Tag Archives: charters

Recap: January 29, 2013

We don’t often hold a Board meeting on a 5th Tuesday, but after last week’s agenda-posting glitch, it was lucky there was still another Tuesday left in January for a do-over from January 22.  And what a meeting it was tonight — public comment got very rowdy and I ended up clearing the room twice; finally the Superintendent called in SFPD to help us calm an especially agitated speaker.

I’m not going into all the issues people wanted to talk about — you can watch the meeting once it’s posted if you’re interested.  Generally, people were angry and wanted to tell the Board what was on their minds; that’s fine, but we also need to set reasonable limits on each speaker’s time or the Board will never get to business.  The rules and procedures that govern our meetings seem frustrating (e.g., you have to call in ahead of time or fill out a speaker card before an item is called if you want to speak publicly on that item; your time is set at two minutes or sometimes less, and your mike gets cut off if you ignore the time limit) but they have evolved over time to try to be fair to everyone with business before the Board and to help keep the meetings orderly and efficient.

And there was important business on the Board agenda — the Superintendent’s proposed “bedrock principles” of inclusion were introduced for first reading after a good discussion at the Committee of the Whole on Jan. 15; we also heard an information-packed report from the Bilingual Community Council on all of the issues related to the achievement of our English Learners.  We approved the 2013-14 spending plan for the Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF) ahead of its hearing at the Board of Supervisors next month.

Finally, we discussed a somewhat controversial decision to raise the fee the school district charges charter schools for the use of district facilities — from 95 cents per square foot to $2.79 per square foot — over two years. The fee will rise to $1.87 in 2013-14 and another 92 cents in 2014-15 to reach $2.79 a square foot.  The fee has not increased in at least five years, but the main reason the fee is increasing is because the district realized it could change its formula to consider interior space as opposed to simply the exterior footprint of a building. Other districts, notably LA Unified, already do this, and charge considerably more than SFUSD is proposing. According to information given to the Board by staff this evening, LAUSD charges its charter schools $6 per square foot to occupy district facilities.

We honored members of the PEEF Advisory Committee (my appointee Bayard Fong will complete his service this month after serving a heroic four years; tonight I appointed Mark Murphy to fill his place — my undying gratitude to them both for their service).  We also honored Peer Resources and Mentoring for Success in honor of National Mentoring Month — I was particularly moved and struck by the easy and affectionate rapport between one mentor and her mentee (matched together for their “sassy personalities”) who shared their stories with the Board and the audience. I also loved hearing Mission HS principal Eric Guthertz talk about his experiences mentoring at-risk 9th graders: a best practice that Mission pioneered.

We also recognized the Early Education Department on the occasion of its 70th Anniversary, and heard information on the upcoming African-American Read-In sponsored by the SF Education Fund — elected officials and volunteers from all over San Francisco will read books by African-American authors and/or illustrators to schoolchildren at 16 schools on Monday morning, Feb. 4.

Oh, and last but not least, happy 100th day of school! I still remember helping my daughters with their count-to-100 projects in Kindergarten and how proud they were of the 100 hats they got to wear that day.


January 8, 2013: Meeting recap

gavel“And now it is my pleasure to announce that I have been elected President of the Board of Education.”

It’s kind of strange to chair the annual Board elections and be a candidate at the same time, but with today’s swearing in of new District 7 Supervisor (and outgoing Board President) Norman Yee, I was the only outgoing officer available to chair tonight’s meeting.  I’m honored and humbled to have been unanimously elected President of the Board this evening — thanks to all of my colleagues for their vote of confidence and especially to new Commissioner Matt Haney, who did me the honor of nominating me as a candidate.  Commissioner Sandra Lee Fewer was unanimously elected Vice President of the Board.

Board elections and other procedural business disposed of, we then moved to recognitions and commendations.  Alice Fong Yu Alternative School and its principal Liana Szeto were recognized for receiving two major honors — a National Blue Ribbon School award and the Terrell H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership. It was wonderful to see the joy and pride of the AFY community in celebrating these honors — though the school was asked to bring just three representatives to speak at the meeting, they couldn’t resist bringing at least 13, including parents, teachers, and many students. I will never, ever get tired of hearing what I’m told is perfect Mandarin coming from the mouths of African-American, Irish-American, or Filipino-American students at AFY — it’s one of the jewels in our district and the community is rightly proud.  Washington High School teacher Michelle Kyung was also honored by the Board for winning the Carlston Family Foundation award for outstanding teaching.

