$2B Controlled By Smart Schools

Proverbs 22:7: The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

New York State is luring school districts into compliance with their failing educational practices by promising millions of dollars if they will prepare their schools to teach children to “participate in tomorrow’s economy.”

The Smart Schools Executive Summary begins with a misnomer meant to create concern for the lack of technology in the classroom. According to the report, the necessity for technology is that it “helps students gain the skills they need to compete for in-demand jobs in the 21st century economy.”

The summary continues, “furthermore, equipping all students with up-to-date tools is essential to ensure that New York State’s students develop the skills they need to become competitive participants in the 21st century economy.

There are seven “Keys to Success for Achieving a Smart School”.

1. Embrace and expand online learning . . .
2. Utilize transformative technologies . . . to deliver differentiated instruction . . .
3. Connect every school to high-speed broadband . . . and deliver sufficient wireless capability to serve every student. . .
4. Extend connectivity beyond the classroom . . .
5. Provide high-quality, continuous professional development . . . to ensure successful integration of technology into the teaching and learning experience.
6. Focus on in-demand STEM skills . . .
7. Plan, plan, and plan again

It seems as though Governor Cuomo and Microsoft have made a $2 billion dollar deal to push forward the Common Core testing regimen that has every student in every school taking standardized tests at the same time, on computers that collect data on the physical and emotional responses of our children to their assessments.

The plan is to capture this data in real time so that it can be utilized immediately to control the spending habits of our youth to insure their future profits.

Educational dollars must be spent on providing America’s children with a developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential education that concentrates on engaging their gifts and talents to build within them the confidence necessary to become concerned, respectful, responsible adults that take an active role in their government and its efficient and effective operation.

Our children are more important than their profits.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

The $2B Smart Schools Bond Act

The Smart Schools Commissioners, Eric Schmidt, Geoffrey Canada, and Constance Evelyn, released their final report to Governor Cuomo on, “the state and future of classroom technology and broadband connectivity in New York’s public schools and communities, along with a series of Smart Schools Keys to Success for school districts to consider.”

The commission was charged with, “advising the State, based on research and proven best practices, on how best to invest the proposed $2 billion in Smart Schools Bond Act to enhance teaching and learning through technology.”

The commission states that their report, “reflects the input of hundreds of parents, teachers, students, administrators, and private stakeholders convened in a series of public symposiums, staff meetings, school and facility tours, and through our website. . .”

The commission ends their introductory letter by saying, “It (the report) provides school districts with a roadmap to plan for and implement a technology-driven overhaul of their schools that enhances student achievement and prepares students to participate in tomorrow’s economy.”

The proposed allocation for Rochester would be $47,234,577, if they qualified, money that tax payers will have to repay, will have to be spent on technology and facilities.

Not all districts will receive Smart School funding, districts must submit an investment plan to receive grant funding.

There is a provision within the Smart Schools plan that states, “Any classroom technology purchased by a school district with Smart Schools funding must be made available, upon request, to students attending non-public schools within the same school district.”

It is reported that approved spending, “would have to fit the legislation passed by lawmakers earlier this year. Specifically, the bond would have to be spent on equipment like whiteboards, laptops and tablets; installing high-speed or wireless internet; or installing “high-tech security features” in schools.”

It is time we invest in our children by providing every child in America with a developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential education that discovers, develops, and directs their gifts and talents so that they can grow to become respectful, caring, responsible adults.

We want smart children not smart schools.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Concern Is Growing

Last night more than a hundred gathered to have an open dialogue regarding Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow.

The concern, the lack of equality in our judicial system that unfairly arrests, prosecutes, convicts, and incarcerates certain groups of Americans.

In the conversation it became evident that those who work in the justice system are more than concerned with the inequities that exist but also realize that the school to prison pipeline that feeds the prison system is responsible for the failure of our children to realize their true potential.

Using statistics to disseminate the causes of the failure of education does little to solve the problems that are contained within a system that was designed to fail a certain population of children.

Quoting those statistics to distract concerned citizens from the truth and convincing parents and educators to “fix what is wrong” is the same process used on our children to siphon billions out of education funding in the name of Special Education.

Our current system of education cannot be fixed because it isn’t broken. It is working exactly the way is was intended.

We can no longer be distracted by the causes of our children’s educational failure but must concentrate on changing the system of education so that it focuses on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of America’s children.

When we provide an excellent, developmentally appropriate education, delivered by knowledgeable, caring, dedicated educators in small class sizes so that interpersonal relationships can be formed between the teacher, parent, and student, the failure rate will decrease.

When educators can construct a curriculum that addresses the individual gifts and talents of their students that is based in the arts and provides for experiential learning opportunities that engage and excite learning, educational failure will turn into success.

When we allow our educators to be passionate about their gifts and talents and to use that passion to excite the creative process within their students, educational success will be realized.

