Uncategorized

When Is A Weapon Not A Weapon?

When a white person is holding it.

Whether it’s scissors or a disposable razor, if a white person is holding it, it’s an art project or a shaving lesson. If it’s a Black person using it, it’s suddenly a weapon that can destroy students’ and educators’ careers. 

If it’s a gun, it’s still not a weapon, as long as the person who discovered it is a white man. They apparently are allowed to decide the best course of action, even if it means breaking the law and returning it to the students’ family, as has happened on numerous occasions in JCPS.

What do I mean? Well, let’s start with this one:

https://www.wave3.com/2021/09/28/jcps-student-found-with-gun-lassiter-middle-school/

District Boundaries, EARN the People's Vote, Privatization of Public Education, Racial Equity, Standardized Testing

Run for JCPS School Board!

Four of the seven JCPS Board of Education seats are up for grabs this November. If you’ve been thinking you would like to see things done differently in JCPS, this may be your chance to find someone to run for school board in your area, or maybe even file to run yourself! The deadline to file is Tuesday, June 7.

The seats that are open are the ones currently held by Diane Porter, James Craig, Linda Duncan and Corrie Shull. Their bios can be found here. As of the date of this page’s publishing, only James Craig (District 3, incumbent) and Matthew Singleton (District 5, Linda Duncan’s seat) have filed to run in November. 

Visit JCPS School Board Central – 2022 for information on how to file, who is running, their positions on important issues, and other updates as we head into election season.

Accountability, Pattern or Practice, Privatization of Public Education

Privatizers In Our Midst

I can’t say for sure what makes everyone tick, but what I can do is notice when a person’s actions don’t align with their words, or when they do things that cause harm to people they claim to be trying to help, despite us literally telling them to their faces that their behaviors are harmful. Whether they are doing it intentionally (like they are paid infiltrators), or because their value system causes them to sympathize with fascists, or they have some kind of mental health disorder that causes them to easily fall for the gaslighting and bullshit. I don’t know. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. The outcome is the same. So until we devise a “privatizer-breathalyzer,” we’re going to have to err on the side of caution.

So, let me tell you the reason for making this post now. We’ve always known we couldn’t trust everything that came out of BIPPS, Pegasus, SCALA, Pritchard Committee, Kentucky Youth Advocates, or even JCPS, JCTA, KEA, KDE or PTA for that matter. But we demonstrated that we could easily organize and shut them down, and we did several times between 2013 and 2018, so it’s only been of late that the dark money is really clamping down and pulling out all the stops. I believe this includes activating some “sleeper cells” that have been laying dormant while aiding and abetting the devil’s work in the mean time. Two of those individuals are now running for House as Democrats, so I just wanted to warn you. Not everyone who says they are with us really are. I believe you deserve to know some of the facts that I have been made aware of so you can do your own research and form your own opinions. So for the next few days, I will do my best to provide you with such information.

The first bit of data I would like to provide is about my experiences with Jonathan Lowe. Jonathan is a candidate for the “new” House District 34. I first met Jonathan when I began publicly expressing frustrations with the district and they had trouble keeping my objections under wraps. We had coffee together early on in my “squeaky wheel” phase. I remember having to beg to get that meeting, and as we sat there that rainy morning in the middle of the Heine Brothers on Douglass Loop, as I came hopeful to share valid, quantifiable concerns and well-thought out solutions, I still remember the words he said to me that ran through my heart like an arrow. He said, “it’s detrimental to my career to be seen with you.” Like we were somehow doing something wrong! Shouldn’t appeasing a disconcerted customer be seen as a good thing? Honestly, the rest of the meeting was so depressing because I realized it didn’t matter what I said to him from that point forward. After the meeting was over, I went back to my car and cried. I also made this post.

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10216951878029240&set=a.1738663246451

Later on, after the SCALA-led JCPS school board chair “sewer billed” the renewal of Dr. Hargens’ contract against the wishes of the community, causing us to be stuck with her for another four years. We organized a rally at Van Hoose one Tuesday evening to ask (demand) her to step down. Some time between that event and the day she actually did resign, I ran into Jonathan at a committee meeting in Frankfort. I can’t remember the bill we were there to speak on but I remember getting a cold shoulder from him and saying something to him like, “Dude, I’m on your side.” This elicited an outburst from him so loud that we had to step into an empty committee meeting room across the hall. He said, “You’re trying to get my boss fired!” I corrected him and said, “no, I’m trying to get her to step down.”