Also of particular note on tonight’s agenda was the adoption of the district’s annual financial audit. For the first time anyone can remember, there were no findings  requiring attention or remedies from the Board and district leadership. And the absence of findings isn’t unusual just for SFUSD — it’s unusual for school districts across the country. We have had the same auditor for many years, so it’s also not as if Vavrinek, Trine & Day (our audit firm) are just going easy on us — even in my four years on the Board I have seen them ding us for one thing or another.  Bottom line — it is an indication of fiscal transparency and good stewardship of public funds that we were able tonight to adopt a 100% clean audit.  Or, as our auditor Leonard Dana told the Board tonight: “I’ve never been applauded on presenting an audit before. Auditors never get applauded.”

rev foods sampleCommissioners also had an opportunity to sample meals prepared by our new meal provider, Revolution Foods. On tomorrow’s menu: Spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and 100% beef meatballs; fresh fruit, butternut squash, and baked whole wheat ranch-flavored chips. I would have to say — not bad at all. I am mostly hearing good things about the first two days of meals with our new provider, though there have been a few glitches. I would like to hear from more parents and kids — what’s your experience with the new Revolution Foods meals? Leave a comment or email me at comments “at” rachelnorton.com.

We heard from many members of the Creative Arts Charter School community, who are alarmed at a proposal to co-locate Gateway Middle School at the Annex building on the Golden Gate Elementary School building they have occupied for several years. Creative Arts is a K-8 school that will have about 400 students next year. Gateway Middle is a 6-8 school that will have about 300 students next year, and is managed by the same group that manages Gateway High School, located for many years at the Benjamin Franklin Middle School site on Scott and Geary (about two blocks from the Golden Gate ES site).  Gateway MS has, since the Board first granted its charter in 2010, expressed a strong desire to be near Gateway HS, and serve the Western Addition.

Co-locations are often contentious and I understand that they are not ideal. No one wants to have to compromise about the program they offer their students so that a completely different program with completely different students can share their space.  District officials tell me that they have agreed to a suggestion that the Gateway, CACS and district decision-makers meet to try to come to a resolution that works for all parties. But somehow I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.

I want to close with my sense of humility and gratitude to my colleagues that I’ve been granted this leadership opportunity (and responsibility) this year.  The quote I contributed to the district’s press release reads, in part: “Every Commissioner is utterly committed to increasing student achievement and making sure every student in San Francisco has access to educational opportunity. Our challenge will be to stay focused and make sure that our time and energy is spent crafting policies that best support these priorities.”

Here we go!

And so it begins: Fighting over scraps

It really is looking like we might not get to vote on tax extensions in June after all — though the Governor really could declare any day he wants for a special election (it doesn’t have to happen on a Tuesday or even in June at all!).  But the latest gossip I’m hearing from Sacramento is that now the Governor is talking about bypassing the legislature altogether and putting tax increases on the November ballot through the initiative process (three guesses who might help pay for the signature gathering drive!). Update: here are Brown’s current options, according to a column in the Sacramento Bee.

Anyway, the “catastrophic” Option B is looking more and more like it might come to pass, at least in the short-term. And when Option B happens, constituencies start fighting with each other over their share(s) of the budget.

Tonight’s meeting started off beautifully — we showed a student documentary made about the SOTA mural I wrote about last week, and teacher Heidi Hubrich was on hand to talk about her students and their artistic achievement.  We zipped through three charter school renewals (well, not zipped exactly, there was a lot of public comment and some board discussion about the growing trend of charters using the El Dorado SELPA to deliver special education services rather than using the SFUSD SELPA – it’s a lot cheaper for the charter operators. In general we need to improve the district’s oversight of all of the charters we’ve authorized in the area of special education, but that’s a discussion for another day). Final results: City Arts & Tech HS was renewed on a 6-1 vote; Five Keys Independent HS and Five Keys Charter School, our two charter schools for students incarcerated at the County Jail in San Bruno, were renewed on a 7-0 vote, with nary a dry eye in the process — the story of Five Keys is one that restores your faith in humanity, your faith that people can change, and our conviction that educational opportunity transforms lives.

