AIMS teachers, parents step up demand for ouster of Chavis allies

Teachers, parents and public are planning to show up at Friday’s special AIMS Board meeting to call for the resignation of Nedir Bey and Jean Martinez (more about that here).

AIM Schools Special Board Meeting
WHEN: Friday, April 12, 2013 at 7 P.M.
WHERE: AIPCS II 171 12th Street Oakland, CA 94607


  • Arthur Miler

    This was asked to happen during the AIPCS II charter renewal hearing, one of the last meetings when Chavis made an appearance. He was asked to get out of town – leave – and he decided to stay and continue to be a master puppeteer. This was asked again last year and Bernadette Coleman said “we will not be moved” – the parent committee fully supported the board. What can OUSD do? It’s their partially their fault for lack of oversight. At this point, it’s also the parents fault for their lack of action. I hope this isn’t too little too late for the sake of the kids.

  • oaklandedlandscape

    Tonight was the grand finale. The board took down their own school. They terminated Hodges, another lead administrator, and Toni Cook left on her own. Leaving a board of Chavis kool-aid drinkers. A classic case of self destruction, leaving hundreds of students without a school. Chavis, Martinez, Locklear, Bey, and Armstrong have all proved that some people are just “bad” people. I wish them well. Tonight was a spectacle. Poverty pimping 101. I wish the AIM Schools students, teachers, and families well. I hope OUSD carefully monitors the closure. They (Chavis and his lemmings) will loot every last dime.

  • Dengue Fever

    Friday was the show that all of us who truly know the school, knew would happen.

    It showed that if OUSD had kept the school open, the cronies on the board, who by the way outnumbered the AIMS reformers always, would have stormed the campuses.

    Oh yeah- you better believe the pirates will go for the booty at all costs and what can be done? Thats what all this comes down too, and its what has been the story line all along- its about the Benjamins (dollars & Chavis).

    The county and state will no doubt come onto scene because obviously you cannot rely on OUSD to do something about it….they moved closure on 4-3 vote!

    Its all too funny…. idealism vs street politicians. An OUSD board member was quoted saying kids over money always in decisions……wake up lady- its has always been about the dollars- even now ,

  • awoodall

    The story from last night’s AIMS board meeting http://bit.ly/XJfc6v

  • Nontcair

    The move by the AIMS board may be fatal to chances of saving the charter through an appeal to the Alameda County Board of Education or the state.

    Taxpayers can only watch in horror as the public education leeches fight amongst themselves for tax dollars.

    OUSD produces horrible results, a fact which will be re-confirmed when the District’s latest standardized test scores are released.

    OUSD costs are through the roof, a fact which will be re-confirmed when the District places yet another $100,000,000+ bond issue before the lumpen electorate.

    OUSD financial mismanagement and improprieties are standard operating procedure, a fact which will be re-confirmed when the District spells out its next budget.

    When will the OUSD Board revoke the *District’s* charter?

    Appealing to the County/State for a last-minute stay of execution. Really.

    Public education. Greats news for lawyers.

  • Arthur Miler

    Parents wanted to know how to win the county appeal if the four board members who are connected to Chavis won’t resign. Any suggestions how to force resignation?

  • oaklandedlandscape

    If having an entire community of students, parents, and teachers standing in front of the AIM Board pleading with them to step down did not do it, there is no hope. The (Chavis) plan is to close the schools if he can’t run them. Sounds like a 4 year old. That’s what everyone is dealing with and why this makes no sense. There was mention of calls being made to AIM parents to support Ben in exchange for a “free” seat at a soon to be opened private school. Who would want to deal with him after this? I hope people are finally convinced.

  • Nontcair

    If a creature from Mars just landed in Oakland, it might get the impression that this guy Chavis is the cause of everything that is wrong with OUSD, if not the world.

    I don’t know how much Chavis is costing taxpayers but is has to be a small drop in the bucket compared to what OUSD is bleeding us for.

