Category: Education

Jonathan Baker running for Salem Keizer School Board, Zone 3

Jonathan Baker is running for Salem-Keizer School Board, to represent Zone 3.  (While candidates run for specific Zones, all voters vote for one candidate in all zones.)

Baker is a lifelong Salem resident, married, with children who have attended Salem Keizer Schools, as well as private schools. He has worked in Marion and Linn-Benton Housing Authority for 18 years. His job involves administering numerous HUD programs and ensuring program compliance with federal and state funding.  Primarily working with low-income families, the elderly and disabled, he is responsible for a budget of over $1.5 million annually.  Partnering and working closely with numerous government agencies to meet the needs of Housing Authority’s clients, he sees and experiences all levels of citizen needs, and solving their problems gives him (and the clients) great satisfaction.  

“I get results through my ability to bring competent team members together to assess and resolve housing-related issues as they arise.”  Baker also cites his leadership skills and streamlining approach as the major factors in the savings of tax-payer funds for these basic-needs housing programs.

“I believe my many faceted experiences in the past would serve the community well on the SKSB.”

His Vision for the Salem-Keizer Schools is “making students stronger, better and more successful.”

Some of his goals include:

  • Expanding the successful CTE program  
  • Safety for students and staff
  • Developing policies that give parents more of a voice in their children’s education
  • Identifying and reducing waste of taxpayer dollars
  • Bringing more balance to the Salem-Keizer School Board

Learn more about Jonathan and the Salem-Keizer School Board race. 

Jesse Lippold running for Salem-Keizer School Board, Zone 5

After much thought, Jesse Lippold decided it was time to enter the SKSB race.  Yes, he’s young, but his experience and successes in overcoming childhood challenges, and becoming a strong advocate for children, while working in the banking industry and attending college, motivate him to serve the community where he grew up and finished his secondary education. 
“I’m a persistent person and understand the challenges students face today. I know I would bring a perspective to the SKSB which would challenge the status quo.  Some may say I do not have enough experience, but I ask, what has 10-20-30 years of ‘experience’ done for students?  Are our graduation rates higher? “
Jesse and his sister were abandoned and homeless during their high school years, but he managed to survive, and thrive.  His persistence personality helped him finish high school in Salem.  Now, in addition to working in the banking industry as a Premier Banker and going to college, he has just organized a non-profit, “SALEM TOGETHER, focused on helping kids, homeless, and others in need.”  
“My vision for the SKSB is seeing that we are providing the appropriate opportunities for all students, and that parents are a part of the policy making the Board undertakes.”  He admits he has no PACS giving him money, or endorsing him, and that he likely would not be a union favorite.  “I’m not a part of the professional administrative, political system, which in my view is a benefit. Doing the same thing over and over hasn’t worked.  Maybe it’s time for a change?”

There Is No Room in Oregon for Discrimination

by Kim Conolly

The Oregon Equality Act, known as SB2, aims to protect all citizens regardless of sexual orientation.

Brought before legislators by Representative Greg Macpherson and Representative Diane Rosenbaum in 2007, the intent of SB2 was noble and the law enacted.

Yet in 2016, the Oregon School Board Association (OSBA), education administrators in Dallas, Oregon, and their lawyers are interpreting SB2 to mean full inclusion for transgender students into the locker rooms and restroom facilities of students of the opposite anatomical gender.

The Dallas School District (DSD) has sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown seeking clarification on SB2 after offering a transgender student full inclusion into the locker rooms and restrooms of the opposite anatomical gender at Dallas High School (DHS) last semester. The student, who had not undergone gender identity counseling nor biological and surgical changes, had been given reasonable accommodations, and then asked for full inclusion. DSD granted the request.

How Governor Kate Brown and our legislators interpret The Oregon Equality Act will effect all Oregon’s school children.

Decisions locally, were made through the guidance of OSBA Director of Policy Services, Peggy Holstedt, and DSD legal counsel Kelly Noor and Paul Dakopolos – who represent a variety of Oregon school districts.

