The D11 Fact Sheet

There is much disinformation and misinformation circulating around the School District 11 community. Much of this misinformation is being spread by those who are intent on maintaining the status quo. This blog will set the record straight and it will educate the public on the identities of these defenders of the status quo.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Point Proven

Just yesterday I posted on the greed of the teachers' labor unions and I pointed out that, while they demand that the public they serve fork over more and more money to them, they are not willing to take responsibility for the poor performance of the nations' public schools. Today comes a post from "Hot Air" ( that makes my case.

Last year, the school board in Central Falls, Rhode Island, fired the district's 88 teachers, and with good reason. A mere 93% of the district's students were failing, or not performing at grade level. The Rhode Island Federation of Teachers, the local arm of the American Federation of Teachers, stormed in and forced the re-hiring of all teachers and they forced the district to award each of the non-performing professionals a $3000 bonus.

CNN interviewed the leader of the disgraced labor union in Central Falls, whose name is James Parisi. The interview went as follows:

CNN: So in this town where the average income is $22,000 the average teacher is now making $76,000. What are the community members paying for?

James Parisi: The highest paid teachers are making about $76,000, which frankly I don’t think is enough for the committed professionals that are in that school district.

CNN: You had a 93% fail rate. That’s undeniable.

JP: And you think that’s caused by teacher’s actions?

CNN: Absolutely.

JP: I don’t think the teachers are responsible.

The teachers are not responsible, Parisi says, and there is absolutely nothing they can do to improve the educational situation of these students who are trapped in these disasterous schools, yet he believes that the public must fork over even more money to pay these "professionals" to do, literally, nothing. But hey, it's all about the kids.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yes, It can Happen Here

The massive protests in Madison, Wisconsin, are not an isolated case of teacher union thugs gone wild. Despite the existence of local union organizations, such as the Colorado Springs Education Association (CSEA), the labor unions are centrally controlled by either the National Education Association (NEA) or the smaller but equally dangerous American Federation of Teachers (AFT). If or when the NEA gives the order, the CSEA members will certainly abandon their classrooms and take to the streets.

Some people disagree with me when I argue that one of the largest impediments to improved education in D11 is the teachers' labor union. It is the administration, some say, that is to blame for the ever declining educational performance and the dwindling student population. While I have never defended the over-paid yet underwhelming administrators in this school district, the labor union is every bit as responsible for the damage that is being done to D11 students as are the administrators.

In my November 17, 2006 post (located here:, I discussed the formal relationship between the AFL-CIO and the NEA. This relationship obviously had nothing to do with making the NEA more caring about students or more professional. As I have always argued, the teachers' labor unions are not "professional associations" as you would find with doctors' associations or associations of mechanical engineers. Those associations. The teachers' unions are militant public employee organizations which are appendages of the Democrat Party and whose sole purpose is to squeeze the public for more and more money. 40% of the labor union members in Madison refused to work because (gasp) the elected representatives of that state are asking them to pay a small amount towards their own benefit packages, which is about half as much as the average private citizens in Wisconsin are required to pay for their own benefits.

Let's look at what the labor unions do for our kids. While we see our students performing worse against international standards the longer they remain in public schools, what reason do the labor unions and their members provide for this declining performance? They blame the parents. It is lack of parental involvement that results in declining student learning in our schools. OK, let's look at the growing trend of homeschooling. The labor unions must support this trend since it is the ultimate in parental involvement. Well, not so fast. Homeschooling is bad for students, the union leaders say, because parents are not "professional educators" like our local labor union teachers, so the students won't receive the same quality education as they will find in their neighborhood school. See the logic? We are told that these professional educators can't be held accountable for the poor performance of the students, yet somehow only they are qualified to provide a decent education for the students in the first place. Therefore, we must continually fork over more and more money to retain a high quality teaching force which certainly can't be held responsible for the lack of learning of the students whose parents are to blame for their lack of learning but who are the same parents who have no right to teach their own kids because they are not high quality professional educators.

Like those teachers in Madison, the D11 labor union members will quit on their students the moment their labor agitator leadership directs them to do so. They will protest for their labor union without hesitation, but have no doubt, they will not quit on their labor union for the benefit of their students. When the dismal statistics come out on D11 performance year after year, do we see the teachers taking to the streets to demand that the administration adopt curriculum that will support student learning? Do we see them causing work stoppages to demand accountability for their fellow teachers who have no business in a classroom? Of course we don't, but year after year, we see these labor union teachers allowing their leadership to fund campaigns of board members who will continue to hire and retain ineffective and inept administrators who will continue to draw salaries that are 4 times the average salary of the average Colorado Springs resident, but whose productivity is nonexistent. Look at those labor union signs in Madison; it is all about the "Union" and never about your kids.

