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HORACIOLEWIS.COM FAIRNESS INSTITUTE: CONSULTING AND TRAINING FOR FAIR AND IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY
The intent of this segment is to provide the reader with a discussion of
diversity and fairness issues. We invite your suggestions, comments; and we thank you for your patience. Topics in this issue
include "Preliminary Discussion/Comments on Personal Issues," "Neighborhood School Law," "School
Accountability," and a model for fair employment. The key to the success of this model is the consistent review of workplace
practices. These items were written on or around November 2001 to present.
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1. I have today (4/5/09) announced my
candidacy for a School Board position with the Christina School District (See Home Page, this site). Please vote for
me on May 12, 2009. Gracias.
2. I am deeply troubled by today's (4/27/06) News Journal article on the robbery
perpetrated by the Christina School District (I worked for them for over 7 years). The School Board and former Superintendent
Wise have a lot of accounting to do. Indeed, the School Board needs to explain to the community it represents why it gave
Superintendent Wise a huge raise just before he jumped ship; and Superintendent Wise ought to be subpoenaed to return and
explain to the public what he did or didn't do following the previous referendum. In fact, he should be asked to return the
raise he received prior to leaving, which in retrospect, is something he intended to do (to leave, that is) from the get-go.
I ask the Christina community, of which I am a part, not to give a dime to any future referenda unless we have
a full accounting of what is to be done and how and why. This would then be followed-up by monthly updates. We can begin to
address the current deficit by firing all current school district administrators and dismissing the current School Board.
We may exclude the new Superintendent from this house cleaning and allow her an opportunity to make things right. We have
been had by former Superintendent Wise! He is the main reason why I left the district.
3. Undocumented Latinos
have been the modern day slaves in the U.S. for much too long. They should be granted United States citizenship within two
years providing they can show they have not otherwise violated our laws and are able to pay a fine of $2,000 for their "illegal"
status. From here on, we should better secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws. It should be noted that many Mexicans
believe they are not here illegally; since, prior to 1848, the southwest was the northern half of Mexico. Indeed, this was
their home--Aztlán--before the Mayflower. They were born here! And Spanish/native American languages were the original
idioms of this country. (April, 2006)
4. The Fairness Institute will be conducting a series of training programs
(locations, registration fees and dates to be announced) on a variety of topics. On-site consulting and presentations are
also available upon request. See Home Page for all relevant information. Coming soon: "Learn Conversational English for
the Workplace," and "Making Diversity Work."
5. I fully support the position taken by Al Mascitti
in his Wilmington Charter School piece in today's News Journal Papers. Those who challenge Dr. Ron Russo's innovative approach
to educating our finest students are opting for an unfair educational system which only addresses the needs of the less motivated
and less able. Indeed, we have spent an inordinate amount of public funds and time responding to the needs of all but the
higher achieving students. As an educator for more years than you need to know here, I have worked for underachieving students,
doing very little for the highly motivated who wallow and get lost in the morass of cooperative learning.
that there is a Wilmington Charter that looks out for students who would otherwise be abused in classrooms which ignore their
unique needs, and penalize their academic ability. I understand how the notion of having more Wilmington Charters would terrify
a legislature or a Department of Education. What would there be to do with education? How then would they spend their time
and money? What would then become of the ill-advised DSTP and those who justify their employment by making sure mediocrity
reigns, fairness is selective and some are left behind. (3/2006)
6. Attorney General Carl C. Danberg in a letter
dated April 6, 2006 has agreed to review relvant statutory and case law regarding Charter Shool of Wilmington admission policy,
pursuant to my request as a parent, educator and President of the Fairness Institute. His previous Opinion (See News Journal,
Friday, April 14, 2006) allows Charter to continue to administer an admission test, saying that the admission criteria is
up to educators. I await a response to my own request.
7. The panel of “of out-of-state” experts created
by Governor Ruth Ann Minner to study the impact of Delaware’s three-tiered high school diploma was yet another effort
in futiliy. Said panel, saying it was a policy issue, came up with no specific recommendation. On this page (Please refer
to extensive discussion below.), for several years, I have complained about the disparate impact of State testing and its
corollary baseless three-tiered (i.e. outstanding, standard and basic) diploma rationalization. If the state wishes to indicate
test results on the students' transcripts, that’s as far as it should go. "With distinction" should be noted
only on diplomas and transcripts of those who do well academically as indicated by their actual overall course grade averages.
We do not need another education panel to lead us astray just to justify the jobs of the idle and political opportunists.
Let us leave well enough alone and stop the nonsense once and for all. Again I say, get rid of the useless State tests and
get back to basics. Let the classwork of teachers and students count for something! And in the end, a college admissions officer
is more concerned with the G.P.A. and SAT/ACT scores anyway. The way to put an end to these persistent, unfair issues is to
rise up as parents with appropriate litigation. Please write me with your comments (see email link above) on this issue or
any other issues on this page.(3/2005)
8. I was disappointed in the pettiness displayed by the Delaware News Journal
in not providing coverage on its front page to announce the passing of the late Dr. William “Willie” B. Keene.
