Yvonne Katz, formerly supt. of Beaverton OR and Spring Branch TX school districts, embarrassing retiring Westview High principal Len Case.











Dan Wieden talks about the night he wrote "Just do It" to a fascinated Wesview High School Media Studies class in 2001.

TSPC director Vickie Chamberlain conspires with OEA attorney Tom Doyle

TSPC director Vickie Chamberlain conspires with OEA attorney Tom Doyle
Chamberlain's three-and-a-half year manipulation of teacher discipline case conceals misconduct of Linda Borquist and Hollis Lekas of the Beaverton School District while interfering with the outcome of a federal lawsuit in support of an attorney formerly employed by the Beaverton School District, Nancy Hungerford.

Oregon ALJ Andrea Sloan collaborates with TSPC director Vickie Chamberlain & OEA atty Tom Doyle

Oregon ALJ Andrea Sloan collaborates with TSPC director Vickie Chamberlain & OEA atty Tom Doyle
"First of its kind in Oregon" decision helps unethical lawyers manipulate federal law suit after Beaverton administrators violated teacher employment contract

Signing a confession to conceal misconduct and influence a federal law suit

Signing a confession to conceal misconduct and influence a federal law suit
Tom Doyle of the OEA collaborates with OAH lawyers and Vickie Chamberlain of the TSPC

TSPC director Vickie Chamberlain makes finding based on secret "first of its kind" hearing

TSPC director Vickie Chamberlain makes finding based on secret "first of its kind" hearing
Chamberlain's delay protects Nancy Hungerford, former attorney for the Beaverton Schools, who colluded with attorneys for the OEA and the state of Oregon to violate a teacher contract and deny due process in a federal civil suit.

Confederation of Oregon School Administrators

Leadership Academy for Beginning Principals
July 18, 19 and 20, 2007
Linfield College

The Faculty:

Linda Borquist, Academy Coordinator

Victor Musial, Field Operations Director, OSEA

Colin Cameron, Director of Professional Development,COSA

Jill O'Neil, Principal, Beaverton Middle School - OMLA President

Vickie Chamberlain, Executive Director, TSPC

Kris Olsen, Principal, McMinnville High School - OASSA President

Matt Coleman, Principal, Westview High School

Shannon Priem, Communication Services Director, OSBA

Vickie Fleming, Superintendent, Redmond SD 2J

Perla Rodriguez, Principal, Cornelius Elementary School - OMLA President

Shawna Harris, Field Representative, OSEA

Nanci Schneider, NWREL

Craig Hawkins, Communications Director, COSA

Valerie Sebesta, Oregon Education Association

Sally Leet, Principal, Oak Grove Elementary School - OESPA Past President

Brian Traylor, Principal, Corvallis Elementary School - OESPA President

Holly Lekas, Regional Administrator, Beaverton SD 48 Joe Wehrili, OSBA

Michael Carter, Superintendent, Rainier SD 13

Philip McCullum, Director Administrative Licensure, University of Oregon

Authentic evaluation legally dated

Authentic evaluation legally dated
signed by retiring principal Len Case

Post-dated Westview High School evaluation 2002-03

Post-dated Westview High School evaluation 2002-03
Entered fraudulently at Fair Dismissal Appeals Board hearing: Malcolm Dennis (forced resignation; secrecy agreement) and Chris Bick, signing principals

Where is Oregon's Mr. Puffer?


Mr. Puffer, the investigative reporter who nearly a decade ago shook the stuffy establishment of New England public education, is as much a hero in our democracy as some of the guys who went to war in Iraq at about the same time. He had a lot less artillery for his "shock-and-awe," but he maybe did more to change America than the expensive war we just abandoned.

Surely he is as much a hero...maybe more of one? And at some personal risk? Because he must have pissed off some powerful insiders...that act is usually followed by bad fortune. I discovered that fact after working in the Beaverton schools.

For, without oversight or accountability, people in power will behave improperly. That is a given in our democracy and the motive behind checks and balances and the Bill of Rights.

When our state courts can be manipulated--blatantly--on behalf of entrenched bureaucrats concealing misconduct, as happened in my case, we have crossed a line.


The people who stripped me of my dignity so that I would abandon my cause would not have been able to behave so cruelly had they feared any accountability for their unethical conduct (NOTE: The philosophy behind THAT statement is my motive for writing, daily, almost eight years after I was stabbed in the back by people who are STILL gaming the system, growing rich with public money...by being secretive).

Our system of educational governance is still broken, despite the accouterments of reform recently applied to agencies in Salem. The lawyers who manipulated me are all still in place at the OEA. The then-Beaverton union president, Hanna Vaandering, who brought me an illegal contract to help conceal administrative misconduct, is now VP of the state's union AND a member of the Governor's new OEIB.

And my sordid ordeal is merely one example of unsupervised and curiously-qualified public school millionaires using our schools as status ladders and ATMs.

When I met with Hanna Vaandering, in desperation more than two and 1/2 years after my termination, to share concerns about my legal representation, she called the lawyer who had been "representing" me and discovered she had been deceived about my (conflict-of-interest?) federal law suit. Then Ms. Vaandering broke my heart by bringing me a NEW contract created by a new BSD lawyer (Osterink) nearly a year after I had signed the first one...Ms. Vaandering knowingly became part of the cover-up (helping Nancy and Jennifer Hungerford mislead Judge Robert E. Jones in federal court) and now she enjoys a rapid ascent in state politics.

Where is Mr. Puffer?

The closed and dysfunctional system that swallowed me and chewed on me for years when I asked for equitable treatment in Oregon's public schools should be a red flag to investigative education reporters. I am not without fault and had some bad days, like all over-worked teachers in over-crowded schools--and I will quickly concede to a (nonviolent but mercurial) temper, usually reserved for bullying or injustice--but I am a very skilled, educated and experienced professional and often had to work for people in Beaverton who were not.

Long ago in my quest for dignity and fair play, when I realized I had been betrayed by the representatives of the Oregon Education Association to whom I had been paying dues for a decade to protect my employment rights, I became committed to trying to write something everyday until I had achieved a sense of justice in my conflict with secretive public employees who use public resources to take from Oregon's poorly-represented teachers (and, by extension, their students), everyday.

I see opportunists like Vaandering given jobs they do not deserve and I realize they are being rewarded for their convenient lapses in ethics. I silently scream for our Mr. Puffer. Until there is accountability from sheltered elites in our public school bureaucracy and some atonement by the leaders of Oregon's erstwhile union of teachers, the OEA, then all "movements" toward reform are detours to dead-ends.

Response to Sue Robertson, current Beaverton School District HR chief.


































