New to the WCC blog

Welcome, to the White Chalk Crime blog.  If you are not a member of the National Association for Prevention Teacher Abuse at endteacherabuse.org please go and sign up. Become a member to fight this silent problem of bullying and abusing teachers in our education system.  You can be a teacher, para ed, a former student,a parent, a friend of someone who has been bullied or abused or anyone who cares about this issue. If you are not sure about joining; please go the the above website and read the stories of teacher and parents.

There is an old adage: there is strength in numbers.  The more members we have the louder our voice will be and we will have the ears of those who can end this abuse in our education system.

As things will happen, people have lives and move on to other things.  We are restarting this blog again.  It takes volunteers to man this blog. If you would like to help out please let me know.

We want to hear your stories, we want news what is happening in your school district, we want to hear your ideas and solution to this problem, we need you to be part of our team.

Norbert

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Lessons Learned- How to survive teacher abuse

We seem to forget lives lessons when life throws its worst at us.  We allow our emotions from anger, frustration to grow into blind hatred for those who did us wrong.  We struggle with our emotions hoping for the best. Our first thought is attack this head on and the truth will conquer all.  That is far from the truth.  School districts have the power and have no emotional connection to you. If they are in the wrong they will go to length to protect themselves. You need to do the same. The first lesson is to step back, take a deep breath, and be patient. Patience is about controlling your emotions so you can see all.  Patience is about having a clear  mind that helps you find the correct path.  Patience is about you being in control of yourself. It is easier to write these word than to learn patience.  It is not an easy task for you, but it something you must learn to do. Understand it will take time for you to control your emotions and learn to be patient.  Time can be your friend or your enemy.  This is my first lesson in how to survive teacher abuse.  I will talk about other lessons. I would like to hear from you. That will be my next lesson learning to talk about what happen to you.

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A Teacher an American without a country

To My Fellow Americans, Teachers, and Veterans:

In September, we celebrate and honor those who help build this great nation.   Many have died, many have suffered, many have gone without, many have fought, and many continue to help turned this country into a great nation.  The many are nameless, unknown to us, but their contributions still lives on in this great nation.  Yet,   we are still fighting an uphill battle for better labor protection for all.  I am one of those who still fighting that battle in our public schools.

Six years ago, I reported and incident in a classroom as required by the law.  It wasn’t my responsibility to investigate the incident. A student was verbally degraded/abuse, bullied, and neglected, by district staff, because of this abuse the student attempted to hurt themselves. There was no investigation or report on this incident.  Two weeks later I’m being falsely accused of this incident.  During this six year nightmare, I learned I don’t have the right to due process.  I don’t have any protection under the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and under any labor laws because the type of my job. I had no civil rights protection because of who I am.

Below are questions I asked many people including the President of the United States?  In all my letters, no one has ever answered these questions.

 Where does a person like me, an Untied States citizen in good standing, a veteran, a family man whose hard working and tries to be the best person every day, go to get fair, equitable treatment and due process?

 I’m I asking too much to be fairly and equitably treated? I’m I asking too much not to be subjected to harassment, intimidation, retaliation, and humiliation? I’m I asking too much to have fair and equitable due process?  I’m I asking too much to have access to documentation that could have proven my innocence? I’m I asking too much to be treated equally and fairly no matter what my job is?  I’m I asking too much to be not subject to job discrimination or any type of discrimination?

What happen to that special education student who was verbally /degraded abuse, bullied, dragged like a wild animal to their cage, and neglected by the district staff?  Because of this abuse and neglect the student attempted to hurt themselves. Where is this student’s rights?   This student didn’t do anything to deserve this treatment. Yet, many people who I written to could care less about this child.  This child doesn’t pay their salary, doesn’t vote for them or put monies in their coffers.

In the end, I spent the last six years trying to find justice for myself and the special education student. My first three years were writing letters and trying to find a lawyer who would take my case or at least give me legal advice. The Center for Justice told me it was too big for them.  Another lawyer told me I was screwed.  School districts, in his words, were above the law and can do whatever they want without fear of anything.  He was right.  No other lawyer or law office would talked to me.

