Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Daniel Shinoff to appeal Danielle Cozaihr court decision

The Chula Vista Elementary School District board has once again abdicated its responsibility for moral decisionmaking. It has rehired attorney Daniel Shinoff, after an effort for a few years to use less controversial lawyers.

And Daniel Shinoff has decided to appeal the jury verdict won by teacher Danielle Cozaihr against the district.

A jury said the district violated the law.

I believe that Arnold Schwarzenegger's education budget cuts create a smoke screen for bad behavior by districts. CVESD probably won't lay off teachers (we've been through all of this before, when Rick Werlin was in charge of human resources at CVESD in 2003). But when they threaten to do it, everybody feels sorry for the pink slip teachers, and violations of the law against individual teachers don't seem as important any more. The first teacher that CVESD should rehire is Danielle Cozaihr.

But what happened to Danielle Cozaihr is an indicator of what is wrong with education: politcs matters more than kids.

Superintendent Lowell Billings is remarkably lazy. He doesn't pay any attention to what happens at schools until things go wrong. Then he does whatever the principal wants, or he fires the principal and does whatever the ruling clique of teachers wants. He never actually improves anything, just decides who gets fired.

And since the problems arise from a dysfunctional system--not from just one person-- the problems remain.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Larry Cunningham shows his support for Alex Cortes

CVESD board member Larry Cunningham (right) shows his support for Alex Cortes, proving that a little gender discrimination isn't a problem for Mr. Cunningham. What does he care about the opinion of the San Diego Superior Court?

Feaster Elementary v. Lowell Billings and Daniel Shinoff

See all Lowell Billings posts at CVESD Reporter.
See all Daniel Shinoff posts at San Diego Education Report.

from CVESD Reporter
by Maura Larkins

Chula Vista Elementary School District's Superintendent Lowell Billings apparently watched closely and learned from his predecessor Libia Gil, who promoted a system she called "site-based management." Billings continues to promote the system.

But the system as implemented at CVESD always involved top-down decisionmaking, never democracy at the school site.

It also involved laziness and neglect. So things would often get out of hand at various schools, and then the district office would swoop in and fire people, or, if they were political allies, bring them back to the district office for their own protection.

But now Lowell has a new problem. The school that is trying to make its own decisions is a charter school. They don't seem to think that principal Erik Latoni should make all the decisions.

Once again, Lowell wants to swoop in and take control. He is threatening to to terminate the charter of Feaster Elementary School because the people who run the school actually work at the school. Instead of "site-based decisionmaking," this is now being called "a conflict of interest" by Mr. Billings.

It's not ideas that matter at CVESD, it's words. And the meaning of the words changes whenever the people in charge feel it's necessary.

It's probably worthwhile to note that CVESD recently rehired Daniel Shinoff of Stutz, Artiano Shinoff & Holtz. Apparently the board was impressed with Shinoff's work at MiraCosta College. I notice a striking similarity in the arguments used to attack Feaster Elementary and the arguments used to justify the actions of the majority-bloc of trustees at MiraCosta.

The CVE gang is still together

The current makeup of the Chula Vista Educators board of directors proves that not much has changed since the board rubber-stamped the illegal actions of Gina Boyd, Jim Groth, Robin Donlan and the lawyers who helped them cover up their wrongdoing.

Peggie Myers
President 07-09
State Council 06-09
Full-Release CVE Office 427-1063

Monica Sorrenson
Vice President 07-09
Liberty Elementary School 397-5225

Nancy Potts
Treasurer 07-09
Valley Vista Elementary 479-7171 Ext. 5339

Barbara Dunwoodie
Secretary 07-09
Hilltop 422-8323 Ext.3333

James Groth
State Council 07-10
CTA Board

Barbara Dunwoodie (see also above)
State Council 05-08
Hilltop 422-8323 Ext. 3333

Allan Insko
PAR Chair 06-09
Sunnyside 479-0571 Ext. 5051

Joyce Abrams
Area Director A 07-08
Chula Vista Hills 482-7066 Ext. 2341

Norma Pacheco-Davis
[new member--was NOT involved in wrongdoing 2001-2005]
Area Director B 07-08
Los Altos 690-5880 Ext. 3848

Area Director C 07-08

Penny Martinez
[new member--was NOT involved in wrongdoing 2001-2005]
Area Director D 07-08
Valle Lindo 421-5151 Ext. 5254

Andra Johnston
Area Director E 07-08
Salt Creek 397-5494

Bargaining Chair 07-09

Executive Director Mary Ellen Berumen
[New executive director; not involved in decisions of former director Tim O'Neill]
427-1063 Ext 205