On another occasion, Mr. Lowe chirped with glee when some of the language he wrote while working for the Legislative Research Council made it into the charter school bill. See, this is what made me think he has never really felt one way or the other about charter schools. From an employment perspective, he was in a role that would likely thrive either way. So, it dawned on me, FINALLY, that perhaps, the Hargens administration saw charter schools as “inevitable” and they were doing the best they could to untether some assets so that it would be easy to allow the predators to have easy access to some low-performing schools in West Louisville and keep their precious Manuals, Males, Browns and other “public privates” off limits. 

So, when Matt Bevin got elected in November of 2015, he proclaimed something to the effect, “We’re going to bring charter schools to Kentucky and we’re going to start in West Louisville.” Next thing I knew Hal Heiner, Bevin’s pick to eventually become KDE chair, was scouting locations such as Shawnee and Maupin. My sniffing around and exposing fraudulent acts at both of these schools, which I will document in future posts, is what caused for JCPS administrators and PTA leaders to conspire to have me voted off the 15th District PTA Board three months before my term ended. For any doubters, I will post the recording of that meeting, as well as my confrontation of them the following evening, below:

Want to see more?

I was at Shawnee one day and I saw Jonathan walking to his car. I rolled down my window and said, “I hear Hal Heiner was here today. How did it go?” Fine, or something to that effect. I don’t know. But I decided to do an open records request to see what I could find out about his visit. Sure enough, Jonathan was knee-deep in these events. Why knows why they were there? They didn’t say it was about charter schools, but it didn’t have to be. They were already public with their intentions. Why are we parading these schoolchidren and buildings to known predators?

To those who say Jonathan was just doing his job, can we really fault him for that? Personally, yes, I do, because simultaneously we were bringing him evidence of harm and wrongdoing, and he treated me like the enemy while he helped these predators and outsiders gain access to our schools and students. That’s problematic.

Click on the image of the email to open the pdf that was attached to it.

This was just Shawnee. I have a whole other set of data regarding his role with what went on at Maupin. Besides, nothing has changed. He has showed us that no matter who signs his paycheck, he will be loyal to them, not the students or taxpayers. He still works for JCPS, and JCPS administration does not always do the right thing! So can we really afford to take any more chances? Every chess piece and every square on the chess board is sacred. We must be organized, with specific demands and specific goals. Here’s a link to an invitation I sent out regarding the person who is running against Jonathan in the Primary on May 17. Please help us get Sarah Stalker elected to House District 34 so we can avoid allowing another establishment, status quo lawmaker making ivory tower decisions for the rest of us. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.

Privatization of Public Education

“By Just One Vote” – Organized Crimes of the Kentucky Legislature

What else do you call it when the party in supermajority power continues to pass wildly unpopular legislation by just one vote? It certainly feels coordinated. As if everyone knows their part.

Whether it’s the confirmation of Gary Houchens in 2019 (Sen. Julie Raque Adams – District 36 in Jefferson County), or the passage of HB563, Chad McCoy’s voucher bill, passed the House by just one vote (twice!) in 2021. And now, in 2022, the VERY SAME GOP House Rep, who is also the majority whip, manages to eek out exactly enough votes to get the previously dead on arrival charter school bill across the goal post, in just a week’s time, five years after it BARELY passed into law but couldn’t muster enough votes to allow the wolves in waiting to tap into the rich, evergreen SEEK funding pipeline. In less than a year, coming off a pandemic and during a time of incredible tension and turmoil, they manage to pass both the crowning jewels of canned ALEC legislation by exactly the right number of votes. How does one get so lucky? Especially when, if you ask around, other than a few special interest groups, vouchers and charters are unwanted in Kentucky. Something doesn’t add up.

Do you seriously expect me to believe that the strongest union in the state couldn’t convince a single one of their endorsed candidates who voted yes to support not only JCPS’ publicly known stance, but their own purported efforts? It’s certainly what many union members I spoke with believed their dues were funding. Is this not part of the screening questions when deciding who to endorse or continue endorsing? Apparently not. Unless…

Since 2017 or so, we tried to sound the alarms that JCTA leadership is at a minimum not anti-charter, and in fact, appear to be working for the other side. And JCPS is not off the hook, but they tend to be a little more slippery. But in future publications, I intend to demonstrate in greater detail how district leaders made intentional efforts to sacrifice Shawnee and Maupin to the charter school charlatans.

It’s been a “close call” far too many times for us to keep falling for it. Especially when you consider the lackluster effort both JCTA and JCPS put forth to stop the entire swath of anti-JCPS legislation that came out of recent sessions. Hell, JCTA’s entrenched white leaders put more effort into retaining control of their union than they did stopping any one of these bills, including the 20-year efforts to dismantle Kentucky’s public schools and defund teachers’ pensions.