Concern is growing, change is inevitable, success is a reality.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Respect Will End Bullying

Nobullying.com reports: “When children turn into bullies, there is almost always a psychological reason why they do so. While the majority of children don’t turn to bullying, the ones that do are usually crying out for help. The circumstances a child has dealt with in their life determine whether or not they will become a bully.

. . . When a child has become a bully, they want to show their dominance over other children and be admired by their schoolmates for it. Children who bully others want to receive affection and since they are not, they turn to picking on other kids.

. . . Many times, children who are bullies have suffered some form of abuse in their life. As a result, they often have trouble controlling both their actions and their emotions. They often struggle with psychological problems and drug and alcohol abuse as well as delinquency.

. . . Some kids will bully others simply because they think it is fun. And when teachers don’t do enough, or even worse, do nothing to stop the bullying the problem only becomes worse. Without an adult intervening, some kids see nothing wrong with bullying others. There are also many cases where parents set a bad example for their children which leads them to believe it is okay to be a bully.”

The only way to end bullying is to end the self-hatred that creates the bully.

Teaching children that they are gifted and talented, that they have something wonderful to offer the world will end the bullying that our children, parents, and teachers are exposed to everyday.

Providing every child in America with an excellent education that is developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential, and delivered by caring, dedicated adults that know through their gifts and talents they can show their students how to be proud of themselves by using their gifts and talents to make the world a better place.

We must work to change the system of education so that our children will respect themselves and others for the wonderful contributions they make to their school, community and world.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Disable the System – Support Our Children’s Gifts And Talents

Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities: >Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services.

Purpose of Program: The purposes of this program are to (1) help address State-identified needs for personnel preparation in special education, early intervention, related services, and regular education to work with children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities; and (2) ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in serving those children.

Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute. . .

Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

The purpose of the Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services priority is to improve the quality and increase the number of personnel who are fully credentialed to serve children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities—especially in areas of chronic personnel shortage—by supporting projects that prepare special education, early intervention, and related services personnel at the baccalaureate, master’s, and specialist levels. State demand for fully credentialed special education, early intervention, and related services personnel to serve infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities exceeds the available supply (Bruder, 2004a; Bruder, 2004b; McLeskey & Billingsley, 2008; McLeskey, Tyler, & Flippin, 2004). These shortages of fully credentialed personnel can negatively affect the quality of services provided to infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and their families (McLeskey et al., 2004).

Our children are gifted and talented and the federal government should be spending educational dollars educating teachers on how best to discover, develop, and direct those gifts and talents in order to teach our infants, toddlers, elementary, and secondary, students that that are wonderfully talented and their gifts will create a loving, more enlightened society.

Our children deserve to have their gifts and talents recognized.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Charter A Trip To Distraction

While some wonder if charter schools are the answer to the failure of public education to provide our neediest children with an excellent education the question still remains, “Why aren’t public schools providing the same type of education charter schools are able to provide their students?”

With State and Federal funding available to financially support public school systems with the highest concentrations of poverty the ability to offer their student populations a child centered, developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential education, delivered by knowledgeable and dedicated professional educators in a class size that allows the student and their family to develop an interpersonal relationship that extends to the entire school community, the discussion of whether or not to support charter schools becomes moot.

When Federal and State legislation and policy dictate practice, education becomes profitable as the “hedgehogs” push their data driven ideals upon our children.

We must ignore the distractions placed before us and concentrate on changing the system of education so that our children become the focus of our educational intentions.

When we acknowledge and educate the gifts and talents all of our children possess, the affect and effect will be the evolution of our society into the America it was intended to be; a nation of knowledgeable, respectful, concerned citizens that are involved in their government and elect leaders who represent their voice in the Senate and Congress in order to make the best decision for the entire nation according to majority rule.

The interest of education must be our children and not the dollars and data it takes to educate them. Our concentration must be on what our children can do and making them proud to do it.

Our teachers must be proud of their gifts and talents and be able to use them to excite and engage their students on a personal level that the Federal and State have no way to evaluate other than the successful, positive communities that will grow out of that pride.

We must ignore the distractions and fight for change.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Respect Trumps Poverty

The Democrat & Chronicle reported, “Some of the Rochester School District’s most persistent critics took their protest to the home of Board of Education president Van White on Tuesday, marching in the rain and railing against the district’s alleged failure to properly engage with parents.”

The Rochester City School District creates an educational disparity by not offering our children the opportunity to experience all of the engaging and culturally responsive learning venues in Rochester and its surrounding areas as a regular part of their education. Walking to school and being bused to a museum shows respect for the child and the process of learning.

The disrespect shown our students is also shown to their parents and teachers.

This creates another disparity that exists within most large urban areas of concentrated poverty.

When district leaders know and understand that the urban community, to which they should be responsive, has no voting voice parents are discounted. When teachers allow their union to make their voting decisions for them, they are discounted.

