Friday, June 27, 2008


It has been confirmed that I will be paid in full by the school district next year if I go into subbing for the year or if I can get a permanent position somewhere. In either case I will be compensated the same. It's not news that they've changed their minds about the whole business, but it's security and provides a not terrible worst case scenario.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Outcome

A comment from a school board member:

Tonight, we made a transformation decision regarding Tree High School. I sincerely hope we have made the right decision. I hope the students will get the best quality education at Presidents High Schools. I hope that by taking the students from their neighborhood school, it will not affect their academic progress. I hope parents and the community surround the students with the help they will need to gain academically.

So there it is. My school has been, for all practical purposes, shut down. I don't really know what to say about it, so I'll give you some other highlights of the board meeting.

10:00 - We're on to the motion to rename the Central Administration Building to the "K.J.G. Educational Support Center".
Lady Board Member is calling this a "matter of the heart." About 80% of the people who started out in the auditorium have left. But there are still some die-hards.
Lady Board Member 2 asked Nutty Board Member 1 to clarify a proposal of his to name a school after Ms. G. Nutter 1 said he would consider it if the proposal to rename the adminstration building after her fails.
Can't Come Up With a Creative Name Board Member is not happy with Nutter 1.
Nutter 2 said he would be supportive of naming a school after Ms. G (translation: "no").
Lady 1 gets the floor back and insists the administration building be named after Ms. G.
The vote: FAIL! The administration building will not be named after Ms. G.
Supporters are not happy and shout at the Board! El Presidente recesses the Board as the police come in to break it up!

That's right folks. The police had to be brought in and the board had to recess after a vote to rename the Administration Building at the same meeting where it was decided to move some 1000 students across the city. What is wrong with people?

We have a decision!

... and we don't know what it means!

[Guy 1]'s proposition failed. So [Guy 2] offered an amendment that, if the reorganization plan fails (Plan A), to exclude them from [Presidents]. [Chandler adds: The original Plan A was the previously described 9 & 12 at Tree, 10 & 11 at Presidents.] ...

[Guy 2] has made a motion that only students who have appropriate credits may go to [Presidents] if [Tree] fails. ...

[Guy 2]'s amendment passes.

Ready for the clencher?

[Forward-thinking lady] raised an issue as to whether or not it is legal to discriminate against a student based on academic performance.

"We can make a decision tonight," said [moron head honcho], "if it's illegal, we can change it later." The audience disagreed.

To quote the BBC news quiz we listen to, "I love this! It's an illegal law! It takes a special kind of incompetence to come up with that! It's like having dirty soap!"

Oh, what could it mean? Perhaps we'll know later. Or sooner. Please, please, please, sooner!!!

I'm fanning myself

Want some highlights? They're deciding right now, but that's not the fun part ...

Audience members are screaming to put the resources into [name of tree] and arguing back and forth with [moron board member who represents them].

[Some guy] noted that if "we can't have order, we're going to recess to another room."


Will [name of tree] be reorganized?

Keep in mind, we are still on item "3" out of "16." Long meeting. Very contentious

The obvious statement of the day went to ...

This is a big issue.


The More You Know ....

Here's part of a live blog from the board meeting, reproduced for your enlightenment. I'd just give you the link, but I'm doing selective censoring so we can be angry all we please without fear of repercussions. Ain't that nice?

More fireworks. [Mean lady], in keeping with the trend-du-jour, has asked that speakers on the [name of tree] High School issue who live within the [name of tree] boundaries be given 3 minutes.

"This would allow us 27 minutes instead of the 15 minutes given."

The crowd objects: "it ain't right."

{Man with sense] noted that the policy (limiting speakers) needed to be done away with.

So we're on to [name of tree] with 27 minutes.

The issue: the District wants to move 10th and 11th to [name of deceased president] and [name of another deceased president], leaving 9th and 12th grade at [name of tree]. Huh?

A student is making an empassioned plea to the Board not to move the program.

Reportedly, at the town hall meeting to address the issue, administrators censored certain questions posed by parents. [Chandler adds: No "reportedly" about it--it's the truth.]

6:50 - [Someone a little clueless] is up regarding [an unrelated issue about who to name the new administrative building after]! [She] asked that the Board and administration let the staff who is "running the school, run the school."

Now back to the regularly-scheduled [name of tree] debate already in progress.

The [guy] is up. He's asking all the kids and parents from [full name of tree]. [Chandler adds: I don't know what he's asking, but such is the quality of live blogging.] He's slamming the District for the way it is disseminating information to the public.

"This is about these children." "This is about accountability." "This is about the board member who oversees these schools."

[Same guy], like the speaker before him, is exceeding his 2 minutes. After each speaker, the official "timekeeper" reports how much time, overall, remains. It will be interesting to see what happens when the hourglass dries.

"My name is [angry lady] and you haven't heard the last of me."

Another angry student is up railing against the plan to split up {name of tre

Yes, Chris works at Name of Tree High School!

It's still going. Aren't we having fun? More later.

The long evening begins

Yes, it's after 5:30 now, so the school board meeting has the begun and the slow-motion Madame Guillotine has begun her descent on the neck of Chris's school. (The board has to figure out what to do about it's $50,000,000 debt, so the important stuff may have to wait.) How are we passing the time? The best way we know how: Stuffing our mouthes full of Oreos and beginning the "How Fast Can We Play 'Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker'?" Challenge. When the number of times you've beaten a game breaks into the double digits, you have to find new ways of tricking things up. We don't think it's possible to do in 2 hours, alas.

In between, we have our eyes on the news. Once we know what's taking place, we'll report it here, gentle readers.


No, not the original D-Day. I'm 20 days off for that.

Today is the day that the school board will decide the fate of Chris's school. They could leave it open. They could leave it open and fire 75% of the teachers. They could shut the school down, get rid of 75% of the teachers, let the seniors stay there and graduate from the school, bring in a new generation of freshmen and "clean house", and send the sophomores and juniors to other schools. As insane as it sounds, it will most likely be the last one.

So be thinking of us today.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Goodish news

We got a call from our agency today.  They told us that the income requirements for Colombia are the federal poverty line, which she believes is $21,000 for a family of four.  If I get stuck with subbing all year we've got that down.  Some, but very little news of import on the job front.  The principal at one of the schools where my kids are likely to go talked to me today, but she wont be making any kind of decisions until later this week.  So that's that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Being mistreated by life

Chris can go into greater detail than I, but the school district has done a nasty thing. We're having wonderful memories of last summer when Chris was desperately seeking out a job: He has to do it again! Because if he doesn't, the district's idea of "reassigning" teachers means putting them in the substitute pool. Yes, apparently subbing and full-time teaching are equivocal! Because Dallas says so!


But if you haven't figured out the other implication, there's a chance the adoption will go on hold and possibly fold. Tomorrow we're contacting our social worker, regional office head, and Colombia program director to let them know that things are ... well, bad. We'll keep sending in our homestudy stuff, but things just can't progress until Chris has another job secured.

If Chris is put on the sub list, we'll have to quit the process completely. If the boys are still available when we can start again, we'll try again.

That said, we're optimistic that Chris will find a job within the district. We just want everyone to know that things can go very sour. We originally thought that things were better than they really were.

We were listening to some news about the town hall meeting, and they played a sound bite. Chris's response was, "Huh, they cut out the booing." Lively crowd!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Town Hall Meeting"

In a little while I'll be headed down to a "town hall meeting" at my--excuse me, at what used to be my school.  I went out with some of my colleagues last night and we had a grand time saying how stupid this entire situation is.  We think we won't be allowed to ask questions at this thing, but I for one can't wait to find out.  One person who already lined up a transfer to another school nearly two months ago thinks he might come just to see the show.  This should be interesting.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How I love thee, Omniglot blog!

I love Omniglot. I've started "playing" the language quizzes they have--the real players know an insane number of languages and can hit close to the mark, but I can only guess the general region (today's sounds like a Slavonic language with a German sound, but not Polish?).

Anyway, in my continuing quest to learn to roll my R's, I find this: Alveolar Trills.

Thanks, Omniglot!

Oh hey, I still have a blog!

No one's dead, no one's dying, no one took a long vacation and forgot to tell everyone. We're just out of things to say.

Chris is out of school. Then Chris's school got shut down. They'll let the seniors finish out their time there, then turn it into a freshman "center" (whatever that means). They'll only keep 25% of faculty, so chances are he'll be moved to another school in the district. Thanks, Dallas! You really know how to run the show here!

Anyway, I'm going to go read a book.