Guest Opinion | PUSD – Cheating is a Problem to Hide, Especially in Sierra Madre

first_img Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Subscribe Pasadena Unified School District’s flagship elementary school is Sierra Madre Elementary School. The Sierra Madre school has regularly been seen as PUSD’s highest performing school – #1 when the API scores used to come out and #1 again when the new SBAC testing regime scores came out last fall. The Sierra Madre school is also rightfully the pride of the City of Sierra Madre. Sierra Madre enjoys an active parent support network for the school, and its citizens have long been vocal and effective proponents for resourcing the Sierra Madre.But now there is a question mark hanging over Sierra Madre as to whether PUSD discriminatorily protected it against disclosure of cheating at the scho0ol while taking a harsher stance toward Northwest Pasadena schools.“PUSD wouldn’t get away doing to Sierra Madre what it did to Madison” – True or False?A constant refrain of the grassroots coalition the Citizens’ Council for Empowerment and Justice at Madison is that PUSD would never get away with doing to Sierra Madre what it did to Madison. That refrain arises from the fact that, when Sierra Madre had to recently select a new principal, Superintendent Brian McDonald of course gave it the right to have a principal selection committee of Sierra Madre stakeholders that selected three applicants for the position — from which McDonald selected the new Sierra Madre principal. At the same time, he refused to form a principal selection committee for Madison Elementary School; instead, he unilaterally imposed Juan Ruelas as its principal with no site input. Madison is the most heavily-Latino, most heavily English second-language, and the poorest community in PUSD, while Sierra Madre is the most heavily-White, the lowest Latino, the lowest ESL, and among the richest communities. Saying that PUSD would never get away with doing to Sierra Madre what it did to Madison is just another way of saying that PUSD treats Madison, a Northwest Pasadena school, in a racially-discriminatory and wealth-discriminatory manner.Some Pasadena leaders say that Madison’s grassroots organization should change its message and stop saying PUSD would never get away doing to Sierra Madre what it did to Madison. Rather than concluding that those critics are saying we should stop repeating that refrain because they don’t want to hear the unpleasant truth that PUSD is acting in a racially-discriminatory and wealth-discriminatory manner, we’ll make the more benign interpretation that they believe the accusation of differential treatment is untrue. There’s a long history of Madison being under-resourced and Sierra Madre being well-resourced that might support the differential treatment assertion. But let’s look to a different issue to illustrate the unpleasant truth about comparative PUSD treatment of Sierra Madre and Northwest Pasadena elementary schools – i.e., the treatment of elementary schools when they are caught cheating on student testing.The treatment of Northwest Pasadena’s Roosevelt schoolwhen it was caught cheating on state testingOn January 10, 2012, PUSD issued a press release indicating that Roosevelt Elementary School – a PUSD Northwest school closer to Madison’s demographics than to Sierra Madre’s – was caught cheating and having to forfeit its nomination as a National Blue Ribbon school. PUSD’s press release was followed by embarrassing news stories in Pasadena Now and the LA Times which reported on the Roosevelt cheating disqualification from the National Blue Ribbon honor. Significantly, Roosevelt’s principal at the time the school got caught cheating was Juan Ruelas, the principal who McDonald later imposed on Madison. McDonald’s rationale for denying Madison stakeholders’ involvement in selecting a new principal was that Roosevelt’s test scores during Ruelas’ tenure showed that he had accomplished educational miracles at Roosevelt and that he could do the same thing for Madison. (The 2012 bad publicity has come to haunt Ruelas because it has led to the recent more searching examination of Ruelas’ record that is the basis for the grassroots coalition’s contention that Ruelas’ reputation for educational achievement at Roosevelt is built on quicksand.Unlike Roosevelt’s cheating, Sierra Madre’s is kept under wrapsOur public records requests for documents related to the cheating at Roosevelt forced PUSD to disclose to us a smoking gun – a September 2, 2011, email that PUSD’s Chief Technology Officer at the time, Dr. Gary A Carnow, sent to 6 other PUSD administrators. In Carnow’s email was the following statement: “Roosevelt, …, and Sierra Madre will not be eligible for any awards for two years based on the filing [sic-finding] of irregularities.” Based on Carnow’s email, we realized that Sierra Madre had cheated on test scores like Roosevelt had, so we filed a public records