Like Wisconsin, Colorado is in a budget squeeze largely because its citizens are paying public employees to be nonproductive. The NEA (and CSEA) are militant organizations who serve no public good. They are harmful to our financial viability as states and school districts, and they are harmful to the future of students who are receiving a very sub-par education.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Unintended Consequences

It is well known that the Colorado Springs Education Association (CSEA) teacher's labor union leaders are nothing more than paid advocates for the Democrat Party. They routinely use school time and public resources to push their radical leftist ideology on other staff members and students.

The head labor union organizer at one of D11's middle schools, specifically Jenkins, was openly cheerleading during school hours for the recent healthcare takeover by the current group of radicals in Washington, DC. She was giddy with excitement over the fact that she would soon be able to add her 26 year-old son on her publicly funded healthcare policy. This labor union thug never considered advising her son to actually go out and get a job so that he could potentially purchase his own health insurance. Why work when it is easier to allow productive Americans to pay your bills.

The day this healthcare bill was signed into law was supposed to be a big day for the labor union leader, but her joy would be short lived. A fellow teacher called the D11 Human Resource office to inquire about adding a 26 year-old "child" to the teacher's D11 healthcare policy. Sadly, the teacher was informed that the 26 year-old "child" was not eligible to be added to the policy. Since no one had ever read any of the versions of the healthcare bills, the labor union lackeys were blindly campaigning for a bill that would EXCLUDE labor union negotiated healthcare policies from the requirement to add "children" up to 26 years of age to the policy. Rather than becoming the school hero for advocating for this healthcare takeover, the Jenkins union leader became the skunk of the school for negotiating a contract that kept the labor union members from enjoying the welfare handouts that non-union members are now eligible to receive.

I have asked this question before: with such incompetent and corrupt "leadership" in the CSEA, what are teachers really getting for their $650 plus annual dues?

Monday, March 08, 2010

You matter not

The decision to close or reutilize several School District 11 schools was an emotional, yet necessary, decision. Unfortunately, the decision to have to close school buildings in a city that has been steadily growing is due, in large part, to an incompetent administration that has been rivaled only by its incompetent school boards. Nevertheless, as state money has dried up in response to ever declining enrollment numbers, something had to give. That something turned out to be neighborhood schools.

During the period from about January through March 2009, D11 held several community hearings to discuss the closure/reutilization process. The district maintained a continuously updated Utilization Study workbook that changed as the community provided input. On page 120 of the February 4, 2009 work book,  it is apparent that the community was interested in receiving assurances that the money that was to be saved from these school closures and consolidations would follow the displaced students. Note that on lines FF, HH, and JJ of this document, this sentiment is clearly expressed. The community wants the savings to follow students and it wants the money to fund programs that help students.

Within this same Utilization Study document, D11 Deputy Superintendent of Something (depending on where the Superintendent decides to stick her in any given year) Mary Thurman showed that her interests were not necessarily aligned with those of the district tax payers. On page 4 and page 5 of this document, you can see the input from Thurman. In the second paragraph from the bottom of page 5, Thurman informs us that her priority is, (in these difficult financial times), increasing teacher and staff pay. While private industry freezes or cuts pay and staff, school districts like D11 believe that they should be immune from such actions. While tax payers all across D11 and the state are struggling right now, public employees believe that they should continue to receive pay boosts each year.

As D11’s enrollment has declined over the past decade, D11 staffing numbers have remained fairly steady. Staff has not declined in proportion to enrollment, which has placed even greater stress on the operating budget, 85% of which is staff pay and benefits. Thurman points to two recent resignations of D11 principals and she cites “better pay elsewhere” as the reason these administrators left the district (page 5). As all modern day school district employees are taught to do, Thurman resorts to the “just give our employees more pay and this district will finally start performing because we will attract good teachers” argument. I take it that Thurman is making the claim that, due to "low" salaries in D11, the current crop of employees is not of a very high quality.