And as you can see in the video above, JCPS had board members saying to us they were going to stop anti-CRT legislation in 2022 by getting the business community to come out strongly against it. In fact, they saw absolutely no need working with grassroots groups because they were confident their approach would stop it. Guess what. It didn’t.

Could it be that some of these JCTA-endorsed lawmakers who cast what could be considered the “lone deciding vote” were also encouraged to lay down and allow these measures to pass? It certainly leaves one to wonder.

From the JCPS website:

Privatization of Public Education

Don’t Trust Charter Charlatans

Dear Kentucky Senators,

Today at 1:00 PM, you will gavel in for day 57 of a 60 day session. Presumably, you will be asked to vote on HB9, the charter school funding mechanism bill, today or tomorrow, before the 10-day VETO period begins, allowing you enough time to override the Governor’s veto. I beg you to be fully aware of the following facts before casting an affirmative vote, should you intend to do so.

Using SEEK funding formulas to allow taxpayer dollars to “follow the child” to a non-public entity to manage, is not only unconstitutional, it’s misguided, for the simple fact that not all students cost the same dollar amount to educate. We have created a system that FICTITIOUSLY evaluates a school’s performance based on test scores. Therefore, that system perceives the best schools as those that produce the highest test scores for the least amount of money. It’s a system that creates “cost center managers” who are forced to try to weed out students with a “lower ROI.”  These students already wind up at a disadvantage within the public school system. Charter schools have no CHOICE but to operate from that same mentality, and charter school legislation gives them plenty more “outs” than their public school peers, which will mean more incentive to game the system to educate students as cheaply as possible, to do what? Benefit their bottom line! And if they fail? No worries. Predators in other states have modeled how easy it is to just close up shop, keep the assets, change names and do it all over again. We have CREATED that formula, and that’s a big part of what’s already failing our minority children in JCPS, not public schools that are forced to implement it. We know this, because many of our students and educators in Jefferson County live it every day. If you want to close achievement gaps, FOCUS ON FIXING THAT instead of legislating around it and further tying our hands! Help us bring transparency by prohibiting gag orders on lawsuit settlements, for example! Ask us what we need! Not union leaders. Parents! Teachers! Students!! Grassroots groups! Add a seat at the table, don’t take more voices and resources away!

Whether the dark-money-backed lawmakers and their slick ALEC talking points want to acknowledge it or not, charter schools, and even many public schools, DO cherry-pick their students. From simply having an application in the first place, to pushing out students for subjective reasons, to making a parent’s or student’s life so miserable they give up and quit, it can and does happen. It is hardly ever blatant discrimination. Although, there’s plenty of that too.

Take for example, the lead pastor of the “group of Black pastors who have been wanting to open a charter school in West Louisville for decades.” I first met Jerry Stephenson after he organized a press conference in front of Westport Middle school during an off-site JCPS school board meeting in October of 2015. Being boots on the ground when Bevin and Heiner started pushing for “charters in the West End” we started talking with teachers, administrators and parents about what our families in West Louisville REALLY needed, and discovered ALL THE REASONS WHY CHARTER SCHOOLS WOULD MAKE THINGS WORSE, NOT BETTER, FOR OUR FAMILIES.

My son was attending the Academy @ Shawnee’s aviation magnet at the same time the district was choking off resources, shutting down programs, not replacing leaders, presumably to prepare her to be handed off as a sacrificial lamb to the charter school wolves in waiting, but we didn’t recognize that at the time. We just knew that nothing that was happening made sense, including forcing the resignation of a dynamic principal over the summer, and denying a replacement, and instead coming up with a 4-pronged plan out of central office to completely overhaul Shawnee’s leadership structure, school operations plan and create considerable upheaval in students and families’ lives, without anyone actually setting foot in the building and asking stakeholders what was needed, what’s worked and hasn’t worked, etc. A handful of us had just formed a PTSA at Shawnee, so, with the school building being absent of leadership, we became the information clearinghouse and conflict-resolution “adults in the building.” A coalition of parent and teacher acquaintances had begun working on addressing racial injustices that we kept running up against in JCPS, and we requested a meeting with their group. Myself, a JCPS ESL teacher and another JCPS parent went to their church facility for a meeting. 

