Saturday, April 16, 2011

A picture worth “a thousand words”

Davenport: an "ethical
Republican lady"
     R. Scott Moxley has updated his story about the clueless Tea Partier—and OC GOP Central Committee member—who sent around a Photoshopped picture of President Obama as an ape child with ape parents.
     According to Moxley, Marilyn Davenport continues to respond to the brouhaha with incredulity and even defiance. That's not good.
     While local GOP chief Scott Baugh quickly threw Davenport under the bus, other GOP regulars are coming to her defense:
     Tim Whitacre, a longtime conservative Orange County Republican activist in Santa Ana, defended Davenport: "Marilyn Davenport is a staunch, ethical Republican lady. There is nothing unethical about this from a party standpoint because it wasn't sent out to the party at large with any racist statements and it wasn't signed as a central committee member. As a private individual, she is just real big on Birther stuff. One of her passions that drives her is the president's lack of forthrightness about where he was born. Marilyn believes that nobody knows where he was born and so this picture says a thousand words."
     Whitaker continued: "She is not a perfect lady, but she is no racist. She is a gentle person who would feed you, help you, be there for you if you were in trouble. She is known as a pleasant, loving person, and it kills me that she is being attacked by this non-story knowing her mindset."
     Gosh, Tim. I don’t see how that kind of talk is gonna help.
Some Republicans have rallied in Marilyn's defense

Student reactions to the "Westphal v. Wagner" (prayer) settlement (VIDEO)

     I came across a video on something called the Mission Viejo Patch. It presents a series of Saddleback College student reactions to the recently announced settlement of “Westphal v. Wagner,” which yielded a mixed result. See: Video Reaction: Prayers at Saddleback College Cut at Two Ceremonies.

To see the video, click here

     CLUELESS. Contrary to what is implied by some (not all) of the video's interviewees, the settlement does not "ban" prayer at the colleges. It applies only to official college and district events, not private moments on campus.
     This was true, too, of the original lawsuit.
     According to the settlement, the district agrees to cease the practice of prayers/invocations at scholarship ceremonies and the Chancellor’s opening session. Invocations (or moments of silence), however, are permitted at commencement, but the decision whether to have such prayers/moments and who shall provide them is to be made by the college’s planning group, not the board of trustees.
     Further, any such invocations are to be non-sectarian. Etc.
     Read the settlement documents here. Here are excerpts:
     ...Beginning on the effective date of this Agreement, neither the SOCCCD nor its Colleges…shall include an invocation on the program at any future Scholarship Ceremony or Chancellor’s Opening Session....
     Within 30 days of the effective dates of this Agreement, the Board shall adopt the Resolution attached as Exhibit A to this Agreement….

The Resolution:
     The district desires to expand upon Resolution No. 09-23, and provide guidelines to the planners of important District and college events if they choose to invite a speaker to deliver brief , personal remarks in the form of an invocation, a moment of silence, or inspirational message…
     Whereas the purpose of these guidelines is to continue to allow the event planners to direct the form and content of their own events, including the selection of the speakers at those events…without monitoring or review by the Board of Trustees….
     …The decision on whether to select a speaker to deliver personal remarks in the form of an invocation, moment of silence, of opening and/or closing message, not to exceed two minutes, at important District and college events shall rest within the sole discretion of the event planners….
     …the person selected…shall be provided with a copy of this resolution…shall be informed of the District’s request that any personal remarks be non-sectarian; shall be informed that the opportunity to speak at a District or college event must not be exploited to proselytize or advance any one, or to disparage any other, faith or belief….
     The suit challenged the district's practices, arguing that some of them violated the First Amendment to the Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 
     In a recent press release, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which litigated the case, explained the suit as follows: “Plaintiffs asserted that school officials routinely sponsored official invocations at events for students and faculty at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, including scholarship-award ceremonies, commencements and Chancellor's Opening Sessions (training programs for faculty). ¶ AU noted that attendance at some of these events is mandatory. For example, students [at Saddleback College] who are awarded scholarships must attend a public ceremony or forfeit the financial aid….”

Tea Party racism!?
The story still has legs. Furry ones.

O.C. Republican allegedly sent offensive Obama email (OC Reg)
..."It's just highly inappropriate, it's a despicable message, it drips with racism and I think [party central committee member & Tea Partier Marilyn Davenport] should step down from the committee," [local GOP chief Scott] Baugh said. “It undermines everything we are doing to reach out to ethnic communities.”....

"I am...I said": Raghu Mathur points a finger at Democrats, produces a steaming pile of fatuous harrumphitude

     There is something terribly wrong with this fellow!

      Ever wonder what’s become of former Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur? Well, according to the OC Reg, he’s the Chair of the School of Education at Argosy University (in Orange).
     Yesterday, the OC Reg published an opinion piece by the fellow.
     His point seems to be that Democrats in Sacramento are lousy leaders because they don't "prioritize"; instead, they treat all programs as equally important.
     I.e., he's got nothin'. Why on Earth did they publish this?

Raghu Mathur: Time for Sacramento to put first things first (OC Reg)

     California government has become too large as it clearly demonstrates an endless appetite for increasing amounts of taxpayer dollars each year. Since Gov. Jerry Brown and the Republican legislators have ended their negotiations to settle the budget deficit of about $27 billion for 2011-12 fiscal years, the good news is that there will be no effort to sustain temporary tax increases for another five years through a ballot initiative in a special election this June.
     Now, Gov. Brown and the Democratic legislators have threatened to make huge and visibly painful cuts in schools, safety, and other vital public services to teach Californians a lesson so that they will ask for higher taxes for continuation of the services. They want to punish Californians through draconian cuts and dire consequences that will make their lives miserable. They want to punish Californians who are already suffering as the result of their past bad fiscal policies in addition to state unemployment rate of about 12 percent and with one of the highest home foreclosure rates in the nation. As if this wasn't enough, California families are reeling with rapidly rising gas and food prices.

