Thursday, February 14, 2008

Goodloe-Johnson and Chow Seek Permanent Court Protection

This article appeared in today's Times. It is about how Dr. Goodloe-Johnson and President Chow are seeking permanent court protection against a man, Omari Tahir-Garrett, who visits the Board meetings semi-regularly. I have heard him on many occasions and always dread it when I see his name on the speakers list. In the past he would ramble a lot but in the last year, he has gotten racially abusive.

I am for the First Amendment and I believe that people in public service have to know that people will come to public meetings and disagree with their decisions. Maybe even loudly and with anger. But public discourse has to be civil and that means no overt swearing (I personally don't have a problem with damn) and no racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. remarks to those officials.

(Mr. Tahir-Garrett is African-American but he did accuse former CAO, June Rimmer, of being a racist and tried the same thing on Dr. G-J.)

He has insulted President Chow and did make an illusion to an infamous incident of many people who were killed at a Chinese restaurant. I made the connection easily when he made the remark at the time and I can see how it would make her uneasy. The current issue, over insulting both Dr. G-J and Cheryl Chow, really made me angry and I told him to stop. (I know I said it loudly because a couple of people turned and looked at me but Mr. Tahir-Garrett didn't acknowledge it.) The police stepped in soon afterwards when he refused to leave the podium.

I hope they get him permanently banned because anyone who has heard him (and knows of his physical attack on former Mayor Paul Schell) can realize that he makes people fear for what he might do or say.

66 comments:

me on 28th ave sw said...

I hope that they are granted the permanent restraining order. While I might not always agree with board decisions, they are public servants (not in it for the money, that's for sure) and should not be subject to such horrible treatment. The still remember the newsfootage from when Mayor Schell was attacked; it was chilling.

passivist said...

This guy is clearly a public menace. It doesn't matter what the issue, or whose side you are on, these tactics are inappropriate at any time. He sure isn't winning any fans, why would he behave this way? Seems to be an attention-seeking troublemaker, and the board meetings will go smoother without his presence. I hope they get it, too.

Anonymous said...

There is a huge difference between free speech and threats of violence. As we all know, this guy and will follow through. In addition to the Paul Schell incident, he once took a gun away from a police officer and held it to his head. He is dangerous, and he needs to stay far, far away. I was at I guess the last meeting were police had to take him away, and he almost crashed into some small kids who were thier with people speaking about Denny/Sealth

Anonymous said...

I think that given what has been happening at our nation's schools this week (Northern Illinois today), this is a no brainer:

Here is a man who has been violent, made threats and the best we can do is a restrining order? He needs to be put in jail before he does permanent harm to the people he has threatened.

Charlie Mas said...

I don't condone violence or threats of violence or hateful racist talk. I do, however, know something about Omari and what he has sacrificed.

Omari was one of the folks who occupied the Old Coleman School. He lived there for years without water or power in an effort to win that building for an African-American cultural center. And, just as victory was within his grasp, just as the District agreed to sell the building to his group, that dream was snatched away. The School District gave the building to another group - a politically connected group backed by the Urban League. The Urban League took the building that Omari fought and sacrificed for and they are developing it into condos. That a pretty hard blow to take.

Years ago, in another time, before the District's decision on the Coleman School, before the incident with Mayor Schell, I used to see Omari at Board meetings all the time. This was when the Board used to meet on Queen Anne. I knew him from the C.D. where I used to live and coach Little League - before I had any kids of my own.

He was a true hero in that neighborhood. Everybody knew and respected him. Omari had been a star athlete at Garfield. He was a role model for kids, he ran athletic programs, he worked against drugs and gangs, he invested the neighborhood people with a sense of pride. You can't imagine the work that man did.

I didn't have a lot of direct contact with Omari back then. I met him just a couple times at Little League coaches meetings.
I gave him rides home after the Board meetings a couple times. I saw him at political events when I ran for school board. He always made an extremely positive impression as a thoughtful, passionate man. I still see him that way.

I don't condone violence in word or deed, but I thought people who are talking about Omari should know something about him.

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

Thanks so much for giving this side of Omari. I have talked with him on several occasions in this last year and find him to be very knowledgeable and intelligent.

I've found his behavior at board meetings to be outrageous. Street theater for attention may in some circumstances help to attain an objective.

His tactics were certainly totally ineffective in convincing many of anything he may have been trying to communicate. The way he acted certainly should not be tolerated and I do hope that Cheryl Chow and Dr Goodloe-Johnson get the permanent restraining order they seek. When people behave in such outrageous ways toward public officials - without any major consequences it does little to make me think we live in a rational civilized society. Perhaps more than a restraining order in this case might be appropriate.

Disrespect of police and teachers etc. continues to be on the rise in many quarters of our society.

I do hope that Omari gains the assistance that he needs, but no one should be forced to live in fear of his treats.

Anonymous said...

Those theatrics are a legacy of the muchongoyo. Omari belongs to that past. Originally, it was a military exercise, but later it came to represent the struggle against oppression and apartheid.

It is a dance of remembrance and a call for freedom. It is a warrior dance; not a war dance. You certainly can't generalize. The muchongoyo is a call for unity in the face of a stronger adversary. And his theatrics are a reflection of the violence he sees in his oppressor. Omari is loved within his community, so I think Charles is right.

Goodloe was described as hard and aloof. I wonder if she has studied sharecropper culture or the Apartheid movement.

Her own statements compared Charleston schools to plantations; and immediately the public reacted by calling her staff, strawmen.

