Friday, May 15, 2009

Comment on Board Member Griffin's Dialogue with Thomas


Thomas Vaughan said...

Ms Griffin


If you would be willing to explain why this apparently skilled teacher [Steve Kemp] is being kept busy as a paper pusher I would love to hear about it. Its not just Steve. Ms Griffin this could happen to any one of us. It happened to me. Ms. Kipley herself told me how the numbers of abuse complaints against teachers has tripled in the years she has been in charge of professional standards.

If I recall correctly, I posited that it might be helpful to give guidance to teachers on how to avoid these problems. It seems to me as long as administration is willing to let teachers twist in the wind and show them little support (not good politically I guess) this "problem" will only get worse. If these abuse complaints have tripled as she said we have a problem that NEEDS to be addressed NOW.

Any suggestion that it is in the interest of teachers to curtail their participation in discussing these issues in blogs is a self serving attempt to protect the status quo which, in my opinion, is tantamount to sacrificing teachers for political expediency.

Those are the matters I want to speak to you about. Are you willing to talk to me? I believe we can find a way not to violate Mr. Kemps right to due process and your obligation to remain unbiased. What do you think?

May 1, 2009 11:24 PM
Blogger April Griffin said...

Mr. Vaughan,

I am always willing to discuss issues that will improve our district. I always have been. I will not discuss an employee who's case is not settled without that employees permission though. I would do the same for you and I hope you can respect that.

Please call or email me and we will talk about your experiences and suggestions. You have my number right?

At your service, April

May 2, 2009 10:30 AM

Teacher Lee's correction of grammar-punctuation errors:



Lee says:

I sent Mr. Kemp to Ms. Griffin for help with the child-abuse frame-up the administration has devised for him. He did not tell me what she said except that she said not to tell anybody that he had been to see her.

The latest wrinkle in this case is that Linda Kipley claims she did not get the three Political Standards charges against Smiley, Sosa, and What's-Her-Name that I sent Kipley in February. Kipley lies. She pulled the same scam when I filed charges against Dr. Hamilton for using the school mails for personal business two years ago. I have smartened up since then to such administration tactics. I had kept my files on the three-administrator charges and zapped a replacement to La Kipley instanter.

In a subsequent board session after her meeting with Kemp when Mr. Kemp's case came up for discussion, Ms. Griffin asked Mr. Valdez how long the investigation of the case would take. This question signaled that Ms. Griffin had not spoken to Mr. Valdez after her interview with Mr. Kemp. Otherwise, she would have known the answer to this question.

I don't believe Board Member Griffin had given Mr. Kemp's case a thought after her interview with him in which she told him that "things are going well behind the scenes." That is political claptrap. If Ms. Griffin wanted to help Teacher Kemp, she would have interviewed Mr. Valdez, the Teacher Torture Committee Enforcer behind the scenes, and she would have asked him for a written summary for the board of the status of the case and what he had left to do to wind it up so that Ms. Elia could make the recommendation that Linda Kipley had conveyed to Mr. Kemp when he asked her about child-abuse cases. Ms. Kipley, always all heart, said that she had never known one case of a charge of child abuse in the state that did not end in the teacher's dismissal.

You don't have to read all of Freud as I have to know that what the administration with board cooperation is conducting in Steve Kemp's and in other teachers' cases when they are caught in the Political Standards' spider net: it's psychological terror.

The administration and board want a teacher android to come out of that experience, one who has abandoned his blog. In Kemp's case; they want him to give up not only his blog but also his free-speech rights.

Some apparatchik from the administration called up Mr. Kemp and cited the particular subject that Ms. Elia did not want him to discuss on his blog.

What nerve. If you are a teacher, you must waive your Constitutional rights to keep a job in the school system. And this is happening in the world's most perfect democracy. And the board, which swore to uphold the Constitution, is pretending it does not know what is going on.

Something has gone haywire here.

The administration and board are bonkers about blogs and want them abolished. Ms. Elia is obsessed with good publicity, the kind produced by the Public Affairs Office about the schools and administration that spins truth until it disappears in a fog of allusion that takes the facts if unpleasant and converts them into an advertisement for how wonderful the board and administration are.

Back to the meeting of Kemp and Board Member Griffin: Why would a board member instruct a teacher not to tell anyone that she had met with him? Is she afraid of Ms. Elia and the rest of the rubber-stamp board members?

Why isn't it perfectly kosher for a board member to meet with a teacher? Teachers and their students are the heart and soul of the school system. So why aren't they at the center of a board member's concern instead of their being some kind of forbidden element that the board member does not want to be associated with? The public won't like that situation if it finds out about Ms. Griffin's attitude.