"Disloyalty will not be tolerated!" —IVC Prez Raghu P. Mathur, 1997

     What we need from our elected leaders in Sacramento is leadership. Perhaps it's asking for too much? We need our leaders to provide leadership in making tough decisions through analytical and thoughtful prioritization of functions and expenditures in every aspect of the state government such that the Californians will have access to the most essential and efficiently delivered programs and services that will ensure future economic growth and prosperity, and do so with utmost commitment and self-discipline to live within our means. We need real prioritization with compassion and without gimmickry while we recognize that prioritization is an art. This can be done and must be done or the citizens must vote out of office leaders who don't understand this concept and thus stand in its way for the common good. Enough is enough!
     When the governor and the Democratic legislators ask for tax increases, they assume that all state programs and services are equal in weight and importance, and thus lack priority. This is neither planning nor strategic. Certainly such thinking reflects tremendous lack of leadership, and lack of respect for the intelligence of the taxpayers. Anyone can balance the state budget if we were to provide them more taxpayer dollars.
Occasionally, Mathur has
bitterness explosions
     As businesses know too well, the most likely source for needed resources for the most essential programs and services is through the reallocation of existing resources based on prioritization, and still balance the budget. This is exactly what we expect taxpayers to do with their home budgets, if they were to pay even more taxes and thus have less money to pay off all their bills. Why can't our leaders follow this golden rule in the first place, and then as role models demonstrate how it can indeed work at the state level in a constructive and responsible manner.
     While taxpayers prioritize their living expenses on a daily basis, our state programs and services seem to enjoy eternal life. There is s something terribly wrong with this picture!

     Dr. Raghu P. Mathur is the former president of Irvine Valley College, chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District, and president, Board of Trustees of the Saddleback Valley Unified School District in Orange County, CA. Currently he serves as the Chair, School of Education at Argosy University in Orange.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another clueless local Tea Partier; Irvine 11 plead "not guilty"; pissed students occupy Admin bldg.

     R. Scott Moxley reports on yet another clever local Republican with a love of racist humor:

Racist Orange County Republican Email: President Obama and His Parents Are Apes
     The Weekly has obtained a copy of an email sent to fellow conservatives this week by Marilyn Davenport, a Southern California Tea Party activist and member of the central committee of the Orange County Republican Party.
     Under the words, "Now you know why no birth certificate," there's an Obama family portrait showing them as apes.
     Here's the image attached to the email:
     Reached by telephone and asked if she thought the email was appropriate, Davenport said, "Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black…."
'Irvine 11' plead not guilty to disrupting UCI speech (OC Reg)
     Eleven current and former university students pleaded not guilty Friday to misdemeanor charges for disrupting the speech of an Israeli diplomat at UC Irvine last year.
     Seven of the so-called "Irvine 11" defendants were present for the arraignment, and each answered "Not guilty, your honor," to the charges. The other four entered their pleas through their defense attorneys.
     Last month, the defendants filed a motion asking Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Wilson to remove the Orange County District Attorney's Office from the case, saying prosecutors illegally issued subpoenas and referred to the case internally as the "UCI Muslim Case," a term they say is evidence of "religious bias" against them.
     Prosecutors say the defendants have failed, among other things, to support their motion with affidavits from witnesses competent to testify to its facts, and must demonstrate that the "conflict is so severe that it is unlikely" they will receive fair treatment. They add that the defendants' claims of prosecutorial misconduct are unsubstantiated and untrue….

Sacramento State U. Students Occupy Administration Building (Chronicle of Higher Education)
     Roughly 20 students have been camped out at California State University at Sacramento’s administration building for the past two days, demanding pay cuts for administrators and an end to raises in tuition, the Sacramento Bee reported. College officials are worried about health and sanitation issues in the building, a spokeswoman told the newspaper. The action started on Wednesday as part of a larger protest at all 23 Cal State campuses.
• Former college president fined by FPPC (OC Reg)
• Despite rhetoric, data show taxes at historic low (OC Reg)
• Language at risk of dying out – the last two speakers aren't talking (Guardian)

"Jesus and the American soldier"

South Orange County Community College District Prayer Lawsuit Settled (Matt Coker; Naval Gazing)

     The South Orange County Community College District has settled a suit brought by some of its teachers and one former student over the practice of opening prayers at various official district events.
     The plaintiffs in Westphal v. Wagner—which references Karla Westphal, a Saddleback professor who was one of the plaintiffs, and Donald Wagner, the former SOCCCD board president who is now a state assemblyman—sought a complete ban on prayers at the chancellor's opening session and scholarship ceremonies at the district's campuses, Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College in Mission Viejo.
     Under the pact the district made with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Washington, D.C.-based group that represented the plaintiffs, commencement ceremonies will continue to include either a moment of silence or non-sectarian prayer. [Actually, no: each college will have the power to decide whether or not to include a moment of silence or prayer.]
     Last May, federal district Judge R. Gary Klausner denied a preliminary injunction against SOCCCD invocations at graduations, leading to an appeal before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
     Justices Harry Pregerson, 87, who was appointed by then-President Lyndon Johnson; and George W. Bush appointees Carlos T. Bea, 76; and Richard R. Clifton, 60, were to this week hear a request for a permanent injunction. The settlement canceled that.
     At a hearing on a preliminary injunction in December, questioning seemed to indicated some justices had no problem with prayers on the public campus per se, with one noting, "There is a long line of ceremonial invocations that have been upheld as constitutional."
     But at least a couple jurists were alarmed over the evangelical invocation Wagner made at one district function and the screening of a video that ended with the phrase, "Only two people died for you" before melting into the words: "Jesus and the American soldier."
     The justices also wondered who was left to receive relief from the case, since Wagner went to the Assembly, fellow defendant Raghu Mathur resigned as chancellor, trustee John Williams was in the process of resigning and the student plaintiff had transferred to UC Berkeley.
     "Only the professors are left," one justice mused. [Well, no: two non-faculty were still among plaintiffs; the district pressed hard to force anonymous student plaintiffs to reveal their names--nice, eh? And that may have scared one or two of them off.]

