Friday, March 27, 2009

Gail Mendes, who asked boss Richard Werlin to punish a fellow teacher, elected Secretary-Treasurer of CTA

A few days ago I wrote about Gail Mendes, the former president of United Teachers of Richmond, who has been elected as secretary-treasurer of California Teachers Association in an unusual challenge to a sitting executive officer.

The reaction among many CTA members has been negative.

Apparently, many votes for Mendes were cast to "send a message" to the CTA bigwigs; these voters didn't think that Mendes would actually be elected. They expected incumbent Daniel Vaughn to keep his seat.

Christy Marquez commented on Intercepts, a fine blog about education politics:

"...[I]t was a complete shock when the results were announced that she won by a very small margin. In fact, when her name was announced, not a single person in the room applauded. Instead, many were fighting back tears of sadness and anger that such a thing could happen to such a good man who has devoted many years to the union. Everyone agrees that nothing personal was intended and that the outcome was a complete fluke. Unfortunately, not a lot can be done about it now. Gail is completely unqualified for the position and does not have the experience nor support to succeed. She will most likely be challenged in two years for the position of vice president, and hopefully will lose to a more qualified and well-liked candidate..."

Diane Brown, a UTR teacher who contributes to the excellent blog "Progressive Teachers," wrote:

Gail Mendes' tenure as President of UTR was counter to principles of union democracy. Rank and file and UTR board members' rights were trampled on (a UTR board member described her leadership at rep council as "fascistic").

During a UTR election a first time candidate was running for a position on the executive board. This candidate's name was left off the ballot. Mendes went to the candidate's school site unannounced and strongly suggested that the candidate withdraw from the race. Unsuspecting any foul play the candidate agreed.

Some UTR members wrote letters to then-Vice President David Sanchez about Mendes' undemocratic hostile leadership. A UTR member at Mendes school described her as "dangerous."

I filed a complaint with the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) charging Mendes with these abuses of office. November 30, 2006, Mendes reported me to Rick Werlin, WCCUSD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, demanding that he discipline me for an alleged contract violation. Mendes' action, asking a boss to punish a fellow teacher and an Association member would be universally reviled and condemned by any class conscious union member. I met with the UTR Executive Board and asked that she resign her position as President.

On another occasion Mendes interfered with members right to elect a site representative of their choice. She had the election overturned.

When CTA members learned Mendes had been elected Secretary-Treasurer, one member said, "It's time to get out." CTA members who decided to "send a message" and vote for Mendes, made a mistake that they will live to regret. The only way to correct this mistake is through a RECALL campaign. I would not wait two years.

Diane Brown, CTA Member

Another teacher
backs up Diane Brown's statements:

"...[Gail Mendes] initiated a grievance against a UTR member with the District Superintendent, Rick Werlin. This is ratting out a fellow union member. A former WCCUSD school board member has described Mendes as “vindictive” and said that she cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars for second parcel tax vote..."

Margaret Browne

[Maura Larkins' note: Of course, not all teachers voted for Mendes by accident. CTA director Jim Groth from Chula Vista worked well with the very same Richard Werlin who palled around with Gail Mendes. I'll bet that Jim Groth was an enthusiastic supporter of Mendes. Am I right, Jim? Clearly, some teachers truly believe that it's appropriate to get ahead in teacher union politics by trampling on teachers and students.]

[Maura Larkins' post script: A coincidence that makes this story more fascinating for me is that I attended kindergarten in Richmond schools (now known as WCCUSD) before returning to Chula Vista, where I went to 1st and 2nd grades in Chula Vista Elementary School District.]

Monday, March 23, 2009

South county SDCOE board members oppose secrecy in suspect dealings

We're lucky to have Jerry Rindone on the San Diego County Office of Education board.
It may not be a coincidence that the only trustee at SDCOE who sees a problem with the recently-exposed shenanigans in the Risk Management department is one of the new board members. Jerry Rindone is concerned about administrator Dan Puplava's having a side business with the same financial institutions that he manages on behalf of SDCOE. The state attorney general says this is prohibited.

