Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Letter to Education Secretary DaVos and Convention of States Florida

As the first Florida PTA President to apply the only direct ballot Parent Trigger Law in the United States in 2013, I would like to invite all Convention of States advocates, to support amending the Florida Parent Empowerment Law 1002.33 (3b). It’s voting guidelines are un-American separating the ballot between parents and Teachers and requiring proponent for conversion to win both elections by 50+1 margin, providing the majority of the parents at the school actually vote. These closed society voting guidelines Teacher’s Union veto power over Parent’s desire to convert a school is a un-American closed society election. A "yes vote"  empowers a Guardianship Board to be established to manage the school budget post intra-school election. This is what I propose in the synopsis on my experience at the KB K8 Center. I invite all COSFL participants to fire trigger letters at your county school in every county to bring light to this egregious law that allows teachers to abuse your children because you vote 'Yes"! 

website:  www.governingschool.com
  PARENT GUARDIANSHIP MISSION STATEMENT
    • In order to reinvent America’s public school system parent must be at the helm of the particular school’s budget. The key to fixing the Public School is not in the classroom. It is not an increase in test scores as previously thought. For it is not a key. It is the combination padlock on a safe in Principal's office. The nation’s only direct ballot parent trigger law is law in Florida. It needs its language in the voting guidelines amended as follows: Deleting a three letter word ‘and’  deleted while inserting a two letter word "or” within the body paragraph of the 2010 Florida Parent Empowerment Law state statute 1002.33 (3b). Then the removal of the word ‘Charter” wherever it appears and rebranded as additional school choice model as the Parent Guardianship School. 

                                                                                                                                        THE BENEFITS:


  1. Parent Guardian Schools are Not Charter Schools
  2.  Parents acting as Guardians of an individual school budget thus saving surpluses annually for school expansion and modernization instead of depending on school bond proceeds.
  3. Parent Guardians do not pay rent for county-owned school district property
  4. No construction finance nor debt obligation upon start up
  5. Converted School receives their administrative funding directly from the Florida Department of Education not the County School Board nor School Superintendent
  6. There is no marketing budget to attract students
  7. Teachers stay in the State of Florida  Retirement System but lose tenure
  8. Tax relief for the property owner at large as the reduction of continuous issuance of school bonds debt at the ballot box every twenty years dissipates over time as the success converting schools to Guardianship School. 

REDRAFT AMENDED LANGUAGE - TO FLA. STAT. §1002.33(3)(b)
*amended words inserted in Green )

(3) APPLICATION FOR PARENT GUARDIANSHIP SCHOOL STATUS.—
 
(a) An application for a new Parent Guardianship School may be made by an individual, teachers, parents, a group of individuals, a municipality, or a legal entity organized under the laws of this state.
 
(b) An application for a conversion to Parent Guardianship School* shall be made by the district school board, the principal, teachers, parents, or the school advisory council at an existing public school that has been in operation for at least 2 years prior to the application to convert. A public school-within-a-school that is designated as a school by the district school board may also submit an application to convert to charter governing school status. An application submitted proposing to convert an existing public school to a Parent Governing school shall demonstrate the support of at least 50 +1 percent of the teachers employed at the school OR* 50 + 1 percent of the parents voting whose children are enrolled at the school, provided that a majority of the parents eligible to vote participate in the ballot process, according to rules adopted by the State Board of Education. The vote for conversion shall be required to be completed within ninety (90) days from the date the school administrator receives the written request for a vote.  The local school district shall be required to make certain mandatory disclosures once a school administrator receives the written request to conduct a vote.  Within seven (7) days of receipt of the written request, the local school district shall provide to the person requesting the vote the following items (1) a list containing the names of each parent with children enrolled at the school at that time, (2) a list containing the names of each teacher who is eligible to vote, (3) a detailed budget showing all expenses and all state and federal revenues generated over the previous three years for the particular district-operated school for which a vote for conversion has been requested.  At least fourteen (14) days prior to the commencement of any vote, the local school district shall permit the person requesting the vote to utilize the school cafeteria or its equivalent, at the school that is the subject of the vote, to hold a meeting at a reasonable time to provide information to the parents and teachers in support of the vote.  The person who requested the vote shall be entitled to organize and Chair the meeting and to provide written educational material to the parents and teachers who attend the meeting.  The persons who requested the vote shall be entitled to have a designee assigned to work with the school administrator to confirm that the initial notification has been mailed to all eligible voters and that all ballots have been mailed to the eligible voters and to be present at the time of balloting in order to confirm the voter's eligibility and witnessing the voters casting the ballot.  The person who requested the vote shall be entitled to draft the content of the initial notification to the parents and teachers, describing the purpose of the vote and the conditions for the balloting process as well as the content of the ballot itself.  A district school board denying an application for a conversion to Parent Guardianship school shall provide notice of denial to the applicants in writing within 10 days after the meeting at which the district school board denied the application. The notice must articulate in writing the specific reasons for denial and must provide documentation supporting those reasons. 