Furthermore, Dallas parents have been told by Noor and Dakopolos that every school restroom within the district is open to anyone of any age based on the gender they identify with.

This call for full inclusion for transgenders into locker rooms and restrooms has no basis through either state or federal law. Yet Noor and Dakopolos have given DSD the option of litigation, federal investigation, or both, unless they comply with full inclusion. Their pressure will extend to many Oregon school districts.

However, the Oregon Equality Act, Section 29, ORS 659.850, states:

Discrimination” does not include enforcement of an otherwise valid dress code or policy, as long as the code or policy provides, on a case-by-case basis, for reasonable accommodation of an individual based on the health and safety needs of the individual.”

The Oregon Equality Act senate floor tapes from April 17th, 2007 speaks to full inclusion only for those who have undergone gender reassignment surgery with major biological changes required. Yet, OSBA, Noor, and Dakopolos are misapplying SB2 with their call for full inclusion even without gender reassignment surgery.

Further, Noor and Dakopolos argue Title lX requires full inclusion, but the Ninth Circuit Court ruled against Title lX requiring inclusion in 2009 in Tempe, AZ on the basis of safety, as did the Eastern Federal District Court in Virginia in 2015.

Misapplying US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) regulations, which are meant to keep transgenders safe from physical and sexual violence, creates further civil rights violations, and an unsafe environment for all.

The Eastern Federal District Court stated:

Department of Education regulations stipulate: A recipient may provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex, but such facilities provided for students of one sex shall be comparable to such facilities provided for students of the other sex. 34 C.F.R. § 106.33.

This regulation (hereinafter, “Section 106.33”) expressly allows schools to provide separate bathroom facilities based upon sex, so long as the bathrooms are comparable…. Rather, Section 106.33 seems to effectuate Title lX’s provision allowing separate living facilities based on sex.”

Further, the court states regarding the US Department of Education’s/Government’s Title lX interpretation which calls for full inclusion:

            The Department of Education’s interpretation does not stand up to scrutiny.

And:

Furthermore, the Department of Education’s interpretation of Section 106.33 is plainly erroneous and inconsistent with the regulation. Even under the most liberal reading, “on the basis of sex” in Section 106.33 means both “on the basis of gender” and “on the basis of biological sex.” It does not mean “only on the basis of gender.”

 To defer to the Department of Education’s newfound interpretation would be nothing less than to allow the Department of Education to “create defacto a new regulation” through the use of a mere letter and guidance document. See Christensen, 529 U.S. at 588. If the Department of Education wishes to amend its regulations, it is of course entitled to do so. However, it must go through notice and comment rulemaking, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act. See 5 U.S.C. § 553. It will not be permitted to disinterpret its own regulations for the purposes of litigation.

Oregon’s parents, education administrators, law makers, and the Oregon Department of Education, as well as the ACLU need to understand there is no basis for full inclusion for transgenders (who have not undergone gender reassignment surgery) under Title lX without misapplying the law.

Many school districts, such as Portland, have implemented transgender policies on a case by case basis with reasonable accommodation. Eugene solutions include, gender neutral single-stall bathrooms which protect privacy, safety, and respect, yet OSBA, OCR, DSD legal counsel, nor the ACLU has advised Dallas to seek these solutions. When will these organizations be part of the solution vs. encouraging an end which leads to litigation at potentially tax payer expense?

New Oregon Department of Education school guidelines are to release in March. Reasonable accommodation is needed for transgender students, and policies which follow the law and do not violate anyone’s civil rights. We can and must find loving solutions which do not violate civil rights.

Let’s find loving solutions for all students which afford privacy, safety, and respect. These are the same rights Lambda Legal seeks for LGBT persons. The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child mandates privacy for children in article 16. Will we not also in Oregon mandate and protect privacy, safety, and respect for all? There is no room in Oregon for discrimination of any citizen regardless of sexual orientation.

