The presentation by the Redlands Unified School District Superintendent Mauricio Arellano at esri on Thursday, Aug. 29, had all the bells and whistles of an infomercial. He is a good speaker and his talk was replete with videos of students working with new technology tools, engaging in extracurricular activities, a talk with a security officer and even drone views of school campuses. It paid homage to community involvement and gave special attention to some local businesses. Nice stuff.

Curiously, it was lacking in focus on the people who are actually doing the front line work in the schools, the teachers. They are the ones trying to deal with the implementation of all the trendy new tech and regularly changing curriculum while dealing with large numbers of diverse kids.  

Maybe this was intentional, an effort to downplay the contributions of a group that the district administration is in contract negotiations with. They've been without a contract for a year now. In a way, it would be even sadder to think that it really shows a shortage of appreciation for the teachers, and a lack of understanding of their environment.

Rich O'Donnell, Redlands