Doe Trial Day 2: In Which McGinley Has a Terrible Memory and Lyn Kugel Reveals she is Clueless

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xf14ae's picture
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It's been a while since I've issued this disclaimer, so lest folks forget or get confused or whatever, these are my personal thoughts and opinions alone, and not representative of any organization I am a member of in any capacity. 'K?

Day 2 was much less intense and dramatic than day 1's testimony.

We still learned some interesting things: First that Dr. McGinley said "I don't recall" and "I don't know why I wrote that" so many times I felt I was watching Ronald Reagan testify in Iran-Contra.

Second, he sometimes does and sometimes does not know what standard English phrases like "color blind scenarios" and "racial isolation" mean. The second term, "racial isolation" he first testified to quite thoroughly, describing what it meant in education and discussing ways LMSD was working to combat that. Bonnie Cook included this in her article today:

Posted on Sat, Apr. 10, 2010
L. Merion redistricting plans included race, official says
By Bonnie L. Cook Inquirer Staff Writer

Arnold questioned McGinley about a Nov. 17, 2008, school board meeting in which officials discussed the need to avoid creating "racially isolated groups" of redistricted students.

Arnold questioned why officials would choose that topic to explore.

"Would you agree that the only way to make sure minority children are not racially isolated is to increase the number of African Americans?" Arnold asked.

"No, I wouldn't agree with that," McGinley said. "Another way to combat that problem is to cluster the children who are there."

Then, mysteriously, a short time later in the day, Dr. McGinley testified that he did not know what SB Director Lisa Fair Pliskin meant when she wrote "...what happened to no racial isolation?". That exchange occurred on November 20, 2008, three days after he stated in a public board meeting that he would not advance any plans that created racial isolation and one day before Plan 3 was presented to the public. Very Bill Clinton like, no?

SB Director Lyn Kugel also took the stand. Her testimony was not so much as unrevealing as it was, well, nonsensical and not in a funny way. For instance, when she was asked what the Community Values given to the Administration was for, she said it was to "inform" and "guide" them, it was to be used and she used it as "background" but that it was not to be used in developing plans. Okaaay. What does that mean? Nobody could figure that one out, and her elaborations didn't help.

Second, she testified that despite having lived in Wynnewood for 20 years, she did not know where the historic African American neighborhood was in Lower Merion. Keep in mind that her children went to Penn Wynne Elementary, where half of that historic neighborhood's children also attend. So how can she represent Ardmore in an at-large capacity if she doesn't even know who lives there, much less the character of the neighborhood, it's values and needs?

Lastly, Students Doe introduced some maps showing Census data on ethnicity and the walk zone that Judith Harris didn't like. The Judge did though. I wonder why.

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xf14ae's picture
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This was posted out on Facebook as McGinley's likely new theme song:

LOL. Good one!

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"I hope it will be said we taught them to stand tall & proud, even in the face of history & the future was made new & whole for us all, one child at a time." - Brian Andreas

politeia's picture
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I wonder if McGinley prepped for the trial by watching this YouTube? He is beyond a disgrace, the public should have no faith in him and he should be replaced. In turn, the general public, taxpayers and parents should have no faith in the school board for unequivocally and openly supporting McGinley.

This is a fiasco for LMSD. The way this is going, I don't think Students Doe even need strict scrutiny to prevail, though I feel it should certainly be applied. LMSD is looking so bad the plaintiffs would prevail on intermediate scrutiny, but still, strict scrutiny is certainly warranted.

And LMSD and the school board plans to appeal this disaster all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (per their own statement)?

This trial LMSD will lose will cost L.M. taxpayers well over $1 million dollars. Perhaps $2 million. How many more millions will be spent appealing this lost cause to SCOTUS?

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves

~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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Lest we forget:

As parents who consider the teachers and officials at our schools to be respected partners in educating our children as well as people to whom we entrust some of the work of molding their character, including their understanding of moral behavior, we wish to express our solidarity with Dr. Christopher W. McGinley, the Superintendent of Schools for the Lower Merion School District and the Board of Directors, as they handle the issue of privacy with regard to the free laptop program.