Take a look at the D11 Executive Professional salary chart for this school year and ask yourself if D11 administrators are really underpaid. Keep in mind that the average income in Colorado Springs is $38,000 per year. This D11 document shows that high school principals in the district make $95,000 to $109,000 per year. Is this really not sufficient to entice these principals to do their jobs? Did the two D11 principals really leave D11 due to poor pay, or due to the fact that principals in D11 have no power or authority to be anything other than the yes-man or yes-woman for the “one size fits all” administrators downtown?

During the March 3rd, 2010 board meeting,  this document was inserted into the BoE meeting packet by district CFO Glenn Gustafson. Note that Gustafson complains that, “For years the District has been unable to keep up with neighboring school districts for employee compensation…” Is this really true? Take a look at the next document, which comes from the Colorado Department of Education web site. It shows teacher pay data for several Colorado counties, including El Paso County. Look at the “Average Teacher salary” column on page 3 and note the district in El Paso County with the highest average teacher pay. Of course it is D11. Maybe Thurman is actually only complaining that recent pay increases have not kept up with surrounding districts. OK, that probably makes sense considering those districts are actually growing while D11 has been dying. No matter the complaint on salary, one obvious solution to putting more money in teacher pockets is to immediately stop the forcible taking of teacher pay (over $600 per year) to give to the politically driven labor union. If teacher salaries are not satisfactory in D11, and if administrators want to claim that surrounding districts are doing so much better (despite the contrary evidence and despite the fact that surrounding districts do not have labor unions), then what purpose is served by forking over portions of teacher paychecks to this toothless union?

Despite the wishes of the D11 community, D11 administrators and labor union leaders wish to take the approximately $3 million recurring savings from the school closures and spend it on increasing staff salaries rather than on your students. Take another look at the memo to the school board above. Towards the bottom of the document, Gustafson lists the “Key Players” in this discussion of what to do with the $3 million in savings. Notice who is missing from that list: parents and students. You really don’t matter to these people. Gustafson needs to boost his salary or he may have to go elsewhere where he can mismanage another budget. After all, he can hardly afford life on his $120,000+ (plus benefits) salary.

The final document is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed on July 14th, 2009, by the leader of the labor union and Mary Thurman. This memo is mentioned by Gustafson in the Board document. Gustafson is wrong when he states that this MOU was “entered into” during labor union negotiations. Although the date of “May 11, 2010” appears on the document, it carries no meaning since the document was not signed until July, well after the BoE voted to approve the labor union contract. Additionally, the “teacher negotiations” are negotiations between the school board and the labor union. Thurman is not a member of either group. An employee of the district cannot bind the BoE to arbitrary agreements. The MOU was merely an attempt by Thurman and Gustafson to back the board into a corner. Unfortunately, most of the members of this compliant board will welcome this MOU, using it as an excuse to turn their backs on the community once again.

Gustafson leaves the BoE with two false choices in his board document. The BoE needs to ignore these choices and direct those funds where they belong, which is with the students who continue to be victimized by this poorly managed school district.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Still unwilling to teach Math

“…there was a consensus among the State Board appointed evaluators textbooks that EM 4-6 was so bad that statewide adoption for those grades was out of the question. However, some people argued that the K-3 program might be barely good enough for California schools. The California Curriculum Commission and the California State Board of Education eventually decided against adoption of Everyday Math at any grade level in this latest adoption. Everyday Math K-6 has now been twice rejected by the State of California, once in 1999, and again in 2001.”

"Professor Hung-His-Wu, Professor Mathematics at UC-Berkeley stated that while he was not an expert on Everyday Math, he happened to have dealt with it as a consequence of California's book adoption. While he feels there is merit to the "mathematical reasoning" aspect of the EM program, "Starting with Grade 3, and increasingly more towards grade 6, the outright contempt of EM for standard algorithms of addition, multiplication, etc. will handicap the learning of mathematics in later grades.”

"The elementary school teachers of San Antonio voted overwhelmingly to drop EM because it didn't work for them nearly as well as what it had replaced." "San Antonio ISD dropped EM after several years and in spite of rising test scores. Why were the scores rising? Because most schools and individual teachers were learning to leave EM on the shelf and do their own thing with whatever materials they could scrounge while EM took the credit."

"EM has been implemented district-wide since the 1993-1994 school year. Results from the 5th and 8th-grade level PSSAs show that only 37% of district 5th-grade students and a meager 28% of its 8th-grade students could demonstrate math proficiency at these grade levels last year. It's clear that the math programs in the Pittsburgh Public Schools have woefully failed to prepare many of its children in mathematics for years. Although the board majority has raised this issue, the district's administrators refuse to address it.”