We had a very interesting discussion on the Board’s expanded Residency Policy – none of the principles in the policy are new, but they had been contained in existing Administrative regulations, procedures and practices that had not been memorialized in a single Board policy. We’ve stepped up residency enforcement as part of implementing the new assignment system, so updating our Board policy with those existing regulations, procedures and practices made sense. What surprised me was that there was any controversy at all about this policy. Several community members have come to every Board discussion about the policy, arguing that the district is giving itself sweeping new powers to enforce residency — but by this logic, any school district that assigns students on the basis of where they live is assuming these kinds of powers. Anyway, the Board voted 6-1 to adopt the policy (Commissioner Fewer voted against it as she feels unwilling to enforce such a policy against graduating seniors, even if they are found to have committed residency fraud). I understand her concerns but I don’t think we can leave any loopholes here — drawing a line around seniors simply encourages families to just “get through” 11th grade and then breathe easily. We have found we have a significant problem with people using false addresses to attend highly-sought after schools in San Francisco: this policy is the right step to address that problem.

Then came public comment – at least two hours of it. A group from Bret Harte Elementary came out to complain about the administration of the Bayview Zone. A group from Carver Elementary  came out to complain about their principal.  A group from Bryant came out to protest the reassignment of some of their teachers, required under the Turnaround model plan that made the school eligible for funds under the Federal School Improvement Grant program for persistently underperforming schools. Finally, a group from Washington HS came out to protest what they called the “very bad” Option A budget scenario and the “catastrophic” Option B budget scenario. The situation at Washington will need more digging, but it appears that a “bubble” senior class will graduate this year, causing an overall drop in year-over-year enrollment at the school. Since enrollment = dollars, the already bad budget is looking really bad at Washington.

Anyway, to tie it all together – all of these issues are, ultimately, about sharing a pie that is not big enough for everyone. Bryant and Carver get dollars they desperately need, but there are strings attached — a beloved principal, or beloved staff have to go in order to accept the funds. These conditions seem awfully abstract and arbitrary to the families in the trenches, and so they are pushing back. There are other management and instructional and systemic issues in play at Washington and Bret Harte as well, but at the core? Money and a fight over who has the power to make decisions.

The other day I was astounded to look back at a news article from 2006 that talked about how ill-funded SFUSD schools were at around $8,000 a student. Now? Even before Option A or Option B, we’re at around $4,000 per student.  But here we are, fighting over scraps, thinking — if we could just hold on to what we have, everything would be OK.

Last up: Commissioner Maufas introduced a resolution to rename Burnett Early Education Center after Leola Havard, a renowned African-American educator administrator whose roots reach deep into the school district (her sister, Lois Sims, was a teacher in the district and her niece, Deborah Sims was the district’s Chief Academic Officer under Superintendent Arlene Ackerman. Collectively, the family has dedicated over 50 years of service to SFUSD).  It turns out that Peter Burnett, the original honoree of the school, was (in the words of Rev. Amos Brown, who addressed the Board this evening) a bully. The first Governor of California, Mr. Burnett was an advocate of banishing African-Americans from the state and while he was at it, Chinese-Americans should go too.  (See this exhaustive history by historian and civil rights leader John William Templeton, who also addressed the Board this evening).  The Board will issue a final vote on this proposal at the April 12 meeting, but I predict it will pass.

And actually,  Rev. Arnold Townsend of the NAACP made a great suggestion tonight, noting that SFUSD would probably have renamed Burnett years ago had anyone bothered to learn about the school’s honoree in the first place. Do you know who/what your child’s school is named after?  Sounds like a perfect 4th grade history lesson as a companion to the obligatory project on the California missions.

Accepted to Gateway MS? Read this

Today I heard from a friend whose child received an acceptance to Gateway MS and is trying to decide between that and another offer. Among the positives for Gateway, the mom told me, is that “you’re in through high school.”

Actually, you’re not. I’ve heard this misconception from a number of people who attended information sessions at Gateway MS,  and I want to make very clear that Gateway Charter MS and the highly-requested Gateway Charter HS are separate schools. Attending Gateway MS will not give students preferential admission to Gateway HS.  I was concerned enough this morning to call Sharon Olken, the head of Gateway HS and the person managing the MS startup, to ask her what parents were being told at information sessions for the middle school.

