In 2011 I obtain a teaching position with Fort Worth School District after substitute teaching for two years. I have a degree in Business Administration and attend an online program for my Masters in Education; however, the rules require I complete an Alternative Certification Program.
During my interview for the Automotive Instructor position at Dunbar High School in Fort Worth Texas, the interviewer instructs me to enroll in an Alternative Certification Program. She suggests ECAP, a program in Richland Hills. I call the offices located at Baker Blvd., Suite B Richland Hills, Texas 76118. In the appointment. I pay $400.00 to attend summer training. The summer training is at a High School in Fort Worth ISD. The Administrators and Presenters are former Fort Worth ISD employees.
The total cost for the ECAP program is $5400 dollars, deducted in monthly intervals over 6 months from my pay check. The ECAP training uses Harry Wrongs Book which does not discuss the important aspects of automotive instruction and focuses on being a new teacher in an ideal environment.
When I start or took over the shop at Dunbar High School in Fort Worth Texas the conditions of the shop are poor. The lifts are old and not functioning properly. The safety mechanisms are broken. There is a considerable amount of oil on the floors and in the drains. Many car windows are broken and glass is everywhere. The tools are missing or damaged and the restrooms are not working. It is also summer time and the air conditioning is not working. There is no protective eyewear in the shop and the emergency eye wash station is not working.
Several weeks after school starts the Consultant pays a visit to critique my teaching. The consultant is a former Principle in Fort Worth that has a problem with his leg. He takes many narcotics to relieve the pain and uses a Cain. He sees the poor conditions of the shop and asks me what I am doing to fix it? I send out several emails requesting assistance and ask ECAP what I should do; however, I receive no help or answers to my requests. During the consultants next visit in December of 2011 he informs me he is going into the hospital for knee surgery. I ask him, what I will do while he is out? He says to me it is not his responsibility to be there for me. This seems illogical given the money I pay for services. I write several emails and letters to Mrs. Fikes at ECAP and my Principle urging them to send a replacement consultant. During this time my Principle is fired and I receive a reprimand from Mrs. Fikes concerning safety issues in the shop.
The tension between ECAP and myself escalates until I request a new Agency to help me with certification. The request is denied by Sharon Fikes. The program you sign up with has to release you in good standing. ECAP will not release me and in a sort of retaliation Mrs. Fikes, the owner of ECAP, wrote a letter reprimanding me to my Principle. We went back and forth for months until I contacted an attorney.
The attorney advised me to change Certification companies; however, when I attempt too, ECAP will not release me without me quitting my job. This is a form of control built into the ECAP program. The family owned business is a good example of the dysfunctional education system and deserves Federal Audit which is coming!