A private school, parochial school, or home education program shall not be eligible for Parent Guardianship School *status.

 

         

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NAACP who side are you on ? School Choice helps Balck Communities

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/05/17/charter-schools-black-naacp-unions-education-column/101743268/

It time to create the Perfect Parent Trigger Law by amending Florida Empowerment Law 1002.33 (3b) log on to governingschool.com

I was in high school when Brown v. Board of Education was decided 63 years ago.
That makes me an old man, one who was at the forefront of the civil rights movement during its most tumultuous days.
I took the fight for equality to South Florida, joining the Miami Urban League in 1963 and becoming its CEO at the age of 24. There I met Martin Luther King, Jr., and from that inspiration took on a power structure that through practice, if not written policy, dictated what black people were and were not allowed to do.
We succeeded in overcoming that by developing young black leaders, by refusing to accept subservience, by rejecting incremental gains and, instead, demanding full inclusion. This is the same formula that brought change to communities across this nation.
Those were historic times. Back then, if I were to have looked forward, I would have envisioned a much different 2017 than the one that currently exists — a 2017 in which Dr. King’s hopes for our nation had been achieved.
Yet divides remain wide, and at times, they seem to be growing rather than narrowing. We can codify equality in statutes and regulations. We can have corporations and society in general commit to diversity.
But what we cannot overcome is a lack of opportunity, and therein lies our greatest challenge. If young black children are not equipped with the knowledge to succeed, we cannot make up for that with public and private policies after the fact.
And that takes me back to Brown v. Board of Education. It was a landmark decision for civil rights. But 63 years later, it remains a great disappointment in addressing the specific ill it was intended to correct — education inequality.
We know that far too many black children are sitting in classrooms where they are not learning. We know their schools have fewer resources. We know their teachers, on average, are less qualified. We know expectations for these children are set lower than the expectations for students in more affluent suburban schools.
For decades, these are issues the public education system has failed to fix. Blame has been spread far and wide, but the reasons for the failures are of little consequence to the families impacted by them. And the fact they still exist 63 years after Brown v. Board of Education offers little hope they will be resolved anytime soon.
This reality is what led me, along with other civil rights leaders, to go in a different direction — to advocate for giving parents the power to pursue better options for their children. I saw the devastating impact that powerlessness had on the black community in the 1950s and 60s. And I see that same dynamic at play for black parents today.
Once we were told where we could live and work, play and pray, eat and gather. I find it no more acceptable that today we are told where our children can go to school.
Nobody cared when, for decade after decade, black kids were assigned to failure factories that set them up for a life of poverty and dependency. But give the parents of these children a choice to select alternatives, and suddenly the people who care about where these students go to school come crawling out of the woodwork.
I find it disturbing when a teachers' union leader in Tennessee sits in front of a camera and says that “some parents are not capable of determining” where their children should go to school. That he is an African American makes the statement no more palatable now than when white bigots in Tennessee expressed similar sentiments about the capabilities of blacks in the 1960s.
POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media 
I find it disturbing that the NAACP calls for a moratorium on charter schools when the data is overwhelming that on average these schools produce much stronger academic gains for disadvantaged black children.  I ask my brothers and sisters at the NAACP, who when they met in Orlando called on the audience to stand and applaud a leader from the teachers' union: Exactly whose side are you on?
At my age, I become skeptical of promises that are not kept. I no longer trust unions and politicians and bureaucracies, and their never-ending promises and reforms, to bring opportunity to the communities I serve.
All I have left to trust are the parents who understand all too well the impact more decades of failure will have on their children.
Give them the power, and give them options from every sector of education — be it public or private. Unlike the union boss in Tennessee, I do believe they have the capability to decide. Unlike the NAACP, I believe they have the right to decide.
That is the unfinished business from 63 years ago.
T. Willard Fair is president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Greater Miami, Inc. A powerful voice in the effort to improve his community, he has worked for the Urban League since September, 1963.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

