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

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.


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.

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%.


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.



Super Moms and Scary Moms

Re: Eliz. Hovde's essay "Parents need to remember teachers aren't the enemy"

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...


(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.

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
(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 

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.


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"

To Oregon Senator Mark Hass: The financial case for full-day kindergarten

Oregon's education outcomes: The financial case for full-day kindergarten

by Mark Hass Oregonian Oct 16 2011

Senator Hass has it right here. If you have much experience with American high schools, you realize that the last couple of years are focused on social stuff that skews toward upper-income kids. If we just moved the K-12 range down to ages 3 to 15, then we would be able establish quality early education as well as eradicate the patronage systems that too many big high schools have become. Move the whole program, sir, and give Oregon's kids an a) even start in the public education system and a b) chance to earn a living or go on and do real education when they become old enough.

The recent scores tell the tale: Elementary schools work. Public high schools can follow the model: Less starring roles; more ensemble casts...

Let the media-genic entertainment part of "school" that dominates the last two years (and creates poor education climates) find another domain until some gravity and reason are again applied to the way we allocate public resources for our schools. We can still put good coaches in contact with kids in the early years--they just won't be competing out-of-state at Christmas with the 5-Star-All-Americans until after those kids can drive.

Move it all up two years, Senator. Let's be innovative.

Oh, and remember oversight and accountability in school administration. Without those, the rest is smokescreen hypocrisy.


Trevor Crow and Eric Ball star
in a scene directed by Sean McKeen
in a Westview High Schools media class production

Where there is light, there is heat...

Whatever Oregon's trying to communicate, it's costing you millions The Oregonian Oct 15 2011

I hope this becomes the most important story the paper has ever presented. The hard copy article showed it off properly--front page above-the-fold. The paper listed Michelle Cole and Ryan Kost as the writers.

Aren't they good here?

Quite possibly did some damage to their futures with such legitimate reporting. Someone with a lot of influence is pissed off at the Sunday paper, for sure.

I am not alone in smiling. The message of "Occupy" is that we (the 99) don't believe anyone with authority is doing much beyond perpetuating themselves.

The PR boom this story addresses reflects a change in our culture that allows government (and anyone with economic and creative ability) to manipulate messages more easily.

According to the Oregonian, "spin" must be pandemic in Salem. The evidence suggests this problem is a problem everywhere a little pond of public money has formed. Sometime in the past few decades, we sort of gave up holding people accountable, collectively. We are now paying for our unspoken mantra: "Let somebody else do it."

Greed became a social norm and the "ends" justified some pretty despicable "means," if you could afford them. We became desensitized to cheating and bullying, and they grew like blackberry vines.

Now the Governor and some sincere and humble leaders are going to have to use this moment to clear some land. A lot of political will is required to dislodge some of the entrenched, undeserving bureaucrats, in part because they go to work everyday beside sincere, hard-working people who don't want to make waves and aren't likely to do much whistle-blowing. Bureaucrats are insular and, with someone to create the news for them, can survive like cockroaches. Damn good job, government work.

However, our Governor has recently stared down both the OEA and the AG—he knows what he is doing and he knows how to do it, it seems. But he will not succeed in a vacuum. Without information like we have been given here in this report, this futile process of taxpayers paying PR people to mislead us about how public employees are misleading us will continue.

Someone more clever than I will have to create a way to surgically remove the legal profession from all these state agencies. Perhaps this operation requires the skills of a Doctor.

In the meantime, I continue my quixotic quest to be treated with dignity for my service to the Beaverton community. I sought equity and professionalism in an environment of patronage and, as a consequence, was harassed by an element of our state government for refusing to sign a confession.

This same state agency currently employs people to tell you I am angry; in my case, at least, they are being honest. Bless you, Michelle and Ryan. But be careful; where there is light, there is heat.



