| H o w w e t a k e b a c k o u r c h i l d r e n ' s e d u c a t i o n : o n e p e r s o n , o n e q u e s t i o n , o n e s c h o o l a t a t i m e . Peyton Wolcott 1999-2006
|Conservative Commentary - April 4 - 19, 2006
|HEY, THERE! BIG BUCK-AROO ERDI CONSULTANTS ARE IN THE NEWS!
IS IT THE SMELL OF MONEY THAT DRAWS THEM?
By Peyton Wolcott - April 19, 2006
Ever since Scott Parks at the Dallas Morning News broke the story in July 2004 about the Education Research & Development Institute ("ERDI")
and how it conducts its business by hiring public school superintendents to "consult" with businesses one-on-one at luxury resorts, the
superintendents Parks named as ERDI consultants continue to be in the news. Let's catch up with a few:
|Andre Hornsby, who has served as a school administrator in New York, Houston and most recently Prince George's
County, Maryland, is "a guy who has made his reputation in two ways—by getting bounced from jobs amid charges of
financial misconduct, and by raising minority test scores....Even as the [Washington] Post savaged the now-deposed chief
for those repeated 'ethical improprieties related to contracts,' it never seemed to occur to the Post that a man who cuts
corners in his financial dealings might cut corners with his test programs too." (SOURCE--Bob Somerby/The Daily Howler)
What's Hornsby up to now? "With a company called Quality Schools Consulting Inc., which he launched six years ago,
|Hornsby is targeting a market created by the four-year-old No Child Left Behind law," and "said in a brief telephone interview that he was attracted by
the size of the Maryland market. The state estimates as much as $28 million a year in public funds is available for the program." (SOURCE--Nick
Anderson/Washington Post) Hornsby's making remarkable progress marketing his company. Just last month, Maryland's state education officials
approved QSC in their fair state. " 'He met all the criteria; there is no legal reason why he cannot do this, and if circumstances change for any
supplemental provider, whether it be issues that are proven and of concern, then we have to re-think it, but right now, those circumstances don't exist,'
said state school Superintendent Nancy Grasmick." (SOURCE--WBAL-TV 11)
|Billy Cannaday, Jr. is departing his $188,871/year post as
superintendent at Chesterfield County Public Schools (56,000
students) in Virginia to become Virginia's supe of public instruction--at
only $158,000 per annum. Comments John M. Wiatt, Jr. of Henrico,
regarding Cannaday's salary, "As long as we continue to distribute
our resources as above, we should not expect to see our educational
system in this country improve or even keep up." (SOURCE--Your 2
Cents/Richmond Times-Dispatch) Are you wondering as I am why an
administrator would take a such a drastic cut in pay? Wondering if Mr.
Hiatt knows about the federal funds expected to be funneling their way
through Cannaday's hands this next year:
|High schoolers - $18.3
Reading First - $17.8 million.
Highly qualified teachers -
Annual assessments - $8.8
English learners - $9.8
Department of Education)
funding - $2.5 billion.
NCLB - $383.3
Title I - $207.3 million.
Title I School
Improvement grants -
Special Ed grants -
|Billy Cannaday, Jr.
|Mike Moses, former Texas ed head and former Dallas ISD supe, will be speaking at three upcoming "Friends of Texas
Public Schools" forums in Houston promoting, guess what, public education in Texas, along with his longtime friend, attorney
David Thompson. You'll recall Moses left DISD under a cloud when it was disclosed that Thompson's firm Bracewell &
Patterson had paid then-DISD supe Moses "tens of thousands of dollars in consulting fees while simultaneously billing the
district for more than $700,000 in legal fees." Moses and Thompson have also partnered in several superintendent searches
with lucrative fees at locales such as Brazosport ISD and Hays CISD. In one notable search, Thompson and Moses teamed up
to present a single candidate to Richardson ISD--Jim Nelson, a friend of Moses and Moses' successor as Texas ed head, the
contract for which called "for the district to pay Bracewell & Patterson $20,000 plus expenses." (SOURCE--Scott Parks/Dallas
Morning News) David Thompson is also "legislative counsel for the Fast Growth Schools Coalition, the Houston Independent
School District and other school districts and education organizations" and was "associate executive director and director of
governmental relations for the Texas Association of School Boards." (SOURCE--Austin Business Journal) Thompson continues to
be active in the public school world. According to public records at the Texas Ethics Commission, he is currently a paid
professional lobbyist for the following: Fast Growth School Coalition ($10,000 - $24,999.99 is his expected income this year from
FGSC); Houston ISD ($10,000 - $24,999.99); Spring Branch ISD (less than $10,000.00); Stafford MSD (less than $10,000.00)
and Texas Association of School Administrators (less than $10,000.00).