The last three years I have been trying to tell people the greatest external threat to our public schools is the “wall of silence”.  The greatest internal threat to our schools is not gun violence; it is student and workplace bullying. It has destroyed or changed more lives than gun violence.  This realization helped me determine my next move.  To returned my flag.

In November 2011, I made a video about returning my flag to the President of the United States.  This was to protest my lack of rights in this great country.  The flag was given to me when I retired from the military.  I sent the flag to Senator John McCain to have him return it for me.  Instead his office disposed of my flag. It was another slap in the face for an American, a teacher and a veteran.  When I made the video, it was one of the lowest points in my life.

After you watching this eight and half minute video, http://youtu.be/I4qtNVSBSno, please pass it on.  Send it to a teacher, a parent, a veteran, grandparents, and those who care about our schools, teachers, and students.

Please remember this is about Spokane School District 81 leadership who covered up verbal abuse of student and blamed it on an innocent teacher. They did this to protect their jobs and reputations. It is about Spokane City leadership and the local news media.  They are willing to protect these individuals to insure the city doesn’t get a black eye. It is about the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington State who doesn’t enforced the ethic codes or care if students are being abused. It is about the Washington State’s leadership who are willing to throw students and teachers under the bus than do the right thing,

We need to change this abusive, bullying culture in our public schools.  This needs to be done one school at a time, one city at a time and one state at a time. In the end, it is about creating safe learning and teaching environments for students and teachers alike.  This can only be done when we come together and speak with one voice.

You can go to endteacherabuse.org to read other teachers and students stories of being bullied.  Please visit GoPublicSchool.com, StopwhiteChalkCrime.com or the many other websites and blogs trying to eliminate this serious threat to our students and teachers.  I would like to hear from you batspokane@twitter.com or email at batspokane@gmail.com

 

Let’s come together and speak with one voice

 

Norbert Leute

A teacher, a veteran, an American without a country

 

P.S.  In November, we will celebrated Veterans Day.  This is a celebration to honor American’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.  I’m fighting for all those veterans who have been discriminated for doing what is right and honorable. Those veterans who gave their lives, who came back with visible and invisible wounds, and who struggled to find their place in society.  Yet, like me, many have endured discrimination because we are veterans.  For many years, school districts across Washington State refused to support Troops for Teacher Program.   As a human resource and equity director, for Spokane School District 81, told me “My military experience meant crap to teaching.”  There was nothing I could do.  We have no labor protection for our veterans.  The question is why.

 

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Are we leaving students behind? A letter to a superintendent.

Mr. Rockerfeller:

 

I would like to thank you, Mr. Hoadley (Director of Student Service), and Mr. Thayer (Director of Human Resource for meeting with me and allowing me to address my concerns. However, I felt I gave you an inadequate answers to two questions you posed to me.  I was caught off guard and perplexed why you would asked me these types of questions.  After much, contemplation and without any trepidation, would like to respond to these questions.

The first question you asked of me why I was coming forward with my concerns. My reply was I had a moral and ethical requirement to address my concerns. Every year we have a requirement to review and read a sixty plus power point slide show on “What Every Employee Must be Told” This is provide through the Washington School Personal Association and Mead School District. After reviewing, this slide show we sign a statement of understanding and get a nice certificate.

In the introduction, it says the following, “We have the responsibility to model and uphold the highest level of professionalism.”  The definition of professionalism can vary from person to person depending on experiences, achievements, and goals. My definition of professionalism is dedication, integrity, and commitment to excellence to the job and people I support and teach.

In March 2013, I was put in a position that there was little support, no communication, little or no information on students why they were in Life Skills, no valid or current assessments, no indication that students were meeting any type of standards or goals. They were basically doing a writing prompt, do a worksheet or two, and free time afterwards. On Fridays, they do a writing prompt and do a review on a newspaper article. There was no sense of purpose or direction in the curriculum or instructions.  The student spent more times on their cell phones than doing work. This was one of my biggest problems to eliminate.

