Friday, June 5, 2009

Deep Thoughts on decisions and court action

From Cyber-Space:

Proving “arbitratary and capricious” will be next to impossible, as they are completely subjective measures subject to individual interpretations. Evidence of this troublesome challenge is that I felt the need to look-up the definitions of both arbitratary and capricious in several different references. The definitions themselves seem arbitratary and capricious.

I would interpret the conjunctive definition broadly to be ideologically or philosophically driven despotism, exclusively discounting contraindicative evidence and the will & judgment of constituents. But there’s a problem here. To prove “despotism”, you must show that arbitrary decisions have been made exclusive of constitutional rule. In other words, you must show that established rules & procedural guidelines were not followed, and that they were not followed with malicious intent.

You might get somebody to believe this occurred by the preponderance of the evidence, but I don’t think it’s possible to prove it in its entirety.

The problem I think you’re going to have in court almost exactly parallels the problem I’m having right now in (.......) School District with a group of parents who’ve decided to fight the pending Discovering adoption. I’m not sure I can articulate it with clarity, but I’ll try. They think the problem is the Discovering curriculum.

I’ve tried to point out to them that the Discovering curriculum, while it is the most pressing immediate concern, is not the problem, but rather a symptom of the larger systemic problem. Over time, through gradualism, the “reformist camp” has changed the established rules & procedural guidelines to specifically favor “reform” and administrative control.

They’ve done this on many different fronts. They’ve gradually built a procedural framework for curricula adoption that grounded in deceit & manipulation (consensus, facilitated by reformists) which freezes-out meaningful parental participation and gives the illusion of broad support. They’ve gradually redefined the roles of school directors so that many of them now believe their proper role to be limited to “procedural oversight”
(Chow is a prime example), effectively making them “rubber stamps” for procedures that have been crafted specifically to support whatever definition of “reform” the administrators choose.

..... As a point of strategy, they do not want me to attack procedure, but focus exclusively on the math performance of ..... students and the shortcomings of the Discovering curricula. What I know (that they want to ignore) is that unless dramatic procedural & policy changes are made, they (we) will have to repeat this fight with “underdog” status at each and every curricula adoption forever. The school boards must once again come to recognize that they are not there to protect “procedure”, but to use their judgment to be advocates for kids & parents. The philosophical debates over curricula should not take place at the end of the adoption cycle, when the reform oriented administrations have the advantage of momentum and unlimited board presentation time, they must be completely open and early in the adoption cycle with maximum (I would argue majority) parental participation and teachers who are afforded the emancipating freedom of the confidential vote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is precedent. Mount Vernon did a public referendum and pulled the offending curriculum (Core plus) out of school. The parents also had the superintendent removed.

Another case that might interest you is the Backus Hill nuclear plant using the Skagit River that WUPS tried to push through some city council meetings over 30 years ago. They were sued by SCANP. The county rejected the nuclear plant in a public vote.

Voting would be quicker and less expensive than a court case, unless you plan on a Darwinesque trial. Don't forget - Scopes lost, but the country won by making monkeys out of Creationists, like Beal and Moore.

The perpetuation of false knowledge is worse than ignorance. Reform math is all about counting, not algebra.