Longtime board members John Witt, Sharon Jones, and Susan Hartley have been studiously looking the other way for years, ignoring my public records requests and refusing to investigate complaints about Risk Management executive director Diane Crosier.

I had hoped that Superintendent Randolph Ward would clean things up when he arrived, but it appears that he (literally!) bought into the Risk Management schemes within weeks after he was hired in 2006.

I'd like to think the other new trustee, Mark Anderson, is still contemplating the situation. Perhaps he'll have the courage to speak out against the cronyism in the SDCOE Risk Management department.

Employee-broker issue divides school trustees
Superintendent also was client
By Jeff McDonald
San Diego Union-Tribune
March 23, 2009

Background: The manager of the San Diego County Office of Education deferred compensation program ran a side business that sold investments to teachers and administrators served by the program.

One trustee of the San Diego County Board of Education [Jerry Rindone of Chula Vista] is so concerned about a manager's side business selling financial securities to educators that he requested a review of the situation by the superintendent.

...According to the state Attorney General's Office, public school employees – including those in the county education office – are prohibited from acting as commissioned sales agents for vendors of the educator retirement accounts...

County Superintendent of Schools Randolph Ward, who bought an annuity from [Dan] Puplava weeks after being hired in 2006, did not respond to requests for an interview.

At issue is the deferred-compensation program run by the Fringe Benefits Consortium...Over the years, Puplava and a group of independent financial advisers hosted hundreds of workshops to tell school employees about the program...The newspaper obtained one statement that showed Puplava earned more than $355,000 in commissions in 2006...

Board President Sharon Jones said she and her colleagues are “always concerned” about conflict-of-interest allegations but noted that there is no law against running a personal business while working for a public agency...

[Maura Larkins' note: Sharon Jones seems to be concerned about allegations, but not about wrongdoing. She wants SDCOE to keep its secrets. Jones is my representative on the board, and has ignored all my requests for help obtaining public records. The only board member who has ever been responsive to my requests was Nick Aguilar, the previous south county representative. It's interesting that Aguilar's replacement, Jerry Rindone, is the only board member currently concerned about SDCOE's relationship with insurance companies.]

Trustee John Witt declined to discuss the issue;

Trustee Mark Anderson did not return two messages left at his home.

Trustee Susan Hartley said the county schools office looked into Puplava's dealings and found nothing amiss.

[Maura Larkins' note: Maybe you should have someone from the outside investigate, Ms. Hartley.]

Tom Curtis,
a retired university administrator from La Mesa with no ties to the county Board of Education...was so angry after reading the newspaper report that he called the headquarters to complain...

[The SDUT first broke this story last week; Voice of San Diego recently wrote about SDCOE lawyer Daniel Shinoff and his relationship with SDCOE's Risk Management department.]

Monday, March 16, 2009

A plea to YMCA in Chula Vista

YMCA skate park in South Bay, San Diego

Dear YMCA,

DASH & STRETCH - though you may keep the name, you are not keeping the staff that's been trained to do the job.

Let's be honest, to really KEEP DASH and STRETCH, the programs we all know and love, you would need to preserve their award winning curriculum, not change it, and take the entire staff too. No newcomers! Newbies do not have the training they need and they DO NOT have the time to acquire it in just a few months time. It is OUR children that are going to be directly affected by all of this. If you truly committed to "Saving" DASH and STRETCH, then let's get together and raise some money!

How can you say it will be the same when you don't even have the staff required to run what DASH and STRETCH were designed to do? I LOVE THE YMCA, but our school NEEDS both programs as they each serve VERY different needs.

Planning and preparing is fine and great. Your wanting to expand to more sites, fantastic! Ask yourself this, are you able to provide a 'seamless transfer'...? No, it's just not possible with new staff, little time, and little training.

