Friday, February 28, 2014

When May I Shoot a Student?

When May I Shoot a Student?
New York Times
FEB. 27, 2014

BOISE, Idaho — TO the chief counsel of the Idaho State Legislature:

In light of the bill permitting guns on our state’s college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?

I am a biology professor, not a lawyer, and I had never considered bringing a gun to work until now. But since many of my students are likely to be armed, I thought it would be a good idea to even the playing field.

I have had encounters with disgruntled students over the years, some of whom seemed quite upset, but I always assumed that when they reached into their backpacks they were going for a pencil. Since I carry a pen to lecture, I did not feel outgunned; and because there are no working sharpeners in the lecture hall, the most they could get off is a single point. But now that we’ll all be packing heat, I would like legal instruction in the rules of classroom engagement.

At present, the harshest penalty available here at Boise State is expulsion, used only for the most heinous crimes, like cheating on Scantron exams. But now that lethal force is an option, I need to know which infractions may be treated as de facto capital crimes.

I assume that if a student shoots first, I am allowed to empty my clip; but given the velocity of firearms, and my aging reflexes, I’d like to be proactive. For example, if I am working out a long equation on the board and several students try to correct me using their laser sights, am I allowed to fire a warning shot?

If two armed students are arguing over who should be served next at the coffee bar and I sense escalating hostility, should I aim for the legs and remind them of the campus Shared-Values Statement (which reads, in part, “Boise State strives to provide a culture of civility and success where all feel safe and free from discrimination, harassment, threats or intimidation”)?

While our city police chief has expressed grave concerns about allowing guns on campus, I would point out that he already has one. I’m glad that you were not intimidated by him, and did not allow him to speak at the public hearing on the bill (though I really enjoyed the 40 minutes you gave to the National Rifle Association spokesman).

Knee-jerk reactions from law enforcement officials and university presidents are best set aside. Ignore, for example, the lame argument that some drunken frat boys will fire their weapons in violation of best practices. This view is based on stereotypical depictions of drunken frat boys, a group whose dignity no one seems willing to defend.

The problem, of course, is not that drunken frat boys will be armed; it is that they are drunken frat boys. Arming them is clearly not the issue. They would cause damage with or without guns. I would point out that urinating against a building or firing a few rounds into a sorority house are both violations of the same honor code.

In terms of the campus murder rate — zero at present — I think that we can all agree that guns don’t kill people, people with guns do. Which is why encouraging guns on campus makes so much sense. Bad guys go where there are no guns, so by adding guns to campus more bad guys will spend their year abroad in London. Britain has incredibly restrictive laws — their cops don’t even have guns! — and gun deaths there are a tiny fraction of what they are in America. It’s a perfect place for bad guys.

Some of my colleagues are concerned that you are encouraging firearms within a densely packed concentration of young people who are away from home for the first time, and are coincidentally the age associated with alcohol and drug experimentation, and the commission of felonies.

Once again, this reflects outdated thinking about students. My current students have grown up learning responsible weapon use through virtual training available on the Xbox and PlayStation. Far from being enamored of violence, many studies have shown, they are numb to it. These creative young minds will certainly be stimulated by access to more technology at the university, items like autoloaders, silencers and hollow points. I am sure that it has not escaped your attention that the library would make an excellent shooting range, and the bookstore could do with fewer books and more ammo choices.

I want to applaud the Legislature’s courage. On a final note: I hope its members will consider my amendment for bulletproof office windows and faculty body armor in Boise State blue and orange.

Greg Hampikian is a professor of biology and criminal justice at Boise State University and a co-author of “Exit to Freedom.”


Technic Ally

I find it ironic that this half-baked idea emanates from Idaho. They should legalize potato guns on campuses instead.

David J

I hope the Idaho state legislature will show the courage of its convictions and allow, perhaps even encourage, firearms in the state capitol...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

American schools have failed: 1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

How do school officials expect students to understand science when they barely understand that the earth is not flat?

Is the average American teacher subpar? Yes.

Obviously, the concept of the earth orbiting the sun is one that SHOULD BE taught with a living, moving demonstration with objects such as a basketball for Jupiter, a marble for the earth, etc.. The sun would ideally be eight feet in diameter, but balls that size are hard to come by. I myself used something smaller for the three-dimensional demonstration, and then I put up a bulletin board with part of a yellow butcher paper sun (with butcher paper flames). Also, the rotation of the earth on its axis should be taught by letting kids see (or, better yet, carry!) a globe that is turned slowly as it moves around the "sun" (which should be the biggest, roundest, most orange object the teacher can come up with).

What excuse is there for the legions of teachers who don't bother to make sure that their students understand these concepts? I am frequently appalled by the mental laziness of teachers.

As a teacher I was amazed at the percentage of my fellow teachers who would stand up in front of the class and recite a fact, and then think that their job was done regarding that fact.

Parents: most of your kids are receiving inadequate instruction in basic concepts. I urge you to support Common Core, and to hold teachers accountable for learning how to teach it. DON'T FALL FOR ALL THE WHINING THAT TEACHERS ARE DOING. They are college graduates. They should be able to figure out how to teach basic concepts.

See all posts re Common Core.
See all posts re lazy teachers.

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says
by Scott Neumann
February 14, 2014

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.

To the question "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth," 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.

In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that "The universe began with a huge explosion" and only 48 percent said "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals."

Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses.

As alarming as some of those deficits in science knowledge might appear, Americans fared better on several of the questions than similar, but older surveys of their Chinese and European counterparts.

Only 66 percent of people in a 2005 European Union poll answered the basic astronomy answer correctly. However, both China and the EU fared significantly better (66 percent and 70 percent, respectively) on the question about human evolution.

In a survey compiled by the National Opinion Research Center from various sources, Americans seemed to generally support science research and expressed the greatest interest in new medical discoveries and local school issues related to science. They were least interested in space exploration, agricultural developments and international and foreign policy issues related to science

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Alpine teachers, who began strike on Thursday Feb. 20, 2014, reach accord with district

See all posts re Alpine Union School District.

UPDATE Feb. 25, 2014:

Alpine teachers, district reach tentative accord
By Karen Pearlman
Feb. 25, 2014

ALPINE — A tentative agreement between striking Alpine teachers and the Alpine Union School District was reached in the earliest hours on Tuesday after a fourth day of negotiations.

