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LINK: Ventura Grand Jury Report Scathing Indictment of Ojai Unified School Disctrict Fiscal Mismanagement - Ventura County Grand Jury 2009-2010 The Final Report - The Half Billion Dollar Elephant in Our School's Closets - June 11, 2010
LINK: Are Private Schools Stifling American Innovation?
VIEW: ON Education
Pilfering Our Children's Future

VIEW pdf: Pg 8 The Ojai and Ventura VIEW: April 2010, Issue 25, FULL ISSUE ONLINE

VIEW pdf: Single Page 8 The Ojai and Ventura VIEW: April, 2010, Issue 25
The Ojai and Ventura VIEW, April, 2008,
Issue 25, Page 8
Pilfering Our Children's Future
School Administrator's Blame the Economy While Lining their Personal Pockets with More Tax Dollars...
by Jefferson Pinto
It's everywhere; the newspaper, broadcast news, advertisements, and casual conversations.
They all start the same way, "With the current economic crisis..." "Isn't it nice to know that with these tough economic times you can still save money on your auto insurance?" The "bad economy" is a new reference point of casual conversation and the media. "Well, you know the economy..." In the words of our governor in his address to the state legislature, "Last year, we confronted what history will record as The Great Recession."
I know, with unemployment above 12 percent, economic growth barely creeping along, and the number of mortgage defaults at their highest level since 2008, the economy isn't all that great.
As Americans we really like to blame someone or something for everything. Well if you can't blame it on El Nino, then try global warming. If all else fails blame it on the economy.
Let me tell it like it is. Things that were really screwed up before the recession will still be really screwed up after the recession.
During good economic times, the ocean is at high tide and there is a lot of water to go around. During bad economic times, the low tide reveals the "rocks" no longer hidden below the surf and exposes the gross inefficiencies.
The Victim - Public Education: California schools rank 49th out of 50 states according to Thomas G. Mortenson, author of "California at the Edge of a Cliff."
The matter at hand is the poorly managed public education system in California, both academically and economically. Recently, every school district took a substantial reduction in state funding, then started the day sessions of whining and marches.
So what's wrong with across the board cuts? First of all, they fail to take into account duties and priorities. They fail to take into account the existing top-heavy distortion that has grown worse over the past few decades. What core duties and priorities you may ask? Remember English, arithmetic, and science?
I'm not sure there are any counselors left in public high schools? My son's high school has no counselors and yet a single registrar to handle all the transactions for 2,400 students. Bad delegation of duties. Think about this: one person, (the registrar) is responsible for administrating all admission paperwork, procuring official transcripts from the prior school, confirming immunizations, and validating eligibility (yes, people regularly lie about their citizenship and jurisdictional eligibility with the school's residency boundaries). She is also responsible for sending all transcripts for all current or past graduates so graduates can get into college. She does a lot more than that too. Here's the problem, the registrar was cut back to 6 hours a day or 30 hours per week. Did I mention her telephone doesn't ring, not because people aren't calling, but because it's broken? She has the task of calling to check voice mail several times per hour. Thankfully, her voice mail seems to work most of the time.
Due the Math
It takes about 25 minutes to process each new student. Approximately 600 incoming freshmen equates to 250 hours for new admissions at the beginning of the year. Given the current mandated work schedule of 6 hours per day, that's 8.3 weeks just to get the new students in the door. If the registrar had all the applications for new student admissions in hand, she would have to start in June to get all the work done by September. That's all without answering a single phone call.
What about the 600 or so graduating? Let's say it takes 15 minutes each to send transcripts for every student (assuming they apply to only one college). When your children's college application gets rejected because the transcripts didn't get there on time, don't blame the Registrar. The problem flows down from a much higher level. Helpful hint, it wasn't El Nino or the economy.
Education: Get Dollars Away from Administration and Into the Classroom
The poor academic performance of California's public schools is not due to a lack of competent and motivated teachers or failure to provide breakfast for indigent students that come to school hungry. Nor is it due to the cancellation of Ebonics as a second language either. The proximate cause is the lack of focus (money, time, etc.) that actually educates students.
Gov. Schwarzenegger said, "In particular, my budget proposal protects education, including higher education, from additional deep cuts. I believe strongly that additional reductions below current year funding levels would leave a permanent scar on our children and on the greatest university system in the world. In fact, I intend to propose a re-prioritization of funds away from administration and into the classroom, and away from prisons and into our universities."
"I intend to propose a re-prioritization of funds away from administration and into the classroom, and away from prisons and into our universities." - Gov. Schwarzenegger
I don't know how far the governor's proposal got, but the counter proposal is to lower the academic standards so students who wouldn't have graduated under the old standards will graduate under the new standards. The impetus is to save money by whooshing substandard students out the door.
The public education system has slowly eroded over the past years. Not necessarily the overall funding, as total expenditures have a consistent upward trend over the past 20 years. The number of people employed by the California Department of Education has also consistently increased, but the ratio of teachers per pupil has remained relatively flat. What does that mean? The braniacs in charge are disproportionately adding more non-teachers to the payroll than teachers. This isn't unique to education in this country. Something like 25 percent of employees who work for the telephone company actually provide the dial tone.
"Think of it like a big tape worm where the politicians and the high level administrators are the parasites and the teachers and students are the hosts...."
Again, the issue is the efficiency of the funding not the total funding. Those boys are scrimping on primary duties of educating and developing our students while spending money on things that are inconsequential to academic performance. Think of it like a big tape worm where the politicians and the high level administrators are the parasites and the teachers and students are the hosts, barely given enough to survive. It's almost a replay of Saddam Hussein's human shield except for this time our students are being used to shield the waste. Again it's not the total monies spent on "education" but the quantity that actually goes to providing the education.
'Help' from Uncle Sam
The Federal Office of Education wins the Golden Fleece for spending $219,592 in a "curriculum package" to teach college students how to watch television. Tell me again how that teaches English, arithmetic, and science? Oh yeah, today they are called Language Arts, and mathematics, and science.
Public education in California was a mess before the recession. The recession helped to expose some of the existing economic problems. Now is a really good time to take aggressive action and fix the ills of the system.
Pull the lever and flush the educational "waste product." Start by firing everyone associated with the educational system above the school principal level. As all attempts to fix the system have failed, start fresh with a new minds by including public school teachers, private school teachers, parents, and those who care more about the students and less about building a bigger fiefdom at the expense of our children and pocket book.
Jefferson Pinto is a retired CPA and holds an MBA from one of the finer accredited universities in this country.
"We've been confused the whole time we've been here, like... why isn't there a big park here ?"