If the school board is so set on giving DASH and STRETCH to they 'Y', then here is my proposal. Help us raise $450,000 to pay what the city cannot afford.

This will keep DASH and STRETCH running exactly the same WITHOUT interrupting our children's progress. Then take that entire school year to staff yourselves and to properly train your staff. THAT is doing what is in the best interest of our children and it is very doable.

I have a strong group of parents who are willing to help!

Elisa Betancourt
Parents For Enrichment Programs

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Salt Creek Elementary Camp Out by Parents

Dozens Line Up Early For Kindergarten Sign-Up
March 4, 2009
10 News

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Dozens of people stood in line late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning not to get a deal on a TV or to buy concert tickets.

They lined up to enroll their children in kindergarten.

Moby Tores was one of several other people who camped out at Salt Creek Elementary School in Chula Vista.

"It's the most insane thing," said Tores.

Rob, another fellow camper, told 10News, "Oh, I'm just waiting for the morning to come."

On Wednesday morning, those lined up can register their five-year-old children for kindergarten. Space is limited and these die-hard parents want the best for their kids.

So they waited -- for hours.

Most people would think these parents are insane but when the sun comes up these guys say it will be worth the wait.

A Spanish Immersion kindergarten is the class many of the parents want for their kids. In the class, young students will learn all their lessons in Spanish.

Tores said, "I think living in this community, having both languages, English and Spanish, is very important."

It is important enough for these parents to wait in line for 10 hours to guarantee a spot for their little ones.

Also up for grabs are morning sessions and afternoon sessions.

Anthony Millican of the Chula Vista Elementary School District said, "That kind of commitment and engagement in their children's lives is to be encouraged."

Enrollment is first come-first served, and if all slots are filled a student might have to go to another school.

That won't be an issue for Tores, who was third in line.

"With this program, my daughter is getting a head start," said Tores.

It is a head start that began well before the sun came up.

District officials said they have not had to bump any kindergarteners from Salt Creek to another school due to high demand in a couple of years.

Will YMCA get rid of the Dash and Stretch staff?

Dear YMCA,

DASH & STRETCH - though you may keep the name, you are not keeping the staff that's been trained to do the job.

Let's be honest, to really KEEP DASH and STRETCH, the programs we all know and love, you would need to perserve their award winning curriculum, not change it, and take the entire staff too. No newcomers! Newbies do not have the training they need and they DO NOT have the time to acquire it in just a few months time. It is OUR children that are going to be directly affected by all of this. If you truly committed to "Saving" DASH and STRETCH, then let's get together and raise some money!

How can you say it will be the same when you don't even have the staff required to run what DASH and STRETCH were designed to do? I LOVE THE YMCA, but our school NEEDS both programs as they each serve VERY different needs.

Planning and preparing is fine and great. Your wanting to expand to more sites, fantastic! Ask yourself this, are you able to provide a 'seamless transfer'...? No, it's just not possible with new staff, little time, and little training.

If the school board is so set on giving DASH and STRETCH to they 'Y', then here is my proposal. Help us raise $450,000 to pay what the city cannot afford.

This will keep DASH and STRETCH running exactly the same WITHOUT interrupting our childrens progress. Then take that entire school year to staff yourselves and to properly train your staff. THAT is doing what is in the best interest of our children and it is very doable.

I have a strong group of parents who are willing to help!

Elisa Betancourt
Parents For Enrichment Programs

CVESD and DASH and STRETCH program

Subject: The superintendent letter
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 17:22:21

We, the parents of children presently enrolled at Dash and Stretch strongly agree with the CVESD motto: "Each child is an individual of great worth." With that in mind and the fact that indeed each child has his/her own needs, we have decided over the years to send our children to Dash and/or Stretch.