    Taxpayers would be MUCH better off if the OUSD Board would pay Chavis $20M per year to operate AIM as a MONOPOLY, ie. the *only* public school in the district.

  • Mike B

    What a disgrace! I cannot believe just how little these people care. I mean I know about all of the low performance issues with OUSD and all of that, but this is in your face.

    As the guy (Bey) walks out pass those little kids playing ball in the hallway , it is such a sad picture. I seriously feel terrible for the families- this is the worst kind of school closure.I hope OUSD can get these families a placement secured so late in the enrollment period.

    I read a comment about the money grab and honestly that is what this has to be. How will get the dollars in the bank?

    That must sound like a stupid question when juxtaposed with the meeting video right.

  • Doug Appel

    This is indeed a very unfortunate situation. The student and parent supporters of the school are now recognizing that the folks running it were there solely to grab public funds and the education of children was an afterthought. Even the charter school association supports the revocation of this charter–understanding that schools like this sully the reputation of charter schools in general.
    OUSD is not alone in being a chartering agency which failed to provide appropriate oversight. There is legislation pending (AB 913) which would subject charters to greater public transparency, including making them subject to the public meetings act and requiring them to adopt conflict of interest policies. Many credible charter operators already abide by these reasonable regulations.

  • J.R.
  • J.R.

    Ask yourself,” how much are theses public school districts costing me relative to performance?

  • fakdjf

    OUSD wants their “good” kids that they lost from lincoln back, to throw them into the abyss of Westlake and other similar crap public schools so they can get their $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • awoodall
  • livegreen

    I agree not changing the board will be the nail in the coffin, along with having a criminal on it. Simply amazing! Does one think the AIPCS Board will change its policies with all this going on? Barring this the AC BOE would approve any horrible low performing charter the District documented have been failing…

    In the meantime a couple of the AIPCS schools are in DT Oakland next to one of the best Elementary Schools in Oakland, Lincoln Elementary, with similar high scores. Undoubtedly AIPCS located there to leach families and get their high scores. AIPCS families who go to Lincoln will find an excellent school and what they don’t like they can work to change & improve WITHOUT the corruption or having a criminal accused of kidnapping & torture on their Board…

  • c
  • livegreen

    Can we get any coverage beyond AICS? This is a very narrow issue to warrant 3 out of 5 last posts. Issues affecting all OUSD warrant something…

  • Nontcair

    seventh-grade teacher Mitchell Knox told board members, “the promises here don’t mean anything unless Alameda County agrees.”

    For the umpteenth time, public education is dominated by literally THOUSANDS of government regulations which make the institution *impossible* to fix.

    Public education CANNOT be reformed. It must be *abolished*.

    I don’t mind that the government relentlessly drives its own schools into the ground, but I *do* resent the fact that the governnment imposes regulations which are harmful to 100% private schools, and by virtue of raising the cost of operating them, puts financial barriers in the way of middle class families who might otherwise be able to afford them.

  • Nontcair

    The staff of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, perhaps as uncomfortable with such heavy demands on kids as I suspect Oakland officials have been, recommended against giving BASIS D.C. a charter, but the board overruled them.

    See previous comment.

    Public schools are run by politicians for political purposes — typically for enrichment of political cronies.

  • http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/ Sharon

    What will be shocking is if any authorizer ever approves a charter for this organization again.

  • Nextset

    I believe Nontclair is right about CA public schools.

    I know there are public schools that still function – mainly the “white schools” such as Piedmont, and perhaps Redding? Of course they’re not exactly white anymore – but they still impose discipline and remove troublemakers at a level unheard of for black schools.

    But I don’t believe state secondary schools are viable in the urban areas, even if San Francisco can run Lowell High as a “white school” alongside hopeless black schools in the same city.