Seven or eight Black men, including Jerry Stephenson, were sitting around a conference table in an upstairs room in their old church building. They had just eaten and women were clearing their plates. A conversation about how JCPS was failing Black students began. Jerry did most of the talking. Very early on into the conversation, it became clear that his perceptions about JCPS were based on outdated stereotypes. We did not disagree about the problem, just the solution. We raised specific, current examples of students falling through the cracks, and patterns that we were working to address. We talked about how charter schools would impede that progress and create even more “pass the buck” opportunities while offering no real benefit in return. We shared with him research on ALEC and the historical evidence of the harm charters have caused in other states, and how we would be harmed if similar predatory, profit-driven legislation were allowed to pass in Kentucky. He countered with, “there was nothing wrong with making a little profit.” He stated that he also objected to the “liberal agenda” being taught in schools. He also spoke about his desire for schools to teach religious moral concepts. One of the ladies who was there with me kicked me under the table at one point, it had gotten so bad. I know I wasn’t quite sure what to make of our visit, but one thing I DID know was that tax dollars should not be used to fund it.

In December, 2015, right after Matt Bevin was elected Kentucky Governor, he announced, “we’re going to bring charters to Kentucky and we’re going to start in West Louisville.” It clicked with me that he meant Shawnee High School, and several of us tried to attend that announcement meeting, which was nothing more than a publicity stunt. Anyone who had been seen outside holding a sign was locked out when the meeting began. Others came and went, but whenever anyone from our group approached the door, a bouncer stood in front of it and waved us away. I posted about it. The press reported on it. I finally was allowed in after Bevin had left, and I had the opportunity, once again, to chat with Pastor Jerry (who hails from Indiana), as well as Milton Seymore, who had participated in the press event, about the fallacies of the arguments they were making and to once again ask the “what about the kids who remain in public schools,” and “how does a charter school fix that” types of questions, to which there were no answers. 

What they DID answer for me was one of their reasons for wanting to start a charter school was based in bigotry. Once again, the “liberal agenda” became the concern. When pressed for more specifics, he informed me he was opposed to programs that supported gay, lesbian, bi and trans students. At that moment, two other pastors used the intimidation of their physical presence to “correct” me when I dared to disagree with him. I blogged about that experience, too:

But that’s not all. In this video, I showcase some of the disinformation that is being used to resurrect this bill. It was a bad bill in 2017 and it is a bad bill now. HB9 is a bigoted, wasteful, unconstitutional, disingenuous affront to minority, LGBTQ+, disabled and poor students, of whom JCPS serves the majority of in this state. Yet, charter schools being forced upon a community that has OVERWHELMINGLY SAID WE DON’T WANT THEM, is an affront to all of the taxpayers of Jefferson County. If you pass this bill into law, you are FORCING us to FUND a failed experiment with our own tax dollars and using our own children as guinea pigs so outsiders who fund some of your colleagues’ campaigns can make a quick buck off our backs and the backs of our children. This bill, which was resurrected from the dead only a week ago, will pump blood into the heart of the beast that we already slayed, and that blood comes from our public school children and their families, who are already on life support. 

In summary, if this bill passes, you will be FORCING OUR HAND, the hand that provides a good chunk of those SEEK funds that school districts across Kentucky rely on. This short-sighted bill, and the unchecked bigotry behind it, is going to cause Jefferson County to implode. It will either force us into bankruptcy, or will force us to “sue you to stop you.” Either way, it will have created a no-win situation that will only waste more time, money and lives. Black lives. And they matter. At least to us in Jefferson County, they do. If they matter to you, too, you will vote no on HB9.

Thank you.

Police Free Schools, Privatization of Public Education, Racial Equity, Teachable Moment

Craig Greenberg

Here is a podcast of the interview with mayoral candidate, Craig Greenberg, following the alleged attempted shooting by Black activist and journalist Quintez Brown. This will be updated as time allows.

https://podcastaddict.com/episode/https%3A%2F%2Fdts.podtrac.com%2Fredirect.mp3%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fdownload%2Fepisode%2F48748192%2Fcraig_greenberg_talks_all_aspects_of_the_shooting_at_his_campaign_office.mp3&podcastId=3111026

Some quotes:

“I’m more fortunate than most people who are shot at.”

“We have got to stop the gun violence.”

“I am a person who can bring this city together.”

Mental health was another topic.

Meiners: “Do you know him?”

“I do not know Mr. Brown.”

Meiners: “You have not met him at rallies?

Greenberg: “I don’t believe so.”

Meiners: “He met with a group last week called the Land of Judah armed forces. A spokesperson for them said, “We are terribly heartbroken over what appears to have been a humongous lapse of judgement. The lam of Judah In no way advocates anything of this nature.”

