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    « Union Voting Wrapping Up | Main | CUSD Teachers Authorize Strike »

    April 15, 2010

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    Two comments:
    1) The article above is invisible here on this blog because the text is black on a black background. But the version that came to my RSS reader works fine because I can view it there on a white background.

    2) The church is really stretching the definition of political to call the strike vote a "political event."

    In functional communities, school board issues are not political. In functional communities, teachers are not a divisive force. And dysfunctional communities could use help in a time of crisis.

    If Coast Hills was judged on the basis of community-building goals or even the support of all God's children, this church clearly failed the test. That will not be forgotten.

    Seems fair to me. We don't want God in the classroom, maybe classroom issues should stay out of church.

    A) This is not an apology from Coast Hills.

    B) Coast Hills DOES NOT NEED TO apologize, it was the CUEA that mis-represented the focus of the meeting to the church, and then lied to the public with their announcement that the School Board influenced the church's decision.

    C) I do not attend Coast Hills, but may in the future. I appreciate the honesty and integrity of the leaders of this church.

    Here's a parent's comment to Bobbie. It's a goodie:

    Subject: The World is Watching

    Dear Superintendent and Board of Trustees:


    I have written you weeks earlier to express my interest in the Board of Trustees returning to the negotiating table with the teachers of CapistranoUnified. After much time educating myself about the facts of the current conflict, I felt strongly it was time to write again and more fully express my concerns.

    In fact, I would say I have moved from concerned to disturbed as I have learned the facts of how the Board has managed the money and decision making in our district. I would hope that at some point, each of you was motivated to pursue a leadership position out of a worthwhile call to service. I always try to assume the best. Of course, if you were motivated by self-serving interests, then I guess that would explain our current situation. If you had better intentions, and have found your self falling down that slippery slope of unethical decision making, let us take a moment to re-calibrate the compass.

    As a professional, I stand in the graduate level classroom at a private university, expected to teach, practice and inspire ethical behavior in the professional setting. As I strive to teach adult students about ethical practice, I could not help but think of our situation here in Capistrano Unified. It presents a valuable, albeit unfortunate, learning situation for students. It is not every day that one witnesses the comprehensive disregard for ethical practice we see today in our district.

    Perhaps, you have forgotten a few things:

    Ethics: Principles of right or good conduct. A system of moral values. (Webster’s)

    Trustee: The duty of impartiality among the beneficiaries, the duty to account for their actions and to keep persons informed, the duty of loyalty, the duty not to delegate, the duty not to profit, the duty not to be in a conflict of interest position. (Wikipedia)

    Transparency: Implies openness, communication, and accountability. It is a metaphorical extension of the meaning a "transparent" object is one that can be seen through. Transparent procedures include open meetings, financial disclosure statements, the freedom of information legislation, budgetary review, audits, etc. (Wikipedia)

    The conflict over the teacher’s contract is a key example of poor business practice. It has been managed, groomed and inflamed by Board practices of misrepresenting facts to parents, using parent/tax-payer money to hire a public relations firm to style “information” to parents, refusing to negotiate with teachers, holding meetings in private, and the list goes on. As a parent, I am grateful every day for the wonderful education my children receive here in this district due to the amazing, dedicated and talented teachers. When you back the teachers into a corner and demean the very people that watch over, educate and inspire our children daily, you challenge the “mother bear”. This is never a successful strategy.

    I think there is no better time than now to consider the legacy the Board of Trustees is creating in the district. Each decision the Board makes has ripple effects upon thousands of children. Let us remember, it is the children’s education that is of greatest importance. A line in the sand had been drawn by refusing further negotiation, so there is just not much room for grey area here. You can continue the current course, and solidify a legacy of mismanaged funds and an unfailing disregard for the parent’s voice in the direction of the district. Or, you may reconsider which side of the line you would like to be remembered for aligning with.

    I can only imagine that members of the Board assumed that they could cease participation in negotiations with the teachers, and keep parents in the role of silent observers. I remain truly dumbfounded as to how the Board has apparently convinced itself that the primary conflict is with the teachers. It is the parents in Capistrano Unified that will simply no longer stand for bottom of the barrel business decisions which cheat our children out of the education to which they are entitled. If you thought that the parents would agree to their Board holding illegal meetings behind closed doors, you were wrong. If you thought the parents would stand by and say nothing as our teachers are offered an insulting contract, you were wrong. If you thought parents would read the half truths on the district web-site and consider themselves informed, you were mistaken. If you thought parents would silently watch as the reputation, test scores and quality of education in our district plummet, you were wrong. If you thought you could bring the district to its knees, the teachers to strike and parents to quietly retreat, I have a different message. The parents of Capistrano Unified are more committed to ensuring a quality educational experience for our children than you could possibly imagine. It is time to partner with us by resuming negotiations with the teacher’s union, or move aside. The world is watching ...


    Back to me: Thank you parent for writing this well-written response to Mahler!

    This event was booked well in advance. If there was a legitimate issue, it would have been addressed when the venue was booked. This is clearly a political power play. And from a church that does not engage in politics, the cancellation was clearly suspect. I, for one, will not forget this.

    But the public is better served without religious interference. Clearly religion is a front for behind-the-scenes politics, and we have plenty of that locally already.

    If you can't see the text, and don't use the RSS, just "highlight" the big area between Jonathan's headline and the "posted by" line and you'll see the text.

    I sure hope that this church is consistent in their argument and that they NEVER act as a precinct for a general election! Does anybody know if they have done this in the past?

    Perhaps the same person who was able to get the Dana Point showing of the "Not as Good as You Think" movie by the Recall 2010 group has some pull at Coast Hills too.

    A Real Teacher,
    Thank you for sharing that wonderful letter. As for Coast Hills Community Church....it is puzzling to me personally but everyone will have to make up their own mind as to the significance and sincerity of their message.

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