Class Is Out – Equality Is In

Mark Hare from Great Schools for All made this statement, “Poor kids in middle class schools have a much better chance at success, and middle class kids in those schools are better off for the experience of diversity.”

This is a very confusing statement. Does he believe that there are no “poor” children attending “middle class” schools?

Are these “middle class” schools public schools?

What type of schools do “poor” children attend?

Is the diversity he speaks of between “poor” and “middle class” children?

Does Mr. Hare believe that there are no “middle class” children attending “poor” schools?

Is this really what the research has been saying for years?

Socioeconomics is not the problem in education. Making judgements of children whose parents fail to meet “middle class” socioeconomic standards is one of the symptoms of a failing system of education.

Like so many others Mr. Hare has been blinded by the light, believing that children are different because of the money their parents earn or do not earn; believing that bussing a child out of their neighborhood to co-exist with others who consider them inferior will actually solve the problems of education; believing that America’s class system should continue exist.

Children are children, they deserve to be loved and given every opportunity to succeed mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. They deserve to be proud of who they are through the things they accomplish regardless of the setting in which those accomplishments are achieved.

If Mr. Hare believes that “middle class” schools provide a better education to their students then he should advocate for better schools for “poor” children. This can easily be accomplished without making “poor” children ashamed of where they attend school or live.

When we provide every child in America with a free and public, developmentally appropriate, Arts based, experiential education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their individual gifts and talents towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens who know and understand that children are more than the money their parents earn, we will truly have great schools for all.

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Truth And Consequences

In the beginning of public education the only work teachers would accept would be the student’s best effort. As well, their writing had to be legible and meet a certain standard of penmanship. If the teacher knew that the child had not offered his or her best penmanship, they would have to return to their seat and do the work again. If this pattern continued, whether the answers were correct or not, the teacher would conference with the parents and punishment would ensue.

Children entering school would be given notebook in which to practice their penmanship. Writing outside the lines was unacceptable. You were given three to four years to learn printing before you moved on to cursive.

In today’s system of education, children are not required to have neat penmanship when printing and cursive writing is almost never taught. Why?

In a study by International Scientific Publications and Consultation, they wrote, “It can be concluded that when students find it difficult to write legibly, it affects their overall achievement in school mathematics and hence weakens their educational progress as it often interferes with their learning . . .”

In an interview by CNN reporter Matthew Casey with Wendy Carlson, a handwriting expert and forensic document examiner, she states, “the dramatic decline of handwriting is causing “great” deterioration of the mind. . . Texting played a role in it because people are trying to write quick short sentences . . . People aren’t using their minds and they are relying on technology to make the decisions for them . . . cursive writing combines mental and physical processes which involve both sides of the brain.”

This is simply another way the “hedgehogs” are dumbing our children down so that they can maintain power over the masses.

January 23 is national handwriting day yet in poor inner-city schools children will hand in work that is hardly readable and their teachers will stamp that work with “Good Job” telling the student they are not worth the time it takes to require them to do better.

Our children deserve to know they can achieve anything, even proper penmanship.

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We Must Lean From Our Mistakes – They Did

From 1936 to 1938 the federal government instituted the Federal Writers’ Project which sent interviewers out to gather the stories of former slaves and to learn from those stories.

“Dis livin’ on liberty is lak young folks livin’ on love after they gits married. It just don’t work. No, sir, it las’ so long and not a bit longer. Don’t tell me! It sho’ don’t hold good when you has to work, or when you gits hongry. You knows dat poor white folks and niggers has got to work to live, regardless of liberty, love, and all them things.” Ezra Adams, 83, emancipated in South Carolina

In 1865 the government established the Freedmen’s Bureau, however, “. . . due to a shortage of funds and personnel, along with the politics of race and Reconstruction. In 1872, Congress, in part under pressure from white Southerners, shut the bureau. Another leading opponent was President Andrew Johnson (1865-1869), who assumed office in April 1865 following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (1861-65). . . Johnson’s actions, which included pardoning many former Confederates and restoring their land, as well as removing bureau employees he thought were too sympathetic to blacks, served to undermine the bureau’s authority.”

Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion, Volume 1 edited by Junius P. Rodriguez in 2007 and available in Google Books is an important document that notes that education became a major aspect of how freed slaves defined themselves.

Rodriguez posits that the Freedmen’s Bureau, a government constructed institution concerned with teaching obedience, respect, honesty, and the value of industry, met the economic needs of Southern plantation owners, not the educational needs of freed slaves.

Many freed slaves resisted Freedman’s education and sent their children to a Black operated school.

African-Americans successfully fought for and achieved free public education in the South which led to the reconstructed States’ Constitutions promising public education.

Rodriguez outlines the role of educated African Americans in subverting the master-slave relationship and that educational opportunities provided the skills necessary to be freed from that relationship.

Education was a leading factor in the rebellion of slaves. Is there any wonder why education is failing today?

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No Matter Who Is In Charge

“. . . The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast . . .” (Revelation 13)

The Federal Register

Application for New Awards; Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program-Grants to Charter Management Organizations for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools

Purpose of Program: The major purposes of the CSP are to expand opportunities for all students, particularly traditionally underserved students, to attend charter schools and meet challenging State academic standards; provide financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of public charter schools; increase the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the United States; evaluate the impact of charter schools on student achievement, families, and communities; share best practices between charter schools and other public schools; encourage States to provide facilities support to charter schools; and support efforts to strengthen the charter school authorizing process.

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
Estimated Available Funds: For FY 2017, the Administration has requested $350,000,000 under the CSP and authority to use up to $100,000,000 of CSP funds for CMO awards. We intend to use an estimated $57,000,000 for new awards under this competition . . .

Estimated Range of Awards: $600,000-$3,500,000 per year.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $2,000,000 per year.