UnReported Bully at District Run School ends in Suicide of 8- year old Gabriel Taye

If Parent were Guardians of the School Would bullying go Unreported?

A small boy 8 Years old hangs himself from his bunk bed. Why? Perhaps because he was knocked unconscious by a bully. It long overdue support the GoverningSchool.com in Florida or get passed in your state.

8-Year-Old’s Suicide Leads Cincinnati School to Release Video Showing Bully Attack

Cincinnati Public School officials released a disturbing surveillance video on Friday of an attack on an 8-year-old boy in a school bathroom by another student — an incident that took place two days before the boy took his life.
In the grainy 24-minute video, taken at the entrance of a bathroom at Carson Elementary School, third-grader Gabriel Taye appears to be approaching a larger boy, who just pushed another boy, and extending his hand seemingly for a shake when the larger boy grabs his arm and pushes him into a wall, causing Gabriel to collapse and faint.
While the video is hazy, Gabriel's motionless body is seen lying on the floor for several minutes, during which numerous children go past him, step over him, and even kick and poke him with their feet.
Almost eight minutes later, an adult in a dark suit is seen walking over and attending to a still unmoving Gabriel.
The school made no mention of the incident to the boy's mother, Cornelia Reynolds, only telling her that he fainted, said Jennifer Branch, an attorney representing Reynolds, adding that they learned about the surveillance video months after the attack in January.
"Mom got a call from the school. She was told her son had fainted, he's in the nurse's office. His vitals are fine, he's fine and she decided to come to the school to get him to make sure he was okay and she took him home," Branch said. "Later that night he was nauseous and had fainted and thrown up a couple of times and she took him to the hospital."
But because the mother didn't know what happened, the doctor at the hospital didn't either, which changed the nature of the medical examination, she said. "If she had known he had lost consciousness for over 7 minutes, that is a critical detail for a medical professional to know," she said.
Image: Gabriel Taye
Gabriel Taye, seen here, at age 6. Family photo
Reynolds found out about the bullying incident after her attorneys received a copy of a police investigative file that contained an email from a homicide detective to school officials describing the surveillance video, she said.
"If Gabe's mom had known that her son was going to school every day and experiencing, and witnessing, and being involved in these violent, very unsettling events, she wouldn't have continued to send him there," Branch said.
But the school says it has no culpability in what happened to Gabriel and instead stands by a different version of events — one where the school nurse told Reynolds to take her son to the hospital.
"When checking on Gabriel, the school staff members asked him what happened. He responded that he 'fell,'" the district said in its statement Friday. "He later said that he 'fainted.' At no point did Gabriel indicate that he had been hit, yanked, pulled, pushed or assaulted in any way. He had no visible abrasions and there had been no report of a fight of any kind."
"The school nurse checked Gabriel's vital signs, which were normal. She also contacted Gabriel's mother and asked her to pick him up and take him to the hospital to be checked out," the district said in its statement.
"We ask that you review the video, in its entirety. It is our firm position that the allegations portrayed in the media are not supported by the video," the school said in a statement after releasing the video Friday.
The school said it released the surveillance video to be "completely transparent" and reminded the public that "no charges resulted" from an investigation into Gabriel's death.
The Hamilton County Coroner's office said Thursday they were reopening an investigation into Gabriel's death.
Attorneys for Reynolds say they have not filed a lawsuit against the school yet.
"What we are investigating is grounds to file a lawsuit and looking to see if the school district did anything to contribute to his death," Branch said.
What happened to Gabriel is not an uncommon scenario at Carson School, said Branch.
"There's lots of violence going on in that school," she said. And by "downplaying" the incident with Gabriel, the school is putting "many more kids at risk," she added.
"To watch these children walking in and out of bathroom who are afraid, and to see someone like Gabe who is trying to diffuse the situation by putting out his hand, you realize that 10-minute snapshot at that school, is what it must be like all day at that school," she said. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