I found my asking why some of these students were even in Life skills.  They had either discrepancies in math, reading and writing, but were cognitive of their surroundings and life itself.  They had great support systems and families.   It seems that the only reason they were in life skills because they were in special education. Yet, there isn’t a student in that high school who needs some type of life skills.

I tried several time to contact the teacher to find out “his method of madness”.  Nothing made sense to me and there was very little information to access.  He ignored my emails and came in for less than ten minutes. It was a waste of his time and mine. I was basically on my own and had to figure things out. He graded everyone the same and basically gave them the same grades. As far I could tell, it wasn’t a pass or fail class.

The following week two individuals came into my room and drop a stack of paper on the desk.  They said I was going to start writing the IEPs for the students. The stack of paper was supposedly assessments done by the teacher.  I took them home and it took two to three hours to separate and file them by student’s name. These papers didn’t tell me the progression of student’s goals, what their goals were, and why they were in Life skills.

On top of all this, I noticed that the math curriculum was ineffective, the students hated it, and it was confusing to teach.  There seem no purpose benefiting the students in making progression in their individual math skills. I contacted another special education teacher who I was told to use as a resource.  She told me that they stopped using the AMP curriculum it served no purpose and wasn’t helping the students improve their individual math skills. We brought this to the attention of an administrator at the weekly special education meeting.  She said would get back with us.

During this time, this teacher provided me with some assessment test.  I had no assessments on any of the students.  I was appalled with the results of the assessments.  Students were weak any many basic math concepts and skills.  I noticed this with the entry task with students. They struggled with finding common denominator for fractions, division, word problems, finding the area, line segments, reducing fractions, multiplication of double digits, measurements, and much more. The Amp curriculum wasn’t not filling in the holes or tackling any algebra.

I believe after spring break, we got back with the administrator and asked about teaching the AMP curriculum.   She told us to continue to use the curriculum.  Her reasoning was that the teacher, who I was subbing for, might come back next year.  She gave no other reason or solution to improving the students’ math skills.  When I finally, had access to their IEPs, they were not meeting their IEP goals. In fact, very little was done in meeting their goals. These were very bright young people who had the capacity to pick up new concepts. If they would of spent the year working on their holes they would not be a year behind.

In May, the student were informed they would be taking the state test for algebra.  They all were upset and in a panicky mind set. I was speechless and very sympatric to what they were feeling.  I went and got some basic algebra work, but it didn’t make them feel any better.  At the time of the testing, I told them to make their best guess. It was the only chance of passing the test.

In April, I was informed that I might be doing the freshman presentations.  I found out that I was unable to get into the website used for signing up for the presentation. I contacted the people running the website and they told me what needed to be done. I contacted the person running the freshman presentation and told them what needed to be done.  They said it too much trouble and they would get back with me.  I kept inquiring about this every week to see what was happening.  Finally, I was told I would be doing the presentations for the freshman.

We were told we would be given a list and instruction what to do.  I believe I didn’t get a list of the students and time of the presentations until the day before they started. About half of the students were in my classes.  One student hadn’t done anything on his presentation, another hadn’t worked on it in months, and most had only half or less presentation done.   How could this happen?  I made a list of concerns and problems I saw at these presentations. I turned these in in the workroom.   No one every contacted me about my concerns with the presentations.

I spent three and half months in MT. Spokane, busting my buns off.  I never complained and did my best to address the student’ needs. I spent my whole spring break writing lesson plans. I address my concerns through the proper channels or venues. I couldn’t tell you, even today, who was my supervisor. If there was any love or appreciation by the administrators I didn’t see or feel it. In fact, the last day of school there were no good bye, no handshakes, and no thank you. I walked out of Mt. Spokane High School door shaking my head.

Let me ask you this question, Mr. Rockefeller, “Did Mt Spokane administrators have a responsibility to model and up hold the highest level of professionalism?  If so, why didn’t they do it?

Another power point slide states “Teachers do have a responsibility to be alert to students’ issues and needs and to communicate those needs to parents, administrators, or councilors so that the welfare of the student can be properly address.”  Yet, what I found out there was a lack of communication in the school.  There were times I felt I was left in the dark.   Yet, I was responsible for the student’s behavior and welfare in the classroom.