From the left coast, through the nation’s mid-section, and on to the East, Everyday Math curriculum (EDM) is widely recognized as damaging to the development of math skills in school children. As anyone familiar with D11 administrators and board members knows, however, if there is a really bad idea floating around, you can be sure that your D11 students will be the victims of that bad idea.

Julie Shaw is D11’s Elementary School math coordinator, and she is a big fan of this garbage called EDM. She is such a fan, in fact, that she is forcing elementary schools across the district to adopt the EDM text books despite its damaging history. The school board assisted Shaw in this expansion of EDM by using mill levy override dollars to purchase EDM text books for the schools. Like other apologists for mediocrity in D11, Shaw claims that the curriculum and text books do not matter since they are all similar. It's all about teacher development, she says. If this is the case, why does Shaw insist on EDM as the only math text that can be used in the schools? Why not allow Saxon or Singapore Math? Shaw is so adamant about EDM that she has instructed teachers NOT to supplement this curriculum with other resources. Her explanation for this order is that she wants to adhere to “program fidelity.”

Why is EDM so bad? Although I have already written about the dangers of this text, we can review some of its low-lights once again, with the help of Carla Albers, who has worked relentlessly to educate D11 administrators on the basics of math education.

The Everyday Math text chooses not to teach traditional long division. According to the Teacher's Edition: "It is simply counter-productive to invest many hours of precious class time on such algorithms. The mathematical payoff is not worth the cost, particularly because quotients can be found quickly and accurately with a calculator." (I suppose that it is safe to assume that he who invented the calculator was not raised on Everyday Math).

States like Connecticut are heavily invested in reform programs like Everyday Math. The Hartford Courant newspaper recently reported that 40 percent of incoming college freshmen require non-credit "remedial" mathematics. (That's right: non-credit remedial math. You, as a parent, will get to fork over more money for a non-credit class because D11 failed to teach your child basic math).

Everyday Math uses "spiraling": Topics are repeated yearly and parents are often told not to worry if a concept isn't mastered because it will repeat. The National Mathematics Advisory Panel warns, "Repetition of topics year after year without the expectation of closure should be avoided."

According to the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, "Students should be expected to develop automatic and accurate execution of the standard algorithms." Everyday Math spends much class time introducing16-plus unique algorithms (i.e. lattice method), many of which are not recognized by traditional programs. Covering so many methods leaves little time for mastery of any one. Very few tests to assess mastery are administered. The National Mathematics Advisory Panel strongly recommends more "ongoing assessments" be given in the classroom at the elementary level. Traditional long division is not taught. Math professors point out that excluding long division leads to students who are unable to do polynomial factoring and polynomial long division.

So why do “educators,” (and I use that term very loosely), like Shaw insist on using failed curriculum? The answer is simple: the use of EDM provides Shaw and her ilk with a ready excuse for the yearly educational failures that are common in this vanishing school district. EDM uses the spiraling technique mentioned above, whereby teachers can tell parents not to worry when their children do not master their math skills because they will get to see those skills again the next year. By the time middle school arrives, your child will be totally frustrated with math and will likely never catch up to the skills needed to perform well in Algebra. EDM has a second benefit for teachers: it allows them to “facilitate learning” instead of teaching to mastery. Since most elementary level teachers are not proficient in math skills themselves, the role of “facilitator” is easier than the role of teacher.

The push for ineffective math instruction does not end at the elementary school level in D11. David Sawtelle is Shaw’s counterpart at the high school level. He has been threatening Coronado math teachers in an attempt to force them to adopt some vague “reproducible” math worksheets that are supposedly rife with errors. Teachers who use this material have no text books and receive no instruction on the material. They are forced to run hundreds of copies of these worksheets, which led to Doherty running out of money during the 3rd quarter of last school year. Additionally, at the middle school level, D11 Central Administrators are forcing all middle schools to work at the exact same pace throughout the school year in their math instruction. In other words, if your child is advancing fairly quickly in math, Central Admin will make no allowances for that. Instead, your child or your child’s school is being asked to hold its students back to follow the pace of the less advanced schools. This highlights, yet again, the importance of site based management.