________________________________________________________

About the Author:  Kim Conolly is a parent in Dallas, Oregon who desires and values loving solutions for all persons, which violate the civil rights of none. She volunteers with First Lego League Robotics, Parent Teacher Committee, Dallas United Soccer, and along with her family, is part of the national program Safe Families for Children.

* Copyright February 2016 by Kim Conolly

Gutting open enrollment in Oregon would gut this rural town

By Chana Cox, PhD | Watchdog Arena

ALSEA, Ore.—In Alsea, Oregon, a town perched in the coast range about 25 miles from the Pacific, Superintendent Marc Thielman runs the only school district in the state with virtually total open enrollment—a policy now facing pressure in the Oregon Legislature.

Open enrollment was introduced by the Oregon Legislature in 2011 and was signed into law as House Bill 3681. HB 3681 allowed parents to transfer students to schools outside their home districts provided that the receiving schools would accept such transfers.  Oregon also allows for inter-district transfers.

The main difference between the two is that with open enrollment, students do not have to get permission to transfer from their home districts.  In the case of inter-district transfers, they do. Home districts can simply prohibit all inter-district transfers, or they can take so much time to approve a single transfer that the school year is almost over before the student is allowed to transfer.

Since all state and federal money goes with the student, such permission to transfer was rarely granted before HB 3861’s passage.  Open enrollment gave students the greater freedom to transfer, and to Thielman, that freedom to compete has been Alsea’s saving grace since the economic downturn in the 1980s.

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Common Core’s Arne Duncan Is At It Again

by Macey France at Politichicks

Yes, Arne Duncan is at it again, threatening parents with federal government intervention as the Opt Out movement continues to grow.

The Opt Out movement is indeed growing. Thousands upon thousands of children are opting out of the high stakes testing that come with the Common Core. High stakes testing are not new but parents are beginning to see the danger, therefore opting their kids out.

Recently at a Seattle high school not one single junior showed up to take the Smarter Balanced assessment. Two big cheers from a Common Core adversary!

I’ve written about how the Opt Out movement might unintentionally help the education reformers by “forcing” them to come up with 1 Comment that won’t be called assessments but will, in fact, be doing the same thing to your child, only more often and without you knowing it.

Thus I really do not know if this threat from Mr. Duncan is a dog and pony show or not. Either way, it makes for a good article that pokes at the esteemed head of the United States Department of Education.

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The Roots of Liberty – Educational Seminar in Salem, Eugene and Corvallis

You won’t want to miss this engaging presentation! KrisAnne speaks to audiences around the country on Constitutional history, American Exceptionalism, and the Fight for Liberty.

KrisAnne is a disabled Army veteran, a Russian linguist, a mother, a pastor’s wife and a patriot. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, she received her undergraduate degree in Bio-Chemistry from Blackburn College in 1991 and her J.D. from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law and is a former Russian Linguist for the US Army. KrisAnne worked as a state prosecutor and with a
prominent law firm defending religious liberty and First Amendment rights. KrisAnne lives in North Florida with her husband JC (a pastor and former Russian instructor for the US Navy) and their son Colton. Learn more at her website: www.krisannehall.com 

KrisAnneHall-EDIT

Portland Teachers Warned: “KEEP ON THE LOOKOUT FOR WHITENESS”

from Daylight Disinfectant

“Keep on the lookout for where whiteness shows up, share that information with colleagues,..” warns Kim Feicke in a recent email to Portland teachers.  Feicke is a highly paid “Diversity Consultant” for the Portland Public School System.

Dateline Monday March 16, 2015:  Recently an unnamed source sent me the following redacted email warning teachers to watch out for whiteness:

From: Kim Feicke <feicke@edequityoregon.com>
Subject: Finding Detours

…. “Where are the places that white folks take
detours around having authentic conversations about race or around their own inadequacies or insecurities in such conversations”?

Previously we “led conversations around where whiteness shows up in classrooms and we left that space with a challenge to keep those conversations going as a part of “normal” conversation in the school.”

