Brevard County School Board Scandal: Ziegler does not understand investigation

Brevard County School Board member Andy Ziegler commented on the $4 million dollars that a law firm hired by the Board declared as “improper payments.”

Ziegler, who promoted the software company and approved the no-bid contract which caused the entire “undelivered” delivered scandal, has his difficulties regarding logic, basic reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills. How is this evident?

“I don’t know how you can start an investigation without any evidence of wrongdoing,” stated Ziegler.

So, Andy objects to an investigation for evidence of wrongdoing until there is evidence of wrongdoing. Huh?

Brevard County School Board - Ziegler

“I don’t know how you can start an investigation without any evidence of wrongdoing.”
Yes, that’s what the man said. He said it. Yes, he did.

Andy Ziegler makes decisions about what the children in Brevard need to learn if they expect to be promoted to next year’s grade. As Brevard students and parents prepare to begin another school year in a couple of weeks, they must wonder about entrusting their futures to Ziegler and his fellow board members. How has Andy been elected and re-elected? How was Andy allowed to graduate from grade school and high school?

“I don’t know how you can start an investigation without any evidence of wrongdoing,” said Ziegler.

$4 million of specially approved tax money intended for the education of our children was made as “improper payments” to a Canadian company as a no-bid contract according to a law firm hired to investigate this, and Andy says, “I don’t know how you can start an investigation without any evidence of wrongdoing.”

So Andy objects to an investigation for evidence of wrongdoing until there is evidence of wrongdoing. Huh?

This should be echoing through the heads of every Brevard County taxpayer and parent as well as the investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Echo. Echo. Echo. Echo. Echo. Echo. Echo. Echo. Echo. “I don’t know how you can start and investigation…”

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$4 MILLION: WILL SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS BE HELD RESPONSIBLE?

$4 million dollars of education fund money was made as an “improper payment” for “undelivered” delivered software. Of course the Brevard County Board of Education members were aware of and approved this. Why is there any question of their responsibility? As elected officials, they are accountable for their actions.

Brevard County School Board

“The so-called contract for the multimillion-dollar software turns out to be little more than a company sale-order form, consulting attorneys found. It called for the new software to be ‘delivered’ upon receipt of a down payment. But it did not include prices or descriptions of items, payment or delivery dates, or a ‘scope of work’ for the contractor, the attorneys found.”

– Matt Reed, writer for Gannett Company’s Florida Today

The article continues: “Were they unfortunate mistakes that can be prevented in the future with policy? (That seemed to be the board’s consensus this past week.) 

Revising the story:

Andy Ziegler met with CrossPoint’s representatives and reviewed what appeared to be ready-to-go ‘modules’ for an upgraded web-based system, he said. As of this past week, computer code for 10 out of 11 modules had been installed, but only one was running.
Did Ziegler get snowed?”

“Revising the story” is actually part of the full Florida Today article written by Matt Reed. That is precisely what he did; he “Revised the story.”

As every person who has studied journalism knows, reporting is not supposed to make a slanted “story” about facts that need to be reported. This is how propaganda is written.

“…so-called contract… little more than a company sale-order form…”
Is reporter Reed an attorney who defines a contract versus a “so-called contract” and determines whether $4 million dollars was somehow properly approved by members of the elected school board? Where are the attorneys’ quotations (“improper payments”), the legal findings they delivered in writing?

” …unfortunate mistakes that can be prevented in the future…”
Well this certainly whitewashes any responsibility on the part of the elected Brevard County School Board members who approved payments of $4 million. “Mistakes that can be prevented in the future” drives right past who must be held accountable today.

“Did Ziegler get snowed?”
Once again, this framing of the argument makes Ziegler an innocent bystander who was merely “snowed” by some unscrupulous and unnamed charlatan. The pre-assumption is that the person Matt Reed endorsed, Andy Ziegler, for election in an earlier column is a mere innocent dupe. This is an argument to prove Ziegler an incompetent board member who could not possibly be held accountable.
Andy Ziegler was the main proselytizer for the CrossPoint contract, sale-order form, or “so-called contract” that has taken $4 million of education fund tax dollars away from paying for schools and the education of our children. One private company keeps their profits for “undelivered” delivered software.
That is a fact.

Are Brevard’s elected school board members going to be held accountable for the $4 million dollars, or will some lower level pencil pusher be scapegoated? Isn’t that what the usual political procedure is? Cover for the elected officials and blame someone nobody ever heard of.

Matt Reed, Florida Today and the Gannett Company should be ashamed of this spin and the “Revised the story” account that makes the Brevard County School Board members innocent even before an investigation by the Florida Attorney General begins. Shame!

For factual information of what the attorneys hired by the Board deemed “improper payments” during a Board of Education meeting, read Darcey Addo’s detailed and superb account HERE.