I brought up three different students at the weekly special meeting.  Every time I found out the school has been dealing with these behaviors throughout the school year. Not one person informed me of the students past behaviors and what actions were taken. I asked why functional assessments weren’t done, why they aren’t on a contract or have a behavior plan.  Where was the documentation of these behaviors and actions taken?  I saw nothing.

There was one of these students I discussed at one of the meetings.  I said I was concern with the student.  I outline what I saw, heard from the student, and how the student was behaving.  One of the first thing out of my mouth the student shows signs of severe depression.  Yet, in the minutes those two words did not appear. There was no follow-up or anyone contacting me about the student. All I could do is email his counselor and document the student’s behavior.

As I told you at the meeting, I asked the education specialist for a meeting because I had some serious concerns about writing a student’s IEP.  I told the education specialist that the student’s only IEP goal was to work on algebra.   The AMP math curriculum he was working on had nothing to do with his IEP goal.  In fact. I asked the student if he worked on any algebra this school year.  He said no.   His routine was come in read the paper, work in the book and listen to music. I asked this specialist how I’m I suppose to write an IEP on this student?  I got no answer.

At the IEP meeting, the education specialist led the IEP meeting.  The IEP was incomplete because I was waiting to hear from the specialist what to do. After the meeting, I got an email to complete the IEP. How do you go into an IEP with an incomplete IEP? The education specialist never mention the student never worked on any algebra the whole school year? What happen to the communicating student issues and needs to parents?  Didn’t they have the right to know?

    These are a few examples what I had to deal with in the high school.  I could go down the list of students and expound what happen to them.  The district and school is asking me to take responsibility of a classroom, but not providing any communication or feedback.  How does one exist in any organization with this lack of communications? How do you write new IEP goals without knowing why the student is in Life Skills?  How do measure progress when there is no documentation of what a student has done?  How do you going into an IEP meeting knowing the school failed their child?  How is this kept from the parents?  Why the silence?

   Another example of lack of communication or feedback concern the report cards at the end of the school year.  I had several students who missed significant number of schools days. What work they did during this grading period was very little. I was told I had to get approval from an administrator to give a student an incomplete grade. I sent an email asking for permission and advise what to do.  I never got a response. The students got a passing grade for doing little work. Are we setting these students up to fail?  No teacher should ever be put in that position with no guidance or instruction.

I made a statement saying that Miss Winters was set-up to fail.  Let’s look at the evidence. Miss Winters was a late hire. She had no valid curriculum.  She was teaching some of the same exact curriculum I was teaching to the same students last school year. In June, a teacher was hired to do all Life Skill classes.  When did they change the classes? Who made the decision what curriculum would be taught?

She had little support from what I gathered, she was running room to room until she moved in the current classroom. She had little information on the students. She had some tough students who were being feed the same curriculum from last year.  How do you think they felt? Why were the LCCE assessments redone when they were current (May and June 2013)?

I don’t make this statement lightly, but it is based on experience.  I spent twenty years in the military where I had enormous and continuous training in leadership, management, supervision, and training.  I was a training manager for a squadron which over saw over thirty different career fields.  I develop training program to teach supervisor how to monitor and train their people.  I was trained in Total Quality Management and Leadership. I back-up my statement based on my experience, training, and education.

When I showed up Monday morning, on November 18th, there were no lesson plans.  No information on what she had done. I had to borrow a book for another Life skills classroom and develop lesson plans.  Again, I was teaching the same exact curriculum to the same students as I did last year.  The students were upset by they were having to do the same curriculum again.  Here it is four months since the start of school, what exactly have the students learn?  How do you measure their progress?  How did the curriculum address their IEP goals?

In my first email to you, I stated the following “Your mission, goals and beliefs that are posted on the walls of district schools have been violated and denied some students a fair and equitable education.” These students were denied a viable education; a meaningful education.  There is no evidence of their learning. There is no accurate reporting of individual achievement it is either covered up or distorted.   In my opinion and experience, you neglected and denied them their maximum education potential.  Some might say that is a form of abuse.

