Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jaime Mercado, board member of Sweetwater Union High School District



Precincts Reporting: 100.0%
BERTHA J. LOPEZ - 42.99%


Patrick Judd's obedient servant Bertha Lopez will apparently carry the torch to Sweetwater Union High School District. This will give Bertha Lopez' cronies on the CVESD board the opportunity to appoint her replacement, instead of allowing the voters to choose. Obviously, the voters' top choice is ARCHIE MC ALLISTER. The board should either appoint Mr. Mc Allister or hold a new election.


I am well-acquainted with Jaime Mercado's most serious opponent in the upcoming SUHSD election, and that familiarity causes me to support Jaime Mercado's candidacy. Bertha Lopez has proven that she can be controlled by those in power, even to the point of agreeing to violate the law with them.

Sweetwater would do well to keep Mr. Mercado.

February 25, 2005
By Pablo Jaime Sainz
Board member says he’s ‘student-oriented’

In January, Jaime Mercado began his first term at Sweetwater School District Board

Jaime Mercado knows the Sweetwater Union High School District right to its core.

He is a former student, teacher’s aid, teacher, assistant principal, principal, and, after winning a tight election in November, a board member...

But it is his new role as a board member what he considers to be his most important period at the district, because he said he now can take part in the decisions being made...

Mercado has always been critical of the district’s administration, and during his campaign he said he would always vote in favor of the interests of students, even if it meant going against the current...

Mercado said that he has three main points he would like to tackle during his term:

1. District is top-heavy with administration: Mercado proposes the reorganization of administration in order to achieve positive changes in the district.

2. Classroom space: Mercado said the district needs more classrooms, so he is in favor of building more. “I’m very vocal about this issue,” he said.

3. L Street District headquarters: Mercado said he is completely against the proposed building of the District headquarters on L Street. “As long as students don’t have a proper environment for learning and teachers don’t have the right resources for teaching, the district’s leadership doesn’t deserve the privilege to have new offices,” Mercado said. “I don’t believe it’s right to take money away from the classrooms and invest it in office space.”

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lowell Billings on board of Accelerated Charter School that hired Patrick Judd as consultant

Patrick Judd and Lowell Billings: old friendships never die?

For many months school districts all over southern California have been doing Google searches for mysteriously retired superintendent Pat Judd of Mountain Empire School District. They all decided against him--except for a small charter school in Los Angeles.

It seems there's always a charter school with interesting board members who will give a job to a guy who has left his job under suspicious circumstances.

Judd is now a consultant at Accelerated Charter School in Los Angeles.

I looked at the school's web page and was taken aback to see that one of the trustees is none other than Lowell Billings, who is superintendent of Chula Vista Elementary School District in San Diego county, where Patrick Judd sits on the board.

What is Lowell Billings doing on the board of a charter school in Los Angeles, you may ask? It turns out that the world of education is a small one, which helps explain a lot of things, including the lack of new ideas.

I was chagrined, but not surprised, to also find that Charles Oppenheim, of the law firm Foley & Lardner, is on the board. Education attorney firms are given huge amounts of money to protect the status quo in education.

Judd is being paid as a consultant, and he's acting the only way he knows how to act: lots of hostility, little insight. Judd once memorably stated that we've known for a hundred years how to educate kids. This is a man firmly planted in the early 1900's. Apparently he hasn't noticed that kids have changed.

Reports have already started coming out of Accelerated Charter School about Patrick Judd's shenanigans.

Patrick Judd causing problems at Accelerated Charter School in Los Angeles

Thank you to Jill who answered my question about Pat Judd:

"Patrick Judd has moved on to The Accelerated Charter School in Los Angeles. Quite obviously they were not one of the many who did a google search on him.

"In the first week so far he has made a horrible environment for everyone, using a strong arm approach and blaming teachers for all previous problems. He has made it clear that things will be very negative this year, and that teachers are the main cause of any problems at a pretty good school. Everything he does sets a tone for an angry staff, and I do foresee new lawsuits to arise from his inappropriate behavior.

"They must have been nuts to let this guy into another school. He is pulling a consulting fee so that he still gets his retirement package. He has no business around any school, at any time."

I was wondering how Judd got this job, and I quickly found the answer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

No laptops, just lapdogs, for Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox

Cheryl Cox’s May 28, 2008 memo to City Manager David Garcia is chock-full of pettiness and hypocrisy. Her directives make no sense, except as an effort to harass Mr. Garcia:

Cheryl Cox: “Do not use your personal laptop in your office.”

