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Frank the Call's trained seal, Stevenson asserts


December 07, 2005 - To the editor:

The Call's trained seal board member, Karl Frank Jr., declared Mehlville School District employee morale to be low.

Further, residents are disillusioned and unsupportive. If only everyone would listen to Karl, the universe would right itself. The trouble is:

Like most people, Mr. Frank graduated high school and promptly relegated the school district to the back burner until his own children brought it again to the fore.

Unfortunately, being a concerned parent does not earn him expert status in the education business. Being the fourth member of his family to scrape together enough credits to graduate a district high school likewise does not convey the necessary qualifications to help run a school district.

There is a sharp, steep learning curve which Mr. Frank did not bother to navigate before sounding off on a variety of subjects.

Mr. Frank clearly has little understanding of the challenges the district faced in the past two decades. He clearly has no appreciation for the solutions and progress his predecessors struggled to achieve. He spouts the right buzz words, but displays no real knowledge of their meanings. The occasional decent idea he voices routinely drowns in the self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing hubris of his exposition.

As a hapless audience member, I was compelled to endure Frank's endless re-citation of the Frank Manifesto — or what-ever he calls it — at the Sept. 27 school board meeting. I came away impressed by his underwhelming mastery of the obvious and his incredible naiveté.

He believe the district should hire the best teachers and pay them well. Golly, ain't nobody thunk of that before. He says the basics should be taught. No kidding?

He believes the district should publish its own textbooks, but doesn't offer specifics.

Who will research, verify and interpret the research and write these textbooks? How are we to pay for it?

Listening to this 30-year-old dilettante pontificate to education professionals, many of whom have more years of experience than he has years of life, was akin to hearing a self-righteous teenager lecture his parents. I was irritated, mildly amused and embarrassed for him. The coup de grace was his closing condescending invitation to administrators and senior board members to "join me'' in pursuit of the agenda he and his monumental ego devised for the district.

His dogged preoccupation with dissecting every expenditure related to Prop P is tiresome. He dismisses any committee or audit which does not confirm his opinions.

All these citizens and accountants must be shills for the other board members and administrators. No one is to be trusted un-til he proclaims them worthy. It might be comical if his negativity wasn't retarding efforts to address pressing needs.

His simplistic answers appeal to uninformed, lazy voters who cannot grasp, or choose not to tackle, the complexities of the tax system, loss of desegregation funding, state and federal education mandates and escalating costs.

In all the above, Mr. Frank has been en-couraged and assisted by the Call, the editorial staff of which cannot differentiate be-tween reporting the news and engineering it.

Patricia Stevenson

Oakville

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