With 100% of precincts counted, Measure O fails.                                        Board of Directors just wasted half a million dollars of taxpayer money on this election.                                        Criminal complaints against the district will continue to be pursued.                                        Criminal and FPPC complaints against the Astro-Turfers will continue to be pursued.                                        Your property taxes based on indebtedness will now go down, as they should.                                        

The Big Lie

What is it?

The Board (or should I say the manipulation marketing firm from San Francisco) summed it up quite succinctly in the August mailer:

Strong Schools = Strong Communities

This is shameless self-aggrandizement by the Board and the bureaucrats. It's a statement that lays claim to the lie that the Board and the bureaucrats are responsible for creating the community and, implicitly, the achievement of the students in the district.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Do school facilities (inanimate objects) achieve or do individual students achieve? The answer is obvious.

To the Parents of WVUSD Children:

What creates outstanding student achievement?

Factor #1 - You

Don't you know your own power?

It's you who inspire and demand that your children achieve. You came to this community because you wanted to be around other parents who feel the same.

There is no correlation between money and achievement. If there were, the schools in New York City, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles would turn out the best performing students in the country instead of being at the receiving end of unrelenting criticism for their continued failure.

Back in 1970, you created the school district. It didn't create the community.

In terms of achievement, you provide the most important motivation your children can possibly get.

Tutoring Industry

If the Board were doing such a good job, there wouldn't be a multi-million dollar tutoring industry in Diamond Bar and Walnut. The fact is that you want more for your children than the cookie cutter, lowest common denominator approach that the Board offers. You pay out of your own pocket to the tutors who best fit your individual children's needs and your hopes and dreams for them.

21st Education

Some of you might even be savvy enough to realize that a 21st century education is already out there on the cloud. On October 2, 2015, a friend who works for an area school district attended the NACAC National Conference in San Diego. These are the people that help to get your children into college. The keynote presentation knocked their socks off. It wasn't delivered by some stuffy Ed.D. trained in the art of 19th Century education methods. It was delivered by someone who had no experince in the education field. Salman Khan had a problem that he solved with a visionary idea. He founded the Khan Academy. Now millions of children around the world are learning as a result.

Why don't you give yourself some credit?

Besides the individual love and attention that you shower your children with, you do one very important thing. By whatever means necessary, you inculcate in your children that showing up is the first step for success. The attendance rates for the district are about as high as they can possibly go. That's entirely due to you. When you look at the statistics for school districts around the state, you can see a direct correlation between achievement and attendance. It's common sense. The children who don't show up are not going to achieve on a par with those who do.

From the Board's perspective, attendance is its money-maker. It's called "average daily attendance" (ADA). It's a perverse incentive created of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats. The Board and the bureaucrats really only care about ADA, because that's what drives the money that keeps the bureaucracy afloat.

Side Note

The bureaucrats know on which side their toast is buttered. I recently attended a Mt. SAC board meeting where its marketing department was explaining how it was achieving its equivalent of ADA, "full-time student equivalent" (FTES). The Board was salivating over the numbers. To the Board and the bureaucracy, attendance is their bread-and-butter. Your children are just a number that translates into dollars in their pockets.

Factor #2 - Inspiring Teachers

I can't say enough about inspiring teachers. It might take just one inspiring teacher, over the entire school days of a child, to make a huge difference in her future.

Inspiring teachers aren't made by bureaucracies. It's a calling.

Bureaucracies, if they do anything, suppress inspiring teachers. Bureaucracies don't deal well with anything outside of the straight-jacket mold that they have created for your children. It just can't be allowed that some children might be inspired and perform better than others. The bureaucracies would then have to account for the difference in results.

I'm sure you've seen it. Word gets around among parents that one teacher inspires her students. The parents push to have that teacher teaching their children. The bureaucracy limits this scarce resource. Instead of finding more inspiring teachers, some of your children are relegated to teachers who are less than inspiring or sometimes downright boring or, even worse, just high-priced babysitters. It takes work to find inspiring teachers, because the system in which they are trained encourages mediocrity. The public unions don't want competition, so it's even more work, because the most inspiring teachers may not continue to teach in bureaucratic common schools -- they move on. (Remember Marva Collins, who passed away this past summer, in Chicago? Also, see The Marva Collins Story.)

What's Stopping Your Children from Achieving More?

State legislators who impose all manner of regulation and requirements on you -- the Education Code is 4,000 pages.

Bureaucracies working full-time to justify their existence.

Local politicians thirsty for power, money, and influence, even if it's at the expense of innocent children.

You'll always hear politictians claiming responsibility for success. Failure is always someone else's fault.

The False Premise

The underlying premise of this bond is that you need to spend more of other people's money to keep up the achievement of your children.

This is not to say that school construction bonds don't have a legitimate purpose.

Bonds, like a mortgage, are not used to pay for expenses. In fact, that's against the law. Bonds are used to pay for things for which there is a pressing need and that have a useful life that approaches or exceeds the life of the bond.

When a Board mismanages its funds, like this Board has done, it often will have needs for short-lived materials and equipment. The law provides a solution for that too. It's called a parcel tax. With a parcel tax, the Board has to convince two-thirds (a super majority) of the voters that the need is indeed as pressing as it claims and that it's not wasting funds on frivolous or unnecessary things or things that are not directly related to its reason for existence.

If the Board really needs money for a never-ending stream of technology (whatever that means), then it needs to make its case to the voters.

Riddle me this. What's the difference between a computer, like an iPad®, and a book? Both provide information. Both are portable. Both can deliver instructional material. And on and on. If books can't be purchased with bonds (although the Board will do so anyway), then why should purposely ambiguous technology?

Let's ask a bigger question. Why should students have to lug around tens of pounds of books, when everything that is in those books can be accessed on a piece of technology? Obviously, they shouldn't. At some appropriate age, children don't carry around telephone directories, photo albums, and all sorts of things that used to be only available in physical form.

The answer to this bigger question is, of course, that the industries that sell physical books can't compete. They have lobbyists to make sure that the law requires schools to provide books. So, once again, it isn't about the kids. It's about another economic revolution where the dying industries want to keep their share of your tax dollars.

Using borrowed money to pay for expenses is idiotic. That's what the Board wants you to do. What does that make the Board?


Copyright © 2015, Richard Michael. All Rights Reserved.