Leaders Are People Too – Get To Know Them

Last night the Green Party hosted a “get to know you” event for their Gubernatorial candidate, Howie Hawkins.

It was an informative event. Mr. Hawkins’ political platform centers on reforming government so that the power of government rests in the hands of the people.

Though education is currently a “hot” political topic candidates and those already elected to office do not yet grasp the importance of the necessity to change the language of education so that it concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of our children.

Candidates know the problems that have been featured in the media, common core, testing, evaluations, union vs non-union, data mining, however, none of the candidates or incumbents speak of changing the language of education.

Everyone agrees that our children are gifted and talented.

Everyone agrees that we should accentuate those gifts and talents in order to create a sense of pride and accomplishment in our children.

Everyone agrees that those who have physical and intellectual challenges in their lives can overcome those challenges to become respectful, responsible members of our society by employing the gifts and talents with which they were born.

Once we change the language of education to reflect the importance of a developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential curriculum that excites and inspires the students, teachers, parents, and every member of the school community because it is locally developed by dedicated educators who are inter-personally connected to their students and their students’ families, we will begin to see a positive change in the inter-personal relationships within our neighborhoods, cities, states, and eventually our nation.

As a nation of citizens, concerned with the direction of our current system of education, it is incumbent upon us to educate our current leaders and candidates to the importance of changing the focus of education so that it concentrates on our children and their gifts and talents.

The strength of our nation, the power of our government will become evident when we begin to teach our children how strong and powerful they are.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Publicity, Propaganda, & Critical Review

A New York Times writer, Amanda Ripley wrote a book titled, “The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way” that was placed on the New York Times best seller list.

It was given 4 out of 5 stars by Barnes & Nobel, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Several individuals, viewed by the public as authorities on the subject of education were asked to comment on the text.

“This book gives me hope that we can create education systems of equity and rigor–if we heed the lessons from top performing countries and focus more on preparing teachers than on punishing them.” Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

“If you care about education, you must read this book. By recounting what three intrepid kids learned from the rest of the world, it shows what we can learn about how to fix our schools. . .” Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin.

The Monroe County Library asked Dr. William Cala, Interim Superintendent of Fairport Schools, to read and review the book for their patrons.

His summarized review: While Ripley’s work is presented as research based, it is anecdotal not research, the conclusions that she draws from the stories she reports are questionable, the study is based on PISA scores alone, the small sample students chosen are not representative of students in the United States and the time spent following those students, one year, is not long enough to have gained relevant data.

Dr. Cala states, “She (Ripley) totally ignores decades of research.”

It is important to know and understand who the leaders in education are and what they are saying.

“Hedgehogs” have the funding to promote their propaganda to the nation to make us believe that standardizing our children to retrofit their job market should be the goal of education.

Dr. Cala states, “The reason for schooling, especially public education, is to make good people, to make good citizens and to discover the skills and the talents of the individual. . .”

We must ignore the publicity and propaganda and pay attention to our children.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Know What They Say And Hold Them To It

Yesterday, Assemblyman Harry Bronson, 138th Assembly District leader and State Senator Ted O’Brien of Legislative District 55, spoke to concerned parents and community members at the Sully Library about their plans to secure educational tax dollars owed to the Rochester City School District and others across New York State.

Assemblyman Bronson’s record of educational support:
Sponsored legislation relating to education:
A02615: Relates to funds for innovation grants for programs to create public/private partnerships to develop and implement innovative, technology-based learning.

A09110: Directs the commissioner of education to establish an online learning
committee to make recommendations for establishment of a statewide online and blended learning program.

Co-Sponsored legislation relating to education:
A10168 Relates to temporary provisions for the implementation of common core learning standards; provides alternative calculation methods for any classroom teacher or building principal rated as ineffective or developing in an annual professional performance review calculated pursuant to section 3012-c of the education law for the 2013-14 and/or 2014-15 school years.

Assemblyman Bronson stated, “Education is the great equalizer. . . funding is a tool to reduce class sizes, to have quality curriculum in the classroom, to make sure that our teachers are able to provide more one-on-one attention, and to make sure that our children have {the} opportunity. . .”

Senator O’Brien’s record of educational support:
Senator O’Brien has sponsored no legislation concerning education.

Senator O’Brien stated, “Public education should not be the result of fortuitous circumstances. Public education should be funded for everyone to have that opportunity. . . Your educational opportunities shouldn’t be the result of when your number comes up on a waiting list.”

Both Assemblyman Bronson and Senator O’Brien are saying the right things and it is up to us, the people, to make sure that the bills they sponsor and co-sponsor support what they say to the public.

Our children deserve our due diligence to make sure that our elected officials fight for their right to an excellent education that discovers, develops, and directs their gifts and talents towards becoming respectful, caring human beings, leaders in their community, not simply college and career ready workers.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Goals Determine Outcomes

The charter school movement and the charter school reality are very different.