The agreement, announced by Alpine Union School District Superintendent Tom Pellegrino and Alpine Teachers Association president Gayle Malone at 1:20 a.m. Tuesday, was promptly disseminated to the 91 teachers represented by the union for a vote.

"TA reached! Strike ended," Pellegrino wrote in a text message.

"I think it's the best deal we can do right now at this point in time," said Alpine Teachers Association president Gayle Malone at 1:35 in the morning.

A ratification meeting for Alpine teachers began at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at Joan MacQueen Middle School.

By 8 a.m. when the voting was over, 69 votes have been cast with 96% in favor of the proposal and 4% against.

The details include:

For the 2013-14 school year, teachers will take a 5.58 percent salary cut effective April 1. For 2014-15, they will take a 3.78 percent cut effective July 1 if gap funding reaches 28 percent. The school district had imposed a 7.58 percent pay cut at the end of January when contract talks stalled.
Staff will have two development days paid at a daily rate.
The district will contribute a maximum of $9,500 in health care benefits retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014.
Furlough days will be six this academic year and seven in 2014-15.
The work day is not to exceed seven and a half hours.
The retirement incentive, nonexistent before, is now $8,000 if teachers submit a letter by March 5.

Teachers union bargaining member Theresa Horton, at the ratification meeting said, "We have to leave the path and move forward. You can't heal if you keep picking at the scabs. These kids need to be in their seats so the district can collect their ADA."

More than six proposals were batted back and forth just on Monday, according to Robbi Skovmand, a bargaining member for the teachers union and a Joan MacQueen Middle School teacher.

“We’ve never worked so hard for a pay cut,” she said. “For ATA, it was to restore salary and get as high a health cap as we could. Our goal was restoration.“

Skovmand said that both sides remained respectful and worked hard throughout the negotiations that totaled nearly 40 hours in the past four days.

“It’s an insanely slow process coming together on issues and talking them through. Our goal was to get kids back to the classroom and teachers back to the classroom.”

After casting his vote to return to the classroom, Joan MacQueen Middle School eighth grade teacher Brendan Casey said, "I am actually feeling pretty happy. I believe the restorations are fair for both sides. It's a complex web, not just about one particular issue. I am heading to my classroom in six minutes."...

"The district and teacher leaders worked into the early morning on Tuesday, Feb. 25 and reached an agreement that both parties can stand behind," Pellegrino wrote in a statement to parents of students in the rural district. "The strike has ended! We know that your child will be extremely happy to see our Alpine teachers back. We are too! We are committed to maintaining the high level of education that you have grown to expect and deserve. Teachers will be back in the classroom Tuesday."...

CORRECTION Feb. 23, 2014: This post originally incorrectly stated that Fred Kamper was involved in Alpine Unified. He was not.

UPDATE Feb. 21, 2014: Alpine district teachers strike goes into a second day

Alpine teachers strike for a 2nd day
By Amanda Shotsky
Channel 6
Fri, 21 Feb 2014

(ALPINE) - A war of words and wages continues in Alpine. It's day two of a strike involving dozens of teachers who say they are being treated unfairly.

"We all have lost sleep and we are stressed," says teacher Candy Melon.

Teachers staged protests at 5 area schools.

"We have fabulous teachers that need to be paid fairly," says teacher Wendy Yoshinaga.

Friday the Alpine Teachers Association agreed to sit down with the district for another round of negations.

This coming one day after a heated board meeting where parents voiced concern over their kids attending school amid chaos.

It's the latest chapter in a long battle over budget woes. Back in July the district imposed a 7.58% salary cut for teachers and significantly trimming health benefits.

The ATA is accusing the district of underestimating the amount of state funding allotted for this year. But Superintendent Tom Pellegrino says that's not the case.

"There isn't more money," says Pellegrino. "If we would have accepted the ATA's last proposal it would have bankrupted our schools."

According to Pellegrino, the district's proposal would have actually restored more than 4% of the original pay cut by July.

"We'll go back to the table in June," says Yoshinaga. "We want to settle this and get back into the classroom now."


Alpine school district, teachers to return to negotiations
By Caroline Dipping
Feb. 21, 2014

ALPINE — After one day of a teachers strike, the Alpine Union School District has asked the teachers union to come back to the table. A bargaining session is set for 11 a.m. today at the district office on Administration Way in Alpine...

Alpine teachers launch strike
By Karen Pearlman
Feb. 20, 2014

Teachers in the Alpine Union School District began their strike Thursday morning, the latest chapter in a more than year-long conflict over how to balance the district's budget.

It's the first teachers strike in San Diego County since 1996. The main disagreements between the Alpine district administration and the teachers union include how much state education funding the district expects to receive this year, how much of a salary reduction teachers should bear and how much the district should contribute to teachers' health-care benefits.

On Jan. 31, the district imposed a 7.58 percent salary cut for teachers and trimmed its maximum contributions to employee health benefits from $13,500 to $8,000 a year.

These cuts are projected to bring down the deficit in the district’s nearly $14.7 million operating budget from $1.05 million to $623,000. Similar cuts proposed for nonteaching employees, who will begin negotiations Friday, along with anticipated new state revenue are expected to get Alpine out of the red by June 30.

The Alpine Teachers Association contends, among other things, that district officials are underestimating the amount of state funding scheduled for this year and have decided to disproportionately harm teachers instead of considering other expenditure cuts. The district's administrators maintain that all other reductions have been considered, and that the teachers union is unwilling to make necessary sacrifices.

The controversy reached a new threshold with Thursday's strike.

Shortly after 6:30 a.m., nearly 100 teachers from Alpine and other school districts, some members of the California Teachers Association and other supporters marched down Tavern Road in front of Joan MacQueen Middle School to launch the strike.

They held signs, shared stories and waved to passing motorists.

MacQueen seventh-grade teacher Lori Hernandez said she and her colleagues are not being unreasonable.

"This is not about a raise for teachers," she said. "We are actually striking for a fair pay cut."

Parents soon began dropping off their children at the campus for the school's 7:35 a.m. start of classes, and many of them gave the "thumb's up" sign to the protesters.

...On Tuesday, Alpine Superintendent Tom Pellegrino had written in an email that proposals by the Alpine Teachers Association would “bankrupt the district.”

