SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Ketchikan Board of Education

By A. M. Johnson


December 29, 2015
Tuesday PM

Editor, Sitnews:

School Board President Ms. Michele O Brien's letter in retort to Ms. Moran makes one's eyes cross. This writer read Ms. Moran's offerings complete with backup documentation, in addressing Ms. Moran's view of the current school board's activities. Is there some item or part addressed that is incorrect or false? I find in reading the newspaper articles following school board meetings the meeting's news reporting content is woefully lacking in academic content.

Having sat for several years on the Ketchikan School Board and suffered any number of assaults on a personal level by those at the podium in disagreement to a particularly stance the board took on a subject near and dear to that speaker's mind, I am aghast that Ms. O'Brien thinks rebutting Ms. Moran as she has in this public forum is smart.

One has a tendency to think that this is a feline cat fight in the making, if so, the intent of that fight has to be taken as effort of deflecting the direction that Ms. Moran depicted in her letter - Academics, academic achievement and test results.

From the position of a past board member who served driven to press academic shortfalls within the district I will address the bottom line of Ms. O'Brian's retort which seems to be asked in ignorance when the word seemingly is applied.

Where would you make the next and seemingly inevitable cuts? Student activities? Music? The arts? Alaska Native education? Technology?

Yes, all of the above. If for a single moment the board through Ms O' Brien, believes that any and all of those activities are NOT ON THE TABLE in the very near future budget considerations, she and the board are living in a pure ignorant world of their own making.

All one had to do is lift their head out of the sand and listen to the current discussion on the State budget woes to know that what happens on a given Wednesday rolls down hill to Friday.

This board will have to face those specific items as the decisions regarding the level of academics balance vs the seemingly inevitable cuts.

It will not be a pretty scene. No matter the membership of philosophy of the sitting board during those deliberations, there will be no escape from tough decisions. The school board is but one of the locally elected bodies that will be facing equally important life style decisions.

This community through the Assembly are going to be facing horrendous decisions. Public safety, and basic education (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) is a bottom line necessity, all else will be considered a luxury.

Not a good sign to see the school board president rolling out in public at this early junction of that oncoming onslaught of fiscal decisions. This community will soon learn to pull together. Education will be a huge part of keeping the community together. No matter our individual philosophy, would you with a different thinking need a helping hand, we of still a different philosophy better be willing to offer that hand to each other more so in the coming budget disaster that will befall us.

Ms. Moran has stood for election and served, she has seen the fire, and walked the walk. Thank you.


A. M.Johnson

Ketchikan, Alaska

About: "One of five Recalled school board members that challenged the status quo and paid the price"

Received December 23, 2015 - Published December 29, 2015

Related Viewpoint:

letter RE: Smoke and Mirrors By Michelle O'Brien

letter Smoke and Mirrors By Agnes Moran



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