“I invite you to 1) do some detour spotting in both your work and personal life. Where and which ones do you see show up? And 2) keep on the lookout for where whiteness shows up, share that information with colleagues, and receive that information from colleagues with grace.”

“When we meet again ….. we’ll do some sharing around what you’ve discovered …. and build that into some work around
learning styles.”

Kim Feicke
Oregon Center for Educational Equity
503-788-3500
www.edequityoregon.com

Can you imagine an email talking about “Black Folks” in a similar fashion?  I’m not sure which is more upsetting, the blatant racism of what she is saying, or the Orwellian nature of her recommendation that teachers rat out one another.  It’s like something out of “1984,” or what you would expect of the German Stasi during the Cold War.  Just who does Kim Feicke think she is?  Someone stealing a lot of your taxpayer dollars that’s who!

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This Dropout Is Trying to Keep Kids Out of Student Debt

From Entrepreneur.com

Dale Stephens just wasn’t meant for the classroom.

At the age of 19, he founded UnCollege.org, an organization that represents a growing social movement to fight the traditional notion of what higher education should be—and whether it’s worth the cost.

Stephens isn’t alone. As the costs of higher education have soared, the number of alternatives to college have, too. In the last several years, short vocational programs leading to a certificate have spiked, costing anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

“Today’s high school graduates have a range of options for attending post-secondary education and entering the labor force,” said Tom Snyder, program director of the National Center for Education Statistics. “Graduates also can enter the labor market directly or combine work with studies at a post-secondary institution.”

A college dropout, Stephens, now 23, created UnCollege in January 2011. UnCollege’s Gap Year program started in September 2013, offering high school graduates another alternative to college—though it’s far from free itself. The program accepts a total of 45 students out of 600 applicants from around the world, willing to shell out $16,000 for the yearlong program, known as the Gap Year.

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HIGHER LEARNING – What are we paying for?

By Nicholas Scyoc, Special to the Salem-Keizer Sentinel

Recently at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2015), Media Research Center President, Brent Bozell, gave a speech about conservatives being afraid on campus. He revealed the attacks on college conservative news print, Christian groups, political action groups, and all out assault on the first amendment rights of conservative-leaning students nationwide.

Oregon received an honorable mention (once again not for a good reason) as Bozell touched on how Oregon State University deliberately went out of its way to collect and destroy papers and distribution bins for a conservative leaning paper “The Liberty.” The executive director of the paper, William Rodgers, tried negotiating with the college to no avail so, he ended up taking his case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court, where he won. The college attempted to appeal the case with the U.S. Supreme Court, but the USSC sided with the 9th circuit court’s decision, based on free speech.

It’s interesting to note that this issue hasn’t received more attention right here in Oregon. If the same thing had happen at Willamette University, George Fox, or even Linfield, one could argue “Well, these are private institutions… their property, their say.” However, what happened to Rodgers and “The Liberty” occurred at a college funded with public tax dollars and the faculty, staff, and administrators are all public employees. This public institution was given a total of $85,759,634 in state allocated funds, with an additional $500,000 from lottery funds. In total, from state and federal educational and general, grants, tuition, and donors, OSU will receive $859,700,983.

With that much money paid for by the public, administrators apparently felt it was fine to discriminate against a political philosophy that differed from their own. They even appealed to the highest court in the United States for the right to do so. This is today’s University system.

None of this is new if you talk to conservatives who have attended these college campuses in recent years. It was so rampant, that it was in essence, the norm. During my time at Western Oregon State, I majored in Public Policy and Administration with a minor in Business and every class I attended had a political, left-leaning spin mixed into it. I understood the core instructors for my degree were PhD holders in Political Science, however, this bias didn’t end in the social science department, it was all over campus.

