Thursday, March 20, 2008

Garfield Technology Academy Program Cut

I received disturbing news from a blog reader, Karin Youngberg, that the Garfield Technology Academy Program has been "canceled effective immediately."

First, read a little about the Garfield Technology Academy:

Then, read a little about Kjell-Jon Rye, the technology teacher who founded and leads this very popular program:

And finally, read what a GTA board member wrote in an e-mail today:

"It has just come to my attention by email from a Garfield School employee that GTA has been canceled effective immediately from Garfield High School. This notice went out to all of the teachers at a staff meeting held by Ted Howard. The reason given that the school cannot have a program run within the school that is operated by an outside non-profit organization (paraphrased). It saddens me to have to disclose this to our group.

Please understand that GTA was setup originally to provide support, materials and resources that were unavailable from the school district. Donations obtained over the years went to supply the classroom with furniture, equipment, computers, and other supplies that the district had no budget for. We also provided logistics support from outside sources to make this program run smoothly with almost no assistance from the school district. Obviously the school wants to run their school programs differently in the future and does not see GTA fitting into their plans. We have no control over this but hopefully we can find other avenues to support schools in the future."

From the outside, I realize we can't know the whole story. But my initial reaction is simliar to that of Karin's who wrote "I'm wondering what sort of students the district intends to educate. Life long learners? Citizens of the world? By cutting the programs that support that?"

100 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's see, embezzlement, sexual assualt, the leaders of GTA blaming the victim. Perhaps before yblogging, you may want to think about why people assocaited with GTA are on leave?

classof75 said...

like whom?
those are some pretty big accusations

IF a teacher is put on leave then they would say so.
I haven't heard of any teachers on leave.
This has been an exemplary program for over a decade- care to back up your data?

Beth Bakeman said...

Anonymous,

I said in my post "From the outside, I realize we can't know the whole story."

I blog about any issues like this that are brought to my attention, and then count on blog readers to add insight and details.

But please be careful in your accusations and slander.

Anonymous said...

Beth,
Thank you for bringing this to our attention...

for whatever the reason, it is sad that such a great program that makes tremendous impact is gone (at least for now)

Beth Bakeman said...

I contacted Shep Siegel (Manager of Career & Technical Education) who suggested I contact Ted Howard (Garfield Principal) & Michael Tolley (High School Director), which I have via e-mail.

I'll post here if I learn more.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, this program was started in 1998 and after 10 years it is closed down on a Friday, when school is not in session?

Anonymous said...

I am not interested in speculating as to why Mr. Rye has been put onto leave but why the program in same form could not be salvaged by the professional educators of the Seattle School District. Programs are just that, programs, not people. This one has provided countless students a unique opportunity to learn a variety of skills including developing computer technology understandings, planning and leading major projects, gathering need resources, and facilitating international communications just to mention a few.
The replacement classes the students are being offered are not the same thing. They are wonderful additions to the Garfield curriculum but they are essentially preengineering classes . They are not designed to help kids either learn how to repair and network computers, develop all the leadership skills inherent in the GTA model , gather any resources or to foster any international understanding. I suggest that the leadership of the school district reexamine what they are doing and come up with a compromise that could maintain the essential elements of the GTA model while at the same time creating more oversight. The current proposal throws the baby out with the bath water. How about something a little more creative on the part of the administration? A Garfield parent.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 9:19, what a missed opportunity for Dr G-J to step up and provide some positive leadership. Not to mention great PR for her!

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is any kind of comprehensive analyisis of all the district's programs -

for example

- number of kids served
- median family income of kids served
- number of adults directly involved
- annual dollars program costs
- annual outside $ support

I know kids are more than numbers blah blah blah blah, but, when we don't have basic data about what is happening, it is hard to decide fairly what should happen. It seems like the current 'criteria' bounce between threatened lawsuits, powerful parent groups, and who has the saddest of too many too sad stories.

Neil said...

I am a lead in one of Mr. Rye's classes, and I came to Garfield for two reasons. GTA and AP classes. GTA has been an outlet for the technologically inclined, and an incredible humanitarian program. Although i have never been on a trip due to school, sports, and family priorities, I have participated in the preparation for many trips, and i've seen the changes the program can bring.

-Neil Hinnant.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Neil. I have been on two GTA trips recently and they have been the two most amazing experiences in my entire life, no exaggeration. GTA provided everyone at Garfield that participated in the program a unique opportunity to really discover how even a 16 year old student can help change the lives of an entire community in a third world country. What possible reason could there be to shut this program down? This is the only program like it in the entire country, right here in a Seattle Public School. I have seen through my involvement in GTA how all sorts of people that you would never meet around Garfield mix together and form really strong bonds on these trips. I really hope that the school district will change their minds about this unique program and find a way to fix whatever problem they have with it.

Anonymous said...

i am also a student at GHS and i am furious with the district at the moment. I believe they are failing to communicate to the students why they are taking so many actions that we see as horrible and then not giving viable reasoning for them. Maybe they do have good reasons, but unless they are sharing it with us we will continue to build resentment.
the district is attempting to take away individuality of the schools by providing "equal opportunites," but instead they are just removing the special programs. POST, our outdoors program is possibly also being threatened and maybe even our newspaper.
I know many people who went on GTA and loved it, they came back with a whole new take on things.
If the district continues to take away everything that makes our schools special, what will we have left?

Anonymous said...

"embezzlement, sexual assualt, the leaders of GTA blaming the victim."
where did you hear that?
GTA was a great program and it's a terrible loss for garfield and the communities they have helped

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rye is not on leave because of anything having to do with GTA. His wife has terminal cancer. Maybe you should do your research before you start blasting someone who has given so much to the Seattle Community and has changed thousands of lives. Show some respect for the man.

Anonymous said...

Just because the School District is making GTA move doesn't mean the trips are going to end. We still have the Philippines trip in a week, and the Turkey trip this summer.

We need a place to refurbish computers and someone to work full time fundraising and getting supplies.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I was just about to say that hes on leave because his wife is very ill, where the hell did you get the idea that he's embezzeling? He's dedicated pretty much the last ten years of his life to developing this program and giving some many students amazing opportunities that are life changing. Even if it is not continued at school, I think it is important that we keep the program running for him and all the students that are so involved in it.

Neil said...

Actually, the last thing i heard was that the turkey trip was canceled because there was no coordination support, or staging area, and we have been forced to get rid of or distribute our computers, leaving none for the trip.

