Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

NCLB Outrages

Freedom of Information

Dr. Jay Spuck's experience shows that when dealing with the U. S. Department of Education, the Freedom of Information Act means we have the freedom to try to get information.

From: Jay Spuck [mailto:jspuck@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 11:55 AM
To: Spellings, Margaret
Cc: Simon, Ray; Arrington, Angela; Cueva, Maria-Teresa; spuck@cl.uh.edu

Subject: One Year Today and FOIA Remains

Unanswered--DoE out of compliance

Importance: High

Secretary Spellings:

On December 18, 2005, one year ago today, I submitted the following simple, straight-forward FOIA request to the United States Department of Education:

Pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, I request access to and copies of Secretary Rod Paige's calendar reflecting entries, including but not limited to, meetings, receptions, interviews, speeches, professional conferences, social events, travel, vacation, one-on-one conversations, teleconferences from December 2001 through August 2002. Additionally, please provide copies of all correspondence or communication in any form between Secretary Roderick Paige and the Superintendent of Houston Independent School District and/or any Houston ISD employee or board trustee during the same time frame of December 2001 through August 2002.

I would like to receive the information in electronic format.

I agree to pay reasonable duplication fees for the processing of this request in an amount not to exceed $100.00. However, please notify me prior to your incurring any expenses in excess of that amount.

If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I will also expect you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. I, of course, reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to deny a waiver of fees.

I look forward to your reply within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Thank you for your assistance.

Dr. Jay Spuck

From: "Arrington, Angela"
To: "Jay Spuck"
CC: "Simon, Ray" ,"Cueva, Maria-Teresa" ,"Wexler, Rob" ,"Garland, Teresa"
Subject: RE: One Year Today and FOIA Remains Unanswered--DoE out of compliance
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 13:40:34 -0500

Dr. Spuck,
Our office has checked with the offices that are processing your FOIA request. They are still reviewing responsive documents.

Once again, we regret the delay in responding to your request.

Thank you.


Angela Arrington
Department Of Education - OM
550 12th St. SW - Room 9156
Washington, DC 20004
work (202) 245-6409

Ohanian Note: Angela's answer is one of repeated stalls. Keep reading.

After repeated attempts to hold the DoE responsible for adhering to the statute requirements, I received on March 13, 2006 the following email advising me that the responsive documents were being reviewed in the legal department:

Dr. Spuck,
We have been notified by the Office of the Secretary that responsive
documents have been pulled and are in review in our General Counsel's
Office. I will check with that office to see when the documents will be
ready for release.

Thank you,

Angela Arrington
Department Of Education - OM
550 12th St. SW - Room 9156
Washington, DC 20004
work (202) 245-6409

Below is another attempt to receive the documents even after Senator Hutchinson's office intervened on my behalf:

From: Jay Spuck [mailto:jspuck@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 5:38 PM
To: Arrington, Angela
Subject: RE: FOIA Request 06-00242-F

It has been almost five months since my original request. I have
appealed to
Senator Hutchinson's office for assistance in this matter. Please
respond as
to why this request has not been fulfilled.

Thank you.

Dr. Jay Spuck

The email that follows is the last correspondence I have received from the Department of Education concerning this FOIA request even though I have made other inquiries since this message was received on October 27, 2006:

> From : Cueva, Maria-Teresa

Sent : Friday, October 27, 2006 7:34 AM
To : "Jay Spuck"
CC : "Arrington, Angela"
Subject : Copy of Message to Senator Hutchison re 06-00242-F

— Dr. Jay Spuck


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.