|Among the "Friends of Public Schools" forums at which Moses and Thompson will be speaking is one set for Tuesday, April 25
8:00-9:30 a.m. at the Katy ISD Board Room. (For more about Katy ISD, please see April 14 commentary featuring Katy ISD
supe--and fellow ERDI consultant--Leonard Merrell.) It's a shame the board room is located in the Katy ISD Education Support
Complex rather than the Katy ISD Leonard E. Merrell Center which also houses Xpediant, LLC, KISD's technology vendor which
as we mentioned here last Friday has not paid its franchise taxes since 2003. That many heavy-hitters in one room, they could
have taken up a collection, helped Xpediant get those back taxes paid, get their corporate shield up and operational again.
You'll also be wanting to know more about the "Friends of Texas Public Schools" group. Their board members include Gary
Keep, CEO - SHW Group Architects; Annell Todd, Publisher - Texas School Business Magazine; Shirley Neeley - Texas
Commissioner of Education (formerly supe-Galena Park ISD); and Scott Milder, Vice President - SHW Group Architects
(formerly PR at Galena Park ISD). "Association Friends" of FTPS include the Ass'n of Texas Professional Educators, the
Council for Educational Facility Planners International, the Texas Ass'n of School Administrators, the Texas Ass'n of School
Boards, the Texas Ass'n of School Business Officials, the Texas Ass'n of Secondary School Principals, the Texas Ass'n for
Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Texas Council of Women School Executives, the Texas Elementary Principals
and Supervisors Ass'n, and the Texas School Public Relations Ass'n. Paints a picture.
WHO'S OVERSEEING KATY ISD'S $13 MIL TO XPEDIANT, LLC?
By Peyton Wolcott - April 14, 2006
Katy ISD has paid Xpediant, LLC $13 million since June 7, 2002 for unbid work; also, KISD has
applied for a patent it is developing with Xpediant for a curriculum management system which it plans
to market to other school districts. (SOURCE--George Scott/Katy News)
|Katy ISD's Merrell Center,
home of Xpediant's officers
|But according to sources within the Texas Secretary of State's office this morning, Xpediant, LLC, "in our world here doesn't have an active entity
status" and has been in a state of forfeiture since February 13, 2003 because "they didn't do their state franchise taxes," with the result that Xpediant
"has no entity status and no liability shield." Xpediant's 2003 return has not yet been received, making it almost three years overdue.
An employee of the Texas Comptroller's office confirmed this morning that "Xpediant is not in good standing with us" although would not state the
amount of taxes due, stating only that the formula was based on gross income receipts available only on the entity's IRS returns.
The Secretary of State's records indicate that Xpediant, LLC was formed July 31, 2001 in Sugarland, Texas; the president is Scott Wright and the
vice president is Jack Wayne Caskey, and both men are also directors of the company.
|Wright and Caskey officing at KATY ISD?
According to Katy ISD's website earlier today, both men are listed as KISD "technology staff," with Wright as
"Executive Director, Technology Operations" and Caskey as "Director, Technical Services-System Engineering,
Networking Engineering, Server Operations."
Sources familiar with the district's operations indicate that both individuals occupy office space in the Leonard
E. Merrell Center and have been allocated support personnel, as confirmed by George Scott's piece in
tomorrow's Katy News. Neither Wright's nor Caskey's names appear on the patent application.
|Katy ISD supe Leonard Merrell
|Good news for Xpediant from the SOS
The good news for Xpediant from the secretary of state's office is that once they've filed their late returns, paid their back taxes, and obtained
clearance from the Comptroller, they can then come back to the SOS and file Form 801 ("Reinstatement Application"), pay the $75 fee, and they're
then good to go.