According to Ms. Olken, Gateway has told families that they hope many MS families will ultimately apply to Gateway HS, and that the school would welcome the opportunity to work with students from 6th to 12th grades. However, she acknowledged that the school is prevented under charter school laws from giving anyone other than siblings preferential admissions to the school.

This is an important thing for families to keep in mind — the Gateway HS lottery is competitive, and I know some families would love a competitive edge if it were available. I was quite clear when I voted for the Gateway MS charter (it squeaked through on a 4-3 vote) that it was a standalone middle school, and I feel strongly that “locking in” middle school families through HS is not fair to all the other families who may, in 7th or 8th grades, realize that Gateway is a good option for their child.

Another day, another meeting recap

Tonight’s regular meeting of the full Board was short, without much of note on the agenda–except:

  • The annual report from our Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF) Community Advisory Committee. This committee is appointed by Board members and the Superintendent, and advises the Board on the funding priorities for the “third-third” of the fund (the PEEF is divided into three parts — early childhood, which is overseen by First Five; Sports, libraries arts and music, or SLAM; and the “third-third,” which can be spent on any education-related use). Last year, much of the third-third was put into reserve to be applied to the district’s budget shortfall, with about $700,000 spent on the implementation of the restorative justice program. In this year’s report, CAC members strongly recommended funding learning support professionals (essentially, counselors) in every elementary and middle school (many positions were cut last year).  We heard powerful testimony from two high school students about the importance of these counselors in helping kids find someone to talk to, stay in school, and get their medical, social and emotional needs met. Once the video of tonight’s meeting is posted, it’s worth watching these two gentlemen tell their stories, because it is powerful testimony of the kind of support this funding is bringing to our students every day.  CAC members also asked for greater transparency in budget decision-making — this past year decisions were made without much explanation or input from CAC members.
  • A discussion about funding for private tutoring programs available to students at Title I schools. Also known as “SES Tutoring,” these funds are made available under NCLB to low-income students to be used for private tutoring services — families have the right to choose any provider from a list approved by each state’s Department of Education, and to receive the service either at home, at school, online, or at another site such as a public library. While no one disputes the fact that low-income students should be given additional resources to fully benefit from their education, it’s completely up to the local districts to make sure whether these private providers are in fact delivering the services they’ve promised, and whether those services are effective. SFUSD gets about $800,000 a year to contract out these services, and commissioners asked a number of questions about the monitoring we’re doing of these providers. It sounds like we are doing the best we can to monitor — and indeed we have tightened up our M.O.U.s with these organizations in recent years — but no one seems to think this is a particularly good use of Federal Title I funds.
  • A resolution asking for the immediate release of Steve Li, a student as City College who has been detained by immigration authorities for almost two months.  This is an almost incomprehensibly unfair case that has received lots of media coverage in recent weeks (advocacy information is here). The resolution passed unanimously.
  • C5 International Charter School petition introduced. The Board will consider the application at the Budget and Curriculum committees in the coming weeks.

Horace Mann and Metro, Part II

Tonight’s Special Meeting of the Board was supposed to be a short, routine affair — adopting the already-approved budget in SACS code format (don’t ask – it’s required by the state before we submit our approved 2010-11 budget document) and a few stray consent calendar items. But it was not to be — not after an angry group of staff and community members at Horace Mann Academic Middle School came to the Board meeting last week to protest the planned co-location of Metro Arts & Tech, a charter High School, at their location. Because the co-location was not on the agenda for the June 22 meeting, Board members agreed to hear a staff presentation and discussion of the plan at tonight’s Special Meeting.

Several dozen members of the public were on hand, with 10-12 Horace Mann staff members and parents speaking against the plan, and a handful of Metro staff and parents (including one student) speaking about their desire to be collaborative partners with the folks at their new school site.

Mary Richards, our Executive Director in charge of K-8 and charter schools, was on hand to give Board members an overview of the sequence of events in the decision to issue a final offer of space at Horace Mann to Metro; David Goldin, our director of facilities, spoke to the facilities issues raised around Metro’s current space at Burton High School, as well as its proposed space at Horace Mann.