This is nitpicking, overbearing interference. Cox sounds like she’s reverted to her days as an elementary school teacher. But was she that unreasonable when dealing with children? Show some respect, Mrs. Cox.

Cheryl Cox: “While we appreciate that you often work long hours and you are entitled to take time off, this time off should primarily be spent out of the office.”

That directive is harmful to the City of Chula Vista, Ms. Cox. When the City Manager spends time in the office when he could rightfully be on the beach, he is available to deal with emergencies and routine questions and issues that come up, whether from another employee or a member of the public.


Cheryl Cox: “You are reminded that retaliation against any City employee... is a violation…”

Cheryl Cox is a big fan of retaliation, particularly that carried out by the Director of Human Resources as directed by the public entity’s attorney. As a Chula Vista Elementary School District board member, she violated California Labor Code 1105.2 by firing an employee for filing grievances and a lawsuit.

Cheryl Cox: “However, you should understand that your failure to abide by [the rules]… may result in the termination of your employment.”

If Cheryl Cox were held responsible for her violations of the laws of California, she’d be out of a job. Yet she wants to fire the City Manager for using his personal laptop computer in his office?

Cheryl Cox: “We share your hope that these steps will bring these matters to a close.”

I don’t believe Cheryl is telling the truth here. I think she wants to fire Garcia because he’s too honest and open, two traits she neither shares nor approves of. It seems Cheryl wants to replace a laptop with a lapdog.

Monday, August 18, 2008

When Teachers Abuse Power by Heather Johnson

When Teachers Abuse Power

"Teaching is a noble profession, one that demands a great deal of patience and flexibility. A teacher plays different roles in the lives of students; besides giving them an education, they also act as guides and mentors. Children spend most of their waking hours at school, which is why it’s important for teachers to be accessible to the students not just as educators but also as a friend. While there are some teachers who live in your memory as the ones that did make a huge positive impact, there are others who are remembered for reasons that are both shameful and a disgrace to the field of education as a whole.

"Teachers are given a degree of power over the students they teach – they are trusted by both the school authorities and the children’s parents to use that power judiciously and for the general good of the children. But there are some bad eggs who give the entire teaching fraternity a bad name; they’re the ones who use their position and authority for their own purposes, some more horrendous than others.

"We routinely hear of teachers sexually abusing children in their care; some of them are so perverted that they film their dirty deeds and sell them for profits. As if this were not enough, they hold the threat of bad grades over their students’ heads if they tell anyone what happened. Statistics state that around 5 percent of teachers and coaches abuse minors, but this is not a true reflection of the state of events. The number of incidents that are unreported are much more than those that are. Most students are afraid to come out in the open fearing the repercussions – the ostracism from their peers, the future of their education and the effect the media impact would have on their lives and that of their loved ones.

"Abuse need not be sexual to be detrimental to the well-being of students – some teachers send children on the wrong path by encouraging them to smoke, drink and do drugs. Others play favorites in a blatant manner, with the students who are affected being powerless to do anything to bring the offenders to book.

The reason that such incidents are widespread is that most students look up to their teachers and are willing to go to any lengths so that they are not disappointed in them. A subtle word here and a small hint there are enough to make these immature minds fall prey to the more cunning brains of their educators. The only way to prevent this from happening to your child is to educate him/her in the ways of the world and warn them of the dangers that could befall them if they are not careful. Parents must play an active role in every aspect of their children’s lives and encourage them to report any untoward incident, no matter how trivial it may seem."

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Education in Chula Vista is a game for insiders like Greg Sandoval

The story excerpted below comes from Southwestern College, but there was a story recently in Voice of San Diego about a similar situation at San Diego Unified School District. It seems that education is lucrative for insiders all over San Diego county.

3 college trustees boycott over Sandoval agenda item
By Chris Moran
August 15, 2008

"Greg Sandoval, the college vice president, resigned after an employee filed a sexual harassment claim against him. He tried to rescind his resignation days later but was rebuffed by the community college district's superintendent and president, Raj Chopra.

"A proposal to extend a Southwestern College vice president's job through January – which would qualify him for lifetime medical benefits – was rushed onto the board's agenda this week so quickly that the college president wasn't informed.

"While Chopra was out of town last weekend, board President David Agosto put an item on Wednesday's agenda that, if approved, would have extended Sandoval's job through January, after he turns 55, and would qualify him for lifetime medical benefits from the college.