For those who believe that the push for quality math instruction comes only from crazy right-wingers, visit This August 2009 publication was created by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a teacher’s advocacy group. As you review this publication, you will notice that the research conducted by this organization shows that curriculum DOES matter. The NCTQ recommends Singapore Math as the preferred curriculum for elementary math instruction. This text is ridiculed by people such as Shaw, even though it is designed to work well for non-English speakers. As D11’s non-English speaking population supposedly increases, you would imagine that Shaw would welcome the introduction of effective curriculum.

If you are confused about the math instruction that your child is receiving in D11, you are not alone. There is a high probability that your child is also confused and that your child will need remedial math if he/she attends college. Keep in mind that you, as a tax payer, are forking over ½ billion dollars annually to this district that refuses to teach your child math skills. Cross your fingers and hope that the new board members are a little more interested in students than the two board members who were recently replaced.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Are they Serious?

From the current Colorado Springs Independent: “One thing is certain: (Tami) Hasling doesn't approve. "It seems to me that there would be a conflict," she says. "It's disturbing, to be honest with you."

Finally, D11 Board President Tami Hasling, who has been missing in action over the Jan Tanner pizza scandal, speaks her mind. No more sitting back quietly while Tanner takes the tax payers of D11 for a ride as they finance her rich and famous lifestyle. Although Tanner admitted to the Gazette that she had a conflict of interest with her 6-figure money making scheme off of D11, Hasling has been mum on the issue. Progressives are rarely given permission to call out their fellow Progressives.

But wait – Hasling did not make this comment with regards to Tanner’s pizza deal. She made that comment about newly elected D11 board member Al Loma, who, much to Hasling & her handlers’ dismay, is no Progressive. In fact, as the Independent nervously points out, Loma is one of “those’ people who actually value students and their parents. What is his conflict? He sits on the board of a D11 charter school called the STAR Academy, and he has made it clear that he will not give up his seat on the charter board just because he will now be serving on the D11 board. There is neither a legal issue with Loma serving on both boards, nor is there an issue of a D11 policy violation, but Hasling’s handlers want to tar Loma early to let him know that he is not welcome in this D11 playground.

It would be easy to criticize Hasling for jumping on a non-issue (Loma) while ignoring a real issue (Tanner), but those who know Hasling understand that she does not make public pronouncements unless these pronouncements are given to her to be made. For those who attended or watched D11 board meetings during Hasling’s first year on the board, you will remember those meetings when she would read some previously prepared (for her) statement on issues that happened to have had no relevance at all to the issues being discussed. Poor Hasling would plod through her talking points with absolutely no idea that what she was reading was absolutely irrelevant and usually illogical.

So why are Hasling’s handlers upset with Al Loma? Because he is an outsider and not part of the corrupt system that is D11. While Hasling and others will declare that Loma has some conflict of interest because he is obviously a supporter of charters, and therefore of parental choice, nothing but love and adoration are being thrown at the other new BOE member, LuAnn Long. Long has been entrenched in D11 for years, begging the question of her conflicts. BOE members serve to represent the tax payers, not the administration. Long has a history of fighting any proposed changes that would benefit either the tax payers or students of D11. The reason that she is receiving such love and praise is because her fellow board members and administrators understand that she will be yet another champion of the status quo. Don’t expect your child to become her priority by any stretch of the imagination. As far as Sandra Mann’s re-election, let’s just hope that D11 never requires a breathalyzer test to be administered to board members prior to meetings.

Equally as funny, in a sad sort of way, as Hasling’s statement is a letter written to the Indy by John (it’s all about me) Gudvangen. The best I can tell, Gudvangen attempts to praise himself and attempts to take credit for an improved D11. Gudvangen is big on talking about civility, and he performed so well in this category that current members of the BOE let him know that they would campaign against him if he ran for re-election. Gudvangen was literally one of the least trustworthy members of the D11 board, once declaring that he could not be accused of lying because, “Everyone has their own truth.” Spoken like a true Relativist. That would explain why Gudvangen can claim that graduation rates have improved under his watch, when in fact they continue to decline. This would explain why Gudvangen can claim to have achieved success as a BOE member when several thousand more students have fled the district under his watch. This would explain why he could declare at a BOE meeting that, “We will never have a discussion about closing schools under my watch,” and then lead the charge to shut down 9 D11 schools. This would also explain why Gudvangen would exclaim in front of other D11 parents that he had no sympathy for students in low performing schools because it was not his fault that “their parents made some bad life choices.” Spoken like a true leader, Gudvangen.