During one semester, I took a class called “Ethics in Business” where the class initially discussed Martha Stewart’s insider trading scandal and read a few related case studies about insider trading. We then began a discussion on what was considered “good” business stewardship and corporate social responsibility and how “poor” business practices, or lack of social responsibility was directly affecting polar bears. Essentially, we were discussing global warming, “evil” corporations, and how they are responsible for the [perceived] loss of polar bear populations. Visual aids naturally including pictures of large polar bears, perched precariously atop of a tiny floating blocks of ice. Other business classes continuously promoted the Sierra Club, Patagonia, and other left leaning groups and businesses.

Students were often encouraged to see instructors during office hours for additional help with class material and the Social Science Departments hall way was just one big propaganda fresco.

PropoFresco

Above is a bulletin board adorned with pictures of historical socialist thinkers, a U.S. Socialist party ticket, union information, and a cartoon of a rotten capitalist bird laying “rotten” eggs. These pictures, from 2012, were randomly posted on one instructor’s reader board where students would go to find information on assignments, office hours, and to drop off papers.

WorkingFamParty

Above: Information taped to a wall about the Working Families Party (which is a faction of the U.S. Socialist Workers Party) and an Occupy Wall Street decal. Notice also, the letter above the Working Families Party pamphlet as it’s an invitation to discuss religion at a seminar led by the professor and guest, Dr. Robert Bellah from Berkeley University. If you do an internet search of Dr. Robert Bellah, you will find that he was an expert on social issues of religion. He was also a subject matter expert on the so-called “down falls of society caused by religion.” He was a professed Marxist, a member of the Communist Party U.S.A., and former chairman of the John Reeds Club.

MastersPublicPolicy

Above: A photo of the basketball team shares space with a list of classes students can take for degree programs, as well as information on how to enroll in a Masters of Public Policy. You can also see a “Corporations Welfare” sticker…gotta remind the students about “evil” corporations. Malcolm X, because he was for the socialist movement and was ultimately murdered by the socialist movement. A sign reading “If I had a dollar…” referencing Republicans and unregulated capitalism as being the problem rather than the government. Now, if you look at the picture of the guy with big hair, his name is Antonio Gramsci, and he was the president and founding leader of the Communist Party-Italy. Some of Gramsci’s more well-known writings describe how to create a socialist society in a Capitalist market. The picture of the older gentlemen reads “Instituto McLaren, De Pedagogia Critica, S.C.” and it’s a school in Baja California, Mexico run by Peter McLaren, an American professor who promotes Marxist movements. His school provides educators an environment within which to learn about promoting Marxism in their classrooms and McLaren has also assisted the MST in Brazil, the Zapatistas in Mexico, and influenced members of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela.

There’s more, from Western Oregon University.

WarnerCenterMural

Above: This is a mural in the Warner Centers- Multi-Cultural Club area. “Huelga” means- strike and “Si se Puede” means- yes one can or it can be done. The picture is Cesar Chavez, a man who used Marxist class warfare tactics to anger people in order to get them to join his movement. What exactly is a “Multi-Cultural Club” again?

WOUAdminBuilding

Above: This mural is the Admissions building at Western Oregon University where new students and their parents are greeted as they arrive at Western. Notice the Farmworkers AFL-CIO and “Chicana Pride Stands as One” as well as the image of a person with a bandanna on their face reading “EZLN” (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) a leftist Marxist terrorist organization in Mexico. The last group is on the U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations and, in the 90’s it attacked and bombed a Mexican military outpost, as well as assassinated members of government. Today, they are involved in drug and human trafficking. Welcome to Western Oregon University!

If you get an opportunity, visit the college campuses that you are paying for with your tax dollars and take the time to learn who the instructors are. Notice the instructor’s/faculty parking lot, and the bumper stickers on their cars as well as their announcement walls. These people are viewed as the most educated people in America and thus, we are told that their opinions must not be questioned because they have 1000’s of hours of research and study to support their findings. They are published leaders in academia who all have a political leaning that encourages and promotes their findings and research…and these are the people that encourage  students to go to “Occupy Portland” protest for extra credit and shout down students with differing opinions, telling them they are not “open-minded.” They destroy conservative leaning reading material and grade students based on their personal opinion. These are the very people that encourage students to go to the capital and raise hell over student tuition rates, while they demand their union to fight for an 8% increase in pay.