In New York and Philadelphia they use the word 'Thin Man' to describe a person who launders money usually for questionable purposes, but the connotation is the same, and common in poor neighborhoods. In the South, a strawman is also a scarecrow.

If Goodloe asks for her critics to set high standards for meetings, than she and her staff should be setting even higher standards for themselves and not duckspeak.

Anonymous said...

The best way to avoid a confrontation is anticipate one.

Goodloe could have met privately with community leaders (including Omari) given them time to air their grievances privately, given a few promises, and avoided the spectacle of being challenged in public.

The urban community is polarized and obtaining a restraining order, will only making things more difficult. For example, conducting board meetings. Black communities know which side she represents.

I expect they will stage more protests and further attempts to promote chaos, so the running of the meetings will become nonproductive.

If most of the people don't like your movie and let's say every time you showed it someone yelled fire to exercise their freedom of speech.

Why sure, you could have each person arrested, but after a time, wouldn't it be wiser to just change the movie.

Anonymous said...

With all the 1000s of incidents of reported violence in Seattle Schools every year, do you still think a policy like zero tolerance is effective?

If it won't work for children at school, it certainly won't work in our society. More mindless, conservative wishful thinking. To even think that a forum discussion of racism could provoke violence. (crimestop)

Anonymous said...

The spectacle you saw was not for your benefit, it was for his supporters to unify behind him. You should not presume public servants are honest.

That's why we make laws to hold them accountable. There is a balance between accepting that educators have limited experience in running an organization and how much freedom should they be allowed to experiment.

It is one thing to say Americans pride themselves in experimenting with new curriculum (and I'm speaking about the entire culture of school) and quite another thing to treat school like candy stores and then rob everything out of it.

There was a reason, we made schools public, and partly it was felt at the time that a few unsavory individuals could do greater harm than good, simply by replicating the same misdeeds over and over.

The crimes perpetrated on a public entity are much less than for a private enterprise, because we presume individuals in this profession are honest.

Anonymous said...

"but later it came to represent the struggle against oppression "

Obama running for president, sweeping the polls, and beating Hilary Clinton, is a sign that the struggle and oppression of people of color is over! Start throwing the crutches away. And, celebrate!

Melissa Westbrook said...

I know of Mr. Tahir's past; Don Alexander, who marched with MLK, also gets a "bad behavior" rap because he also gets strident sometimes. (His loud "and justice for all" after the pledge of allegiance is classic.) The difference between these two men is that Don knows better than to insult people or threaten them.

As I said in my post, you can challenge and criticize all elected officials up and down but there's clearly a line somewhere. If I feel uncomfortable/threatened while attending a public meeting with him, then I can only imagine how Cheryl and Dr. G-J feel.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe we are even debating this. It's ridiculous. Nobody should have to endure racial insults and threats of violence. Mr. Tahir has a violent nature, and is a threat at public forums. What are we debating? Imagine if Cheryl Chow made mention called Mr. Tahir a Nigger. Would there be a debate?

Anonymous said...

His use of that word, was offensive but not racial. From his point-of-view, addressing her was the same as calling her a straw man or a Judas.

If she had used that word, it would be to denigrate him for his lack of education. The media would spin it differently and that's probably how you see it.

As for violence, its no different than pornography. It was a crude visual display. This society tolerates vulgar institutions because its profitable, but who is directly affected? People living in poverty. It is the same issue for gun control.

Omari's theatrics has been acted out for centuries (David and Goliath, Jericho, Paul Revere)so its ritualized in many cultures, including the Afrikan Freedom Movement.

If I knew where Obama stood, I'd vote for him now. I think he's said some things that convinced African-Americans he was sincere.

Real violence happens where you don't see it.

Anonymous said...

Don't disenfranchise communities.

Air your differences privately. Make peace and promise.
Apologize publicly.
Then fulfill your promises.

Its a four step process. Adults can certainly count past three.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate Charlie's perspective on Omari Tahir-Garrett's character and accomplishments. I still think he quite likely has psychological problems, probably ones that have worsened over the years. It's a tragic business.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1030AM are you kidding? Could you possibly be serious??

HE ATTACKED MAYOR PAUL SCHELL. HE TOOK A GUN FROM A GUN FROM A POLICE OFFICER AND HELD IT TO HIS HEAD.

He is a racist. He is unstable. He is dangerous. He should not be allowed around any public figures. He has proven himself a threat.

I wish black folks could see past skin color, and be able to see that this man is a danger and a threat, instead of feeling like they need to stick together because he is black. It's ridiculous. It's divisive, and it's racist.

Listen to Obama, as he eloquently reminds us that we are one people, and stop making excuses for Mr. Tahir, as he does not deserve them.

Anonymous said...

Remember what happened when School Board Director Debell made a comment about "strange fruits". The uproar that came out of it. And rightfully so. Why, in the world would we excuse Mr. Tahir from the same type of degrading, racist, and insulting comments. And, in addition to his ugly words, his aggressive nature, assault on a public official, and authority figure?? Get over it, the man has something wrong with him, and is a proven threat.

dan dempsey said...

Wow!! Duckspeak

There sure is a lot of that at every board meeting on most issues.

How about that constantly growing Math Gap for non-Asian minority children and children of poverty?

It certainly is not that there is nothing to be continually offended about with the way the SPS operates. Honest Open Logical Decision making is virtually non-existent but I do believe that Mr. Tahir has gone far past any civilized line in his actions and the law will need to be enforced.

He may well view his actions as civil disobedience. I do appeciate the comments about his possible thinking in this matter as those had completely escaped me, even though I believe Omari had outlined that line of thinking for me in the past.

