Disqus

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Litigation Update

Could folks please offer status reports on the various current legal processes involving the District?

Please include links to other blogs or web pages with updates.

18 comments:

Sahila said...

Dan Dempsey would be the best person to fill in the blanks as to where each of the lawsuits is at... its gotten quite complicated with this business of there not being a record that the District can/will certify and being complete and correct...

One of the appellants' arguments is that without a certified record, appellants cant argue their case (because there is no record) and a judge cant carry out a judicial review... the District is arguing that we are splitting hairs, that having to be able to certify a record is too onerous an expectation (even though that's what the law requires them to do) and that its OK for them to be able to "create" a record with supplementary material submitted after the fact of decisions having been made...

Its a freaking mess...

Unknown said...

The district has won all of the cases Dan writes about except the math case, which is on appeal. No judge, including the Supreme Court, has agreed with the arguement that Sahila mentioned.

Not sure about the cases employees have filed, but I think that the one that Mrs. Raines filed was dismissed after this article came out. http://www.queenannenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=5&SubSectionID=5&ArticleID=29545

Sahila said...

The District hasnt won all the cases (yet)... and the Commissioner involved in the question of a Discretionary Review has agreed the District has to provide a certified record... now its a matter of getting the judges to enforce that...

and I understand from the grapevine there are more lawsuits in the works...

dan dempsey said...

Marie,

The district has yet to win any of these cases to which I refer.

In fact the Commissioner of the Supreme Court has found that RCW 28A 645.020 does apply.

“Complete transcript of the evidence and the papers and exhibits” .. “shall be certified to be correct” is one huge problem for the SPS. This point is headed back to the WA Supreme Court in September.

Imagine if the Boeing Machinists Union was told to proceed with a legal action without the benefit of a “certified correct transcript” just told by the court to use: “what is there” ya know “whatever will do”. NO way would that ever happen. But in these cases since the appellants are just parents and/or teachers with little financial backing … they usually get the other version of King County Superior Court System Justice.

Please acquaint yourself with the facts at issue:

#0 for years the District neglects their own policies (perhaps not a legal problem .. seems recalling Directors for misfeasance is a possibility) Read D44.00 and D45.00 and try to figure out how NWEA/MAP applies.
----

#1 The Board has an ongoing pattern of decision-making where “we choose to trust our hired professionals” trumps “evidence”. See Everyday Math adoption of May 30, 2007 for but one example.

#2 The appeal of the Spector Decision explained by MGJ on 3-3-2010 centers around the district’s belief that they have a right to exclude evidence.
You can see it here:
District's 3-3-2010 explanation
District’s Brief 5-21-10
Porter’s Respondent's Brief 6-21-10

#3 You name it…for excluding evidence and/or violating procedures try:
New Student Assignment Plan, School Closures, NTN Contract, HS Math Adoption, all were appealed (by an impoverished public) on sound solid reasoning. A highly financed administration just blows through tax payer money in court actions refusing to change their defective mode of operation.

The reasons given by Carr, Martin-Morris, Maier, & Sundquist to vote for NTN#1 on 2-3-10 were total baloney …. Then came the 2-4-10 Spector Decision the next day (termed "Surprising" by the Superintendent and her four Oligarchs).

3-5-10 NTN appealed (Board forgot to read contract before approving it) District certifies it is providing a transcript but NOT that the transcript is correct as required by law.
Note the huge Action Report - Contract mismatch would be a slam dunk loss in court.

3-17-10 New Introduction Item for NTN
4-7-10 NTN approved again (4-3) but none of the “four” voting for NTN provided any new reasons for doing so, instead resting on their 2-3-10 explanations.
5-7-10 Appeal of 4-7-10 decision. This was followed by the district again providing a transcript that was NOT certified correct.

#4 It is very apparent that the “Four Directors” who supported the Superintendent’s belief in excluding evidence are all for excluding evidence. The only way these four could vote for “NTN” either on 2-3-10 or 4-7-10 was by excluding evidence or weighing fantasy as far more important than facts.

dan dempsey said...

Not to be missed is the huge bloated record of 68,000 pages the district attempted to pass off as a transcript of evidence used in the school closures decision-making. Who would ever certify that to be a correct record of evidence used by the directors in decision-making? Only someone in search of perjuring oneself.

NTN Action Report of 2-2-2010 HERE Try the page 3 statement about Sacramento, CA it is complete fabrication like much of the rest of this distorted document. Fantasy belief trumps truth.

Examine four directors reasons for approving the $800,000 NTN contract:

A.. Maier:
its about STEM and Project Based Learning and completing the New Student Assignment Plan good enough for my vote. but .... Maier overlooked piles of evidence showing that NTN schools were incredibly poor performers especially in mathematics and STEM's "M" = Mathematics (duh!!)

B.. Carr:
I read brochures, called vendors, and called principals at schools where this NTN model was in use. .... Amazing!!! Incredible that sales folks and those that bought the stuff profess to like it. The chances this could have evoked a negative response from those questioned would be .... close to ZERO in the Education World. Does Boeing select sub-contractors this way? "DAMN the evidence I like the brochures"

C.. Sundquist:
It is my belief that students are graduating at a high rate … etc. {He had been provided with evidence showing the graduation rates were 37% and 44% when cohorts were followed}.