Trickle-down Megalomania


The USA Today is boldly doing a number on the gods of college coaching, that pantheon of Ego and Money. Quick self-awareness quiz: Who among us would not behave as many of them behave, given the influence and power they wield? Considering the incredible rock star status these big time coaches enjoy, usually in some places (Baton Rogue, Tuscaloosa, Storrs, Eugene) where there is little competition for their adoration, can any of us honestly make judgments about self-interested conduct that we ourselves, in the same situation, would be very inclined, given our human nature, to emulate?

Because, according to the article's salary chart, coaching can be a pretty lucrative gig. Perhaps we should start saying, more aptly, that successful touring musicians "enjoy college-coach status."

(The chart shows that Rick Pitino makes seven million bucks coaching basketball at Louisville. FYI: Pitino started hanging with the horse people when he was coaching in Lexington--at UK--a couple of jobs ago; his basketball salary, while not incidental, is certainly not required any longer.)

USA TODAY has recently published a series of articles that conclude that these guys have a disproportionate influence on leadership in many of America's institutions of higher learning. Hard to argue against that.

Let's face it: Entertainment pays much better than education so problems exist when those industries overlap. Inequity breeds unfairness, diminished oversight and ultimately corruption. Self-evidently.

Robert Lipsyte, the award-winning sports writer, said a day earlier in the same paper, bleakly, that he really didn't see an end to this problem. The will, he concludes, to hold powerful people accountable is a hard one to summon. All around us, everyday, we see things being done by others that are not good for the common good. We are frustrated but silent.

We have to speak out as individuals so that all voices are one. I sense that to be the commonality of the "occupy" effort--to unite the voices of the oppressed. (Beware: The Truth Often Begets Trouble. Even right here near River City: teachingintheshadowoftheswoosh.blogspot.com)

But only the expressed will of the people, all of us demanding accountability, will challenge the growing momentum of a more entertaining but less moral culture.

In an ideal world, the deep-pocketed athletic conferences, the authentic forces behind these monolithic college sports programs, would split away from the colleges and become legitimate private enterprises that employ these coaches. It's that simple.

But, equally ideally, our millionaire legislators would forego their public salaries and retirements and pay their own staffs and travel expenses until we are out of this mess they have gotten us into.

Equally ideally, big shot bureaucratic employees who have surrounded themselves with expensive sycophants and spent public money to win friends would revise their retirements to reflect something closer to that of people who worked for a living.

But that will never happen until we demand it and right now--Go Ducks--we don't want it to. But one day Eugene will be State College and we might. We have tough times ahead. We are looking for incorruptible people willing to do exasperating work on behalf of an irrational public.

Sounds impossible and depresses writers like Lipsyte.

But we can start with our own personal awareness that this corruption is ubiquitous and the only thing keeping a lot of us from cheating, too, is opportunity. We must start with our own humbling self-awareness BUT move quickly to holding EVERYBODY accountable, even our icons.

There is something sad about the Ducks becoming more like the Buckeyes and the Crimson Tide but don't tell anybody that ton January 2nd. Drinks all around!

There is also something sad about the Southridge High girls or the Westview boys getting (faux) national basketball rankings. Tuning teenagers and history teachers into celebrities in the impressionable world of public high schools is an aberrant alchemy--very black magic.

Trickle-down megalomania.

Attention investigative journalists: We should proactively scrutinize those places in the public domain where power has been concentrated and leadership is entrenched...and from where public information is not easily made public. Here in Oregon, we shouldn't have to wait until a fifteen-year-old in Happy Valley has the guts to speak Truth to Power.




"Sweeping Education Reform"...under the rug

A courteously composed letter to the Oregonian from Rex Hagans, the founder of Save our Schools, poses (and answers...sort of) five questions under a headline about "sweeping reform."

The "sweeping" that takes place in the state's education bureaucracy is a verb, not an adjective, and describes the act of relocating inconvenient truths "under the rug."

All five of Mr. Hagans' questions highlight but do not address the curious disparity of effectiveness between public elementary schools and public high schools. All five questions have one answer:

Greed.

In public elementary schools, a) teachers have the same jobs, b) the principal was almost always a teacher before and c) aggressive parents are not yet bullying or bribing school staffs to demonstrate that their children are superior.

Ergo, those public schools work for all children.

Little that describes elementary schools holds true for public high schools as I have experienced them.

They are hijacked by status seekers and social climbers and the wrong kinds of teachers and kids get disproportionate attention and opportunities. Administrators who cannot be fired have no incentive to perform capably or honestly as long as they are able to meet the needs of a few influential people. In Beaverton, that influence extends (through "specialty" lawyers paid with education money) to state agencies and courts: www.statesponsoredtheft.blogspot.com

The fact that one member of the Governor's ballyhooed OEIB, Hanna Vaandering, originates in a public school district--Beaverton--that has created vast inequities in opportunities for kids and teachers while propagating crops of PERS millionaires is evidence that there is much work ahead for the 99%. Ms. Vaandering is nice enough in person and I'm sure she taught some great gym classes in the Beaverton elementary schools in her day, but she is obviously on the fast-track in a union with a questionable history of public service (what is it about B'ton employees and union leadership, anyway?) that should make us all very suspicious.

My personal experience is, when she was president of the Beaverton Education Association, she acted intentionally in a way that concealed misconduct by Beaverton administrators and lawyers. She should be in legal trouble (she meddled in a federal lawsuit in the court of Judge Robert E. Jones) instead of ensconced on a state board, buttressing credentials she hasn't earned.

Mr. Hagan's genteel academic approach is well and good, but needed reform will require heat and light. Until we (and THEY) know that public school administrators can and will be held accountable for the activities that are making them wealthy in failing public schools, all the rhetoric about reform is smokescreen mendacity.

Oh, and I would like my career back. It was taken improperly by the TSPC director, Vickie Chamberlain, who harassed me while my mother was dying in support of her friends in the BSD administration, one of whom hired her.

Education Reform and the Lingering Odor of Cats

Before my teaching career was halted abruptly, I already worked part time in residential real estate sales and had formed a number of "truths" about the industry.

One is that most people who live with cats forget what their litter box smells like.

Speaking as the best friend of both a cat and a dog, I completely understand the reasoning behind this smell.  The quality of living for many homemakers is vastly improved by the presence of the animals, despite their scents...quid pro quo.

However, when presenting a home to a prospective buyer, the influence of the olfactory senses is almost always apparent immediately.  Small children wrinkle their noses and innocently state the obvious, especially if they have never been exposed to the smell of an indoor animal. 

Uninhibited prospective buyers are usually blunt about the stink.

And many homeowners, understandably, have been blissfully unaware. Usually a little fresh paint and sometimes some new carpet and the issue is mitigated (Realtor's note: Easier for you homeowners with animal roommates if you can relocate before you go on market).

When people are accustomed to a situation or condition that might be unpleasant or undesirable to others, the awakening can be painful. 