Like the actions of the Youth Against War and Racism, I find many of these actions too extreme but given the glacial pace of the SPS and frequent deception practiced by the SPS --> What other avenues are available that have any history of success?

Anonymous said...

This debate reminds me of the debate regarding whether one follows the lead of Martin Luther King or Malcolm x.

If one if being oppressed, there are a number of responses available. Some might prove effective, some may not. Sometimes it might be wise to use a spectrum of responses.

Sometimes peaceful, articulate, non-violent resistance works. Sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't, what then? Should one continue to be oppressed? Give up?

Let's look at the time frames:
Slavery in the US: 1620-1865
Jim Crow: 1865-1950s
Redlining, covenents, etc: to 1970s

Current comparison between capital accumulation between blacks and whites:

Blacks have, it's said, a mere one-eighth the capital of whites. Still. A legacy of redlining and other means of denying a person capital assets.

It's said that 1/4 African American males have "experienced" the criminal justice system. We see in the paper recently that Seattle's Blacks are the overwhelming majority of marijuana arrests (like whites don't smoke pot)

So on it goes.

What is one to do about it?

Anonymous said...

The phrase 'one people' does not mean the same to African-Americans as 'a united people'. That is precisely why African-Americans are not taken in by either Obama or Clinton. You have to read between the lines to understand. There has always been two movements because leaders disagreed how they should integrate together.

As far as integration programs that work, intra-district transfers have outperformed compensatory programs. As with most urban districts, SPS programs are compensatory and your efforts to desegregate have caused more harm than good.

Pointing out that Mr. Tahir, is psychotic and a racist is irrelevent to running a school district.

He disrupted your meeting, yet you allowed him to speak.

If he represents the African-American community, doesn't that help promote your cause and create more divisions within communities? Who then is a racist?

Anonymous said...

There are three policy options
1. Separate, but united
2. Integrated and united
3. Assimilated

To achieve equality, the only workable policy is option 2.

'One people' is option 3 and that was the option studied and proposed by sociologist, William Dubois who examined Japanese culture.

It is the conservative policy, influenced by Christian ideals and naturally, out of many, there are only two major interpretations:

One movement is separate, but equal. Maintaining racial purity -South Africa Apartheid. It leads to genocidal policies, like genetic hygiene or violent outcomes like the Native American Wars.

And the other movement is the creation of a global community. And this has problems of its own regarding genocide(e.g. Australian Forced Assimilition Programs).

The second movement is most associated with premillenialism and 'common-sense' protagonists. However, both sides fail to achieve equality or integration.

Equality and integration are separate policies. However, before you achieve equality, you first must have integration. So we are far from resolving the issue of civil rights.

Anonymous said...

"This debate reminds me of the debate regarding whether one follows the lead of Martin Luther King"

Excuse me, you are way way way off base. Cr. Martin Luther King fought for equality. He fought for peace. He did not beat politicians, and break their nose, nor did he assault police officers. He fought for civil rights, and did, he did not call our public officers racial slurs.

It is a disgrace to compare Tahir to Dr. King. A disgrace. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Anonymous said...

"Blacks have, it's said, a mere one-eighth the capital of whites."

You have to ask yourself the hard questions. Why? Why can Barack Obama, born to a poor, teen parent, and whose father left him and went back to Africa when he was only two years old, not only go to Harvard, but become the president of the Harvard law school? Why? How did he get to be the front runner for the Democratic ticket? How did he position himself to be our first black president, sweeping support from the majority of white democratic voters, young and old? Ask the hard questions.

It's time to throw the crutches away, and stop blaming "the white man", racism, and oppression. It's time to start working hard, and believing in yourself. My parents did it. They are black. They both have masters degrees and are from poor families in the south. If they can do it anybody can. Those who don't can not blame anyone but themselves. It's time to take responsibility for your actions, stop blaming everyone around you, and throw away your crutches.

Anonymous said...

"t's said that 1/4 African American males have "experienced" the criminal justice system. We see in the paper recently that Seattle's Blacks are the overwhelming majority of marijuana arrests (like whites don't smoke pot).So on it goes. What is one to do about it?"

Don't smoke pot. Don't do anything else illegal, that can get you arrested. It's pretty simple really. I'm black. I've never "experienced the criminal justice system". Neither have my sisters or brothers or our parents. Don't do anything illegal, and your problem will be solved.

No more excuses said...

Blacks are not drawn in to Barak Obama, because if he becomes our president it will prove that an African American can be anything they want to be. You will have no more excuses left. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

This blog is a challenge!

First, you are making some assumptions about Sen. Obama that are not true. His mother was white. Both parents had Master's Degrees. His grandparents were very supportive. He was not raised poor and he grew up in Honolulu which is culturally diverse and tolerant of most mixed marriages. Sen. Obama does not speak Black Vernacular, he is well-educated and outspoken.

The issue concerning schools is how to mass educate children living in poverty and then integrating them into an efficient, competitive work force.

Racism is a product of segregation. And the irony is almost all crimes committed by Blacks are against other Blacks.

If you go to a poor rural white community, a teenager can call a dealer and within five minutes have any drug delivered to them. So you cannot generalize. Zero tolerance is not going to remove drugs from the streets, it won't stop minors from getting pregnant, and it won't stop violence.

Does Sen. Obama understand poverty and what is he going to do about it? You can't fault children for poor textbooks and low quality academic programs.

The question to address is whether poor families actually use current laws to transfer to better schools. So far surveys say no.

We can track ethnicity, but researching white students is actually more difficult. We tend to lump all white students together and that is incorrect.

Currently, there is a five year achievement gap between races, and this is conservative.