    The concept of a public secondary school I grew up with in the ’60s where the professional class, middle class and lower class children and immigrants go to the same campus and are normed together is just gone. Now it’s the Brave New World where you go to a school for your Caste and learn how to stay in that Caste.

    We have downward mobility more than upward.

    If you are black in California you will likely be going to a state secondary school that is the functional equivalent of a county jail. Except some of the jails are probably safer and cleaner.

    The black students are now carefully taught to keep it real – real stupid – and even affirmative action will no longer be enough to pass them off as acceptable in even middle class society much less professional class. Even military service will no longer be available.

    But the public school teachers will still get their tenure and benefits? Actually, that’s all going to go also. I don’t think the unions got the memo yet, but they are on the way out.

    Too bad. A LOT of people had a good thing going in the early 1960s and didn’t really appreciate it.

    Brave New World.

  • Nontcair

    #21 wrote: The concept of a public secondary school I grew up with in the ’60s ..

    Here we go again: Public schools as a mechanism for social engineering.

    How/when did public education come to acquire this politically loaded mission? I thought the schools were meant to “solve” the problem of providing basic skills (the 3Rs) to desperately poor kids who would otherwise have NO opportunity to learn them.

    Don’t tell me about Lowell. I happen to know a few SFUSD parents. For every Lowell there are many more Galilleo’s. Besides, what can Lowell can do that Lick can’t?

    Don’t tell me about cost, blah blah blah. We all pay higher taxes so that Lowell can be provided “for free”, no doubt at a real cost per student significantly *higher* than what Lick charges.

    Even the so-called desirable schools (like Rooftop) leave much to be desired, judging by the (shall we say ..) sociopathic behaviors of many of the white/ middle class kids who have enrolled (lotteried in?) there and the baloney which passes for education there.

    As for Piedmont, I’m sorry, but if you can afford to live in one of those impeccably manicured, three+ car garaged estates you can afford to send your kids to Head Royce. Why do poor single moms in West Oakland have to pay higher sales taxes (and have their kids dictatorially assigned to a non-choice of absolutely *miserable* schools) so that rich white parents in Piedmont can send their kids for free to Havens (as an alternative to Bentley)?

    Public education has become an entitlement program for the 1%, an achievement common to *all* political programs.

  • Nextset

    Nontclair: The use of Public Schooling to normalize children into “citizens” goes back to at least the beginning of the 20th Century. It’s a noble concept intended to facilitate upward social and economic mobility. I’d have thought you were familiar with it.

    It is as important a concept as teaching reading and writing.

    As far as Piedmont goes, it’s VERY affordable thanks to tax treatment of mortgage interest. One of my Jewish friends was commenting that the cost of a Head Royce tuition translates to $600,000 per child in buying power for a home. If you have 2 to 4 children, it’s a no brainer. He of course lives in Los Angeles and pays $20k per year per child to send his kids to a “middle-cost” private secondary school that is not Jewish majority. He claims the education they are getting is superior to Piedmont High (they have relatives there also).

    My only comment is that none of them have as many children as their parents did. Four child families was normal when I grew up, some of my classmates were from 5 or more child families. I didn’t know any singletons. Things are different now thanks to US tax policies. Welfare mothers have larger families than middle class people.

  • Nontcair

    The ignoble concept of which you refer dates back to the 19th century.

    Public education is (has *always* been) a *political* institution.

    For conservatives it’s *always* about promoting obediance, law-&-order, and the State.

    For liberals, promoting various liberations, secular freudianism, and the State.

    It’s the same old, incessant battle between the left and the right over the spoils which accrue to the faction that controls the government.

    It’s the same old story of BIG Government supporters rolling over (and grinding to a pulp) small govermment types who strongly prefer just to be left alone.

    I don’t exactly get your point about the mortgage interest deduction, although I understand the oft-heard and valid criticism that those who carry a large mortgage (and qualify for Schedule A) get to deduct the “good public school” premium while poor people who struggle to afford private education must do so “after tax”.