As a peripatetic public school teacher and sign language interpreter, I learned how easily schools can become insular and administrators and teachers can become territorial.  I have been in classrooms in several states and have always seen hierarchies of space, time and resources.

Perhaps never quite so much as at my last place of work as a public school teacher, at Westview in N. Beaverton, where a "Camelot" of sorts, replete with royalty, had formed around our glamorous, big-budget theater department.

Because people are who they are, we have learned to create checks and balances for those leaders whom we choose or elect and on whom we bestow power and authority--by virtue of our democratic government. They are, after all, deciding how public resources are used.

When those checks and balances are not in place, when our government employees are blatantly circumventing oversight and accountability (and spending taxpayer money on lawyers to conceal it), we are obliged as citizens in our democracy to speak out.

When I experienced over-the-top waste and abuse of resources, inequities in assignments and pay, and other unfairness at the state's largest high school, the act of voicing my concerns caused me to be fired illegally and harassed for several years by complicit state employees, most of whom continue to draw nice paychecks from the public's account.

For the record, I made a new Beaverton superintendent (J. Colonna) aware of specific concerns--some that would later become known as "Katz' Litter", a phrase referencing former Beaverton School superintendent Yvonne Katz and coined by Rick Casey, a writer for the Houston Chronicle. I was fired several days later, by sneak attack, for sexually harassing a woman whom I did not.

Oh, and insubordination.

The next few years of my life were, by design, a nightmare created by greedy, ruthless lawyers, one of whom was paid by the OEA, an organization that accepted my dues fraudulently for a decade.  

The previous seven years of my work in Beaverton schools were publicly revised by dishonest lawyers and administrators being paid by oblivious Beaverton taxpayers, taxpayers I had served well as a teacher and school supporter.

The inequities I experienced began immediately in Beaverton, in 1997, when I and another teacher new to the Beaverton (Dan Jamsa, who has since won some nice national awards for the S-K district) were assigned an outlandishly oversized drama class, scheduled by the veteran school counselor and resulting in some VERY SMALL classes for some veteran teachers.

The counselor, a year from retirement (being paid for life) smiled smugly when I objected and explained that "this was the way it was always done" 

In the ensuing conflict, I discovered that our school principal was unaware of this inequity and, in a fair resolution, she decided in favor of Mr. Jamsa and me AND our students--and, by extension, those teachers and students who might be cheated by this process in the future. 

As a result, I was told portentously by another counselor, just three months into my Beaverton teaching experience, that I should watch my back.

Note: When, ten years later, the Beaverton lawyers had exhausted their efforts to slime me with salacious charges from five years of work at Westview High School, they went back to a undocumented allegation that had originated with this counselor at Meadow Park Middle School, a decade prior. They had included as a "finding" in a bogus "FDAB" hearing and were able to have it published in the paper.  

There is no documentation or testimony for this allegation, anywhere.

For years, I refused to sign an array of changing confessions for the TSPC that all included this charge (as well as, at first, instructions to get alcohol counseling--because I told an state investigator I had freely given up alcohol, before I moved to Oregon in the '90's and purchased a license to teach in Oregon schools.)  

My mother, a career special ed teacher, died watching me fight with dishonest people who still have unlimited public money and no accountability.

Because I noticed a smell that had been in Beaverton Schools for a long time. It is still there. 

When elected officials and administrators with big paychecks are held responsible for their behavior in the jobs they have assumed, we will begin serious school reform.

It is a big job, but some fresh paint and a new carpet in the education bureaucracy would be a start. After some of them move out.

www.statesponsoredtheft.blogspot.com 

June 2004 FDAB testimony of Linda Borquist, then-Associate Superintendent for Human Resources of Beaverton Schools, on her "unique" collaboration with Tom Husted, uniserve representative for the Beaverton Education Association. Husted was serving concurrently on the board of the Beaverton Education Foundation, a non-profit run by JANET HOGUE, a Westview parent with an office in the Beaverton HR building.
BORQUIST'S SWORN TESTIMONY JUNE 2004:
Q. Do you have contact with the Beaverton Education Association as you work with various personnel problems?
A(Borquist). Uh-huh. I think we probably are a little bit unique in how we work with our association. The person who is the administrator of certificated personnel, which is a job I have also held in the past, and I meet usually twice a month and go over any kind of what we call "issues sessions." We look at, you know, things that have been brought to either of our attentions, and we go through and have an open discussion about what we're hearing or seeing. The hope is that we would, again, resolve it at the smallest level. We are very frank with each other. We don't really hold any secrets or hold any information back. But we try to proactively work together. We've operated
that
(begin pg 47)
way for at least 12, maybe 15 years, ever since I can kind of remember with, you know, past association presidents. It is a culture that we have built. Because of that we have very, very few grievances. I can maybe think of three in my ten years in -- 12 years in HR. You know, I've never sat before this kind of a board before with a Fair Dismissal hearing. We're actively working together. Obviously they have a role of representing in this case a teacher, and we have a role that we need to play. But
we try and work cooperatively. When I have a meeting that I'm going to be setting up with a teacher, I give what I would call a heads-up phone call to the association president or the Uniserv rep saying that this person will be expecting a call from X because they'll probably be calling you. We're going to have a meeting. I want to make sure you're available when they call so they can have representation. That's how open our relationship is.

Q. You mentioned that you had these meetings generally twice a month. Who are those with?
A. It's my administrator for certificated personnel, the Uniserv rep and the BEA president.

Jerry Colonna, Joe Paterno and the Cover-Up Culture of the Elite.

“And you wonder where we're going

Where's the rhyme and where's the reason

And it's you cannot accept

It is here we must begin

To seek the wisdom of the children...”

John Denver

In all of the failed humanity discovered recently in Happy Valley, notice should be taken that A FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOY FINALLY STOOD UP FOR WHAT WAS RIGHT AND A DYNASTY HAS BEEN SHAKEN.

Because now a whole society is forced at last to look at the alarming close-ups of the sickening results when expensive, sophisticated branding and image-manipulating overlap the monstrous egos of big time competitive football men.

Penn State's ignominy is the merely latest “denial” card to fall in our cover-up culture. Is anybody out here in Oregon thinking about Neil Goldschmidt right now?

Before we waste a lot of energy talking about the criminal and the crime, we must address the prevention. That people will behave selfishly and brutishly should not be a revelation any longer. What may surprise people is the number of “decent” folks who become silent conspirators to bullying, cheating, and power-abuse...people who use denial to cope with their own complicity...because they don't want to rock the boat (yacht?).

The candle glowing in this recent human darkness: Future potential victims (and advocates for children) are reminded that the face of evil can be a grandfather wearing classy college logos and high-priced sneakers. More significantly, this sordid revelation could create the resolve to finally address the root problem: Covering up.

