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Lodi Unified School District board must explain any decision not to further investigate grade scandal

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Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 4:55 pm, Sat Aug 27, 2011.

Lodi Unified School District Trustee Ken Davis has attempted to shoot the messengers — the News-Sentinel and investigator Donna Matties — instead of informing the public of details of the relationship between his foundation, Liberty High School and Humphreys College.

In a clear conflict of interest, Davis lobbied not to pay Matties for the work she performed. She was hired to look into Liberty High Principal Robert Rivas' changing of students' grades. Rivas apparently did it to assure the students would qualify for a special program allowing them to enter Humphreys College after they graduate.

Davis' Achievement Gap Education Foundation sponsors the program, and Matties discovered Davis spoke to Rivas before he changed the grades.

Tuesday, Davis urged fellow board members not to pay Matties' bill. No one on the board said a word about the conflict, but did OK the bill.

Regarding the News-Sentinel, Davis promised us an interview the week before last. We expected him to explain all this, but he reneged. When we kept digging, he lashed out at reporter Katie Nelson for contacting his donors. He says we caused his funding sources to dry up. Two sources cited on his website told us they never made contributions.

We still have questions and haven't given up finding answers. We would still like to talk to Davis on the record.

Matties admits an allegation of impropriety by Davis is hearsay by an unrevealed source. Without further authorization, the district won't pursue the issue.

Davis says he's blameless and just has kids at heart. That may prove true, or it may never be known.

Meanwhile, the board seems ready to brush this aside and get on with other business.

If that's what the board does, it certainly owes the public a very clear explanation of its decision.

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  • roy bitz posted at 2:10 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 503

    I believe the school board has an obligation to students, teachers and the community to flesh out the truth. Hopefully, they would find no wrong doing. However, after reading all the LNS has printed on this matter it appears serious wrong has been done. If so, there must be consequences for the wrong doers and the good names of others named in LNS articles mustl be restored.
    If the board allows this matter to go unresolved and the truth to be kept secret, they fail the community and the innocent.

  • Betty Dean posted at 7:34 am on Mon, Aug 29, 2011.

    Betty Dean Posts: 144

    This is NO surprise too me! LUSD has done this for years! They are CROOKS always have been and always will be!
    If he had any ounce of integrity he would meet with LNS and tell them all he knows but, NO it will be swept under the rugto protect Davis.
    When in all reality they should be terminating him too! I feel like LUSD in general should be investigated.......

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 2:38 pm on Sat, Aug 27, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Something definitely has a "fishy" odor here. LUSD is quick to investigate an employee, but not a long-time board member. Just where was Mr. Davis getting the funding for his "non-profit" foundation? If not LUSD, then perhaps the IRS.



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