At least it is refreshing to see Hasling & Gudvangen leaving with the same attitudes that brought them to the board in the first place. Those attitudes include a total disregard for the truth, and a total lack of concern for students.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Clean Sweep

No one who is familiar with D11 ethics is surprised to learn that the administration has declared that Jan Tanner has neither violated the spirit nor the letter of the law with her decade’s old money making scheme with the school district. After all, look back just two years and remember how CFO Glenn Gustafson quickly declared ex-labor union boss Irma Valerio “not guilty” of felony theft of tax payer money after she stole funds from D11 and from her own union treasury. The district also declared itself clean after investigating its own practice of handing tax payer funded vouchers to at least eight employees and anti-parent board member Karen Teja, all while using tax payer dollars to fight against vouchers for not-so-connected moms and dads across the district. To give the appearance of validity to the district’s investigation of itself, it publicly states that it brings in “independent” legal experts to look into the matter in question. In the case of the Teja vouchers, and in the most recent case of the Tanner pizza dynasty, D11 brought in Denver area attorneys to declare that the district and leftist board members in question were completely clear of any wrong doing. Take that “independent” opinion with a healthy grain of salt. If the law firm hired to find Tanner to be clear of wrong doing was hired by D11 law firm Holmes, Roberts, and Owen (HRO), just as was the law firm hired to find D11 clear of wrong doing in the Teja voucher scandal, where is the independence? If D11 or its attorney is paying another law firm to look into D11 matters, then D11 is essentially the client of the “independent” law firm, and law firms who want future business tend to base their conclusions on the wishes of the client.

So why would D11 have an interest in declaring that Tanner did nothing wrong? The answer is simple – D11 is also in the wrong. Former Procurement head John Elliott, whose wife Linda ran the political campaign for Tanner and who has been friends with the Tanners for years, handed the Tanner businesses a very lucrative pizza contract that lasted more than 10 years without ever placing that contract up for bid until two months ago. That is much more than a small oversight. The fact that Tanner never publicly disclosed her conflict of interest shows clearly that she knew that she was in the wrong for several years. Neither Elliott nor Gustafson have been asked by Superintendent Nick Gledich to address their roles in this matter, and the pliable Gazette reporter who covers (for) D11 can’t quite get the nerve to dig deeper. Having written that, I will give reporter Sue McMillin credit for objecting when the D11 board adjourned into executive session to discuss the matter of elected official Jan Tanner at the November 4th work session (for those who watch video of D11 board meetings, D11 has edited out McMillin’s objection).

By law, public bodies must meet in open session, with very few exceptions. One exception that a public body may use to meet in private is to ask for legal advice on a specific issue. Board member Tom Strand made the motion for executive session on November 4th, and in his motion, he declared that the purpose of legal advice was to receive advice on conflict of interest. If the board simply wanted advice on the definition of conflict of interest, there was no legal authority for them to have retreated into executive session. The advice must be for a specific question. Since Gledich released a statement following the meeting that Jan Tanner was clear of wrong doing, that specific advice must have pertained to Tanner. If the board was seeking advice regarding Tanner’s actions, then why was Tanner in the executive session? Further, since Tanner was the topic of discussion, the BOE had no legal authority to discuss her actions in private. Tanner is an elected official, which means that she is not covered by the “personnel” exception to open meetings laws. HRO gave that very advice to our board when questions about Eric Christen’s background were raised by Karen Teja. The tape recording of the executive session from November 4th is public record not protected by state law. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Sue McMillin to request a copy of that tape.

Don’t be fooled by the praises heaped on D11 by the Gazette editorial of a few days ago. The editorial pointed to an “unqualified” opinion given for D11 financial accounting - which is a good opinion. This was simply an external audit, which is conducted annually. External audits are focused only on the accounting practices used by the district. The auditors determine if Gustafson is using proper accounting practices to keep the district books. He is. Every column lines up properly and 2+2=4 in each instance where it should equal 4. Unfortunately, Gustafson and his board allies have refused to allow for an internal audit to be conducted on D11’s books. His reason is that this will be costly. Internal audits are not the friend of someone with something to hide. These audits are the friends of the owners of D11, who are the tax payers. Internal audits are those that turn up fraud and waste if they exist. Why is Gustafson so opposed to them, and why does Gustafson consistently refuse to speak out against the Irma Valerios and Jan Tanners and Karen Tejas? Gustafson has an interesting history with D11, and this history might provide clues for the answer to that question.

Spydra has even more on Tanner’s inflated income from her Inflated Dough business with D11. Read it here at

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