Lack of oversight. No accountability. Instead, problems are obfuscated by lots of lawyers using obscure processes to prolong cases while demeaning vulnerable people, often until they are forced to accept some secret, silent settlement.

Explaining this phenomenon provides an unusual opportunity to juxtapose pronouns: “WE” keeping paying “THEM” to keep “US” from knowing what “THEY” do.

Our public justice system is super-injected with free-market ethics. For the right $, you don't have to do the right thing. If D-S-K were involved in this latest unsavory saga, we might already be hearing innuendo-spin about the lascivious character of the victim in the Penn State shower.

I write regularly in an effort to expose a cover-up process that has injured me and my family, one that education bureaucrats continue to enjoy in Oregon, facilitated by the OEA leadership.

When, in 2004, I told my new superintendent in Beaverton that some supervisors needed supervising, my employment contract was broken within weeks. I was locked out of my building in a surprise attack by administrators I had served well--for “sexually harassing” someone whom I didn't.

Within two days, I was introduced to one of the lawyers who would manipulate and demean me for the next several years. The opposing attorneys were paid by the public, secretly, while my “advocate” was paid by the union to which I paid dues for a decade.

No one involved, other than me, was interested in either expediency or justice.

The ordeal I experienced has taught me much about who in our society gets “secrecy agreements” with quiet settlements and who gets manipulation and abuse, preclusion and delay. (www.statesponsoredtheft.blogspot.com)

This unequal protection of the elite, we are now learning from the National Restaurant Association, is not limited by race. It is an economic thing. I can't say for sure, but I think the reason many of those American citizens are camping out in the cold is because they know it JUST ISN”T FAIR but nobody is doing anything about it.

Maybe now, as a very surreal Saturday looms over State College, Pennsylvania—the FINAL home game against the newest conference rival—we can quietly discuss why America has become a culture of people who once mocked a brilliant artist like John Denver to his death while hiding Jerry Sandusky's brutal bullying because he could defend against the triple option?

Rhymes and Reasons 

by John Denver
So you speak to me of sadness

And the coming of the winter

Fear that is within you now

It seems to never end

And the dreams that have escaped you

And the hope that you've forgotten

You tell me that you need me now

You want to be my friend
And you wonder where we're going

Where's the rhyme and where's the reason

And it's you cannot accept 

It is here we must begin

To seek the wisdom of the children

And the graceful way of flowers in the wind
For the children and the flowers 

Are my sisters and my brothers

Their laughter and their loveliness

Would clear a cloudy day
Like the music of the mountains

And the colours of the rainbow
T
hey're a promise of the future

And a blessing for today

Though the cities start to crumble

And the towers fall around us

The sun is slowly fading

And it's colder than the sea
It is written from the desert

To the mountains they shall lead us

By the hand and by the heart

They will comfort you and me

In their innocence and trusting

They will teach us to be free
For the children and the flowers

Are my sisters and my brothers

Their laughter and their loveliness

Would clear a cloudy day
And the song that I am singing 

Is a prayer to non believers

Come and stand beside us 

We can find a better way

School District of the Latter Day Saints

Re: "More schools host church services as controversy lingers" Nicole Dungca, The Oregonian 10/31/11

If you are driving north on NW 185th and cross Highway 26, just as you see the silhouette of Westview High School looming on the right, you may observe an unimposing structure right at the corner of the school lot. This building is not mentioned to Westview's new teachers, even though a lot of Westview students will leave school during the course of the day without any formal check-out and go to that building...during "study hall" time.

Ms. Dungca's able colleague, Betsy Hammond, wrote a piece ("Portland-area high schools increasingly require study halls" 9/21/11) about how high schools "warehouse" kids during study hall. She quoted an assistant principal from Westview High School, Cheryl Ashdown, who contributed some fluff about expecting kids to "go to tutoring centers, retake tests, meet in study groups or use the computer lab for research." What Ms. Ashdown failed to mention and what Vicki Lukich, Beaverton's executive administrator for high schools, did not reveal to Ms. Hammond is that, in Beaverton, there are small innocuous buildings located in close proximity to public schools where, in the past, Beaverton's Mormon students go durig their "non-class" time, instead of being assigned study hall, like other students.

I don't know if these buildings are on school property or private property, but I know that the vast expansion of the Beaverton Schools occurred during two decades of leadership under one superintendent, Boyd Applegarth, also a leader in the LDS church (like Phil Knight, who moved Nike to B'ton right about this time).

The curious juxtaposition of these buildings and this special treatment of the LDS kids always puzzled me, but I had over-crowded classes and unsupervised administrators and a full plate, so I never spent any energy there.

Now, with Ms. Dungca's revelation of a blurring of the church/state separation in Milwaukie, coupled with the approaching deadline for ballots deciding the fate of the Beaverton Board's request for more tax money, the public enjoys an opportunity to take a close look at the involvement of church leadership in our public schools.

I don't think Ms. Hammond or her contacts in the Beaverton School District mentioned Beaverton's off-campus LDS study halls when they spoke, on the record, about the use of that time by public school students.

Ssssh...


1995 Woodford County (KY) Middle School 
Accelerated Language Arts unit "The Renaissance" 
(Talented and Gifted class)
An eighth grade "Creative Enrichment-Language Arts" at a small middle school in horse country in central Kentucky...

The Oregonian insists that Oregon City Schools accept their merit pay?!?





Ed. Board: "Ask yourself: In every school you've ever been in, couldn't you and everyone else identify the best teachers, the Frank Caros?"

Not to take anything away from Caros, but I bet you could find kids with whom he didn't do well.

The editorial board, with curious fervor, has condemned the decision of the Oregon City teaching community, scoffing and diminishing a democratic gesture by branding it capitulation to the union.

Probably the secretive union leadership has it right here for the wrong reasons; regardless, the powerful language in this essay (“far from the philosophy;” “closed minds of Oregon's teaching establishment;” “isn't even willing to try”) seems to place the authors in the same sort of stubborn, pre-determined mental state that they accuse Ms. Noice and her employer, the ominous OEA (cue sound) of inhabiting.

While all this brouhaha about unions and merit pay roils the news, real teachers (mostly oblivious) are still getting up early, buying supplies with their own money, greeting the janitors who arrive early and the blue-haired, red-eyed kids who are always there before the building opens. While the editorial board of the NW's most influential newspaper prints language that makes schools, like bakeries or banks, sound like free-market enterprises, real teachers continue to toil in over-crowded classrooms with challenging children, leaving late in the day with hours of work after meeting with overwhelmed parents or supervising some club of neglected kids.

In the '80's, the teachers at the American School for the Deaf, where I was working while earning my education degree, made in the low 20's to mid-20's, tops. Administrators made in the 30's. Houseparents like me made something in the teens. No one made noise about what they made. It was just a rewarding job.