The US does not include students who leave school between the ages of 13 and 17. I have met some of those kids in Washington State. They are subsisting on pizza, getting high, and having children.

There is at least a 5 year achievement gap between the lowest achieving hs graduates and the highest achieving hs graduates.

If you include super seniors its even higher. Imagine a 20 yo with the education of a 10 yo. This student dreamed of teaching first grade. Her parents had nothing to do with this child's lack of education. She's a well-socialized adult, works in a clothing store and is married. Why shouldn't she have a high school diploma? She can't pass algebra, hasn't passed any math since 7th grade. Hasn't had a math teacher or any teacher since leaving elementary school.

The education of all children is everyone's problem.

Early on, it was realized the only way to improve society was to grow its work potential. To do this you have to massively educate all children.

You cannot wait for poor communities to stop having children. You will always have poor communities, regardless whether you evict families from their homes or stop providing assistance.

If you want to stop violence in our society then start providing assistance. Practically, every country in the world has welfare and educational programs and are mass educating their children, because they cannot afford otherwise not to.

dan dempsey said...

Anon at 12:46 AM said.....
...You can't fault children for poor textbooks and low quality academic programs.

The Everyday Math -- Connected Math combination was a well documented failure in Denver and Colorado Springs.

In Washington State EM was particularly ineffective in adopting districts that had high Black and/or Hispanic populations.

EM was adopted in the SPS, as the school board voted 6-0 to do so at the urgings of Ms. Santorno. I do not remember any children of poverty or their parents advocating for this Everyday Math adoption. The same is holding true for the Denny/Sealth combined campus fiasco.

My how convenient it is for the SPS board to trust their hired experts, who are repeatedly exposed to be presenting misleading data. The board members require the community to convince them otherwise. Pretty impossible task as most of the SPS board apparently disregards community input.

Now I remember. Several students recently from Sealth protesting this proposed Denny/Sealth disaster with SPS school board testimonies and in fact a child of color Zarah Mohammed, of the West Seattle championship math team, testified against the last math adoption and there was a fifth grader named Maddie also.

No the children cannot be faulted for low quality programs - in fact they have testified against them.

As Director Chow has said: She does not need 100% buy in.

It appears that perhaps this board has bought the defective staff line - hook - line - and sinker --> To sink us once again.

Mr. Omari Tahir's leadership style is certainly deplorable but what can be said of our elected school directors. Mr. Tahir was not elected by the majority of the voters to represent them.

If this were England and a party promised effective new leadership and delivered the same old tired non-responsive actions as the previous administration, new elections would be called for to remove those who misrepresented themselves in the recent previous election.

Observe the next few months closely, this board is about to make some critical decisions that will let you know if they are hearing impaired or not. It may be the case in four-years they can run on a platform of: Continue our ineffective non-responsive leadership. Time will tell.

Although I firmly believe Mr. Tahir should be held accountable for his actions, do not dismiss his positive committed actions from the past, some of which Charlie detailed above. He has expended a great amount of energy to improving conditions for many in the community.

The actions of the SPS board on a regular basis seem to indicate far less commitment to improving the community than most of us feel is needed. Community frustration rather than improvement is often their product. They deliver many decisions in an apparently far more acceptable mode than Mr. Tahir but in the long run these decisions will be far more damaging than Mr Tahir's very deplorable actions.

Mr Tahir could argue a method to his madness given the lack of progress that other forms of community input have had thus far on the SPS board.

What arguments can the SPS board mount to explain their madness?

No more excuses said...

"You cannot wait for poor communities to stop having children. You will always have poor communities, regardless whether you evict families from their homes or stop providing assistance."

Ah, ha!!! At last!!!
You are talking about the true problem. The problem of educating poor and poverty stricken, struggling students. You have erased racism from your points and now your points make sense. We have to educate the disadvantaged children, whether they are white, black, purple or yellow. That is our challenge. That is what we are not succeeding at currently. If we can keep the subject to what it really is, helping the disadvantaged, instead of constantly turning it into a racial battle, we WILL be able to move forward.

I think this is what Obama will help country do. He proves that this country is not a racist country. He proves that anyone can be whatever they want to be. He will help us tear down the barriers ,and the excuses, and force us to look at the real issues.

Anonymous said...

Dan, something is wrong with you. You really should get checked out. I don't know how you can say the same thing over and over and over again, and not snap. Not catch yourself. Do you think we are feeble readers? Do you think we didn't comprehend what you have said 50 times before? Must you cram what you have said down our throats? Pound them into us? My god. You really should get some help.

dan dempsey said...

Anon at 1:55 PM,

I have told you before I put my name on every comment - now I even have my picture on each comment.

I am not forcing you to read my comments.

You on the other hand - leave me no choice but to read yours.

See my picture, see my name -DO NOT READ. Do you understand my instruction??

You are not my censor.

Anonymous said...

While Sen. Obama has a refreshing POV, his views on education appear not any different than Dr. Goodloe's, Dr. Bergerson's, or Sen. Clinton's. All four people have educational backgrounds mostly influenced by Puritan Evangelists.

Their ethics influences how they view making policy, so with education, at least, they agree with social republicans on something.

I think that's the point behind the paradigm of flattening the world - making it colorless, opaque, and irrational. That's the meaning behind 'God's will' or explaining the unexplainable.

So when we disagree about education, we ignore the fact that communities are segregated. We ignore the fact that some communities are more poor than other communities. We frame our decision-making on easily corrupted numbers.

We point to common-sense arguments as solutions to our problems - people who work harder will do better than others and we go about our lives.