But the question for Katy ISD taxpayers is, where? The district, already charging Texas' maximum legal property tax rate of $2.00/$100 valuation, is
operating at a budget deficit for the current school year and seeking voter approval next month for a $261.5 million bond issue which includes
$30,351,000 for technology. Is this the intent of local taxpayers, to fund a technology company whose taxes and business status, according to state
offices, appear to be in arrears?
|FOLLOW UP. I have today queried Katy ISD supe Leonard E. Merrell (with copies to Katy ISD board members) as to the following: Where is
Katy ISD's fiduciary duty of care in doing business with Xpediant given its apparent current state of forfeiture? What specific steps did you take to
ensure that Katy ISD was doing business with a business entity in good standing? What are Wright's and Caskey's exact current employment
status at KISD, their individual salaries, terms of their employment contracts including all perqs, and specifics as to Katy ISD personnel under the
direct control of Wright and Caskey and any and all business arrangements between Xpediant and Katy ISD? FURTHER FOLLOW UP. I have
also asked Wright and Caskey why they haven't paid their taxes and brought their corporate status current as the average person would assume
$13 million would allow for sufficient financial wiggle room for those back taxes to be paid from. Will post their responses if and when.
|NOTE: George Scott's articles on Katy ISD's technology spending and Xpediant, LLC appearing in the April 15, 2006 Katy News will be available online at EducationNews.org this weekend.
|HEARD THE ONE ABOUT THE CONNECTICUT CFO WITH 5 KIDS WHO
FAKED HIS OWN KIDNAPPING
TO HIDE A 3-DAY CRACK COCAINE BINGE?
By Peyton Wolcott - April 13, 2006
By all accounts, Mark DeNicholas, 48, was a successful CFO doing a good job running Winchester Public
Schools' $19 million annual budget. He was also someone having a string of really bad luck. Just a few years
ago he was living in a million-dollar house on an $80,000 a year income with his wife and five kids. Then his
wife divorced him and he filed for bankruptcy. Oh, and his mom sued him for $100,000. His side teaching job at
Albertus Magnus College dried up last month shortly after his arrest, which came after he faked the aforesaid
kidnapping in order to explain away his unannounced time off work for the aforesaid three-day crack cocaine
|Scenic Winsted, CT,
home of Winchester Public Schools
where they have no written policies for
handling employee arrests
|Currently DeNicholas, 48, is on paid administrative leave and consultant Gary Miller has been brougth in at $500 a day to work two days a week.
DeNicholas, charged March 10 by Middletown police with interfering with police and falsely reporting an incident, both Class A misdemeanors,
remains free on a $25,000 nonsurety bond pending a court arraignment. Perhaps if Miller can do an $80,000 a year job for $50,000 Mr. DeNicholas
need not come back.
These trying time frames
"School board chairman Rose Molinelli said no one has any idea of how long it will take to decide DeNicholas' fate in Winsted. 'I think there are
legal issues with regard to the time frame,' Molinelli said. 'I don't really know all the regulations. I know that we must abide by those time frames.' "
Interim Superintendent of Schools Clay Krevolin also wasted no time in reassuring the locals that all was well in the school district, saying, "I have
no reason to believe anything inappropriate has occurred in the Winchester School System. We just went through a very comprehensive audit, and
everything was in order. I really want to assure the community and your readers that we are taking this very seriously, that we’re investigating this as
completely as we can, and at the same time following a process, working with our (school) district attorney, and we don’t want to be in a position
where we’re violating any of Mr. DeNicholas’s rights," Krevolin said. (SOURCE--Karsten Strauss/Register Citizen Staff )
Only in America. I don't say this like it's a bad thing, only quizzical. A father of five pulls a self-absorbed stunt such as DeNicholas has--pick your
favorite part, the crack cocaine or the faked kidnapping--and his employer is worried about DeNicholas' "rights." Only in the world of touchy-feely
American K-12 public ed where things touchy-feely and wrongdoers' "rights" trump reason along with all known rules for acceptable standards by
Your federal tax dollars at work
As for what becomes of DeNicholas, "his two-page employment contract says nothing about the use of sick time, and the department has no written
policies about arrest. Krevolin said DeNicholas has requested paperwork to apply for time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act."