The problem with this merit pay proposal is that it exacerbates existing inequities that already discourage a lot of good teachers—inequities that create a lot of dropouts, among teachers and students. Veteran employees who have stayed in the same district for decades--who in some cases have fled the classroom for the rewards of administration--are now in charge of deciding who will be paid as good teacher—often without being required to provide empirical evidence for their decision.

Who has earned that trust?

That is the problem that Oregon City teachers are addressing when they vote to avoid putting a potful of education money in another political kitchen. Who gets the meat and who gets the broth? They are trying to SHARE in the OC schools--it is not that way everywhere, I assure you.

Mr. Caros, for all his skills, has been elevated above his colleagues by people who systemically reward sycophancy—it is the nature of the beast in bureaucracies. I do not wish to detract from his good fortune but I hope he is humble and self-aware enough to acknowledge that there are, out there in Education Land, hundreds of others who routinely perform with at least equal skill and effort.

Some teachers, without public recognition, may even exceed his virtuosity in their different classroom settings but labor on in obscurity, unsupported by the entrenched bureaucrats who require unwavering loyalty, if not unadulterated sycophancy. These teachers, however deserving, will never get the Milken or any federal money. Not the way the system is now.

So, when the editors of The Oregonian diss the OC education professionals for not taking federal funds impulsively--without some ground rules established, without some safeguards to prevent the possibility for misuse—those editors seem to miss the point of public education, which is to mitigate the economic stratification inherent in a free-market system.

As we go forward, we will expect our public servants to grow more thrifty with our resources, too.

P.S. Mr. Caros would do well to share his reward generously. He stands on the shoulders of a lot of selfless, brilliant people who labored blissfully in obscurity.
www.statesponsoredtheft.blogspot.com


PARENT NIGHT 2003 
Freshman Lit WESTVIEW HS

The Law of the Commons

Gavin Bristol in 1999 as Odysseus in a Meadow Park Middle School 7th grade languages arts class presentation of 
The Odyssey 

by Homer





Two articles in today's NYT offer some insights into the challenges lying ahead of a universal education reform:
1. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/us/screen-time-higher-than-ever-for-children-study-finds.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

2. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/10/23/us/poverty-in-the-suburbs.html

Access to technology, especially in public schools, is contributing to the American (world?) socio-economic chasm (personified in the “Occupy” camps).

Like a lot of writing teachers, I was already comfortable in my methods when the arrival of the Commodore computer changed the whole process of “revision” for kids. I had to learn and change, and I noticed early on that kids from more affluent families were already comfortable with floppy disks and DOS commands.

As technology became more available in schools, it became apparent that some students already had mastered much of what we were learning. The rest of us, often including me, were dependent on the kids who had the software and hardware at home.

Being human, kids were selective about who would be helped. Teachers were frequently hostage to their own students' technology expertise.

I began my teaching career in the '80's, as an old “Spanky, Alfalfa, and Darla” English/drama guy: Write-yer-own-script, make-yer-own-costumes and use-what-you-already-have to put your best show out in front of people. The advent of the desktop video editing was a paradigm shift for my literature classes—now we could make movies, which played very well with seventh graders...(Example project: We made “The Odyssey” with 120 kids and teachers...whew.)

All of this sounds wonderful except I “earned” myself a job as the video production teacher at Oregon's then-largest high school, charged with the job of converting a small analog studio that served 8-9 kids into a digital classroom that housed 35 students at a time (in a very limited space). I started my year with four MacIntosh G-3's, each with 4 GB of hard drive.

All came with primitive editing software called Avid—not to be mistaken with the professional editing program. The ability to move clips and sound around so easily was amazing, but using that technology as a learning tool added a ton of work to my teaching load. A TON.

And, for some reason, the counselors at my new high school decided my media classes could serve freshmen through seniors simultaneously—we never discussed it but I was forced to create groups according to age and gender. Most teachers did not bear this burden. For equally nebulous reasons, these counselors would also assign repeat kids to a class they had just completed, so I would have them for two consecutive semesters...These were usually kids with special requirements and our program was able to accommodate them. I did not complain.

My personal challenge was to teach visual story telling, sound and lighting, shot composition, etc., to a wide range of kids with all sorts of interest...while using technology I didn't know much about. The technology support person at my new school was a recent graduate of the same high school, a bright and loyal kid who, unfortunately, never warmed up to me.

Time passed with a lot of struggles. Our department made movies for our administration as well as for other schools in school district, for local businesses like Shari's and Intel, ad for almost every sport in our school. Because of a parent's support, we had Dan Wieden from Wieden + Kennedy come to our school to speak to my classes.

And it took a while, but I got more equipment, developed some routines and learned some methodology. Significantly, the damn hard drives got bigger.

Most of my energy in my first three years as the video production teacher consisted of spending a lot of time after school and on weekends, making the computers accessible to the freshmen and less-assertive kids who were often pressured by "big kids" to give up their alloted time during the school day.

(A whole lot of what I did was time and equipment management. These days, I am able to block out memories of a lot of kids' bitter disappointment when they discovered, after hours of hard and passionate work, that some upperclassman had inconsiderately deleted their project to make room for a skateboard or girlfriend video.)

I shared these computers with three or four other teachers, often working in the same room simultaneously, but I was the only one using video--which was hard on the small processors' limited functions. The school technology support guy would get frustrated (and a little possessive) and, in the early going, would sometimes change our passwords without telling me at first.

I would discover during class that my teaching equipment was no longer available to me. If you have never taught, you are probably not able to imagine how frustrating that experience is. Fortunately it stopped after a few months, when the head principal understood the challenges of my job.

(Unfortunately, as soon as he retired, it began again. I was fired for insubordination soon after, in part for an embellished “outburst” about this situation. “Tech Kid” is now a head custodian for the same school district.)

My point is: As technology changes, affluent kids have access to new stuff at home and often find MORE access at school—because they already know how to use the stuff. I worked a lot of extra hours to compensate for not having enough equipment. I am sure that happens to others.

When the NYT tells us how much more time kids are spending on personal technology, we an be assured these are not the growing number of impoverished kids. When the NYT tells us that the number of kids who are poor in the suburbs is rocketing upward, we can deduce that the socio-economic/technology gap i suburban schools is widening.

My effort to teach ALL my students fairly with new technology resulted in unnecessary conflicts with a lot of people who earn education money but don't really understand what is happening holistically in classrooms. Good education is helping someone love to learn...he or she can take it from there.

Good education does not happen for everyone when class distinctions are being reinforced in schools.

The economic principal “Law of the Commons” teaches that, given a finite public space, our more affluent citizens will use more public resources because they inherently have greater needs: A farmer with forty sheep is going to use more of the common grazing ground than the farmer with four sheep.

