things wrong and got caught at it. Manpower in the District must have been stretched thin to get all the normal work done PLUS dealing with the I.G.'s critical report.

Remember when Harry Miley said his department couldn't crank out an extra paycheck to a large number of employees (but not all) before spring break? And Monica Scott said she had faith that he'd do so? Did he? How did he do it? How much overtime pay was required to send employees some vacation pay a week early? Did that pushback cost Miley his job?

Prioritizing the response to the I.G.'s Report had to cost a bundle, and no one is talking about that.

I have a personal interest in a small amount of that remaining 11%. It could have been handled in five minutes by the interim superintendent. Instead, it lingered in limbo for over two months. It should have been addressed and resolved before the new superintendent took office. It wasn't. So not she will get to deal with it. Or else Inspector General Lamkin will get to deal with it.