- Jason Jessee, Skate Legend

Interesting Links
LINK: AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch
The Real Reason Schools Are Broke!!!
Chicago School/Ojai School Connection
INTERESTING LINK: CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Ojai Connection: How Administrators Work the System and Help Deplete Schools of Valuable Financial Resources: ILLINOIS SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS GET RICH ON PENSION BENEFITS BY FLEEING STATE
Question: Who is Leveraging to
& Cover Obscene Administrative

Pensions? MAKE A BUNDLE?

"Get a life" - 5/20/12, former Development Consultant to the city of Ojai/former socio-politico Insider
LINK: Another Look at The Same Fleecing Mess
LINK: Ojai OUSD Super-Hank Bangser's Golden Parachute: llinois' Quarter Million Dollar Club - Superintendent's Huge Pensions - 2003
LINK: Rolls Royce Pensions: How Illinois Schools Pad Administrator Pensions, 2003
LINK: Public School Pension Bottomless Pit
LINK: The Dark Intentions of Public Schooling - YouTube Video
LINK: The Truth Hurts: George Carlin on American Owners and Education - YouTube Video
LINK: Charlotte Iserbyt: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of the World - You Tube Video
(Be sure you have time to study this video ~ 1 hour long)
Why is Ojai Unified School District wasting money on huge administrative salaries and real estate attornies? Are they developing children's future or property?
Why is Ojai Unified School District wasting money on huge administrative salaries/pensions and real estate attornies? Are they developing children's future
or property with big development?
LINK pdf: Pg 7 The Ojai and Ventura VIEW: The Ojai and Ventura VIEW: June 2010, Issue 27 Online
Holds Public OUSD Meeting at Ojai Rotary Club
Administrative Pay Cuts
Planned for Ojai Unified