This is a group that has shown some very strong tendencies, much like the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. 

I have to ask about your religion. Did you worry this was an antisemitic …?”

(9:16) Meiners: “Last week, there were multiple Democratic members of the Metro Council who endorsed you. The alleged shooter has been connected to other candidates and he himself is running for office. [Metro Council].

The alleged shooter tweeted, he took a story from WLKY about those other democrats endorsing you before primary and then he wrote at the top, “Dollar Democracy?” So he’s showing political anger at that. I mean, it’s pretty blatant that’s what this is about.

Do you think it’s appropriate for other Democrats to endorse you prior to a primary? And in this case, obviously, it may have led to this outrageous act.”

“I know there are other people whose experiences in their life have been unfair.”

“Let’s lower the temperature.”

(11:55) Meiners:  “Alleged shooter Quintez Brown writing though dollar democracy with that story. The inference is that you made a deal with these Democrats on the Metro Council?

Greenberg: “That’s totally false.”

Meiners: The bail was set at $100,000.

The bail was paid by some New York hip hop guy.

Is 100,000 the correct amount? Is that enough for someone who has already shown he has no respect for life, and he’ll blast 5 bullets at you or anyone else.”

Greenberg: With respect to the bail, that’s a good question. I haven’t had time to process that.

I don’t know what led this individual who shot at me.

I am empathetic to whatever led him to that point. I want to be part of that solution.

At the same time, actions have consequences. It’s not acceptable to open fire at other individuals.”

I’m driving down to Frankfort to advocate for that as well.

Meiners: “on the streets.” “Sociopathic behavior.” Blah blah.

Greenberg: “Those who commit violent crimes, there need to be consequences.”

LMPD needs the resources to solve unsolved murders.

 

More:

https://finance.yahoo.com/finance/news/black-activist-went-rising-star-182741712.html?guccounter=1

 

#Louminati, Privatization of Public Education, Racial Equity, Teacher Shortage

Complaint Filed with OEA

To every rumor, there is a seed of truth.
 
Better Schools Kentucky (BSK) is the Political Action Committee (PAC) that decides who to endorse for state and local elections and where to spend resources and campaign contributions. We are aware of several abnormalities regarding the selection of those who are chosen to serve on this PAC, which serves as the lobbying arm for the largest school district in the state of Kentucky, Jefferson County Teachers Association (JCTA). which we want to bring to the public’s attention.
 
The abnormalities in question started first with the 2020 BSK election, and continued into the 2021 officer election, where the entire executive board was also on the ballot (a once every three years phenomenon). The BSK election challenge and results can be found here. An email isolated to complaints about the officer election can be found here
 
On Jan. 12, 2021, several white JCTA leaders took to Facebook to spread disinformation about me (Dear JCPS co-founder and page moderator Gay Adelmann) in order to distract from a 4-hour livestream that I had started a couple of hours earlier on my personal FB page. There were several false statements made on a post on Tammy Berlin’s Facebook page, which can easily be disproven. One claim made by another female white leader accused me of “stalking and harassing” her when she appeared on a nearly 16-minute long livestream on the Dear JCPS facebook page from the Senate Steps to protest the confirmation of one of Bevin’s pro-charter school appointees to the KDE, Gary Houchens. Anyone can watch the video to see that she walked into the frame at the 14:30 mark after we had been livestreaming for quite some time. In fact, you can see the person holding the camera changed two times before she came into frame. The person holding the camera at the 13:13 mark had brown shoes, and several times during the feed, you can see me moving about the space (not behind the camera) and I’m wearing black shoes. 
 
It’s not the first time this small handful of powerful white leaders have slandered me for speaking up for racial justice in JCPS. In 2019, they held a 40+ -minute press conference referring to me and others as “rogue groups” because we elevated concerns from Black educators and parents who wanted to encourage a stronger resistance to the attacks on education, pensions, and in particular, Black and Brown JCPS students and families. JCTA President Brent McKim told numerous media outlets that I was looking for “lucrative” service contracts, for example.
 
Upon the recent discovery of possible ties to Russia (we brought attention to having possible ties to the Jan. 6 insurrection in 2021) regarding the teachers pensions, which JCTA lobbyists, as well as BSK endorsed lawmakers, have been intimately involved with, the complaint, along with the email above and related EXHIBITS have been submitted to the (Office of Education Accountability (OEA) as of 3/4/22.

Let’s hope an entity with resources and ability to research the ties to Russia and other illegal or unethical activities can get to the bottom of what’s really going on in Kentucky!