So it is with public school and technology. A lot of good teachers have had to relearn their jobs for the public good and many of them have not been treated well because of this “Law of the Commons” effect...I am one.

As we go forward with education reform, we need to look at ways to re-design public schools to overcome this disparity in resources. Certainly we can turn existing facilities into (24-hr) computer labs that can be accessed by...the 99%.

www.teachingintheshadowoftheswoosh.blogspot.com

Oregon School Refuses Federal Grant for Merit Pay

"Oregon City School District walks away from $2.54 million grant for performance pay" by Nicole Dungca

"Merit" is in the eye of the beholder; administrators and counselors have different views about who is successful, too often with limited information and biased perspectives.

At the end of a loooong year in an Oregon public high school, an appreciative assistant principal came into my empty classroom and surpised me by thanking me for my work and mentioning, without preface, that $750 had been added to my pay to "take a class."

Similarly--but earlier in my tenure, near the end of my first year at a middle school in the same district (Beaverton), someone from the union got me $20 bucks an hour for 50 hours that I had not sought for a lot of extra time I had spent on theater projects.

In those same time periods, other administrators were actively seeking ways to fire me...and were eventually successful.  Whacky world, public ed.

Oregon City seems to have a proper union advocate in Ms. Noice (not all of us have). She's out there on-the-record and seems to understand, cogently, that until a system is in place to evaluate teachers honestly and efficiently, we should guard against abuse by patronage administrators dishing out gratuities.

www.teachingintheshadowoftheswoosh.blogspot.com

DAN WIEDEN OF WIEDEN + KENNEDY ("JUST DO IT") VISITS A WESTVIEW HIGH SCHOOL MEDIA CLASS

Super Moms and Scary Moms

Re: Eliz. Hovde's essay "Parents need to remember teachers aren't the enemy"
http://blog.oregonlive.com/cgi-bin/mte/mt-comments.cgi

I always had volunteer parents--I called them Super Moms--when I worked in public schools. My last Super Mom was a shy, unassuming woman who, in her eventful past, had worked on the early Nike administrative team and helped two young Portlanders launch Wieden + Kennedy. This Super Mom was why I was able to invite Wieden come to speak to my public school Media Studies classes.

Most of the magical experiences in my career as a teacher were the result of the shared efforts of caring parents, committed kids and dedicated teachers.

I have had my share of Scary Moms, too. We see templates of them on those shows for toddler beauty queens. You know what I mean?...Glossy cherry lips and mascarra on their two-year-old's? Those moms become public school moms.

But far worse, in my experience, are the "superior" people who just cannot understand that their prodigy benefits from a process that enriches the entire group--and that even their children must, from time to time, not be guaranteed a position atop the opportunity ladder.

I have discovered that most Scary Moms mellow out with time, usually after their adult children develop alcoholism or marry a foolish spouse or something human like that, but while they are in charge of their kid's trajectory, these self-interested parents are very challenging for teachers like me. They are more likely to appear in affluent, upper level schools where the “prizes” are significant but can occur among the working class, too.

Scary Moms are a big reason new teachers get out of the field. These parents can easily access tons of political power--think: soccer sidelines--and can be cruel and vindictive...with your public resources. Think "Housewives of..." shows. Your teachers are vulnerable from all directions—rude kids, bullying parents, and unqualified administrators. The teachers' union (OEA) is so connected to state politics that those school districts with “insider” administrations are immune from accountability. I asked to quit and instead got fired for almost four years...

God help those real teachers who do not give in—who continue to seek respect for their efforts and equitable opportunities for their students. In that vein, I nominate for Scary Mom-of-the-Millennium a woman who, after teaching AP for a while, became a school district fundraiser with an office in the district HR building and the local union rep on her board. She convinced taxpayers to build a new high school with a state-of-the-art stage that featured her daughters for a decade, a school where she ”served” on the site committee, deciding who worked where.

I would learn Scary-Mom-of-the-Millenium had several connections in the state education bureaucracy. What I remember most about this woman is that, when I was teaching her kid in the seventh grade in the late '90's, she became disenchanted with my approach. Instead of meeting with me, she arranged a school counselor for her daughter to be removed from my class and assigned her own teacher (from our technology dept) for an online class with a teacher from Stanford (this was still in the '90's and not very common). I was, by this point, not surprised by this very unique turn-of-events; I was working in a rabbit hole.

The public paid for this kid's privilege, btw--probably not much, but certainly not fair, either.

It was then I should have recognized my days were numbered in the District but I was experiencing success in a lot of arenas and received promotions, raises and added responsibilities. I was good at what I did, and I did a lot. In return, I asked for fair treatment.

I lost my job after seven years of 70-hour weeks when, in a small faculty meeting with the new superintendent, I held up a school paper with a picture of this Scary Mom's daughter above an article referencing the drama club’s recent foray to Europe...when the rest of the school was told to stay in the building because of budget shortages.

“She may have deserved the part,” is what I said to our new superintendent, setting off a four-year conflict with the OEA with the state's teacher licensing agency. Sadly, I was telling the truth to my new boss; as far as I could tell, the poor kid NEVER got a chance to learn what she could do on her own...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn4LVpbLN9A&feature

(P.S. You are on to something here, Hovde. Pushy parents ALSO influence patronage administrators to inflate grades. I am evidence of what happens when a teacher pushes back.)

Westview High School's Keegan Garrity features Mike Geurts in classic music video "Eight Track Soul"

OEA dues merely political surcharge

Recent revelations suggest that sometimes Oregon's citizens have trouble accessing justice in our courts.

We will not solve our issues of governance, particularly regarding the inefficiency of public schools, until we reintroduce accountability in leadership.

The less evidence of snobbery at the top of anything belonging to the “public,” the better off We the People actually are. We seem to have abandoned that insight during the Halcyon days of flipping our homes and adoring Paris Hilton.

Face it, someone is always going to have a lot of power—everyone recognizes the need for structure in organizations and so there has to be a top to anything we build.

We just have to realize, if we ever going to have confidence in our ability to self-govern again, we need to see less aristocracy and more accountability.

Change is necessary. Problem is, when someone talks about change to powerful people, his or her trip up the ladder is imperiled. Better off to go along and get along, huh? Lawyers circle like buzzards over the carcasses of too many vulnerable citizens who lie parched in some desert of delayed justice until they give in to a predetermined destiny. Better to shut up and keep your job.

But the path to mediocrity passes though such submission.

My personal experience became brutal for me and my family because I refused to play along in a dysfunctional system developed by some lawyers and education bureaucrats to protect retirement packages and public images. I was forced to travel for years with a duplicitous union lawyer through an gauntlet of abuses by a state employees over whom, apparently, no one has oversight.