While there are many other worthwhile programs available in Chula Vista, Dash and Stretch fulfilled the specific needs of our children over and above expectations.
We are thankful to the South Bay Y to be willing to take over the Dash and Stretch programs and provide the necessary funds the city is unable to provide at this time in addition to the $1.65 million that the school district previously provided and will transfer to the Y.

However, while the Y runs excellent programs that fit the needs of many other families and their children, we the parents of children in DASH and STRETCH want to make sure that these programs are preserved in their present forms. The only way we can ensure that these excellent programs, which brought results beyond expectations in our children, can be carried on in the same manner is with the present staff and training which brought those results.

Since the roughly 2/3 of the cost of the program is borne by the CVSD, it would not be unheard of, or asking too much for the CVESD to demand that with the transferring of these funds the program be kept exactly as is, including all the present staff as well as the continuation of the present, (continuously improved and updated) training program which has been proven to be so effective over the years. Not only parents but faculty members and administrators can attest to this.

Thank you for your concern and willingness to do everything possible to ultimately resolve this situation so that our children will continue to be taken care of in a way that is best for them.

Dash and Stretch Parents:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Castle Park Elementary has been a big topic in the comments section of SD Education Report

Here is a recent post from San Diego Education Report. But the best part is the discussion in the comments section.

"Randolph "Randy" Ward and Diane Crosier are using public funds to advance Dan Shinoff's private lawsuit against this blogger"

A sampling of comments:

1. Anonymous said...

I know Maura. She went to San Diego High School in the 60s. She was the kind of girl who always got invited to the science fair, but never got invited to the prom. I don't remember talking to her. I just remember she was pretty quiet, the nut-genius type. Glasses. Long hair and sandals before the hippies, and very serious. I remember some girls followed her one day when she got off the bus, and it turned out she was stopping at a Catholic Church on the way home. Those were the days. Anyone could walk into a Catholic Church, 24/7. It was just like the Middle Ages, when all a hunted man had to do was get inside the railing in front of the altar, and suddenly he was safe from any bloodthirsty band that might be chasing him. No one would kill a man in the sanctuary of a church. Now it seems to be one of the favorite places to kill people.

But back to Maura. She must have been lonely, but what do you say to someone like that? She didn't know how to talk. Zero conversation skills. She talked to the few friends she had, but that's different. There's social skills, and then there's talking to your friends. Friends don't care if you say the right thing.

I remember she was a year younger than the rest of the class. Someone told me that when we were talking about her, as if that explained why she didn't fit in. Maybe it was part of it.

It seems pretty weird that SDCOE is suing her for harassment. That sure doesn't sound like Maura.

12:05 AM

2. Anonymous said...

Well she's not very quiet anymore. It's about time the authorities stepped in and shut down this cuckoo blog.

10:57 AM

3. Anonymous said...

I have experience with school attorneys, and I'm not saying they're all paragons of virtue, but I'm beginning to think that most of them are more decent than Daniel Shinoff and Diane Crosier.

11:28 AM

4. Anonymous said...

I will stongly support anyone who can put a stop to the accusations this woman tosses about. She needs psych meds and professional help. She will never stop, it will only get worse. Anyone who visits her sites can see that her thought processes are scattered, and borderline psychotic!

12:13 PM

5. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

If I were willing to keep my mouth shut about relatively mild wrongdoing, when the retaliation against me is probably going to be limited to the courtroom, what chance is there that I would have the courage to speak out if public officials began to engage in truly serious wrongdoing? To those who want me to be silent: should the citizens of Germany also have kept their mouths shut in the 1930s and '40s? It seems that you are afraid that the truth will come out. If I'm wrong, what do you have to fear? Come forward and address the issues. Prove me wrong. Let's have a public debate. Don't try to crush free speech; take part in the process!

12:20 PM

6. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

To Anonymous Commenter #4: Yes, I do need help. I need you to help me understand what you are talking about. Can you give me an example of a "borderline psychotic" statement I've made? Just one example? From the safety of your anonymity you should be able to do that.

