More RUSD Problems

IMPROPER LUNCH DETENTION

Lunch Detention

MEMORANDUM
March 24, 2014
To:        Alvarado Principal
Cc:        Ms. Pride- RUSD Board Member
Fr:        Junior’s Dad
Re: Objection to Lunch Detention & Request to Stop Improper Punishment
1. Today after school, Junior told me that he just had been handed by the School a “lunch detention” tomorrow for being “tardy” 4 times within a trimester. I hereby object to such arbitrary and harmful punishment detrimental to the wellbeing of a growing child for reasons set forth below.
2. For some time I have been quite troubled by the arbitrary label of “Tardy” assigned by the school as long as a student is late regardless of the reasons causing such lateness. In fact, Junior should have been commended for his strong desire and volition of attending classes regardless of his illness on two prior occasions. I remember urging Junior to stay home due to a cold. Nevertheless, Junior overwhelmed me with his single-minded quest for studies; he wanted to go to school.
3. When I later got Tardy Notices for the above incidents from Alvarado, I found the Tardy Notices a product of a slot-machine operator, pedantic, arbitrary and bureaucratic without any concerns for substantive merits. Now, I feel compelled to put a stop to such arbitrary, abusive and harmful practice as may be prohibited by law. I have no objections to a proper punishment meted out in proportion to the alleged deviation, but not a “lunch detention” which is harmful to the health of any student, especially not for the arbitrary label contradicted by the merits.
4. Unfortunately, the School District has a tendency overlooking student rights, inflicting impermissible harm to students out of proportion. Please conduct a comprehensive review and remove any such violations. Thank you.
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MEMORANDUM
April 6, 2014
To:        Mrs. Pride- RUSD Board Member
Cc:        Alvarado Principal
Fr:        Junior’s Dad
Re: The Aborted Lunch Detention
1. First, let me thank you both for being so receptive and helpful to my concerns. I am sorry for such a late reply, because I want to make sure that I have studied Alvarado’s Handbook regarding (i) tardy notices, and (ii) lunch detention.
2. After careful review of Alvarado’s handbook, I cannot find any legal basis for Alvarado to cite students with tardy notices or to punish students with lunch detentions as a result of four tardy notices. According to California Education Code, Sec. 51101, absent any prior written notice of any disciplinary rules to a parent, the school cannot punish any student without prior written notice of such rules, i.e., due process. I am bringing this to your attention, not that I want to make something out of nothing, but that I have personally witnessed many severe abuses by the school principal and teachers at Blandford–one of the primary reasons prompting me to run for a school board member so that I can put a stop to such illegal abuses.  Also, Califonia Education Code, Sec. 51101, governs public schools; why should RUSD not comply with the law?
3. It is possible that many of the illegal punishments have been formulated by panjandrum-minded school personnel. They shall not be accepted and enforced like a Bible, notwithstanding the fact that many of them are well intended to discipline students. For example, the current tardy notice can sometimes wrongfully punish a student who has demonstrated extra desire to attend classes despite minor illness that might have caused minor lateness.
4. Therefore, I have two suggestions to make the tardy notice and related punishment for lunch detention, not only in compliance with the law, but in staying true to the notion of fairness and the underlying merits. The school should notify the parents in writing in future handbooks of such punishment and to give the parents a reasonable time of five business days to raise any objections for good cause on the record that may mitigate or avoid the slot-machine consequences.
5. In order to avoid any future confusion, the “Lunch Detention” should be re-termed as “After Lunch Detention”, especially given the fact that the “Nutrition Detention” at Alvarado is being enforced as sitting in a classroom during the entire recess. Had I known that the “Lunch Detention” was really meant for “After Launch Detention”, I might not have raised any objection, not that I agreed to such arbitrary punishment, but that the punishment did not violate the core wellbeing of a growing child.
6. As you may see from the school record, Junior is a low-keyed, good natured student, with commendable performance, winning ad hoc notations of merits from teachers from time to time. He is an Honor Student and a Matador of the Month for February, 2014, earning all A and A-’s, except one B for Computers.
7. Again, my hearty thanks for your continuing care, assistance and support,
Enclo.: Alvarado Handbook (2009-2010) downloaded April 6, 2014, from Alvarado’s website. This should have been updated.

Alvarado Handbook

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CARELESS PLANNING NEGLECTS STUDENT HEALTH

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MEMORANDUM
January 14, 2014
 To:       Alvarado Principal and Mr. Flick 
Cc:        Mrs. Ebenkamp – RUSD Board Member
              Ms. Pride – RUSD Board Member
Fr:         Junior’s Dad
Re:      Immediate Correction of Lunch Schedule to Avoid Ongoing Harm Being Inflicted On Students’ Health
1.    Last Friday, when I picked up Junior from school, Junior was extremely exhausted which never occurred before.  On questioning, I discovered that due to the need to run for 11 laps as required by Mr. Flick’s PE class within 20 to 30 minutes shortly after lunch, Junior had to forgo the lunch in order to avoid either vomiting the food or experiencing extreme stomach pain during running that had happened to him before whenever he was required to run 10 to 12 laps during Mr. Flick’s PE class right after the second lunch break from 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM on a Friday.
2.    Any reasonable person from living experiences knows that it is not only unhealthy, but detrimental, and maybe dangerous, to run shortly after a meal.  I was appalled that such things are allowed to occur at Alvarado on a weekly basis, inflicting ongoing harm to students that should have never occurred and that could have been avoided through responsible, caring and intelligent scheduling the lunch time for PE class students.
3.    According to Junior, Alvarado has 2 lunch breaks, i.e., (i) from 12:00 noon 12:30 PM and (ii) from 1:00 to 1:30 PM. It is a gross negligence to have scheduled a lunch break from 1:00 to 1:30 PM for students having a PE class commencing at 1:40 PM that often requires students to run 10 to 12 laps within a few minutes during Mr. Flick’s PE class.
4.    On behalf of all students that are similarly situated, I respectfully ask Alvarado and RUSD Board Members to make immediate correction of such harmful schedules to students’ health and wellbeing.  Please let me know in writing the status or the measures being taken by Alvarado and the School District.  Thanks,