"The extension was not acted on because three trustees boycotted the meeting at which it was to be discussed over concerns about how the item made it on the agenda. They asked for a formal report on the matter by next month.

"“In my 35 years as an administrator, I have not seen one time an agenda item changed the way (this) did,” Chopra said.

"Sandoval has worked for Southwestern for 32 years, and he resigned in June after he was accused of sexual harassment in a claim filed against the college by an employee. The board rejected the claim. Sandoval's resignation is effective Sept. 30...

"College policy calls for the superintendent/president to prepare the agenda in consultation with the board president..."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Parents wrestled control of Locke High School away from the teachers union

Los Angeles Unified School District and the UTLA teachers union fought hard against Green Dot charter schools taking over Locke High School in Watts.

But the parents won.

Locke will open its doors this fall as a Green Dot charter school.

Parents Force Charter Takeover of L.A. High School
by Claudio Sanchez
Morning Edition
December 17, 2007

Locke High School is, by all accounts, among the worst high schools in Los Angeles. It's in Watts, one of the city's most treacherous, gang-infested neighborhoods. The school is overcrowded and on the brink of an academic melt-down.

Earlier this year, parents and half of the school's faculty revolted, forcing the school district to do something it has never done before: turn over Locke High to a private group of reformers. When that takeover happens next summer some teachers know they won't be rehired. Others don't plan to stay...

A loss for Beverly Tucker and California Teachers Association: child-molesting teachers lose credentials

The California Teachers Association's efforts to protect child molesting teachers from losing the right to teach have come to nothing. Beverly Tucker, the chief counsel for CTA, has lost her long battle.

Calif. lawmakers close teacher license loopholes
By JULIET WILLIAMS - Associated Press
August 12, 2008

The state Assembly approved two bills Tuesday designed to close loopholes in California's teacher licensing laws that had allowed some teachers accused or even convicted of serious crimes to remain in the classroom.

The legislation would allow the state to revoke licenses from teachers who plead no contest to certain sex crimes or drug offenses or have had their licenses revoked in another state.

The bills by Sen. Bob Margett, R-Arcadia, and Sen. Jack Scott, D-Pasadena, were prompted by an Associated Press investigation last year into sexual misconduct by teachers.

The AP's investigation in California confirmed at least 313 cases in which teachers were punished for sexual misconduct from 2000 to 2005.

That included dozens involving pleas of no contest, a common legal agreement that allows a defendant to avoid a trial or civil liability but still leads to conviction.

An analysis by the California Teacher Credentialing Commission following AP's report found that about two-thirds of the educators who face revocation or other serious action are convicted following a plea of no contest to a serious offense.

That triggered a discretionary review by the commission rather than the mandatory loss of teachers' licenses, a process that can sometimes take two or three years.

Margett's bill also targets another problem. Under current law, the results of misconduct allegations are sealed by the credentialing commission after one year. That restricts the ability of school administrators to confirm a teaching candidate's complete record if they learn later that the applicant lied about his or her background.

Margett's legislation makes the records available for five years instead of one...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Some light reading for Lowell Billings: Teachers who bully

For many years CVESD superintendent Lowell Billings has known that bilingual students at Castle Park Elementary were abused by a group of teachers that was hostile to the bilingual program.

Billings has covered up the truth about those teachers.

A new study by Alan McEvoy comes to a worrisome conclusion:

"Perhaps the most troubling finding of this investigation is perceived institutional collusion through inaction when bullying incidents are known. The apparent absence of policies and procedures to address the problem should give us pause. The many caring educators who must tend to the casualties of abusive colleagues whose egregious conduct goes unchecked can only place a serious damper on school climate and morale..."

Saturday, August 02, 2008

China, CVESD and Stutz law firm have similar ideas about freedom of speech

As I have explained elsewhere in this blog, CVESD and Stutz, Artiano Shinoff and Holtz are trying to hide the truth about themselves. So is China:

Journalists Say China Is Not Living Up To Openness Pledge

By Maureen Fan
Washington Post

Sunday, August 3, 2008;
"...Chinese authorities and the Western news media apparently have different understandings of "complete freedom." Sun Weida, a spokesman for Beijing's Olympic organizing committee, and Liu Jianchao, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, suggested recently that reporters did not actually need to visit blocked Web sites to do their jobs. Sun was surrounded by a mob of reporters after a news conference, and when he insisted that the Internet was free and open in China, some of them shouted, "That's not true!" ...