What can be done?

In 1938, Senator Carl Hatch from New Mexico, submitted the Hatch Act, which became federal law in 1939 and states that government employees (State and Federal) cannot run for political offices as a political party member. Apparently, there is an exception to federal law in Oregon, because our recently appointed Governor, Kate Brown, while still the Secretary of State, signed off on Democrat, Wanda Davis’ run for House District 23 against Republican Mike Nearman. Wanda Davis, at the time, was a government employee for Oregon Health Authority.

The Hatch Act also forbids government employees from discussing politics in the work environment, posting or sharing politically opinionated material, forcing political beliefs on employees or peers, and punishing employees for their political leanings. The exception to the Hatch Act of 1939, is educators. Understandably, if a student is taking a political science class, the professor is going to talk about politics in that classroom, however, from the experience of students today, there exist no boundaries for what a professor can talk about, in whatever manner they choose. Is it necessary for a professor, who teaches Speech 101, to talk about his dismay for Republicans if it has nothing to do with teaching the fundamentals of giving a speech? Is it necessary for professors to promote socialist material on their reader boards, where students go to learn about assignments? Is it necessary for writing course professors, to discuss their passion for the writings of Karl Marx and their beliefs in a socialist utopia, if it has nothing to do on how to write a paper about your favorite childhood memory?

It’s like MSNBC has taken over our education system! When MSNBC refers to President Obama, they usually depict him doing something great, with the strong face of a powerful leader, on the other hand, President Bush is often shown as befuddled and in a ridiculous light. In academia, it’s good form to discuss how smart and bright an economist Karl Marx was who whilst describing Adam Smith and John Locke as drunkards and womanizers who only supported white land owners. Obviously these comparisons are not true however it doesn’t appear to matter, and this renders higher learning nothing more than four years of relentless political indoctrination.

This is academia today. Professors do not hide their political beliefs and it’s everywhere on the campus, including inside the bindings of the books the professors recommend for the class. Democrat politicians, socialists, anarchists, communists, and fascists are written about and spoken of in a positive manner, often as great writers and thinkers. Were you to look in to most professor’s backgrounds to learn of their political leanings, you would likely find that many share similar beliefs. You will find very few conservative, republican, right-leaning references of writers and thinkers and, if you find them at all, the references will highlight how they failed, were inappropriate people, or their writings will simply be taken out of context.

Nicholas Scyoc is a 2013 graduate of Western Oregon University where he earned a bachelor of science degree in Public Policy and Administration. He is a husband and father of three, he enjoys reading and writing about political issues from all angles, and he thrives on lively, passionate debate.

Rep. Carl Wilson Seeks Immediate Education Committee Hearing On Common Core

Salem, OR – Representative Carl Wilson (R-Grants Pass) has introduced legislation that would prohibit the Oregon Department of Education from requiring school districts to align instruction or assessments with Common Core state standards. So far, Rep. Wilson’s proposal, House Bill 2835, has not been heard in committee. Rep. Wilson is calling on Rep. Margaret Doherty, House Education Committee Chair, to schedule a hearing on this critically important bill.

“Common Core-based instruction has failed Oregon’s students, confounded Oregon’s teachers and is the bane of parents and school children everywhere,” said Rep. Wilson.

HB 2835 would also prevent the Department of Education from penalizing school districts for failure to align instruction or assessments with Common Core state standards. “I’ve heard from parents and teachers statewide who feel that Common Core is ‘the worst’ in a long succession of failed education experiments foisted upon our kids,” continued Rep. Wilson. “This bill would put a stop to this disastrous policy. I ask Chair Doherty to schedule a hearing for this bill immediately.”

Rep. Carl Wilson is a member of the House Education Committee. He served as State Representative for Grants Pass and Josephine County from 1998 to 2003; he was reelected in November 2014, and currently serves as Deputy House Republican Leader.

-SKS