Such moral cowardice in a board member is a discouraging attitude from someone who claims she is pro-teacher. In fact, Ms. Griffin's is not a pro-teacher stance. It is an I-am-afraid-to-be-associated-with-teachers attitude because I am scared out of my shoes of Ms. Elia.

Why Ms. Griffin is afraid of Ms. Elia presents the puzzle. She is technically Ms. Elia's boss, but you would never know this unless you master the written hierarchy of board and administration. Ms. Griffin may also be afraid of another pile-on led by Carol Kurdell and Candy Olson for "being disloyal to the staff" when Griffin, in her salad days as board member, asked for an item on no-bid contracts to come off the agenda for discussion.

The staff's no-bid pick was a former administrator just starting out his consulting business with tapping into the administrator ol'-boy-and-girl network of financial deep pockets supplied by tax payers who don't know what's going on. This situation provides a peek behind the Wizard-of-Oz curtain. where all board business gets decided and put on the Consent Calender merry-go-round, where it whizzes by unexamined to the taxpayers.

Ms. Griffin couldn't take the heat of other board members' disapproval (Susan Valdes supported her),so she has backed off from bringing any of the secretly decided consent agenda to the table for discussion and has not uttered an enlightened peep since that time.

The hush-hush Star Chamber Elia dictats that slide by on the Consent Agenda were what Publisher Patrick Manteiga of La Gaceta criticized in a recent issue of "As We Heard It." Mr. Manteiga condemned the shut-tight quality of the board agenda especially as it applied to the hiring of principals. His criticism could go to any item on the Consent Agenda. The Consent Agenda is secret and hidden from the public. Those principals' names should be on the Board Agenda with hyperlinks to their credentials for the voters' information.

I would like to have seen the candidates and their credentials who applied for the jobs that Dr. Lamb's and Ms. Edgecombe's children got as administrators (I heard both's children have school jobs). I suspect many of those competitors had credentials superior to the board members' children; those board-member children were hired in the superintendent's jobs program for relatives, sycophants, and buddies.

Ms. Elia runs this in-house jobs program with the board's collusion. Not one board member demurred when Ms.Elia ordered the hiring of Mr. Kipley's husband for an accounting job that required a degree and experience in the field that at least four other candidates had. I reviewed the applications. Mr. Kipley had only a high school degree and no experience. Where were the board members when this occurred? On the podium examining their cuticles.

I would like to be a fly on the wall listening to Mr.Thomas's and Ms. April's interview if he ever secures one from this increasingly politically glib and evasive board member. I wager that he will hear a whole lot of incumbent boilerplate from a board candidate who looked promising when she ran for office and who pledged much change for the better but who, when she got on the board, has turned out to have rolled over to the Elia juggernaut that dominates the board. She and others succumb to become a passive school board and dominant superintendent

I expect my blog will cost me my life in these, my golden years. The board and administration will hire a hit person (equal opportunity makes women able to tap into assassin jobs now, thanks be to the goddesses of women's rights). I will be found next to my ancient Mercedes in the parking lot on a board night, sprawled in a dead-as-door-nails slump. The board will rubber stamp the assassin's pay-off with tax funds, no questions asked even if the entry on the board's money page is "Assassin for Troublesome Blogger." My assassin's money at least will not go to administrators' bloated salaries that are in inverse proportion to these reluctant scholars' performance on the Stanford Binet.

I cannot let the grammar-and-punctuation errors of Ms. Griffin above go uncorrected in Board Member Griffin's comment. I have corrected her errors. Woe is me that I have to do this task for a school-board member.

But I am a teacher, after all, even in retirement. I insist that anybody who has not mastered basic grammar and punctuation that children's parents expect them to learn in K12 schools so that they can get jobs that do not involve flipping burgers should not be on a school board. That person should be in a classroom somewhere learning what he or she should have learned before: basic literacy.

Correction of Board Member April Griffin's Grammar and Punctuation:

Mr. Vaughan,

I am always willing to discuss issues that will improve our district. I always have been. I will not discuss an employee who's [WHOSE] case is not settled without that employees [POSSESSIVE: EMPLOYEE'S] permission though. I would do the same for you and [COMMA FOR COMPOUND SENTENCE] I hope you can respect that.

Please call or email me and [COMMA FOR COMPOUND SENTENCE] we will talk about your experiences and suggestions. You have my number right?

At your service, April

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