Trustee Brooke Ashjian, Fresno Unified School District Trustee for Area 7 will not seek re-election. During the press conference on Wednesday morning in front of the FUSD headquarters, Trustee Ashjian listed his accomplishments and said he “never backed down from a fight” and always sought to do what was best for the children. Trustee Ashjian said,
“I announce that I wont be running for school board in the coming election. I feel that I have ran the course, I’ve finished the task, and set the place for success.”
During the brief press conference Trustee Ashjian said he ran to clear the cloud of corruption at FUSD, restore accountability, and bring back truth and transparency to Fresno. During his service, Ashjian said he changed the competitive bidding process, revamped the truancy system, conducted an audit of the special education department to ensure special needs children would not be forgotten, and ensured shot spotter technology was installed near schools. Trustee Ashjian was also instrumental in the culture change and said,
“There is absolute transparency in the numbers, no longer will we fudge numbers at Fresno Unified. You’d say what are you saying? I’m saying to you the numbers that you’ve seen coming out of Fresno Unified prior to me getting to this board were inaccurate. Our African American education gap, achievement gap, was one of the worst in the nation and it was hidden from public, and it was a travesty that we did that.”
Trustee Ashjian did not endorse another candidate for the FUSD Area 7 seat at this time. Trustee Ashjian expressed his passion as a concerned parent and not politician.
Sad day for Fresno Unified School District.
Many on the progressive left will hail this as a victory, but many parents who have students in Fresno Unified are losing a passionate advocate. Some political advocates will no doubt celebrate tonight without actually realizing what will be lost.
Many know that Brooke and I disagreed on many issues facing students. I appreciate his willingness and accessibility to discuss any issue unlike the majority of the trustees. Brooke said that he did not back down from a fight during the press conference, and that is true.
I remember one specific conversation about “safe spaces” as I tried to change his mind, but I truly witnessed someone who cared about students and not political fame and he said, “Guillermo, it ain’t about that, its about the kids. Always.”
Brooke, you will be missed.