Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) Board of Education recently filled a vacated seat using a new process, and then threw the process into turmoil with the subsequent appointment of a lower-scoring candidate rather than the top-scored candidate for the role. All candidates, including I, went into that process in good faith that the decisions would be fair and transparent. Unfortunately that faith has been tainted by questionable results, manipulation of scorecards, and ad-hoc vote changes without proper explanation. I am still seeking clarity and records from the superintendent.
Previous appointments have been based on a straight score ranking where the top finisher was appointed. But the last-minute upending of the process, with no advance warning, has stirred up community outrage and discussions on the integrity of the new process. I am humbled by the unsolicited community-driven initiative to challenge a flawed process. A similar challenge recently happened in Dublin Unified School District, which led to two special elections in June and November, 2019. I hope that our school board and administration are aware of the pitfalls of an unproven process, and the lack of clarity. I also hope that they will do their best to restore public trust and their credibility, and to save our school district the expense of a special election.
Strong public education is an integral part of every good community. Milpitas is no exception. Our elected school board must be accountable and transparent in its decision-making process. The lack of a structured-process has triggered fear that it may be a sign of a larger issue, like what happened in Alum Rock School District. This is a clear opportunity for the board and administration to reflect and improve on their approach.
With this letter, I hope to dispel any misunderstanding and false information that is being shared on social media. Milpitas families, teachers, and school staff all deserve better.
Chia Ling Kong