But the problems stay with us and doesn't go away. And it is in part because the debate has been framed as an endless war in a struggle for finding truth.

While it is reasonable to debate like this in court, it has no place in the struggle to mass educate children, nor to integrate communities. Their policies are no different or successful than British colonial efforts to assimilate indigenous cultures into the Realm.

One of the new ideas evolving shows as the incidence of mixed marriages increases, so does the degree of anti-Semiticsm, and that has been linked to Puritan evangelicals. Which I think is pretty amazing.

So in Imari's case, SSB is scapegoating. By drawing attention to one person, SSB is resorting to public display tactics like those used by Southern States in post-Antebellum to create the first Jim Crow laws. I find it very disturbing and repugnant.

Anonymous said...

"So in Imari's case, SSB is scapegoating."

Besides hitting the Mayor with an object and breaking his nose, and taking a gun from a police officer and holding it to his head, what else does Imari have to do to prove himself a threat? Does he have to walk into a public meeting and shoot The Mayor and several City Council Members like this recent case in St. Louis? Why would we Imari continue to threaten, insult and verbally abuse our Board members? Because he is black?? Stop kidding yourself. The board should get a restraining order against him, if not just to protect themselves, to protect all of the innocent people that attend Board meetings, including me and my children.

Anonymous said...

Its not who Imari is, its what he represents. If you knew before that he had violent outbursts why do you allow him to speak, make a national spectacle, and disrupt your meeting or don't you know how to conduct one.

Don't you have more important things to be doing than demonizing people. Is that how you propose to construct your truth as opposed to other truths?

If school were a building, you'd probably build yours out of spaghetti, rewrite standards to make it look as good as all the other buildings, and when it fell when it rained you'd blame it on the residents.

dan dempsey said...

Anon at 3:17 PM said..
We point to common-sense arguments as solutions to our problems - people who work harder will do better than others and we go about our lives.

But the problems stay with us and doesn't go away. And it is in part because the debate has been framed as an endless war in a struggle for finding truth.


The truth I am coming to is....
"children are individuals with individual capabilities"

"each child needs to be allowed to develop existing talents and learn new ones"

"each person will have to find out how they can hopefully best fit into the world"

When we measure children by standards that are more and more artificial when contrasted with the above, we commit a great disservice to many children by that action.

The idea that a high school diploma should imply "college ready" is nonsense.

Requiring Advanced Algebra as a high school graduation requirement is total lunacy.

Children should be measured on whether they are learning and showing improvement so that schools can be measured and allowed to improve both child and school performance based on the results. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING.

If employers want meaningful results, I suggest we put the test results online for access by employers and colleges with suitable permission to view by the applicants.

Thus far we are spending a lot of money to make a below average situation worse.

I recommend suitable punishments for Omari Tahir, but let us not forget that most urban school districts rarely make any academic progress.

This frustration produces a great variety of different actions.

How do we remove the major source of frustration?

By making the Leadership change the decision making model to something other than its current Centralized Autocracy.

Anonymous said...

You didn't understand my comment.

Common-sense is a doctrine that was in response to Bacon's Doctrine of the Idols, which states although we can't observe the underlying mechanisms for what we are studying, we can narrow our choices through reason and induction. It is the law of causality.

Common-sense is the Protestant response and a rejection of Bacon's teachings. If you can't observe the mechanism, then you can't ascribe it to anything. That was how the Bush administration framed global warming. It is a legal argument. But I can't build my house with it and I could always build cleaner cars.

For one, the scientific process assumes that for something to exist there must be causality and finality, that is linking itself to the real world.

The first changes to science occurred in formal logic and it is due to Bacon's teachings. Aristotle could prove God existed, with Boolean logic you can't.

For Bacon, the ramifications for society were discovering that knowledge could be used not only for gaining power, but was a necessary precondition for expanding and differentiating a society.

Common-sense is differentiated into Natural Science and Integrated math, and this was adopted by 19th Century American scientists, like Agassiz.

In their literature, you will usually find the author doing comparisons in two unrelated fields, looking for patterns to discover God's thinking. That was the goal of the NSF when they were tasked by Congress to find a solution to slavery and ending the Civil War.

'Fuzzy' math precisely defines the Progressivist philosophy. Knowledge acquired primarily for material gain by constructing the truth as one sees it.

The deliberate display of persons either acting violently or demeaned publicly is a common ruse to either disrupt or disturb meetings to prevent legitimate critics from speaking out publicly.

The SSB can carry out business as usual, but doesn't have to be held publicly accountable. If that's their standard for establishing legitimacy, so be it.

Washington's education will remain at low tide forever. We see all the rocks and crevices, but Dr. Bergerson says everything is a flat sandy beach. At least we agree that from a distance they look all white. Looks to me like a dead coral reef.

Anonymous said...

Dang, there is no place in government for people who treat everyone else like illegitimate step children.

I'd like to give each of them a feather and tell them to go jump off Mount Rainier. If birds can do it, they can too (duck).

[stopthink]

Anonymous said...

"Its not who Imari is, its what he represents. If you knew before that he had violent outbursts why do you allow him to speak, make a national spectacle, and disrupt your meeting or don't you know how to conduct one.

Are you kidding me??? It's the boards fault that Imari is threatening them? It's the boards fault that he is using racial slurs? It's the boards fault that Imari is not a stable person? Are you kidding? You need help, really.
This is my last correspondence with you because a screw is clearly loose upstairs.

Anonymous said...

Learn how to manage a classroom, before you run a public meeting. The world is full of loose screws. Its the big screws you have to watch out for.

[stopthink]

Anonymous said...

