Saturday, April 25, 2009

"You'd make a good secretary"

Hilda Solis, the US Secretary of Labor, was at La Puente HS today, and I was asked to go to mention CVUSD's closing three schools that all happen to be low-income Spanish-speaking. I passed the time of day with her staff at their table in the high school gym and left them with a few words concerning that matter and, of course,, so they can read about what CVUSD has been doing to Stephen these past two years. The Secretary of Labor has nothing directly to do with a situation like this, but she does get to sit in the same room as Arne Duncan once in a while, and she seems to still have some concern for those that get ripped off, so who knows?

She and another speaker told how a Puente HS guidance counselor told her when she was in school that she wasn't college material but that she would make a good secretary. It turned out she was college material, so he was wrong about that, but she did end up becoming a secretary - Secretary of Labor!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

School news

I filed my amended due process complaint Friday afternoon. You can check it out on I also had a nice talk at the Superintendents' Council meeting in the morning at West End SELPA with the San Bernardino County Supt, Gary Thomas, and I met some other folks it was good to get acquainted with.

The news in the Chino Champion Friday is that Heatley has applied to be Superintendent in Washoe County, Nevada (Reno/Sparks), one of five or six finalists. I wonder why this announcement. I sure won't say anything to Washoe, but who can be sure Washoe won't sniff around here a little and decide one of the other 5 might be better? The announcement makes him a lame duck, but what if having dressed up he has nowhere to go? Could he have been dumb enough to make this kind of announcement willingly? I hardly think so, because in bureaucratic cunning Heatley is a master. And if not, does it mean the board is throwing him overboard?

There's certainly not enough to go on, except that we have to perpare for the likelihood that Heatley will go nowhere unless pushed, unless we can recall some board members.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Met on the 14th for mediation. I thought we might actually get a deal. The mediator, Robert Helfand, really was very good. We couldn't work it out, but we left it that their attorney and I would talk, so I put some thoughts together for him about the shape of a deal that might work, and which incidentally would cost the district a lot less money than their own offer would cost them, along with complete freedom from all past liability.

I guess I'll know in a couple of days. The past is not an encouraging guide to the future, but you never know. This lawyer might be more reasonable and not as unprincipled as Morris of Stutz Artiano. The law is more favorable now and stands to improve further in Congress. The most unreasonable board members might get recalled, and if so, Heatley will surely follow. Or someone might think that saving money, escaping all liability, and being in one less of several pointless fights is not such a bad idea.

OAH had to grant my request for an open hearing because I'm entitled to it under the law, but made it empty by denying my motion for change of venue by the simple expedient of ignoring how I had amended it, and then ruling on the merits of the original. It's part of the record for the District Court if we need to go there. I have to file my amended request, which will reset all the hearing dates, and then I need to file again for change of venue. It looks like the hearing will be in June if we need to get that far. This will give everyone more time to work out a deal, beginning with another resolution session.

In all of this, it really is true that "this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith." All this is kind of like a football game. But the real victory is if I believe God and his truth, and it's defeat for me so far as I don't. And as I was walking around this evening talking things over with the Lord, I got a good look at some things that have been out of place in me for at least 55 years and had a few words with God about these impossibilities. I have some history with God to know that some very good stuff will be happening in my life in all of this, much better than anything within the jurisdiction of OAH or even within the jurisdiction of the federal courts. This battle in the human spirit is the one that really counts, the good fight of faith, which those that hate us can help us win, just as those that love us can tempt us to lose. We have to be careful about hating people, but we have to be careful about how we love them too.

So thanks, Jean Martin, for being in my life. Thanks, Ed Heatley, for being in my life. You do not mean it so, and you know no more of the good you've done me unintended than of the harm you're doing to yourselves, but in this case at least, though not in all things, "it is the result that counts."

Monday, April 06, 2009

Interesting new blog

I added John Mearsheimer's blog to my links on the right. He has an interesting word about "the dumbing down of US economic and foreign policy elites." I've been interested for a while in what causes us to be so stupid, since answering that helps us to learn wisdom, and my own stupidity has brought lots of trouble down on me, which I'd like to see less of going forward!

The short answer is that "with the humble is wisdom," as the proverb says. But there's a lot of material in those words needing to be unfolded, I've noticed. Study of particular cases in detail can help, which is why Barbara Tuchman's "The March of Folly" is a great read. And so is John Mearsheimer's entry for 3/24.

For those of you who thought that the departure of George Bush, the Prince of Darkness, would make everything better . . . welcome to our brave new world, in which not so much has changed, especially such minor details as basic beliefs and therefore the policies that flow from them.