Mar. 12, 2010 "Public" Announcement
Small Townie film producer Leland Hammerschmidt ran into me several times the other night at Movino Wine Bar, much to my surprise.... reminding me I needed to reach back to March 12 and run a photo of Hank Bangser. Ojai Unified School District superintendent. Hank was nice enough that day to present a brief overview of the "Financial Condition" of the school district, printed on "Official" Ojai Unified letterhead, scheduled for my chums at The Ojai Rotary Club regular meeting at the Soule Park Golfcourse lunchroom.
School systems everywhere are under dire financial pressure, and Ojai is certainly no exception, so it was with sheer delight that Hank (with his familial link to Cabrillo Development) confirmed to me in front of the entire attentive lunch guests in the cafeteria that he would be making "Administrative Salary Cutbacks". I'm sure this will be comforting to the remaining teachers at OUSD. Earlier this year Ojai Unified fired more teachers than I can count on my fingers and toes.
- Joel Anderson, Ed.
Ojai Unified Superintendent Hank Bangser Gets an Obscene Salary while OUSD Teachers Get Peanuts and Many were Fired: OUSD Music Program in Jeopardy...
Henry Bangser, OUSD Super
- Hired by cash-strapped Ojai Unified School District 7-21-09 as Superintendent at $170,000 annual salary (+ benefits/moving allowance), OUSD said they just happened to find "Hank" altho...
- Hanks Daughter, Julie Fioravanti works for Cabrillo Development Corp. which would like to turn the historic OUSD Chapparal school grounds into a shopping strip mall... Can Ojai stomach more vacant commercial properties? Given Hank's Gigantanormous Salary, one must ask is OUSD in the "business" of developing children's minds or huge administrative school salaries and children as shopping consumers?
- Hank Also takes home $230k Retirement (from previous big city employment in Chicago, Illinois)
"From the Moment I could talk,
I was ordered to Listen."
- Cat Stevens, Father & Son
"Ah, I suppose that's normal background radiation? The kind you'd find at any well-maintained nuclear facility, or for that matter, playgrounds and hospitals"
- Mr. Burns (from the 'Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish' Simpsons episode)
Can the 'Broke'N & Bankrupt System be Fixed ?
VIEW pdf: Pg 6 The Ojai and Ventura VIEW
Why Johnny Can't Read! ..//OVVtaArt/skinnerc.gif
by Joel Anderson
Patricia Kokinos reminds you of one of those blessed individuals, a "Real"
teacher somewhere back in your memories, who seemed to have an effortless unending supply of kindness, patience and understanding... you remember, after which your life was never the same. Thinking back, it may seem like a comet, a time and place when your life really began and the lights turned on.
Recently at Ventura's Bank of Books I was fortunate enough to catch up to Patti, who seems to be starting a revolution in human friendly teaching, "I've been a teacher and an administrator for 25 years, worked in the system my whole life, went to public schools my whole life, my kids went to public schools their whole lives, so I've been in it as a Mom, as a teacher, as an administrator."
Finally Patti quit her job in Oak Park where she was an assistant principal, and before that had been a district administrator in Upstate New York. She decided to put down her thoughts on the future, past and present in education, authoring a novel she entitled, "Angel Park" relating some of her experiences in New York.