12:43 PM

7. Anonymous said...

Those who disagree should prove her wrong with facts. If what she has written is slanderous than prove her wrong with facts.

To accuse someone of being psychotic is an old trick played out by school officials.

Here is the chance to prove her wrong. Lets find facts that prove her wrong and post them on her own website.

1:31 PM

9. Anonymous said...

One example and only stated that Kelly Dupuis from the Star news stated a "parent" comented on the mexican parents. That comment was made by the then principal Ollie Matos. This comment was one of many the lead to his removal from Castle Park. You were wrong.

2:21 PM

10. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

Thank you for the example. Now we can look at the evidence. I just now looked up the September 10, 2004 issue of the Chula Vista Star-News, and found that reporter Kelly Dupuis quoted parent Felicia Starr as saying, "They [ELAC parents] really are involved with the school, and it would be nice to have them on there [the PTA], but not in an antagonistic way." For those who don't know what ELAC means, it's "English Language Acquisition Committee."

Here is the article.

It looks like I was right. Clearly, you were wrong. If we follow your logic, this would mean you are borderline psychotic, and should get medication and professional help. But this logic of yours is wrong; people can make a mistake without being crazy. Perhaps you have a better example of my scattered thought processes?

3:56 PM

11. Anonymous said...

So where does it say "Mexican parents"? And it was from an ELAC meeting in which the parents were very offended by what he said about them.

7:20 PM

12. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

Dear Anonymous:

The ELAC parents were Mexican, as you well know. Ollie Matos got along great with them. They were upset when "the Castle Park Family" got rid of Mr. Matos. The Mexican parents were also upset by the accusations of Felicia Starr in the Star-News article.

Felicia Starr accused the Mexican parents of printing illegal PTA ballots and hiding them. The parents thought they were allowed to nominate someone to the PTA board, and they weren't being sneaky about it. That's why Felicia Starr saw them at the copy machine--they were not hiding anything.

But perhaps Felicia Starr did the Mexican parents a favor by keeping them off the PTA board. Before the school year was out, $20,000 had been embezzled from the PTA. Kim Simmons, who was elected PTA president with Felicia Starr's help, was arrested for that crime. It certainly puts the accusations of Felicia Starr and Kimberlee Simmons into a fresh light, doesn't it?

Now there is no PTA at Castle Park Elementary. It seems that Kimberlee Simmons had a lot of enablers, including yourself, perhaps, but there is one group that can be completely ruled out as responsible: the Mexican parents.

9:06 PM

13. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

P.S. to Anonymous:

I am intrigued by your reference to an ELAC meeting. Can you tell me more about this meeting? I could do some research into the matter if you would give me more information. What was said that caused offense?

Are you claiming that I made a statement on my website about this ELAC meeting? What do you claim my statement was? Perhaps we could do a search of my website to see if its there.

9:17 PM

14. Anonymous said...

Just because a person is Latino or Hispanic does not make it ok to use the term "Mexican parent" for you to use it to describe the ELAC is disrespecful. Mr. Matos was the ONLY person who used that terminology. Till now, you keep referring to it. My point was no one used the WORD Mexican parent in those articles.

6:55 AM

15. Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with using the term “Mexican parent” and absolutely nothing disrespectful. Gee Wizz! What type of comment is this? This is crazy this comment takes me back 70 years. This is precisely what is wrong in San Diego most of the population is undereducated and misinformed. To suggest that a website should be taken down because someone used the word, “MEXICAN PARENT.” It is totally ludicrous and not surprising. It appears to be the same mentality of this judge, SDCOE and the Stutz law firm...

16. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

Dear commenter who thinks "Mexican parents" is a slur:

Clearly, the word "parent" is not a slur, right? So you think "Mexican" is a slur. Why would someone's ethnicity be a slur? But perhaps you don't think "English parents" or "Swedish parents" is a slur. So why would "Mexican parents" be a slur?