What DeNicholas has since described as "a bump in the road" that will "all work out" could in fact cost him three years in prison and up to $6,000 in
By Peyton Wolcott -
April 12, 2006
How is your local high
school celebrating National
Poetry Month? Are they
holding poetry contests and
readings to encourage kids
to discover poetry on their
own? Do your local
superintendent and English
department chair even know
April is National Poetry
Or are your districts'
teachers killing poetry,
dissecting it to within an inch
of its life, taking the life and
the joy out of it in favor of
establishing meter and
Here are poems by my two
favorite living American
poets; Lisel Mueller won the
1997 Pulitzer and Billy
Collins was 2001-2003 U.S.
|Lisel Mueller and Billy Collins
By Lisel Mueller
Our trees are aspens, but
mistake them for birches;
they think of us as characters
in a Russian novel, Kitty and
living contentedly in the
Our friends from the city
watch the birds
and rabbits feeding together
on top of the deep, white
(We have Russian winters in
but no sleighbells, possums
instead of wolves,
no trusted servants to do our
As in a Russian play, an old
lives in our house, he is my
he lets go of life in such slow
year after year, that the grief
is stuck inside me, a poisoned
that won't go up or down.
But like the three sisters, we
of what keeps us awake at
like them, we complain about
that don't really matter and talk
of our pleasures and of the
we tell each other the willows
are early this year, hazy with
By Billy Collins
I wait for the holiday crowd to
clear the beach
before stepping onto the first
Soon I am walking across the
thinking about Spain,
checking for whales,
I feel the water holding up my
Tonight I will sleep on its
But for now I try to imagine
this must look like to the fish
the bottoms of my feet
|THE POST-BERSIN AUDIT IN SAN DIEGO
By Peyton Wolcott - April 11, 2006
Ah, to be in sunny San Diego, place of Pacific waters and a squabbling school board failed by its former superintendent, Alan
Bersin. Now that he's gone, what more natural pursuit for San Diego USD than to finally look at his books?
Loeb & Loeb's $75,000 audit, commissioned to examine $630,000 in tax-deductible donations made by individuals and
corporations to a district education fund under Bersin's exclusive control and released March 31, hasn't yielded much of
significance other than the usual living large expenses by a supe who clearly didn't suffer from entitlement issues: "$43,871
reimbursed to Bersin for travel, meals, entertainment and meetings over seven years....The audit said Bersin spent the
money as he saw fit, often to reimburse himself for personal and business expenses." (SOURCE--Todd Milbourn/Sacramento Bee).
Bersin also spent $42,500 on consultants, "without details or scope of the work performed." Shocker.
|Bersin with Gov.
|Regarding the timing of the audit's release, Bersin calls the audit "a political vendetta aimed at hurting his chances for Senate
confirmation of his appointment to the state Board of Education, which is set for April 19" (SOURCE--Helen Gao/San Diego
Union-Tribune), Bersin also deems the audit "a waste of taxpayer's money." (SOURCE--AP/Bakersfield Californian)
Locals such as Marsha Sutton of Voice of San Diego are calling for "tightening internal controls and instituting better policies
and procedures. "
The good citizens and student of San Diego could have saved their $75,000 and Loeb & Loeb their time and effort by simply
renting Casablanca from Netflix and fast forwarding to Claude Rains' line at the end, "Major Strasser has been shot. Round
up the usual suspects."
Meanwhile, holding our breath and turning blue waiting for San Diego USD or any other major American school district to
"tighten their internal controls" and "institute better policies and procedures." Anytime a senior partner in a major Los Angeles
law firm such as Munger, Tolles & Olson abandons his lucrative practice of law in order to enter the education field, hold on
to your wallets. We note in closing that Bersin is associated with the Broad Institute for Superintendents, a special place in
the California edu-ocean where all good sharks can go to swim.
HE WAS CUTE; SHE WAS FOURTEEN
By Peyton Wolcott - April 10, 2006
There are two images I wish you'd keep in mind.