I was appointed this lawyer by the OEA after my union representative had discussed my imminent termination with my employers at the Beaverton Schools. Those kinds of clandestine meetings with management are frowned on in legitimate unions.

I did not know about these meetings until after I was fired; I was busy teaching lots of kids in an over-crowded high school run by some pretty dishonorable people. I have, since my illegal termination from the Beaverton School District, provided a number of legislators with evidence that the OEA lawyer who was appointed to “advocate” for me had broken the law by betraying my trust and involving me in a conflict-of-interest civil suit that was designed to prolong my case and make me vulnerable. In short, I was manipulated by the lawyer my union hired for me.

The experience has been demeaning and despairing. My early complaints to OEA employees fell on well-compensated, deaf ears. I was distracted by the illness of my mother and clung foolishly and too long to the belief that my teachers' union was run with integrity.

I have discovered it is not.

Since then, all I have gotten from state legislators is advice to hire a lawyer—to paraphrase Mark Twain, that would be like going back to the brothel to cure the venereal disease. No one wants to offer me an official explanation for my “first-of-its-kind-in-Oregon” treatment in a state court, in an expensive, unnecessary conflict with employees of a state agency who have been circumventing laws for a number of years.

What happened to me personally will rarely happen because the system is designed make employees hurt for a protracted period of time until they give in and sign “stipulations” to keep their careers.

I am still working for fair resolution of my conflict with state employees and union officials who have acted in bad faith with public resources. My family and I continue to be punished by allegations on a state website for which no one at Beaverton Schools was ever required to provide evidence or testimony.

No one wants to look me in the eye. I've NEVER SEEN the state judge who made it possible for me to lose my ability to teach with her "first-of-its-kind" finding. Those were CONSTITUTIONAL rights that disappeared in my conflict with some selfish bureaucrats.

That is the underlying theme of both ”Occupy” and the Tea Party: Accountability for those people whom we have trusted with our public resources. Nowhere is that accountability more important than in our public schools. In our current system, administrators who will be paid for life (some for work they never did) can avoid accountability through patronage promotions--and by casting aspersions on dissenting employees who work their asses off in poorly-supervised schools.

We will change our schools and our other government agencies when the bureaucrats who run them are no longer able to hire insider lawyers with public money to conceal misconduct. Teachers' dues are merely a political surcharge in Oregon. Without accountability and oversight of school administrators, the rest is hypocrisy.




June 2004 FDAB testimony of Linda Borquist, then-Associate Superintendent for Human Resources of Beaverton Schools, on her "unique" collaboration with Tom Husted, uniserve representative for the Beaverton Education Association. Husted was serving concurrently on the board of the Beaverton Education Foundation, a non-profit run by JANET HOGUE, a Westview parent with an office in the Beaverton HR building.

BORQUIST'S SWORN TESTIMONY JUNE 2004:
Q. Do you have contact with the Beaverton Education Association as you work with various personnel problems?
A(Borquist). Uh-huh. I think we probably are a little bit unique in how we work with our association. The person who is the administrator of certificated personnel, which is a job I have also held in the past, and I meet usually twice a month and go over any kind of what we call "issues sessions." We look at, you know, things that have been brought to either of our attentions, and we go through and have an open discussion about what we're hearing or seeing. The hope is that we would, again, resolve it at the smallest level. We are very frank with each other. We don't really hold any secrets or hold any information back. But we try to proactively work together. We've operated
that
(begin pg 47)
way for at least 12, maybe 15 years, ever since I can kind of remember with, you know, past association presidents. It is a culture that we have built. Because of that we have very, very few grievances. I can maybe think of three in my ten years in -- 12 years in HR. You know, I've never sat before this kind of a board before with a Fair Dismissal hearing. We're actively working together. Obviously they have a role of representing in this case a teacher, and we have a role that we need to play. But
we try and work cooperatively. When I have a meeting that I'm going to be setting up with a teacher, I give what I would call a heads-up phone call to the association president or the Uniserv rep saying that this person will be expecting a call from X because they'll probably be calling you. We're going to have a meeting. I want to make sure you're available when they call so they can have representation. That's how open our relationship is.

Q. You mentioned that you had these meetings generally twice a month. Who are those with?
A. It's my administrator for certificated personnel, the Uniserv rep and the BEA president.

Westview High School's Chase Fulton stars 
in a Media Studies class project 
"ERIKA THE EXISTENTIAL EGGPLANT"

Arriving with Empathy: The Beaverton School Experience

When I was driving to Oregon in first days of January, 1997, I made an impulsive decision. When I got to the Great Plains, instead of heading north and running along a mountain ridge through Wyoming to get across the Rockies (usually the safest route in winter), I stayed south, opting to cut through Colorado with the thought that I would stop to ski at one of those places with--to me, a Kentucky boy--magical names: Breckinridge, Steamboat, Copper Mountain.

My traveling companion was guinea pig named Empathy that my seventh graders at my former school had given me to bring to my new school. In Oregon, I would reunite with my soon-to-be wife and we would marry in the Columbia Gorge that summer while I was looking for work.

I stopped in Vail and gave Empathy to a puzzled but amenable concierge at a hotel at the bottom of the mountain and skied (poorly) for an afternoon, then retrieved the rodent and drove on into the setting  sun. The blinding snow in Utah made me realize that I probably should've stayed on the high wide road through Wyoming.

By that fall, I was teaching middle school English and theater arts in an over-crowded middle school in Beaverton. I poured myself into it.  Loved a lot of it because there was a lot of money for creative projects and the kids were clever and the parents were supportive.  Mostly.

Early troubles:
I had some problems adjusting to the fact that attending church was an acceptable excuse for not doing homework, but I finally succumbed...after some conflict with  a few parents who, I soon learned, did their leveraging through a veteran school counselor—a woman who was de facto administrator of our section of the school.

I would learn that counselors in Beaverton tend to have those administrative connections.

Early on in my new job, I also had some trouble with my “specialty” class, an early-morning period when teachers did something "special" that they wanted to do with kids who specifically chose that class. It is a sound educational philosophy when applied fairly.

My “specialty” was drama—my theater experience was one of the major factors in my hiring--and I enthusiastically accepted the challenge of rebuilding a program that had been abandoned.

In my first specialty class, kids worked on a play ("...Becomes the Rose") that we had written ourselves—it was pretty basic but involved a lot of kids. I made the mistake of asking the counselor to help me find costumes for this first effort—I had learned she made costumes for a high school program that did some big-budget shows.

However, this counselor at my new job in my new school district replied that she was learning to say, “No.”   As a new guy with not much to work with, I was disappointed she was practicing her "no's" on me. Four years in the future, I would be one of three teachers to write a letter of recommendation to Colorado State for this same counselor's son when he asked.

Irony abounds in my Beaverton saga.