[ FULL TEXT } of Judge Darrin Gayle Order in Feranandez, Cristbol, Ramirez v School Board of MDPS

Federal Judges Darin Gayles Order in Fernandez v School Board of Miami -Dade


Dear School-Choice Parents, 

The moment we have been waiting for to reinvent the public school system is here. Amend Florida's Parent Empowerment Law to facilitate a fair and transparent conversion to Parental Guardship of any County District-run school in the State of Florida. 

The two incidents of parent and principals seeking to just that has been met with intimidation by School Board of Miami-Dade County in the circumstance of Neva King Cooper Special needs School in Homestead and Key Biscayne K8 Center in the Village of Key Biscayne Florida. In both cases, the denial of denial of Freedom of Speech and Assembly have cited by Federal Judge Darrin Gayles of the Civil Rights Division. In both instances, a poorly written Florida Parent Empowerment Law 1002.33 (3b) allowed for the intimidation of proponents and their children to occur. 

From page 9 of the Judge's order [CUT and PASTE] : Also during the investigation, on July 13, 2012, each Plaintiff filed a complaint for unlawful reprisal pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 1002.33(4) with the Florida Department of Education (the "Department"). Id. ¶ 29. These complaints triggered an investigation by the Department's Office of Inspector General. Id. On April 12, 2013, the Department terminated its investigation with a "finding that reasonable grounds exist to believe that an unlawful reprisal has occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken." Id. ¶ 44. The Commissioner of Education informed Superintendent Carvalho that the Plaintiffs' complaints would be forwarded to the Division of Administrative Hearings (the "DOAH"), which would conduct a formal hearing. Id.The DOAH's final administrative hearing took place in January and February 2014. At its conclusion, the administrative law judge entered a recommended order finding that the District committed an unlawful reprisal against each Plaintiff in violation of Fla. Stat. § 1002.33(4)Id. ¶


From 7-8 in reference to a culture of intimidation at KB K8 Center :

On January 8, 2013, two parents with children enrolled at Key Biscayne K-8 Center, a Miami-Dade County public school, sent an email to the school's principal requesting her to facilitate a vote to convert the school into a conversion charter school. Id. ¶ 63. In response, the District sent a letter stating that the school principal had not authorized the use of her name in connection with the conversion effort, and that District officials, rather than the principal, would schedule the vote. Id. ¶ 64. District officials then dominated the conversion effort at that school, disseminating flyers regarding the prospective conversion that "presented misleading and incorrect information about funding, employee benefits, and available resources if the school converted to a charter school." Id. ¶ 65. At a parent information session convened to discuss the conversion, District officials again dominated the question-and-answer session, and proponents of the conversion were not permitted to speak. Id. ¶ 66. The District then conducted a teacher and parent vote, and both groups voted not to convert. Id. ¶ 67.