One is easy--it's the photo here at right, as boyish-looking trusted basketball coach slash eighth grade math
teacher Kevin Kayfes (32) at Duniway Middle School in Yamhill County, Oregon is being taken into custody after
he was found guilty of raping his 14-year old student who still at age 17 during the August 2004 trial considered
him the "love of her life."
The other image is harder to conjure. It's his victim, the girl, also in handcuffs. The grownups had to force her to
come to court to testify.
|Found guilty on nine counts of
rape, sodomy and sex abuse by
a jury, Kevin Kayfes heads for
When Kathy Bernards, a CPA who chairs
the district budget committee, was asked
by prosecutor Sam Justice, "Do you think
it's possible for an eighth-grader to have a
healthy sexual relationship with an
adult?," she responded, "Just about
anything is possible," shrugging her
shoulders...."Her husband, Steve, also
took the stand for the defense. Known
as a big athletic booster, he said he had
gotten to know the defendant through golf
outings, social events, dinners and trips
with his daughter's basketball team. He
said he considered Kayfes a phenomenal
coach who knew how to draw out the
best in his players. He termed Kayfes a
moral, trustworthy man who would not
have fallen into a sexual relationship with
a child. Not even proof of sex between
Kayfes and the victim would change his
mind, he said. 'So you're telling me that
someone who has sex with an
eighth-grader can still have good sexual
propriety?' Justice asked during
cross-examination. 'Yes,' the witness
|CENTRALIZATION AND TOO MUCH UNACCOUNTABLE MONEY: TIME TO KILL
THE FATTED CALF,
END THE FLOW OF DAIRY PRODUCTS
By Peyton Wolcott - April 9, 2006
Randi Weingarten and David Herszenhorn have a fine old time in this morning's New York Times ripping Joel
Klein's decision to import Chris Cerf among others to fix New York's public schools.
While Cerf's an easy target given the failure of Edison to accomplish what it set out to do, none of the four get the
problem, likely because all four have a vested interest in the problem's continuing--Weingarten in her powerful and
well-paying position as head of the largest local teachers union in America, Herszenhorn as a paid-for reporter at the
Times with its core commitment to all things liberal, and Klein and Cerf in their powerful paid positions at our nation's
largest public school district.
|Chris Cerf, new
Big Cheese at NYPS
|Arguments put forth by all four are so many forms of discourse by medieval scholars pondering how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
The problem is not how the money's dispersed but the flow of funds itself that creates centralization and the resulting big pot of money, and this
applies to every school district in America. Klein may be talking the talk about decentralizing, but the fact remains that no matter what he says or
does the money's still set to pour into a central holding pen under one person's control, and herein lies the problem, that Klein or anyone else with
the title of "Chancellor" or "Superintendent" still gets to choose the what, the why, the where, the when and the how.
|Change is effected only by those who are lean and hungry, as with our American Revolution. Neither Klein nor Cerf--or
Weingarten or the New York Times--could be categorized as either.
The true reforms necessary for getting our kids' education back on track will come from outside the system, not from
within. In the meantime, let's call a banquet, find ways to cut off the sources of funds for the Kleins and the Cerfs and the
|NOTE: The full title of the engraving at left is "Drafting of the Declaration of Independence. The Committee:
Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Livingston, and Sherman” Engraving after Alonzo Chappel, 1776.
|Drafting the Declaration
|Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi
|On the surface, it appears to be just another audit of just another a public school district with much the same findings as always: lack of sufficient
But in the world of K-12 public education, things are seldom what they appear.
Mayoral takeovers of public schools:
Catching on or just catching?
From all signs readable by the Earl Grey Green Tea leaves in my cup this morning, this audit is another salvo by Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone in
his bid to take over the city's public schools, following on the heels of Bloomberg's takeover in New York City and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's
attempt in Los Angeles.
Nobody's saying public schools are perfect. I personally believe our public ed system here in the U.S. has grown so big and bloated--as much as
any Eastern European dictatorship under Stalin--that it is about to implode under the weight of its own corruption.
That said, centralizing control in the hands of politicians is a move in the wrong direction and will only make our public schools less accountable
than they already are.
|Have to ask
Remember the last scene in Citizen Kane, where Rosebud the sled
disappears within the bowels of a vast government warehouse?
