Solutions that don’t break the bank, reinvent the wheel or marginalize our teachers are within our grasp. We could have rigorous classes, safe and disciplined schools and treat teachers like valued colleagues rather than easily replaceable cogs, and we could do so tomorrow if we wanted. Disclaimer, this is an opinion and commentary site and should not be confused as a news site. Also know that quite often people may disagree with the opinions posted.
The conspiracy to take down Connie Hall by “paid for” media
Unless you have been under a rock you have heard about
the text messages sent by Connie hall saying “I vote fire him now” and “special ed in action” when referring to superintendent
Where I agree with most “special ed in action” was in
poor taste I believe I can make the case that Connie Hall was set up by the
district along with the media and special interests and they are trying to rail road her
and that more than her comment is what should outrage us.
First of all WJCT has led the coverage with most of
the other media parroting what was written and reported there. WJCT is not
known for breaking news, why were the text messages sent to them and not all
the news outlets?
Well it may be because WJCT’s education coverage is
funded by Gary Chartrand, charter school proponent and huge backer of superintendent
Vitti, whose repeated actions have backed Chartrand’s corporate style reforms. The expansion of charter schools, the marginalization
of teachers etc.
Then the media has said over and over they don’t know
why the Miami law firm that made the public records requested that exposed the emails targeted Connie Hal.
Robert H. Fernandez, an attorney withZumpano Castro law firm, requested Hall’s texts and emails, along with
those of board members Paula Wright and Becki Couch. A phone message to the
firm asking why it targeted the three was not returned by this story’s deadline.
I know why and I have known since the minute the story
broke and I am not an education reporter, or you know someone who is paid to
know and follow these things.
Back in the fall Connie Hall along with Becki Couch
and Paula Wright voted against a new Charter Schools USA project and that
outraged them and since they are nothing but bullies, they have threatened to
sue me twice for blogs I have written, they sent their lawyers after them to
intimidate the school board members.
The following piece by Julie Delagul appeared in Context
Florida, the Folio and other media last December.
First the lobbyist from the Florida Charter
School Alliance wanted to meet with a sitting Duval School Board member –
privately. But when former Duval School Board Chairwoman Becki Couch suggested
they “notice” the meeting and invite her fellow school board members to join
them, lobbyist Ralph Arza said no. He asked her again to meet privately and, in
an email dated Sept. 15, Couch declined again.
the vote on the application for a new Charter Schools USA operation in
Jacksonville. District staff had recommended denying the charter school
application twice before, but in advance of the Oct. 20 vote, Superintendent
Nikolai Vitti told the board that the organization had assuaged his worries.
The application, however, had not changed.
lobbyist Arza in the audience Oct. 20, the board voted 4-3 to approve the
charter school. Couch and two other board members, Connie Hall and Paula
Wright, were the three who voted to deny the application.
the public records requests from South Florida lawyer Robert H. Fernandez,
aimed at Couch, Hall, and Wright. The first one, dated Nov. 10, wanted the
three members’ travel records, including reimbursements, along with salary and
benefit information. Travel reimbursements are popular fodder for future ethics
complaints: Just ask New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Alaska Gov. Sarah
Palin, or former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.
second public records request, dated Nov. 16, sought documents regarding the
three board members’ communications – with each other and with a laundry list
of nine other individuals. Fernandez even asked for cell phone text records.
So when the media says he we have no idea why the law
firm requested the texts it is either being disingenuous or it means we have
some really crappy media.
Then why were the texts released when they were after
all the requests were made months ago? Maybe it was to distract from the
release of school grades or maybe because there is momentum building around the
city because of the way Vitti treats teachers and the disastrous curriculum he
picked, to replace him. It’s my bet the people behind the release wanted to give
him cover and garner sympathy for him. They held the texts like a trump card
playing it when they felt it would do the most good.
So let me sum up, all this is, is Gary Chartrand’s
private media source breaking a story that targeted a foe of us his and an at best
willfully ignorant media that is only giving the people of Jacksonville half
the story. When the media does the bidding or corporate interests we all lose
and that more than what Connie Hall said should outrage us.