Long story short: I discovered by November of my first year in the Beaverton Schools that, unbeknownst to me or my building principal, my specialty class was about to double in size—courtesy of this counselor, who was in charge of specialty scheduling. She neglected to inform me of this major change in my job.  I had struggled during our first play to find significant roles for forty kids—to discover abruptly in mid-year that my load was about to double to 80 was unfair.

The ensuing conflict, ending in compromise (60 kids), damaged my relationship with this influential woman although, as I said, I would write her son's letter at his request some four years later. I experienced a  number of unnecessary conflicts because of this failed relationship—I accept responsibility for some of that—and I had moved to the high school where I met her son, mostly to be away form her.

At the high school, I assumed responsibility for changing a video production program from linear to digital technology (while teaching English and creative writing classes).

When my boss at the high school retired a few years later and I no longer had his support, I was fired in mid-year for insubordination.  It happened by surprise, after I told a new superintendent that I had been paid unfairly and had asked about resigning.

On the day I was fired, I learned a librarian had been approached (twice) by an asst. principal and convinced to sign a complaint listing charges that-–even in the BSD employment rabbit-hole—never amounted to harassment.

But when you are a teacher in a place like Beaverton and someone powerful wants to get rid of you, THEY DO NOT DO IT NICELY.  I was fired in a vicious surprise surprise attack after working all day by administrators who still did not know where the light switches were in my building.  I was charged with a trumped-up smokescreen sex complaint, given a lawyer by a shady union official with whom Beaverton people met weekly, and then abused for the next four years by state employees covering up for Beaverton administrators and their lawyers.

Most of these guys meet a few times of the year in places like Sisters and Bandon.

To recap: After I had asked to quit, Beaverton officials locked me out of my building on the last day of the first semester in '03-'04. At the time, I was working with kids who were seniors in high school who had been in that first play with me, when they were sixth graders in '97.  I did not get to attend their graduations because bureaucrats had banned me from the property.

My grades for the first semester had not been due until after they fired me—yet I was called back in three days later and fired some more—for not doing these semester grades.  Kids and parents were told that I had intentionally sabotaged scholarships. My female students were called in and asked pointed sex questions by malicious school officials, most of whom had never taught a teenager.

In the end, I was manipulated by my union lawyer for several years while watching phonies get secrecy agreements, early retirements and promotions. I couldn't get the licensing bureau to leave me alone because of complaints that Beaverton had made. Finally, after paying the OEA for ten years for support I still have never gotten, I lost my license to teach in 2007.  I had refused to sign an array of confessions that lawyers  in Oregon use to prolong teacher discipline cases.

I am capable of making mistakes and sure had some bad day in some crowded schools where a lot of people have driven personal agendas, but I have always felt good about my ability to accept accountability for my mistakes.  However, I refused to sign a confession because the licensing agency was using a salacious, undocumented charge from the middle school counselor in '97, suggesting that I tried to lure a seventh grader to my truck in the faculty parking lot during class time. If it had been true, I should have been disciplined. It wasn't and I wasn't.

Ten years later I am told I have to confess to it or lose my license. I refused.

So the TSPC director (who had been hired in 2002 by the Beaverton superintendent) chose to get a state judge to “accept certain facts as true” for a first-of-its-kind-in-Oregon finding to put on my permanent record.

I have not slept properly since.

My mother died watching me fight these people.  I am bitter. The licensing board director continues to say I need anger management therapy—she has had a great deal of impact on my life without ever looking me in the eye. Ditto the judge who abandoned precedent  to “accept certain facts” in support of bureaucrats. T add insult to injury, I was at first being required to attend alcohol counseling, even though I am one of the few people in my tragic drama who was smart enough to quit drinking years ago...before I ever drove Empathy the guinea pig across the Rocky Mountains.

It is sad to me that, because I once asked a veteran guidance counselor in Beaverton to treat me fairly as a new teacher--not to double the size of my classes--the state of Oregon would take away from me the opportunity to do a job that is needed here.  I taught kids whom a lot of people chose not to—I have a lot of special training and am able to teach in two languages. The purpose for this letter is to help raise awareness: Teachers are very vulnerable In Beaverton and in oregon at large. Schools are insular and can very easily be mismanaged.  Government agencies whose employees have enjoyed freedom from oversight and accountability often become corrupt—at the least inefficient and defensive.  A lot of money is at stake in education.

But something more is lost. My guinea pig didn't make it through that first year in Beaverton.   I have never replaced her.

www.teachingintheshadowoftheswoosh.blogspot.com


Westview High School students Yao Zio and Jeff Hanson
compassionately capture the diversity of Westview High School
in a 2001 Adv. Media Studies project
"The Eyes of the World"



Janet Hogue, then CEO of the BSD's fundraising organization, the BEF...

Janet Hogue, then CEO of the BSD's  fundraising organization, the BEF...
...representing herself as superintendent.

Oct 06 letter from new BSD HR director Sue Robertson

Oct 06 letter from new BSD HR director Sue Robertson
...blocking access to evidence that would demonstrate Beaverton administrative misconduct.

Response to Sue Robertson, BSD HR chief, concerning false allegations to conceal misconduct

Response to Sue Robertson, BSD HR chief, concerning false allegations to conceal misconduct

Letter from Jennifer Hungerford, former Beaverton atty referencing BSD money manager Dan Thomas

Letter from Jennifer Hungerford, former Beaverton atty referencing BSD money manager Dan Thomas

Hollis Lekas, former Beaverton HR admin., June 2004 "complaint" to TSPC...

Hollis Lekas, former Beaverton HR admin., June 2004 "complaint" to TSPC...
...after waiting on FDAB results.

Justice delayed...

Justice delayed...

...is justice denied, Tom Doyle-style

...is justice denied, Tom Doyle-style

Former TSPC investigator Nisbet working unethically with Tom Doyle, OEA atty

Former TSPC investigator Nisbet working unethically with Tom Doyle, OEA atty
Her actions were designed to affect the outcome of a federal lawsuit. She lost her job consequently (Like me, she was small enough to fail). The improper use of TSPC "stipulations" and "pass-the-trash" deals effectively lets lawyers and bureaucrats in Oregon education play "God" with student welfare and teacher careers...

TSPC director Vickie Chamberlain trying to work a "deal" with Doyle

TSPC director Vickie Chamberlain trying to work a "deal" with Doyle
Signing stipulations to protect BSD administrators who violated employment and civil rights laws

OEA Legal Conceals Fraud

OEA Legal Conceals Fraud
Mark Toledo tries to cover up for Tom Doyle

Former OEA President Larry Wolf denial of illegal civil suit filed by OEA atty Tom Doyle

Former OEA President Larry Wolf denial of illegal civil suit filed by OEA atty Tom Doyle
Wolf abdicates leadership of union's membership to OEA "Advocacy"