Mr. Rockefeller, have you ever had a child verbally degraded and denied and opportunity by an adult educator?  If not, you are lucky. My youngest son and several other boys were verbally degraded and denied a fair and equally opportunity to compete for junior varsity squad; a right they all earned.  It affected my son to the point he withdrew.  The coach admitted it once I corner him.

However, I spoke to parents, teachers, tried to talk the principal, talked the athlete director, the district refused to talk to me, superintendent had a closed door policy, and one of the school board members did nothing.  He was aware of the situation, but his kids went to Shadle Park High school.  Not one person stepped forward to an advocate for my son and the other boys. My son decided to stop playing basketball because of this abusive coach.  This is when I became an advocate for children.

Finally, on the Teacher’s Responsibility slide it says the following “Teachers must also accept responsibility as an advocate for students.”  When I walked into your office, sat down at your table, and started talking about what transpired at Mt. Spokane High school, I was speaking on behalf of the students as their advocate. I did this because Washington State and Mead School District asked me to be that advocate.

The other question you asked me what you were supposed to do about the problems at Mt. Spokane High School.  One, you can dig the deepest hole and cover it up, like most school districts do. Two, you can be that innovated Mead School District and create a viable, measurable Life Skills Program.  A program that can be a model for schools across this nation.  Ask yourself how did this come to be?  Was it complacence at its worst or something more?  Provide more training in leadership, management, communications and supervision.  The last question you need to ask yourself “was there any acts of unprofessional conduct by your people?”

Mead School District Board of Directors said the following” The Mead school District is committed to ensuring each student has the highest quality learning opportunity possible.  This regardless of which grade level, program or school building is involved. We believe students and teachers should use evidence of learning to help determine progress toward meeting educational standards.  We believe this approach will provided students, parents, and teachers valid and timely feedback to assist student achievement and maximize educational potential.”

Mr. Rockefeller, you, your staff, the school board, and administrators failed and denied these students and education to help them be successful in their future endeavors. How did MT. Spokane High School become Newsweek 2013 Best Schools in the Northwest?  Where these students included in those stats and numbers? Were they a victim of the numbers game and wanting to look good?  It seems you have a lot of questions to answer and a lot of problems to solve.

Furthermore, on slide 66 called “A values-based Culture” it talks about helping others succeed.  The last sentence says “Take ownership; share concerns with a supervisor.  It is not about telling, but about facilitating help for someone who needs change.”  That was another responsibility you tasked me with to do; to help Mt. Spokane High School.

I hope this clarifies my answers to your questions given at our meeting. Again, thank you for taking the time to listen to my concerns.

 

 

Norbert Leute

 

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Student Bullies Teacher

One student’s defamation caused a ripple effect of destruction with zero consequences for her proven lies and deceit.  Bullying accusations caused me to resign from teaching.  I’m heart broken and disappointed with the facts from the case and it altered who I am as an educator.

I’ve been teaching nearly 10 years, the last 2 at a phenomenal high school with an A+ administration.  My principal has supported me throughout this ordeal, but her hands were tied as the ‘bully’ word is the buzz word that spins up our district.  I was not a union member because I was a great teacher: tough, strict, and fair.  I felt if I ever did something worthy of district intervention, then I didn’t need the union, I needed to leave the classroom.  I never expected someone would make something up.  I was naïve.

A student from our high school dance team I sponsored after school, for free, on my own time decided to quit the team and join another dance team from the town.  At the time, I was relieved since her jazz dance technique wasn’t blending well with the team’s hip hop genre.  I felt she would be happier if she could shine somewhere else.  I spent a great amount of energy trying to blend her ideas with the team’s strengths as well as help develop her leadership among her peers, since that’s what good teachers do, but all to no avail.  She left for the other team with my blessing and best wishes.  She even became a dance instructor and now had a part time job.  A win-win for all!

