Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shakedown: The Current Conspiracy against the American Public School Parent, Student, and Teacher.

The above shakedown is similar to but not the same as

Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer (Hardcover)
by Steven Malanga.

In his book Mr. Malanga speaks of how the Government has financed an entire "Cottage Industry of Activists" for causes that advocate for what he sees as the Shakedown of the American taxpayer. I see that he makes a strong case and do not disagree with him.

I think a similar case can be built around

Shakedown: The Current Conspiracy against the American Public School Parent, Student, and Teacher.

This shakedown is financed by foundations and other forces (often business related) that finance the faux grassroots organizations that pose as pushing for Better Public Schools, while neglecting the significant data that shows what they advocate for is very ill advised.

The Obama/Duncan "Race to the Top" is a perfect example of this Shakedown. It is founded on attempting to define problems and then mandate particular actions as the solutions to these problems. The real problem with "RttT" is that while the problems defined may in fact be real, unfortunately the changes advocated are NOT solutions.

We now have an increasing number of privately financed faux grassroots organizations pushing for what "The Billionaire Boys Club" desires.

Four Seattle School Directors have become "textbook like" examples of voting for proposals, which have no rational basis for selection. Their reasons for voting to approve are regularly based on anecdotes, while they ignore the evidence, which frequently shows the extremely poor performance of the programs for which they vote.

My investigation into this bizarre behavior by school directors began on May 30th 2007 when the School Directors voted for Everyday Math because they trusted their hired "education expert professionals" choosing to trust the Chief Academic Officer at that time Carla Santorno and the Math Program manager Rosalind Wise. This was a classic example of to hell with the data, we prefer to believe in fairy-tales.
See fairy-tale and the facts at end of article.

Things are now substantially worse with the Seattle's Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson (hired July 2007) and the four directors elected in Fall 2007.
{Note State Audit report had a huge number of findings showing a wide variety of failings (July 2010) and then the Board by a vote of 5-2 extended the Superintendent's contract from two more years to three more years.}

On Feb. 4, 2010 the Board was found to have excluded evidence in making the HS Math Adoption decision of May 2009 to buy $800,000 worth of math textbooks and spend $400,000 on professional development for faculty in the use of these defective books. The District then refused to reconsider the decision using all the evidence and appealed the ruling to Appellate court. This appeal will likely be heard in Spring 2011. The Seattle high school students are now in their second year using these books. Tenth grade testing on the Washington State Math High School Performance Exam demonstrated that the year to year change in scores for Black, Hispanic, and Limited English speaking students was worse than the state average change for each of those categories of students (by the amount below the state). Black student math pass rate was 12.50% ( -1.90% ), Hispanic student pass rate was 24.20% ( -2.80%), and Limited English Speaking student pass rate was 7.00% ( -5.40%)> .

As if defying a Superior Court Order to use all the evidence in remaking a flawed decision was not bad enough, things have now apparently eroded to "Forgery".

The Superintendent and the Chief Academic Officer apparently produced a School Board Action Report (see page 2 of report) by using a "Forged" memo as source material. This Action Report was for the $800,000 New Tech Network contract. When the contract was appealed, the District apparently submitted the "Forged" memo in place of the actual memo, and in the process apparently did not submit the actual memo on which the Action Report was supposedly based. The Board did not certify the evidence submitted to the court was correct as required by state law.

This seems to be typical of what is going on in the Current Conspiracy against the American Public School Parent, Student, and Teacher.

Since there are apparently no forces with vast resources advocating for the American Public School Parent, Student, and Teacher, the only solution is self-defense.

Immediate steps to take:
(1) Oppose the TfA contract proposal at the Seattle School Board meeting on Wednesday November 17 at the JSCEE at 3rd and Lander at 6:00 PM.
You can express your opposition by writing to the school board at

(2) If we are successful in the "Sufficiency Hearing" for the Recall of four school directors on November 18th, please join in the effort to gather at least 32,000 valid signatures of Seattle registered voters on the recall petition. Here is the current form of the recall synopsis.

If you would prefer a Republic where the citizens interests are protected by laws, it appears your action is needed to oppose the current ruling oligarchy. So get moving or don't.

The fairy-tale if you adopt Everyday Math the Math achievement gaps at grade four on WASL testing will be eliminated in four to five years. -- Carla Santorno spring 2007 referring to WASL data looking at GAPS 4th grade math from 2005.