By the way, when will a citizens’ group make a formal request for an investigation?

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Brevard County School Board: $4 Million “improperly” paid for “undelivered” delivered software? Investigation needed…

Watch Brevard County School Board members Andy Ziegler and Karen Henderson engage in double-talk about paying $4 million of “improper” payment for undelivered “delivered” software. Ziegler wants to know the definition of “delivered” and then declares it a matter of “perspective.”

Has anyone called Florida’s Attorney General about this?

Here are details and source quotes from a superb summary by Darcey Addo.

Next we heard from two attorneys from Widerman Malek. They were hired to review the CrossPointe contract, the amendments, and the payments.

A summary of their findings include:

  • Millions of dollars of payments were “improper,”
  • Information should have been brought to the School Board by staff when the “contract started going sideways,” and
  • Terms of the contract were not defined before the contract was executed. 

They indicated: “When we receive invoices from Crosspointe/EDR, there should have been a procedure whereby staff ensured that software had been received before initiating those payments…”

Their findings indicate that many of the payments were “improper,” for example:

The same story of improper payments is found here, maintenance paymentswere made to maintain new software that was not delivered

And then there is the $280,000 unauthorized, improper advance payment: 

It sounds like this EDR situation is a giant mess if you listen to the Widerman Malek attorneys.

See HERE for the entire article.

These are NOT a few minor mistakes or oversights. $4,000,000 of tax dollars glibly excused as a perfectly fine “perspective” of “delivered” undelivered services by Andy Zeigler deserves an investigation by Florida’s Attorney General.

Where are the concerned citizen organizations requesting an investigation?

Watch Board member Andy Ziegler asking the Board of Education attorneys who were paid specifically to look into the payments they deemed “improper payments.” He ask them to define “delivered.” (No joke. The double talk he spouts seems absurd – $4 million worth of absurd.)

Watch Henderson, who was the Board Chair at the time of the agreement, say whatever it is she says. She is talking about $4 million of paid money with another $4 million coming due soon. OMG

Please share this with any and all concerned citizens who wish to request an investigation by the Florida Attorney General. $8 million dollars hangs in the balance.

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Pension “Overhaul” Declared Unconstitutional (Actually, pension pillage was declared unconstitutional.)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) tried to cut pensions for those greedy, nasty, lazy, and overpaid nurses and other public employees. Demonizing public employees is day-to-day business for Rahm and the rich boys who finance him.

Rahm’s personal friend and venture fund investment cohort, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rahner (R), is still going to try to cut pensions on a state level.

Pension overhaul. Overhaul? Pillage and theft are more accurate terms.

Rauner EmanuelOf course the Illinois Supreme Court has unanimously declared that state employee pension cuts are unconstitutional. That doesn’t seem to matter to these two power mongering sociopaths. However, today yet another judge declared Rahm’s present attempt unconstitutional. Both sets, city and state, of highly paid legal firms will continue to receive big bucks to pursue whatever those two politicos pay them tax dollars to pursue.

What happened today?

“A Cook County judge has thrown out the Emanuel (D) administration’s plan to overhaul two of the city’s four employee pension systems.

Union officials and retired workers applauded the ruling by Judge Rita Novak, whose 34-page ruling said the Illinois Supreme Court made it clear earlier this year that public employees have the constitutional right to receive benefits they were promised.

Novak said legislation that would have reduced benefits for municipal employees and laborers was ‘unconstitutional and void.’

Alice Johnson, director of the Illinois Nurses Association, called the ruling a win for everyone in the state.

‘We are extremely happy with today’s ruling that overturns the city pension cuts, and protects the life savings of city workers,’ she said.”

Where’s the money going to come from if hard earned pensions aren’t cut?

Anders Lindall, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, said, that the city could raise revenue to fund pensions by closing corporate tax loopholes, and tapping tax increment financing surpluses.

Looking at other creative ideas: to ask rich folks to pay their fair share, and there are solutions at the state level, as well.”

Read the entire article from CBS Chicago.

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Trump distracts to make Jeb’s horrific record on education, etc. appear “normal”

Donald Trump serves a vital role for the corporate attacks against public services, especially public education, elderly and disabled people, children with special needs, earned and paid-for pensions, and other sane purposes served by a civilized society.

Donald Trump serves as a distraction to make Jeb seem like less than the corporate extremist he certainly is.

Trump distraction

Trump plays the angry, comic, side-show goon as Jeb plays the straight man in town after town. Jeb, meanwhile, steadily re-invents his own factual history regarding education and other issues. (We used to call this lying.)

Jeb condemns lobbyists in spite of his incredible pro-lobbiest history with Florida’s legalized, legislative corruption.

Jeb claims that he helps senior citizen voters even after he has cut away at their earned and paid-for benefits and pensions.