The School District obviously doesn't care about the opinions of the students whose job it is to educate, so I implore the adults to step up. Write letters to Dr. G-J and Ted Howard (Garfield Principal) asking to reinstate the program. We have been offered poor substitutes for the GTA technological experience, and Garfield will soon see an end to the days of students having any technological knowledge.

-Neil Hinnant

p.s. To the first commenter, research your claims, Sir! Mr.Rye is with his wife on leave, when the district conveniently decides to cut our program. He has been away and we have been attempting to hold the class together with help from our substitute, but any unfounded allegations really don't help anything. Shut up until you have something intelligent to say.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Howard, despite many claims that he hates GTA is actually fighting to make sure you guys get to go to the Philippines and he's really mad about the current situation as well.

dan dempsey said...

Anonymous said...12:37 PM

...Interesting, this program was started in 1998 and after 10 years it is closed down on a Friday, when school is not in session?


It is deja vu all over again. September on a Friday and Ms Santorno shuts down the West Seattle 4-period day after the 2007-2008 school year. Conveniently ignoring all the relevant data.
This was a Googloe-Johnson decision that can not be appealed so says MG-J. Who is still looking to her for leadership?? not me.

Ms Santorno does not like the Math results at WSHS which she attributes to the 4-period day.

She should try a little attribution analysis --- Read the National Math Panel report of March 13, 2008 -- IMP is 180 degrees away from their recommendations. It is just another IMP failure in WA state. Just because the UW prefers to rake in those NSF dollars by pushing ineffective programs upon us, does not mean these programs work.

Oh! MY!!! we can't say that because IMP will be recommended for adoption at the high school level this coming Wednesday.

Failed in University Place, failed in Tacoma, but at West Seattle it is the 4 - period day. Pleezzee give me a break - we do have brains in our heads. Even when the SPS is continually attempting to spin our heads, some things are still crystal clear.

The continued interference of central administration into effective programs seems to be endorsed by the school board.

Even with all the data of their continuing failure to implement positive improvements, there is zero concern for relevant data or public concern. These folks still think they know what is best for us.

Neil - hope to see you at the school board meeting on Wednesday.

Call 206-252-0040 Monday after 8 AM to get on the public testimony list.

The Math Underground

School Truth
..

Anonymous said...

Dan, it's not de ja vu. West Seattle was in negotiations with the district for quite some time. Perhaps the district didn't do what you wanted (keep the 4 period day), but this situation with Garfield is very very different. They have had no warning, no negotiations, no chance to prove how this program has been an asset to them. You can't tie math and West Seattle into every post on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Its not Garfield Technology Academy its Global Technology Academy. The program wasn't just for Garfield High School Students, we have had Center School and Roosevelt students on trips before. Which makes the fact that it was cut even more disheartening because it was enriching an entire learning community.

Anonymous said...

I love that the defenders come out of the woodwork. Recall when everyone was up in arms about why the Whittier principal was on leave and how unfair the mean district must be and then it turns out that he was a flasher?

The district can't comment on human reasources investigations. That means that Mr. Rye can tell whatever story he wants (cancer is a popular cover story at Garfield, it worked for Joyce Walker for awhile before she finally acknowledged she was on drugs) and the district can't comment except to say that a person is on leave.

As for embezzling, ever wonder why there were a bunch of different invetigators from the state asking questions?

I think that the smart course of action is to wait and find out what the story is when it becomes public. If it doesn't become public, make a public records request. You would be surprised as to how my information you can get from someone's HR file...

Anonymous said...

So what you’re saying is the Mr. Rye is just a liar, and his wife doesn’t really have cancer. How can you be so inconsiderate? And the issue here isn’t that were up in arms about whether Mr. Rye has done something wrong, it’s about the program that they are cutting. A program that has taken 30 trips around the world to 2nd and 3rd world countries delivered computers, work with the students there to set up computers labs and help bring them into the 21st century. We learn leadership skills along with teamwork and cultural relations. The trips are organized by the students and all the work is put in by the students. And on one Thursday morning they send out a list of new classes we can take with no explanation as to why they are cutting one of the most popular classes at Garfield. This program has been a huge part of many of our high school experiences. I’ve never been involved in a program so wonderful and worthwhile that has taught me skills that are useful beyond taking tests.

You’re right we don’t know why Mr. Rye is on leave, and yes I could be a whole number of different things, but we live in a country where anyone is innocent until proven guilty, so for now why don’t we all stop playing these guessing games and focus on what is important, which is trying to keep this great program for us, the students.

Raymond said...

to add on to neil's point, right now i'm going on a gta trip, and even though we havent left the country, GTA has changed me so much words cant describe. Also it should be noted that GTA for alot of people, including me is the only reason i can make it through the day. to be honest, GTA is the only thing i look forward to doing.

also, (this is directed to the person who ordered GTA to be shut down), I hope you are willing to accept the consequences of your actions: because the bad publicity will come.

--Raymond '08

Anonymous said...

Wow! Anyone who can criticize GTA clearly knows nothing about it. This program is more than just tech learning. The leadership skills, world awareness and personal growth experienced by GTA students is unparalleled by any other high school program.
And as for the original complaint of having a non-profit in the school, I dont see how GTA is any different than Friends of Garfield Orchestra, The GHS Science Foundation or even the PTSA, all of which raise money as part of a seperate foundation, and use that money to promote their priorities. GHS PTSA even has its own political agenda.

As a GHS and GTA parent, I urge everyone outraged by this move by the district to stand up for what we know is good, and valuable, and important to our students, and fight for GTA.

Mr Rye, we are pulling for you!

Anonymous said...

Cancer as a cover story? I sincerely hope you're joking because Mr. Rye is certainly not throwing around claims of terminal cancer to hide something. And the defenders are not just coming out of the woodwork. The people defending the program are the same ones who have supported GTA all along. The Garfield community and beyond have always loved GTA.

I have seen how this program has changed the lives of my friends and I was hoping to participate next year. I wrote an article about GTA for The Garfield Messenger recently and talking to people really made me realize the profound impact GTA has had on numerous people. And unlike many of the other programs at Garfield and other schools, the students it benefits and teachers are incredibly diverse. People of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds have benefited, and the program draws kids from every clique at Garfield.

http://garfieldmessenger.com/back.php
Issue 10

Emily Fletcher

Anonymous said...

doesnt GTA stand for global tech(nology) Academy?

Anonymous said...

I would really do anything I could to save this program at Garfield and I think that if enough people really speak out, they will reconsider. Any suggestions on how to appeal it?