request with the California Department of Education. A document produced to us by the Department of Education confirmed that Sierra Madre was caught cheating around the same time that Roosevelt was caught cheating.But unlike the public exposure of Roosevelt’s cheating, Sierra Madre’s cheating was not publicly revealed – until publication of the February 18, 2016, Sierra Madre Weekly story on Sierra’s cheating based on documents we gave it. Its story reports that PUSD Associate Superintendent Mercedes Santoro confirmed that the Sierra Madre school was caught cheating (albeit by doing her best to minimize it). The Board of Education was apparently informed on September 13, 2011, that Sierra Madre had been caught cheating, but they learned about it in closed session. By telling the Board in closed session, the PUSD administration prevented Board members from publicly disclosing Sierra Madre’s cheating because it is a criminal misdemeanor to disclose information learned in closed sessions unless the Board as a whole votes to release the information. Apparently no Board member has ever thought that Sierra Madre’s cheating was important enough for the Board to publicly disclose it like Roosevelt’s was disclosed. Insofar as we can determine, PUSD never issued a press release on Sierra Madre’s cheating like it did for Roosevelt, so there was no media coverage of the cheating like there was for Roosevelt until 4 ½ years later on February 18.Thus, PUSD’s Sierra Madre flagship skated through the last 4 ½ years without its reputation for sterling educational achievement soiled by the fact that some of that achievement was earned only through cheating. The Northwest Pasadena school Roosevelt was accorded no such protection from public disclosure. PUSD would never get away with doing to Sierra Madre what it did to Madison.The grassroots Madison coalition is going to keep repeating that PUSD would never get away with doing to Sierra Madre what it did to Madison.Dale Gronemeier and Skip Hickambottom are local civil rights attorneys who represent the Citizens Council for Empowerment and Justice at Madison. Gronemeier lives in Sierra Madre. faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Opinion & Columnists Guest Opinion | PUSD – Cheating is a Problem to Hide, Especially in Sierra Madre Opinion piece by DALE L. GRONEMEIER and SKIP HICKAMBOTTOM Published on Monday, February 22, 2016 | 1:52 am More Cool Stuff Community News Top of the News center_img Your email address will not be published. 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Vicky Phelan wants public service managers to be made accountable

first_imgLinkedin Email WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Facebook NewsHealthVicky Phelan wants public service managers to be made accountableBy Bernie English – October 17, 2018 2339 TAGSCervical CheckhealthLimerick City and CountyNews Limerick Post Show | Careers & Health Sciences Event for TY Students Printcenter_img TechPost | Episode 9 | Pay with Google, WAZE – the new Google Maps? and Speak don’t Type! Shannon Airport braced for a devastating blow Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites Previous articleJoe Coleman breaks the rapids with a remarkable new bookNext articleLIVESTREAM: County SFC and JAFC Finals Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Vicky PhelanPhotographer – Paul Sherwood [email protected] LIMERICK woman who exposed the CervicalCheck scandal says that new laws are needed to enshrine management-level accountability in the public service.Vicky Phelan was speaking at the launch this week of a new support group set up with Lorraine Walsh and Stephen Teap, named 221+ after the number of women who have been affected by false-negative smears and withheld information.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The three were on hand for the launch of the new group at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.Ms Phelan said she did not want to see a commission of investigation “as it would drag on for years and no-one would be accountable in the end. “We’re living in a country where people can get away with things at a management level and not be held accountable,” said Ms Phelan, who exposed the issue by refusing to sign a confidentiality agreement on getting a court settlement against the US laboratory which read the failed smear tests.