Members of the Board expressed extreme frustration at being back here again — fielding complaints from parents and teachers about the district’s failure to make the outcome of the cumbersome annual Prop. 39 process fully transparent and timely. Of course, no one is ever happy about sharing a school facility with another institution — it presents big logistical headaches on top of the already significant day-to-day challenges at a school site. Still, Horace Mann’s principal, former Board of Education member Mark Sanchez, had engaged in informal discussions with Metro over the fall and winter, thinking that a partnership with the charter school could be a good opportunity for his students — who attend a school that is among the lowest-achieving in the district. After Metro turned down the district’s preliminary offer to remain at Burton for another year, discussions began in earnest. The picture gets very fuzzy here, according to the timelines the Board was given tonight, but several things are clear: Continue reading

The budget is adopted, with a whimper

Tonight the Board unanimously adopted the Superintendent’s proposed budget for 2010-11. It wasn’t exactly a happy moment — how can you be happy at such a budget, which leaves virtually no program in the district unscathed? But I do think we conducted a good process, with lots of community input and engagement. Amazingly, there was only one member of the public who came to the meeting to speak to us on the proposed cuts — I would say we’re starting to learn how to do this better (now we have to do an information (re)design for the budget document itself — next year).

The cuts that hurt the most are:

  • Eliminating virtually all summer school, except for special education students and seniors who are in danger of not being able to graduate (a $4.6 million cut approved back in January);
  • Eliminating all high school transportation (a $1.7 million cut);
  • Shortening the school year by four days (a savings of $9.2 million).

There were scores of other cuts — reductions in art and music programs, nurses, counselors and staff professional development among them — but we squeaked through this year, bloody but still alive.

The Board also unanimously passed a recommendation from the Superintendent to prohibit the expenditure of any District funds on the travel and/or attendance of SFUSD staff or Commissioners to any and all conferences and meetings in Arizona, as a response to two recent laws passed there. The first (SB 1070) has sparked nationwide protests because it authorizes law enforcement to investigate a person’s immigration status when they suspect that a person might be in the United States illegally. The second, House  Bill 2281, prohibits public schools from teaching Ethnic Studies. In addition, the Arizona Department of Education has (incredibly) ordered its school districts to remove and/or prohibit teachers with accents from teaching English classes.

My tweet announcing this action of the Board sparked quite a debate among my Facebook friends, so I’m pointing everyone here so that I can say first that I am proud of the Superintendent and the General Counsel for bringing us this resolution, for reasons that are deeply felt and strongly rooted in our values as a school district. Second, I was proud to support it. The ignorant and discriminatory actions being taken by Arizonans who should know better affect all of us as Americans, and it’s important to stand up and be counted as an opponent to these unjust laws.  The Superintendent’s resolution quotes Martin Luther King, Jr.’s caution that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” but I’m also reminded of  “First they came . . .” , a famous poem by German theologian Martin Niemöller, on the need to stand up to tyranny. Finally, it’s not “parochial” to prohibit our district’s money from being spent in a state that has proclaimed values so opposed to our own. If that means others will retaliate because Californians passed Prop. 8, so be it — I’d love for such a boycott to change some minds in other parts of the state and reverse our own unjust gay marriage ban.

We heard a report from a staff committee that is studying moving the high school start time to later in the morning. Currently, most of our high schools start at 8 a.m., with a few offering a “zero period” starting at 7:30 a.m. National research shows that most teens don’t get enough sleep, and this lack of sleep affects their academic performance and behavior. In addition, a representative from the SFPD was on hand to discuss the department’s data that incidents spike in the hours between 3 and 5 p.m., indicating that unsupervised teens might be at least part of that problem. (Chief Gascon, it appears, would like to see SFUSD supervise high school students a bit later into the afternoon).  But for every pro identified by the committee, there is also a con — higher transportation costs, obstacles for teens who play sports or work after school, as well as implications for start times throughout our school system. So while the Board remains receptive to the idea of starting high schools later, all of us urged a slow, deliberative process with lots of opportunities to engage parents, staff and others in the discussion.  In other words, this change is under consideration, but won’t happen anytime soon.