This law in actuality when applied is a Teacher Empowerment Law designed only to Empower Teachers to convert-to-charter status school, not parents. The voting guidelines require two separate ballot boxes and two elections simultaneously where both teachers and parent vote in separate ballots during a five-day election cycle. Thus affording Teachers veto power of the parental 'YES vote' that would defeat the outcome. 

Where in America are elections determined by winning two separate subsets of voting blocs by majority rule? Certainly not for public office? Imagine if Donald Trump after overcoming national media bias, had to win the Majority of women and also the Majority of men to be elected President of the United States? 

It is high time to call your Florida legislator and a call for the amendment of America's only direct ballot based Parent Trigger law Florida Parent Empowerment Law 1002.33 (3b). 

Log on for the [full text ] amendment language to this law and call for its rebranding as the www.governingschool.com


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Denial Freedom of Speech Lawsuit proceeds Neva King Principals v. School Board of Miami-Dade County

Fernanadez Cristobol Ramirez v. School Board of Miami Dade County 

US Federal Judge Gayles denies MD-School Distict's attornies motion to dismiss the trial for trampling over the Freedome of Expression Rights of Principals at Neva King Cooper Special Needs School in Homestead, Florida in 2012.   

The Federal case surrounds the allegation by School Principals Fernandez and Cristobol claiming to be unwarrented reprisals and intimidated for proposing a conversion to charter solution to recent budget cuts to their school. Top School Board official Ana Rasco and others reassigned and demoted bothe Principal , Vice Principal and special needs specialist named as plaintiffs. MDPS school officials by "invading the campus as surveillence team" to monitor NKC school staff for simply researching the possibility of converting the primary school to charter school. The vote never occurred.  What did occur is abusive use of power as these two Principals and staffer with doctoral and graduate degrees were reassigned to menial tasks and demoted for thier attempts to improve the fiscals condition at Neva King Cooper. Now removed from Neva King Cooper and threatened with a gag order to not speak to anyone from school community the following was evidenced: 
excerpts from the various press reported : 


Principal Fernandez was reassigned tothe Miami-Dade County Public School's "Stores and Mail Distribution" where his responsibilities consisted of "sorting and packaging crayons; organizing car keys; packaging small mops; and sorting mail."Assistant Principal Cristobol, who had been employed at the school for 15 years and holds a master's degree in educational leadership, was transferred the county "Department of Transportation, Vehicle Maintenance" where he spent his time "scanning a pile of documents."

With no other assignments to perform, Mr. Cristobol spent the remainder of each workday (approximately seven hours) sitting in a small, sparsely furnished room.
Eventually, after "pleas for additional work" he was permitted to conduct inventories of auto parts.
A lower-level school employee who had under instruction of the principal conducted research on converting to a charter school was also involuntarily transferred to a new position.

Ms. Ramirez spent the entirety of her first week removing staples from seemingly endless piles of documents—items she was required to scan during the remainder of her assignment. Not surprisingly, Ms. Ramirez was troubled by the menial nature of these new duties, which were plainly incompatible with her professional qualifications (a master's degree in early childhood special education) and years of experience. Indeed, Ms. Ramirez was so distraught that she would occasionally retreat from her work area to the restroom, where she would cry in solitude. 


After all three filed complaints with the Florida Department of Education, the Education Commissioner ruled:
For the first time in Florida's history that there was probable cause a district had retaliated against its employees for pursuing a charter school conversion.[END]

The Judge Darren Gayles noted in his order that Intimidation tactics by Miami-Dade School District Officials is a pattern as evidence to similar occurrence at the KB K8 Center. Parents proponents (PTA Pres. Manuel Cambó and VP. Hector Ceballos) the following year whose effort to hold YES vote forum was squashed by MDPS after a formal request was made in writing by their attorney. After forcing Mr. Cambó to resign,  MDPTA held a Parent Forum instead excluding the proponents on Q&A panel in school's cafeteria. The vote was held. Parents 531-31 NO .Teachers in separte ballot 83-0-1 NO.-Nevertheless the legal precedent was set for all parents in Florida. See you in court. óò

Miami Dade School-board-violated-free-speech-by-shutting-down-charter-school-bid-8730080




Freedom of Speech Lawsuit Neva King Principals v. MDPS

Fernanadez Cristobol Ramirez v. Miami Dade Public Schools

US Federal Judge Gayles denies MD-School Distict's attornies motion to dismiss the trial for trampling over the Freedome of Expression Rights of Principals at Neva King Cooper Special Needs School in Homestead, Florida in 2012.   