WHY AM I RUNNING?

Achieve a Wholesome Place for Students 

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When I signed up at the County Registrar’s Office to run for one of the three seats on the School Board, I put down my occupation as “Nobody ”, but the staff told me I had to be “Somebody”. Well the only “somebody” that I am who I think fits in this election is a concerned parent and taxpayer. I have lived in this area for 20 some years. But it is in the capacity of “concerned parent and taxpayer” that I am running and I will tell you why.
I am compelled to run based on my seven years of dealing with the teachers, the substitute teachers, the principal, the Assistant Superintendents, the superintendent, and the school board members, and many of their secretaries, only to find them acting in concert with each other to perpetuate their deceitful or illegal operations, telling me, for example, that there is no employment contacts for school principals, among many ongoing violations of the California Public Records Act.

My son is now in Seventh Grade in Alvarado Intermediate School. During the last seven years, I have discovered many serious managerial, teaching and learning problems that are getting worse without any sign of getting better. However, the real overarching problem is that the current School Board and School Management have treated the School District their private fiefdom, disregarding any input from the concerned parents for improvement. What has happened, as a result, is that one of the better school districts in Southern California has a “brain drain” of its students to neighboring school districts—or to charter schools housed in the same school buildings deserted by the same students looking for better education. However, our School Board comforts itself by telling us that they have prevailed in court to stop the outflow of our students to neighboring school districts, because the recent outflow of over 2,000 students in 2010 alone almost ruined the financial health of the School District.

The real problem for current School Board and School Management is that these official bodies have been treating our students as their income producing property. It was not a “fiscal decision” as deceptively argued by the School District, but a genuine “parental decision” to transfer the students to other school districts, because neither the students nor the parents have any financial gain from the transfers, but for better education. The proper solution is to address the teaching and learning gap, making the Board and the management transparent and accountable to the parents and the community. The California Code of Education requires a school district to “genuinely welcome parents as equal partners” in the education process that has proven to be most beneficial to the students. Had the School Board and School Management listened to parents, and listened to students, they would have realized the problems and prevented such student-flight.

Rectify Deceitful Press Release by RUSD on School Closures

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According to the School District’s own press release as approved by the Board, the loss of 1,940 students to Walnut Valley Unified School District caused 3 schools to be closed in 2010, as approved by the Board. Those schools are Farjardo Elementary School, La Seda Elementary, and Rincon Intermediate School. Throughout their press release, School Management blamed the State for cutting the budget and blamed the parents for transferring students to other school districts. There was not a single word acknowledging mismanagement by the School Board and School Management. Rowland Heights is not a failed city like Detroit, where the city has already gone bankrupt and the school system has been deserted and is nearly bankrupt as well. Ours is still a prosperous part of Southern California, and we deserve better for our tax dollars, and shame on the School Board and School Management for their misleading press releases and misguided policies.

Stop Students Being Used as Income-Producing Property

The School District has issued another press release priding themselves for having won the court battle against Walnut Valley Unified School District so that Walnut could not accept further transfers from our school district, because the court adopted RUSD’s argument that the issue of the dispute causing such transfers to Walnut School District was a “fiscal decision”, not a “parental decision”. What a fat nonsense! School kids do not move to other districts on their own. Their parents make that decision and move across district lines for better education. It was a “parental decision” based on academic needs, not based on fiscal needs that drove many of us to cross school district lines. As far as the parents are concerned, they did not gain or lose a penny by moving students from one school district to another. The State pays the same amount of money for each student enrolled regardless of whether the students are in Rowland or in Walnut. It is the declining teaching and learning quality at Rowland Unified School District that compelled the parents to move. It was not a fiscal decision.

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Not a single word in the entire press release showed any admission of fault in running the School District into the ground. Given this court order, the School District is now perhaps the only public school in our area that has been judicially sanctioned to be incompetent and irresponsible. The Rowland Unified School District can only become worse, because they are now judicially protected, not having to worry about losing more than ten percent (10%) of our students per annum. Shame on you, the School Board, and shame on you the Management!

