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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
“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 <email@example.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
Oregon Center for Educational Equity
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!
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.
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.