Anonymous said...

I came to Garfield for those very same reasons (AP and GTA). I wasn't placed in the class this year, but had every hope to enroll in the class for as many courses possible until I graduated from Garfield. GTA was the only service program that lead trips in all of Garfield. There are only several other basic trips which are affiliated with the language department. Not only did GTA do an outstanding job at allowing kids who wouldn't otherwise be able, to explore the world and leave the only place they know for a few weeks, but it provided many kids with a hobby, even several with a passion. We can't forget how much the students learned about technology. No other class teaches the anatomy of computers. I will do anything possible to help save this program. Like some of the above commenters have said, its not so much a matter of why Mr. Rye left, it's a matter of saving one of the biggest attracting programs at Garfield, and the one of the only things that sets Garfield so apart form every other Seattle Public School. There's not really much point in my even attending Garfield with this program gone. The whole system is an outrage and I am devestated to see it being taken away because of such poor administration. Please Help!

classof75 said...

Twenty three years ago- when Kjell Rye was teaching technology in Bellevue schools, he asked this ,"These kids weren't even born when man first walked on the moon. So why are we teaching them the same things my grandfather was taught? Why are we preparing them for the last century instead of the next one?"

Good Question.

from Spring 1989 issue of Whole Earth Review
"My intention is," he says, to "to make my students think and act as if they were running fiercely competitive companies in the real world. "
Rye has succeeded almost too well. He teaches about 145 students a semester with students averaging three afterschool hours for ever hour they attend class. Kids sometimes arrive at the workshop at 6 a.m. and have to be kicked out at lo o'clock that night so Rye can get some sleep. "Parents are astonished that I can get this kind of dedication out of my students, " Rye says. "One of them asked me once, What do you do to my kid to make him give up a ski trip so he can work all weekend with four students who were total strangers a few weeks ago?...


Participation in GTA is across the student body in high school, students stretch themselves and their peers and work harder than they could predict. These skills will be with them for life.

It is ironic that the argument is being used SPS doesn't want a non-profit even slightly connected with a school.
What about AP classes? If you want the most challenging classes, in most cases that means AP or IB classes, which includes sitting for the tests. AP tests are $83 apiece- My daughter has to take the tests, even though she has already been admitted to her colleges & even though the test scores won't help her get credits.

$166 is a lot of money to hand over to the College board- without a reason.


Is IGNITE no longer going to be part of Seattle public schools? Microsoft won't be too happy about that.

How about the film tech program at Ballard? They recently sent students to Sundance film festival- that isn't even a skill that is tested on the WASL!

TeamXbot? Do they make the cut?

Why single out GTA?

Seriously.
http://www.seattleschools.org/area/
cte/relatedprograms.xml

GTA is one of the strongest programs in the school/district. My daughter who is currently a senior, has been trying to get into it since freshman year. This fall was her first class, she had to enroll as a TA, but it enabled her to participate in the program where they installed computers in a secondary school in Ghana- I believe the 6th time they have traveled to West Africa. It is a very exciting time to be in Ghana & it made such an impact on her, that she has already made plans to return in the fall - in fact it was the first thing she said to me when she got off the plane!


I was shocked to learn the program was canceled, especially with no notification to parents from the district and no warning or replacement classes.

This attitude from the district towards students and parents, let alone staff is surely going to color my response the next time they want me to lobby for increased taxes.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that students and parents feel left out, but when a decision is made for legal or human reasources reasons, you don't get advanced notice. That Mr. Rye is on leave plus the ending of the relationship between GTA and the school on such sort notice makes me thing that something big and bad was going on that the district can't tell you about. If it is that bad, it probably goes beyond Rye.

classof75 said...

What the heck is going on in this district?

the fiasco at West Seattle High School over the district switching from a 4-period day to a 6-period day, the Denny-Sealth proposed merger, Lafayette teachers being told that they have to post test scores in a public area or who knows what else, ONE THING HAS BECOME CRYSTAL CLEAR TO ME. The Seattle School Board, CAO Carla Santorno, and Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson have turned a deaf ear to our emails, protests, marches,empassioned pleas to be heard and not only that, but LISTENED TO. They also seem to be stonewalling the teachers' grievance at WSHS. They don't seem to care what facts support our position, they just seem focused on their own political/career goals that serve their interests, and not those of the students and/or community. We have talked until we are blue in the face, and have received lies, pat answers with no substance, and threats against teachers who have spoken out.
Several teachers have been put on "administrative leave" at WSHS, and the climate in the school has deteriorated to the point where some students and teachers have given up fighting for what they believe in.

classof75 said...

Administrative leave in the Seattle school district is used for incidents such as using a derogatory name for a minority group in the classroom,
“an investigation into this matter did substantiate that you attempted to forcibly remove a pencil from ... one teacher grabbing a pencil ( ? ) away from another- in which both were placed on administrative leave < insert eye roll here>

The district also has stated
The Employer maintains that neither administrative leave nor administrative transfer necessarily constitutes disciplinary action, and that the School District has frequently used them in non-punitive contexts.

I know SPS also has history of a long line of " educators" who went years on the payroll in Seattle schools- some getting golden parachutes to leave like
Marta Cano-Hinz
Luke "Turk" Markishtum
Al Jones
Dan Barton

- and does anyone remember Joe Olchefske?

But if Mr Rye had ongoing serious evidence that warranted removing him from his position as an educator, why would the district allow him to head up the group of students on their recent trip to Africa, from which they returned less than ONE month ago?

What possibly could have prompted them to remove him so suddenly? Did he perhaps grab a cup of coffee away from Nana Labi?

Anonymous said...

Adminstrative leave is also used to investigate allegations of sexual miscoduct Class of 75. I suggest that rather than speculate as to what happened that required the district to take such extreme action, you wait to see what sort of back story there is.

Anonymous said...

whatever happened involving mr rye is not what we students are concerned about, we are instead concerned about the loss of a beloved part of Garfield.
WHY is there no more GTA just because a teacher is gone?
and when will the district stop trying to remove the individuality of students and schools?

classof75 said...

I suppose there is something that would negate the decades of hard work, long hours and inspirational upport that Mr Rye has given to the students in the Northwest, but I can't imagine what that would be right now.

Anonymous said...

The program is being moved out of the GHS building because the school was audited. They could not audit just GTA because the program was too interconnected with the school, so the auditor made Garfield pay the money. But Global Tech Academy is not dead it just is out of a building to work out of. This has nothing to due with Mr. Ryes absence he is losing the two loves of his life right now so people should leave him be.