Stop Practices of Anti-Parents and Anti-Students

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The Rowland Unified School District is anti-teachers, anti-parents, and anti-students”. According to the President’s Letter of the Rowland Teachers Union, our School District pays lower salaries to our teachers compared to the surrounding school districts. At the same time, amazingly, the School Board is paying School Management one of the highest salaries in Los Angeles County for such judicially sanctioned, incompetent management. It is an abuse of fiduciary duty by the Board to reward such incompetent School Management with such high compensation when they have been presiding over a school district that needs a court order to protect their incompetence.
No wonder there is no incentive for School Management to improve its academic quality. From the same source, I see that the Rowland Unified School District has just recently awarded a contract to a “Board favored” consulting company to work on the academic program for the entire school district without seeking input from any of the teachers that are teaching the students every day and without seeking input from the parents—which is required by law in the Education Code, Sec. 51100: to genuinely welcome parents as equal partners in the education process that has proven to benefit the students most. This Board also blindly maintained its stance disregarding the fact that seventy five percent (75%) of the Teachers Union petitioned to remove the superintendent for Lack of Confidence. The Board had just appointed the new superintendent against the advice of the Teachers Union that the Board should conduct a national search and the new superintendent must have some teaching experiences.

Make RUSD Comply with the Law

'We're dealing with a really defiant criminal here...'

Another serious problem I have found in dealing with the Rowland Unified School District is they simply chose to disregard the law, willfully violating the California Education Code and the California Public Records Act. Here are some recent examples. For several weeks, I have been trying to get the public records for (i) offering materials and closing papers for School District’s General Obligation Bond and related refinancing that allegedly has saved $3 Million of interest cost, (ii) offering materials and closing papers for School District’s Measure R Bond of $160 Million, (iii) the designs, permits, construction and maintenance contracts for that problem-plagued swimming pool project, and new facilities, (iv) all the employment contracts or agreements for the Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, School Principals, School Security Chief, and any payment records made for the 6-month period before October 1, 2013, and (v) the consulting contracts or agreements recently awarded to a Board favored group or any other entity for a new academic program for the entire School District.
We all know that by law documents of this nature are public records subject to public inspection during normal business hours and subject to production to any requesting citizen. I needed to study them so that I could answer questions raised by voters. Yet, for the last several weeks, School Management has been stonewalling. As of today, I have yet to receive any public records that the School District is required to produce within 10 days of my requests pursuant to California Public Records Act, Sections 6250, 6052 and 6253, as demonstrated in my email correspondence under the menu of “RUSD Problems” on this website.
The saddest part is that this is not the only occasion on which the School District has violated the law. It is also illegal for the School Management to grant access to the incumbents for reelection only, but not equally to all others. The School District has also violated due process required by the Education Code, Sec. 51101 to notify the parents of any school rule, including disciplinary rules, before any punishment can be imposed on a student. They also refused to provide the student school records within five (5) days of the request either orally or in writing as required by the Education Code, Sec. 56504. When the District office finally produced the aforesaid school records, it was incomplete, missing documents that could have incriminated the School District and the personnel involved, notwithstanding Education Code, Sec. 56504 specifically prohibiting any such alteration or editing.
Therefore, when I look at the School District’s self-professed mission and goals for “integrity, excellence, respect, responsibility and accountability”, the School District has failed every one of them. Integrity, Excellence, Respect, Responsibility & Accountability ?

Re-Write School Board Bylaws, Eliminating Corruptions

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The practically void Bylaws of 1 and ½ pages have been the primary cause of non-transparent and unaccountable operations that are rife with deceit, abuses, violations, and incompetence. The current “Bylaws” talk about nothing but Board election with sketchy, ambiguous references to some Code Sections that, as cited, are not complied with. There is a joke allowing such meaningless Bylaws to guide the Board and the School Management running an annual budget of almost $150 million dollars for a student body of almost 15,000, not to mention the sizable number of teachers and support staff. The only way to correct the problems listed is to rewrite the bylaws.
If we are going to have Bylaws, let us have Bylaws that actually provide some remedy against the inept, evasive, deceitful and illegal practices of the School Management. The new Bylaws must specifically provide (i) parents and students an independent legal counsel to advocate the rights of students and parents to prevent abuses, violations or non-compliance of parental or student rights, and (ii) the community taxpayers an independent accounting firm to conduct periodical audit of public spending of local, State or Federal funds received by the School District, and (iii) the community with timely posting of every school and public record, every pubic project in progress, the cash reserve, the investment portfolio, any return of such investment, and any proceeds from any sources, either from grant, award, donation or rental income, so that those bare bones mottoes and virtues may have real life, not hollow words.
The recent multi-million dollar swimming pool project at Rowland High School is another example of mismanagement and waste that could have been avoided with a separate accounting firm monitoring the project, that has made the School District already a prisoner to the project before it is built. From a policy perspective, it is also totally unclear why such a project was undertaken at all in light of statewide water shortage and the state budget cut when the Board and Management themselves have not been able to provide teachers with sufficient supplies for classroom needs.
Next we should review or re-negotiate the union contracts with the teachers union and the employees union (i) to achieve fair, just and competitive compensation to ensure delivery of quality teaching and supporting services and (ii) to remove deficient teachers or employees from the School District. If teachers are better anywhere, there is no reason we cannot have better teachers here. By adopting this policy, we can also attract best teachers from the neighboring school districts. If the School District demonstrates commitment and improvement in teaching and learning quality, the students will come back; their parents will also want them to come back. It will be a happy problem when we our neighboring school districts complain about reverse student flight back to the Rowland Unified School District.

United-We Prevail!

To conclude, my campaign seeks no commercial endorsement. My proposals do not involve hiring or firing, absent compelling needs to cut waste or to remove deficient teachers or employees. Our new citizens are as committed to these qualities as those who have been here longer. If you share this commitment, this passion, this approach, this method and this vision, then please rise to the occasion, joining me so that we, as a team, can stem the tide of flight from our public schools—by returning meaningful public oversight to our schools.

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I WANT TO:

  • ABOLISH the Ever-Condemned Bureaucracy !
  • ERADICATE Incompetence & Corruption !
  • EMPOWER Parents to Remove Unresponsive Management !
  • CUT Wasteful Spending by School Management !
  • LOWER Class-Size !
  • STOP Illegal & Unfair Punishment of Your Child !
  • SO THAT Parental/Student Rights are Honored & Teaching/Learning Quality Can be Improved !

Vote for WILD CHANG

1. The man with skills & determination to abolish ever-condemned bureaucracy at RUSD.

2. The man with determination & commitment to eradicate incompetence & corruptions at RUSD.

3. The man with expertise to rewrite Bylaws making RUSD transparent & accountable.

4. The man with passion & vision to revitalize RUSD to achieve integrity & excellence .

Ensure Adequate Care for Our Kids to Develop

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So that They Can Grow into Good Crops…

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Local School Board Can Tax You Like City Hall

Local School Board Can Tax You Like City Hall

Tax Hike-4

Folks,

Throughout my campaign, I was shocked to find out that NOT one was aware of the fact that your local public school Board has the taxing authority and power to hit your pocket, increasing your property tax, as long as you own a property here.  Most people thought that the local school board election is the lowest level without any significance.  A lot of people show zero interest in such low level of election, because their children had gone to college.  This is the biggest common mistake and misconception in everyone’s mind that have made them victims of school board elections.  

I want you to pick up your recent property tax bill now and take a closer look.  You will be shocked to find that under “Unified Schools“, your property tax bill has just gone up 1.3% of your property value by yet another unnecessary and wasteful school bond issued by your local school board.

 Tax Hike-8

As long as you are a property owner, you have been a victim of current school Board, because they have increased your property taxes to issue more school bonds, allegedly,  for building more school facilities.  They are doing it again.   

They just closed 3 schools and lost over 2,000 students.  Why do we need to build more school facilities when they had to lease the unused, closed facilities to private school, collecting rent as a landlord?   

Therefore, you should take this election very seriously.  You will find many compelling facts and evidence showing that the current school board is corrupt, dishonest, incompetent, unethical, discriminatory and illegal, running the school district like a quasi-criminal operation that perhaps only the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO“) can bring them to justice, forcing them to disgore whatever profits or issues derived from their wrongful proceeds from the RUSD either directly or indirectly, plus treble damages.  Below are just summaries and the background why I am compelled to participate in this election for no other purposes than cleaning up this corrupt and decayed bureaucracy for the best interest of our children and our entire community.

各位選民、學生、家長、朋友好

Thank voters-Chinese-2

 

各位選民、學生、家長、朋友好

首先,謹在此衷心感謝每位支持者。雖然我們受限於人力和資源,但我們投入的心力卻值得驕傲。因為假如扣除ARE羅蘭教師及校職員兩個工會所操控之1,600 會員鐵票,我們所得到的票數實高過兩位工會支持當選人之得票數。

在這次選舉中,ARE羅蘭教師工會提供三十位老師和眾多學生全力輔選兩位當選人。但如果沒有這些強大資源,選舉的結果應是完全不同。這次的選舉,只有不到百分之二十的登記選民投票。所以對關心教育與學生權益之家長、大眾選民而言,這只是暫時挫折。我們應該繼續努力,呼籲大眾,將教育的焦點放到莘莘學子身上,而不是工會所保障之少數會員利益。

儘管選舉結果令大家失望,可是透過各位共同努力,我們已擊敗一個任職十多年卻讓學區每況愈下,又想連任之貪腐教委。若非當前學區總監非法配合,隱瞞學區濫發鉅額公債,魚肉社區選民之弊端公文,另一位現任教委,將法吊尾連任。不過就算矇眾險勝,亦將受到選民嚴勵監督檢視。以杜重蹈腐敗、無能、不實之行徑後果。

最遺憾的是,這次選舉是我之前在網站上「SOS」專欄中預警之最壞結果。即一方面讓現任腐敗、無能、不實之教委連任,繼續公然非法蔑視法律,不受大眾監督、檢驗、負責;另一方面,還加上兩位由工會支持之候選人當選。

因為教師工會與學區所簽訂之工會合約,在洋洋八十頁、兩萬三千多字中,只談如何保障提升教師會員之薪薋福利。對如何提昇教學品質、維護學生權益卻隻字不提。這份不平等合約,已造成學區教育品質每況愈下,關閉三所學校,丟了兩千多名學生。不但腐敗教委讓無能高層做領高薪,居然沒有一位老師被革職負責。將來學區教委運作,將受工會跟地方派系掌控、支配,擺佈。我們每位莘莘學子、家長、社選民只能自求多福,教育前景勘憂。

另外發人深省,即美國所自傲之民主選舉制度已完全變質,與當初全民參政之多數決已背道而馳。目前每次選舉,都受工會、地方派系跟即得利益團體操作,掌控選舉結果。不能選賢與能,反應選民心聲。經過幾天沉澱、辯論、縝密思考,我們深信,只要再接再厲,喚醒沉默大眾,關心教育與莘莘學子之權益及未來,我們的支持者將是一支無可抗拒之社區力量,指令我們下次齊力取代工會、地方派系跟即得利益團體,排除任何非法操作,使我們學區之運作健康正常。

為順應有志人士及家長之敦促,一起重視下一代教育,不能稍懈。將立即採取具體措施、透過社團力量:(一)預防,揭穿和糾正任何學區教委、總監、校長、教職員等不誠實、未能盡職、腐敗、違法或公然非法,蔑視法律之荒繆行徑,(二)通過各種座談跟社區活動,喚醒沉默大眾,以杜絕被工會、利益團體操縱選舉結果,(三)重新改寫教委章程,做到不但能有效監控學區運作,更能懲處失職、腐敗、無能、違法之教委及其他教職員。達到剷除官僚 ,杜絕浪費加稅 ,提昇教學品質,爭取小班教學,維護學生權益,改造頹敗,重建基礎 為下一代提供不受政治污染的一片藍天綠地,再創佳果。(譯文者Charlie Tu)

: Charlie百忙抽空,活譯本文,比原文更能表達選民心聲。特此申謝。 Charlie, A wonderful job! Many thanks,

Dear Supporters

Thank Voters-1

Dear Supporters,

First we would like to express our hearty thanks to each and every supporter.  We have accomplished a lot with minimal manpower and resources available, surpassing those elected, because if we subtracted from the top 2 elected (i) 800 votes delivered by the Rowland Teachers Union, and (ii) another 800 votes delivered by the Employees Union, our votes are much higher than those of the top 2 elected.  

Absent the formidable war chest and 30 teachers, plus many students, campaigning full time for those 2, it is very doubtful any of those 2 would have won the election.  Based on the merits and substance, I should have won.  For now, it is  a temporary setback of student and parental rights and the silent majority of the community, because only less than 20% of the registered voters cast their votes in this election.

Nevertheless, our relentless investigation of the incumbent corruptions has at least defeated one and marginalized the other.  But for the illegal practice of withholding public records about the bond issues by the current management acting in concert with the 2 incumbents running for re-election, the second incumbent would have been defeated as well.

The results of this election are the worst combination as I have forewarned under S.O.S., Rise to Act NOW Before It’s Too Late.  On the one hand, you have the same incompetent and dishonest current Board members that have perpetuated violating the California Public Records Act and the California Code of Education as well demonstrated throughout my campaign and on this website.   Given the 80-page, 23,000 words union contract, the current board has not been able to fire any teacher because of deficient performance that has contributed to closing 3 schools and losing over 2,000 students.  Now, we have 2 new board members that have been bankrolled by the teachers Union.  Their singular duty is to advocate the best interest of the member teachers, leaving the students, the parents and the entire community at the mercy of the powerful unions.

This is another unfortunate phenomenon and painful reality in American democracy, i.e., virtually every election is controlled by unions or political machines.   After a full day of reflection and debates, we consider that given more practice and discipline, those supporters can be multiplied into an invincible force, because the silent majority, when awaken, is the the ultimate mandate for the community, not those proxies of unions, and certainly not those through dishonest and illegal manipulations.

On advice of certain community members and parents, we are in the process of forming a focused civic entity taking immediate steps (i) to prevent, debunk and correct any deficient, incompetent, dishonest or corrupt practices in existing and future operations of the school Board and management, (ii) to prevent and correct such distorted election results through forums and events waking up the silent majority, and (iii) to recall any Board Member that fails or breaches his or her fiduciary duty, engages in self-dealings, or any other illegal act contrary to the word or the spirit of any applicable law.  Stay tuned. 

THE TRAGEDIES OF SIMPLE MAJORITY RULE

Fallacy of Democracy

THE TRAGEDIES OF SIMPLE MAJORITY RULE

The simple majority rule, when created, was hailed as the ultimate epitome of human accomplishment in modern civilization–democracy, replacing tyranny, corruption and abuse.  However, over the years as the population grows, this simple majority rule has become a monster of anti-democracy.

Simple majority rule made perfect sense when there was a full participation by every voter.  In the old days, it was feasible for each potential voter attending a town hall meeting, seeing and hearing firsthand the delivery, arguments or debates by all the candidates.  Each could even ask questions and expected to get answers from a candidate.   Each voter was able to make an informed decision before casting the vote.  Therefore, the simple majority rule worked then.

Simple majority rule can only work when the population is small. Unfortunately, nowadays only a small fraction of voters, usually less than 20 percent, cast their votes in most elections in this country.  As it turns out, you only need 11% of the votes cast to control and manipulate the outcome of most elections.  In most cases, unions, special interest groups and political machines control more than 11% of the votes being cast. Unfortunately, those unions and special interest groups often represent the opposite of the best interests of the 89% silent majority.

This has become a tremendous social cost that has virtually driven the country into the ground, because, through the chosen proxies elected, the unions, special interest groups and political machines monopolize the power to allocate the public resources as spoils to themselves, to re-insure re-elections, defeating the very purpose of democracy at public expense.  This situation can only get worse, unless rectified now.  

There are countless examples throughout the country from local to federal governments from D.C. to Detroit to the nearby City of Bell and Rowland Unified School District (“RUSD”) in California.  Let’s examine RUSD for example.  Within the last 3 years, the virtually same Board Members, that have been running the school district for the last 10 years, have lost over 2,000 students to neighboring school districts for better education and closed 3 schools.  They even had to lease the closed, unused school facilities to a private school, Southlands, collecting rent as a landlord.  Furthermore, the RUSD School Board has in the last 10 years over-taxed our properties, sitting on a cash reserve 4 times more than required by the state law.  In short, they have more school facilities than they can use; they have more cash reserve than they can spend.  There is no justification whatsoever for RUSD to collect another single penny from property owners.

And yet, that incompetent and corrupt school board, acting in concert with the management, is issuing another $160 Million school bonds allegedly for building more school facilities, rewarding most generous payments to that equally incompetent and corrupt management that has been running the school district like a quasi-criminal operation, defiant to law and ethics, e.g., refusing to produce any public records and awarding contracts to companies owned or controlled by board/family members, notwithstanding vehement protests by parents and teachers.

Last November, to compensate the successful campaign for re-election of certain board member, the Superintendent that had been condemned by the teachers union, teachers, parents and all new candidates was just illegally rewarded by the current board members with an extended employment contract before its expiration right before the new board members were sworn in to preempt the likely termination by the new Board Members.

It’s time to reverse the simple majority rule to prevent corruptions, abuses and incompetence, unless and until there is a full or at least 51% participation in an election.

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THIS CAN ONLY GET WORSE, UNLESS DRASTICALLY CURED.

Another Tax Hike By Local School Board!

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By Wild Chang
Do you know as a property owner,  you have just been hit by your local public school board with another school bond, increasing your property tax by 1.3% of your property value for building more school facilities without any justification. Check your property bill that you just received and you will see a substantial increase under the item called “Unified Schools”.  No one is immune from being a victim of our public school board, as long as you are a voter or as long you are a property owner in the Rowland Unified School District. 
Within the last 3 years, they lost over 2,000 students and closed 3 schools.  They even had to lease the closed, unused school facilities to a private school, collecting rent as a landlord.  They have over taxed us and have been sitting on a cash reserve 4 times more than required by the state law.  They have more school facilities than they can use, and they have more cash reserve than they can spend.  Therefore, there is absolutely no justification whatsoever, issuing another $160 Millions school bonds allegedly for building more school facilities.   If this is not an abuse of their taxing powers, what else can you call it.  Enough!!!.  
Based on my personal experience dealing with the School District, the current school board and current school management have been running our school district like a quasi-criminal operation, without any accountability and without any transparency. They have willfully violated the California Education Code and the California Public Records Act.  Under the Public Records Act, any public agency, including the local school board, is required to produce  the public record being requested within 10 business days.  As of today, they have not produced any single page of any public record that I have requested since September 19, 2013.   Just visit my web under RUSD Problems and you will see the detailed email correspondence showing the ongoing violations by the Board.
If I am elected, I am going to stop them from issuing the remaining $110 Million school bonds that are slated to be issued soon.  If I am elected, I am going to find a way to give you a tax refund from the $50 million they had just improperly taxed on your property.
Compared to other candidates, I might be the only person that can stop them from such abuses and wrongdoings, because of my prior legal training being a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School with a Juries Doctor degree, and because of my prior professional experiences working on Wall Street on bond issues advising the underwriters and the issuers.
This is just of one of the many wrongdoings and abuses being committed by the current school board and management.  This is just one of many reasons why I am running for the Rowland Unified School District Board.  Please watch my videos on this web and Youtube for additional coverage.