Estimated Number of Awards: 10-20 awards.

Regardless of the administration, Democrat or Republican, our government is willing to spend $350,000,000 to continue the segregation and discrimination within the current system of education.

Those same funds can be utilized to provide every child in America with a free and public education, in neighborhood schools, with low class sizes, high quality teachers, and adequate resources.

The top priorities of this program give states the power to collect data, commandeer public school facilities for charter school use, and support the growth of charter schools.

We fought against segregation in education in the 50’s, we won the battle but lost the war.

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The Prediction And The Reality

NPR Ed’s Claudio Sanchez gives us his top five education predictions for 2017.
“Former elementary and middle school teacher Claudio Sanchez is an Education Correspondent for NPR. He focuses on the “three p’s” of education reform: politics, policy and pedagogy.”

His predictions:
No. 1: It is unclear how government will use federal funding for the Every Student Succeeds Act
No. 2: Teachers unions will butt heads with the new administration.
No. 3: The future is grim for early childhood education funding, which will lead to lower enrollment.
No. 4: The charter school movement splits over political differences.
No. 5: Community colleges get their long-overdue attention.

It is very clear, as the past has shown, the government will use federal funding to support the profits of the “hedgehogs” who wish to maintain the ignorance of the populace.

Teachers’ unions will continue to silently receive funding from the “hedgehogs” while publically opposing the new administration.

Early childhood education funding will support early childhood indoctrination into institutionalization.

The charter school movement continues to split public education funding while offering no better solution to the educational failure of our children.

Community colleges will receive funding to drain scholarship monies from under-educated high school graduates that must take remedial college courses before being accepted into accredited college programs.

Changes in presidential administration have not had and will not have any positive effect on the system of education in America. The elite will continue to send their children to private schools where they will be taught to be the next political leaders while the majority of America’s children will be indoctrinated into a system of indentured servitude.

When we provide every child in America with a developmentally appropriate, Arts based, experiential education that concentrates on discovering, developing and directing the individual gifts and talents that every child possesses, we can predict that the government will use federal funding to insure that every child in America will succeed educationally, teacher unions will work with every administration, early childhood education will increase, charter schools will decrease, and community colleges will prepare young adults for a successful future.

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Education, A “Catch 22” Situation

It seems that measuring a schools performance has taken precedence over student performance though one is supposed to be dependent on the other.

In New York State there are 733 Districts, 4,469 Public Schools, 301 Charter Schools and 207,379 teachers providing and education to 2,640,250 students. That is an average of thirteen students per teacher. Yet, the average classroom size is approximately twenty-five students per teacher.

Class Size Matters has been fighting for years to lower the number of students in New York classes. It reports, “NYC Class Size data released; . . . average class sizes still increasing according to DOE K-3 students in classes of 30 or more . . .”

Where does the discrepancy occur? Special education.

Students who have been classified are placed in 6:1:1, 8:1:1 and 12:1:1 classes which means six, eight, and twelve students to one teacher.

This is important since many students in overcrowded classrooms do not receive the help they need to succeed. As well, students who struggle to maintain good grades are neglected due to the teachers concentration on disciplinary measures, lack of time for instruction, and inadequate resources.

As more students are classified, more general education students are crowded into classrooms that are already overcrowded. Discipline becomes a problem and students are classified for their behavior not their learning capabilities.

Students who are classified do not test well and schools with a high number of classified students fail to reach state standards and are closed. Students from failed schools are placed in successful schools overcrowding their classrooms. The overcrowding of their classrooms soon cause the successful schools to fail.

School choice, charter schools, and private school vouchers are measures that are offered to solve the problem but have proven to be nothing more than a band aid on a gaping wound.

When we provide every child a free and public education that is developmentally appropriate, Arts based and experiential, one that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the individual gifts and talents that all children possess, we will be able to lower class sizes and end the cycle of failure that continues to profit the “hedgehogs” who created it.

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Today I proposed the New York Promise agenda to advance principles of social justice, affirm New York’s progressive values, and set a national standard for protections against all forms of discrimination. (Governor Cuomo)

What is NYS PROMISE?
“NYS PROMISE is a research project for 2,000 families in New York State with 14-16 year old teens who receive Supplemental Social Security income. The goal of the NYS PROMISE project is to explore the best ways to help kids with disabilities receiving SSI successfully transition from high school to adulthood. NYS PROMISE began October 1, 2013 and will continue until September 30, 2018.”

“Higher education has proved to be an effective means to curb recidivism. A recent RAND Corporation report showed that inmates who participate in higher education programs are 50 percent less likely to return to prison. In New York, currently about 1,000 state inmates receive a bachelor’s or associate’s degree each year. This initiative could increase that by 50 percent to 1,500.” (The Atlantic)

Yet, “Approximately 107,000 youth (younger than 18) are incarcerated on any given day. Of these, approximately 14,500 are housed in adult facilities. . . and some 5,400 youth are housed in adult prisons. . . ” ( Bureau of Justice Assistance)

“. . . more than 600 children ages 13 to 15 are also processed in adult criminal courts – seriously diminishing their life prospects before they’ve even entered high school.”

. . . New York is one of only two states in the country that have failed to recognize what research and science have confirmed – adolescents are children, and prosecuting and placing them in the adult criminal justice system doesn’t work for them and doesn’t work for public safety.

“. . . New York continues to be the only state other than North Carolina that prosecutes ALL youth as adults when they turn 16 years of age.”

“. . . Over 70% 16 and 17 year olds arrested are Black or Latino. . .”Raise the Age NY)

The best means to curb recidivism is to properly educate our children so they don’t go to jail in the first place. The current system of education works towards the incarceration of our children not their education, enslaving them to ignorance.

We must recognize the truth and then work to change it.

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