Jeb claims to be an anti-intellectual who doesn’t like or use big words even though he graduated Phi Betta Kapa and magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jeb claims to be the successful creator of the education reform “Florida Miracle” that never occurred.

(I call him Jeb because he himself has dropped his last name in hopes that no one will notice that his wealthy and connected father and brother were both recent presidents. Remember?)

READ David Sirota’s superb article in the International Business Times as he factualizes Jeb’s record with lobbyists and Florida’s pillaged pension systems.

Bush regularly sought public policy counsel from the Southern Strategy Group. That lobbying firm — which has employed former Florida officials and is among the top donors to Bush’s presidential campaign — was created by Paul Bradshaw, a former government official. Bradshaw’s wife, Sally, led Bush’s transition team before becoming his first chief of staff in 1999. (She is now a senior adviser to his presidential campaign.) Another member of Bush’s transition team, David Rancourt, served as Bush’s deputy chief of staff for less than a year before joining Southern Strategy Group. The firm would also hire former Florida House Speaker John Thrasher, a close Bush ally. Thrasher is now the president of Florida State University, where Bush delivered his anti-lobbyist speech…
Bush separately (had) approved
 a plan for corporate lobbyists to help his administration pass a bill exempting the state’s pension investments* from Florida’s open records laws.”

READ Wikipedia to discover Jeb’s personal education as a closet intellectual.

READ the brilliant Mercedes K. Schneider’s unveiling of the “man behind the curtain” of the educational “Florida Miracle” that never happened.

READ multiple account links showing how Jeb is dismantling public education as he promotes Common Core, CCSS, for immense private profit from tax dollars.

“Jeb Bush’s own highly profitable organizations, Excellence for Education and Chiefs for Change, were and are under state and federal investigation for ‘writing state education laws and regulations [for legislators] in ways that could benefit its corporate funders’ and Jeb’s campaign donors.”

No wonder Donald Trump’s bizarre behavior and comments are trumpeted in every form of corporate controlled media from NPR, the New York Times and Fox News. Trump is THE distraction intended to make Jeb appear like a regular guy in comparison. “Look at us; we shun extremists.” Yeah, sure.

If this were a TV “Reality” Show, it might be bizarrely amusing.
As a portent of America’s future, it bodes tragedy.

*NOTE: As a retired teacher living on my earned benefit, my pension, Jeb’s efforts to have everyone follow Florida’s Sunshine Laws (transparency in governmental actions) EXCEPT the state’s pension investments are loathsome to me. Laws for everyone except teachers and other state employees? Now, that is vile extremism meant to hurt me, personally.

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Posted in betrayal, charters - vouchers, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, corruption, government, greed, legislative pillage, lies, pensions, privatization, propaganda, public education, testing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Corruption as Government: Secretary of Education Without Education in Connecticut

Jonathan Pelto gives the perfect up-to-date example of the corruption called government which actively harms children, parents and public education. Connecticut’s Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy applies the insanity of Republican Tea Party illogic by vetoing a bill that would have required that the State Commissioner of Education have education qualifications.

Dannel Malloy IS BACK STABBER

“Governor Malloy is wrong to have vetoed the bill requiring that the person responsible for running the state department of education have educational experience.
But the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly have done a far greater disservice by refusing to even vote on Malloy’s veto. Their unwarranted decision to appease Malloy means that they have handed their constitutionally mandated legislative authority to the executive branch of government.
And that is something every Connecticut citizens should be very concerned about.”

This is legislative bowing and groveling to raw political power and the forces of $$$$$$$$.

Read the superb, full article HERE.

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A Challenge for Campbell Brown’s 74: Investigate This Fresh, NOLA Charter School Fraud

Ken Previti:

74 Shades of Grey: Brown, Rhee and Johnson.

Originally posted on deutsch29:

Privileged Louisiana native and notably-telegenic former CNN anchor Campbell Brown has started a new venture, which she calls The Seventy Four (for the 74 million children in the US under 18 years old). She has decided that she will produce news stories in order to advocate for these 74 million children.

74campbell brown 5Campbell Brown

Before Brown started this 74 venture, she was already “advocating,” but she already had some obvious holes in her indignation: She ignores scandals staring her in the face and which involve her politically-connected compadres. For example, Brown is a close associate of Michelle Rhee, who has yet to be fully investigated for the DC cheating scandal that occurred on her watch as DC chancellor, and Rhee’s husband, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, has sexual and financial scandals of his own associated with his own charter school.

I wrote about Brown’s selective indignation in this January 2015 blog post

View original 1,635 more words

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Rahmeconomics 101: taught by no teacher to anyone, anywhere…

Rahmeconomics 101 – Let’s see how this works?