“The district has continued to make concessions with proposals that stretch as far as humanly possible to reach an agreement,” Pellegrino wrote. “At the same time, union leadership continues to demand more money and move away from the tentative agreement that the ATA negotiating team agreed to on Jan. 31.”

Alpine teachers who join the walkout won't get paid for any strike days, and they can't use vacation or sick time, according to Bill Guy, spokesman for the California Teachers Association.

A strike relief fund — currently at more than $20,000 — made up of voluntary contributions from teachers associations and individuals throughout the state may be distributed to some Alpine teachers, Guy said. Typically, this assistance is reserved for those who most need it in the short term.

As of Thursday morning, officials with the Alpine district and teachers union had not ventured an estimate on how long the strike might last. They also had not scheduled any further negotiation meetings.

Pellegrino said the district is up for further negotiations and he is "saddened by the fact the kids are put in the mix of employer/employee disputes." He entreated the teachers to return to their classrooms and said, "If I could pay them double, I would do it today, but I will not put forward a deal that would bankrupt the district."

Outside of Joan MacQueen Middle School on Thursday morning, the striking Alpine teachers were joined by instructors from South County, Ramona and Imperial County.

Gayle Malone, president of the Alpine Teachers Association, said she heard further support would be coming later Thursday from teachers in Bakersfield and Riverside counties...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Race, ethnicity could be considered in college recruitment, admissions; Voters may get to alter Prop. 209

The San Diego Union-Tribune asks: Should college applicants or students receive preferential treatment based on race, ethnicity or gender?

So, are we assuming that it's NOT preferential treatment to rely so heavily on test scores? Medical students, for example, should be screened for attributes such as a sense of obligation and concern for others. Lawyers should be screened to make sure they have a certain degree of honesty. Does the public benefit from providing expensive educations to people who may do well on certain tests, but are limited in their innate desire to contribute to the healthy functioning of our society? And are we really serving our society by creating a system that creates domination by Europeans and Asians in certain fields? Or are we sowing the seeds for future conflict?

Certainly, until we have a system that accurately matches prospective students with appropriate careers, race and ethnicity should be used as a check to make sure we haven't got things out of balance.

IQ does not account for the vast differences in membership in certain occupations between different ethnicities. In fact, we clearly have smarter people OF ALL RACES AND ETHNICIGTES being shunted aside to make way for those who have characteristics other than high intelligence, including culture and family support.

Voters may get to alter Prop. 209
Race, ethnicity could be considered in college recruitment, admissions
By Karen Kucher
Feb. 18, 2014

The Legislature is poised to give Californians a chance to vote on a highly emotional and politically charged issue that has divided people across the country for decades — affirmative action in higher education.

A proposed state constitutional amendment, dubbed SCA 5, would repeal portions of Proposition 209 that have banned the consideration of race, ethnicity and gender in public colleges’ recruitment, admissions and retention programs since 1998.

The Senate approved the measure last month, and the Assembly — which also has a Democratic supermajority — is set to consider the legislation soon. Passage in Sacramento would mean that voters could weigh in late this year or in 2015.

California became the first state to ban the use of race and ethnicity in the admissions process for public colleges, as well as in state hiring and contracting, when voters approved Proposition 209. Other states followed with similar policies.

State and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have issued numerous rulings on this issue over the years. They have sometimes been at odds, with their legal arguments reflecting the main points of public debate: Critics of affirmative action said colleges should assess applicants on academic ability because that’s the fairest and most objective standard, while supporters said the higher-education system has been biased against certain minority groups and needs to better value students who have overcome special hurdles in life to pursue a college degree.

The latest constitutional-amendment proposal was introduced by state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina. He has written similar bills in the past, including one vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010 and another vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011. This time, Hernandez wants voters to decide the matter. His co-authors include Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego.

Hernandez said Proposition 209 has resulted in less diversity as fewer underrepresented minority students are admitted and enrolled in the California State University and University of California systems. The senator said he personally benefited from recruitment and scholarship assistance that targeted minority students when he attended an optometry school in Indiana.

“I am not proposing quota systems or preferential treatment,” he said. “SCA 5 simply allows our public colleges to identify achievement gaps, such as a lack of women in the (science, technology, engineering and math) fields or even a lack of men, especially men of color, in teacher-credentialing programs. … Any program a college adopts to consider these factors would have to be narrowly tailored, consistent with all the Supreme Court decisions that already limit the use of race- or gender-conscious programs.”

Backers of Proposition 209 said the law has actually increased representation of underrepresented minority groups. They also said taking racial preferences out of the admissions process has helped minorities succeed more in college — and graduate in larger numbers — because their academic credentials are better matched with the campuses they attend.

“It is not good to send a student where his or her academic qualifications are going to be lower than the average students’,” said Gail Heriot, a University of San Diego law professor who was co-chair of the Proposition 209 campaign in 1996. “To some people, it would seem like they are doing a favor to the student who is getting the preferences, but it ends up being the opposite.”


Maura Larkins · Top Commenter · UCLA

So, are we assuming that it's NOT preferential treatment to rely so heavily on test scores? Medical students, for example, should be screened for attributes such as a sense of obligation and concern for others. Lawyers should be screened to make sure they have a certain degree of honesty. Does the public benefit from providing expensive educations to people who make do well on certain tests, but are limited in their innate desire to contribute to the healthy functioning of our society? And are we really serving our society by creating a system that creates domination by Europeans and Asians in certain fields? Or are we sowing the seeds for future conflict.

Bob Giramma · Follow · Top Commenter · UCLA

It's fair to discriminate on the basis of merit, but (almost) nothing else. How does one test for a sense of obligation or honesty?

Maura Larkins · Top Commenter · UCLA

[To] Bob Giramma, Good question. Perhaps a personality test? Can we at least try to keep sociopaths out of medicine and law?

Maura Larkins · Top Commenter · UCLA

[To] Bob Giramma: Remember the discussion about the psychiatrist on the Sopranos series who treated James Gandolfini? Experts were saying that she was wrong to teach him how to understand and manipulate people more effectively. Certainly we shouldn't be training sociopaths to be psychiatrists!

