TAHLEQUAH — Editor, Daily Press:
As I predicted last summer, the Baker “brain trust” headed by Byrd, Morton, Qualls and Hoskin Sr., is failing in the educational pursuits it is responsible for and degrading years of hard work and progress forged by others.
Among many other negatives, they have thrown the Sequoyah parents, coaches and student-athletes under the bus and left them to fend for themselves, especially over the OSSAA issues. At one point, the administration wouldn’t even buy pre-game meals for the football team. They have essentially militarized and locked down the campus, which is not an environment conducive to teaching and learning. The perpetual personnel merry-go-round continues, as several non-Indians have been hired and the “re-organization” of positions in Education Services and at Sequoyah Schools either holds over retreads like Morton and Sly, or fills positions with employees with questionable qualifications. There are rampant rumors of more staff changes coming at the end of the school year.
There exists a superintendent (with no prior experience as a superintendent) who was the principal when Sequoyah’s student enrollment was only half–capacity and the school was deeply in debt and known as the “School of Last Resort.” The deputy chief’s nephew is the athletic director, despite no prior AD experience. The principal posseses no prior secondary administrative experience and abandoned the students at her elementary school with only a “C” on its state report card.
The administration has initiated possible implementation of the less rigorous BIA standards instead of the more challenging Common Core State Standards, while “connected” relatives have been admitted to Sequoyah despite not meeting entrance criteria. They have undermined, allowed to whither, or completely abandoned previous administrations’ initiatives in languages, science, math, technology, and other areas.
The Cherokee people must know that Baker’s administration is not interested in improving education, only in perpetuating cronyism, nepotism, and political vendettas. The Cherokee Nation and especially its young people are the ones paying the price for this group’s self-serving, callous and vindictive nature.
Editor’s note: Though elected officials are subject to fair comment and criticism, this letter has been edited due to the type of material that would require proof before publication. It should be noted that Crofford was a school official under the previous administration.