Don gets carried away sometimes

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Um, at least Saddleback College comes off well

Saddleback College "finishers"
2 in 3 community college students in O.C. don't finish (OC Reg)
     Two of three Orange County community college students intending to earn a degree either dropped out or did not graduate within six years, according to a study that examines how elusive college success remains for many local students.
     Just one in four O.C. community college students transferred to a four-year university during the six-year period studied, and Latino students were less than half as likely as their white counterparts to transfer.
     The study, released this week by the Campaign for College Opportunity coalition and the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at Sacramento State University, mirrors trends observed statewide and nationally.
. . .
     Orange County fared only slightly better than California as a whole.
     After six years, 70 percent of students statewide didn't complete a degree or dropped out, according to the study.
     Community college officials emphasized that their challenges are immense. Unlike K-12 education, college students are free to drop out and re-enroll at any time. And yet like K-12 education, community colleges must allow almost anyone who walks through the doors to enroll.
. . .
     "It's very hard when a community college student comes to us three or four grades below college level and we have to bring them up," [Rancho Santiago Community College District Chancellor Raúl] Rodríguez said. "They are playing catch-up all the time, and they get discouraged. A lot of them give up."
     While community college graduation rates remain low across Orange County and California, they are relatively high compared to most other states.
     California ranks 16th among U.S. states for its three-year graduation rate….
     At Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, the six-year graduation rate is 62 percent, nearly double the countywide average of 32 percent, said college spokeswoman Amy Wheeler. Even so, Saddleback officials say they aren't satisfied and have been working to improve that rate, Wheeler said.
. . .
     "There's a history to community colleges having open access, but with the impact of the state budget crisis, our state chancellor has asked us to focus on the primary objectives of transfer and basic technical and career skills," [Coast Community College District spokeswoman Martha] Parham said. "We're trying to balance access with success, and find out where we can be the most successful in helping our students."
SEE ALSO Four-year diploma? Try five, maybe six (David Whiting; OC Reg)

ATEP bushwackery? A tiff over turf

Tustin plan for Navy property (once upon a time)
     RHUBARB? For quite some time now, I’ve been hearing about friction—even rhubarbarity!—between IVC’s Prez, Glenn Roquemore, and Saddleback’s Prez, Tod Burnett. The word is that the existing hubbub concerns ATEP, the district’s eternally fledglingesque patch o’ dirt over in Tustin—68 acres of the former Marine Corps Air Station.
     Essentially, it’s a tiff over turf.
     A few days ago, Roquemore showed up to the IVC Academic Senate (Rep Council meeting) with Stetson in hand. He was all hangdog. He wanted something.
     Glenn wants IVC oversight of ATEP and he thinks somebody's swipin' it from 'im. He asked the senate to help compose a white paper about that, something for the board to read.
     I missed the meeting, but friends tell me that Glenn presented the history of oversight and boundaries between the two colleges of the district. --Something about El Toro Road being the invisible barbed wire fence: the college sittin’ on that side of the fence has had "right of first refusal" with regard to oversight of whatever happens there.
     Nothing formal you understand.
     Glenn reminded everyone that, from the start, faculty have been frozen out of development of the Tustin property—contrary to Accreditation standards, among other standards! (That was rich coming from Glenn, who is well-known for foisting the always faculty-unpopular “Early College” program on the college.) So we'd better insist on our seat at the table, I guess.
     When Dixie Bullock came in as temp Chancellor, she tried to address these problems. Under her watch, an understanding developed that IVC would pretty much own ATEP, which made sense, since Tustin is, well, a spit away from IVC while it's about a zillion cow-pie-tosses from Saddleback.
     Now, the story we hear goes like this: Saddleback has never seemed to want anything to do with that godforsaken, north-County ATEP, and so the Bullockian nod to IVC seemed to go down real peaceful like. (See Brave New ATEP: Tiny Tin and Big WL (10/13/10))
     But now (we’re told), Saddleback has had a change of heart. Burnett and the senate down there are eyeing our back forty!
     Hence the Roquemore/Burnett brouhahahaha.
     This stand-off is coming to a head right quick, cuz, soon, the board will decide whether ATEP will be a two-college center!
     Oh, the humanity! Oh, the accredular nightmare! Oh, the abject bushwackery!

     Well, whatever. I mean, it sure does look like a money pit. We're fightin' over that?
     For those of you who need some background on this whole ATEP deal, I provide the following:

     THE NAVY HANDS OVER THE KEYS. The Marine Corps Air Station officially closed a dozen years ago—in 1999. According to Wikipedia,
Of the approximately 1,600 acres …, some 1,294 acres (now known collectively as "Tustin Legacy") have been conveyed to the City of Tustin, private developers and public institutions for a combination of residential, commercial, educational, and public recreational and open-space uses. The remaining 300-plus acres will be conveyed to other federal agencies, the City of Tustin and public institutions for the same uses once environmental clean-up operations have been concluded.
     THE PROPERTY'S WACKY HISTORY. Well, we really oughta back way up to 1942. Here’s a history of the Former Marine Corps Air Station provided by the OC Register:
March 1942: Navy selects unincorporated farmland near Santa Ana as the site for "Southern California Lighter-Than-Air Station.'' Owner James Irvine refuses to sell, so Navy condemns land under the Second War Powers Act.
1978: Tustin annexes the land.
1991: Marine Corps says it will close the Tustin base.
July 1994: The U.S. Department of Education approves Santa Ana Unified School District's application to receive 75 acres.
February 1995: Government approves an application from a coalition including Rancho Santiago Community College District, South Orange County Community College District, Orange County Department of Education and Santa Ana Unified School District for 116 acres.
July 1999: The last Marines depart.
Jan. 16, 2001: Tustin City Council unanimously approves a general-plan amendment clearing the way to develop homes, schools, a homeless shelter, a golf course and businesses. The plan does not identify land for Santa Ana Unified.
Feb. 22, 2001: Santa Ana Unified and Rancho Santiago Community College districts sue Tustin, alleging the environmental study for the base reuse plan does not address affordable housing and the crowding it would cause for Santa Ana.
April 12, 2001: Santa Ana Unified turns down Tustin's offer of a land and cash package valued at $72 million. The deal would have included 22 acres for Santa Ana Unified, 15 acres for Rancho Santiago Community College District and $35 million-plus in cash.
April 16, 2001: The Santa Ana school districts sue Tustin, alleging the base redevelopment plan is racially biased because it does not include their largely Hispanic districts.
June 12, 2001: Federal mediation fails.
June 27, 2001: Two busloads of Santa Ana parents ride to Sacramento to urge Gov. Gray Davis to support legislation to force Tustin to give the two districts 100 acres.
July 30, 2001: Davis supports the districts by signing Assembly Bill 212.
Feb. 12, 2002: The Navy gives Tustin until Feb. 28 to settle the dispute with Santa Ana Unified or it will sell the land. Feb. 20: Tustin files a federal lawsuit challenging AB212.
March 1, 2002: The Navy and Tustin reach an agreement allowing the city to develop at the base.
March 5, 2002: Rancho Santiago strikes a deal with Tustin, walks away with 15 acres.
Park Ranger Kopecky
May 9, 2002: Tustin and Santa Ana Unified reach a settlement and agree on a package that includes 22 acres of base land and $38 million to buy a high school site. The deal includes a letter of credit, or an insurance policy that guarantees Tustin will pay the school district $22 million if the land is found to be too contaminated to build a school
May 11, 2002: A groundbreaking ceremony is held at the Tustin base for Village of Hope, a homeless shelter and the first project to get off the ground at the base.
May 14, 2002: The Navy deeds the base to Tustin.
July 18, 2002: Online auction of three Navy-owned parcels begins.
Sept. 23, 2002: Tustin City Council votes to drop letter of credit.
Sept. 26, 2002: Online auction ends after three parcels totaling 235 acres sell for $208.5 million.
Dec. 2002: Tustin agrees to give Santa Ana Unified School District $60 million to buy land for new schools.
May 2003: Trucks begin moving earth for the first element of what is called Tustin Legacy, the re-use of the base.
October 2006: Demolition of the helicopter parking and old roads begins at the base.
July 2007: The District at Tustin Legacy, a million-square-foot shopping center, opens at Barranca Parkway and Jamboree Road….