AND (the piece de resistance)

We therefore stand together as parents who value the work of the remarkable human beings in whose care we place our children, both teachers and all staff, from the janitors who manage the facilities to the administrative officials who form policy....

Whaddyawanna bet that nothing that has come out so far has changed these feel-gooders' minds one iota nor will anything yet to come out?

And still they will preach about molding the kids' character and moral behavior (cough, cough) and chant in unison about how they 'celebrate diversity' (choke).

Ironic that the folks who constitute the 'desired' diversity for the feel-gooders, they are doing no celebrating. Instead, they've been treated so well that they've had to go to court to fight for what is rightfully theirs. And have had to sell water ice and spaghetti dinners to take on the $700/hr taxpayer-financed opposition. But hey, they should have just 'celebrated'. They got screwed by 'remarkable human beings', after all. 'Took one for the team'.

No dose of reality will be strong enough to jolt the true believers out of their fantasy world.

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"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.":Gil Scott-Heron 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

politeia's picture
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That's the shame. These petition signing do-gooders will give LMSD the cover to keep spending millions of our tax dollars appealing this.

These parents signing a petition unequivocally supporting McGinley before the trial are the type of people who allow despots to become rulers. They live in a fantasy land of complete trust in those who run government and educate their children, when vigilance is needed to make sure we and our children are protected from being treated unfairly by government.

McGinley has been caught in so many lies that I can't see how anybody can support him, but they do. I fear for our country when you have this mindless idol worship of dishonest manipulators who have power and authority.

The whole premise the founders of this country worked on was to be ever vigilant of government (which includes LMSD) and to be ever on guard for the corruption that ultimately comes with the power and authority that high level government positions basically promote.

It's a sense of entitlement and righteousness these government agents have that all too often backfires with unintended consequences even for those who mean well, but McGinley knew this was illegal and he has been caught in all sorts of lies.

There is no doubt in my mind McGinley did not even mean well, and for that reason he must go.

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves

~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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Well, if this is what the District opts to do, then I think it's time for the TAXPAYERS of LMT to float a petition of their own, demanding that the hired help be sh*tcanned and the elected be recalled and replaced.

At the rate the evidence and testimony is piling up, there should be more than enough to justify both.

Ultimately, the taxpayers own the District yet the way things are, the inmates are running the asylum.

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"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.":Gil Scott-Heron 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

dmuth's picture
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Speaking of depositions, this is the world's best answer to a question asked in a deposition right here:

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OMG,I have hardly ever laughed harder than at these deposition videos on Youtube. This is the greatest stuff ever,

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dmuth's picture
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Z-zwap! (Frontpaged)

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outtathere's picture
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Second, she testified that despite having lived in Wynnewood for 20 years, she did not know where the historic African American neighborhood was in Lower Merion. Keep in mind that her children went to Penn Wynne Elementary, where half of that historic neighborhood's children also attend. So how can she represent Ardmore in an at-large capacity if she doesn't even know who lives there, much less the character of the neighborhood, it's values and needs?

Hi xf14,

Seeing your mention in this paragraph of both the AA neighborhood and Penn Wynne Elementary brought to mind something that, while not directly material to the Doe case, is relevant nonetheless in that it sheds some light on the history of the LMSD and redistricting.

Having grown up on the Main Line in the Fifties and Sixties, I would say that my knowledge of area and all of it's communities is thorough. At the same time, my firsthand knowledge of the School District ended in the early Seventies, so I am a bit behind the curve there. Having seen how knowledgable you are of both the District and the legal issues involved in this case, I hope you won't mind if I impose upon you to bring me up to speed on a few things.

Now from what I do know, this redistricting is just the latest episode by LMSD.(In the immortal words of Yogi Berra: "It's deja vu all over again".)

Once upon a time, Ardmore had it's own community elementary school. In the late Seventies or early Eighties, they reduced this school to rubble and dispersed all those little kids to other schools (allegedly due to 'decreased enrollment'). Likewise with Wynnewood Rd. Elementary which was sold off instead of demolished. Any diversity that now exists at Penn Wynne Elementary is largely due to that redistricting, simply because there has never been an African American community in Penn Wynne. That much I know. What I don't know is to what other elementary school(Drunk the other half of the historic neighborhood's kids were 'assigned' and what sort of arbitrary formula was employed to make this determination. Can you fill me in on that?