D.. Martin-Morris: Project Based Learning is in use at Thornton Creek and their math scores are good { before 4-7-10 M-M was notified that TC does not use PBL for math}
In Durham, North Carolina New Tech Hillsdale is doing well. I know this from a phone call with the principal. {Before 4-7-10 I provided M-M with test scores showing that NT Hillsdale was not performing well, in fact in many areas NT Hillsdale was worse than the more disadvantaged Hillsdale regular high school}.

===================
Another sorry part is these factually challenged directors will be voting on whether to extend the Superintendent’s contract on 7-7-10.
===================

So Marie my question is where do you get your information that the District has won on
NSAP,
School Closures,
Or NTN contract decisions?

dan dempsey said...

====================
Take a look at Seattle’s answers to get $2.1 million in School Improvement Grants.

How can anyone be reassured with this kind of leadership that education is heading in a positive direction?
Neither at the State or District level is rational direction provided …… Note I think Obama/Duncan leadership is as bad or worse. Bizarre Bureaucrats unleashed. Tossing Billions about ... apparently for their friends to catch in "the Race to the Bank".

Here is my Testimony of 4-7-2010

More about Cleveland:
Testimony on 2-3-2010

A piece sent to Dr. Scott J. Moore,the Office of the Inspector General of the National Science Foundation, in regard to my complaint about Experimentation on Human Subjects using NSF funds without any ethical protections.

Except:
"During this period, there was a debate occurring in health circles about possible racial variation in the effects of syphilis. Dr. Taliaferro Clark of the PHS suggested that the project could be partially "salvaged" by conducting a prospective study on the effects of untreated syphilis on living subjects. Clark's suggestion was adopted.

What happened at Cleveland High School, a public school, in Seattle from fall 2006 through Spring 2009 is remarkably similar. Students and their parents were not informed they were being experimented upon and when annual spring testing revealed that struggling Black students and Limited English speaking students were doing worse no adjustments to the experiment were made. In fact the Principal Investigator Dr. King still fails to acknowledge that this three-year program resulted in poor outcomes for these students. He seems unable to intelligently apply relevant data. There were no protections."

==================

So how is the public expected to get these rouge organizations under control? They have the power and the money and all the public has is the belief that we live in a republic where written laws are supposed to protect us ... but apparently these legal protections are only an illusion.

dan dempsey said...

Here is the latest on Anderson:
Motion to Modify the Commissioner's ruling and the appendix showing NO Certified Correct Transcript of evidence.

Here from June 7, 2010 is the commissioner's Denial action in Ovalles. This also recently received a motion to Modify, based on the absence of a "Certified Correct Transcript".

NO the District has NOT WON a single decision appealed by the public.

In addition to the Complaint filed with the Inspector General's Office of the NSF over the unmonitored Cleveland three year math experiment.... a complaint was filed with the US Department of Education in the Jackson Federal Building over the discriminatory School Closures, where is any evidence that this District will transform every school into a quality school?

In regard to closing schools and implementing the New Student Assignment Plan, the Board made decisions without following proper procedures and in fact never even defined what a quality school was prior to these decisions .... much less identifying a mechanism for bringing these quality schools into existence.

Just Another set of SPS "GIANT ILLEGAL SCAMS".

This district cannot even pick an effective set of math instructional materials yet we are to believe that they will make every school a quality school.

Marty said...

The District's appeal of Judge Spector's decision in the math textbook case moves forward. The District and respondents (we who were the original plaintiffs) have filed initial briefs. The SPS rebuttal brief is due Tuesday. At some point after, the court will schedule a hearing and announce which three judges will sit on the appeal panel.
For more details and links to the briefs, see http://seattlemathgroup.blogspot.com/.

Marty McLaren

dan dempsey said...

Can someone update us on the Nathan Hale teacher that has had litigation pending over her dismissal because she was unable to tolerate mold.

The District's position was "It was her psychological defect that created her over-sensitivity" I believe.

I cannot remember her name but remember the board authorizing more dollars expended to legal on this issue.

dan dempsey said...

How about this for the Next Topic to bring legal action against the SPS:

http://www.nifdi.org/15/component/content/article/111

The SPS is well aware of achievement Gaps in K-12 Math but never does anything rational about a solution.

Instead they still pursue plans that do not work. Looks like they need an even bigger gun aimed at their heads. Really since they currently are considering extending the Superintendent's contract, these folks certainly do not get it. Is it a good thing these elected officials have lots of other people's money to throw around indiscriminately?

A recall petition seems in order, so many screw-ups ... which ones to pick.

RCW 29A 56.110

concerned said...

I like Dan's analogy:
Imagine if the Boeing Machinists Union was told to proceed with a legal action without the benefit of a “certified correct transcript” just told by the court to use: “what is there” ya know “whatever will do”. NO way would that ever happen. But in these cases since the appellants are just parents and/or teachers with little financial backing … they usually get the other version of King County Superior Court System Justice.

The issues raised in the case regarding the effectiveness of Seattle math programs will affect the lives of children. (as Dan has shown)

Certainly they should be handled with much more care and scrutiny than that given to any union issues, or anything else really...

wsnorth said...

What's up with the New SAP? It doesn't look like any of those links are about it. That process took "arbitrary and capricious" to new hieghts!

Sahila said...

NSAP lawsuit is also hung up right now on the "certified record? issue...

And the District is also claiming many of us dont have standing to bring suits on these issues...

Talk about trying to weasel out of stuff....

dan dempsey said...

New SAP is under appeal Gordon Glasscock is a plaintiff. I'll try to get you an update.

District's legal counsel out of Olympia,WA Jeff Freimund submitted an order to consolidate the Glasscock and Ovalles cases to be heard in superior court in late July.

Note sure where that stands at the moment.
==================

dan dempsey said...

"NSAP" ...Not sure where that stands at the moment. ... but NSAP is still active.

Like WSnorth says .. "A&C" to new heights .... Wonder what actual evidence the Directors look at when they vote to approve motions.

In NTN $800,000 contract approval, it is pretty clear if the "Four" directors looked at what I sent them they chose to ignore it when voting. When Fairy-tales trump evidence = "A&C".

dan dempsey said...

Marie said: "No judge, including the Supreme Court, has agreed with the argument that Sahila mentioned."

We now have a most interesting situation. The District has apparently figured out they need to have a mechanism with which to create an administrative record of evidence from which to make decisions. --- WOW!!! someone actually read RCW 28A 645.020

Recently KS-B told me, after I sent a communication to directors and requested that it be made part of the administrative record of evidence for use in the Superintendent's proposed contract extension, that I needed to submit a paper hard copy to Joan Dingfield for this to be made part of the record.

This seems to confirm our point that in the last three years their has been no administrative record of evidence from which decisions are made. For years it has been apparent that a careful weighing of evidence could not possibly result in many of the decisions that the School Board arrived at.

What we know:
#1.. In the math decision of 5-6-2009 the record provided by the District to the court contained only information that Holly Ferguson had collected and prepared for the Directors. This evidence 100% supported the Superintendent's recommendation.

#2.. The supplemental record that was added in the HS math adoption contained about 300 pages of information provided to the Board by the public. The district's legal counsel agreed the supplemental record was correct and was not used in decision-making on May 6, 2009 and agreed to make it part of the complete administrative record used by Judge Spector.
{The board did not use this supplemental evidence but the basis of the Appeals court case is that they wish to continue excluding this evidence.}

#3.. In the NTN contract appeal of the 2-3-10 decision the District asked for extra-time as they were assembling the administrative record of evidence. The appeal was filed 3-5-10 and the transcript was due 3-25 but the district was granted an extension until 5-7 if needed. Does anyone believe that what was eventually assembled... 16,875 pages was the evidence used by the four directors that voted yes?

#4.. This takes us to: How can any director now vote to extend the superintendent's contract an additional year at the school board meeting on 7-7-10? MG-J has failed to follow state law for three years MG-J is the Secretary of the School Board ... Where is the ACCOUNTABILITY?

======
Background:
In early 2007 I visited the attorney general's office and asked what happens when school districts do not follow their own written policies ....???...

Found out absolutely nothing happens... Options: elect new school board members or file a lawsuit.

So now we have filed lots of lawsuits..... and found that

#1 The district ignores policies (which is well known)

#2 The district ignores state law

==============

As Sahila aptly reported:
Its a freaking mess

The Superintendent and the "Four" school directors have drawn out the HS math adoption math fiasco with an unwarranted pointless appeal.

A number of readers of this blog commented when the School Board Math adoption decision was ruled "Arbitrary and Capricious" ... So are many of the decisions made by the Board "Arbitrary and Capricious" not just that one.

As I look at the reasons given by school board members Carr, Maier, Martin-Morris, and Sundquist in the NTN contract and the support for appealing the Spector decision, I cannot imagine anyone paying attention wouldn't find their decisions arbitrary as their reasons given do not match with reality.

NSAP and Closures were equally poor decisions.

dan dempsey said...

I was just too tired to write an appeal of Performance Management ... so what was Glenn Bafia the SEA Executive Director doing ??? I called him and found him useless in representing either the interests of his members or our students.... He makes around $125,000 and is apparently unable to figure out how to file an appeal. I see SEA President Olga as largely putting on a show when she testifies against Performance Management and no appeal is filed. So for $70+ a month what are the SEA members getting?

They are getting ordered about by a pretty clueless central administration spending $11 million on coaches to push poor instructional materials and practices ... then they likely get poor evaluations because they cannot bring about increased achievement using crappy stuff.

The parents and children have this pathetic leadership to deal with. Many Seattle Teachers do an amazing job considering the bizarre system they operate in.

Until more parents get actively involved not much will likely change. This is really a pathetic situation.

dan dempsey said...

Dear WSnorth,

No worries the NSAP appeal, it is rolling along. Some Superior Court action around July 26 .... but we are still working it at the Supreme Court as well.

You certainly got that one spot on with it taking "Arbitrary and Capricious" to new heights