Supporters of GTA should go to the School Board meeting this upcoming friday. Also if someone is willing to step up to work fulltime for GTA finding a place to work out of, do fundraising etc.. it would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

School board meeting is on Wednesday night. I think you need to check your facts and stop speculating on facts about audits. Neither the school district nor GTA have made any comments on the situation and I think we should all just wait and see what the true facts are first.

Anonymous said...

I maintain we have to stay focused on the goal...maintaining at Gafield some type of program that includes the elements that have made GTA such a powerfully attractive program for hundreds of teenagers. These would include real world work, team building, community outreach, technical skills, long range planning, and a focus on international relationsips with partnering institutions. A good program can outlive the man and this is a good program...Garfield parent

Anonymous said...

Lawyer here--

GTA supporters:

1) Definitely get on the School Board testimony list and get as many people to the Board meeting as you can. Wave signs silently (or wear t-shirts) but don't be rude or interrupt- cuts your credibility. Write letters to Board members beforehand.

2) Make public records requests early and often.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Yes I think the best to make the district talk about why the program was cut is at the Board Meeting on Wednesday so I really encourage anyone who wants to help this program to either put themselves on the list to speak or just show up and support the program! They will realize how important this program is to so many people if everyone shows up!

Anonymous said...

If you honestly think that the School Board is going to comment on a situation that involves a pending HR investigation on Wednesday, you are nuts. And Anon 8:18, if you think that is going to happen, you are either not a very good lawyer or one who has no labor and employment experience.

Anonymous said...

the point of going to this school board meeting is not that we get information out of the school board it is to show the School Board the support that there is behind this great program.....GTA student

Charlie Mas said...

Looks like it is time for some quick, basic facts about how things work for those who are new to activism. Perhaps we should print a manual.

1. The School Board does NOT respond to public testimony. All twenty spots on the testimony list can be taken by people speaking about GTA, but the Board will not respond at the meeting. They won't say anything more than "Your time is up." if you run much over your allotted three minutes.

2. If you create enough of a ruckus, the Superintendent, in her update, might make some mention of the official reasons for terminating the program. The Board will not question these reasons no matter how dubious or even blatantly false they may be. Not allow non-profits run programs in our schools? What else is The New School Foundation? or IGNITE? or GEAR UP? The Board will, for all appearances, accept every word the superintendent says as if she hand carried it down from Sinai.

3. The Board will not get involved on your behalf UNLESS there is a point of Policy at stake. The superintendent and her staff have full responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the District and the Board resolutely will not interfere. They don't even interfere when it IS a matter of policy.

4. You can request meetings with the Chief Academic Officer and the Superintendent, but they don't have to grant you any. Even if you get an appointment, they don't have to substantively engage you. They don't have to hear you out. They don't have to seriously consider your position, and they sure don't have to explain theirs.

You may be wondering when I'm going to offer you the good news. Stop wondering. There isn't any.

This is the closest I can come to it: The Board members won't talk to you from their seats on the dais, but each Board meeting features an intermission after the superintendent's updates and before the action items. They will speak with you informally during this period. No matter how much they will seem to agree with you during this informal chat time - and they will seem to totally agree with you - they absolutely will not interfere with the superintendent's administration of the District unless it violates a Policy (and usually not even then).

Your best chance to influence this decision (this was just mentioned in a recent post) is to find some Policy that sets the rules for the decision and convince a Board member that the Policy was violated. File a Citizen Complaint. Get everyone else you know to file one. Then maybe you can get a Board committee to discuss the issue.

Outside of that, the only other means that have been demonstrated effective in influencing district decisions are: bad press, the threat of litigation, and large sums of donated money. I don't suppose you have the cash, and you don't have a leg to stand on in Court (the state constitution does not guarantee you a right to the GTA), so - after the other efforts fail - I suggest you try to generate some bad press.

The steps to generating press attention aren't hard to complete, but they are rarely successful. You need to organize and identify leaders that the press can contact for quotes. You need to write a press release describing the situation and promoting a publicity event. Then you need to stage the publicity event. Make sure it has good visuals for TV or newspaper photos. Since this is Garfield, be sure to include students of all races and socio-economic backgrounds. Yes, be calculating and cynical. Be sure to get some quote from a national entity praising the program. The Seattle press are suckers for national attention. The District is totally insane about it.

You absolutely must try to get not just local, but national press attention - from the New York Times, NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, anyone. it doesn't even have to be a newspaper. It could be USA Today or People magazine.

I know it sounds really sick and wrong, but a phone call from a reporter from the New York Times can get a whole lot more action that 100 phone calls from students and their families.

See if you can't get a quote from the Mayor on the termination of the program - that will go a whole lot further than you would ever imagine. You might also want to ask for a quote from Tim Burgess. He is the City Councilmember who chairs the Public Safety, Human Services & Education Committee. He also has a long history of working with non-profits. It won't be as helpful as a quote from the Mayor, but it couldn't hurt, and if the Mayor's office doesn't want to give you a quote, be sure to let them know that you're contacting Burgess.

Good luck. Remember that even if all of your efforts are futile, that fact does not absolve you from the obligation to try.

dan dempsey said...

Dear Anonymous at 10:15 AM,
who said...

....West Seattle was in negotiations with the district for quite some time.

Negotiations implies a rational basis for decision making. Saying that the data was inconclusive does not make it so.

The data was extremely positive and conclusive. This was not a negotiation any more than running over students in Tiananmen Square (1989) classifies as a negotiation between the Chinese Government and the Students.

Centalized Autocratic leadership that dictates without relevant data hardly classifies as negotiation.

The fact that you prefer to ride on the Tank hardly puts you on the winning side in a negotiation.

I've repeatedly asked you to send me data with your analysis of your data and you've sent ZIP; preferring to smuggly ride the tank while wearing your anonymous T-shirt.

You can't tie math and West Seattle into every post on this blog.

It is pretty darn easy for anyone who prefers rational thought over autocratic lunacy to tie at least half the actions of the SPS together. You must have liked Denny/Sealth also. The view from the tank must be wonderful for you.

The only way the SPS will adopt IMP at the High School level will be to ride the tank once again.

Hey Anon,

I've got my name and my picture on my posts aren't you supposed to be skipping them rather than attacking me.

Anonymous said...

This suggestion may be to late for today, but all GTA students should gather outside the classroom and have a peaceful sit in. Do this everyday this week.