"Well there ya go kids, ya got an education" and, says Patti, "If they don't take to the information very well, they get shoved off the conveyor belt, they fall into the waste pile, then they go to prison, that's the school to pipeline prison directly, that we have created ourselves."
Patti says kids chances in life are completely ruined because of school, they didn't do well in school... "and that position is made. In fact, Patti points out, Mariaemma (Pelullo-Willis, M.S.-Ventura at has authored a great little book, Midlife Crisis Begins in Kindergarten, where you first begin to learn that 'You don't fit in,' and 'Darn it, What do you think you're doing here anyway ?' you know which is exactly to the point and exactly true of what has happened,” said Patti.
Mariaemma responds, "How can you possibly think that every single person is going to learn the same way, right? It's just absurd, so we say, you wouldn't force a child to wear shoes that don't fit, they're too big or too tight, that's ridiculous so why would you force an education that doesn't fit ?"
"...the kids are put on the conveyor belt, they go down the line, one little segment at a time, teachers throw some knowledge in..... If they don't take to the information very well, they get shoved off the conveyor belt, they fall into the waste pile, then they go to prison." ..//OVVtaArt/skinnerc.gif

Said Patti, "I really had to give some thought to what were all those forces holding schools so strangled and stifled and why weren't we able to change. The people outside the system were saying to me all the time 'What are you guys doing there? Why aren't you picking up any of these new teaching methods that have been around for 30 or 40 years and actually implementing them ?' Well, I just have a secret to tell you, Teachers are implementing change all the time.... I made enormous changes. I changed an entire 2,200 person high school, all the teachers got together and it was collaborative, wonderful. We had activities for all the freshmen. We did interdisciplinary kinds of teaching things like English, History, Math and Science and got the kids involved in an activities-based curriculum, that was wonderful, the teachers got all into it, they loved it," she said.
It wasn't long before the whole thing fell apart, not because of Patti, but because of some untold circumstance which caused her to have to move away. But why did it fall apart ? Said Patti, "Because somebody wasn't dogging it every step of the way and making sure it happened. What happens all the time to thousands of teachers and administrators all over the country, is that their changes do not survive the ability of the system to just snap back into place just like an overstretched rubber band........"
One of most celebrated school reformers whom Patti follows, the extremely famous John Goodlad, former Dean of the Graduate School of Education, UCLA (for some twenty years) has said over and over again, the system isn't broken, it's doing exactly what 'we' set it up to do in 1910. That over the entire 20th Century this turtle shell, called "Education" has been dragged along on our backs and it's designed to do something that we might have needed in 1910, which was the Henry Ford Factory Model. The model, where the kids are put on the conveyor belt, they go down the line, one little segment at a time, teachers throw some knowledge in, the lid closes, we push 'em out the other side.

'You don't fit in,' and 'Darn it, What do you think
you're doing here anyway ?'


"Get the system off the back of teachers."

She goes on to talk about modern "education" and the harm done to kids - the lasting effects, "We see these kids every day. We see the adults every day, who grew up and are damaged.... You can have all the most wonderful teacher training and the teachers could love it, and we know teachers who want to do all of those, but if you don't change the laws. The laws that keep the teachers from implementing what so many of them know, then their hands are tied and it's one of the reasons so many good teachers leave after a while because they can't do what they know needs to be done."
Agrees Patti, "It's the system itself that has to change; stop blaming the teachers, we need equity for all the kids, definitely, and we do need to make sure good teachers are everywhere, and trained better, but mostly we need to get the system off the backs of the teachers. That's what really needs to happen, ok ?"

"...plenty of self-serving agendas in those huge bureaucracies, the text book publishers with huge lobbies, construction companies with huge lobbies.... There is a lot of money to be made in schools."

