Attacks on school district turn personal
December 14, 2005
The group backing Carson High School teacher Joe Enge has two apparent goals, neither of which are furthered by attacking a strong school system and its superb superintendent.
Chuck Muth, former chairman of the Nevada Republican Liberty Caucus, has conducted an Internet campaign to smear Carson City’s schools, with Enge as the paintbrush. On Tuesday evening, the attacks by Enge supporters turned personal against Superintendent Mary Pierczynski, whose annual evaluation was before the board.
Community leaders, parents, students and anyone who has paid attention the past four years know that Pierczynski is among the best superintendents of schools in Nevada and deserves praise, not derision. School board members – with one exception, Sheila Ward – recognized her contributions and approved her evaluation.
One of the goals of Enge supporters is to save his job at Carson High. That’s a personnel issue for the district and must be handled as such. It’s a decision on whether he’s doing his job as a teacher.
The second goal has to do with Enge’s contention that pre-Civil War history was not being taught in 11th-grade U.S. history classes. Whether that was ever true (other teachers and administrators say it was always part of their classes), school officials have made it clear that early American history is in the curriculum.
While both involve Enge, these are separate issues. The teacher isn’t in trouble for teaching pre-Civil War history, despite the Internet assertions of Muth. Nor has Carson High told its teachers not to teach it.
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The impetus behind this controversy seems to be political maneuvering for upcoming elections. If that’s the case, we’d like to see people be upfront about their motives when they’re dragging Carson schools and their leaders through the mud.