Charlie is right, follow his suggestions. Today/tomorrow assign a leader who makes statements on your behalf. And get on the board meeting roster. Show up with signs.

PLan and hold a protest on Thurs in front of the school, get as many students as possible to join you. Call all the media
King 5, Komo, KIRO and get news trucks out in front of the school.

It is importat to be very respectful, but also know it is your right to protest!

Oh and also continue to post here, we can help with media and sound advice.

Good luck!

Charlie Mas said...

Hmmmm. Yes, you could do a sit-in or march with signs, but is that creative or unusual enough to get press attention? I don't think so.

I remember Brita Butler-Wall staged the arrest of a coke machine, complete with handcuffs.

A metaphor is good. Something sensational is best. Could you find some way that smashing a computer with baseball bats is a metaphor for your protest? Do it on a tarp for easy clean up. It would be something like "This four-year-old computer is garbage to us, but in third world nations it represents a tremendous opportunity. If we can't send it to them, we might as well destroy it. What a waste, eh?" I don't know; it's your protest. Take responsibility for doing something that will grab attention.

Charlie Mas said...

Oh, and remember, that by raising the visibility of this program you are raising the visibility of any bad news.

I don't know anything about the truth or falsehood of any of the vague allegations made here by anonymous commentors, but before you attract more attention to the situation, make damn sure that it won't increase the embarassment exponentially.

"I know him and he isn't that kind of guy" doesn't count as making sure. Make sure.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but possibly of interest to readers of this blog, many who have been pushing for "all high school graduates ready for college", is this article in today's PI: Good pay, steady work, few takers as young people spurn the trades.

Here's something to consider as we try to push all students towards college and white collar work: I have a four-year engineering degree and a good (white collar) job. That being said, most of the non-college graduate tradesmen on the construction sites I work around have wages that are comparable or significantly higher than mine. Also, when you get right down to it, they probably have higher levels of job fulfillment and sense of accomplishment at the end of the day (having actually built things) than a lot of us office-working paper-pushers do.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the sexual harassment statement is true, BUT that was not because of gta. An incident occured on a gta field trip that was the fault of the student, not the program or Mr. Rye.

I do not believe, however, any embezzelment charges.

Anonymous said...

how do you know this?

concerned said...

Readers of this blog shouldn't judge the situation on information coming from "anonymous sources" in this forum.

Anonymous said...

Well how can we find out what really happened?? Shouldn't something official be announced? Everyone will continue to gather information that may or may not be accurate. Is there an official statement anywhere?? We need to know before a lot of time and energy goes into fighting for something in which we do not know all of the details. This is just shameful that the district is not acting as the official body it is and put a stop to all of the rumors and speculation.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the sexual harassment statement is true, BUT that was not because of gta. An incident occured on a gta field trip that was the fault of the student, not the program or Mr. Rye.

I do not believe, however, any embezzelment charges.

Did you hear this from the student, were you present when it happened? No then leave yourself out of it.

Anonymous said...

There is a Garfield PTSA meeting tonight (3/24/08) from 7:00 to 9 p.m. at Garfield Community Center (2323 E. Cherry St). TH2 is rumored to talk about the closure of GTA.

Anna said...

Sexual harrassment or sexual assualt is NEVER the fault of the victim. If it happened under the watch of Mr. Rye, it is absolutely something he should be held accountable for.

Anonymous said...

Can i just say that as of right now nothing has been made offical at all. You guys are just speculating on what mightve happened. Cant we all PLEASE stop making things up until we know what the real issue is.

-CM said...

I'm a Garfield student leaving in a few days for the GTA trip to the Philippines.

GTA is it's own nonprofit organization. Many of us are fighting to keep GTA as a class at Garfield, but the program will continue with or without SPS support.

I personally have no idea what went on in Ghana, but I know that any rumors involving Kjell Rye are false.

I attended the Garfield PTSA meeting a couple of hours ago, and this letter was handed out. Any other information at this point is considered a rumor.

Hope to see a few of you on Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

I just read the letter from Mr. Tolley on behalf of SPS. From the letter it appears that SPS believes that their was a breach both fiscally and ethically made by GSA.
I understand that they can't say specifically what the allegations are (perhaps for legal reasons), but they have acknowledged that they exist.

I am proud of Mr. Tolley and I am proud of our district for taking a stand and protecting our children! In my 7 years dealing with SPS I have found them more comfortable to just sit on a situation and ride it out, instead of taking action. Now they have taken action, and it appears for good reason, and we are bashing them. I say right on Mr. Tolley, keep up the good work! Kepp protecting our kids.

Charlie Mas said...

Story in the Times:

Concerns cited about popular Garfield program

Anonymous said...

To the last anonymous:
GTA has done nearly 30 trips, and has been around for ten years.

If GTA is in fact in violation of fiscal or ethical obligations, then Mr. Tolley has allowed it to go on for ten years, and should be replaced for his incompetence.

The same goes for the auditor.

Also, I don't think it's fair to conduct an investigation, break ties, or put a teacher on administrative leave without ANY valid reason why.

Guilty until proven innocent isn't how this country works.

Anonymous said...

Why would the alleged fiscal or ethical problems have to date from the founding of GTA? There's no logical reason that I can see to leap to the conclusion that any problems have been overlooked for ten years.

Helen Schinske

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mr. Tolley has been here less than 6 months. The person you would likely point to is Amnon McWashington, the former high school director.

The district likely has some strong reasons for what it did or they wouldn't have summarily shut it down (they don't want to be sued in the end). I'm not saying it's right or that anyone is guilty but just that the district can't afford to take serious steps without evidence.

concerned said...

...and all eyes are on the district waiting to hear answers... not just "concerns, questions raised" and that something "may not" be legal.

I would hope that everyone keeps in the forefront the faces of the students involved. This is (was?) a program beloved by so many students. GTA changed lives and created world citizens. The program was a place where students could feel connected and passionate about their place in the world, about their future. Where they were not just another number.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of keeping students in the forefront:
Marshall's principal was pulled last summer, the programs (most of them) closed.
What will happen to THOSE students, one might reasonably ask.

Could we have a little hub-bub about a very similar situation (questions raised, program ended, students left stranded) regarding some students on the other end of the spectrum, some students without such vocal and attentive support?
Could THAT situation generate 64 comments?
Please...

Charlie Mas said...

I'm always surprised by people who think that I have an obligation to pursue their pet causes as diligently as I pursue my pet causes. Where would people get such an idea?

Anonymous said...