Patti points out that as long high stakes testing (APT, Advanced Placement Testing, college entrance exams, etc.) where a kid's future may fly or die, on the answer of a test question like, 'Who is Achilles' father ? a. Britney Spears b. Apollo Creed c. Jose Mourinho d. Zeus, things won't change.
The fact is the methods are driving kids out of the classroom like wholesale lambs to the slaughter, confirmed Mariaemma, "You know.... 'Well kids, you didn't make your numbers so you know you gotta go,' and some of them are running corporations where we're creating widgets and worried about the bottom line.... That's what's holding up everything; not only bureaucracy, but of course, plenty of self-serving agendas in those huge bureaucracies, the text book publishers with huge lobbies, construction companies with huge lobbies.... There is a lot of money to be made in schools, so naturally that system which is an economic one really, an industrial model, is what is holding..... sitting actually like a big heavy boulder on the heads of teachers and kids everyday.
"That's not a model for learning, it's a model for filling up little empty robot shells. Our idea is to explode that paradigm by having a grass roots movement get started, and here we are, our little group is going to start it right here, and online because we think obviously schools need to be more like what is happening; small, personal, immediate, technology rich, able to adapt, have kids work on projects where they actually can show what depth of learning they might have," Mariaemma said.

- Joel Anderson, editor

For More Information,
"Angel Park," Available, Bank of Books, 748 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-3154
"San Quentin, what good do you think you do? Do you think I'll be different when you're through ? You bent my heart and mind and you may my soul, And your stone walls turn my blood a little cold."

- Johnny Cash, San Quentin (lyrics)


The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt
Grist for the Mill: Guidebook to Controlling Children and The Population Through re-Education in Chicago Public Schools
LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION, A CHICAGO INNER CITY SCHOOLS POSITION PAPER PRESENTED in June of 1968 to the Chicago Board of Education, was produced by the planning staff in Chicago made up of: Dr. Donald Leu, William Farquhar, Lee Shulman, and the Chicago and Michigan State universities in collaboration. One reference used was Soviet Preschool Education, translated by Henry Chauncey (Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J.). Excerpts from the Chicago Mastery Learning Project position paper, Learning and Instruction, follow:

"We view the child with his defined characteristics as input to a school organization which modifies his capabilities toward certain goals and objectives as output. The school organization is an optimal deployment of teachers employing a special subject matter who attempt through instruction, with the aid of selected elements of the community, to achieve specified outputs. The joint participation of the children, school and community leave none of these elements unchanged....

This emphasis should be accomplished within the context of a truly ungraded structure which we shall denote by the terms Continuous Development-Mastery Learning. This approach has the following characteristics: (a) Beginning with Chicago's present concept of Continuous
Development, the objectives of the language arts curriculum must be much further differentiated and articulated in the manner currently being conducted by Sophie Bloom [wife of the late Benjamin Bloom] in Chicago, and Pittsburgh's Individually Prescribed Instruction Project.
In the Continuous Development-Mastery Learning approach, a large number of sequentially designated objectives, tied into specific capabilities to be mastered by pupils, are identified.
This is done by curriculum development specialists in collaboration with instructional personnel.
[References used in this paper were from the late Benjamin Bloom, John Carroll, Robert Gagne, Robert Glaser and Henry Chauncey, ed.]"

The following is an excerpt from an article published in Education Week, March 6, 1985 entitled "Half of Chicago Students Drop out, Study Finds: Problem Called Enormous Human Tragedy":

"Calling the dropout problem in Chicago "a human tragedy of enormous dimensions," a recent study has found that almost half of the 39,500 public school students in the 1980 freshman class failed to graduate, and that only about a third of those who did were able to read at or above the national 12th grade level. "These statistics about the class of 1984 reflect the destruction of tens of thousands of young lives, year in and year out," says the study, released
in January by Designs for Change, a nonprofit research and child-advocacy organization in Chicago.... "Most of these young people are permanently locked out of our changing economy and have no hope of continuing their education or getting a permanent job with a future,"
the authors wrote."
Professor Lee Shulman's involvement in the Chicago Mastery Learning disaster was, however, quickly forgotten or considered unimportant. According to Education Daily of May 21, 1987-two years later:
"Shulman, who heads Stanford's Education Policy Institute, last week was awarded $817,000 by Carnegie Corporation to develop over the next 15 months new forms of teacher assessment
materials that would be the basis of standards adopted by a national teacher certification board."

SOURCE: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt www.DeliberateDumbing

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