“Early critics feared that charter schools would lure the highest-performing and most gifted students from centrally administered public schools. Instead, charter schools have tended to attract low-income, minority, and low-performing students.” Wikipedia

Once these privately run, publicly funded schools began to open across the country, the “cash cow” that is our children’s educational future became the meat upon which the “hedge hogs” began to feed.

“The goal in Buffalo should be to expand access to high quality seats, regardless of whether those seats are in district schools or charter schools.” Education Department spokesman Jonathan Burman

The goal of education should be to provide every child in America with an excellent education in public schools supported by public funds.

If charter schools have the answer to providing an excellent education to their student body, then public school leaders, school boards, superintendents, administrators, and principals should be learning from them and administering the same excellent education in their districts and schools.

To dismantle public education and reassemble it in the form of charter schools so that private entities can siphon off public tax dollars to shore up their profit margins is unconscionable.

Dismantling the public school system destroys the American ideal of freedom and justice for all and supports the misguided notion that money is the answer to the problems we face as human beings.

Providing every child in America with an excellent, free and public education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their gifts and talents, delivered by dedicated, passionate, knowledgeable, teachers who can construct a developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential lesson that engages and inspires their students to become passionate, dedicated, knowledgeable adults is the only way to realize the America that it was intended to be; the world leader in democracy, freedom, and justice for all.

Before America can lead the world, we must begin to move in the right direction.

Providing every child in America with an excellent, free and public education will lead us to success.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule states: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

Respect: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

The Federal government is offering $100,000.00 to organizations willing to work with “disconnected” youths.

The grant abstract does not identify these young people nor does it say from what they have been disconnected in order to reconnect them to whatever it is they are missing.

It is clear however, that at some time during their education, many of our young people have become disconnected from someone or something.

Though there has been a concentration of attention on the common core, testing, teacher evaluations, data mining, and even more attention given to poverty and institutionalized racism as being connected to the failure of our children to thrive educationally, it is the disconnect from the Golden Rule and Respect for self and others that has caused the failure of our children to thrive as human beings.

Our current system of education shows no respect for our children nor does it treat them they way the adults who control the system expect to be treated.

Until we treat ourselves with respect by following the Golden Rule, our children will continue to be disconnected from the knowledge that they possess wonderful gifts and talents that they can call upon to help them solve the every day challenges of life.

Discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of our children teaches them to respect themselves and to respect the gifts and talents of others, supporting the Golden Rule.

Connecting our children to the history of man, teaches them that though they are not perfect, they possess the power to make this world a better place in which everyone can live peacefully.

Changing the system of education so that it concentrates on maintaining the connection between our children and the Golden Rule of Respect means creating an entirely new system of education that concentrates on preparing All children for a successful future.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Leadership

Leadership: The position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group.

There are sixty-six schools in the Rochester City School District and fifty-five of them are either Priority or Focus schools.

If there were eleven failing schools and fifty-five successful ones, you could say that educational success is the goal of the district; evidently the opposite is true.

Failure fuels funding for urban and rural school districts and large corporations who control education policy and procedure through their monetary contributions, support the failure of these districts in order to provide their “hedgehog” profits.

When we change education so that it concentrates on the gifts and talents of all children, the failure of our children will no longer be an option for districts who serve an under-experienced population of children.

We must remove the “cost” of education from the equation of successfully educating our children and understand that the “value” of an excellent education far outweighs the cost whatever it may be.

Replacing costly standardized testing and its moot evaluation process with the arts and experiences have been proven to provide children with the foundation necessary to be successful at every grade level and on into life.

Having researched based information to refer to that supports the arts and experiential learning as being key to a child’s educational success means that the leadership of the Rochester City School District is either unaware of the research or is willing to ignore the research in favor of the demands of those who control the money the district receives.

It is time that all stakeholders in the education community demand that the leadership of the Rochester City School District do what is best for our children and begin to concentrate on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of our children.

It is time we demand that our failing school leaders be replaced by those who believe in our children and have the ability to support the gifts and talents of their entire school community.

Change the leadership, change the outcome.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

The Movement Is Gaining Momentum

Last night, Coalition for Justice in Education and Writers and Books presented the third in a series of eight forums that discuss issues of concern in education today.

Each forum has been well attended and last night was no exception.

Parents, teachers, and community members are beginning to realize that the problems in education are inherent within our current system of education which is designed to perpetuate the fear and control of American citizens through the standardization and dehumanization of education.

It is becoming apparent to many that the problems within our current system of education affect all of our children.

No child, urban, suburban, rural, of color, not of color, middle income, impoverished, and even the child of the wealthy, can escape the stress, fear, and intimidation that is the foundation of our current system of education.

Concerned educational stakeholders are beginning to recognize that our children deserve to be seen as gifted and talented not disabled.

We, as a community, are beginning to realize that our children are more than a test score.

We are beginning to understand that our children are meant to achieve more than a job or a college degree and that all Americans deserve the promise of America “freedom and justice for all”.

It is time now to work diligently to change education so that it concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all children.

In order to do that teachers must be free to engage their gifts and talents passionately so that they can engage and excite their students to become impassioned life-long learners.

