In the wake of the time-bomb going off

A devastating article in The Atlantic by Megan Garber who describes what seems to be obvious now that a good many predatory men, men without respect for women or concern for how their behavior was harming women, for years have made themselves out to be advocates for women’s rights. The following is a passage from that article of particular poignance:

“Taken together, it [the revelation of behavior we somehow learned to think better of]reads as an extended version of C.K.’s a

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Many of the men now alleged to be abusers and harassers have something else in common: They were great at seeming to be good.
THEATLANTIC.COM
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Washoe County School District Leadership is Incompetent, the Superintendent and the Head of the Board and Need to Be Removed for the Sake of Students

An e-mail sent after receiving a note from the President of our school board replying to my request that the Superintendent be re-evaluated after the Board decided to ignore such information as reported her and give her a positive evaluation.
I asked that the Board, since it had admittedly not followed its own evaluation guidelines, rescind the positive evaluation it gave the Superintendent despite information in the evaluation that was done that showed that a less than satisfactory evaluation was warranted.
The President of the School Board told me, without addressing my real and important concerns that the positive evaluation would stand even though the data the Board had paid to have collected showed that the Superintendent deserved a less than positive rating.
 
Reno people!!!! This should not be tolerated.
 
AND THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED THE TRUSTEES TO IGNORE? THE PEOPLE WHO ARE THE KEY TO THE SUCCESS OF THE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM, WHO KNOW THE WORK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT BEST, DO NOT FIND THE SUPERINTENDENT TO BE AN EFFECTIVE LEADER BUT MAJORITY OF THE TRUSTEES ARE WILLING TO IGNORE THE FINDINGS?
 
From today’s RGJ:
 
The survey identified three areas most needing improvement, according to OnStrategy, the independent third-party company that facilitated the review. Changes to those areas could improve Davis’ effectiveness as superintendent and the community’s perception of the district, according to OnStrategy.
The three top areas for improvement, in order of how much potential positive impact they’d have on perceptions of the district, were:
1. Organizational leadership: Developing a more effective understanding of Davis’ employees in all levels of WCSD
2. Instructional leadership: Having a grasp of the needs of her instructional staff, maximize resources for best student outcomes and her ability to recruit and retain highly effective employees
3. Collaborative leadership: Better articulating the direction and goals of the district, and then getting everyone on board with those goals
Respondents who identified themselves as certified staff — the category that includes teachers — gave her the lowest scores on her understanding of district employees. Just 15 percent agreed that Davis “demonstrates an effective understanding of all people in the district.”

And so it is called free enterprise but it is really a system in which those who do not have pay dearly for what others do have

Capitalism needs a major adjustment or perhaps replacement with a humane and just form of economy.  Really, for the vast majority of people in the world, it works against them.  The lie that good quality of life is dependent on the survival of capitalism is a lie capitalists tell over and over again to justify a system that puts most of the world’s wealth in the hands of a very few and, with the outrageous amounts of money these people own, they acquire the rest of us.
We are bought and sold and trained to like it, bought off with a little that is allowed to trickle down.
The leak, called the Paradise Papers, centers on an offshore law firm that has helped obscure the wealth of multinational companies and the superrich.

 

From the Paradise Papers

II. Tax Base Erosion. Another key implication of this study is that the impact on lost tax revenue implied by our estimates may be huge SS large enough to make a significant difference to the finances of nations, especially to developing countries that are now struggling to replace lost aid dollars and pay for climate change.

© James S. Henry, TJN 2012

41

Assuming, conservatively, that global offshore financial wealth of $21 trillion earns a total return of just 3 percent a year, and would have faced an average marginal tax rate of 30 percent in the home country, this unrecorded wealth might have generated tax revenues of $189 billion per year more than twice the $86 billion that OECD countries as a whole are now spending on all overseas development assistance.

 

Regarding race as an issue in discussions concerning the behavior of the President of the Washoe County Schools Board of Trustees, the District Superintendent

Regarding race as an issue in discussions concerning the behavior of the President of the Washoe County Schools Board of Trustees, the District Superintendent, and the Board Chairperson’s ability to deal reasonably and objectively with the Superintendent.

Sensitive issues cannot be discussed with proper sensitivity unless sensitivity and its affects on discussion are considered.  For in fact, many an important discussion is impeded and impaired by sensitivity to sensitivity.  I have been aware of this for a long time now but have not addressed the sensitivity issue because I believe that I will be found to be insensitive for saying some of the things that must be said.  I believe this because whenever I have begun to broach the subject the response from people I respect has indicated that they are feeling that I am crossing a line and that line demarcates between the places where decency resides and those where indecency prevails.  It is not decent to be insensitive because insensitivity leads to conduct that hurts feelings and it is particularly indecent when the hurt feelings touch upon aspects of character.  To say that another is too sensitive is to be critical of character even when what is said is intended to get at a truth to which another is sensitive because of his or her character.  If one is sensitive to this, he or she will find him or herself avoiding the telling of what he or she understands to be the truth.  Truth is harmed by oversensitivity to sensitivity and sensitivity to sensitivity often results from one’s desire to be a decent person.

The reason I need to speak to sensitivity and issues of decency related to sensitivity now is because recent events force me to do so.  I need to speak to these issues and some aspects of these issues taken me into places and encounters with people where sensitivity has been made an issues and recriminations of indecency for how such sensitive matters are being handled by some involved in the conversation.