So the Doe families were not the first, or for some of them it was not the first time they were given no choice but to "Take one for the team". This is just 'deja vu all over again' for that community.

And yet again, the very same community found it's Junior High School/middle school shut down, reduced to rubble and they were scattered around, put on more buses and given no choice but to....."Take one for the team".

A long and inglorius history of the LMSD uprooting this community and scattering their kids wherever they please is clearly there to be seen. Only someone who refuses to take their blinders off can fail to ask themselves what took the African American community of Ardmore so long to finally run out of patience and drag the District into court.

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dmuth's picture
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Okay, since folks are starting to talk about maps, I think it's about time we made some maps of affected neighborhoods, the "hisoric African American neighborhood" (which I did not know existed), etc.

I started a map on Google Maps here: clicky!

It would be awesome if folks in this thread with specific knowledge could mark up specific areas of the map, so we could later publish it on this site. (And if folks aren't familiar or comfortable with the map making interface, no problem, just give me some locations and I'll take care of it since I use it regularly for making maps)

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I have something map-related where you can drive yourself batsh*t trying to figure it out: The numbering system and East vs. West Lancaster Ave.I lived my entire life on the Main Line and never cracked the code.

Look at the map and you see that proceeding WEST on Lancaster Ave. it changes from West Lancaster to EAST Lancaster and then back again. I discovered that in Ardmore the break is at Anderson Ave. From E. Lanc to W Lanc. Keep going West and you get all the way to somewhere in Rosemont and suddenly it becomes EAST Lancaster again. It obviously doesn't change in each town. Is it according to a measured distance? I don't think that works either because the changes occur at intersections and the cross streets are not spaced evenly apart. Plus looking at the map you see that the interval of West Lancaster between Ardmore and Rosemont is visibly shorter than the interval of East Lancaster from Rosemont to Wayne where it changes back to WEST Lancaster. A great mystery.

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It changes from West Lancaster to East Lancaster at the Radnor Township line in Rosemont, which is in the east from the perspective of Radnor, whose center is in Wayne.

It's a lot of fun explaining to visitors that Haverford and Bryn Mawr are not towns but each of them is part of two different townships located in two different counties. And that the posh parts of Haverford, which they have sometimes heard of, are not in Haverford Township.

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At some point in or near Paoli, Lancaster turns into "Lincoln Highway," and then a bit further out it's Lancaster Ave again. Never figured that one out.

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Welcome to living in the land of really old roads. Smiling

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The Lincoln Highway (1913) was the brainchild of a road entrepreneur and auto enthusiast from Indiana named Carl Fisher. He also was responsible for the Dixie Highway, from Chicago and Detroit to Miami (also an early investor in the Indianapolis Speedway and developer of Miami Beach). The Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental automobile road, running from New York City to San Francisco. In 1926 the U.S. adopted the numbered highway system and most of the Lincoln Highway became U.S. Route 30.

(This is all repotted from Wikipedia articles.) I had long thought that the name had something to do with following the route of Lincoln's coffin on its journey from Washington to Springfield, Illinois. But this is wrong; it was named in tribute to Lincoln, at around the same time as the Lincoln Memorial was getting final approval and funding.

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Once upon a time, Ardmore had it's own community elementary school. In the late Seventies or early Eighties, they reduced this school to rubble and dispersed all those little kids to other schools (allegedly due to 'decreased enrollment'). Likewise with Wynnewood Rd. Elementary which was sold off instead of demolished. Any diversity that now exists at Penn Wynne Elementary is largely due to that redistricting, simply because there has never been an African American community in Penn Wynne. That much I know. What I don't know is to what other elementary school(Drunk the other half of the historic neighborhood's kids were 'assigned' and what sort of arbitrary formula was employed to make this determination. Can you fill me in on that?