G Ma Donovan · Bridgeport engineering Institute

Merit based societal filtering is de-basing. This limits [ this subjective sifting of meritocracy in society] rewards to persons who respond with the 'answers' for which the testers are looking. Sometimes these answers are patently wrong or myths. This response can reward dishonesty. For example, I use spellcheck so much that I am forgetting most of the basic grammar rules of spelling and its exceptions. I would now fail many intelligence tests, well to tell you the truth, i always failed those who say, we must have standards. Standards that stick in the 1800 or 1900 milieu ...why do you suppose Wikipedia is so helpful? The standards are just so low as to be meaningless. Laughable when one travels.

Michael Dew · Top Commenter · University of Utah

To follow my comment, wouldn't you WANT those to be educated? It's better to educate than allow to fester.

Michael Dew · Top Commenter · University of Utah

From my perspective it's a sad reality that we have such huge discrepancies but efforts to address it have definitely helped. I honestly don't feel sacrificing a small percentage of slots to address a societal problem is a bad thing. The socioeconomic benefit of minorities and women going to school to the neighborhood they come from is strong. Many kids do want and opportunity but don't feel it's there for them, for whatever reason. We can blame the students parents but lets think about why they're there in the first place. It's not always laziness, maybe higher ed wasn't an option for Mom or Dad, maybe there was an unexpected pregnancy. Once the student is admitted they still have to pass the tests, do the homework, and make it as any other student using resources available. It is still up to the candidate to finish college, getting in is the first step. A lazy student will quickly find themselves outside the classroom making room for another stronger candidate.

Karen Haney Logan · Top Commenter

Yes, that is my point. If acceptance is based on anything other than GPA or placement exam scores, then the students being accepted under those other terms are being set up to fail. Nobody is being served by using anything other than GPA or placement exam scores to determine acceptance to college.

Maura Larkins · Top Commenter · UCLA

Karen Haney Logan: Did you know that the average high school drop-out has a higher IQ than the average high school graduate? I'll bet the same is true for college. (Bill Gates is an example.) So perhaps GPAs and test scores aren't measuring ability so much as educational support received by a student over his or her lifetime.

Karen Haney Logan · Top Commenter

No Maura Larkins....I did not know that. How to apply ones IQ to the expected knowledge base to enter college would be tricky, but possible perhaps. My point(and I am a current student) is there are many different levels of of intelligence, but if a person cannot even meet the minimum requirement of whatever knowledge base the school requires, why should that person be allowed to enter because of race, ethnicity or gender? As someone else below pointed out, they will just wash out when they are unable to keep up with the work-this seems cruel to me. Just my opinion.

Maura Larkins · Top Commenter · UCLAV To Karen Haney : Do you see that we have a problem? Our society is NOT developing the intellects of those with the most ability. Instead, we provide the knowledge necessary for success to those with family advantages.

Gary Swenson · Top Commenter

White, black, brown, yellow, red, purple, green....bring the GRADES and you're in! Nobody deserves to cut in line for ANY other reason.

Shanna McFaddin · Follow · Deckhand at Lilley Pad Charters

I agree. Equal and fair treatment for all. My only caveat is that Veterans should get priority registration, due to the time limits on GI Bill.

Maura Larkins · Top Commenter · UCLA

Shanna McFaddin: Students don't get equal treatment BEFORE taking the SAT, and BEFORE taking high school classes. Until we fix that, we should find a way to level the playing field.

Michael Dew · Top Commenter · University of Utah

I think it's a good thing where you have educational discrepancies. Often those kids become role models for future generations, sustainability is of issue. I don't see an issue with planting some seeds in areas in desperate need of attention. It's not like their talking 30% of all admissions. California has been doing this and I can say it has benefitted low income minorities, also in ways that can't be quantified. There was and still is a problem with few minorities pursuing or even being accepted to a higher ed program, often we have to make decisions to correct societal woes; these actions do improve our society, even if one can't see it directly.

Donna Rogers · Top Commenter · Webster University

Why didn't they include legacies in the question? College students should not receive preferential treatment based on WEALTH or connections either.

Ted James · Follow · Top Commenter

Public universities, no. Private schools, I guess it's there call.

[Maura Larkins: Private universities often receive huge public grants for research. Obviously, the government should not be giving public money to institutions that undermine the public.]

Mike Seneca · Top Commenter

I voted NO... because your skin color places you neither behind nor ahead of my skin color. It's too bad progressives feel race and gender reflect our level of neediness.

Lee Phillippi · Top Commenter

It was never based on "level of neediness". It wasn't long ago that discrimination was legal and discrimination didn't end when the laws were over turned.

James Palen · Follow · Top Commenter · Reporter for San Diego Daily Transcript at The Daily Transcript / San Diego Source

Lee Phillippi Discrimination will never end, and it will always be multi-directional (obviously not by all, but by a portion of the population). There is no such thing as parallel instances of racism and reverse racism (a ludicrous term, as if one race holds the patent on racism); there is only racism, from every direction to every direction. That's why trying to correct racism through policy like preferential admission only winds up bringing those enforcing that policy closer to racism themselves, by denying something to those who aren't allowed to check that box on the application. it becomes an endless spiral which despite its intentions, continues racism.

Bob Harris · Top Commenter · Palm Springs, California

Socioeconomic status: includes everybody who has been exposed to the realities of modern racism and bigotry, INCLUDING women of all races, poor white trash along with the rest of the "socially repressed."

Ted James · Follow · Top Commenter

Ms. Larkins, I don't understand what you are getting at. You want to test college applicants on their levels of empathy and honesty? To what end? Do you believe that when a 19 year old kid is applying for school he or she is going to be as caring or honest as he or she will be at 40? Honestly, if my doctor was a huge jerk but was great at healing me, I could live with that. I don't need him to empathize with me or to show me sympathy, I need him to diagnose my condition and treat me. Maybe empathy is part of that but having a scientific mind is too. I don't need my lawyer to be "honest" (I'm not quite sure what you mean by that), I do need him to be an expert in the law and then advise me on my best course of action. The California Bar Association has provisions for disbarring its members if they are found to have acted unprofessionally or unethically. Also, not everyone who goes to law school becomes a lawyer. Why would you need to be an "honest" person to go to law school? It's a feel good concept but I don't see much value in it.

Bob Giramma · Top Commenter · UCLA

Maura Larkins, I've never seen the Sopranos. I don't watch much TV. But your kind of testing sounds like it would get the government involved in yet another area for them to ruin. My kind of testing it through the free market, where each person chooses what's best for him or her. Government is just a bunch of busybody idiots.

