July 22, 2017

The Constitution of the United States of America as a Contract

It is submitted to you that we could (and should?) look at the Constitution as equivalent to a legally binding contract between the people of the United States of America as one party to the contract, and the federal government as the other party. Author’s Note: This is an abridged version of “The Constitution of […]

How To Explain Limousine Liberals

One explanation might well be that some – like the Kennedy’s – have been living off of inherited wealth for several generations now. So the recent generations have never had to earn money, never had to endeavor to achieve upward mobility, much less endeavor for basic subsistence – and need never be concerned about having […]

COMMUNIQUES PART 3: USEFUL IDIOTS

Those of you reading this that currently call yourself “Progressive” are presumably taking offense at being referred to as “useful idiots” – but consider that the phrase originated from the leadership your side of the aisle to describe folks like you on your side of the aisle.  Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is […]

COMMUNIQUES Part 2 – THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN

Many advise the Republican Party particularly, and Conservatives in general, to avoid “social issues.” They tell us that “social issues” are a loser at the ballot box; that they repel “moderates” and “independents” and “young people” – in other words that we should just “go with the cultural flow.” Author’s Note: This is an abridged […]

COMMUNIQUES – INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIES

Introduction to the Series: This is an abridged version of the introduction the book Communiqués From the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. It seems only fitting to launch this series on Bear Witness Central with Communiqués’ introduction discussing the divine nature of the American founding; a subject always pertinent, but especially now during this period of struggle […]

Florida’s Deceptive Common Core Implementation and Teacher Training

Despite Gov. Rick Scott’s executive order (Executive Order 13-276) replacing the Common Core and withdrawing Florida from PARCC, teachers are still being trained in Common Core as the Florida Standards are essentially the Common Core State Standards with another name, slight renumbering of standards, and a few additional standards. In an email sent to me […]

Court upholds firing of teacher who cheated, while accomplice is returned to the classroom

On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, Department of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) Judge Cathy Sellers issued a Recommended Order upholding the decision of Miami-Dade County Public Schools to fire Mr. Emmanuel Fleurantin for his part in the massive test cheating scandal, Adobegate, at Miami Norland Senior High School during the 2011-2012 school year. The School Board of […]

Student, Not Teachers, Feels Heavy Hand of Justice

In Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), there exists a double standard by the school system and its police department when dispensing justice between students and teachers. For evidence of this, examine the circumstances between a student, Jose Bautista, an 18 year old senior at Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School, and Mr. Emmanuel Fleurantin and […]

Who is the real victim of harassment?

Miami-Dade civil rights complaint against public school whistle-blower dismissed Those who blow the whistle and interrupt the status quo are either met with respect or hostility from others.  In the case of Cleveland “Cleve” Roberts III, the PBS Coach at Miami Norland Senior High School and Trevor Colestock, Library Media Specialist at Miami Norland SHS and a […]

Citizen Spotlight: Trevor Colestock, Schoolhouse Whistle-blower

Can citizens take back their school district? National whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden have been capturing headlines more now than ever, but what about the local watchdogs who blow the whistle where the rubber meets the road? As the saying goes, “If you can’t take back city hall, you can’t take back DC.” Well, what if […]

FL: Miami-Dade school leadership shows poor track record with whistle-blower

  Due to whistle-blowing activities and the fact Miami-Dade County Public Schools officials lack the legal means to transfer me, they resorted to a new low on Thursday morning: adverse action of removing me from the school site under the guise of public safety and giving in to bullies in the process.   On September […]

Adobegate: A Question of Justice in the Miami-Dade schools

Are teachers being held accountable? At the Miami-Dade School Board meeting on Wednesday, October 16, Mr. Emmanuel Fleurantin was suspended without pay pending dismissal proceedings. Interestingly, the other teacher mentioned in the Miami-Dade OIG Final Report, Mrs. Brenda Muchnick, was not on the D55 agenda whatsoever as her involvement was deferred to the November 19, […]

Adobegate: Texas shows Florida the path forward on test cheating

Texas takes cheating on tests seriously Governor Rick Scott likes to emulate Texas Governor Rick Perry’s business and tax policies among other things. However, he and Education Commissioner Pam Stewart should take a page from Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Michael Williams. In response to TEA’s failure to accurately monitor and detect the cheating allegations […]

Cheating at Miami Norland High: Screw Up and Cover Up

Adobegate: The Inmates run the asylum If one ever wonders why some refer to the sunshine state as “Floriduh” and say Floridians are the bane of the nation, I can fill you in as I had a front row seat. Before the Miami Norland SHS Open House on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, there was a faculty […]

United Teachers of Dade staffers draw School District pay and benefits, but do not work at a school

No school work and all school pay? In July, the Miami Herald identified 42 positions in various Miami-Dade County divisions that collected $2.65 million-plus in salaries from taxpayers as of July 2013 — but they don’t have to do their county jobs. The 42 employees are excused from reporting to their assigned work sites to perform […]

The good, the bad and the ugly in Miami-Dade schools

Taking money to cheat is illegal THE GOOD The good in this true story is Trevor Colestock, a school librarian for the Miami-Dade School District. Because of Colestock and for the first time in its existence, the Office of the Inspector General for Miami-Dade County documented and substantiated an instance of test cheating in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, […]

Librarian attacked for exposing cheating and fraud in Miami-Dade schools

Awarding federal funds to cheaters Trevor W. Colestock is a Library Media Specialist at Miami Norland Senior High School. Colestock is also a liaison for Miami-Dade Professional Development and United Teachers of Dade (UTD) union Building Steward. Colestock discovered teachers were cheating and being rewarded with Race To The Top and School Improvement Grant funds. This constitutes fraud, waste […]

Miami-Dade County Public Schools teachers illegally and improperly evaluated?

Miami-Dade County Public Schools teachers most likely have been illegally and improperly evaluated since July 2011 as they were not properly trained in their Race To The Top imposed teacher evaluation system , IPEGS, per The Student Success Act (SB 736) of 2011, passed by the Florida Legislature, according to a report released last February by the Office of the Auditor General for the State of Florida. Report No. 2013-108 addressed two key issues: training of personnel per state law to comply with legal and contractual obligations per Florida’s ESEA Flexibility Request Waiver , which stated school districts were […]

Cheating at Miami Norland Senior High: The El Paso Solution?

Last May, former FBI Director Louis Freeh painted a grim picture about the extent and the future of corruption at a public corruption conference in Miami. Miami was the perfect venue as South Florida ranked No. 1 for federal prosecutions of healthcare and other white-collar fraud. “It’s in our sports programs,” said Freeh, who went […]

Who says cheating doesn’t pay?!

For the first time in its existence, the Office of the Inspector General for Miami-Dade County documented and substantiated an instance of test cheating in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Florida’s largest school district and the nation’s fourth largest school district. The annual Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) Annual Report for fiscal year (FY) 2012-2013, […]

Passing the buck in Florida: Where’s Gov. Scott and Pam Bondi when you need them?

… and other folks for that matter! When asked about mishaps that occurred during his presidency, President Harry S. Truman said, and pointed to the sign on his desk that read, “The buck stops here.” Apparently, Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, bureau chiefs at the Florida Department of Education and the State […]

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