Steve Duin: It's a man's man's man's man's world

Published: Monday, October 10, 2011, 5:20 PM 

Wonder what Jack Roberts would think about my "sex" case, custom-designed to coincide with my mid-year termination for insubordination and sprung on me the day I was locked out of my career. Some entrenched officials wanted to get rid of an employee who was seeking accountability for the actions of building administrators who enjoyed the patronage of an affluent parent with influence at the union.
I was toast before I was even fired.
Nasty business, sex charges. I lost a lot of sleep and a lot of weight waiting to provide a defense to a case that NEVER approached the legal standard for harassment (see below).
Sprung on me the day I was told to turn in my keys.
Sex charges as a tactical weapon in the hands of lawyers paid with public education money--well-connected lawyers with friends at the OEA AND the TSPC--those take a toll on a man. Beaverton's oblivious taxpayers spent over $200K to beat me up after I had asked to resign…

While I was trying to care for my dying mom. BSD lawyers, paid secretly, were manipualting me with my union's tacit support.
Mr. Duin deems more newsworthy the defense of political types who engage in "horseplay.” Hello, Steve--the reason people are in the streets is because of the double standards (AK: injustice). After seven years of trying to get state and union officials to investigate my first-of-its-kind-in-Oregon treatment by state courts, I have learned my story belongs down there with the folks in Lownsdale Park because I don't have gov't influence or money.