 

In this case, the sensitive matter is that matter of race as it figures into discussion of the behavior of members of our local school board, the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees.  Two members of the Board are African Americans, one of whom is the President of the Board, and they, I am arguing, should provide proper oversight over the District Superintendent who, herself, is African American.  Some in the community who have been observing the public behavior of the President of the Board of Trustees, as leader of the oversight board, and the Superintendent, believe as I believe that the Board President is not acting as a proper oversight leader, that she is too close to the Superintendent to be impartial in performing that role in the best interest of students who attend school in the District.

 

Criticism of the Board President and the Superintendent and concern for the relationship they share influencing unfairly the judgements of the Board President in her capacity as oversight leader.  Being that both are of African American background, some, many of whom are also African American, are accusing critics of the Board President, the Superintendent, in particular, concern for the effect of the relationship on decisions being made by the Board President regarding the Superintendent’s performance, as being racially motivated.

 

The claims of racist judgment on the part of critics gains credibility for they exist in an environment where sensitivity to racism is understood to be, and rightly so, essential to the existence of the decent community.  To say that one who is African American is being overly sensitive, to say that their oversensitivity is obscuring their good judgment is, and for good and historical reasons, seen by many to be an affront to those who have had to endure the hardships that racism, real and vicious, have brought upon them, hardships that have, for a good many have affected in profound ways the lives they have lived in this United States of America.

 

To argue, as one who has not had to endure the effects of racism, that those who have are being overly sensitive in responding to criticism of the Board President and the Superintendent and the effects that relationship is having on decision making at the top levels of the Washoe County School District, understandably appears to some who have had to endure as being insensitive and indecently so.  There is an irrefutable history that does validate in certain ways the claim that the criticism originates with racism.

 

Where I find it within myself to make the counter claim that in this particular case, at least as it originates with individuals who are processing the information and coming to conclusions that necessitate the questioning of the behavior of the President of the Board, the behavior of the Superintendent and the Board President’s oversight of the Superintendent, racism is not an eminent factor.  But race is, not because it is affecting the judgment of the critics but the way in which those judging the critics are responding to the critique.  Race is obscuring the real issues and preventing a proper conversation about those issues and how problems related to these issues can be solved.

 

My problems with Angela Taylor and Tracy Davis are not caused by my racist view of things.  Race only figures in because I do know of their racial background and, more importantly, there are some who are using race, theirs and mine, to diminish, to disrespect, to devalue what I and others have offered as legitimate criticism of legitimate people who deserve to be respected in such a way as to be receptive to the criticism they receive if it is legitimate criticism.

 

 

Addendum to WCSD Bullshit

I just got off the phone with Board of Trustees member Veronica Frenkel who asked me to add to my discussion of recent Trustees’ meetings this, that she was present for the discussions and, during the discussions concerning rejection of the evaluation of the District Superintendent for which the Board had contracted, she had argued against passage of the motion and had left the room when the vote was being taken because she was physically feeling sick to her stomach.

She asked that I make note that there were members who voted against the motion—I pointed to my having included in my piece the lists of those voting for and against and noting her being absent for the vote—and that those members concerns were much like those I had expressed

She called because I had sent each of the Trustees the note I had posted earlier on this site in reaction to the Board’s decision to dispute the evaluation’s results and change the Superintendent’s evaluation rating.

Too light and editorial slap?

The board spent $19,500 to contract with two independent firms to conduct the review process, but the board’s final grade of “accomplished” for Davis seems to have no basis in the data collected by the review. Davis may well deserve to be recognized as “accomplished.” But the process — if it can be called a process — used by the board to arrive at that decision was messy at best, and arbitrary at worst.”

Reno Gazette-Journal editorial, November 4, 2017

Washoe County: The Bullshit makes your school district stink

Headline in Reno Gazette-Journal this morning: “WCSD trustees override review.” Their process, the results their process produced and the Superintendent tells the Board the she has documents showing her achievements. People come to the meeting to defend the superintendent. Those voting to dismiss the $19,000 outside evaluation say that the process they used District money to pay for was unfair. Board members who were shown to have concerns with the superintendent are now said to have been mistaken. The payed for procedure turns out to be bad news for the Superintendent whose rehiring would have been based on the $19,000 report and one of the Board members says “The evaluation method used was even contrary to a standing board policy, calling for an ongoing year-long review as opposed to a cumulative, end-of-year review.
“We’re not doing this fairly guys, I’m telling you,” Feemster said to her colleagues during the discussion portion of the meeting.” Are they going to ask for money back?
 
“Voting for the change were Trustees John Mayer, Angela Taylor, Debra Feemster and Malena Raymond. Voting against were Katy Simon Holland and Scott Kelley. Trustee Veronica Frenkel was not present for the vote.”
 
I think an outside investigation needs be conducted to evaluate the board and a movement to remove those on the board who do with information whatever they want to get their way even if this means discounting as flawed anything that does not support what they wish to support.
 
The relationship of “Trustees” to the administrators whose work they are charged with overseeing also needs to be investigated. DOES THIS BOARD REPRESENT THE NEEDS OF THE STUDENTS OR DOES IT EXIST TO INSURE THAT PEOPLE IT LIKES, NO MATTER WHAT THEIR ACTUAL CONTRIBUTION TO STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, ARE SERVED BY THE DISTRICT?
 
WHAT A TERRIBLE EXAMPLE FOR STUDENTS WHO, I WOULD HOPE, ARE ASKED TO SEEK AND ASSESS INFORMATION TO ARRIVE AT THE VIABLE TRUTHS TO WHICH HONEST RESEARCH LEADS.
 
Washoe County! Wake up. You are being bullshitted by those you elected to serve the truth.