Jeannie Mackie?

After the apparent endless discussion over how qualified the applicant pool was (it was), the Board moved lighting quick to cut out virtually all of the candidates who have been involved in the District. The interviews will be re-televised (per the schedule found here http://channel14.asdk12.org/cablecast/public/Show.aspx?ChannelID=1&ShowI... and should ASD eventually provide a streamed version I will post details as they become available) and it is well worth the viewing. Then, after some quick further statements the Board selected Jeannie Mackie as the person they think should fill Seat B.

I have nothing personal against Ms. Mackie (I lived in Nenana too!) but it would appear that our local media have some experience with housewives of Ms. Mackie's ilk. See, http://frontiersman.com/articles/2007/04/01/opinion/opinion2.txt . It would seem on first blush that (apologies to Eve Arden et al) "Our Ms. Mackie" is none other than Mrs. Jerry Mackie, the wife of the Conservative Southeast Alaskan Republican cum Anchorage lobbyist (2008 APOC Lobbyist Report: http://aws.state.ak.us/apoc/lobbyistreporting/LobbyistReportSearchable.a...).

Perhaps the reason that the public so rarely elects Board appointees is because the Board as an institution seems to be so out of touch with the public's interest in transparency and commitment. But, more disconcerting is that none of the media outlets apparently mentioned this salient qualification of Ms. Mackie's, though they were all aware of it....

Ms. Mackie has little in common with most of Districts parents, students or teachers. A stay at home mom in a wel-to-do neighborhood who did not share a history of involvement in the community with the public during her Board interview. What exactly were the credentials she shared with the Board that set her apart from the other candidates who had served in ASD classrooms, on ASD committees, worked in elementary, secondary or post-secondary education, had developed curriculum, served on community boards, coached, helped with disadvantaged youth, worked with parents, etc.

The Board was absolutely correct; the qualifications of those applying were amazing. Yet the selection procedure seemed to reflect either that the Board was reading from a different text than the public, or that there was an ulterior agenda (for example, we don't want anyone on the Board with actual experience teaching in the school district, or perhaps we really should get a Republican lobbyist on the Board.....)

None of us can know for sure what goes through the Board's heads, but there seemed to be agreement among the applicants, when it was suggested by a Board member in jest that perhaps the whole board might step down to be replaced by the applicants, that that might just be a good idea.....

This communication was paid for by Marc Grober, 5610 Radcliff Dr. Anchorage, AK 99504