And remember seeing that same scene again at the end of Indiana
Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark? The more public records
searches I do across America, and the more I uncover--or have
difficulty uncovering--the more that scene comes to mind.
And I wonder: How on Earth did Spielberg get permission from LA
Unified to shoot that scene inside one of LAUSD's warehouses?
|Warehouse finale in
Raiders of the Lost Ark
|Lots lost in Yonkers
There's school board president Bernadette Dunne in the photo at right doing her darnedest to put a
good spin on the Hevesi/KMPG audit when it was released to the world Thursday.
Background on Dunne: In addition to being a professional educator and a professor of education, she
also served on the Yonkers school board when not only Andre Hornsby but also his successor Angelo
Petrone were hired. As you'll recall, Hornsby departed his next post at Prince George's County
Schools with the FBI closing in, and Petrone "departed Yonkers under a cloud and is serving five years'
probation after pleading guilty last September to lying to the city's inspector general during an
investigation of the hiring of an inexperienced accountant for a $90,000-a-year job." (SOURCE--Fernanda
Santos/New York Times)
Among the news Dunne had to report: "Poor technology, cumbersome processes: Financial
systems are antiquated and not integrated with other management systems." (SOURCE--David McKay
Wilson, Michael GannonWestchester Journal News)
|Yonkers BoE Trustee President
Bernadette Dunne. Standing behind her
(L to R) are Congressman Herman
Badillo, YPS Superintendent Bernard
Pierorazio, and Yonkers Mayor Phil
Amicone. (PHOTO/Hezi Aris/Yonkers Tribune)
|Also, "Former Schools Superintendent AngeloPetrone last year repaid the district nearly $10,000 in unused vacation time, which the Board of
Education paid him but later found he was not entitled to—after he resigned and was indicted on perjury and records-tampering charges in
connection with a hiring scandal involving a friend of his daughter's." (Ibid.)
What the locals have to say here at Yonker Tribune online--worth the read. Now for the good news: Yonkers has abandoned its practice of hiring
"A" first names for supe as it clearly wasn't working for them and moved on to "B's." It's small, and it's a stretch--and it's Yonkers, and it's a start.
|FOLLOW UP: Have today queried Dunne and new Yonkers supe Bernard Pierorazio:
What specific steps has Yonkers Public Schools taken to correct the problems reported by Comptroller Hevesi this week, including lack
of sufficient internal controls and a bookkeeping system that apparently relies on 3 x 5 index cards? Will post their reply if and when.
|NOTE: The foregoing is a spoof and only a spoof--although some of us believe that a budget-minded
interior designer could perhaps do at least as good a job of running the DOE as what we're getting now.
Unfortunately, the part about TASB having recently treated itself to a new office building is all too true.
|New band hall at Lanier HS,
part of $12 million in
recent SAISD taxpayer-
|What the mainstream media wants us to believe about this
past week's student protests: Students acting on their own.
|"Lanier High School senior Marcos Gomes,
18—with Henry Rodriguez, state civil rights
director for the League of United Latin
American Citizens—speaks to students after
a march to protest immigration reform."
(CAPTION--San Antonio Extress-News)
|FROM BEN JOHNSON
The leftist media have tried to portray this
weekend’s massive protests against House
measures to curtail illegal immigration as the
uprising of 'The Other America': forgotten,
humble, hidden Hispanic members of the
working poor simply demanding their 'rights.'. .
. The real legwork was done by a more eclectic
group of organizations: leftist labor unions,
George Soros-funded agitators, Open Borders
lobbyists, Roman Catholic clergy, and
teachers unions. Los Angeles predictably had
the largest turnout–and the most disruptive.
Half-a-million people crowded the streets
demanding the “right” to flaunt this nation’s
immigration laws, and underage students ran
onto a California freeway, risking their lives
and shutting down interstate traffic....Latino
organizations did not act alone. The media has
failed to report that organized labor directed
the illegals and minors. The L.A. Times
revealed the rally’s 'security' was handled by a
union identified only as 'Local 1877.' That
would be local 1877 of the Service Employees
International Union (SEIU), the far-Left union
founded by New Left radical Andrew Stern,
which called for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops
from Iraq in June 2004 and worked in concert
with Ted Kennedy to roll back anti-terrorist
Homeland Security measures.
|Teacher Rachel Holt; Claymont
School 'Home of the Cougars.'