  • A coding error

    @ 17 Livegreen

    While I believe in the importance of the AIMS issue and the Chavisgate, I agree with you. There is a lack of coverage of other ongoing issues. Actually, I would say that this for some a quite convenient smoke screen.
    What do we know about Smith’s departure (other than he is a wooooonderful leader)? What is being done to search and replace?

  • awoodall

    The reason for the coverage the way it is, for better or worse, is that the Tribune is not hiring a FT OUSD reporter. I cover Alameda County, including the coliseum JPA, sheriff, supervisors and anything else specific to county business. I am also helping with a Port of Oakland project and OUSD. That means, in my case, AIMS and anything else that comes up assigned to me, which is why I reported on Tony Smith’s resignation. AIMS is ongoing and when my editors see fit to assign a story about events I will continue reporting about it. People here have seen fit to continue commenting about it.
    I think this blog was always a community forum so if you have more to say about Smith’s resignation please do; it would be a service to the community because I do not cover the schools FT and am not in the position to evaluate his term more than I did in the stories I wrote, which were not glowing.
    When I finish a story about the county and immigration issues, I will begin looking at who the successors may be.
    Otherwise, an intern is more directly involved in OUSD but her time is also limited.
    So there’s no “smokescreen” and hopefully now everyone has a better understanding of why coverage is limited. Katy was a FT OUSD reporter. Now we are filling in as we can.

  • Nextset


    I think you are off in the clouds.

    Traditionally (that is before the collectivism rot finally settled in to the USA) primary and secondary schools were a creature of the locality under state control, never a federal thing. So schools in Alabama could be of one quality while schools in Maine quite another.

    Farm areas or areas dominated by some industry were free to run their local schools to suit the locality. People were basically happy and got what they paid for.

    The Feds started opening the borders during the industrial revolution and farming became less and less important. Instead of the population living in farm areas the population moved into urban areas around industry. Add millions of immigrants & blacks acting like immigrants and it was necessary to Americanize children in a hurry, because classroom education generally ended by 18. The schools were supposed to teach kids to wash their hands after defecating and everything else through calculus. All side by side in the urban districts. Neighborhood schools were in place as a rule through high school where the twain started meeting for the first time. Sports teams were fielded where lower class kids competed with higher class kids all in uniforms. The academic classes were generally kept segregated, maybe voluntarily, maybe not so.

    Children from bad families and lower class families were able to rise socially and economically, if they could cut the mustard.

    Pretty much everybody was happy about the arrangement. The teachers were not cursed and abused by the students because of the ease of removing insolent, stupid and unfit students.

    Sometime during consolidation of loony left power in the USA the courts and the legislatures (primarily federal) started re-writing school regs to achieve a socialist utopia. There was a focus on keeping the chillun happy, discipline and standards were relaxed then eliminated. One could say that the real plan was to take down the country and ruining the schools was just a part of that plan.

    By the 21st Century the public schools were largely schools in name only. Those that cared about their children removed their students to every other option, some went to AIM. Charter schools flourished.

    The urban area saw white enrollment drop to perhaps 6% or less (Los Angeles, etc). “White” is a euphemism since Jews are counted as white as are many Hispanics and other distinct ethnics. “White” is a term mostly useful for being “Not Black”.

    What has happened with the schools I see as being best defined as racial. Americans and those who are not sure what they are are being divvied up into Castes, with your role in life and society now largely being determined by what you were born into (with little social and ethnic mobility).

    This is the evil that the public schools were to avoid across the first half of the 20th Century.

    Regardless of the carping about conformity and such nonsense.

    And not only have we destroyed the public secondary schools, but the Jr Colleges in CA are being trashed as fast at the democratic supermajority in Sacramento can.

    Can we say “Prison Yard” anybody? Not only are they flushing the state prisons into the cities (to turn them into 3rd world type jungles such as Mexico City) but the state is paying the convicts to go the the local JC’s and lounge around. To the tune of $26k a year to enroll in basketweaving type coursework while making the campuses gang territories.

