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a week at 7 a.m. Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Subscribe Pasadena Unified School District’s flagship elementary school is Sierra Madre Elementary School.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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East Kalimantan governor to ‘personally stop’ new capital construction if harmful to forests

first_imgKutai Kartanegara regency is home to a 61,850 hectare forest called Bukit Soeharto. Through Agriculture Ministerial Decree No. 818/1982, late former president Soeharto named the location the Bukit Soeharto Conservation Forest, which then covered 27,000 ha. The government subsequently expanded the conservation area over the years until it covered 61,850 ha in 2004, when the Environment and Forestry Ministry declared it the Bukit Soeharto Grand Forest Park.Known as a Taman Hutan Raya (Grand Forest Park) in the province, the sprawling Bukit Soeharto is also home to local wildlife conservation groups such as the Wanariset Samboja Center of Orangutan Rehabilitation and Reintroduction. In addition, Bukit Soeharto is also home to Mulawarman University’s forest education site.According to experts, Bukit Soeharto’s current status as a national forest park could save the government a considerable amount of money allocated for land acquisition, since the entire area is state-owned. (rfa) The environment is a vital component of the lives of East Kalimantan residents, therefore it has to be protected, he added.“It’s better that the capital doesn’t end up being relocated to East Kalimantan if it only brings destruction to local forests,” Isran said, adding that the province had previously committed to protecting the environment in several international declarations, including the New Green Growth Pathway in 2016.Read also: Jokowi wants to see oxygen-rich forests in new capitalPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced in August last year that the province’s North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara regencies would host the country’s new capital, replacing the overpopulated and sinking Jakarta. East Kalimantan Governor Isran Noor has called on the central government to be more mindful of the lush forests covering parts of the province as Jakarta moves forward with its long-term plan to relocate the country’s capital city to the region.Isran addressed his concerns over the environmental impact of the imminent capital relocation during a meeting with the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) at the East Kalimantan governor’s office in Samarinda on Monday.“I will personally stop [the new capital construction] if it damages the forests,” he said after the meeting as quoted by Topics :last_img read more

Fidel Castro publishes memoirs

first_img 8 Views   no discussions Share Tweet Share Sharing is caring!center_img NewsRegional Fidel Castro publishes memoirs by: – February 6, 2012 Share Fidel Castro presenting his memoirs in Havana on FridayHAVANA, Cuba (ACN) — The leader of the Cuban Revolution and former president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, attended the launch on Friday of his memoirs, a two-volume book titled “Fidel Castro Ruz: Guerrillero del Tiempo” (Fidel Castro Ruz: Guerrilla of Time), at Havana’s Convention Palace.The book is a compilation, in nearly one thousand pages, of conversations between Castro and writer and journalist Katiuska Blanco. It opens with the Cuban leader’s memories of his childhood and closes in December 1958, just before the triumph of the Revolution. The presentation took place lasted about six hours, during which Castro greeted personally a number of attendees, among whom were old comrades from the Moncada military action and the Granma expedition. The volumes were presented by Cuban Culture Minister Abel Prieto and the president of the Association of Cuban Writers and Artists, Miguel Barnet, who recounted some of the anecdotes contained in the book.The book is a published by the Casa Editora Abril Cuban publishing house and the Federico Engels printers, with photos and drawings by Ernesto Rancaño, who also designed the cover. Talking with and answering questions from the audience, Castro spoke about a number of things: the battles fought by students in Latin America and the rest of the world over their rights; tremendous scientific discoveries and emerging technologies; the risk of shale gas and the fabulous perspectives of nanotechnology. Castro told the audience he reads hundreds of press releases every day; devours all the information he gets; follows closely the situation in Venezuela commemorating on February 4 the 20th anniversary of the military uprising led by Hugo Chavez.He also spoke about the threats hanging over Syria and Iran, while the US and Europe are trying to convince Russia of the “ridiculous” idea that the antimissile shield was established to protect that country from the threats of Iran and North Korea. Writer Graziella Pogolotti, president of the Alejo Carpentier Foundation, started the round of questions and told Castro that he should continue writing about his experiences as a fighter and his meetings with world personalities.Castro said he is willing to do everything possible to pass on “whatever he remembers well”, and added: “I’m aware of the importance of writing all of this to pass it on, so that it can be useful.” In closing the meeting, Castro regretted that time had run out and remarked, “I feel very happy, but I like to collaborate with the doctors. And, just for the record, I don’t do it as an act of courage but as an act of intelligence.”Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

Baseball Hall of Fame 2019: Mariano Rivera says playing for Yankees was ‘a privilege and honor’

first_img“I tried to carry the pinstripes the best that I could.” – @MarianoRivera. @Yankees | @baseballhall | #HOFWKND— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 21, 2019″It’s a privilege and honor to just be part of one organization,” Rivera said. “I did it with dignity, with honor and pride. I tried to carry the pinstripes the best that I could. I think I did alright with that.”Rivera also praised Yankees fans for standing behind him throughout his 19 seasons with the team. MLB trade rumors: Mets believe they can ‘still get a solid return’ for Zack Wheeler despite injury MLB trade rumors: Cubs interested in Tigers’ Nicholas Castellanos Mariano Rivera is the first player in the history of MLB to be voted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. The closer finished his career with the most saves ever (652) and thanked the Yankees for creating a great environment during his induction speech Sunday. “To the fans… you guys always pushed me to the best.” – @[email protected] | @baseballhall | #HOFWKND— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 21, 2019″To the fans…you guys always pushed me to be the best,” Rivera said. “All those New York fans when I was at Yankee Stadium pitching, it felt like I was pitching with 55,000 people next to me, throwing one pitch after another. You guys are the best. Without your support I could not do it. You always pushed me to the limit. Always wishing me the best but always also booing when I didn’t do my job.”Rivera, a 13-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, headlined a group that included Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, Edgar Martinez, Lee Smith and Harold Baines. Related News Baseball Hall of Fame 2019: Unanimous inductee Mariano Rivera headlines ceremonylast_img read more