Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kirschling on Hoover

Over the past few days, a handful of people have criticized this blog and the Save Hoover group for suggesting that school board Brian Kirschling is in favor of closing Hoover School. Notably, this group does not include Brian Kirschling, who at any time could have left a comment disputing that characterization.

So, just as a reminder, here is how we reached the outlandish conclusion that Kirschling supports closing Hoover. In late July, I asked him “If you were on the board right now, would you vote to close any elementary schools as part of a long-term facilities plan?” His response:
The short, honest answer to this question is yes.
He then said that “looking ahead,” he would apply a set of seven criteria to any school closure. He never said he would apply them to schools that the board had already decided to close.

Three weeks ago, the North Corridor Parents group asked him, “Do you support closing Hoover? Why or why not?” His response:
This decision has been made, and I was not on the board. I question whether it is good practice to overturn decisions of past boards.
He then said that “looking ahead,” he would apply his seven criteria to any school closure. He never said he would apply them to schools that the board had already decided to close.

On August 25, he spoke at the meeting of board candidates with Hoover parents. He said:
I was not part of making the decision, but the decision has been made.

I think that one of the ways we can restore trust, because it’s sorely lacking, is to actually work to follow through on a plan that has been passed and to take the opportunity to move forward and commit to the future of our district.
He again talked about his seven criteria, and again did not say that he would apply them to schools the board had already voted to close.

Ten days ago, the Save Hoover group recommended voting for Phil Hemingway, Gregg Geerdes, and Sara Barron as the best way to maximize the chance of keeping Hoover open. Based on the statements above, its endorsement stated that “Candidates Karla Cook, Brian Kirschling, and Jason Lewis all favor closing Hoover.” It distributed its recommendation widely, including at board candidate forums. Never once did Brian Kirschling dispute the group’s statement about him, as he easily could have done.

For what it’s worth, Kirschling is supported financially by many of the same people supporting Karla Cook, who voted to close Hoover as a board member, several of whom have vocally favored closing Hoover.

Draw your own conclusions.


Anonymous said...

No changing or tweaking of any previous board decisions? I doubt that.

JulieVanDyke said...

Chris, You picked on the person it made least sense to and ignored Dorau & Lynch's pre-candidacy lack of support for HVAC, small and older schools, and the east and south sides.
I read your commentary last night...you just kept picking away. Yesterday, you even posted this blog against him? Wow, that's "real" dedication to your cause. Your cause appeared more to find someone to project anger at Hoover closure than accuracy.
If you'd dedicated that much negativity to the 2 least concerned about schools like Hoover, we might have Dorau, Kirschling & Hemingway - a combo I'd feel safer with.
Because I've known Brian for a decade+, I know he'll treat Hoover and every other school with MORE respect, concern, and transparency than any other board director. He's the only candidate to set criteria before he'd vote to close a school, including future votes towards Hoover. Not even the board has created a standard by which to measure the fairness of whether to close a school. Because it doesn't take just one vote (counted them up for the still open, supposedly closed Roosevelt yet?).
Brian repeated frequentlyafter the 1st forum, once he began to understand how many votes it'll take to close Hoover, that he wouldn't vote to close Hoover, or any other school unless the closure met the 7 criteria. He's repeatedly said Hoover's vote didn't meet the criteria. So, unless somehow the closure does meet them (I don't see how it can) he won't vote for it in the future. If you and other north, east, west, and centralsiders hadn't been on a witch-hunt, you might not have divided the vote. But, um, you did...and over the next 4 years, we're going to be amazed at how Tuyet & Lynch "support" small neighborhood schools. You'll all regret what you've done to help elect Tuyet & Lynch to the board by attacking just one candidate while ignoring history of 2 candidates that never showed interest in "saving" neighborhood schools til they had their "side" lined up to bullet vote, while you split the east side vote even more than the choice between so many candidates.

JulieVanDyke said...

The way I see it Chris, by your supporting the RPS without data or a plan, and advising others to do so well, coupled with your vote dividing attacks on one candidate instead of looking more carefully at the history of commentary, votes, allegiances, etc. of Dorau and Lynch, you've contributed far more than most people to the chain of events that set up Hoover to close...hope thinking you're right was worth that. Had you distributed your special form of endlessly hammering away at one topic with incessant nitpicking and negativity (with a noticeable tendency to leave out or ignore any evidence that doesn't fit your hypothesis) pehaps you would have unified the east side vote instead of splitting it even worse. We could have had Dorau, Hemmingway, and Kirschling but your personal attacks and constant criticism of Kirschling helped blow that wishful possibility. Nice job Chris. Hope your personal grudge was worth the damage it causes in the long run with both Dorau and Lynch on the board now...remember that when they start voting to close and sell old schools as enthusiastically at Tuyet was to get Roosevelt sold...it's a matter of time and I don't think we'll have terribly long to wait. She wants megaelementary schools and I've never heard her say a thing in favor of longer lunches for K-6 or less PBIS in the schools...we'll all be sorry for what you chose to focus your talents on, knocking the one candidate that will likely be an important deciding vote in the future closeure of Hoover and other schools over the next 4 years. I know what gives me comfort, other than knowing how fair he really is, and that's that we have a set of 7 criteria he has promised to follow regarding even considering closing a school...what do you have from your candidates, what does Neighborhood Schools have from their candidates? Again, sorry guys, poor choices you made, you split the east side vote and helped Hemingway lose a seat on the board he should have had twice now.