February 20 at 8:01pm

Zhiyuan Zhu · Seattle, Washington

How does that have something to do with skin color this poll is about? Are you suggesting something else?

Maura Larkins · Top Commenter · UCLA

Zhiyuan Zhu I'm suggesting that the unequal K-12 educations that American children receive are very consistent with skin color. Black and brown children overwhelmingly miss out on the opportunities provided by a good basic education.

Maura Larkins · Top Commenter · UCLA

Ted James If lawyers always advised their clients to obey the law, our justice system wouldn't be having an extreme budget crisis. Instead, lawyers very often use unethical or illegal tactics to help their deep-pocket clients get away with whatever they want. That's how most lawyers accrue all those billable hours. The lawyers control the Bar Association, which protects the system. They only go after a few token small-time crooks. The legal profession in general abuses the court system for financial gain. Society would be better off if it boosted a few ethical applicants over those who are just trying to get rich. Why should society roll over and play dead while greedy, unethical people shove others aside in their quest to get rich? That is NOT in society's best interest.

Maura Larkins · Top Commenter · UCLA

Bob Giramma Each person chooses what is best for him? That is NOT the system that we have. People with undeserved advantages choose what is best for themselves, and leave the crumbs for the rest. You don't need to watch the Sopranos to think about whether or not we should be training sociopaths in how to manipulate others more effectively.

COMMENTS from Voters may get to alter Prop. 209:

Jeremy Merrill · Top Commenter · San Diego, California

Bob Giramma - You can dance around it all you like, but the quote you posted is from a member of the "dominant majority" and you yourself are a member of the "dominant majority" in this nation. That same "dominant majority" has lately taken on the persona of the oppressed every time an attempt is made at leveling the playing field. It's tiresome and intellectually dishonest to pretend that you don't have an advantage as a White American male.

Rex Smith · Top Commenter · College of William and Mary

Here's an idea. How about we recruit on merit and the ability to learn?

Maura Larkins · Top Commenter · UCLA

Sadly, it's hard to measure merit and ability to learn since grades and test scores measure socioeconomic level. In the most miserable places, IQ is completely overshadowed by other factors when it comes to academic success. Experts say there is almost NO correlation between academic success and intelligence in racial ghettos.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Google Alerts is broken. Talkwalker is an alternative.

See all posts re Google alerts.
See all posts regarding Google.

Need A Google Alerts Replacement? Meet Talkwalker
Mar 27, 2013
by Gary Price

With Google Alerts coming under fire as being broken, an impressive new service has stepped up to appeal to those seeking an alternative: Talkwalker.

Luxembourg-based Talkwalker is a social media monitoring company that has now released its own keyword-based alerts resource. The free service utilizes Google’s Web, news, and blog databases and delivers alerts by email or RSS.

Talkwalker_home So, are Talkwalker Alerts the Google Alerts replacement many are looking for?

I spent a few hours running several alerts and at this point I’m both optimistic and even impressed.v A few initial impressions follow.

Interface & Registration

The look, feel, and features of Talkwalker Alerts are nearly identical to Google’s alerts service.

Keyword alerts are available for “everything,” news, blogs, and/or discussions. They can be delivered “as it happens” or “once a day.” You can also limit by language and how many results are received:

Simply enter your email and you’re done.

The alert management page also appears nearly identical to Google Alerts. Here you can modify an alert query, grab the RSS URL, delete alerts, and other management tasks.

Overall, the learning curve is minute for those who have use Google’s alert tool. That’s good news for users and Talkwalker.

By the way, Talkwalker also makes it easy to import your current Google alerts.

But Do They Work?

I’ve only been using the service for a few hours, and I need to do more testing, but given the fact that I’ve had issues with the frequency and timeliness of Google Alerts for a long time (long before the current discussion got underway) several of the alerts I created did trigger with new material in a very timely manner.

So, for this reason alone, Talkwalker Alerts are worth being aware of and perhaps taking a look at to see if they meet your needs.

Friday, February 14, 2014

CVESD teacher removed for requesting massages from students, but Pettit isn't the only employee whose job is threatened

Stephenie Pettit

See comments at bottom of this post.

Stephenie Pettit has been placed on administrative leave for requesting massages from students. (See Channel 10 News story below.)

No one, including the police, has found that there was any hint of wrongdoing in Ms. Pettit's classroom--only bad judgment.

(Updated Mar. 14, 2014) But a parent has made me realize that Ms. Pettit's actions could result in serious harm to students in the future because they conditioned children to touch an adult on request. Even worse, kids were given class currency to do the touching. If CVESD used my plan for master teachers, this would not have happened. Our system puts untested teachers in full and solitary control of classrooms right after getting their teaching credentials. There is no close oversight or support to guide them.

Superintendent Francisco Escobedo will need to be careful in this case. A couple of members of his administration have more to hide than a few massages.

Asst. Supt. Sandra Villegas-Zuniga and Human Resources director Peg Myers will want to go easy on Ms. Pettit. They will want to continue the district's policy of avoiding investigations. It's a good policy when the people with the most to hide are not the ones the district is targeting. Ms. Pettit might say more than they want to hear if she were pressed for information.


Let's compare the two situations: guns and violence in the earlier case versus kids giving massages in the current case. Why was there NO investigation in the first case, while the police were called in in the second case?

The fact is, CVESD doesn't do thorough investigations to keep kids safe. Instead, it tries to protect its reputation. Too often this means covering up truly illegal actions by staff. As soon as as a report of child molestation surfaces in any school, a district administrator runs over to the school and threatens all the teachers that they'd better keep quiet. And they do keep quiet. The public has the right to vote for board members, but clearly does NOT enjoy the right to know what's going on at school districts.

Stephenie Pettit would NOT be the target of any investigation in the earlier case, but she'd be a star witness. She knows the truth about the reports of "fear for their lives" by teachers Jo Ellen Hamilton and Linda Watson when they taught at Castle Park Elementary in 2001. Pettit knows the role that Peg Myers played in the cover-up of crimes by Robin Donlan and other teachers.

And Sandra Villegas-Zuniga and Francisco Escobedo also know, or they should know.

Asst. Supt. Sandra Villegas-Zuniga might want to review her bizarre dealings with Peg Myers.