Perhaps you are not aware that Mexico was a cultured and wealthy capital of a great empire when the United States was a collection of log cabins. Fortunes come and go in this world, for countries as well as for individuals.

I suspect that you have spent your life in an environment in which "Mexican" was considered a slur. [Above portrait: Mexican Sor Juana de la Cruz]

You're not originally from California, are you? Of course, there are some native Californians who also think that way. Your type of thinking was well-represented among the staff at Castle Park Elementary in Chula Vista.

Do you know that you are making the same argument that Steve Carell (left), the clueless boss in "The Office" TV series, made?

In one episode, the doofus boss asked a Mexican employee (Oscar Nunez, left) what he wanted to be called instead of "Mexican." The employee said that it was fine to call him Mexican. Steve Carell continued to insist that "Mexican" was a slur. Isn't that exactly what you are doing?

10:47 AM

17. Anonymous said...

The parents Matos referred to were insulted by the comment, they expressed this to the district. If a person is offended by a particular comment, one should take care not to use it. And my point was...the WORDS "Mexican parents" were not in the article shown. And you had to turn it into a debate...figures

5:35 PM

18. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

I know several of the parents who were members of ELAC, and they all loved Mr. Matos. I suspect that the parents you are talking about were not regular members of ELAC, and were encouraged by Felicia Starr and Kim Simmons to go to an ELAC meeting and find something to complain about. Was Norma G. one of the parents who complained? The complaint is beyond bizarre. I can imagine what the district thought. Most Mexicans are proud to be Mexican, and don't consider "Mexican" to be a slur.

6:44 PM

Mexican Frida Kahlo

19. Maura Larkins said...

Dear Anonymous:

Now I'm curious. What term should I use to refer to Mexicans, if, as you claim, the word "Mexican" is offensive?

7:13 PM

20. Maura Larkins said...

In my bilingual class, 100% of my students were Mexican. In my twenty-plus years of teaching in Chula Vista I had one Puerto Rican student and one Spaniard, but I believe that all the ELAC parents at Castle Park Elementary were Mexican. Do you know of a non-Mexican Hispanic parent at Castle Park Elementary who made a complaint to the district? I suspect you don't, but if you do, the problem could have been solved by the parent simply raising his or her hand and saying, "I'm Guatemalan (or Cuban or some other nationality)." Who would go to the district to complain about something like that? Only someone who had a separate agenda.

11:30 AM

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The teachers union doesn't want to hear from parents

Teachers Union Calls to Remove Budget Survey
March 3, 2009

The teachers union is pushing to discontinue a budget survey posted on the San Diego Unified website, contending that "the true purpose of the District's survey is to pit parents against educators."

The survey, posted last week, asks parents, community members and employees who are not represented by unions to rate different proposed cuts as options to "strongly consider," "consider if necessary," or "never consider." The website states that it isn't directed to employees who are represented by "employee labor organizations," which excludes almost everyone except for the top managers in the school district.

An e-mail alert sent Monday by the teachers union argues that most of the issues in the survey are so intertwined with the bargaining process that it is inappropriate to consider them outside of the bargaining table. "The survey is laced with issues that are mandatory subjects of bargaining," it states.

It also contends that the survey is a way for San Diego Unified to dodge its own responsibility for financial problems, which it attributes to "top-heavy administration, lack of planning, and excessive spending on testing, consultants, and other non-instructional items." The union wants the survey to be removed from the website entirely. asks if it's time to make public schools better

Teach your children well
Families are struggling to afford private school tuition. Isn't it time to talk about making public schools better?
by Sarah Hepola

Do education attorneys get paid for protecting bad employees for political reasons?