    Back to the thread on the AIM school. Any institution that connects itself with the evil known as that Black Muslim Bakery has lost me. I’d rather see children enrolled in the school of Tony Soprano. At least the Sopranos were not reported to keep sex slaves.

    Brave New World.

    Brave New World.

  • On the Fence

    On the topic of ‘new topics’, Jody London has recently been quoted as stating,

    “In Oakland’s District 1, which I represent, Oakland Technical High School’s graduation rate increased to 83.4%, up from 75% the prior year and higher than the statewide average of 78%. Of particular note at Tech, the graduation rate for African American males was 80%, compared to 15% for the same subgroup at Berkeley High School.”

    This is certainly newsworthy regardless of what you think this means. Many parents seem to accept this statement at its face value to mean that Tech is doing or teaching something to actually increase an AA male’s likelihood of graduation. Others believe that this is a result of strong demographic shifts, such that this is a different demographic grouping of AA male students who are performing better than their peers at Berkeley High. I am interested in learning about this marked change and teasing out how much it is one thing vs. another. In addition, I am interested in thinking about how the general popularity of Tech (with its accompanying demographic influx of middle class students) has changed the general school culture and graduation rates.

    Any chance that this can be a topic of discussion soon despite the limited coverage?

  • Nextset

    I wonder at what grade level the black “graduates” read at?

    Stats can mean a lot of things. Black graduation/reading levels are much higher at military bases – it doesn’t mean the schools are better, it means the blacks are better (than state/federal averages) because of military pre-selection. Are we dealing with pre-selected blacks here? Or have the standards been relaxed and eliminated?

    And we all know how black schools cook the scores lately. You can’t trust anything from the black school districts as a rule. (Google “Atlanta School testing scandal”).

    Great if it’s really true that there is a miraculous educational result at Oakland Tech. I don’t believe in miracles, especially when government announcements of them are involved.

    Any illiterate can be given a diploma by these failure factories. The statewide average refers to worthless diplomas for (many) illiterates.

    All I want to hear from these public schools is how their students are doing on statewide & national reading, math and subject tests compared with the other groups. And by that I mean the tests they can’t easily cheat on such as the PSATs, SATs and such.

    The diplomas are no longer meaningful.

  • Luis Mota

    @26 awoodall

    Thank you for letting us know about the difficulties of the situation. However, nobody questions (probably not even a coding error) your job. We have been in the district for a while to know who pulls the rope, the threads or the plug and how politics is played.
    Sorry that the editors don’t see this more of a priority. Thank you for your posts.

  • awoodall

    Some of you may be sick of AIMS but below is a letter from Sandra Varner’s PR company the board is paying $8K to smooth things over. I wouldn’t post it here except it landed in my inbox about the same time I found out the board fired more staff yesterday, installed others. Wrongful termination lawsuits can’t be far behind. I’m not sure but I don’t think lawsuits or anything the board has done so far will improve chances with the Alameda County Board of Education.

    American Indian Model Schools
    Public Statement from Board of Directors

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    This marks a significant period in the history of American Indian Model Schools (AIMS).

    Our tireless efforts and model of education have placed AIMS at the top, recently ranked number one for academic achievement among high schools across the United States (http://apps.washingtonpost.com/highschoolchallenge/ ).

    Our students are performing as expected matched with a 98% daily attendance record. The hard work by teachers, staff, parents and supporters is to be commended.

    This time in our history is also bittersweet. With this momentous distinction, despite acknowledgement of our collective achievements, AIMS is facing a critical juncture, fighting to keep the institution open, having come under decision by OUSD officials to revoke AIMS’ charter. AIMS officials, parents and supporters will appeal the decision before the Alameda County Board of Education.

    Our focus is clear: positive, proactive, results-driven action to save American Indian Model Schools.

    We ask the community of families, educators, civic leaders and supporters who have witnessed AIMS progress and exceptional measures to stand with us in this appeal. Please send words of support to http://www.saveaimsschools.com, no later than April 30, 2013.

    The commitment and passion of dedicated families, staff, constituents and community leaders are being harnessed to save American Indian Model Schools. The timeline is short. AIMS leadership anticipates a decision will be rendered before the end of the school year, June 30, 2013.

    See links below–
    http://media.wix.com/ugd//8d5ee6_22c10686451779bdea9d8a5ac247b4ab.pdf )

    Several areas have been addressed with swift and deliberate action to satisfy the requirements set forth by order of education officials:

    1. Revise and maintain measures to monitor and prevent financial and managerial improprieties
    2. Documented measures of operational guidelines and procedures, current and future
    3. Acceptable and appropriate methods to define and reflect clear lines of demarcation between financial sources and expenditures for operational use, current and future
    4. Investigating options for reputable third-party to oversee, manage and monitor fiscal and operational procedures
    5. Clear lines of demarcation between AIMS founder and administrative guidelines and procedures

  • arthur miller

    The board does not want the school to stay open. Hiring a PR firm, firing the director and last two principals, firing teachers for speaking during board meetings, physical intimidation by Bey (on tape too) and refusing to resign points to cleaning out the campuses before they close.

    Stop lying. Nothing can be addressed by members connected to Chavis. This is all a game to him. No one doubts that families desperately want the schools to stay open. It’s not enough.

  • Oakland Pride

    With respect to their “Save AIM Schools” blog, those idiots put the wrong web address in their own press release. They are as good at public relations as they are at financial management and school governance.

    Ben Chavis, Jean Martinez, and Nedir Bey are firing people to cut the overhead so that they can siphon out more money from the school before it is shut down for good. The OUSD board has the legal authority to appoint a staff member to the AIMS board. They should do that immediately to make sure the theft of public dollars stops now.

    The only reason more of my tax dollars should go to Ben Chavis is for three hots and a cot!

  • Carl Emura

    My son told me today that the principal at AIPCS I and an 8th grade teacher at AIPCS II was fired today and that his teacher maybe fired next week. The Board and the new Interim Director has to go…the teachers are what makes the school outstanding…not the board.

  • Carl Emura

    At the April 17th meeting, Interim Director Nabeehah Shakir, informed the parents attending the meeting that the State has stopped funding the school, however AiM’s has enough money in reserves to pay the teachers. I left a message with OUSD’s Office of Charter Schools to confirm this but have not received a response back from them.

  • Joe

    Jody London spoke about the funding at the ACOE meeting on May 14th. The state has only stopped the Facilities Grant and ASES funding, and this happened in the summer of 2012. AIMS’ budget does not account for those 2 sources of funding anyway. The state continues to send funding as scheduled. Last round came in April and deferrals should come in around June. Director Shakir and Bey are lying to teachers and the community.

    Rumor has it that the AIMS finance director’s car was vandalized this week with the word “snitch.” Random act? Probably not.

  • Carl Emura

    Do a search for Nedir Bey and Black Muslim Bakery…I was shocked and wondered how he got on the AIMS Board of Directors. With his history, no wonder the parents and teacher demanded his resignation. If the Alameda Board of Education doesn’t overturn OUSD revocation tonight, Mr. Bey’s position on AIM’s board surely influenced their decision.

  • oaklandedlandscape

    @Carl Emura – His background is exactly why he was chosen to serve on the board. The governance structure at the schools is corrupt. Has been since Chavis arrived. I too hope that the county does the right thing. They failed to recognize East Oakland Leadership Academy High’s issues. Dropout rate that mirrors the district (and worse). Leadership vacuum. Let’s hope.

    And Laura Armstrong (from East Oakland Leadership Academy) serves on AIMS board. Small town and nowhere to hide.