Peg Myers at her deposition

When Myers was the site representative at Castle Park Elementary School about ten years ago, she kept a tight rein on Stephenie Pettit in order to make sure that illegal actions were kept hidden. Stephenie Pettit was not involved in the original illegal actions, but she did keep her mouth shut after she found out about them. Later, when Myers was President of Chula Vista Educators (CVE), she continued to use her position to cover-up events at Castle Park in 2000-2001.

When she was President of CVE, Myers apparently impressed Villegas-Zuniga as someone who would help the district manipulate teachers. After sitting across from Myers at the bargaining table for a number of years, Villegas-Zuniga convinced Myers to clamber across the table to the other side and accept the job of Director of Human Resources. Obviously, Peg's intimate knowledge of individual teachers, and the workings of the teacher union, have been very helpful to the district in intimidating teachers. [Yes, I know that the district website claims that Myers is in charge of "classified" staff. Don't be fooled. She spends at least some of her time intimidating teachers.]

So here's the problem in the current situation. Stephenie Pettit knows the details of who was involved, and what actions they took, during the years when a large number of violations of civil and criminal laws were committed at Castle Park Elementary School, the district office, and the teachers union. The near-destruction of a school by power-hungry teachers and administrators was just the boost Peg Myers' career needed, and she has catapulted dramatically to higher positions since she was just an ordinary teacher at Castle Park Elementary in 2001.


The effects of the decade-long teacher meltdown at Castle Park Elementary--that resulted in the school having 11 principals in 11 years--continue to ripple through the district.

It staggers the imagination to realize how many teachers involved with Castle Park Elementary's descent into a miasma of dysfunction have continued to make news long since the Chula Vista Star-News and San Diego Union-Tribune lost interest in supporting a troublesome group of teachers, parents and administrators that brought the school to its knees during their years of arbitrary power.

Pam Smith and Larry Cunningham

Current Chula Vista Elementary board members Pam Smith and Larry Cunningham oversaw the cover-up of illegal actions by CVESD employees at the school in 2000-2001. (I was a teacher at Castle Park Elementary, with Stephenie Pettit and Peg Myers, at that time.)

Former CVE president Jim Groth wanted a replacement who would continue the teacher versus teacher culture that he had helped create. Peg Myers fit the bill perfectly. See all Jim Groth blog posts.

It should be mentioned that current member of the statewide CTA board of directors Jim Groth played a big role in the concealment of illegal actions. He was then, and still is, a member of the Chula Vista Educators board. I imagine he's already hopped in his car and driven over to the district office to remind the administration that the district and the teachers union need to continue the cover-up.

After the district paid $100,000s of taxpayer dollars in legal fees to lawyers Dan Shinoff and Mark Bresee for their successful efforts to protect teachers and administrators who had committed crimes, the prevailing teachers apparently felt invulnerable. They delighted in their arbitrary power to do whatever they wanted and get away with it. What else could the district expect when it had fired a teacher (me!) simply for demanding an investigation, and for refusing to come back to work until something was done about the relentless harassment of me by teacher thugs.

Former CVE President Gina Boyd. See Gina Boyd's deposition HERE.

Robin Donlan, notorious along with her husband for $7 million Wireless Facilities stock options fraud case. See Robin Donlan's deposition HERE.

The rogue teachers were led by Robin Donlan, a personal friend of both Peg Myers and former CVE president Gina Boyd. Gina Boyd was a member in extremely good standing of the self-styled "Castle Park Family". The self-styled "Castle Park Family" resisted all efforts by a string of principals (averaging one principal per year for 11 years) to get them to settle down and do their jobs. I myself was a target of the ruling teachers. Administrators Libia Gil and Rick Werlin did the bidding of those teachers.

Before my lawsuit was even finished, five teachers were transferred out of the school during the summer of 2004. Stephanie Pettit was one of the "Castle Park Five" group that included the notorious Robin Donlan, Peg Myers, and Nikki Perez.

This district keeps finding that its favored employees have big problems. Perhaps an effective evaluation system for teachers would help? But no, that would interfere with the politics that currently guides employment decisions at the district. And the district wouldn't have hired Peg Myers if it didn't want to keep politics in the forefront of district decisions.

I doubt that the district will try to fire Mrs. Pettit. She knows too much about criminal actions by teachers and administrators. I predict a settlement.

And as far as the parent who says Stephanie should not teach again, I don't see how voluntarily giving a massage to a teacher could seriously harm a child. The situation is no more serious than if Stephanie were rewarding kids to fan her. The problem with the behavior is that the students are being asked to treat the teacher like a queen rather than a professional. The touching was clearly NOT sexual. It's only wrong because kids shouldn't be performing personal services for teachers--like combing hair, cutting hair, shining shoes, etc. Of course, Stephenie used poor judgment, but she's been taught by the district and the teachers union that she and other teachers with political connections are free to indulge any whim without repercussions.

A more important issue is that kids are being damaged by teachers every day in CVESD classrooms. There is psychological damage being done by cruel, rigid teachers who take pleasure in causing pain. Stephanie did not cause pain to the kids who volunteered to give her massages.

It would be interesting to know what else was happening when the kids were giving the teacher a massage. Was she teaching them at the same time? This could very well be the case. But there are so many classrooms where teachers spend huge amounts of time NOT interacting with their students that it would be very dangerous for anyone to criticize Stephanie even if she had not been teaching while receiving a massage. She could easily get plenty of witnesses to talk about the time wasted in classrooms while teachers are doing something other than teaching. I could write a book about it.

Stephanie deserves the due process than she herself helped to deny to me. Lawyer Dan Shinoff of Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz took tax dollars for his successful efforts to keep Stephanie from being deposed in my case. I would be happy to deposed in any case she might file--which is exactly why I think that the district won't try to fire her. Here's my deposition in the current defamation lawsuit against me by Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz. Stutz is quite miffed, it seems, that the Court of Appeal says I have a constitutional right to discuss the lawyers who act on behalf of public schools.

Though I was not able to depose Stephanie, I was able to take the depositions of Castle Park Family members Gina Boyd, Peg Myers and Robin Donlan. (I recommend clicking on these links for these depositions if only to see the hilarious expressions on the faces of teachers who don't like being asked to tell the truth.)