After teaching for over two decades, I finally began to learn, over the past eight years, about what goes on between school officials and their lawyers in San Diego. The lawyers, who are motivated to bring in business for insurance companies, have enormous power over school district decisions. Insurance companies don't get business if problems are prevented, or are solved without litigation. (Also, the companies will not be able to raise premiums if the schools don't get involved in litigation.) Until now, no newspaper in San Diego would touch the story. On March 2, 2009, however, the story began to come out in the nationally famous Internet newspaper Voice of San Diego. It's called "The Schoolhouse Lawyer Who Helped Hire His Overseer," and features Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz lawyers Daniel Shinoff and Jeffery Morris, and their former associate Diane Crosier, who runs the public entity insurance authority San Diego County Office of Education Joint Powers Authority (SDCOE-JPA).
-- Maura Larkins
March 3, 2009 02:16 PM PST

Voice of San Diego breaks story of relationship of Stutz lawyers Daniel Shinoff and Jeffery Morris to Diane Crosier of SDCOE-JPA

Photo by Sam Hodgson, Voice of San Diego

What's up with attorneys Dan Shinoff and Diane Crosier at the San Diego County Office of Education JPA? Some interesting shenanigans, it appears. Why has SDCOE Superintendent Randolph "Randy" Ward covered up these problems by refusing to release (to this blogger) public records of billings of Shinoff's firm, Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz?

The Schoolhouse Lawyer Who Helped Hire His Overseer
by Emily Alpert
March 2, 2009

Lawyers from a firm that has received millions of dollars in business from a public agency that handles lawsuits for school districts have, at least twice in recent years, helped it screen potential employees who later oversaw outside attorneys' work.

The Risk Management Joint Powers Authority, a public agency composed of dozens of local school districts and run through the San Diego County Office of Education, has paid the law firm of Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz nearly $7 million between July 2002 and July 2008 to handle lawsuits brought against school districts.

Two shareholders in the firm, Daniel Shinoff and Jeffery Morris, have helped screen job applicants for the agency by sitting on the first of two interview panels that candidates undergo before being hired. Such interviewers don't make the final hiring decisions, but they narrow the hiring pool by asking predetermined questions provided by the human resources department and ranking candidates based on their responses.

Including the attorneys in the interview process means that in at least two instances, an employee has owed his or her job, in part, to one of the firms that he or she is hired to monitor.

The practice is among a bevy of complaints lodged in a lawsuit by a former authority employee, Rodger Hartnett, who alleges that the Stutz Artiano firm received a disproportionate share of work "based on personal relationships" in the office rather than merit. Harnett, who was interviewed for his job by a panel that included Shinoff, claims in his wrongful termination suit against the County Office of Education that he was fired because of his complaints about Stutz Artiano...

(Links in the text were added by Maura Larkins.)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Who blanked my San Diego Education Report Blog?

Peg Myers is facing an election in May as President of Chula Vista Educators.

I woke up this morning and found all the posts missing from my San Diego Education Report Blog.

Who could have done it?

My prime suspect is the last person who visited my most recent post. This person visited at 12:21 a.m. Interestingly, this person was using the same computer as the anonymous person who posted this comment just a few days ago:

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for the perseverance of the attorneys in Shinoff's firm...some day this crazy nonsensical web site will come down!

The post on my blog that apparently triggered the erasure of my blog was about the deposition of Chula Vista Educators president Peg Myers.

A witness told me that Peg Myers used the word "crazy" to refer to me. Putting all the information together, I am suspecting Peg Myers, who is facing an election in May if she is to continue as President of Chula Vista Educators. It's perfectly understandable that Myers wouldn't want her deposition to be exposed during a campaign.

I also know that California Teachers Association protects sitting presidents of CTA locals, and that CTA information has previously disappeared from my website.

This is the information I have about the anonymous visitor:

IP Address
Cox Communications
United States
Chula Vista
Time of Visit Mar 1 2009 12:21:31 am
Visit Length 10 minutes 6 seconds
Page Views 2
Time Zone UTC-8:00