Friday, February 5, 2010

The Victorious Plan and perhaps where it came from

I have plastered up some miscellaneous rambling. In hopes you might learn something about how Marty and I managed with Keith's help managed to pull this off.

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At any rate everyone in the city said we had a zero chance of winning. Me I rarely listen to others that are so negative so I chose to ignore them.

I should add that our attorney wanted to be sure that we understood we had close to a zero chance. Marty said that was OK and she was prepared to do this to expose this ongoing atrocity and even if we did not win that it was important to expose this injustice.

I think Marty really though we had a shot at winning a real shot. She never told me so but she is just that kind of person. She is just not going to live in a world where there is no chance of righting injustice. I mean that's the kind of person she is. I mean she goes to Tai Chi, so that makes sense right.

Anyway this was back in early June of 2009, I had a plan that I'd devised and I'd spent two and a half years pretty much testifying twice a month. That was about as consistent as I had done any one thing for a long while. I only taught one year at West Seattle. In fact I started testifying at school board meetings on January 17, 2007. I got hooked on this testifying because a school board member Sally Soriano invited me to do so. She is no longer on the board but that is another story too long to tell here. Anyway my invitation from Sally came one day when we were talking and she was mentioning something about IMP a high school math program and how several schools were happy with it and wanted more. I said Wow I am at West Seattle and it definitely gets a mixed review there. She said no I hear things are going great with it there. I said from who and she said Staff....... that means the bigity wigs at JSCEE. So that was my first awareness that dorothy wasn't in Kansas anymore. This was clearly the big city as the truth was being altered for Sally's consumption. Anyway after I clarified this situation for her. She invited me down to clarify things for the school board. Well I clearly did not do a very good job because soon it was a 5 months later and I'd been showing up twice monthly and most of the directors were not getting the picture. I mean these are carefully crafted 3 minute speeches twice a month. These folks look really attentive and all but they seemingly are impossible to communicate with. So I start wondering what could possibly be going on in their heads? Needless to say I never figured that one out.

When we lost the elementary math adoption to that abomination Everyday Math, that the reason I wasn't making any progress was because they choose to trust their hired professionals at the JSCEE.

I found that whole trust thing most peculiar. When a group has been messing up perpetually for ten years, I would stop trusting them but not most of these directors. They just went right on trusting. Well anyway at the end of the year I retired so I could run for school board, because that looked like the only way to fix this mess.

That did not go so well. I dumped a bunch of dollars into my campaign as I certainly had no great connections. My opponent on the other hand spent I guess $140,000 or something like that. It was absolutely crazy. The year I decide to run 2007 the Times predicts that winners might spend as much as $50,000 a new high. Remember we are talking about an unpaid position and being a school board member means you have to take a lot of flack from various groups and interests. Like they say you can't please everybody but I get the feeling that there must be times when you can't please anybody including yourself. At any rate like I was saying 2007 was the crazy year and that $50,000 max. was way off. The average spent by the winners of the three contested races was around $135,000 or so. Harium was running against David B., who is the colorful candidate but not considered a serious candidate by those in the know. Well Harium spent $65,000 essentially running unopposed. So these folks eventually earn the tag, the gang of four. I sometimes refer to Peter as the validictorian of the class of 2007 as he spent $163,000. He is really not much of a valedictorian as he never writes to me and nothing he ever does indicates he's read my stuff. By that I mean he votes the party line and the reasons for his votes are never accompanied by evidence. Lots of times when he is explaining his vote. I keep thinking: I give it a 78 'cause I can sorta dance to it. I really have no idea what other peoples mind's are like but since my mom spent 20 years in a mental hospital and they say the apple never falls far from the tree. Well you get the idea.

Anyway like I said I was definitely not connected. When I started in the fall of 2006 at West Seattle, I had to go to the JSCEE for a new hired Blah Blah session. So everyone had to fill out these sheets to send to former school employers. They gave us about 5 and said anyone need more. So like three of us raise hands and this guy says need one and a gal needs 2, so she comes to me and says how many do you need and I say a lot. So she says how many and I say a lot as in a lot more than you have there. She says "I can get more. How many you need?" So being a math teach with a degree and certification and all I am good at counting just remembering all those schools is not my long suit. I pause and say well I have 5 so I need umm.. 12 more. She says you've taught in 17 schools and I say Yup. She is off to find more forms. When she returns I get this glimmer in my eye indicating potential record approaching. I ask the big question. So do I win. I mean am I the all time winner of most schools taught in with 17? She indicates I'm some kind of freakish outlier as there is nobody close to me in second place. Just started in Seattle and I already have an achievement. Pretty cool

At any rate mother Teresa says that success is in God's hands but faithfulness is what's required. So that becomes my motto. Because if I am testifying because I think I am ever going to change any of these folks trusting of Central staff... Well I mean face it. That is not going to happen. So I figure that having taught in four states and public schools, private schools, urban, suburban, and rural ... even an Indian Nation as in Native American. South Central LA, Hispanics in Eastern Washington and by this time I had been selected to be on the State Board of Education Mathematics Advisory Panel. Needless to say I have a greatly different perspective on this whole teaching gig than those who have spent a lot of time in upper central administration. So I am still wondering, what the people who know so little math coupled with so little about teaching and know almost nothing about getting great results I mean why is it they get to be the ones selecting the books and thinking about developing pacing plans. I mean I don't get it.

Anyway I'm on the web one night checking my email and I look and the title is "Did you teach in Idaho in 1968?" gee its from Joe Grief and I haven't see him since I went back to Idaho to see my kids graduate from Prairie High. I mean their my kids because I taught them like all the time. It was a 7th grade and I was thee teacher. It was awesome my first job and no student teaching and no degree but I had a teaching certificate. I was in Idaho it was 1968. Anyway Joe was one of my kids.

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