And wouldn't you know it, Charlestown School Meetings were run much the same way.

I did not write this, but I think it is pertinent. Of course it is.

"Was Sandy Engelmann (County School Board Member) wrong to say it? Of course she was. She should have known that black people are hyper-sensitive when white people use terms that can be viewed even tangentially as racist. ESPECIALLY in PUBLIC. (3 letter acronym used in a wrong context.

"The only reason that this is even slightly a big deal is that Maria Goodloe-Johnson, half the school board, and the Charleston NAACP see a chance to make political hay of it........

I think the underlying issue, the one that NONE of them want us to start talking about, is that the Charleston County School Board spends money hand over fist.

That Maria Goodloe-Johnson bought First Class tickets after missing a flight should come as NO surprise.

This is the same school district that leased classrooms at the South Carolina Research Authority this past summer for a Principal's Retreat.

The School District, that operates the schools in our county, leased classrooms. Instead of the obvious solution of using their own classrooms.

For any other job, these ...... would be out on their .........

But no, we'll hear, from now until Nov. 7, how much of a racist that Sandi Engelmann is.

It's easier than talking about the real issue (s), isn't it?"

Superintendents that run tight ships don't lose control of board meetings. Some ship's screws happen to be wound so tight, the threads are stripped. Leaky vessels will not float very long.

The thing is I don't see any other sources other than a blog entry and the links all redirect me to a search engine. So now I have to ask himself, might this not be a blog artist spreading disinformation. Hmmm.

Mathis...where have I heard that before.

http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/oct/14/charter_school_money_issuesgetting_neede19121/

Our survey showed that of the 29 charter schools statewide, six are in district-owned buildings. None pays rent, but most pay utility and maintenance costs.

The Discovery School in Lancaster, for example, pays $10,500 annually for occupying 40 percent of a publicly owned space.

Meanwhile, the Palmetto Youth Academy in Florence, which is in a private facility, pays 40 percent of its $357,00 budget for rent.

Charleston's Greg Mathis Charter High School pays 48 percent of its $300,000 budget in rent.

The new superintendent is aware of the hostility that some charter schools have encountered, including from within the educational community.

"I think there are reasons on both sides of that," he said. Often, he said, it stems from how or why a school was created."

Very interesting...

Anonymous said...

Diane Briars, was the School Sup for Lancaster - now works part-time as a math consultant to rewrite Washington's Math Standards.

She did the evaluation for EM/IMP with Resnick and Merlino in Philadelphia. Briars was on the Advisory Board for a Math Project in Ferndale. She is with Carnegie Learning Inc, the same group that developed Cognitive Tutor. So this is a very tight-lipped group.

But once again we see a connection between low academic programs, leased classrooms, highly paid consultants, privatization, and school boards not taking steps to run public meetings with civility.

Turning individuals into scapegoats to chastise Abolititionists was a time-honored tradition of town hall meetings during the 1830's when the issue of slavery, transformed itself into a racial issue (an economic argument was replaced by pseudo-scientific/biblical arguments.)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like the Sealth/Denny fiasco.

Where was the NAACP when Dr. Goodloe forced Rivers to close and filled parents with lies about an "Academic Plus program" at Burke? Where was Mr. Rivers when we had no hot water in the Rhett building's "cafeteria" for our Rivers' Middle school students?

Bersin called it the Blue Ribbon Program in San Diego and parents protested that. Alvarado said they were preparing for school board elections.

Anonymous said...

More Machiavelli? This stuff is all over the place. It goes on and on. I have stacks of stories like this. I have to give my fingers a break.

"Goodloe-Johnson used a standard letter more than once that CCSD's lawyer drafted designed strictly to intimidate anyone they wanted to eliminate.

They even attempted to say it was a "no trespass order"...but it was nothing more than a threatening legal sounding letter on CCSD letterhead designed to intimidate anyone on their “enemies” list who they wanted to single out, isolate or paint as a whacko, with or without evidence.

Normal people go to a school's office first when they go on school property for official business anyway, so to order someone to do that in a letter is kind of pointless...unless the purpose is to just rattle someone's cage.

If on the other hand the Superintendent or CCSD’s lawyer really felt someone was a threat to order and safety within the schools, the proper thing would be to seek a restraining order in a court of law supported with documented evidence. Anything less would be irresponsible.

Goodloe-Johnson and CCSD’s legal counsel didn’t bother with such niceties. A boiler plated, pit bull letter would suffice for their purposes.

Some people in life see their job as winner-take-all with no opponent left standing. Goodloe-Johnson and CCSD's legal counsel appears to be in this kind of confrontational camp.

This might work on Wall Street but is not exactly a great example of good moral leadership in an educational setting."

Will Mr. Tahir be the last person to get a restraining order? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

You must have a huge bone to pick with Dr. Goodloe-Johnson to follow her to Seattle, and slander her on a local blog. Be careful what you say, and what you put in writing. Just as a warning, bloggers have been getting sued a lot lately. Attacking a high ranking public official may get you into trouble.

Stick with Charleston for awhile. I'm sure there is a new Supt for you to attack.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the Parade of Monstrosities...

Aristotle's Ethics? An Argument for Public Schools? or A Puritan's Blueprint for Success?

Why did Bennett omit fairness and justice from his list of virtues?

The natural slave engages in the sort of activity that falls short of human activity.

Slavery is natural when it brings a person who is not engaging in activity as fully as he might, closer to human activity in its fullest sense, even if that activity is functionally split in a division of labor between the master and the slave.

Slavery is natural when it brings people who do not engage in human activity into a relation that allows them to mirror or approximate it.