SSD lost grants from foundations like the Gates Foundation that other districts got because of lack of leadership and vision. Here is an innovative program that works and engages kids in school, learning and social awareness. I hope the SSD hears the voices of the GPA kids and finds a way to make it work.

Anonymous said...

there are a few people speaking on behalf of GTA tomorrow at the School Board Meeting at 6 PM. I think it would be great if many supporters of GTA could be there!

CJ said...

I am a GHS student and a GTA member.

This is a warning not to take any action (sit-ins, protests) against the school district while on Garfield grounds. I repeat: PLEASE DO NOT STAGE PROTESTS WHILE AT GARFIELD.

For those of you who are going to the board meeting and fighting for GTA, I am grateful, but under no circumstances should Garfield and its administration be bothered by student protests. The situation needs to sort itself out in a legal manner, conducted by Mr Rye and other officials, and the best thing that GTA loving student can do is to show support WITHOUT AGGRIVATING THE ADMINISTRATION.

CJ Graham

Anonymous said...

I know, Charlie. Our own pet causes should receive all of our attention. When they come for the Catholics, let's stay focused on our own children's needs. When they come for the Jews, keep your eye on your child's program availability! When they come for the Gypsies, don't take notice for they can take care of their own. When they come for YOUR kid's program, I'm sure there will be SOMEBODY to speak!
Like those who spoke so eloquently in the Marshall auditorium that night, in defense of Marshall students...And you know who you are.

Anonymous said...

Well, anon @ 12:44, the answer to what will happen to Marshall students is that north-end students who need programs like the GRADS (teen parent) program are out of luck. Either you go to the south end, find your own day care, or drop out. I wonder what most will do?

Also, many students who live in the Central Area do not like to travel to the south end, so many of these students who went to Marshall as a neutral territory school are also out of luck.

Ammon McWashington knew Joe Drake was mismanaging the school and ignored it for years. Joe Drake is on administrative leave, enjoying time on the golf course while the most at-risk students are left to fend for themselves.

tpa

Charlie Mas said...

I'm not surprised, however, by the frequency with which cowards use the cloak of anonymity to cover themselves when they fire rounds at those who step into the light.

I spoke - and worked - in defense of Marshall when it was time to speak in defense of Marshall. I often speak and work in defense of programs which offer no direct benefit to me or mine. I can cite any number of examples. My record is clear and readily available.

I cannot, however, be reasonably expected to work with equal diligence in defense or in advocacy for every program and every student. I'm not a public resource.

My choices about where and how to apply my volunteer efforts does not make me the moral equivalent of a Nazi collaborator, and I strongly resent the implication.

Have you - or anyone - worked just as hard for every program, school, or group of students who needed advocacy? Of course not! It is a ridiculous standard. The very idea that you would give voice to such an idea qualifies you as a ridiculous person.

What possible good could you hope to achieve by spewing this sort of bile? Should each of us decide that if we cannot work equally hard for every student then we should not work at all for any student? Whom would that serve?

So, once again, anonymous commentor, thank you so much for reminding me of what complete jerks people can be. Thank you for restoring my misanthropy. Thank you for shoving my nose in additional evidence that the more people believe they are right, the more wrong they commit.

Oh, and, of course, thank you for jumping straight to the Nazi analogy, thereby cheapening it further.

Why don't you explain to me why I am somehow obligated to strap every single student's cause to my back and trudge up the mountain with it. When did I sign that contract? I love to hear that one.

Why don't you share your record of vigilent advocacy for every student and every program and every school? I'd love to hear that as well. Oh, that's right, you're anonymous. You have no name, no record, and no obligation to meet the standards that you set for others. You spoke for Marshall? Did you also speak for Denny and Sealth? Did you also speak for APP? Did you also speak for Roosevelt 10th graders? Did you also speak for GTA? Did you also speak for the elementary, middle school and high school Math Adoption? Did you also speak for Pathfinder? Did you also speak for Rainier View, M L King, Viewlands, Fairmont Park, and Whitman? Did you also speak for the Southeast Initiative? Did you also speak for Spectrum? Did you also speak for ALOs? Did you also speak for Low Incidence Special Education at Lowell?

Beth is looking for contributors to the blog. I suggest you sign up. Then you can carry forward the campaign on all fronts simultaneously. It is no less your responsbility than it is mine.

classof75 said...

I support Charlie- while he certainly has his personal interests, he also has drawn attention to and clarified processes in the district that advocates for other programs can benefit from.

Personally I have been an advocate for Marshall- but not as the status quo, for alternative schools, for special education, & for equity in programs, and I have been doing that, at one level or another since my oldest was almost ready for kindergarten.

Since she will soon turn 26 years old, I am fairly cynical regarding SPS effort=result.

Doesn't mean I will stop trying- but I have little spare time- just like everyone & it doesn't make sense to do anything but use that time to advocate for the programs that for me have the highest priority.

not a nazi, either said...

Whether or not you support Charlie (and I do, too) and his ideas/passions, comparing him to a nazi is outrageous and out of line.

Plus, why would anyone expect a discussion about Marshall in the comments section of a blog post called "GARFIELD Tech Academy Program cut"???

Anonymous said...

Charlie,
"anonymous" was me, Gordon. I apologize; I thought you were being facetious when you said that you couldn't jump into everybody's fights. I was trying, in error, it turns out, to reinforce the idea that people can (and, in your case, DO) stand up for each other. I was trying to be ironic or use satire or whatever to illustrate that we need to stand up for each other.
I am so sorry if you, rightfully, I suppose, given the opaque nature of my comments, read them to be an attack on you. Quite the opposite: my comment at the end was directed to you as one who spoke up in defense of Marshall.
I apologise to all if my comments were inappropriate. Marshall is closing, some spoke up (including Chralie, and also Melissa, in her neutral assessment and in questioning where Marshall students end up.
My Nazi analogy was certainly offensive to some, and I apologize. And Charlie, I was trying to give you props for standing for others. My sincerest apologies that it came out wrong.

I'm worried about Marshall students, and it has made me sad, and perhaps unthinking. My apologies to all.

Gordon Macdougall

Anonymous said...

