I’ve had a couple people send me emails asking me what the heck is happening in the Duluth Schools relative to Dr. Foster’s being frozen out of his office. I’ve had to tell them I have no idea. I’ve never met Foster. I’ve had plenty of food for thought for him should he bother to read my blog but I’ll bet he’s been warned that reading it will contaminate him should he choose to consume any of it. I’ve read the Trib’s story and the Trib’s Editorial and lately I was pointed to the short squib in the Reader Weekly. I’ll have more thoughts on this as time goes by but I’ll hazzard a couple ill informed observations.
First, only a fool would blame Foster for the problems that Dixon left behind. Unfortunately we have some on the School Board.
Second, I suspect Foster came into town blithely unaware how quickly the District would start spiraling out of control.
Third, I’ll bet those minions of Dr. Dixon who have been left behind have bent over backward to cover their arses so that Foster wouldn’t realized their complicity in the Red Plan’s growing debacle.
Fourth, I’ll bet those minions would much rather have Dr. Gronseth as their go-to guy because he was Dixon’s hand picked successor and he’d probably shield them if for no other reason than his own survival in perilous times. They are a team. It probably came as an unpleasant surprise to them that Mary Cameron would tip the balance away from Gronseth when a suitable minority candidate would surface.
Fifth, This is not a big surprise. Mary did the same thing to her old allies when the Hispanic Dr. Almanza became a candidate and voted for him over the white male candidate her allies preferred and with her rivals on the Board.
Sixth, Mary has a Doctorate and a lot of experience in Human Resources. If this is a putsch to get rid of Foster the mutineers better make sure they have dotted all their i’s and crossed all their t’s or it will get very ugly. He could easily force the District to pay the rest of his three years’s salary if they don’t have cause to fire him. That would cost the District another half million dollars.
Seventh, Dixon’s old minions have friends on the Board. Just after Foster was closed to being selected Ann Wasson desperately tried to get Gronseth the job.
Eighth, If Foster is removed, and even if he isn’t, look for a loud series of accusations to pin the blame for the District’s mess on him and to obfuscate Dr. Dixon’s role.
Ninth, A whisper campaign has been started to undermine Foster. I was told from a source that began with one of the Board members who hired Dixon that Foster had not been to work about 35 days in his first sixth months. If true that would be troubling without a very good explanation. I’ll bet its greatly exaggerated. Furthermore the person who told me this wondered if Foster might be an alcoholic. I don’t know if this is also part of the rumor mongering or just a happy addition to an initial smear.
Tenth. Two of Foster’s early critics have been in effect Dr. Dixon’s dupes.They are Chamber of Commerce CEO David Ross and Union Prez. Frank Wanner. Neither have seemed to have the remotest interest in the District’s unsustainable finances relative to the Red Plan.
Eleventh, I have no idea why the Mayor who is belatedly commenting on the destruction of the central schools has weighed in against Foster. That was Dixon’s doing. Foster is simply picking up the pieces. Besides, Don Ness never says anything critical about anyone. Why is he starting to choose sides now? I haven’t the foggiest reason why.
Twelfth, Apparently the “investigation” of Foster began in secret, like so many Dixon inspired actions of the past. All the better to make an end run on those board members being kept in the dark.
Thirteenth, Judy Seliga-Punyko who began the witch hunt is no doubt a little inflated with her success in the recent election. This is not the first time she has ridden such a high horse. Just after she was elected to the PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) presidency, she circulated a list of administrative jobs to be eliminated in the face of that era’s financial difficulties. She did not clear them with the rest of the PTSA council.
Fortheenth, The success or failure of making Foster a scapegoat for the mistakes of Dr. Dixon and his minions will not in any way resolve the Death Spiral that will occur when we spend another six million dollars we can’t raise in taxes.
Fiftheenth, I often say that voters get the representation they deserve. I don’t really believe that. They do however choose their elected officials.
Sixteenth, There isn’t an obviously good excuse for Foster taking his time to get a Minnesota Superintendent’s licence. On the other hand, other than the delay, its not that big a deal.