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Letter: Baldwin had it wrong!

I would like to take this opportunity to point out some misinformation contained in Baldwin Moy’s letter, entitled “Anatomy of Racism.”

Now, Baldwin is my friend, and he is a whole lot smarter than me, so I’ll have to leave it up to others to assess his anatomy of racism. But there is one thing that I do know. Sara Wilkins was not the highest elected education official in Madera County. She was nowhere near that level. That honor would have to go to Cecilia Massetti, the County Superintendent of Schools.

I’ll tell you how I know. I served (if one can call it that) on that board. Heck, one time I was even President of the Madera County School Boards Association, and it never once entered my head that I was near the top of the educational leader’s ladder. For all I know, Sara could have been on that board for the same reason I was on it. They gave me $20 a month and free (or near free) health insurance. Shoot, the only time I had to make a decision was when we passed the budget Sally Frazier put together. We wouldn’t have done that if the state hadn’t insisted.

It was true, we did arbitrate a few quarrels — some between school districts and some between parents and school districts. But believe me folks, unless things have changed, the Superintendent and her staff do all the work; the employees all work for her, not the board.

The only reason that I can see for the county board’s existence is to okay the budget and act as arbiters between school districts or adjudicate quarrels between school districts and parents of kids who are getting kicked out of school for misbehavior.

Now, Baldwin has his own quarrel with Sara, and so do a lot of other people. I have known her for a long time — even taught her kid — and I always liked her. I am still shaking my head at why she would do something so dumb as to post what she did. I know she’s smarter than that.

Oh well, now that I have my objection to Baldwin’s article off my chest, I think I will go read the rest of it.

— Bill Coate


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