Gordon's Record of Advocacy:
Mainly Marshall. I've been employed here for four years, I chose Marshall because I have skills that are of benefit to students who come here.
Almost as soon as I got here, I found they were aiming to close the building (and "move the programs.") I used every way I could think of to hold to proper policy, to bird-dog the process, to watch out for the welfare of these programs.
I even resorted to arguing against other programs, APP, for instance, for whom I used to teach.
But as I moved through the process, I saw that there were a lot of issues, and I tried to start spreading my efforts around. I went to meetings, I met people from various constituent groups...I started to argue for other programs, APP included. I had been, and still am, somewhat myopic, somewhat single-issue centered.
Then last summer it came to me that all the poking I wwas doing to the district was not really helping and probably harming. SPS needs people aboard, whether they know it or not.
I deeply apologise for my offensive last post, comparing those who don't act for others to those who didn't act against the Nazi machine. It was over the top and blatantly offensive. SPS is not the machine, and all of you are not abrogating responsibility when you largely focus on issues pertinent to your children. This is what people do. And, often, many of you have stepped up to other issues, for which I, personally, am deeply grateful.

No excuses, but it's a tough time for me. I worry, about my students, about the programs...But it is inexcusable for me to let this worry impact my thought processes and accuse anyone of a crime comparable to supporting the Nazis.
I beg your forgiveness.

The anonymity part I addressed in another thread, about potential bloggers. I'm of two minds about whether to post as myself, but in the end I have to speak my truth and suffer the consequences, if any. I believe the district understands that I am for the children, and not myself, and any comments that appear derogatory are made with the intent to further assist SPS and Seattle youth.
I speak as myself and for myself, not as a teacher in SPS.
Gordon Macdougall

Beth Bakeman said...

Gordon, thanks for owning up to your earlier anonymous comment and clarifying what you meant.

If you are still interested becoming a blog contributor, let me know.

I know Michael Rice is both a teacher and a blog contributor, so you might want to check with him about how he handles any potential conflicts of interest in his dual roles.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rye announced that he will return to teaching at Garfield on Thursday the 27th.

CJ said...

Why would we suddenly start talking about GTA again? In a thread concerning the GTA program, that would be preposterous.

The bottom line of this sarcasm, is that you can all go debate Marshall on your own time.

Somewhere else.

Frankie said...

Cj, what's with the chip on your shoulder? Shouldn't you be thankful that this blog and all of the blog contributors are sharing their experience and advice, and supporting your cause?? Is this what GTA has taught you? If you want people to respect you and listen to what you have to say, you shouldn't be such a selfish little snit. Your last post was a bit head strong and demanding too. What makes you think you have the right to tell others when and when not to have a sit in or protest. You have a lot of growing up to do, and it will be easier if you are not so self serving and selfish....the blog tantrums don't work, grow up.

Ryan Killory said...

I am/was a GTA student at Garfield. Even before coming to Garfield, I heard great things about the program. It seems that Mr. Howard or the school district has some kind of problem with GTA, but if it's been running for 10 years already, why is its legality being questioned now? GTA was my favorite class, and was one of the reasons I almost (gasp!) liked school. I don't think that such a good program can be cut instantaneously the way it was with no public opinion involved. The note that says it is being canceled maddened and perplexed me. Why would Garfield cut the program that makes it great. Why would a program be cut that teaches engineering and logistical skills? The replacement classes may seem good by the descriptions, but I'm sure that they're feeble, limited interpretations of the original GTA manifesto.

Anonymous said...

GTA was cut by the school district. It was not a decision made by anybody at Garfield. GTA was in violation of Seattle School District fiscal policies, and was amidst a Washington State Audit, so the district cut ties to prevent a loss of funding from the state. If the district continued to work with GTA in its current state, it would be violating set policies, and the state would have cut funding. The new programs are not meant to be any replacement for GTA, they're simply new technology and pre-engineering classes. The district cannot legally do anything to GTA the non-profit organization, as it's a separate entity from the school district. If GTA is to continue, it will either have to modify its policies and organization to comply with district standards, or it will have to be run completely separately from the district.

Neil said...

Frankie- It is you who should get out of here. CJ is asking that those who are debating Marshall do that in the appropriate forum. This is not the place for marshall debates. The whole comment line was disrupted by Charlie and Mr. Macdougall's argument, which really amounted to a competition, a "who's done more" kind of thing (although, charlie, i really do appreciate your help, and i respect your right to stand up for yourself).

In closing, please take your comments about Marshall, West Seattle, and general district bashing elsewhere. This is not the place.

Please make constructive G.T.A. based comments only, and attempt to be more mature than the average 16-year old.

Neil Hinnant (An average 16 year old...)

Neil said...

After a review of Mr. Tolley's notice, one really learns nothing. He says "stuff happened, and now G.T.A. is no longer associated with SDS, because of that stuff." We learn ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that we did not already know.

We need to demand more from our SDS representatives, not this vague inoffensive crap we are being spoon fed.

CJ said...

Thank you Neil, for actually caring enough about GTA to try and focus the discussion with me.

Frankie, we can go on attacking each other all day, but that isn't going to do GTA any good. Yes what I said and how I said it was questionable, but do you even know who these two older people are who you chose to stick up for at my personal expense? No offense Charlie, but I've never heard of you in my life, and while I think it's great that you want to help GTA, the Marshall issue has no immediate relevance that I can see.

Also Frankie, as for why I ASKED (not told, I'm not actually a demanding jerk as you would like to think) people not to stage protests at school is because I have heard from the GTA Board of Directors, and they have asked that no protests be staged at the school for fear of pissing off the administration. That was not me forcing my opinion on everyone here, that was a repetition of an order from the board.

So next time YOU choose to throw a "blog tantrum" at ME, try and be slightly more aware and/or constructive.

CJ

Frankie said...

CJ, I'm sure you've heard this before (hopefully by your parents)...it's not what you said but how you said it. Bad tone. Demanding. Selfish. Ungrateful.

You say you've never heard of Charlie, which means that you are not very involved with this blog, or Seattle public school advocacy. It means that you must not attend any of the SPS school board meetings, and that you have not been involved with SPS politics (or you would know Charlie ran to be a school borad director a few years back). Charlie advocates for children and families in SPS on many fronts, for many causes, and has been doing so for many years. He offered you his wisdom and experience working with this district and perhaps you should listen to his advice, and thank him instead of being selfish and asking him to take his pet issues off of your GTA space/post? A bad attitude gets you nowhere. Lucky for you, even though Charlie is not directly involved with GTA, he unselfishly made himself available to you and your friends by offering sound advice, experience and of course his wisdom. Say thank you.

Anonymous said...

Boy Frankie, in defense of teenagers, I have to say you certainly appear from your posts to be the nasty selfish one in a snit, not cj.

Lighten up and "grow up" yourself. Attacking those younger with nasty verbage is not exactly taking the higher road.

