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.

Become an active member of the Horaciolewis.com Fairness Institute by calling or sending an email to horaciolewis@horaciolewis.com expressing your willingness to do so. Membership will allow you to enter the title "The Horaciolewis.Com Fairness Institute" in your resume and related records. This registration will also include this fresh daily updated newsletter, copies (at reduced cost) of any publication written by Horacio Lewis (See “Publications” page in this site) and preliminary suggestions, by phone, on fairness issues. Organizations needing on-site fairness consultation and training should contact Horacio Lewis directly for a free evaluation. A fee will be assessed for actual on site training and consulting. Members are expected to be active participants in fairness issues and report to the Fairness Institute issues of fairness (or lack of) in their respective geographical areas. Said information will be shared on this page as appropriate.

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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.

I'm happy 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. (4/2004)


PRELIMINARY DISCUSSION/COMMENTS--unedited random ramblings:

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 decisions.

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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Las manos de un nuevo amanecer.
The hands of a new dawn.