All together now: “This land is your land…”
When the Beaverton lawyers (Hungerford) wanted to discredit me, The Oregonian printed a slanted press release without ever contacting me (see: David Anderson ca. 2004). Mr. Duin, concerned herein lest his readers think "horseplay" deserves state intervention, has been aware for a LONG TIME that public money was paid to lawyers to deceive a federal judge on behalf of Beaverton administrators in my case. I refused for three years to sign a confession; my license was finally suspended by a state agency whose administrator, as was recently exposed in Gresham, shelters pedophiles for her school district cronies.
But I’m just another disposable teacher. Save room for my tent downtown...
FDAB Hearing June 2004 
(This was the first chance I had to answer these charges after being fired in JANUARY. For the record, my mother was dying, I had been cheated out of $20K by a new principal who was coming to work drunk, and I HAD ASKED TO RESIGN weeks before my surprise termination. The taxpayers paid a lot for the state government to harass me for four years...unnecessarily. No one has been held accountable.www.statesponsoredtheft.blogspot.com
"A" is the librarian who signed a complaint after being approached by her supervisor, the asst. principal, numerous times.
Q. In the interest of time here, I'm probably going to move fairly fast. During year '02-03 Mr. Bellairs was an activities director for the building; correct?
A. Correct.
Q. And as a consequence of being named activities director, did he interact with you or was he in the library space more often?
A. I would say yes, more often. He had more freedom within the building or he had more free time. I don't know which. But, yes, he was in the library more often.
Q. Did you have interaction with him when he was in the library?
A. Yes.
Q. Of what sort?
A. In retrospect, it is because he wanted something from me or something that I had in the library. Just him being there -- I think he just got used to being there. It became uncomfortable.
Q. You said because he wanted something from you. What kinds of things did he want when he was there?
A. Either equipment or perhaps a better working computer. Oftentimes, many, many mornings, he'd come in first thing and want to know if the coffee was on, if I'd made coffee for him, if we had any treats. The treats came from volunteers usually that volunteer with us in the library. They were brought in, and he would simply help himself to those. But it's usually because he wanted something, so he'd schmooze up to me, warm up to me and try to win me over with that.
Q. Did he ever make a comment to you when there weren't any sweets around?
A. Yes, he did.
Q. What was that comment?
A. Something to the effect of, "Can you put a little sweetness in this for me?" or "Can you sweeten it up for me?"
Q. Did that comment cause you any note?
A. Well, I remembered it. It wasn't appropriate. It wasn't -- it was around other staff members, and I think there may have been students present. It wasn't a professional thing to say.
Q. Were there any times when you were uncomfortable with his physical presence around you?
A. Yes. Part of his initial charm I think with everyone was that he liked to get to know people. He was
a real touchy-feely person. That became cloying. It became -- well, I grew to hate it. It no longer endeared itself to me, and I know to other people in the building. But, yes, the longer he was around me in the library, it increased.
Q. Was there a time in the fall of 2003 when he came up to you while you were walking down the hall?
A. Yes.
Q. What happened?
A. I was leaving or I was trying to leave. It was right as school was recessing, and students and teachers were in the hallway coming in the opposite correction. I was trying to leave to avoid getting caught in the buses, as I had a meeting outside the building. I don't know
where he came from, but he came up and put his arm around me. It was a hug much more intimate than he'd ever given before. It was very close and very -- it was very uncomfortable, very close.
Q. What did you do?
A. I immediately tried to shrink away. I'm short, so I thought I could kind of maybe weasel out of it or kind of shrink away from him. The harder I tried to get out from underneath his clutch, the harder he clutched me. It just became more intense. During the course of this
embrace, because that's what it more or less ended up as,
he wanted -- he asked me if I would like to start ascandal. Let's get tongues wagging. Could we have an affair. I said, "I don't think so." And at that point I wanted to slap him, but there was so many people
around, and I didn't want to get into any kind of embarrassing situation. I didn't want to get his anger going at me. I just finally just really jerked away, and I was able to leave, to get away from him.
Q. How did you -- what did you do after that when you were in the building in terms of Mr. Bellairs?
A. That same day?
Q. No.
A. I tried -- well, the very next day -- well, actually that evening I went and discussed the situation with my husband. He said I needed to at least speak to my administrator about it, that I probably didn't need to file some kind of complaint, but I needed to let
Somebody know that that had occurred. I was embarrassed. I didn't want anyone that may have seen us to misconstrue the facts, because I
didn't provoke it. So the next day, after discussing the incident with my husband, I talked with Gail VanGorder. She said -- she didn't write anything down, but she said that she no longer handled Don, that she would pass on the
information to Mike Chamberlain. She offered some suggestions on what I should do if it happened again. Then I briefly let the two girls that I work with up in the library know that I didn't want to be in the same room with Don, that I didn't want to be in a position that could be misconstrued. I tried not to give them too many facts, but I had to give them some foundation -- their names were Sherry and Nancy -- so
they knew that if Don were to come in to the library, I didn't
want to be alone, or if they saw him come in, that they agreed that they would come into that room where I was so that I wasn't going to be alone with him.
Q. Did you tell Gail VanGorder that you wanted to file a formal complaint and proceed with a complaint at that point in time?
A. No. I didn't.
Q. Were there times when Mr. Bellairs asked you out to dinner before or after this incident?
A. There was one before, yes.
Q. And was there a time after?
A. Actually, during the course of that incident in the hallway, yes, he did.
Q. What did you tell him?
A. I said, "No. I don't think so."
Q. What had been your response earlier when he
A. I'm not quite sure what the verbiage was, but I know I said no. He knew I was married. I knew he was married. I mean, it was just so far out of anything that I would have ever considered.
Q. Was there a time then later -- this incident in the hallway, can you place it somewhere in a time period?
A. It was on a Monday. I remember it was Monday because I was going to the district librarians meeting, and because we have them on Mondays. I believe it was in November, the second Monday in November.
Q. Was there a later time when there was another situation where you had physical contact with him or he had physical contact with you? And this one I think was in the library.
A. Yes. It was in December. I eat lunch up there with another couple of people in our back room. I was eating lunch. I sit on a chair with wheels. And he comes swooping in and puts his arm around me. And I didn't want anything to do with it. And the harder I tried to get away, scoot away on my chair, the more -- I ended up next to the wall just cowering, and I was continuing my conversation with my lunchmates, slinking away. I was flattened up against the wall. Finally, he took that as a hint and left.
Q. Was there any conversation that you remember?
A. I don't remember any. I think there was, but I can't remember what was said.
Q. Did you make any statements to your lunchmates or did you go on as though --
A. I said something to my lunchmates, yes.
Q. What did you say, if you remember?
A. I said, "You saw that?" And they said, "Yes, we did."
Q. Was that all that was said?
A. That was all that was said.
Q. After that was there another episode that involved a statement by Mr. Bellairs that made you uncomfortable?
A. Yes. That was in December also. Well, there was actually a couple. Which one are we on?
Q. Any of them.
A. There was one where he was in the library, and we were at the front desk. I don't know what he'd come in for, but Sherry saw that he had come in and she was standing right next to me. There was a thread on his shoulder. I said, "You need to take the thread off your shoulder." He said something, well, with a horrible sexual connotation to me. Sherry took it the same way. It was, "If you could pull it from my behind," or "if you
could pull the thread from behind me."
Q. What made you feel that it had sexual connotations?
A. Just the way he said it.
Q. Tone of voice?
A. Tone of voice. Sort of his body movements, yes.
Q. Do you remember how you responded to that?
A. I just walked away.
Q. Do you know whether -- you said there may have been other situations. Do you remember anything else?
A. There was another one. Again, we were at the counter. Sherry was standing there. There were also other students about. He came over to me, and he said, "Would you mind going over to the photocopy machine," which is housed in the library," and ask the young lady that's standing over there to cover up? She's not particularly good looking, and I'm not enjoying looking at her."
Q. Was the young lady a student?
A. A student, yes. So, yes, indeed I went over there and I did
ask her to cover up.
Q. He made that statement in front of other people and students?
A. Yes.
Q. In your account I'm understanding that you never directly said to Mr. Bellairs, "Take your hands off me," or something to that effect. Is that correct?
A. That's correct.
Q. Can you explain why not?
A. Well, I felt my nonverbal communication was strong enough, the force of which I tried to pull away. It was all nonverbal. I just felt that I was doing everything I could nonverbally. I didn't want -- did
not want to get into any kind of verbal confrontation with him because I had seen his anger.
Q. Where had you seen his anger?