The political and partisan driven News Journal neglected its unbiased duty when it relegated a secondary page to celebrate
the life and honor the death of this fine educator and human being. The Journal’s blind support for the failed policies
of the State Superintendent who succeeded Keene, in a bloodless coup, should have been able to stand back and look at the
larger picture of Dr. Keene’s contribution to our state versus hired gun Pat Forgione who came in, wrecked our educational
system, was “fired” and quickly left to continue his ill informed education campaign in yet another unsuspecting
educational bureaucracy. Let us all remember that Dr. Keene gave his entire life to education and serving the people of Delaware.
He was a positive and encouraging soul who strongly believed in the power of education, discussion and conciliation. He will
be sorely missed. (4/2004)
9. I humbly salute Jerry Rehberg who also passed recently. A Delaware music education
leader, band director and writer of songs, Mr. Rehberg was a genuine inspiration to all his students, including my daughter.
On death and dying, I opt to be cremated. Ashes, after salvageable harvesting, may be spread
over moderate/warm climate area (San Diego?). It is much less expensive than the alternative, and my children can best use
the money saved. In the event of illness, I request no heroic measures.
If I were to obtain a significant amount
of money, rather than donate blindly to "charity" and the accompanying overhead, I would do my homework and find
and donate to specific programs or people who can use some help. I do not require much and my needs are simple and basic.
One of my life goals is to give away as much as possible to those who are in need.
I also seek peace and therefore,
I am against any war with Iraq or whomever. I believe in stem-cell research for the purpose of saving or improving life. I
am against human cloning although I believe it is inevitable. I believe abortion is a personal issue.
I urge everyone
to read as much as possible and never stop learning or helping others in need. I urge students to strive to argue the other
side of their point as vehemently as they would argue their own position. This helps to open a window of understanding and
compassion for opposing views.
Have psychologists applied the switch that urges sex to a comparable one that could
call up the warrior T cells for human healing?
Marriage is good for some, for others not. Married individuals try
to fashion each other in their own image and take each other for granted. Or at least one does. Baggage from past life is
controllingly and/or unwittingly applied to the marriage. What a drag. I say, think about the whole institution of marriage
carefully before you get into it. If there are any doubts, and there should be, stay clear of it. In any event, once in it,
within the first five years, if not earlier, take a hiatus to reflect on the marriage, make corrections and make applicable
I support affirmative action activities designed to repair a wrong or improve civilization. I am against
unearned or contrived affirmative action. In a larger context, there are many forms of affirmative action some legitimate
others questionable. President Bush, for example, is on record against affirmative action for disenfranchised underrepresented
populations, although he, himself, benefited from unearned affirmative action. His name recognition, background and money
allowed him to affirmatively enroll and graduate from Yale University, though he was, admittedly, a "C" student.
There are religious/political belief affirmative action programs, disability affirmative action, savant affirmative
action, situational affirmative action, age affirmative action, appearance affirmative action, weight affirmative action,
heterosexual affirmative action, acquaintance affirmative action, background affirmative action, school recognition affirmative
action, gender affirmative action, geographic affirmative action, military veteran affirmative action, philanthropic affirmative
action, alumni family affirmative action, etc. etc.
In all the arguments on affirmative action, I have heard little,
if any, discussion on undeserved "white privilege." The "rapper-philosopher" Eminem and others caution:
"Let's say what we mean and mean what we say."
Sometimes affirmative action gets pretty hilarious. For
example, I remember some of my employers listing me in two categories ("Hispanic" and "Black") for reporting
purposes. See, because I am a Latino (we come in all colors), the unsuspecting person wouldn't know the difference, and the
employer comes out looking like the "policies" are being observed. Now, if this had resulted in me being counted
twice for salary purposes, then we would really have something meaningful to discuss. Does this all mean that if I moved to
Alaska I would qualify as an Inuit as well?
The games we play with affirmative action...anything to get around
doing the right thing, which is to hire qualified people from diverse backgrounds. Of course, this presumes "color blindness"
which we certainly are not! Moreover, this also incorrectly presumes the end of racism, stereotyping and other forms of bias.
Then again we have the issue of being "qualified." In all my years of working in the areas of civil rights
and diversity, I have never heard anyone ask for a "qualified" white for employment. The question then becomes:
Are we recruiting qualified non-whites, whereas, whites don't have to be necessarily qualified? Is there a Freudian slip in
our affirmative action rhetoric? I say, we will be approaching fairness when non-whites can be as mediocre as anyone else.
Former President Bill Clinton benefited from college draft deferment affirmative action, and Justice Clarence Thomas
benefited from "minority status" affirmative action. The "stereotyping" of affirmative action troubles
me. I say, let's try some affirmative fairness for a change.
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