Channel 10 News and San Diego Union-Tribune have covered this story. Let's see if Channel 10 will investigate further the failure of school districts to do meaningful evaluations of teachers. The SDUT has been covering up for CVESD for years. I hope they will start to cover the real stories instead of only the sensationalistic ones.


Researches say that 10% of teachers are doing a bad job, failing to add value to their students' academic abilities. Many teachers have serious personality problems. But the fact is that CVESD really doesn't know its teachers. I never met a principal who really observed and really talked to staff members to find out what they were up to.

It's time that ALL teachers in CVESD were properly evaluated.

Chula Vista teacher removed from job, accused of soliciting massages from students
Kandiss Crone
10 News

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Some parents at a South Bay elementary school told 10News they couldn't believe what their kids said went on inside their third-grade classroom.

"This behavior, to my son, has become so normalized that he did not report it to me," said parent Andy Stumph.

Some parents say Salt Creek Elementary School teacher Stephanie Petitt solicited massages from the students during reading time in exchange for $10 in class money. The parents also say Petitt also encouraged the third graders to give each other massages.

"The most children I've heard at any one time that was massaging the teacher was seven -- one on each leg, one on each arm, one on each shoulder, one playing with the hair," Stumph said.

The parents voiced their concerns at a school board meeting Wednesday night but weren't happy with the outcome, so they contacted 10News.

Chula Vista Elementary School District Superintendent Francisco Escobedo said Chula Vista police were called in to investigate but did not find any criminal wrongdoing.

"This behavior is absolutely not acceptable. We have professional standards at Chula Vista," Escobedo said.

Escobedo said Petitt is no longer teaching at the school, but is still employed with the district.

"She's on administrative leave; these allegations we take very seriously and we have to do due process to investigate," Escobedo said.

Parents say that's not enough, and they worry the teacher's actions could have a lasting impact on their kids.

"If there's a goal to be had ... Mrs. Petit would never be able to teach again," parent Samantha Trickey said.

Three parents pulled their children out of the school, 10News learned.

The district says a long-term substitute will replace the teacher.

Teacher on leave over massage claims
U‑T San Diego
Feb. 14, 2014 - She reported back to work Monday and taught her class after investigations by the Chula Vista Elementary School District and the Chula Vista ...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

What sort of employee is preferrred at a corrupt community college like Southwestern? Court of Appeal decides Poveda case

This Southwestern College employment case has been reversed and remanded by the Court of Appeal. It was argued by school attorneys Atkinson Andelson Loya Ruud Romo. This is the new law firm of Mark Bresee, who has a long history in San Diego and Orange Counties. Mr. Bresee worked closely with school attorney Dan Shinoff in Chula Vista Elementary and other schools.

Mark Bresee

Poveda v. Southwestern Community College Dist.
CA4/1, D062460 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014)
California Courts of Appeal

Date Filed: January 17th, 2014
Docket Number: D062460

(Super. Ct. No. 37-2011-00099248- CU-WM-CTL)



Plaintiff and Appellant,



Defendant and Respondent.

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Richard E. L. Strauss, Judge. Reversed and remanded with directions.
v David S. Bristol, Boudreau Williams and Jon R. Williams for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, Marlon Craig Wadlington for Defendant and Respondent.

Fernando Poveda appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for writ of mandate filed under Code of Civil Procedure section 1085. He contends that during the 39 months after his former employer, respondent Southwestern Community College District (Southwestern), laid him off for lack of funds, he applied for several positions at Southwestern, but Southwestern filled those positions without granting him the reemployment preference to which he was entitled under Education Code1 section 88117. Southwestern counters that it filled all those positions internally with current Southwestern employees. It interprets section 88117 as requiring it to grant Poveda reemployment preference over only external applicants, that is, those not currently employed at Southwestern.

The issue presented is whether the term "new applicants" used in section 88117 applies only to external applicants or to both internal and external applicants. We agree with Poveda and conclude that the latter interpretation comports with the statute's plain terms and the legislative scheme. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment and remand for the court to grant Poveda's writ petition and determine the appropriate relief under Code of Civil Procedure section 1095.


In an October 2011 verified petition for writ of mandate, Poveda alleged that Southwestern hired him in October 1991 as coordinator for outreach/school and community relations, a classified administrative position that later was elevated to a 2 directorship level. In 1999, Poveda held the position of interim dean of student activities for approximately seven months. Effective June 2009, Southwestern eliminated Poveda's job as director of outreach because of lack of work or funds, and not because of his work performance. Southwestern notified him he was eligible for reemployment preference under section 88117. In July 2011, Poveda applied for three deanships, two directorships, three supervisor positions and all open supervisor or administrative positions at Southwestern.2 Southwestern never interviewed Poveda, but instead filled the vacancies internally. Poveda's writ petition sought damages, including employment in one of the positions he had applied for, back pay and lost benefits.

In opposing Poveda's writ petition, Southwestern did not dispute his factual claims; rather, it argued that section 88117 granted Poveda preference over new external applicants only, and not over internal ones. Southwestern acknowledged that although it is not a merit district, section 88117 applies to it under section 88014. Southwestern argued that, faced with massive budget cuts over several years, it was forced to restructure its operations and therefore eliminated certain positions, reduced the total number of full-time employees, and filled other positions internally as permitted by California Code of Regulations, title 5, section 530213. Southwestern claimed that
3 California Code of Regulations, title 5, section 53021 states: "Except as otherwise provided in this section, community college districts shall actively recruit from both
because it does not use promotional or other employment examinations, it could not have violated section 88117, subdivision (a)(2).

Joseph Quarles, Southwestern's interim vice-president of human resources, explained in a supporting declaration why Southwestern did not grant Poveda the reemployment preference. Quarles stated that approximately 87 percent of Southwestern's expenditures are personnel costs, including salaries and benefits. In 2011, in light of reduced state and federal funding, Southwestern reorganized and restructured its operations and programs. Quarles stated that in filling the challenged positions, Southwestern relied on its internal policy titled, "Recruitment and Hiring Policy and Recruitment and Hiring Procedure (No. 7120)," and reviewed all vacancies "for a determination of the necessity of continuing the position and other means of providing services that were less costly. Only where [Southwestern] determined that an absolute need existed for the services provided by a particular position was the position filled. Because the ultimate goal was a reduction in personnel costs, it was determined that instead of following the normal hiring procedure, the vacancies would first be advertised

within and outside the district work force to attract qualified applicants for all new openings. . . . The requirement of open recruitment shall apply to all new full-time and part-time openings in all job categories and classifications." (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 5, 53021, subd. (a).) However, the regulation creates an exception permitting the community college to conduct " '[i]n-house or promotional only' " recruitment under limited circumstances. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 5, § 53021, subd. (b)(1).) The regulation specifies: "For purposes of this section, a new opening is not created when: (1) there is a reorganization that does not result in a net increase in the number of employees; (2) one or more lateral transfers are made and there is no net increase in the number of employees; (3) a position which is currently occupied by an incumbent is upgraded, reclassified, or renamed without significantly altering the duties being performed by the individual." (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 5, § 53021, subd. (c).)