Educationball instead of Moneyball

"Moneyball: Lessons for the Economy"  USA TODAY Paul Osterman Oct 5, 2011

The USA Today offers an appropriate filter through which to view Oregon's current challenges with under-performing schools and over-paid bureaucrats. The underlying wisdom offered in this essay is for management to value employees—to actually possess and use the CAPABILITY of discerning what  constitutes a valuable "player" in the education game.

When I was fired by the Beaverton School District's high-priced lawyers after asking to resign, my records (promotions, raises and positive evaluations) were hidden under a mucky layer of lies told by former Beaverton school administrators, many of whom were quietly replaced while B'ton school board paid influential “education” lawyers $200K to smear my name and discredit my work.

To cover up for Beaverton administrators' inability to do their jobs.

The asst. principal who was making it difficult for me (and many others) to teach classes had NEVER been a teacher: Gail Vangorder, former administrator of Westview High, was trained as librarian.  She had prepared for the job  of “overseeing” classroom teachers at the then-largest public high school in the state by being personal librarian for the Beaverton district administrators, when she no doubt made a lot of friends during the era of expansive patronage that typified the tenure of Yvonne “Kickback” Katz—a period that continues to cost Oregon taxpayers in inefficiency and failed oversight.

I worked for people who didn't know what building teachers were doing—or how they were doing it.  When they decided to be rid of me (I had asked the new supt. for some administrative accountability), a few of my bosses contacted the union official with whom they regularly dined and drank, then threw me under a legal bus for three years before insisting I sign a confession to keep my license active.  This effort, designed to create psychological pain for me while my mom was dying, was abetted by the Oregon's teacher licensing agency--the TSPC--whose director, Vickie Chamberlain, was hired by the former BSD superintendent, Jerry Colonna, to whom we are now paying $1000 a day for work that his lawyers made sure he never had to do.

(I have NEVER had a conversation with Colonna about the list of false charges he signed without an investigation.)

YOU, taxpayer, continue to pay dearly for a lot of unexposed phonies--to finance the daily rounds of golf and the vacations overseas and to pay for second homes on the coast and fancy European sports cars—ALL for work no one ever expected them to do.

Perhaps some real accountability is in order so real teachers can play some real Educationball in our schools...instead of Moneyball for secretive administrators.

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"