Parents must be free to share their gifts and talents in the classroom, showing their child and others the importance of education and the relevance of their contribution to every child’s social and emotional development.

Once we change the focus of education we can change the direction of America towards becoming the model for true democracy, independence, freedom, and justice for all.

Our children are our future, educate them properly and let them lead the world.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

More Data Collection

Comment Request: Evaluation of Preschool Special Education Practices Phase I

The main objective of the Evaluation of Preschool Special Education Practices, Phase I study is to assess the feasibility of conducting a large-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluation of one or more curricula or interventions that are used with preschool children with disabilities to promote their learning of language, literacy, social-emotional skills, and/or appropriate behavioral skills for school. The feasibility assessment will consider the core features of an evaluation design, including the following: (1) Curricula and/or interventions to be evaluated; (2) Study context and participants; and (3) Key design elements, such as the counterfactual condition, unit of assignment, target minimum detectable effects (MDEs), sample size, and data collection plans.

Data to inform the feasibility assessment will be obtained through surveys of school district preschool special education coordinators and state Section 619 coordinators, the subject of the current submission Preschool special education coordinators in school districts and state Section 619 coordinators will provide information to address the study’s overarching research question—whether there are promising curricula and interventions for preschool children with disabilities for which a large-scale effectiveness trial would be feasible and add value to the field. The district survey will be administered in a nationally representative sample of 1,200 school districts serving preschool children with disabilities as a 30-minute web survey. The state survey will be administered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia as a 10-minute editable PDF survey. Data collection for each survey will begin in April 2015.

The feasibility assessment will also be informed by use of extant data and conduct of an evidence review. In addition to collected survey data, extant data will provide information about preschool special education programs, the curricula and interventions that are available and supported by these programs, and the context in which curricula and interventions are delivered to inform decisions about key design elements. The evidence review will identify promising curricula and interventions for preschool children with disabilities and features about their implementation in schools. . .

All of our children are gifted and talented. We do not need to collect data on how to address their disabilities.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

From The Federal Register

Comment Request: Race to the Top Program Review Protocols
Abstract: The ARRA, (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) provides $4.3 billion for the Race to the Top Fund (referred to in the statute as the State Incentive Grant Fund). This is a competitive grant program. The purpose of the program is to encourage and reward States that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform; achieving significant improvement in student outcomes, including making substantial gains in student achievement, closing achievement gaps, improving high school graduation rates, and ensuring student preparation for success in college and careers; and implementing ambitious plans in four core education reform areas: (a) Adopting internationally bench marked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace; (b) building data systems that measure student success and inform teachers and principals in how they can improve their practices; (c) increasing teacher effectiveness and achieving equity in teacher distribution; and (d) turning around our lowest-achieving schools.
Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 6, 2014.

The Federal government is spending $4.3 billion education dollars collected in taxes from the American public to reward States for complying with illegal measures to control the direction of education to suit the corporate need for a larger workforce and service industry that will “grow the middle class”.

$4.3 Billion dollars spent on creating standards, testing, and data collection and very little spent on providing every child with a developmentally appropriate curriculum that speaks to their gifts and talents, lowering class size, providing a foundation of arts education for every child, providing an experiential education for every child.

It is time to change the direction of education and focus on its true intent, to create a knowledgeable, concerned, actively engaged citizenry that is respectful and assumes the responsibility of creating and becoming an independent government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Our children deserve to have the $4.3 education tax dollars collected spent on them for their education so that they can become involved American citizens in an independent nation.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

The Times They Are A Changing

On Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 7 PM in the 3rd Floor Conference room of the Rochester City School District Central Office Building, Coalition for Justice in Education in conjunction with Writers & Books, will be presenting the third in a series of eight community discussions on “The Crisis in our Schools”.

The topic, Teacher Tenure: Good or Bad for Education?

There is a great deal of discussion concerning the process of educating our children with very little conversation about the children being educated.

Common Core, testing, evaluation, school failure, connected vs disconnected districts, how we compare with the world educationally, the role of the community, etcetera.

The most important issue in education today is, always has been and should be, our children.

When we look at the state of our country, it is clear that public education is not serving the purpose for which it was intended, to create a knowledgeable, concerned citizenry that takes an active role in their government so as to become an independent, self governing nation.

We have drifted far from that objective and are currently controlled by corporate moguls who have shifted the focus of education to concentrate on the funds necessary to maintain the profits they receive from controlling their intent for education, to provide a semi-skilled workforce for their low-paying jobs and service careers which they say will “grow the middle class”.

It is important to uncover the problems associated with the corporate model of education to see that the entire system is based on dollars with no sense.

Our children deserve a system of education that concentrates on discovering, developing and directing the gifts and talents of all children.

Childhood developmental research shows that children learn best when a developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential, and engaging curriculum is delivered by a confident, gifted, talented, dedicated educator, in low ratio student/teacher classrooms and positive learning environments where interpersonal relationships are established between and among the entire school community.

It is incumbent upon all of us to change the system of education back to its original intent.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

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