1) Steal earned benefits, pension fund money, by repeatedly not paying it and using the money for give-aways to political cronies and their expensive projects. 2) Blame the victims of your theft – teachers and other public employees. 3) Fire a bunch of teachers and other public employees and pay “third party” consultants and corporate cronies even more for doing the same work. 4) Blame the victims of your theft. 5) Borrow money to cover your corruption and fiscal misdeeds, thus assuring that your cronies will make a bundle from the interest and fees of your new debt.

You know, like payday loans for corruption.

Rahmeconomics payday loans

How do I know for certain that no teachers anytime or anywhere have ever been stupid or corrupt enough to teach Rahmeconomics?

I am a retired teacher from the Chicago Public Schools and the State of Illinois school systems, and I extrapolated my estimate based upon my thirty-four years of personal information. If this doesn’t seem like a good way to figure out the results, it doesn’t really matter. Rahmeconomics will produce highly corrupt and immensely damaging results, and my extrapolated estimate hurts no one.

Illinois has jailed five governors, and it’s time to jail a mayor. Specifically, jail Rahm “Corruption Personified” Emanuel.

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HISTORY IS BEING MADE at #NEARA15. Fred Klonsky from The Land of Lincoln…

Fred Klonsky at the #NEARA15 presented his bill approved by the IEA to all 10,000 delegates.

Fred Klonsky - racism and Confederate flag

HISTORY IS BEING MADE.

“The Illinois delegation voted support for my NBI 11. I will now offer it on the floor of the NEA RA.”

NBI 11:
The NEA RA directs the NEA to support, in ways it finds appropriate and effective, efforts to remove the Confederate flag and other symbols of the Confederacy from public schools and public spaces.

RATIONALE:

The use of the Confederate battle flag as a symbol has become widespread among racist and violent hate groups. The flag and similar Confederate symbols have no place at public schools or in public spaces.

Fred Klosky IEA - Confederate flag

 

 

 

 

 

 

HISTORY IS BEING MADE by a delegate from Illinois, “The Land of Lincoln.”

UPDATE on July 4, 2015 at 3:35 pm

#NEARA15 just passed New Business Item 11 to remove all flags of the Confederacy from public schools! #eracism #progress #democracyatwork #hoursofdebate

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I stand with Gus Morales and all of the political/corporate victims of the mass firings of excellent teachers at Holyoke Public Schools in Massachusetts.

I, Ken Previti, stand with Gus Morales and all of the political/corporate victims of the mass firings of excellent teachers at Holyoke Public Schools in Massachusetts.

IMG_20150117_181423898 n
I am a retired teacher from both Chicago and Lyons Township High School in the suburbs; I presently live full-time in Florida. I have extended family members teaching in schools in other states. The scapegoating, demonization and retribution being carried out against good teachers across America is a part of the dismantling of public education for private profit. So are the attacks against teacher pensions.
Immense profits from public education taxes are being shipped overseas, tax free, by testing companies such as Pearson and charter schools such as those owned by, according to Bloomberg News, “the charismatic Sunni imam Fethullah Gülen, leader of a politically powerful Turkish religious movement.” (In the face of horrific, religious prejudicial attacks against Muslims, a billionaire cleric using American tax education profits to attempt an overthrow of a government are minimized or ignored in corporate media.)

Our presidential candidates are either financed by or are invested directly and indirectly in the Education Industrial Complex that is corporate education reform. “Public-private partnerships” is the euphemism for tax money used to profit multinational corporations and their local affiliates. It’s a scam.
Certified, qualified teachers threaten the Education Industrial Complex for their teaching abilities rather than mindlessly following the “scripted text” recital for state/corporate tests. Certified, qualified teachers are paid too much for state/corporate script readers disguised as teachers. Full time script-reader-quasi-teachers are paid as little as $100 per day for a 180 day school year. $18,000 per year is below the poverty level; corporations want obedient cheap labor for higher personal profits – not capable teachers.
What about the children? What about the future strength and abilities of our country? Corporations exist for profit, not the altruistic good of a place they don’t even pay taxes to.
I stand for the middle class that career teachers belong to.
I met and spoke with Gus Morales. I am proud of that. Gus is a wonderful teacher and a fine human being. I am sure that his teaching colleagues are as well. For this, they are being scapegoated, demonized and fired as retribution.
As long as Gus and the other teachers are victimized, fired and berated by a governmental entity, we are all in deep trouble. Diane Ravitch and Tim Slekar emphasize this grim fact.

Perhaps we need a new motto.
I suggest GOD HELP AMERICA.

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I stand with Gus Morales all of the political/corporate victims of the mass firings of excellent teachers at Holyoke Public Schools in Massachusetts.

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I stand with Gus.

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Please do the same.

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Posted in betrayal, charters - vouchers, civic duty, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, corruption, fairness, government, greed, legislative pillage, lies, Network for Public Education - NPE, pensions, privatization, propaganda, public education, testing, wage theft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments