Academic and Athletic Cheating: How many schools in CCS may be implicated?

Gilroy Unified School District was recently thrown  into the national spot light  after a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution  revealed   that many standardized  test reports appear to be statistically improbably , indicating that cheating was more than  possible.  Congressional and criminal investigations have been launched as a well.  It would not be a leap  to assume that if cheating and  loss of integrity is  present in one area of our public institutions, it is likely present in others as well.

CIF and CCS have a long history of complaints related to equity and cheating in high school athletics. Many decisions and  rules made by these organizations appear to be  inequitable and unfair and continue to burden  individual student athletes.

Legal fees paid by both  CIF and CCS , and indirectly all member schools, may provide additional insight on this matter . As previously reported , the 2009 Santa Clara Country Grand Jury Report (http://www.scscourt.org/court_divisions/civil/cgj/2009/EducationDollars.pdf_)  blasted school district  use of public money for excessive administrative and legal fees. The report went on to note specific legal firms that had been paid by local school districts.  Among those were the firms Lozano Smith and Fagan , Friedman and Fulfrost.  Lozano Smith was at one time sanctioned for charging school districts excessive legal fees and  was subsequently  ordered by a court to attend ethics courses .  Despite this questionable background, many local school districts continued to retain Lozano Smith.

Lozano Smith has been  paid substantial  fees to represent  Campbell, Franklin , Fremont and San Jose Unified  school districts.  Los Gatos- Saratoga’s  website currently provides a link to an “Athlete’s Bill of Rights”  which is printed on Lozano Smith letterhead in an effort to inform families of their legal rights as they relate to athetics in high school sports.

After being sanctioned for ethics violations, an attorney from  Lozano Smith left and became a partner in the law firm Fagen, Friedman, and Fullfrost, which currently is the main counsel for CIF, CCS and continues to represent school districts including :

  • Fremont
  • Lakeside
  • Los Altos
  • Los Gatos
  • Los Gatos Union*

*The 2009 Grand Jury report noted Los Gatos Union alone  had paid Fagen,  Freidman and Fullfrost in excess of   $293,000 .

If  law firms with documented ethics violations are retained to oversee  legal affairs related to academics and athletics  for our local public schools , is it any wonder that ethics concerns are now emerging  in the districts  and organizations that use those firms?  Is it that much of a reach to think:  If there is cheating in sports ,  cheating in academics is likely present as well.

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About ccswatchdog
Grassroots organization providing information to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability of CIF's Central Coast Section.

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