Below, Brandywine supe Bruce
the squiggle of land passed
back and forth between France
and Germany for centuries;
at right, a brief history.
(MAP--Kory L. Meyerink)
|Pam Gluckin above;
Loretta Gastwirth below
|Diogenes and Alexander--
that prescient pair--
discussing the 'Search for
the Perfect Supe' contest
How we take back our children's education:
one person, one question, one school at a time.
|P E Y T O N W O L C O T T
|Copyright 1999-2008 Peyton Wolcott
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|ATTENTION EDUCATORS AND ADMINISTRATORS:
Every attempt possible has been made to verify all sources and information. In the event you feel an error has been made, please contact us immediately. Thank you.
How do you yourself
know for a fact that your
state or local supe is
actually using the funds
entrusted to them for the
|HISTORY OF ALSACE-LORRAINE
Frontier region between France, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland; except for Rhine on E. has had indefinite boundaries.
Formed from French province of Alsace, French department of Moselle, and some subdivisions (arrondissements) of the former dept of Meurthe
which were ceded to Germany by Treaty of Frankfurt 1871; administered in three divisions, Upper Alsace, Lower Alsace, and Lorraine, under the
German Empire 1871-1918; subject to unsuccessful attempts to Germanize 1880-1910; restored to France by Treaty of Versailles 1919.
In World War II held by Germany 1940-44; retaken by French and American armies and again restored to France.
(SOURCE--Webster's New Geographical Dictionary
|Question of the
day: Is Katy ISD
|The lines were blurred in this case early on: Kayfes was his victim's math teacher, traveling team
basketball coach and mentor starting when she was 13.
Sex, truth and audiotape
Audiotapes were introduced at trial. In one, the girl, raised by a single mother who worked full-time to
support her family, described the locales of their sex and in another Kayfes admitted his guilt.
(SOURCE--Katie Willson News-Register)
Presiding judge Charles Luukinen "said he found Kayfes' reaction to being caught even more troubling
than the relationship itself. The judge admonished Kayfes for portraying a selfish interest during a phone
conversation with the victim. A colleague of Kayfes called the victim and asked her to call Kayfes right
away, testimony indicated. The girl did so in a conversation that was secretly taped by her mother and later
played for the jury. In the conversation, the girl begged Kayfes not to hurt himself, the tape shows. When he
told her it was too late, that he had already taken an overdose of pills, she began sobbing hysterically and
vowed to follow suit. Kayfes made no attempt to talk her out of it, the tape shows. Instead, he cut the
conversation short, saying he needed to take a call from his father." (SOURCE--KATU 2 News)
A dozen high school students who came to the proceedings said "rumors had swirled for years."
Fast forward to the present
So Kayfes is headed back to court, on April 24th. He wants out early, and is scheduled for release "in
January with time off for good behavior." (SOURCE--AP/KGW.com)
His victim reportedly graduated from high school this past spring and plans to attend community college.
|When we're able to find some way to make
the big pile of money disappear and
instead have our school taxes wind up at
one or two or three small schools local to
those of us who are after all their financial
source, the big pots and piles of money
and warehouses disappear. When our
schools are truly local again we'll have a
better shot at making them accountable.
|FOLLOW-UP: Have earlier today sent the following query to Brandywine School District's
supe Bruce Harter (L) and board members, plus Claymont's interim principal, Betty Pinchin
and will post their response(s) when received: Bruce, Betty, and board members, I'm contacting
you regarding your teacher Rachel Holt and your administrative practices both within the district
and at Claymont Elementary. What sort of guidelines do you have in place for teachers'
fraternizing with students off-campus? How do you enforce those guidelines? Bruce, you state
on your Leadership Jazz webpage that "educational leadership is today a collaborative,
experimental activity." In light of Ms. Holt's arrest, do you feel that perhaps less collaboration
and experimentation and more direct leadership and supervision from you of your employees
might be in order? Could this same "collaborative, experimental" leadership model be the
administrative version of fuzzy math where students are asked to use a team approach to figuring
out basic math sums?