     THEN, ATEP: According to the Tustin Legacy website,
     In 2007, the SOCCCD opened Phase I of its Advanced Technology Education Campus (ATEP) at the northeast corner of Red Hill and Valencia. This initial site is a portion of what will be a 68 acre site to be developed by the SOCCCD within a portion of the Education Village. Fee-based workforce development courses are offered in advanced technologies, organizational development, lean manufacturing, and environmental design and compliance.
     In Summer 2010, ATEP received approvals for a number of future activities: (1) demolition of former military buildings on their site that is well underway; and (2) approval of its Phase 3A Concept Plan for a 28-acre portion of the site which would permit development of up to 305,000 square feet of educational space.
     --Not sure how current that is.
     Well, let’s skip to modern times, shall we?

     MATHUR IS A VARMINT. Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur evidently always acted like, well, Raghu P. Mathur in his dealings with the City of Tustin. Just imagine. And so, when he was taken out last year (by Dandy Don Wagner), SOCCCD/Tustin relations seriously improved, but not before the economy tanked, screwing a world of pooches. Can't blame that on Mathur, I guess.
     SOCCCD trustees have clung to the hope that ATEP would somehow flower into something beyond a MONEY PIT (leaving aside that acre of shiny tin: nice but small). But one trustee has always hated ATEP—the libertarianesque Tom Fuentes. He's always grumbled about it. Meanwhile, we keep spending money out there.
     Evidently, Tom’s patience with ATEP reached its limit last year and he said some seriously negatory things about the dang thing during summer 2010 board meetings (including one doozy I missed). But it now appears that, Tom’s skepticism to the contrary notwithstanding, the board still wants to develop ATEP. This newfangled Dante Alighieri "new market tax credit" thingy—connected to redevelopment dollars, I think—has tipped the balance in favor of our Black Hole in Tustin. ($11 million in free money, we're told.) (I'm told that Mathur was always a big "Dante" booster. If a finance issue came up, Raghu'd exclaim, "Let's call Dante!")
     Tom’s last stand against the forces of ATEPery occurred at the March board meeting. He got bushwacked. Left for dead. Buzzards.
     SOCCCD’s development of the Tustin property has occurred during the Mathur/Neanderthalic years, which started (essentially) in 1997 and (arguably) ended toward the end of 2010. What with the exit of Don Wagner (who was replaced in November by TJ Prendergast) and John Williams (who was replaced by Frank Meldau), Tom “Black Bart” Fuentes lost his whole posse, ‘ceptin’ for Dave “Quisling” Lang, who's worthless anyway.
     From the faculty perspective, what characterized the Mathurian/Neanderthalian years (1997-2010) was faculty’s systematic disenfranchisement, and this certainly included the development of ATEP.
     We’re all hoping that those days are finally over. So far so good.

Babs Beno
     MEANWHILE, THE ACCREDS! The board insisted on controlling ATEP—and leaving everybody else out—and that got everybody in Dutch with the Accreds, who have this notion that something like ATEP--even if it is a "park"--is supposed to be developed by a college, not a district.
     Is the district fixin' to backslide on its determination to do right by ATEP, accred-wise? (Actually, my notes--see below--don't entirely harmonize with Roquemore's version of history. Could be I just got it wrong. I remember asking Glenn if IVC's ownership of ATEP included only the acre of tin--or the whole 68 acres? His answer lacked clarity. Maybe he couldn't be sure. That's the way I remember it, anyway. Feel free to weigh in.)


From Brave New ATEP: Tiny Tin and Big WL (October 13, 2010)

     MORE INFORMATION has become available about recent changes with regard to ATEP—or, anyway, with regard to that 68 acres of former Navy/Marine property out there in Tustin, along Redhill.
     At a recent all-college meeting here at Irvine Valley College, Chancellor Dixie Bullock explained her role in these changes. As soon as she took over from Raghu Mathur in July, she learned of those nasty letters that the Accreditors (ACCJC/WASC) had sent to our colleges. Good Lord! And so she got on the horn with head Accred honcho "Babs" Beno and one other Accred official. The problem, it seemed, concerned ACCJC’s puzzlement over the spectacle of ATEP people reporting to the district and not to a college. As far as the Accreds were concerned, ATEP needed to be owned by a particular college. (Some faculty—e.g., IVC's recently retired Kate Clark—have long insisted that the Accreds would spit back anything not tied to a particular college. But this crew doesn't listen to faculty.)

