Secretary Arne Duncan
Dear Secretary of Education Duncan:
Florida lost out in the first round of federal grant money because, one infers, teacher unions opposed the grants.
The unions should have. The emphasis is always on teachers' performance as the problem.
What about administrative and board performance?
Superintendent Elia gets $300,000 a year while beginning teachers get $32,000.
Administrators who can't make their subjects and verbs agree get $150,000.
When there is a problem in the administration, usually due to low IQ and habitual dithering, the board rubberstamps consultant big bucks for these fixers to come in and teach with flash cards the obtuse administrators how to do their jobs.
Ms. Elia runs a jobs racket perquisite ceded her by a complicit board in which she is free to hire buddies, sycophants, and hangers on. Ms. Elia got her own job by the board's incestuous actions of lowering the Ph.D. requirement to Elia's master's and counting as valid her on-site supervisory experience in which she overbuilt classrooms and didn't see a real-estate scam going on under her nose that a SPTimes reporter walked in off the street, spotted, and wrote a series on it. The complicit board wanted a political buddy superintendent who would not disturb their board perquisites such as gadding around the country at taxpayer expense. One board member, Susan Valdes, spent $50,000 in one year playing around from airport to airport while the poor children of the county couldn't participate in class work because their parents couldn't buy the supplies they needed.
Ms. Valdes's motto is that she is "going to save every penny of tax money."
The Gates Foundation
knuckleheads gave this school district a pile of money to improve the schools. To the board and administration, improving the schools always means figuring out ways to kick out teachers. The
The administration does not like teachers; it wants to keep them quiet about what's wrong with the schools and uses the Professional Standards office to cook up charges against teachers and staff so that the administration can fire, demote, or humiliate teachers and staff at will. Their latest blitzkreig was to find a gnat in a guy's files that gave the excuse to demote him and reduce his salary. His real flaw was that he has a blog.
Nobody polices the administration. In the early Nineties one Mr. Erwin filed and won a Whistleblower lawsuit against the board. His settlement was $165,000 for administration crimes against him plus $34,000 for Tom Gonzalez's firm's fee for unsuccessfully defending the board's and administration's criminal actions against Erwin to prove him crazy when he accused the administration of committing crimes and implicitly taking payoffs.
When the administration and board failed in making people believe Erwin was crazy, they launched a campaign led by superintendent Earl Lennard to fire Erwin and take away his pension.
Gonzalez as board attorney participated in the putsch against Mr. Erwin. Gonzalez has the privilege of freelancing with no contract and other clients. He clocks in his unsupervised fees as $275,000 a year from the tax kitty; he is the highest-paid board lawyer in the state and does not read the backup material for the areas he give advice on apparently. Plus his professional manners lack: he swills cola and munches chips on the board podium during board sessions. The board rubberstamps this outrageous waste of tax money to a lazy, slovenly guy with meagre legal skills who cannot write for beans. Why is the mystery. I think it's because he twists laws to say what board members want the laws to say, such as his bowing to Board Member Olson's pressure to declare the state bullying law not applicable to teachers and staff because admitting that it does apply to teachers and staff will give them a tool to repel administrative and board bullying of them.
Bottom line: No grant money for
Lee Drury De Cesare