“Until we start fighting and jumping up and down to try to get it, we’re not going to get accountability. We can’t sack people in this country.”The mother-of-two said that if the campaign she started helps other victims, that gives her a sense of purpose.She also paid tribute to her fellow campaigners. “There isn’t a chance in hell that I would be standing here without Stephan Teap and the other women and families who have been affected by this”, she said.  221+ will offer an opportunity for those affected by the scandal to support each other as well as advocate for change in the health service. “One of the things I will be looking at is legislation for accountability, not just in the health sector but across the public sector and the civil service because we just don’t have it in this country,” she said.Meanwhile, the proposed establishment of a private tribunal to deal with claims arising from the CervicalCheck scandal received a cautious welcome from the 221+ group although it was disappointed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s commitment to a “totally non-adversarial” process was not followed through.The tribunal, similar to court proceedings but held behind closed doors, was proposed by Judge Charles Meenan in a Government-commissioned report.Ms Phelan urged Health Minister Simon Harris to provide assurances on how the adversarial nature of such a process can be minimised.”Her solicitor Cian O’Carroll, who is also representing several other of the women affected by the scandal, said it added to the choice of options open to his clients.“The problem is the tribunal is in private and it shields the State and labs from the public knowing about negligent errors. Women must also prove their case in an adversarial system,” he said. Limerick on Covid watch list Advertisement Local backlash over Aer Lingus threatlast_img read more

Transgender Mexican Citizen Sues Indiana To Change Name To Match Gender Identity

first_imgTransgender Mexican Citizen Sues Indiana To Change Name To Match Gender IdentityOlivia Covington for A transgender Mexican man with asylum in the United States is suing the state of Indiana for a law that prohibits him from legally changing his name to match his gender identity as a man.The plaintiff, John Doe, formerly and legally known as Jane Doe, filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Tuesday over a state law that bars him from legally changing his name from “Jane” to “John” because he is not a naturalized U.S. citizen. Doe has also filed a motion to move through the legal proceedings anonymously.Doe, 31, who was born female but now identifies as a male, moved from Mexico to Indiana with his family in 1990 and has lived here ever since.  He told his family in 2012 that he was transgender and identified as a man, and subsequently began using the name John.Although Doe states in court documents that his family accepts him as a man, the United States granted him asylum from Mexico in August 2015 because he would be persecuted for being transgender in his native country. Doe’s court filing says he will apply for permanent U.S. residency this month, but will have to wait at least six years before becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.Doe wrote in the court filing that he is recognized as male on all official U.S. documents, including his Indiana I.D. and his immigration documents, which both show the gender marker “M.” However, his name is still listed as Jane on those documents, a fact that he wants to change but cannot do so unless he legally changes his name from Jane to John.  Under Indiana House Bill 1047, which was passed and added to the state code in 2010, a person must prove that they are a legal U.S. citizen when seeking a legal name change.Doe alleges that the language in that portion of the Indiana Code — which prohibits him from legally changing his name for at least six years while his naturalization is pending — violates his First Amendment right to free speech and his 14th Amendment due process rights to liberty and privacy with respect to personal information. Being forced to legally use a traditionally female name has resulted in heightened symptoms of anxiety and gender dysphoria, he said.“Mr. Does’ inability to change his legal name and update his I.D. has caused him serious emotional distress and difficulty in his day-to-day activities every time he is required to present his government-issued I.D.,” Doe’s counsel wrote in Tuesday’s filing.According to court documents, Doe was aware that he did not feel like a girl at a young age, but was not diagnosed with gender dysphoria until 2010. With the help of a licensed mental health clinician, the plaintiff says he has been following a treatment plan for his condition, including a gender-affirming surgery. Part of the treatment also includes living in accordance with his gender identity in all respects, including the use of a male name and pronouns.The law that prohibits Doe from legally changing his name from Jane to John has inhibited his ability to freely and fully live in accordance with his gender identity, he said.In 2011, Doe was pulled over for a traffic violation and was asked to provide his state-issued I.D. When the officer saw that Doe’s name was listed as Jane, he did not believe the I.D. belonged to Doe and threatened to take him to jail.Doe then produced a letter from his therapist explaining his transgender status, and although the officer seemed to believe him, the plaintiff wrote that the officer said Doe’s “weird situation” was annoying. Doe did not have a valid driver’s license at that time, so he called his now-wife to pick him up. When she arrived, Doe said the officer told her, “You can take ‘I-don’t-know-what-it-is’ with you.”In another incident in 2013, Doe said he went to the emergency room and was asked to show his I.D. When he did so, Doe wrote that the nurses were initially confused, then later began to ridicule him when they realized he was a transgender man.Also in 2013, Doe was asked to show his I.D. when he ordered a drink at a family celebration at a restaurant. According to the court documents, the waiter laughed and asked why his name was listed as Jane, putting the celebration on hold while his family and friends tried to convince the waiter that the I.D. was actually his.These situations, and others, have caused Doe “significant psychological distress, anxiety, and dysphoria,” his counsel wrote. Further, they wrote that although Doe has never been subject to a physical attack because of his transgender status, he lives in constant fear of physical danger.Unless he is asked for his I.D., which lists his name as Jane, Doe said he is generally not recognized as transgender. Thus, he alleges that the Indiana law requiring U.S. citizenship for a legal name change is one of the last remaining things that prohibit him from living fully in his gender identity.Further, Doe wrote that being forced to legally identify as Jane violates his equal protection right, his right to liberty regarding personal decision and his right to privacy regarding personal decisions under the 14th Amendment, as well as his rights to express his name and gender in accordance with his gender identity as free speech under the First Amendment.His suit seeks declaratory judgment of the violation of his Constitutional rights, as well as an injunction permanently barring enforcement of the Indiana law preventing non-citizens from legally changing their names.In a statement through his office, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who is named as a defendant in the case along with Gov. Mike Pence and Marion County Clerk Myla Eldridge, said he plans to file a response to Doe’s complaint. He also noted that the burden of proof in this case would be on Doe, not the state.“As state government’s lawyer, the Attorney General’s office is obligated to represent state government officials and agencies and defend the statutes the legislature has passed,” Monica Hernandez Billman, spokeswoman for Zoeller, said.The case is John Doe, formerly known as Jane Doe v. Michael Pence, et al., 1:16-cv-02431. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

COVID-19 vaccine does not need to be halal, Ma’ruf Amin says

first_imgThis statement seems to contradict a previous statement made by Masduki in August, in which he said the vice president had urged Bio Farma to ensure that the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine would have halal certification before it was distributed.Masduki said Ma’ruf, who is also currently the non-active chairman of the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI), would ask an MUI team to go to Beijing to verify whether or not the vaccine was halal.“But that will not be an obstacle. Why? I reiterate once again that a non-halal [vaccine] in an emergency situation is permitted,” he said.Read also: Govt gears up for future COVID-19 vaccination Vice President and senior Muslim cleric Ma’ruf Amin has said the COVID-19 vaccine currently being prepared by the government does not have to be halal, a spokesperson said on Friday.Vice presidential spokesperson Masduki Baidowi said Maruf’s statement came during a meeting with Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan about the progress of the vaccine currently being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac in partnership with state-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Bio Farma.“The vice president explained an important thing: If the vaccine is halal then that’s good, there’s no problem, but if it is not halal it’s also not a problem,” Masduki said in a statement on Friday. “Because it’s an emergency situation it’s okay to use [a non-halal vaccine].” The halal status of vaccines had previously become an issue in 2018, during a government measles and rubella vaccination campaign.At the time, the MUI issued a fatwa declaring that the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine was mubah (permitted for use by Muslims) despite containing materials derived from pigs, because a halal vaccine had yet to be made, constituting a “sharia emergency.”However, despite the fatwa, the Riau Islands chapter of the MUI still urged Muslims to reject the vaccine. “If the MR vaccine is really so important then we call on the government to quickly make one that is halal and safe for Muslims,” Riau Islands MUI secretary Ustadz Santoso said at the time. (kmt) Topics :last_img read more