     Dixie seemed uncomfortable, or unsure, about her account of these conversations, as though she has never been clear about the Accred’s beef. It’s as though those ACCJC people handed her tea leaves or goat entrails. Or maybe they’re just messin’ with the Dixter. Dunno.
     And so, motivated by the notion that the Accreds were organizing a war party to go after us, Dixie commenced a discussion with Glenn R of IVC and Todd B of SC and, after a couple of months, it was agreed that ATEP—not the whole 68 acres, but the one and a half acres of tin parked at the Redhill entrance—would be IVC’s facility. Eventually, this facility would be funded out of IVC’s budget (in a manner, I guess, that will not threaten existing funding). Thus requireth the Accreds.
     To avoid confusion, you’ve gotta distinguish tiny (1 and ½ acre) Tin ATEP from complementary (67 remaining acres) dirt/derelict ATEP. But since the name “ATEP” will likely change—it will become inappropriate—we really oughta start talking about the tiny IVC Tustin facility versus the big “what’s left” Tustin acreage: little IVCT and big WL.
     ATEP Provost Randy Peebles came to the all-college meeting to describe recent changes in management/administration. He called ‘em “positive and encouraging.” I do hope he’s not just blowin’ smoke. Seems like an honest guy.
     Peebles is now in charge of Big WL, not Little IVCT, and so he’ll be working with the city of Tustin and potential commercial/educational partners. Evidently, only 49% of the property can be commercial. These commercial entities would generate revenue to help pay for buildings and maintenance. The city was not happy allowing the commercial element on the property, but, it seems, they’ve recently become more accommodating.
     IVC President Glenn Roquemore was there, too. He explained that there is a real possibility of pursuing partnerships with local educational institutions—UCI and CSUF were mentioned. Was he talking about Little IVCT or Big WL? Not sure. Maybe both.
     It sounded like the next step for Little IVCT would be the construction of a structure about the size of IVC’s new BST (“Biztik”)—which is about five- or six thousand square feet. Naturally, that would reduce Big WL by a couple of acres.
     With some trepidation (I suppose), Roquemore emphasized that, in these developments, we will have “a two way conversation for the first time.” Undoubtedly, this was an allusion to the long-standing ATEP status quo: faculty (among others) have not been invited to the planning table, despite their authority re program development.
     Glenn explained that ATEP—er, Little IVCT—will now be developed as a “Center.” But much work must be done, he said, and it must be done quickly, if the facility is to attain center status. Upon achieving that status, the facility can be developed further. So we have a clear goal.

     Owing to existing restrictions, there’s no possibility of turning IVCT or WL into a college. The chief obstacle to that: the proximity of IVC, which is only five miles away. (For years, we’ve heard that Tustin dreamed of having it’s own community college; when IVC was built in the late 70s, the original site was in Tustin—where the Marketplace stands—but the Irvine Co. gave up some land, in Irvine, to solve a tax problem, and so everything changed. Tustinites have been steamed ever since.)

     In the course of the discussion (the meeting was well attended and many joined in the conversation), someone mentioned the notion of constructing a “conference center” for Saddleback College’s Culinary Arts Program. Glenn seemed to think that that would be an ideal project for the property (naturally, it would be something for Saddleback College, not IVC, to pursue).
     So it appears that the recent ACCJC letters—which have been described ominously as a “strong and helpful warning”—are the chief reason for recent changes in the ATEP project (if it can still be called that).
     But it might not be the only reason. Contemporaneous with Dixie’s Accredular adventures, the SOCCCD board of trustees had about reached their limit with regard to ATEP, a project that, despite many years of district effort and expense, never seemed to really get off the ground. After all of these years of struggle, the trustees just felt worn down.

     They were about to pull the plug.
     Meanwhile, trustee Fuentes, who has never liked the idea of ATEP (his libertarian ideals produce occasional spasms of bilious spewage; he projectile vomited last summer), had reached the conclusion that ATEP was a “black hole,” a money pit. He said so publicly, noisily. He demanded action.
     Just what was the problem, anyway? No doubt thanks to a certain person’s reports, the trustees were under the impression that the City of Tustin was the problem. They were being difficult, impossible.
     After Mathur’s exodus, Bullock sent Randy Peebles to try to work with the city. And guess what? All of a sudden, things turned around. Whatever the problem was, it went away.
     Insiders tell me that they have no doubt what needed to go away. ‘Twas Mathur. The bastard was doing what he does, using people, manipulating them, and all the while playing the Grand Poobah.
     The Tustin people hated him.
     And so the new ATEP status quo—in part propelled by the factoid that Mathur was screwing the pooch by being an asshole—represents, really, a Fuentean defeat.
     Tom must be hopping mad.
     But at least it can be said that things have changed with regard to the ATEP project. Whether these changes are enough to avoid further descent into that Fuentean BLACK HOLE remains to be seen.

Years ago, the "Camelot" group came up with this "studio" plan.
The existing facility is that small cluster of grey buildings at top right.

"Can you hear us now?"

$25,000 a year tuition for a UC education? (OC Reg)
     Students attending the University of California system could eventually pay up to $25,000 in annual tuition, Gov. Jerry Brown warned during a recent effort to solicit support for his proposed tax extensions.
     Currently, tuition for UC campuses is around $10,000 to $11,000 annually….
. . .
     But Brown said that tuition for the nation's most prestigious public university system could eventually double with a state budget balanced on only spending cuts.
. . .
     "I want to do everything I can not to kill the California dream but to keep it alive and keep it growing," said Brown in a news report from the San Francisco Chronicle. "If we go to an all-cuts budget, (UC tuition) could be $20,000-$25,000 for the whole year."
. . .
     For months, Brown has been working to send to the ballot a measure that would allow voters to extend taxes that could help bridge a $15 billion budget deficit.
. . .
     Republican lawmakers have said that continuing tax extensions will slow or reverse the recovering economy. Some have also said they may support the extensions only if the governor attaches pension reforms to the initiative.
Thousands rally at Cal State campuses against higher education cuts (LA Times)
     Decrying what they called an assault on higher education, thousands of faculty and students at California State University campuses across the state rallied, marched and held teach-ins Wednesday to protest steep funding cuts and rising tuition.
     Dubbed the Day of Class Action, events were held on all 23 Cal State campuses, featuring speakers, workshops, gospel singers, guerrilla theater and, on one campus, a New Orleans-style "funeral" march.
     The protests were largely peaceful and there were no reports of disruptions, although student groups staged sit-ins in hallways outside the offices of presidents Jolene Koester at Cal State Northridge and James M. Rosser at Cal State L.A.
     No arrests were made, and students left the buildings by the end of the day. Peaceful sit-ins were also held at campuses in Pomona, San Francisco and the East Bay.
     With education funding at risk and higher tuition possible in many states, students and faculty at public universities elsewhere also held rallies and teach-ins Wednesday, including at Portland State in Oregon, Rutgers University in New Jersey and the University of Massachusetts' Boston campus.
     The goal, organizers said, was to raise public awareness of the consequences of continued disinvestment in higher education and to give faculty and students a greater voice in policy decisions.
     Public colleges in California, including Cal State, the University of California and the community colleges, have been under particular pressure. Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed cutting $1.4 billion from the state's higher education budget, potentially leading to enrollment cuts, tuition hikes and pared course offerings. The numbers could grow if a budget stalemate is not overcome.
     Cal State is set to lose $500 million in state funding, and annual tuition will increase by 10% in the fall.
. . .
     A concert and rally organized by UCLA students is scheduled for midday Thursday near the state office building downtown.
     The event, titled "Can You Hear Us Now," is expected to attract busloads of students from UCLA and other UC campuses.
Language and International-Studies Programs Face 'Devastating' Cuts Under Budget Deal (Chronicle of Higher Education)
     The federal budget plan expected to be approved by Congress this week would make sharp cuts in foreign-language and international academic programs, with some university officials saying they could result in staff layoffs.
     International-education advocates are raising objections to reductions in programs authorized under two federal laws, Title VI of the Higher Education Act and the Fulbright-Hays Act. The budget deal, which would finance federal agencies until the end of September, would slash funds for these Department of Education programs by 40 percent, or $50-million, reducing their allocation to $76-million.
     "A cut of that magnitude to such small programs really has a huge impact," says Miriam A. Kazanjian, a consultant with the Coalition for International Education. "It would be devastating."….