If we do not re-examine the past to judge the present, how then do we approach the future?

As an exercise, replace the following:

slave with student
master with teacher
natural with discovery modified by constructivist

...and there you have it. Standards-based education lifted straight out Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.

The mind of a Calvinist is very simple to understand, they cannot think for themselves.

Anonymous said...

The doctrine that might makes right means that if you have the power, and so win the battle, however unjust your cause, the spoils are legitimately yours. So how does winning makes your cause just?

Saint Augustine held a view like this and he had an answer to Aristotle's objection for enslaving prisoners-of-war.

If God decides who wins then victory is a divine decision. To be captured in battle and enslaved is divine punishment for sinners.

Eventually, masters become their own slaves.

A study of slaves produced as slaves by exclusionary social and political institutions reveals nothing about the nature of slaves.

However, it does reveal something about the citizens who create those exclusionary institutions, namely that they are prepared to rule despotically, which, for Aristotle, is the unmaking of their polity [Pol. I.7, V.10; 1292a14-38].

The practice of slavery and its institutions are bad for citizens both individually and for the citizenry.

If you could I'm sure you'd be burning heretics with big green twigs.

Bon appetit...

Anonymous said...

Adding to the Parade of Monstrosities

A pillar for Standards-Based Teaching, Bennett's book of virtues omits the qualities most important to the treatment of workers — fairness and justice.

It allows those who cause the disparity between rich and poor to feel virtuous about themselves and publicly claim the moral high ground.

With the absence of fairness or justice, high ranking officers today would meet all the criteria for virtue on the basis of this list.

And so with only a few rationalizations, the qualities of greed and materialism can easily be embraced by Bennett's list. If you can't make greed a virtue, you can make the pursuit of greed a virtue by calling it work, perseverance, discipline, etc.

And of course, fairness and justice are left out of the picture entirely.

Bennett doesn't quote justice from Plato's Republic, so he gets it all wrong. "What is difficult about justice? He complains it is just common-sense.

Social Republicans align themselves with one of the most potent symbols of American values, WORK, by expanding their definition of work to include just about anything.

This gives their own activities moral respectability by making their business, equivalent to the work done by real workers.

It is their design for public schooling and the same logic that was used in deciding whether Dred Scott could claim his legal citzenry in 1840. That is the Doctrine of Natural Slavery.

Anonymous said...

Dang, I believe this blog started with a black man being called a racist?

Seattle doesn't have enough motel rooms for all the good people living in Charlestown.

The NAACP is still puzzled by what happenned.

Anonymous said...

Why did Mr. Tahir lose his self control and react so angrily? Is he not a product of our own society? Is this not what we see happenning daily in US schools? Could that not be what occurred at Columbine, which by the way, is a suburb of Denver?

Standards-based education is derived from Aristotle's ethics and it most certainly borrowed heavily from the Doctrine of Natural Slavery. You are mistaken if you believe if it means our society is Democratic.

The irrational violence you see is the result of Puritan fear instilled in children since kindergarten - 'If you don't work hard, you will not achieve.' is a dangerous slogan to rally your citizenry, since everyone knows it isn't true...

Our society cannot be integrated (or differentiated) until we re-examine our belief systems more deeply and apply it in meaningful ways, like mass-educating children in a society.

Anonymous said...

If you're wondering where some of this stuff is coming from, check out http://www.kellysite.net/bennett.htm, which says:

"Feel free to download this material for personal, not-for-profit, use. If you duplicate it for others, attribute it to Charles M. Kelly."

I've no idea whether it's Chuck Kelly himself who's posting, or someone else who ignored the above copyright notice. In any case the points make somewhat more sense in context.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

I looked at the material in the link provided by Helen S. I have to be honest and say, I have no
idea what they are presenting on that website and I have no idea what folks are referring to on this blog. I am lost and I suspect that I am not the only one!

dan dempsey said...

Anon at 4:41,

Often times imbalance is a sign of growth. Good luck struggling through this.

Where can we buy a program to find out what is happening?

Anonymous said...

This might help. Its seems incredible that Bennett would exclude fairness and justice from his own list of virtues.

William Bennett, SecEd (85-88)
Wrote the Book of Virtues, based on Aristotle's Table Ethics/Vices.

Bennett and Adler both argued for the same reforms in education, mostly a single track, liberal arts education that is one of the Adopted Read First Programs - Paidea Project.

http://pages.interlog.com/~girbe/virtuesvices.html

Despite writing about virtues, William 'Bill' is known for his gambling excursions -once losing $625,000 in a weekend, this despite winning a $25,000 jackpot. His gambling losses up to 2003 were about $8 million altogether.

He's also made outrageous statements regarding race, that aren't repeatable.

He was against using computers in the classroom, but now owns a for-profit online school.

His latest article is for a national school test to replace the 'WASL' since not all states are using one.

Bennett's latest article, 'Restoring Equality, Restoring Civil Rights' takes the stance that to have equality, race should not be taken into account and uses a more general definition of racism: a policy using race to deny or convey a right or privilege.

At the other extreme is the def. used by Feagin(2006) - which is systemic racism in which the US is characterized as a Total Rascist Society. Feagan is Pres. of the ASA, so this is not minor. He is basically describing the barriers Whites use to prevent minorities from achieving success in all institutions, and education is definitely one of those institutions.

It would be far better, wiser, cheaper to use Feagan's insights to achieve integration in our society, than it would be to use the definition for racism that Bennett wants us to believe in.

