Keeping People Ignorant: MoCo Newspaper Edition

Last week the Mt. Sterling Advocate (the newspaper in Montgomery County), ran a gigantic op-ed from Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell.

To call it was crazy is an understatement. After more than a year of government investigations, audits revealing corruption, lawsuits, audio and video, Powell continues to foam at the mouth about how it’s all some big, fabricated conspiracy to demonize him.

This is how it appeared in the paper:


THE FULL SPREAD

Some excerpts:

The unnamed superintendent cited his fear of the governmental agencies and reported that fabricated information was reported to them. His fear, disturbingly, was not founded in the fear of consequence for violating a statute or regulation. His fear, shared by school leaders throughout the Commonwealth, was that of having one of the offices (OEA, EPSB, Auditor’s Office) accuse or insinuate that a law was violated without having any legitimate process remotely resembling the U.S. justice system, which often results in absolute condemnation by the community.

Governmental agencies are often thought of as being the experts of law and their reports are viewed as being absolute. Most public school administrators are keenly aware that nothing could be further from the truth. Often, there is significant error in agency reports proliferated by the fact that most reports rarely make it to an actual legal proceeding. This is an indictment all by itself and, quite frankly, an atrocity consistent with practices in Communist countries.

The multiple agencies represent very different philosophies and interpretations of law, and the ability for an affected party to refute or appeal writings — which can be more accurately described as ramblings — rarely exists. Still, the noxious combination of multiple state agencies, the new age use of social media (often used to maliciously attack individuals and entities) and the overriding disdain for public officials (especially school administrators) has led to great concern and trepidation result from manufactured claims that clearly intend to harm the public figure — criticism that goes far beyond what is allowed by the First Amendment and does nothing short of terrorizing victims. This type of unregulated behavior wreaks havoc on school districts and serves to prevent school leaders from taking appropriate actions to lead a student-centered, top-notch educational program, which equates to holding a minority of adults to a higher standard. Instead, the aforementioned system promotes a managerial and political type leader — sometimes inaccurately referred to as a servant-type leader — that lulls school systems into a nearly inescapable condition of mediocrity, which has wreaked havoc on the Commonwealth’s schools for decades.

Public school districts are wrought with unusual laws and regulations, which are all too often counterintuitive to even the most advanced professionals. As a means of revenge, disgruntled people capitalize on the complicated, politically-infested and bureaucratically-driven system by knowing what to report and who to report to. Add this to the various attacks from disgruntled individuals via social media and communities are left with a feeling of uneasiness and aggravation from the perception that school leadership is filled with corruption…

-SNIP-

… am going to write a series of correspondences titled, “Montgomery County Myth Busters” in an attempt to shed light on what has occurred during the last three years.

-SNIP-

A few disenchanted people have spoken for the majority of the community and employees of the school district and to continue to allow this, without interruption and effort, would be a gross injustice to those that have worked hard to build a better future for children.

You catch that? Claimed it’s all fabricated. OEA, EPSB, OCR, the State Auditor of Public Accounts. They made it all up.

It’s Communism!

Powell went on to address some “myths” that… well… take a look:

Myth — the district attempted to provide substantial pay raises (up to 30,000) for administrators.

False. The salary schedule for administrators was changed in 2011 from a schedule based on years of experience and educational attainment to a salary range.

-SNIP-

To further complicate this, the Commonwealth of Kentucky mandated a 1 percent raise for all employees.

-SNIP-

Due to the Commonwealth’s mandate, the salary of existing administrators could not be decreased since administrators, by mandate, had to have a 1 percent increase. In order to do this, stipends had to be calculated for each position to be equal to the current salary of the administrator, with the addition of a 1 percent raise — nothing more.

Spoiler alert: everyone already knows he did, in fact, push to provide substantial pay raises for administrators.

Since when is a $20,000 “stipend” on an approximately $90,000 salary (for Powell’s illegally-hired wife) anywhere near 1%? Try 22+%.

More:

Myth — The district has never used billboards and movie theater ads and the district has never used billboards and movie theater ads and the district should not use advertisement to attract an already captive audience.

False. Prior to 2011, the district used multiple forms of advertisement including newspaper and theater ads. In fact, the district spent $16,600 from 2007 to 2011.

We’ll let you do your own math, based on what’s already been reported, to discern that Powell’s spent far more than that.

Why is Powell freaking out?

He’s going on trial in January and a new school board will be elected in eight days.