Ah, the history. Yep, it's long and yes, it involves Ardmore quite a bit.

In the beginning there was Ardmore Avenue Elementary School. It's one of the first schools in the entire District, and it was situated across the street from the Ardmore Post Office. The space is now the Ardmore House senior residence. That's also the original location of Lower Merion High School. Retired teacher Ted Goldsborough wrote a history of the schools for the Lower Merion Historical Society that is quite thorough.

So, all of Ardmore went to Ardmore Aveneue ES, then on to Ardmore JH and LMHS. In the early 1950s LMSD underwent a major capital project, building several schools in the more western part of the district: Penn Valley ES, followed by Harriton HS, Gladwyne ES and Welsh Valley JH (now MS). Ardmore Avenue had become decrepit, and the instructional quality was relatively poor. It was by the accounts I've heard 80% African-American. Ardmore JH was similarly old, as was LMHS, which had yet to have built it's new 'wing'. The addition of these new schools, combined with the landmark Brown v. Board decision in 1954, the civil rights movement, and the condition of the 'black' schools caused an uprising with parents demanding access to these new schools. LM, possibly fearing a segregation order, decided to close Ardmore Avenue ES. Much to Ardmore's anger, though, they did not gain access to the newer schools. Half of the neighborhood - from Ardmore Ave to Wyoming Ave/West Spring - went to Bryn Mawr Elementary and half - Ardmore Ave south to Wynnewood Rd - went to Wynnewood Road ES. All went to AJH and LMHS.

By 1977 there was a baby 'bust' - a trough in enrollment and a strong anti-tax sentiment sweeping the township. People were unhappy about school taxes and felt the district spent too much (sound familiar?) and too lavishly. By then LMHS had it's 'new' wing and Bala Elementary was built in 1974. Despite hearing lots of evidence that the decline in enrollment was indeed a 'trough' and the children would be back when the Boomers had kids, a decision was made to close 5 schools. Three of those schools impacted Ardmore - Wynnewood Road, Bryn Mawr and Ardmore Junior High School. The others were the brand-new Bala ES and Narberth ES. There was talk then of closing Harriton HS FYI because enrollment had dropped below 500, however this was not done.

Ardmore was the only village 'fanned' as a result of that redistricting. Children from Ardmore were districted block by block to the remaining schools. For instance, from Wynnewood Road - Linwood Road, they went to Penn Wynne ES. From Linwood Road - Walnut Ave they went to Penn Valley. Walnut - Cricket went to Merion. Cricket- Ardmore Ave - Cynwyd and so on. No other community was fractured in this way. The Bala ES kids went to Cynwyd ES. Narberth was split with part going to Merion south of the train and north going to Penn Valley. Bryn Mawr went to Gladwyne.

Some students now went to Welsh Valley MS and some to Bala Cynwyd MS. They all met at Lower Merion HS, though by the early 1980s the district started to quietly offer 'choice' to African Americans wanting to go to Harriton HS because of the small enrollment there. This was not widely publicized and was not offered to white students. In 1981 they closed West Manyunk (Belmont Hills) ES due to low enrollment. Those children went to Cynwyd.

By 1998 the echo boom had arrived in force as predicted and the schools were overcrowded. The only ES they had 'mothballed' was West Manyunk, so this was refurbished and reopened as Belmont Hills. By then African American students were spread so thinly amongst the ES that they were disenfranchised, isolated and failing badly. The community leaders asked LMSD for the restoration of a community school for them, as every other village and town had. They instead were 'consolidated' into two ES - Penn Wynne and Penn Valley. In an odd turn of events though, the section from Cricket - Wyoming now crosses over the rest of Ardmore to join students from Wynnewood and Penn Wynne at Penn Wynne ES while that 'middle section' goes to Penn Valley. This is the only ES zoning that has a 'broken border' - no geographic relationship between the Ardmore neighborhood and the Wynnewood neighborhood. Narberth has that strange little tunnel going to Belmont Hills.

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Hugh Gordon's picture
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This is a wonderful summary of an incredibly confusing history. It clears up so many of the mysteries of how we ended up in the mess we are in today.

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