4 internally for current employees only. If no qualified current employees were found, then the position would be advertised to non-employees. The positions identified by [Poveda] in his declaration and pleadings were all advertised internally only and only current employees were permitted to apply for the positions."4

The court denied Poveda's petition for writ of mandate. It ruled nothing in section 88117 required Southwestern to grant Poveda reemployment preference over internal applicants, and if the Legislature had intended that result, it would have specified that laid-off individuals were entitled to preference over "other new applicants." It reasoned that section 88117 did not apply to Poveda because he was a laid-off employee, and not a "new applicant."


Poveda contends that under a plain reading of section 88117, the term "new applicants," over whom he had reemployment preference, applies to both internal and external applicants. By contrast, Southwestern interprets section 88117 to require it to grant a laid-off employee a reemployment preference only over external applicants...

All statutory references are to the Education Code unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Google has decided I'm worthy of recognition in its Google Alerts

Update: The joy didn't last too long. Google has gone back to keeping my blogs out of its Google Alerts system. Somebody with clout must have got to them again. But the good news is that there's a great alternative: Talkwalker.

I'm not blacklisted anymore! Google has decided I'm worthy of recognition in its Google Alerts.

And who is responsible for this free speech victory? The FBI, apparently!

Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz seems to have convinced Google that my blogs were damaging Stutz' reputation, so about two or three years ago Google banned my blogs from its Google Alerts.

Except for a couple of blips, Google has been nice enough to allow my blogs in its search results, but it wouldn't send out alerts on my posts.

But this morning I got a Google alert regarding one of my blog posts.

Google must have decided that if the FBI is taping the conversations of a Stutz law firm lawyer, then the public has a right to the information I have about the law firm.

This morning they sent out alerts on this post: Dan Shinoff meeting with Manuel Paul and Loreto Romero was secretly taped as part of FBI investigation re San Ysidro School District

But the question remains, how much other information is being kept from the public by Internet companies whose lawyers want to please big law firms who complain about people like me?

Saturday, February 01, 2014

San Diego County Office of Education advertises for Bridgepoint

SDCOE Supt. Randolph Ward seems inappropriately enthusiastic about private education company Bridgepoint

Bridgepoint's Jane McAuliffe seems to have charmed Mr. Ward

According to the date of the article below, San Diego County Office of Education published its Bridgepoint Educaton promotion long after Bridgepoint's failure to provide appropriate service was exposed.

The last paragraph of the SDCOE article below is clearly an advertisement. It reminds me of 2006 when SDCOE published a campaign advertisement for Bonnie Dumanis. I wonder if Randy Ward will get a job with Bridgepoint when he ends his career of service to the, uh, public. Who wrote this piece, Randy? One of Jane McAuliffe's assistants?

One must suspect that the program that Bridgepoint is offering to teachers is no better than what it offers to everyone else. Bridgepoint is clearly devoted to money and politics, not knowledge and understanding.

Why didn't Randy Ward and SDCOE simply get the best teachers in the county to teach the other teachers? Unlike the folks at Bridgepoint, those teachers know exactly what is needed.

Perhaps it is because SDCOE has absolutely no idea who the best teachers are, since there is no effective evaluation system in our schools.

I would love to know how was this program was chosen.

San Diego Teachers Benefit from Bridgepoint Education Fellows Program
September 6, 2013

Thanks to the Bridgepoint Education Fellows Program, many San Diego teachers returned to class this week with additional skills to add to their classroom experience. The program, offered in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), awarded 200 scholarships for educators to attend the SDCOE’s online and blended Leading Edge teacher certification course. ​

“Online programs will be a key component of education moving forward and it’s vital for teachers to be fluent in the online modality,” said Dr. Jane McAuliffe, executive vice president and chief academic officer at Bridgepoint Education. “With the Bridgepoint Fellowship, we are helping teachers to understand the technology that is available to them. We all benefit when teachers are given the proper tools to educate students.”

The Leading Edge Certification is a national program to prepare instructional leaders for online and blended learning. Launched in 2011, the certification guides educators through rigorous and engaging curriculum based on the national standards for online teaching. The Bridgepoint Education Fellows Program consisted of a $100,000 donation, which represented 200 scholarships for the Leading Edge Certification.

“In most school districts, budgets for professional development opportunities have been cut significantly, and many teachers are faced with the dilemma of spending personal funds on professional development or simply going without,” said county superintendent of schools Randy Ward. “The Bridgepoint Fellowships remove the major funding obstacles for teachers and districts, and we’re very grateful to Bridgepoint for stepping up.”

Dr. McAuliffe and Dr. Ward were featured in a live, in-studio television interview on KUSI’s Good Morning San Diego Early Edition program on Tuesday, Sept. 3. The two discussed the Bridgepoint Education Fellows Program, the Leading Edge Certification, and how local teachers are learning more effective ways to incorporate technology in the classroom.

About Bridgepoint Education

Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (NYSE:BPI) improves the way individuals learn. By harnessing creativity, knowledge and proprietary technologies, such as Constellation, Thuze and Waypoint Outcomes, Bridgepoint Education has re-engineered the modern student experience with innovative solutions that advance learning. Its academic institutions – Ashford University and University of the Rockies – embody the contemporary college experience. Ashford University offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs while University of the Rockies offers master’s and doctoral degree programs. Both provide progressive online platforms, as well as traditional campuses located in Clinton, Iowa (Ashford University), and Colorado Springs, Colorado (University of the Rockies). For more information about Bridgepoint Education, visit or call Shari Winet Rodriguez, vice president of Public Relations, at 858-668-2580.