BY THOMAS STUARTYou are being provided this electronic copy of a registered letter (RE 638 155 516 US) sent yesterday to the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board recommending due consideration be given to “the idea of de-certifying the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board in toto by terminating their authority to collect money and to issue teaching licenses”.

Despite whatever good intentions about the imagined benefits of licensing teachers that may have led to the establishing of HTSB, the organization that has in fact come into being has been populated by second raters and bureaucratic box checkers who could not manage to organize a fraternity party in a whore house, much less meet the professional licensing requirements of an entire state.

The licensing processes created by HTSB are bureaucratically stultified and dysfunctional to a degree that must be experienced to be believed. Far from being any kind of benefit to the profession, licensing under the auspices of HTSB has become a sorry, expensive joke of no value WHATSOEVER to the teaching profession.

At a time when revenue forecasts suggest that an extended period of government budget belt tightening may well be in store for Hawaii, this question deserves serious consideration by those with budgeting authority: why are scarce tax dollars continuing to be wasted on an organization that has more than amply demonstrated that it cannot perform its mission?

The problems created by HTSB for itself cannot be remedied by puff pieces in friendly news media outlets or phony appeals for “on line processing”. HTSB is beset by problems that are self-created, organic and systemic, an organizational sickness that has metastasized beyond any power of self-healing. HTSB should be disbanded and lessons learned should be educed to prevent another spasm of expensive organizational dysfunction.

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Text of registered letter
mailed August 17, 2010
(RE 638 155 516 US)
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August 16, 2010

Hawaii Teacher Standards Board
650 Iwilei Road, Suite 201
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817

Attention: Licensing Section

In re: License NY9CG2

Madam or Sir:

Let’s recapitulate, shall we:

On April 20 this year I submitted your HTSB Form EA 1008 *** IN BLUE INK *** according to your minutely detailed specifications.

In response you sent me a meaningless “license” that was set to expire four months later in August of THIS YEAR.

On August 4 of this year having completed HTSB Forms RA 4010 and RA 5010, I filled out and submitted — via registered mail with signature receipt required — HTSB Form RA 1010 along with a certified check for two hundred and forty dollars ($240) again according to your minutely detailed specifications.

On August 9 of this year your “Aleian Clegg” [as near as can be determined from the signature] signed the green post card by way of acknowledging receipt by HTSB for the forms AND MY MONEY.

Today (Aug 16, 2010 at 3:12 PM) an email with the subject line, “HTSB has sent you a note” was sent to me from “licensingsection@htsb.org” that said —

QUOTE
Please click on the following link to view the note entered by HTSB:

https://htsb.ehawaii.gov/htsb-renewals/my-license.html

Please do NOT reply to this email as HTSB will not receive it.
UNQUOTE

After waiting approximately eight minutes for the link to open, this “note” was discovered.

QUOTE
HTSB has updated teacher records since the Beta phase of our system was completed. However, there may still be occasional discrepancies in your licensee data, especially if you were originally licensed prior to 2002.Please correct any information that is incorrect. If it is a field which is not editable, please use the “Contact HTSB” section in your record to inform HTSB which field needs to be updated and the correct value. Thank you. Payroll deduction has ceased on 6/30/2010. The remaining balance of your license fee is due by the expiration date of your current license or by June 30, 2011, whichever is earliest. Please click on the Payment Information tab to view and pay for your remaining balance. Your balance must be paid in full before you can renew your license. Click here for more information on license renewals.
UNQUOTE

The “note” also included this paragraph —

QUOTE
Thomas Stuart, The payment for your license renewal has been received and your license information has been updated in your HTSB account. However, because DOE payroll deduction stopped on 7/1/10, you still owe a balance on your current license. Please send a check to HTSB in the amount of $4 as soon as possible. Thank you, HTSB Licensing Section 20100816091219
UNQUOTE

At this juncture let me attempt to summarize the matter as succinctly as possible: try though you might, you cannot make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

You have compelled me to waste valuable time repeatedly jumping through the hoops of my ass to comply with your hideously bureaucratized specifications at excruciating levels of detail; you have taken my money; and yet STILL you decline to issue me a valid license and on the flimsiest of pretexts.

It shall thus come as no surprise to you it is my considered professional opinion that your organization is a monumentally dysfunctional scam from one end to another and that you are nothing but a bunch of cheap crooks interested only in separating the people you evidently consider sheep — aka hard working classroom teachers — from their money in the pretense this worthless license actually means something.

Nonetheless — and fully expecting this Kafka-esq bureaucratic run-around to continue — I am forwarding my attached personal check number 7983 in the amount of four dollars primarily out of curiosity to see what new excuse you can conjure up to steal my money and deny me the license your crummy outfit was established to deliver.

By [electronic] copy of this letter, other addressees are asked to give due consideration to the idea of de-certifying the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board in toto by terminating their authority to collect money and issue teaching licenses. Clearly those who populate this sorry, lurching lash-up have demonstrated beyond any shadow of doubt they are not up to the task.

Thomas Stuart is a Math teacher at Kohala Middle School on the Big Island.

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