Monday, June 23, 2008

MiraCosta College apparently never cared about the palm trees; it spent $3 million on power struggles

It was obvious to anyone who paid attention that the MiraCosta palm tree investigation that netted a lot of money for Stutz law firm and its investigators was never about protecting public assets.

It was about personal power struggles. Shame on the board majority for using public resources to fight for personal power.

By Bruce Lieberman
June 18, 2008

There is yet another accounting of what is now the ill-fated donation of more than 2,300 palm trees a decade ago to the Oceanside-based community college. Accountants say most of the trees have died, are ailing or are too ragged to sell.

A little more than two years ago, the college had 2,328 palm trees valued at $222,370. An audit in March counted 1,377 valued at $49,000...

And now the forest of free palms, once worth nearly a quarter-million dollars, looks bleak.

Of the 1,377 trees left, a college consultant has recommended throwing out 295, selling 791 wholesale and 196 retail, and keeping 95.

At yesterday's meeting, board President Carolyn Batiste said Carranza's outrage did not reflect the board's sentiments. “The board has not taken any position that there has been a dereliction of duty,” she said.

Batiste said the March 2006 audit, which counted 2,328 trees valued at $222,370, was not conducted by a horticulturist, who would have been most qualified to estimate the trees' value...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why did San Francisco teachers choose CFT in 1989 instead of CTA?

It turns out that CTA's executive director has had her finger on the pulse of California teachers for quite a while. This lady can see the truth beneath the surface. Here's how she explains CTA's loss: "When you're dissatisfied, you look at someone else."

Norman K. Holsinger of CFT said: "Teachers want a greater voice in what is going on."

Education Week said, "After an eight-year battle, the San Francisco-American Federation of Teachers union succeeded May 26 in wresting the right to represent the city's teachers from the San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association..."

In an earlier article, Education Week reported:

"Kate Dennis, a resource specialist for the district's elementary schools who has belonged to each of the unions at different times, says, "I'm unaffiliated, because I got so disgusted with them both. The organizations, rather than represent the teachers versus the district, have fought each other.""

The article spoke of "site-based decision making""

In a survey of 150 teachers, only 2 percent mentioned educational reform as being an important issue, he notes. In another, longer telephone survey of 300 teachers, the number who responded favorably to questions about site-based management and shared decisionmaking was "so small we didn't finish the analysis," according to Mr. Threatt.

"We found that teachers didn't know what that meant," Ms. Dellamonica says of the reform buzzwords...

The rival sf-aft has attempted to make teacher empowerment a central plank of its platform, calling for democratically elected faculty councils in each school to give teachers a voice in the development of curriculum, programs, and instructional policies...

The sf-aft's pre-election polling found that "the overwhelming majority of teachers in the district are in support of the kind of restructuring and teacher empowerment that gives them a voice at the school-site level," maintains Norman K. Holsinger, an aft national representative and campaign coordinator for the local...

Under the current contract, each school has an Association Liaison Committee with which the principal must meet. In some schools, Ms. Dellamonica says, the committees have been a vehicle for discussion of reform issues, while in others, they have not been active.

Under the contract, only sfcta members can serve on the committees, which serve primarily to enforce the contract. Ms. Shelley says the idea of the committees serving as vehicles for shared decisionmaking is ''preposterous," since the councils have "frozen out" faculty members who do not belong to the union...

Meanwhile, a small group of teachers calling itself citrus, for Committee for Teacher-Run Schools, has begun holding meetings and gathering ideas to push for restructuring schools, according to Jonathan Frank, a member of the group and science teacher at Mission High School.

The citrus members are backing the a.f.t. in the election, Mr. Frank says, since it is perceived as more progressive on school-reform issues.

"I was hopeful that restructuring would become the apple pie and motherhood issue, and that the two unions would try to outdo each other on teacher empowerment," he explains. "What I saw was lip service to the idea. You wonder what they're more interested in--power to the teachers or the unions."

Friday, June 6, 2008

Richard Werlin has surfaced again

After causing big problems in Chula Vista and Richmond, the amazing Richard Werlin has gotten himself hired in Compton, by none other than his old pal at WCCCUSD, Kay Burnside.

And Kelly Angell, who helped get a lawsuit against Werlin regarding criminal actions thrown out of court on technical grounds, without any findings of fact, is now an employee of Fagen, Friedman and Fullfrost.

Is it a small world, or do certain people just come together naturally? Or both?

Here's the article I found:

School Board [Compton Unified School District] Considers Fourth Audit of District Operations
May 14, 2008
By Allison Jean Eaton

"...Last month, the school board supported three other similar audits at a total cost of $46,000 in the areas of human resources and personnel services, legal services and fiscal services, the latter of which will include an in-depth look at facilities funding and the affect it has on the district’s overall financial status.

"Consultant Richard Werlin is being paid $6,600 to audit the human resources and personnel services department. The Los Angeles-based law firm of Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost is studying the district’s legal services at a cost of $9,600...

"Superintended Kaye Burnside Ed.D., who officially took the helm of Compton Unified March 1, is exercising an “administrative best practice,” according to district Communications Director Christine Sanchez..."