I founded the team with the hope that I could reach students like her, which needed a purpose, love, and attention.  Her home life was traumatic at best.  Dance was my escape as a teen so I knew I could provide the same opportunities for my students.  Our year was going very well.  Our first performance was a crowd favorite.

The week after that performance, I was informed of the accusation.  For a month, I waited to see what if anything the district was going to do about it.  I wrote a witness statement but that was it.  I never spoke to the student, the parent, my team, no one except my assistant principal who was informing me of the process.

At the district meeting, without representation since I had done nothing wrong, I was able to hear all of the accusations against me and the flat out lies that this dancer and another dancer were able to state without any repercussion.  Although hurt, I was still thinking of how to make this a teachable moment for the dancer since she was so freely falsifying information.  Her testimony could be refuted by another adult that was present, video evidence, text messages, etc. all proved the insanity of this accusation.  This child needed help.  I wanted a consequence and counsel for her so she could grow through this process rather than graduate as a dysfunctional young woman.  Isn’t that why we teach?  Aren’t we called to guide and correct behavior as well as teach content?

Although I was fully ‘acquitted’, I was no longer effective in the classroom.  I was BULLIED by a teenager and nothing could be done about it.  I was told by the district to ‘let it go’.  This student went on the next week to make accusations about another teacher.

I understand and applaud the efforts schools put it place to protect children.  It is necessary!  Our system however is broken because teachers are often victimized and we’re forced to suppress it.  We know the job we signed up for, but no one deserves to be mistreated.   Teachers are people too!

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Connections Between Teach for America and Parent Trigger

Posted: 08/21/2012 2:51 pm at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shaun-johnson/teach-for-america-funding-_b_1811291.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Teach For America : White Chalk Crime or What?

A new fantasy film is on the horizon pushing “legitimate” education reform: Won’t Back Down. Activist Leonie Haimson recently published a helpful list of FAQs on this film to get the reader started. But I’m going to take a closer look at the troubling connections between the film and the much-admired organization Teach for America (TFA).

TFA is ubiquitous. Everyone and their brother falls over each other to hand them money. In fact, The Walton Foundation (aka Wal-Mart) provided TFA with a hefty grant of $16.6 million in just 2010 alone. Of all the large philanthro-capital organizations investing in education, Walton is perhaps the most conservative in its agenda. You can track its influence in all of the major market-driven reform canards: choice, high-stakes testing, vouchers, union busting, and the aforementioned parent trigger.

A recent benefit concert called “Teachers Rock” was co-sponsored by Wal-Mart, in addition to Walden Media, the group that brought us Waiting for Superman and now Won’t Back Down. A major beneficiary of this event was TFA. Along with grant awards, TFA is apparently taking proceeds from Wal-Mart-sponsored events.

So, what’s the connection here: parent triggers, TFA, Wal-Mart, and the rest? TFA began as a modest organization providing precocious and lightly trained college graduates for short-term employment in challenging schools. It’s probably true that schools in urban and isolated rural areas are difficult to staff, even if I base this on my own experiences working with student teachers. I’m sure at one point TFA filled an important role.

But TFA as an organization now finds itself smack-dab in the middle of nearly every single “reform” initiative funded by billionaires. You’ll probably find a TFA-alum somehow leading it, as a chancellor, policy-maker, or superintendent, for example. They are a crucial link in the chain of the privatization of public schools; that is, if current trends continue.

Let’s break this whole thing down. Schooling’s expensive. Governments allot funds to schools that certain investors now want. Run the system “at cost,” squeeze out any “inefficiencies,” and pocket the rest. One way to do this is aggressively push a “failure” narrative in the media and partisan policy documents. Blame it squarely on the teachers, whose benefits packages and pensions are apparently bankrupting the wealthiest nation on the planet. This narrative will undermine their security and professionalism, making it perfectly acceptable to replace them with “temps.” Take a fresh, energetic crop of new college graduates, put them in difficult situations for which they are barely prepared, burn them out in two years, rinse, and repeat. It’s pretty simple and labor costs are much less, but it doesn’t stop there.