Here are those Gaps in grade 4 math by ethnic Group.
Group Score minus White Student score shows how far below the ethnic group is below the white group each year. Everyday Math went into use for the 2007-2008 school year.
So what do those Gaps look like after three years of EDM use?

Note American Indian Students have a larger gap after three years of Everyday Math use.

American Indian Students
-30.30% .... 2004-05 WASL
-28.60% .... 2005-06 WASL
-30.50% .... 2006-07 WASL
-30.20% .... 2007-08 WASL
-32.20% .... 2008-09 WASL
-36.90% .... 2009-10 MSP

Asian/Pacific students had a sharp gap reduction in 2009-2010.

Asian/Pacific Islander Students
-19.10% .... 2004-05 WASL
-9.70% .... 2005-06 WASL
-13.10% .... 2006-07 WASL
-11.40% .... 2007-08 WASL
-14.90% .... 2008-09 WASL
-6.50% .... 2009-10 MSP

The Black Student Gap is larger and completely unacceptable.

Black Students
-46.50% .... 2004-05 WASL
-44.70% .... 2005-06 WASL
-47.80% .... 2006-07 WASL
-46.30% .... 2007-08 WASL
-49.70% .... 2008-09 WASL
-49.50% .... 2009-10 MSP

The Hispanic Student Gap lessened in 2009-2010 but certainly shows no indication that it will be eliminated as Ms. Santorno claimed.

Hispanic Students
-42.20% .... 2004-05 WASL
-36.40% .... 2005-06 WASL
-36.30% .... 2006-07 WASL
-40.40% .... 2007-08 WASL
-40.60% .... 2008-09 WASL
-32.70% .... 2009-10 MSP

Limited English Speaking students are completely ill served by the Discovery/Inquiry method advocated by Seattle. This is a clear indication of a complete failure to serve the needs of Parents, Students, and Teachers.

Limited English Speaking Students
-53.80% .... 2004-05 WASL
-48.40% .... 2005-06 WASL
-56.20% .... 2006-07 WASL
-56.10% .... 2007-08 WASL
-57.40% .... 2008-09 WASL
-56.70% .... 2009-10 MSP

Low Income students slightly improved in 2010.

Low Income Students
-42.10% .... 2004-05 WASL
-36.70% .... 2005-06 WASL
-39.80% .... 2006-07 WASL
-40.20% .... 2007-08 WASL
-42.60% .... 2008-09 WASL
-37.80% .... 2009-10 MSP

Myth Busters .... Myth Busted ....
Achievement Gaps in fourth grade math will not be eliminated in grade four math, despite the Board's belief in EDM fairy-tales..


I have reported this apparent fraudulent activity of forgery to the audit managers at the State Auditor's Office in Seattle and to the Governor's Office in Olympia for possible referral to the Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna.

I suggest that at some point in the future it may be possible to end the Seattle Superintendent's contract abruptly with "Fired with Cause".

Commission of Class C Felony "Forgery" would appear to be adequate cause for immediate dismissal. From RCW 9A.20.040 if the maximum sentence of imprisonment authorized by law upon conviction of such felony is less than eight years, such felony shall be treated as a class C felony for purposes of this title.

Let us see how the next few months play out.

There is always the gross misdemeanor of misleading a public official in the exercise of their duty. Every person convicted of a gross misdemeanor defined in Title 9A RCW shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than one year, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than five thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.


It seems we have a system in which NO VENDOR is LEFT BEHIND
and the changes in performance of students is hardly noticed.

As a friend said:
"American Education is like a Bad Divorce, the kids are just used for leverage for something the adults want."

-- J. L. Anderson

Summary of the possible Forgery: LINK HERE


Michael said...

Go get 'em, Dan. I'm out here at Beach posting an open break with administration of this program, and the district as well. I never anticipated having to go it alone, but the stress is so high, and people are so intimidated, that someone's going to have to take "point". I've got my formal evalution back for this term, and must say this is the first time in almost forty years in the workforce that anyone has ever actaully suggested that I allow their perspective to frame my personal language in describing my personal experience. It ain't gonna happen. And if any other teacher in this district is swallowing this horse manure, they deserve to be frightened.

dan dempsey said...


The Recall Sufficiency Hearing is going to happen on Thursday Nov. 18.

I am in contact with the State Auditor's Seattle office.

Thanks for still being on the front lines.