We don’t understand why local authorities seem to think business as usual involves federal monitoring of school districts in Gilbert, Arizona. Perhaps it has been going on so long, community leaders lost their moral compass and sense of outrage regarding public schools. We wonder why no one is doing anything as repeat offenders discriminate against students and teachers. It’s now part of the culture in public education in Gilbert, Arizona.
It’s time to wake up, folks, and see what’s done to your kids with your tax money. We’ve told you about how EVIT was nailed for discriminating against... It’s still going on.
The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has come down on EVIT for five verified complaints of the same old stuff, again aimed at GPS kids. Click the links below to read the report from OCR and the resolution agreement. We’re already hearing about ANOTHER report generated in January 2014. We’ll share as soon as we get a copy.
For one kid who wanted to learn 3-D Animating, EVIT made up all kinds of special requirements to make sure the kid wouldn’t be admitted. “EVIT typically subjects students with disabilities to a separated admissions process, requiring additional paperwork (including copies of their IEPs or Section 504 plans) before they can be considered for admission,” the Office for Civil Rights concluded. Good Old Dave Allison was pals with Good Old Sally Downey at EVIT during past discrimination; no reason to think he objected this time.
[Hey Dave, does Sally take your requests or do you have to just listen to whatever Patsy Cline song she wants to sing?]
It gets worse, as it always does with these EVIT folks:
The evidence showed that EVIT subjected the Student’s application to additional criteria and subjective scrutiny, and the Principal’s assessment did not consider the objective, nondiscriminatory criteria it published. While EVIT’s Principal stated that it was recommended that a student have a 2.0 GPA and at least six credits, including one in math and one in English, she stated that she also looked for suggested courses of desktop publishing, English, business math, and introduction to technology.
Here’s the kicker: “The EVIT Principal also stated that EVIT does not have instructors with specialized knowledge to provide accommodations to students with disabilities in their classrooms.” The OCR quickly noted that was “not a legitimate reason to deny admission to a student with a disability.” Further, “Gilbert Public Schools employs a trained special education instructor assigned to EVIT to provide accommodations to its students during their time at EVIT.”
The OCR reviewed the student’s application submitted by Gilbert Public Schools to EVIT. The student’s GPS was higher than 2.0; his transcript included science, math, English and history classes, along with Art, Cartooning and Art & Design. His IEP said his VALPAR score demonstrated an aptitude for 3-D animation. Too bad, EVIT didn’t want a kid with disabilities, and GPS didn’t seem to care. Of course, GPS has a history of making up just about anything in any situation to get to the results GPS wants, so maybe GPS folks didn’t recognize how obviously discriminatory EVIT was being.
Another GPS student was subjected to harassment and bullying IN THE APPEAL MEETING based on her disability. EVIT treated her differently than non-disabled students by subjecting her to a separate admission and appeal procedure … just like they did in the previous complaint! Then, the teacher who participated in the OCR investigation was retaliated against, intimidated and subjected to a hostile working environment. Same old stuff EVIT and GPS did to Glenna!
Another complaint alleged that EVIT discriminates against students with disabilities FROM ITS TEN SENDING SCHOOL DISTRICTS: Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Scottsdale, J.O. Combs, Apache Junction, Higley, Fountain Hills and Queen Creek. It’s just not believable that those school district leaders haven’t known all along what EVIT was doing to their students. Based on what we’ve been finding, the most important thing for school district superintendents was to go along and get along with EVIT superintendent Sally Downey, who was run out of her position before she landed at .... Don’t miss the Time magazine article where she toots her horn and pulls the wool over the eyes of a nationally known journalist. In many ways, it’s been a family affair at EVIT for a long time.
Parents, you really can’t allow this to continue.
The same old stuff continues, repeats, festers and foments … while the kids pay the price. The kids won’t get back the time and resources they have been denied. The kids won’t feel safe enough to learn in the environment OCR has again described as it exists at EVIT.
Why do we as a community accept these outrages committed against the most vulnerable young citizens? Why is EVIT allowed to continue signing monitoring agreements involving the same reprobates and the same reprehensible practices? Don’t we have a mayor, town council, legislators and other people who should be making sure ALL STUDENTS receive the same benefits from the educational empire our tax dollars created? It’s for the kids, indeed.