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Coast Community College District trustee corruption--now it's Grant

     Not sure what to make of this story that appeared today on the OJ Blog. It concerns Coast Community College District trustee Dave Grant. According to the writer, the CCCD is pretty bad. Heck, maybe it even rivals the Mathur-era SOCCCD for Rot at the Top!

Hinky Coastline Trustee Dave Grant laughs off FPPC fine, offers “no comment” for news story (OJ Blog)
David A. Grant
     Running on a mantra of “How does this decision benefit students” newly elected Trustee David A. Grant was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2010. Since that time, it has been learned that Trustee Grant has been fined for failing to disclose properly the contributions that he has received as a candidate.
     How could this be? Trustee Grant is a retired college president, someone who is supposed to be a pillar of his community and one that holds the highest ethical standards? Why then, can’t Trustee Grant properly list his contributions with the Fair Political Practices Commission? Does he have something to hide? Is he afraid to show that many of his contributors are vendors of the District, some of whom like the law firm Rutan and Tucker,* are enraged that Trustees have shunned their services for other attorneys?
     Since joining the Board of Trustees, Mr. Grant has chastised anyone on the dais that has raised questions of the district’s executives, probed, or tried to find the truth in governance matters. He has repeatedly criticized his peers for “micromanaging” and for “outrageous” behavior. He has made veiled threats, and acted in a hostile manner toward his fellow Trustees in public. He has desperately tried in vain, through his connections with the Coast Report (a student newspaper at Orange Coast College) to show a conflict of interest between one trustee and a district lawyer.
Corrupt: Armando Ruiz**
     Trustee Grant’s ethical breach is one of many sad stories of lapses that have prevailed on the board at Coast over the last two decades. Former trustee Armando Ruiz double-dipped on his pension and developed a too cozy relationship with top executives, putting a friend, the now deceased Ed Dornan, in a senior management position at the district. Former trustee Walter Howald spent over $20,000 in travel in some years, even in the midst of the current budget crisis, and abused his power to force district administrators to help him get a community college job, so he could get a “PERS Retirement,” and numerous sources have commented that Mr. Howald did not actually live in the district for a number of years.
. . .
     Since 2007, reformist Trustees Lorraine Prinsky, Jim Moreno, and Jerry Patterson have brought many badly needed changes to the dais at Coast: they have brought forward a code of ethics, reduced bloated executive salaries, sharply reduced executive and trustee travel, reinforced Brown Act compliance and directed a complete review of all district policies to ensure compliance with accreditation and regulatory standards. For all of their hard work and dedication to the students of the district, they have been wrongly accused by the likes of Mr. Grant and the corrupt district bureaucrats that support him as “micromanagers” when in fact, these three trustees have set policy direction that protected the interests of taxpayers and students.
Interested in trustee gig? 
      If Mr. Grant has his way, the hard work of these individuals will be undone, and the Coast District will return to a culture of “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” – a culture that promotes croynism, nepotism, corruption, and a flagrant disregard for the needs of students. Mr. Grant’s sanction by the Fair Political Practices Commission is a reminder of the corrupt ways of the past, and a wake-up call that he must be stopped!
*Note: the SOCCCD has often used the services of Rutan and Tucker (e.g., the firm defended the district in my 1st Amendment lawsuit).
**Ruiz was a Saddleback College counselor recruited by Raghu Mathur to become an administrator at Irvine Valley College. He was Dean of Orange Groves or something. When he didn't get the VPI gig--that went to Glenn R--he was pissed and so he retired, pulling his notorious gambit that landed him some serious bucks.

Cal State Fullerton rally

CSUF students rally for college funding (OC Reg)

     Hundreds of students and faculty gathered at Cal State Fullerton Wednesday, giving testimony, signing postcards and making phone calls to the chancellor's office demanding that CSU leaders fight to stop cuts to higher education.
     Shelly Arsneault, a political science professor and a member of California Faculty Association, said protesters who gathered in the quad want to see the Legislature put a tax-extension package before voters. They also want students to become aware of the severity of the cuts so they can speak against them.
. . .
     Similar events were held on Wednesday throughout the 23 CSU campuses and other states as part of a day of action protesting cuts to education.
     The Legislature has already approved cutting $500 million from the CSU system. If voters don't approve a tax extension package, the university system could see even more cuts, said Erik Fallis a CSU spokesman. The Legislature has not yet approved a special election.
     "The $500 million in cuts, that's the best-case scenario," Arsneault said. "We've done our share; it's time for others to step it up….

SEE ALSO Cal State Fullerton Activists to Protest Fee Increases by Serving Top Ramen to Starving Students (Stick a Fork in it [OC Weekly])

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

OC Register readers offer these comments...

     I’m not sure what to say, now that I’ve read comments left by OC Register readers to this afternoon’s story about the settlement of “Westphal v. Wagner,” the lawsuit challenging prayers at the South Orange County Community College District.
     Read ‘em yourself. Be amazed.

   We must worship Jesus continuously 24/7 lest HE, with HIS love for us, send us to hel. This includes worshiping HIM in all public tax-supported institutions also. Non-Christian members of the public need to shut up and love their freedom to worhsip Jesus also, even if they're not Christian, and continue to pay taxes to support the Christian-American government.

   Let us all pray for everyone that was involved with this lawsuit settlement.

   And what exactly is wrong with having a moment of silence as compared to having a prayer said over the intercom? Why can't it be good enough for each individual to sit there in a moment of silence to reflect their thoughts or silently say a prayer to themselves? Why must you need to yell it out loud to say hey look i'm praying?
   A good buddy of mine is a devout Christian. We fly on family vacation together. Each time before a flight, he sits there and silently say a prayer to himself. He doesn't need to Flight Attendant to go on intercomm to lead a prayer session so everyone can hear. Why can't most of you be like that when it comes to your religion?

   Dan Wagner [sic] is a HERO. That's why I voted for him in the primary and the general election.
   The wimpering cowards who would use litigation to deny others the ability to honor the Creator of the universe, are indeed pitiable.

   A slide show during a faculty training session for a public college:..images were superimposed with the message, "Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American G.I. ... One died for your soul, the other died for your freedom."
   ----I think I would have had to walk out to go throw up.

   I will continue to pray and speak boldly about the GOOD NEWS of the Lord God, His Son and our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
   Jesus offers the one path to salvation. Nothing on this Earth compares.
   Pass your puny laws. You CANNOT stifle the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE.

   Ignore Jesus Christ at your peril. You may meet Him someday.

   Tim, that surprises me that you said that... It affects all of us. This is just the beginning, pretty soon we won't be able to pray in church!

   This is in reply to a blatant lie by OC4Ever. To quote, "According to FBI statistics, there was more violence in society and schools in the late 1800s and early 1900s when school prayer was in full force and religion was unabashedly all over society."
   The FBI wasn't formed until 1908. Don't believe every thing that is posted.

   Ah, the tyranny of the few and politically correct continue to denude us of symbols that have always meant something to this country.
   I wonder if those who brought the suit and the ACLU have ever looked at the doors to the Supreme Court, Senate and other areas. If they did, they would find things like the 10 commandments. Hmmmm, better burn down the doors to the Supreme Court before an ACLU member is turned into a rock by its look.
   Typcial college professors. Nothing better to do than try and screw up 18 and 19 year olds. I hope they don't have tenure.

   Perhaps more discretion in who is hired as a "Professor"
   What are they professor of?

   OK, so prayers are being discontinued at the local colleges.
   So what?
   Doesn't affect me, and it shouldn't affect anybody.

   If you want to have prayers from the Quran being invoked every day, I suggest that you find another country to live in. I am 57 years old, born and raised in the USA, as were my parents and there parents and ther parents. Bet you can't say that. While growing up in this country, not once was the question of one's religion brought up when prayers were said in school. We were proud to be AMERICANS and proud of what this country stands for and equally proud of any type of prayer that was read aloud during a graduation ceremony. We did not question it as to it's meaning towards people that might not have the same faith. The funny thing about the country you obviously came from, is that if someone from the USA was there and bitched about the reading of the Quran in schools, would anyone listen ? I think not !!!!! They would most likely be found dead. Come to America to be American. Don't come to America and expect America to change for you. No like AMERICA........go home and read Quran

   THis is America... Settled by Christians ...Founding Fathers Christians....% of Americans who ARE Christians 76% accordingly to Wikipedia. As for the Koran...IF Muslims had settled here ...NO one would tell them, sue them, call the ACLU on them. They would just Cut-off the discussion if you understand my meaning.

   **Would all of you people who are so determined to have Christian prayers said at all school events have the same opinion about prayer in schools if it was prayers from the Quran being invoked on a daily basis? Be honest.

   If there is no God to answer prayer, then prayer is just empty words. So the fact that atheists get so worked up just hearing someone pray tells me that even they can't buy thier own rhetoric.

   The prayer, I pray that I pass this darn test, should never be omitted from college campuses.

   Religion Kills!

   GOUSCOC....I don't get what you said. I only see one Jewish sounding name in the plaintiff group.

   And we just keep moving further away from any type of fundamentals in school. I find it humorous that folks keep nagging about the separation of church and state, but yet " in God we trust" can not only be found on our money, it is also above the speaker of the houses seat in the capitol in two foot letters. Sure keep thinking there is no correlation between the lack of fundamental teaching in our schools and the current state of our education in America, kids today are simply not learning any type of discipline. The lack of morals and respect continues to decline in our schools and America only produces more and more corrupt and selfish citizens. Do kids in school even recite the pledge of allegiance anymore? I am sure it violates someones right not to be Amrican in America.

   Gatordon: While I am a person of faith, your statement is historically inaccurate. According to FBI statistics, there was more violence in society and schools in the late 1800s and early 1900s when school prayer was in full force and religion was unabashedly all over society--not that it was caused by the prayer, but we were simply a more violent society back then--things were settled with guns, and the court system was not as fully developed. So it is not true that prayer in schools means no or less violence.

   Maybe one of the draft dodgers that pose as editor for the OCR had a had in this. How about in Whiting?

   wasnt God there when little children were being molested by men of the cloth?
   or when the white man massacred millions in the name of christ?
   what retarded nonsense to preach Gatordon.
   kick out religion from all of our institutions so we can go back to a sane society.

   The federal lawsuit, Westphal v. Wagner, was filed in November 2009 by Americans United for Separation of Church and State on behalf of Saddleback College professors Karla Westphal, Alannah Rosenberg, Margot Lovett and Claire Cesaero-Silva, Irvine Valley College professor Roy Bauer, Saddleback College graduate Ashley Mockett and two anonymous Saddleback College students.
   Looks like Christians have more to worry about being attacked by jews then muslims.

   And then when there are killings in our schools, Parents and people ask why wasn't God there to protect our children? Very simple... You kicked him out.

   ...and where in what constitution does it say "separation of church and state"? [The 1st Amendment prohibits laws respecting establishment of religion.]


   ...and the tail wags the dog

More on the "Westphal v. Wagner" (prayer lawsuit) settlement

Don Wagner: dramatization of his unconstitutional scholarship rant
Ayesha N. Khan
Colleges agree to discontinue some prayers (OC Register)

MISSION VIEJO – Saddleback and Irvine Valley Colleges have agreed to discontinue the use of invocations at scholarship ceremonies and faculty training sessions like the Chancellor's Opening Ceremony as part of a lawsuit settlement with a group seeking to prohibit prayers at college events.
     According to the settlement, the colleges may continue to hold a nonsectarian prayer or moment of silence during graduation ceremonies if the event's planning committee chooses to do so.
     The federal lawsuit, Westphal v. Wagner, was filed in November 2009 by Americans United for Separation of Church and State on behalf of Saddleback College professors Karla Westphal, Alannah Rosenberg, Margot Lovett and Claire Cesaero-Silva, Irvine Valley College professor Roy Bauer, Saddleback College graduate Ashley Mockett and two anonymous Saddleback College students.
     The lawsuit named as defendants the district's trustees, former South Orange County Community College District Chancellor Raghu Mathur and Saddleback President Tod A. Burnett.
     Lawyers for both sides said they were pleased with the settlement.
     "Our hope was to have all of the prayers discontinued, but we recognized that we stood on stronger legal ground with respect to some events than other events," said Ayesha Khan, the plaintiffs' attorney.
     "I think this was a fair compromise."
     Legal counsel for the defendants said the district got "exactly what it wanted."
     "The main goal in the litigation from the defense side was to preserve the ability of the district to have invocations at college graduations. This settlement does exactly that," said attorney John Vogt from Jones Day.
Mathur: showed a patriotic slide
show with a "Jesus saves" message
     Americans United challenged the use of prayer and other religious content at all college-sponsored events, claiming it is a violation of the First Amendment rights of those in attendance. The plaintiffs named several instances where they thought religious content was inappropriately used at college events.
     In February, U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner determined that nonsectarian invocations at events like graduation and scholarship ceremonies do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which enforces the separation of church and state. The judge denied the plaintiffs' request to prohibit invocations because they could not show irreparable damage would result from continuation of the tradition.
     However, Klausner also determined two incidents named by the plaintiffs – one involving Mathur and another involving former SOCCCD trustee Donald Wagner – did violate the Establishment Clause.
     The incident related to Mathur occurred during the Chancellor's Opening Session in August 2009. A slide show of patriotic images set to "God Bless the USA" was played during a faculty training session, ending with two slides picturing flag-draped coffins of U.S. soldiers.
     According to the court order, the images were superimposed with the message, "Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American G.I. ... One died for your soul, the other died for your freedom."
John A. Vogt Jr.
     The slide show had been approved by Mathur. The defendants contended Mathur had only seen the first few slides before approving the presentation.
     The incident related to Wagner occurred at a May 2009 scholarship ceremony, which Wagner opened with an invocation.
     In the invocation, Wagner mocked "the special interest group that has contacted this college to pursue its agenda of driving God from public square" by calling out the group's efforts and reminding the audience that "America's founders invoked the name of God, and encouraged and participated in religious ceremonies in government facilities."
     Both parties were required to meet for a settlement conference after Klausner issued the order in February. Vogt said the settlement was reached on March 31, eliminating the need for Klausner to issue a final judgment in the case. Before the settlement agreement, Khan had previously said the plaintiffs had planned to appeal to the state Supreme Court the portion of Klausner's ruling against them.
     Though a settlement has been reached, Vogt pointed out a potential loophole.
     Language in the settlement prohibits the colleges from holding invocations at scholarship ceremonies, but it's possible for the tradition to continue if the colleges' foundations – private, nonprofit entities who were not party to the lawsuit – resumed planning the events, Vogt said, since "nothing in the settlement would preclude the foundations." Vogt said the foundations historically planned the ceremonies until 2008.
     Khan disagreed with Vogt's interpretation of the settlement agreement.
     "Neither the South Orange County Community College District, nor its colleges ... shall include an invocation on the program at any future scholarship ceremonies," Khan said, reading from the agreement. "I think they'd be skating on really thin legal ice."

     In a recent post, DtB calculated the amount of money the district has paid Jones Day thus far. See A point of information.
     The amount: $1,041,150.00
     In the settlement, the district agrees to pay Americans United for Separation of Church and State $250,000 (plaintiffs’ attorney fees). (See.)

Judge Klausner: actually, Don, we need a bit less than you're providing

Monday, April 11, 2011

Our Don is making quite a name for himself

     SOCCCD’s own Don Wagner—er, at least he used to be ours—is making quite a name for himself in Sacramento.
     This morning, our pal Vern at the OJ Blog quotes Sacbee’s Don Morain:
     On Monday, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a first-term Republican from San Bernardino County, stood on the north steps of the Capitol with seven other Republican Assembly members. Before being elected, Donnelly had been part of the Minutemen, the group that claims to combat illegal immigration by patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border.
     Donnelly announced that he was pushing Arizona-style legislation to make illegal immigration a crime under California law. As an added attraction, Donnelly brought a special guest, Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, who last year authored the anti-illegal immigration law.
     About 50 people, most of them of retirement age and wearing red Tea Party Patriot T-shirts, hooted their approval when Pearce declared that states must “protect against this invasion.”
     Among the daffy local Repubs standing next to Donnelly? –That’s right. “Our” Don, who,  these days, is a California Assemblyman:
     And Don “Spanky” Wagner, fresh from his successful leadership of the “Taxpayers Caucus” to prevent taxpayers from voting. You may remember that during Spanky’s bruising GOP primary last June, a last-minute nod from corrupt racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio helped put him over the edge against Toll-Road Jerry Amante and the mumbling walking sign Dr. Choi. Spanky’s aversion to the Mexican invasion of our southern borders is so strong he needed to invent a new word for it when I heard him at a Tea Party last year – “encrosion” – signifying both encroachment and erosion I presume.
     My prediction: Don will soon be involved in an actual recreation of the Boston Tea Party--maybe in San Francisco Bay--complete with politically incorrect Injun Joe makeup and feathers. Instead of tea, Don'll be tossing Mexicans into the soup. --Maybe scalp one or two of 'em, too. Then maybe toss one or two community college students after 'em. Then pee into the bay and do a war dance.

• Trying to Revive Compton Community College (Inside Higher Ed)
• Losing Ground on Salaries (Inside Higher Ed)
• An Award-Winning Dissertation Draws Lessons From 9 Community-College Students Who Persisted in Their Studies (Chronicle of Higher Education)

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary