Day 60 Monday May 3, 2010: “Pay For What You Get”


Today is Monday, May 03, 2010, and Day 60 of my time left at the Mont. B Track returned; the parking lot was full and the campus didn’t seem like such a lonely place today. It was a needed breath of energy, of collegiality so lacking the previous week, even though the administration was in evidence in the hallways.


The Magic of the Mont. Harder to kill than a cockroach in a corner on a linoleum floor—and who would know better than a teacher at the Mont about that, eh? Like the damned dandelions on my lawn. In this case, like a phoenix from the ashes. Superman should be so invulnerable. What I saw reminded me of the way we’d often greet each other the evening before the first day of fighting in our SCA wars; old friends who saw each other but once a year, ready to play at Valhalla, fighting by day and reveling by night. The laughter and warmth were not brittle; they felt genuine. To quote “Firefly,” “Shiny!”


Shiny, just like the money that went missing. I know, I know, I know. You get tired of hearing the question. But if you’re tired of it, imagine how the administration must feel dodging the problem. After all, wasn’t one of the big issues Superintendent Cortines brought up December 9 was that Fremont had squandered vast amounts of money, although he wasn’t sure how or who specifically? Wasn’t that what the INDEPENDENT AUDIT was about, the audit which was being conducted the week of the Cortines ukaz (that’s a Russian and Ukrainian thing—an edict or pronouncement, like from a tsar [after all, Mr. Balderas compared Superintendent Cortines to Caesar] or a kniaz, a prince—thought I’d dress it up a bit)? That was supposed to be Stage One that week. All but forgotten.


Stage 2 was supposed to taken place in mid-February, some two and a half months ago. As I recall, the results were supposed to be announced in March.


We are in May now. There still has not been any announcement—not I heard tell. Lots of talk about a grant to power the New Fremont, but no answer as to how much money there was to begin with, how much was spent, and what it was spent on, or even who spent it. One has to wonder why LAUSD/D7/administration remains so silent on the matter?


There was plenty of noise in the beginning of NCLB empowering Superintendent Cortines on his Fremont witch-hunt—nothing personal directed at any pagans out there—but even there, the law seems to be set aside. Where are the parents and community members—not just the select ones, but the ones we met going door to door on community walks? Was it just blind chance we happened to find over SIX HUNDRED within a few blocks of the Mont? If this is blind chance, give us money and we’ll bet it for you in Vegas.  If this were being done legally, why have the students not actually been involved? Why are there parents who need translators in other meetings sitting on the interview panels without benefit of translators present? Why are there no teachers involved in the process? Why are administrators often not in attendance? I suppose we’ll get the blame for the attendance of administrators, too. Maybe Superintendent Cortines will conduct another of his media-engorged educational search-and-rescues looking for the administrators gone missing from the interview panels. If we don’t see an administrator, are we supposed to call home? I sure hope the contact information we have on file is at least as accurate as the information we have for our students…


But then, we have to get back to those pesky legal issues.


Where have all the dollars gone? What happened to the independent audit? Why hasn’t the public been told the fate of taxpayer dollars which made their way into the Mont, but then disappeared?


And if NCLB, which was the justification for launching the campaign against the Mont, isn’t being followed, what exactly is the legal excuse?


Ah, maybe we’re making too much of it. To quote Teddy Roosevelt in “The Wind and the Lion,” “Aw, why spoil the beauty of a thing with legalities?”


Back to watching play-offs: Canucks versus Blackhawks, eh?


May 3, 2010: “Restructuring Fremont High, Pt. 2” on “The Patt Morrison Show” KPCC
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    Chuck Olynyk is a Social Studies teacher who saw the effects of reconstitution upon John C. Fremont High in Los Angeles. These are reposting of his original blogs from the Save Fremont website.


    August 2010



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