Someone has to rewrite the rules and continue the crisis narrative. Who better than a TFA alum who, with a little bit of “street cred” in an “urban” (read: African-American) classroom, can be easily catapulted into positions of power due to convenient, albeit expensive, connections to the financial and political elite? The “parent trigger” is one of the many new weapons in the arsenal against public services like education. Carefully clothed in the euphemism “choice,” parental emotions are exploited so that public schools are “restructured” to accommodate cheaper and largely interchangeable temporary workers from TFA. In time, temps don’t simply fill unexpected vacancies. Slots are specifically created and reserved for TFA temps, circumventing traditional hiring processes.

It seems rather odd. Do TFA and other well-funded, “legitimate” reform groups enjoy their money and power? In cases of the Walton Foundation and their political tools at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), interests seem purely economic in nature. Workers are expensive, especially those that unionize. In their view, teachers in particular are too expensive because many are unionized. Well, bust their unions too. TFA will provide the cheap labor with help from a few billionaires. “Parent triggers” are just one of the many ways to pry open the vault, so to speak.

So, is TFA’s mission still about education? If it is, then why take money from these huge foundations and corporations whose missions are clearly not about education? Why take proceeds from a corporate-sponsored “rock” concert, as if you’re engaged in some kind of charitable enterprise? Perhaps that money should actually go right into the institutions themselves.

But see, what’s going on here is not about education at all. It’s about money and power. Money is being diverted, not to the neediest of hands, but to the “right” hands. Power — political, financial, cultural, and social — provides the plumbing. Control over the education of the masses keeps this structure peacefully in place.

Follow Shaun Johnson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thechalkface

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A Typical White Chalk Criminal

THE NOTEBOOK
By Laurie Lande Email the author January 23, 2012
Schools
Former BHUSD Superintendent Hubbard Found Guilty on Two Counts, Acquitted of Third
Jeffrey Hubbard was convicted Monday of ordering two illegal payments to former BHUSD facilities director Karen Christiansen.
A jury found former Beverly Hills Unified School District Superintendent Jeffrey Hubbard guilty Monday of two felony misappropriation of public funds charges, but acquitted him on a third charge.

Hubbard, 54, was convicted of approving $20,000 in stipends and a $500 car allowance raise for former BHUSD facilities director Karen Christiansen without approval from the school board. He was acquitted for allegedly authorizing a pay increase for former district employee Nora Roque without school board consent.

The ex-BHUSD chief faces a maximum of five years in prison at his Feb. 23 sentencing.

Hubbard served as the BHUSD superintendent from 2004 until mid-2006. He left the district to take the superintendent position at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Monday’s conviction means that Hubbard will lose his teaching and administrative credentials—and most likely his job at NMUSD.

After the verdict, NMUSD school board President Dave Brooks called for an immediate closed-session meeting to “review the board’s legal options regarding the superintendent’s employment contract and next steps in light of the outcome in the case.”

The Hubbard conviction follows the November conviction of Christiansen, who was sentenced this month to four years and four months in prison. She was found guilty in November of four felony conflict of interest charges for secretly negotiating to be an independent BHUSD contractor while performing her duties for the district. Christiansen was hired by the district in 2004 and reportedly received a total of $5.2 million from BHUSD between 2006 and 2009.

Prosecutors had alleged that Hubbard and Christiansen had a “special relationship” because the two exchanged intimate emails with one another.

The dual convictions represent a victory for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which aggressively pursued both cases. It also validates efforts by the Beverly Hills Board of Education, which spent more than $2 million in legal fees on the two cases. Christiansen may have to pay the district $2 million in restitution fees pending the result of a Feb. 23 hearing, the same day that Hubbard’s sentencing is scheduled.

“The jury’s decision will ensure that Superintendent Hubbard will not be able to harm or take advantage any other district in the future,” said BHUSD school board President Brian Goldberg, who was elected after Hubbard had left the district. “This is a lesson for those who care about public education of what can happen when those elected to provide oversight turn a blind eye to the corruption that takes place.”

This story was compiled with information from City News Service.

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About this column: The scoop on the Beverly Hills Unified School District.

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