All copies of SFR placed at the main Santa Fe Public Schools administrative building, called the Educational Services Center, disappeared from that location the same day a story critical of SFPS appeared, according to an anonymous caller to SFR.
The June 29 issue of SFR contained a story detailing manipulation of student achievement data by SFPS Director of Assessment and Accountability Lynn Vanderlinden. The report Vanderlinden created was used in a February SFPS Board of Education closed session in which Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez' contract was renewed for an additional year. Vanderlinden's report has been called "misleading" by BoE Vice President Glenn Wikle because it showed only the positive changes in student achievement and disregarded data showing negative change.
The caller who alerted SFR to the papers' disappearance didn't leave any contact information, but said the papers had been removed.
"It's not clear whether the papers were taken or just moved really fast," SFR Circulations Manager Andy Bramble says.
SFPS Facility Specialist LeeAnn Archuleta tells SFR that the receptionist at the Educational Services Center wasn't present at the time, and Archuleta wasn't aware that the papers were missing or taken. Archuleta says as of today, only one copy of this week's SFR is still in the stands.
Board member Steven Carrillo writes SFR in an email that he didn't hear about the disappearing papers, "But it wouldn't surprise me."
If the papers were taken in an effort to suppress information about the student achievement data controversy, it wouldn't be the first time information on that topic was squelched. At a June 21 BoE meeting, SFPS parent Cate Moses tried to speak about the manipulated data during a public forum, but was told to sit down by BoE President Barbara Gudwin. Ultimately the microphone was unplugged by SFPS staff. Wikle and Carrillo both criticized Gudwin's handling of the incident later.
In an email, Carrillo call the alleged censorship of SFR "very inappropriate."
"Attempting to control the flow of information to those working at ESC is not on track with our goal of transparency," Carrillo writes.
Wikle had a more irreverent response to the missing papers mystery.
"Maybe they're using it as toilet paper?" he writes.