Now, what happened at the school board meeting?

Anonymous said...

The other poster who was part of the Charlie/Gordon non GTA conversation was Beth Bakeman, the founder of this blog.... the very blog that is giving CJ and the other GTA advocates a voice. And, as far as Frankie attacking teenagers....CJ's post was nasty to say the least, and if your old enough and mature enough to post on a blog, then you have to take the heat for your words. It's great to see teens taking action, but be mature and stay positive. No need for the nasty jabs.

Now back to GTA......

Anonymous said...

The corollary between GTA and Marshall is the issue of program review, remediation, and movement or closure. GTA is not, as I understand it, a district program per se, but one would hope that it falls under the same purview of Policy C42.00 and C42.01 (both of which might be superceded, tho' still on the books, by the new Policy C56.00, which gives Supe explicit authority regarding program placement).
C42.00 states that ALL programs will be reviewed yearly, remediation, where necessary, planned out, and benchmarks towards improvement identified.

That said, I agree that it is not what we say, necessarily, but how we say it. I absolutely welcome the high school students who are weighing in with their takes on the GTA situation: as "front-line" observers, actual students in the program, they have perspectives I don't. But as evidenced by my little (bug) faux pas, my unintentional insult of Charlie (with what was intended as yet another kudos for his standing up for Marshall) it is easy to mis-speak in the heat of the moment. In my case, I let my bitterness over the closure of Marshall programs tinge my words so that they became unclear, and worse, insulting.

Back to GTA, what can we do? I, of course, would offer the Marshall facility if it were in my power to do so...

CJ said...

Finally, something to report.

Mr Rye returned today, but wasn't taking any questions as to what was going on. He had slips of paper ready with pre written explanations. All questions about the program were to be directed to Alan Merrihew, and all questions about the classes were pointed in the direction of Ted Howard.He cites his wife's cancer as the primary cause of his removal from the program.

Also, I talked to one of the teacher chaperones on the Ghana trip, who assured me that nothing that happened on Ghana had anything to do with the closure of the program. That information doesn't discredit the rumors of sexual assault, but we do now know that if something did happen, it didn't cause the closure of the program.

Hope that helped.
CJ

Anonymous said...

So then for the wellbeing of the supposed victim lets just leave it alone, okay everyone.

dan dempsey said...

About Michael Tolley:

If you spent much time reading the Newsless Courier Blog on Charleston Education, you found that the loss of Michael Tolley was a big one. Most of the people that left Charleston for Seattle it appears will not be missed but Michael Tolley will be really missed.

Anonymous said...

"So then for the wellbeing of the supposed victim lets just leave it alone, okay everyone."

WHAT VICTIM?????? At this point there has been no evidence or word from SPS that a victim even exists. So far just rumor and speculation. Where's the beef?? Where are the FACTS??

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 10:04 - Mr. Tolley has not been the the director for 10 years. So "he" has not let it go on for ten years. Please do the following:
1. Grow up
2. Learn a little about the situation before you go making ridiculous statements like the one about Mr. Tolley.

Anonymous said...

I think anonymous 10:04 is right about the school district allowing it to go on for 10 years, but not Mr. Tolley himself.

If the school district had allowed it to go on for ten years, then they were failing at their job for ten years.

JMH said...

As a Garfield student, i have seen many of my friends and classmates take Global Tech classes. From what I have seen their experience has been an amazing one and has changed them for the better. Now, for some mysterious reason, GTA has been cancelled. This is very disappointing to me and to those around me. (GTA was on my course sheet for next year)
I would vey much liked to have been a part of this program. However I would like to hear Seattle Public Schools' reasoning behind the closure of this program before I judge its validity. That being said, i would like to offer my suppourt of the program and Mr. Rye. I wish both him and his wife well. If GTA is cancelled, I would love to see another program that encourages and teaches the qualities that GTA did.
Johannes Harkins - Garfield 010

Anonymous said...

this is nothing like orchestra or any other of the programs at garfield because those you choose to get put it in but GTA class is a absolute joke. i was in the class last year and i didnt learn anything at all.
yes the program has good results and helps people, but the class is just basically a cover for the rest of the program.
i got stuck in it and it was one of the worst experiences of my life maybe id feel different about everything if i went on the trip

Anonymous said...

I completely agree that the District owes the public a little better description of what is involved here. The District does not have the credibility to expect
the benefit of the doubt when they issue very vague statements about their very concrete actions.

But if they said that personnel issues were involved and Union rules prevent them from disclosing any details, would that be regarded as sufficient or fair enough information?

_____________

As a parent, I first took notice of the fact that Rye himself is not forthcoming with any details, argument, or statement of any kind, as one being unjustly
displaced would. And then, who is this GTA 501c3 Board and why are they so quiet about this injustice?

The implication here is not, by any means, that any misconduct was intentionally committed. By all accounts, GTA is a program that Rye himself developed through
the years, by the seat of his pants -much to his credit; and the board members of this not for profit org. are your typical part-time volunteer, perform ad-hoc duties as needed, bunch.

Blinded by good intentions in a get it done yourself world, it is entirely possible that procedures may have been overlooked, requirements may have been un-researched, and relationships were informal and undocumented.

This would indeed be a dangerous combination, doomed to get noticed eventualy through one event or another.

SIDE BAR: Granted, if this is the case, we could spin our noodles over how such informalities went unchecked for so long, but this program grew slowly over time,
and when something good is growing alarms are rarely triggered. The bottom line would be, where do we go from here?

At some point it behooves us as Garfield supporters and activists to move ourselves, and our school, beyond the well worn us-against-them routine of responses
and take a mature constructive approach to circumstances.

Is GTA a one man show, or can it realistically be structured-up and saved?

Perhaps people who have a relationship with the program can glean these prospects. (?)

Michael said...

Anonymous @ 7:04 - says "The program is being moved out of the GHS building because the school was audited. They could not audit just GTA because the program was too interconnected with the school, so the auditor made Garfield pay the money."

What money are you talking about?? GTA didn't owe anyone any money! Who audited the school?? Generally, what are you talking about?

No Name said...

Did any of you realize that GTA often charged fees for the computers provided to people in places like Ghana? In other words, they weren't donated. How did GTA use this revenue? Did 100% go to travel expenses for the students? And if that that is the case, why then did the students have to raise funds? Perhaps the school district didnt agree with the fact that GTA was using student labor and school resources for a program that generated money for a non profit and its staff. Conflict of interest?