Among other items approved tonight:

  • The district’s request for almost $50 million in “SIG” (School Improvement Grants) funds from the Federal government as part of our plan to improve achievement at our 10 persistently underperforming schools.  The request doesn’t mean we’ll actually GET the $50 million, but at least we’re giving it the old college try.
  • A contract for $45,000 for an Inclusive Practices Specialist for our Child Development Program. This effort is LONG overdue and I believe it will save us many more thousands in the long run — the lack of inclusive programs in our Pre-K offerings is a major weakness currently.

Finally, a large group from Horace Mann Academic Middle School came to speak during general public comment to protest the news that they will be sharing their campus with Metro Arts and Tech charter high school operated by Envision Schools. There’s a back story here that has yet to fully emerge, but it appears that the Horace Mann community was first told they would not have to share space; this week an article in Mission Local indicated that the co-location was already a done deal. The staff and families of Horace Mann are justifiably angry at being left out of the loop — in one particularly dramatic moment a father pointed his finger at the Superintendent and recalled his time 17 years ago as a student at Horace Mann when Mr. Garcia was the principal. Anyway, Mr. Garcia handled the criticism without emotion and simply said that he had not been aware of the staff action that had set in motion the plan to co-locate the schools. But because the item was not on tonight’s agenda, legal counsel suggested the Board take it up at another meeting that could be properly noticed. That meeting will now occur Monday evening, June 28, at 5:45 p.m. in the Board room.

Charter extension denied to low-scoring Stanford school

What a sad story, which I somehow missed when it came out almost two weeks ago.  The Ravenswood City School District apparently denied a five-year extension to a charter school created by Stanford’s School of Education after the school landed on the state’s “persistently low-achieving” list. The Board will consider a two-year extension but the prospects are not clear.

For those of us in education who are fighting the current narrative that traditional public schools are irrevocably flawed and failing, this news incites a strong urge to say, I told you so! Diane Ravitch says it more diplomatically in the article:

“Maybe this demonstrates that schools alone cannot solve the very deep problems kids bring to school,” said Diane Ravitch, the education scholar and historian. “You cannot assume that schools alone can raise achievement scores without addressing the issues of poverty, of homelessness and shattered families.”

The news probably also demonstrates that the state’s “persistently low-achieving” list is fundamentally flawed and unfair. Linda Darling-Hammond, the widely-respected Stanford professor who helped start the school, said as much:

Ms. Darling-Hammond — who told the board that the school “takes all kids” and changes their “trajectory” — was angered by the state’s categorization of the charter as a persistently worst-performing school. “It is not the most accurate measure of student achievement,” she said, “particularly if you have new English language learners.”

I’m sure Stanford created and has overseen the school with the best of intentions, and in the end it’s very sad to me that the idealism, academic pedigree and resources the university brought to the Stanford New School have not been able to boost the academic outcomes of underprivileged children.

Recap: Whose side are you on? And when is the meeting?

Tonight’s regularly-scheduled Board meeting was a particularly contentious one, thanks to the current state of our contract negotiations and the ongoing uncertainty at schools the state has now designated as persistently underperforming. We must have had at least 70 speakers for public comment, even after President Kim limited the amount of time each group had to speak.

First up: a group of parents and community members who wanted to express their bewilderment and outrage at the state’s decision to name their schools–George Washington Carver Elementary and Willie Brown Elementary–to the  persistently underperforming list and subjecting these schools to sanctions. The families are worried that the district will opt to close these schools, and distrustful of assurances that there is no plan to close them (even though the state and the Federal government say that closure is one of the options we must consider). Superintendent Garcia tonight reiterated those assurances, but did suggest that there is a future possibility that we might temporarily close Willie Brown in order to build a better facility.

Continue reading

How are charters doing? It depends.

In today’s Washington Post, there’s a nice summary of the latest research on achievement in charter schools. Two decades in, the report says, there isn’t definitive evidence either way on whether the national experiment with deregulating education has made any difference on the nation’s report card:

“The people who said this was going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread were wrong,” said Robert Maranto, a University of Arkansas professor of education reform, who counts himself in that group. “The people who said it would be a calamity were equally wrong.”

And in The New York Times today,  there is a report on the increasing conflict resulting from the competition between charters and traditional public schools for space. New York City has been much more welcoming to charters than many other school districts, but its charter expansion has caused tension. In one anecdote, a public middle school has to sacrifice its library to accomodate a charter high school — maybe it’s just me, but that kind of sounds like cutting off your nose to spite your face.