The only relevant voice then becomes that of the “hedgehogs”. Our children’s failure is directly tied to their profit margin; the more they fail, the more they make.

The only way to gain the respect of elected leaders is to raise our voice through our votes.

If parents feel that they are not being heard by their elected leaders they have the opportunity to vote them out in four years.

Our children have been experiencing educational failure for decades and the incumbents are consistently re-elected.

Our children deserve our best interest in the policies and procedures of the system that is supposed to educate them.

It is incumbent upon every adult of voting age to raise their voice to change the system of education so that it concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of our children.

When we stand together and show respect for each other, our children will begin to respect the adults in their environment and then they can have respect themselves.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Understanding The Difference

Poverty: The state of being poor; a lack of something.

Socioeconomic status: Of, relating to, or involving a combination of social and economic factors.

Disparity: containing or made up of fundamentally different and often incongruous elements; markedly distinct in quality or character.

From the blogger janresseger we are told,

“At a Federal Reserve Conference on Economic Opportunity & Inequality in Boston last week, Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve Chair, delivered a speech on inequality in which, according to Bloomberg Business Week, she said, “public education spending is often lower for students in lower-income households than for students in higher-income households,” and described inequality in public education funding as a primary factor that blocks opportunity.”

When public education concentrates on engaging the gifts and talents of all of our children, it will begin to address the disparities that exist within our current system of education to reduce the impoverished conditions of our urban populations.

Keeping children inside school buildings preparing for tests does little to address the conditions of poverty that deny families the opportunity to visit museums, art galleries, cultural centers, other cities, states, or countries.

When public education concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of our children, the more than four billion dollars of educational funding will be spent providing all of these and more opportunities for all children so that they can observe, discuss, and learn together in a positive nurturing environment, surrounded by knowledgeable, caring adults who provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum to their students while forming interpersonal relationships with families within the entire school community.

Janressenger ends with this, “Janet Yellen named public spending on education as a primary “building block for expanding opportunity.” A pattern of continued tax cutting and austerity budgeting across state governments is instead deepening inequality.”

It is time we understand the difference between addressing poverty and ending the disparity that exists in our current system of education. All of our children deserve to experience all life has to offer so they can offer life all they have.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Our Children, Our Taxes, Our System Of Education

On Thursday, October 23, 2014, parents will gather outside the RCSD’s Central Office Building to protest the failure of our educational leaders to successfully educate our children. The protest is taking place because parents are no longer willing to remain silent about what is happening to their children in the bi-lingual and special education programs within the district.

On Monday, October 27, 2014, from 7 PM – 8 PM, Greater Rochester Parent to Parent has been invited to share their “Common Core 101″ presentation at the Greece Assembly of God, 750 Long Pond Road, Rochester, NY. They have been traveling the area for the past year informing parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens about what they have learned of the “reform” movement affecting our schools, and most importantly our children. In their presentation they address the myths commonly presented as explanations for No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. Their goal is to help to “kick-start the research process for those just learning about what is going on in our schools.”

Parents, teachers, citizens are realizing that our current system of education must be changed, not reformed.

As we become more informed about the process of failure inherent within our current system of education, we become more aware of the necessity to change the focus of education so that it concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of our children.

Urban parents are dissatisfied with the lack of respect their children are given in the current system education. They are dissatisfied with the lack of respect they receive when they try to advocate for their children.

Suburban parents are dissatisfied with the intimidating practices of No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top.

Rural parents are dissatisfied with the unconscionable cuts to their already waning budgets.

It is time to come together and tell our educational leaders that we will no longer be disrespected, intimidated, or held hostage by lack of funding.

These are our children and our tax dollars, it is time we make our schools provide our children with an excellent education.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Beliefs, Perspectives, Attitudes

Belief: A feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true; a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable; a feeling of trust in the worth or ability of someone; a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing; a tenet or body of tenets held by a group; conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence. Merriam Webster Dictionary

Perspective: The interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed; the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance; the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions. Webster

Attitude: The way you think and feel about someone or something; a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person’s behavior; a way of thinking and behaving that people regard as unfriendly, rude; a mental position with regard to a fact or state; a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state; an organismic state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus; a negative or hostile state of mind; a cool, cocky, defiant, or arrogant manner. Webster

Our beliefs determine our perspectives towards the attitudes we display through our behaviors.

By teaching our children to believe in themselves as gifted and talented, with something wonderful to offer their family, neighborhood, community, city, state, nation, and world, we begin to change the self-hatred taught to them by the current system of education that concentrates on classifying our children according to their perceived disability ignoring the child’s gifts and talents in order to strengthen what they were not chosen to do.

Changing the system of education so that it concentrates on the gifts and talents of every child will change our perspective and ultimately our behaviors towards becoming a more positive, respectful, responsible citizenry.

We will then achieve the America it was intended to be, a strong, powerful, righteous nation.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

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