Yesterday I reported that Mitchell school superintendent Joseph Graves pocketed $157,500 administering a federal history-teaching grant funneled through the accountability-challenged Mid-Central Educational Cooperative. Today Superintendent Graves takes to the Mitchell paper to call that blog post “unfortunate“:
Graves said he found out about the blog post from a friend Tuesday, and described it as “unfortunate.”
“There were no issues here,” he said. “This whole thing that occurred at Mid-Central was a tragic and troubling incident, but it really had nothing to do with this” [Candy DenOuden, “Graves Defends Work with Federal Grant Program,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2015.09.30].
Graves found my report so unfortunate that he felt compelled to send all Mitchell school district staff (but not this blog, strangely enough) an e-mail explaining the work he did for that money:
…Graves said his administrative duties included negotiating contracts with the universities, arranging for speakers and forums over the course of the year and facilitating trips to “historically important sites” in places like Boston, Washington, D.C., and the South.
“Frankly, I’m proud of the job I did on these grants and the many teachers I assisted over the years,” he wrote to school officials. “Thus, I did not feel then nor do I feel now that I did anything wrong” [DenOuden, 2015.09.30].
Blog readers and critics should note that while Graves may find my report “unfortunate,” he can’t find it wrong. Nothing in DenOuden’s report calls into question any of the facts I reported yesterday, including the most salient fact, that Dr. Graves found a way to squeeze at least 16% of a million-dollar federal grant into administrative overhead.