That Englishy, But Un-English School Compact

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By Wild Chang
Recently, my 7th grade son came home with the HOME & SCHOOL COMPACT from Alvarado Middle School, as shown below, asking me to sign it so that he could return our signed copy to his homeroom teacher the following morning.  Otherwise, he would not have any recess as a punishment by the homeroom teacher, also called “without any nutrition”.  Since I was very busy running my campaign for the Rowland Unified School Board, I told my son that I needed time to review the Compact before I could sign it and before he was allowed to sign it.  My son was very upset, because he did not want to be punished.  I reassured my son that it should be alright as long as he relayed my message to the teacher that “I need time to study the school Compact and please do not punish my son.  Please call my Dad, if he has any problem with my request.” 
The following morning, my son told his homeroom teacher about my request, but was told by the teacher “You have to go to the office, because they are the ones who made this Compact.”  My son was too afraid to go to the office that day.  He came home demanding that we both sign the Compact to avoid the consequences.
On the way to school the second morning, I told my son to ask the office in charge of this Compact to give me a call.  Very reluctantly, my son accepted.  Shortly, my son called me from the office, telling me that the office could not call me, but I must call the office.
I called the office and asked the person answering the phone whether she was the person that just spoke to my son about the signing of the School Compact.  After confirmation, I asked her politely if there was any reason she could not call a parent after she was asked by the student.  I told her that I would need additional time to study and review the school Compact before my son and I could sign it.  In addition, I asked her to relay to my son’s homeroom teacher not to punish my son for this request.  She told me that my son would not be punished and that the teacher should not have warned my son with such punishment.  A few minutes later, she called me back, confirming that the teacher had been notified of my request.
A few days later, finally having a break from my campaign, I was able to review the school Compact and given the solemnity of this school Compact consisting of a well printed original and a simultaneous-imaged carbon copy requiring signing and dating by (i) the guardian parent, (ii) the student, and (iii) the teacher, I decided to take a careful look at the Compact.  And I discovered, notwithstanding the apparent good intentions by the school, the Alvarado School Compact was nevertheless a very Englishy, but un-English and improper, Compact in form and substance. 
As to the form: legally speaking, only a school principal can sign a binding contact on behalf of the school, if so authorized by the school district management.  Absent prior written authorization or approval, a teacher’s signature simply cannot represent or bind the school or all other teachers as indicated in the Compact, i.e., “All teachers have agreed to abide by this compact” right under the signing “Teacher’s signature”.  Given the evasive answer by the homeroom teacher the previous day that it was the office that had the authority about the Compact, the signing teacher apparently lacks the authority to sign and bind on behalf of the school or other teachers, making this whole exercise nothing but another abuse of power and authority, and another waste of public funds by the school management, disregarding the fact that teachers have been complaining about lack of funds for classroom supplies.
Mentally speaking, this school Compact is yet another of the many examples demonstrating the imperial mentality of the school and district management treating teachers, parents and students as their colonial subjects that must sign and pledge to “all the school and classroom rules”.  Somehow the school itself is immune from signing the same Compact, notwithstanding the title of the document being called the “Home & School Compact”.  This is not fair, violating the fundamental canon of treating parents as equal partners by the school district as specifically required by the California Code of Education, Sec. 51100.
As to the substance: I discovered that all the pledges were rife with many mistakes in grammar, syntax, and operational attitude.  Below are some examples.  In the Parent’s Pledge, it is not correct or sufficient for a parent to get involved in the child’s education through “[p]articipation in school events” only, because a parent in a public school must be treated by the school as equal partner in the entire education process, more than just occasional participation in school events.  This encompasses the formation and delivery of the curriculum, teaching materials and assignments.  The whole mentality possessed by the entire school district of treating parents as subjects is wrong and unacceptable that must be changed to “[g]enuinely welcome the parents as equal partners to participate in the education process” as expressly required by law.  The last “Have” should be “Having”. 
In the Student’s Pledge, there are many serious problems.   For example, it is incorrect to say “Arriving to school”.  You can only arrive “in” or “at” a location, depending on the situation; you cannot “arrive to” a place in any circumstances.  Furthermore, how can a student be responsible for his own behavior by following all school and classroom rules?  A student can only be responsible for his own behavior, if and only if that student fails to follow any schools and classroom rules.   Having witnessed many abuses by school personnel with illegal school rules, I will never pre-agree to all school rules, unless promulgated pursuant to due process under the Education Code.  “Spending time” is often used to imply unwanted or undesirable waste or use of time.  Therefore, it is incorrect to say “Spending time at home reading and studying”; it should be rephrased, “Reading and studying daily at home.”  “Being honest, no matter what the circumstances” shall apply to all, not limited to students only, especially given the deceitful practices being engaged by some at the School District.
The Teacher’s Pledge is equally problematic.  For example, how can a teacher correct and return “appropriate work” in a timely manner?  It is one thing for a teacher to assign appropriate work for students to work on; it is wrong and impossible to characterize the homework completed by students as appropriate or inappropriate.  Therefore, the “appropriate work” should be rephrased as “the students work”
To conclude, it is most disturbing and disheartening to see such a solemn school Compact printed with extra expenses, only to contain serious legal, academic and English usage mistakes throughout this Compact.  It is more likely that this deficient school Compact must have been authored by pedantic bureaucrats for distribution year after year, exceeding the powers and authorities bestowed upon any school teacher, any school principal or any other school personnel. 
This demonstrates nothing but the ongoing abuse of powers and authorities and the ongoing wrongful, superior, sovereign mentality of bureaucracy that must be stopped and eradicated from the roots forthwith.  It is also alarming to witness yet another example of deficient English teaching on a wholesale basis, filling the entire community with many graduates that are mal-produced by the school district. 
This is just another example of arrogance and incompetence of journeyman bureaucrats, wasting public funds under the pretext of public education that must be stopped or otherwise rectified forthwith for the best interest of the students, the teachers and the community. 
I like disciplines and compacts, but only the ones that bind the School Management as well.

(Click for Alvarado Compact)

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That Deceptive $3 Million Savings by RUSD!