The Federal case surrounds the allegation by School Principals Fernandez and Cristobol claiming to be unwarrented reprisals and intimidated for proposing a conversion to charter solution to recent budget cuts to their school. Top School Board official Ana Rasco and others reassigned and demoted bothe Principal , Vice Principal and special needs specialist named as plaintiffs. MDPS school officials by "invading the campus as surveillence team" to monitor NKC school staff for simply researching the possibility of converting the primary school to charter school. The vote never occurred.  What did occur is abusive use of power as these two Principals and staffer with doctoral and graduate degrees were reassigned to menial tasks and demoted for thier attempts to improve the fiscals condition at Neva King Cooper. Now removed from Neva King Cooper and threatened with a gag order to not speak to anyone from school community the following was evidenced: 
excerpts from the various press reported : 

Principal Fernandez was reassigned tothe Miami-Dade County Public School's "Stores and Mail Distribution" where his responsibilities consisted of "sorting and packaging crayons; organizing car keys; packaging small mops; and sorting mail."Assistant Principal Cristobol, who had been employed at the school for 15 years and holds a master's degree in educational leadership, was transferred the county "Department of Transportation, Vehicle Maintenance" where he spent his time "scanning a pile of documents."

With no other assignments to perform, Mr. Cristobol spent the remainder of each workday (approximately seven hours) sitting in a small, sparsely furnished room.
Eventually, after "pleas for additional work" he was permitted to conduct inventories of auto parts.
A lower-level school employee who had under instruction of the principal conducted research on converting to a charter school was also involuntarily transferred to a new position.

Ms. Ramirez spent the entirety of her first week removing staples from seemingly endless piles of documents—items she was required to scan during the remainder of her assignment. Not surprisingly, Ms. Ramirez was troubled by the menial nature of these new duties, which were plainly incompatible with her professional qualifications (a master's degree in early childhood special education) and years of experience. Indeed, Ms. Ramirez was so distraught that she would occasionally retreat from her work area to the restroom, where she would cry in solitude. 


After all three filed complaints with the Florida Department of Education, the Education Commissioner ruled:
For the first time in Florida's history that there was probable cause a district had retaliated against its employees for pursuing a charter school conversion.[END]

The Judge Darren Gayles noted in his order that Intimidation tactics by Miami-Dade School District Officials is a pattern as evidence to similar occurrence at the KB K8 Center. Parents proponents (PTA Pres. Manuel Cambó and VP. Hector Ceballos) the following year whose effort to hold YES vote forum was squashed by MDPS after a formal request was made in writing by their attorney. After forcing Mr. Cambó to resign,  MDPTA held a Parent Forum instead excluding the proponents on Q&A panel in school's cafeteria. The vote was held. Parents 531-31 NO .Teachers in separte ballot 83-0-1 NO.-Nevertheless the legal precedent was set for all parents in Florida. See you in court. óò

Miami Dade School-board-violated-free-speech-by-shutting-down-charter-school-bid-8730080




Thursday, July 28, 2016

Misinformed Parents at KB K8 Center about my effort in 2013

https://www.redfin.com/school/96167/FL/Key-Biscayne/Key-Biscayne-K-8-Center

One parent had this assessment of my effort after all the negative posts about the lack of ESOL programs in a highly foreign student body plus overcrowding (158% of capacity) and general dirtiness of the 55 year old facility on barrier island that floods in rain storms search YouTube:  KBK8 flooding.


Some of the most damaging post are post 2013.