He makes the same flawed arguments as the Evangelical Puritans. It is vague generalities and a lot of hand waving "If you work harder, you'll achieve more." Racism he says is common-sense. The doctrine he is really defending is Natural Slavery (Dred Scott, 1840)

Simply, Natural Slavery says some people are masters because they work harder, but most people grow up as slaves, because they want to be.

This not a social policy that will mass educate children and prepare the majority of our students for college. And of course this affects funding and curriculum. The finance reform is based on educational adequacy, not equality.

We fund schools based on their performance, even though we are measuring the achievement of children using a non-referenced test.

Under current doctrine, all children are equal, but some schools are better than others.

To achieve integration, NCLB supporters believe children from underachieving schools will transfer to overachieving schools. This has not been observed. In fact, schools have become more segregated and the disparity between schools has widened. And finally, we are losing more kids who drop out earlier than expected.

The reason being the failure rate increases significantly the more schools you've attended, and the more times you've taken remedial math classes. Most kids who dropout do not finish algebra.

One way to improve the graduation rate is to teach using better curriculum. And once again, standardized proponents have created a barrier for minorities - inadequate textbooks and a cracked teaching method, facetiously called constructivism that prevents teachers and students from getting good test results, not to mention enrolling in math and science programs in college, by claiming kids learn better using discovery and inquiry. Bogus!

This is the reform movement to privatize education, and its done so influence peddlers will make huge profits from the closure of public schools and services.

It is chilling and we are only beginning to see the shape of what's to come. And I do not see how the next president will be able to recover what's already been lost, especially when I view all the candidates past records.

And that's all I have to say - sorry for the length of this piece/ruffling feathers/etc, but I'm putting all this together and I can thank Kelly now and this board for my new insights.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, you sugar coated story of Omari ignores that the District did try to sell him the building: his check bounced. He caused Paul Shell perminate damage to his vision, and once upon a time held a gun to my uncle's head. GET REAL if you think this man is the Santa Clause you think he is.

common sense said...

I wish people would stick to the topic here. Some of these "anonymous" writers are the kind of people who talk just to hear themselves speaking - kind of like Mr. Tahir, actually.
He's not a freedom fighter like MLK, he's not THE spokesperson for the black community and he's not even a very good public speaker. Mr. Tahir is a nuisance and he's 'performing' to get attention, and I for one am sick of him hijacking meetings for his own political purposes. He may feel strongly on some issues, but using racial slurs is wrong, no matter what your skin color.
There may be merit to the argument that the board meetings could be run better, but I don't think this particular problem can be laid at their feet.

dan dempsey said...

Do we have any historians out there that can dig up the amount of the check that bounced from Mr. Omari Tahir Garrett and what the conditions of purchase were to be for the Coleman school? { African American Heritage Museum }

This is becoming an episode of the history detectives.

I did not get the idea that Charlie saw Omari as Santa Claus but just wanted to provide some background on Omari's life. I appreciated Charlie's comments and did not see them as in anyway presented as a justification for Omari's outrageous actions.

The fact is that Omari has done significant good in his life - should not be discarded. He certainly should be held accountable for his poor and unlawful behaviors.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tahir is a nut.

Mr. Tahir is not only a nuisance but a public threat.

Mr. Tahir has proven that he is unstable. He has proven that he is violent.

Only in Seattle would someone defend such a person. It is unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Dan:

Omari has himself attested to the check having bounced before. He was mad that the District didn't cash it fast enough while he was in prision.

Anonymous said...

Look, if you feel angry, then this is a lion, he does not get his energy from you, he is displaying for the sake of the group who admire him.

He's protecting 'his' community. It makes no difference how you judge him.

When you have to deal with a lion in the classroom, you reward the entire group when he behave's himself. You may have to work with the lion for a long time, but he can be your best friend or your worst enemy. So deal with it.

Anonymous said...

You build trust in the community by showing you care. If you can tame this lion, you will have started something where very few have succeeded. There will always be another lion, so why not start now.

The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is an attribute of the strong. - Gandhi

Anonymous said...

We, it looks like the courts thought that Goddloe-Johnson and Chow needed an order of protection, as it was granted for one year!

Anonymous said...

Yes, geniuses. We will likely see more news coverage. Zero tolerance is apolitical. Good for you. School board scores a victory over poverty. When words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain.

Anonymous said...

Don't you mean school board scores a victory over violent, proven threat to society.

Stop seeing color, and you will see more clearly. Or get psychiatric help, genius.

Anonymous said...

How come every time colorless people see light at the end of the tunnel, they go out and buy more tunnel?

If you wanted to progress out of the Stone Age, you should have tried using a flashlight before you examined the issue. That's not genius, Genius.

Anonymous said...

How many times must you prove someone is a violent, proven threat to society?

You should ask yourselves, why colorless, virtuous members of the school board are so transparent?

It was the same for a group of oysters who worshipped Odin by hanging onto a branch from the tree of knowledge for nine whole days in order to deal with all of life's frustrations.

Afterward they went back to their beds to reflect on their vanity. Perhaps that's too much, I will apologize to the oysters for stooping to such impious comparisons.

Anonymous said...

Wisdom’s curse,
Aristotle says there are three ways to learn – reflection, repetition, and experience.

Here’s why colorless people can’t learn integrity.

1.Colorless people are blood-suckers and therefore can’t reflect.
2.Colorless people can’t compare themselves to monkeys and therefore they won’t imitate.
3.Colorless people make excuses for injustice. Their experiences are more bitter than the Tree of Life.

You are a genius, because your corrupt ethics subjugates everyone to the mean. We are all equal under your laws, however some are treated more equally than others. Vanity is your virtue, although you confuse it with pride. It is the vanity of a tyrant, nothing more.