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By Wild Chang
Recently the Rowland Unified School Board and School Management issued a Press Release, priding themselves of saving almost $3 Million in interest cost from a recent refinance of a school General Obligation Bond.  On closer examination of the Press Release alone, it reveals that the School Board and the School Management have in fact wasted at least more than double, or even more, before the refinance due to the much higher interest rate when the bond was issued, and due to the prolonged delay of the much needed refinance, given the interest rate has been very low for several years.
The worst part is not over, because that Cash Reserve of $54 Million probably derived from the bond issue is still shrinking very day, because the School District, as a California public agency under the State law can only invest such cash reserve in federal or California public agency bonds.  Every student of finance or every intelligent household knows that the cost of borrowing is always higher than the return being generated from investing in similar government bonds, because of the huge transactional cost involved in issuing a bond.
A private or profit seeking company can take advantage of raising funds from the capital markets when the interest rate is low to increase the company’s cash reserve, because a private company does not have a State-mandated restriction on reinvestment, thus free to pursue ventures that will bring in much higher return.  In many cases, many retail operations can multiply the return several times within a fiscal year because the turnover is short and fast.
However, the School District, as a public agency of the State, can only pay higher interest on its cash reserve than it can earn on restricted investment in government bonds.  Then, we must ask the School Board and the School Management why sitting on such shrinking cash reserve when the State only requires a public school to keep a 10% reserve.   According to the School Board’s Press Release, the annual budget is only $138 Million, so a $14 Million cash reserve should be adequate.  The excess, but daily shrinking, $40 Million cash reserve is an ongoing waste of the community taxpayers’ hard-earned money. 
It was a breach of fiduciary duty by the Board and the Management to raise excess money from taxpayers only to sit paying interest on cash reserve.  It was a breach of fiduciary duty to wait so long to refinance.  It is unfair to the teachers that have to use their own money to buy school supplies for the students.  It is dishonest and illegal for the schools to use various campaigns to trick sympathetic parents into donating funds, books, supplies and improvements quarter after quarter, and year after year, only to realize that the senior School Management personnel, such as Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, School Principals, and Chief Security Officer, etc., are getting paid at the top 10% in the entire Los Angeles County for a performance of closing 3 schools in 2010 and for a performance of losing over 2,000 students to other school districts seeking better teaching and better learning.
Under normal circumstances, those people should have been fired, as once strongly petitioned by the Rowland Teachers Union to fire the Superintendent.  Instead of getting fired for unacceptable performance, the current School Board and School Management had the guts and audacity wasting our money on lawyers going to court suing Walnut Valley Unified School District for accepting 1,940 students from Rowland Unified School District.
The current School Board and School Management even prided themselves for having won the court battle by being able to convince the court that student transfer is a “fiscal decision”, not a “parental decision”.  This means that Rowland Unified School District has been treating the students as their income-producing property, rather than human beings.  Every honest human being knows that it is the parents who make the decision to transfer their child to another school district for better education.  In short, it is a “parental decision”, not a “fiscal decision” as the School District had hoodwinked the court into accepting such ridiculous, bizarre argument, because the parents receive no finical gains from such transfers.  But the State funds follow the student.  This court decision is very likely unconstitutional that I will discuss in another editorial.
Instead of seeking self-improvement to stem the tide of student outflow, the School Board and School Management chose to resort costly litigation to protect their incompetence and gross mismanagement.  Because of this judgment, now the management at Rowland Unified School District is judicially-sanctioned to be incompetent.  It is also the only public school district that is judicially-sanctioned to be protected for its incompetence, because under the judgment, no schools can accept more than 10% of students transferred from Rowland School District, regardless of how bad the Management at Rowland is going to be.  Shame on the current Board and shame on the current Management!
By the way, since September 20, 2013, I have been requesting the current School Board and current School Management to provide me the public records on the General Obligation Bond issue and the alleged refinance that have saved $3 Million under the California Public Records Act, as of this writing, they chose to violate the law, refusing to produce any documents. 
Do we really need to keep such incompetent School Board members and Management that are not only anti-students, anti-parents, anti-teachers and anti-community, but also defiant to law?

Love Alone is Not Enough

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By Wild Chang
During the recent candidates forum hosted by Rowland Parents and Educators Association at Rowland Community Center, almost every candidate preached “love” for the community as the main driving cause to run for this election.  I was the only candidate who pointed out that “love” alone was not enough, otherwise everyone living in this community should be elected to run the school board.  None, except me, has provided any substantive and concrete steps to resolve the current issues and problems being confronted by the school district.
In fact, we need more than “love” that has been unfortunately overly recycled without any meaningful substance.  In addition to passion and compassion for the community, what we need are solid plans of solutions to achieve better education for our next generation:
(i)                To tear apart the issues and ferret out the problems so that the long accumulated, but ever condemned bureaucracy can be abolished and eradicated;
(ii)              To overhaul the entire school district by rewriting the Bylaws that govern the school Board and the school Management so that the future operations of the school district can be transparent, and that the future school Board and School Management can be held accountable to the students, the parents, the teachers, and the entire community;
(iii)            To install an independent legal counsel for the students, the parents and the community to ensure full compliance with applicable State and Federal law by the school district so that our rights are not abused or compromised as is the current situation;
(iv)            To install an independent accounting firm for the students, the parents and the community to ensure faithful compliance with strict fiscal discipline so that public taxing and spending abuses as is the current situation can be avoided;
(v)              To empower the parents to remove the incompetent or irresponsive school Management personnel so that we parents and students do not have to move to another school district for better education, but let us remove those ungrateful liabilities away from this school district.
(vi)            To post every public record on the school website for open access and public examination and inspection consistent with the spirit of the California Public Records Act;
(vii)          To post periodically as required by law the status and results of the school district’s cash reserve, and its spending of the annual budget and its every public project in progress;
(viii)        To ensure equal participation by the parents and the teachers in the formation and delivery of teaching materials so that the students receive the best results of teaching and learning, not just ostensible growth in testing numbers, but in substantive writing skills; and
(ix)            To stop the illegal and unfair punishment of students absent advanced written notice of any such school rules to the parents, and to stop any illegal and unequal privileges for select students by the school Management simply because they are children of school personnelequal treatment for all!
Above are just some of the most urgent steps that must be implemented.  In light of the above enumerated tasks, none of them can be accomplished by “love” alone; we need someone with solid professional training, abilities, experiences and commitment who is not afraid of the enormous resistance from the existing members of the School Board and the School Management and who is not afraid of bringing any of the wrong doers to justice.
Let us talk about “love” in an empty context no morebut concrete steps to resolve the many issues and problems created by the current members of the School Board and the School Management.