Technology For All

Federal Register:

Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities-Stepping-Up Technology Implementation

Purpose of Program: The purposes of the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities Program are to: (1) Improve results for students with disabilities by promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) support educational activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom for students with disabilities; (3) provide support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom; and (4) provide accessible educational materials to students with disabilities in a timely manner.

The purpose of this priority is to fund five cooperative agreements to: (a) Identify strategies needed to readily implement existing technology tools based on evidence that benefit students with disabilities; and (b) develop and disseminate products that will assist personnel in early childhood or K-12 settings to readily use, understand, and implement these technology tools.

Competitive Preference Priority 1—Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities. (Two Points).

Competitive Preference Priority 2—Projects Supported by Evidence of Promise (Two Points).

Competitive Preference Priority 3—Technology to Support Instructors and Students in Juvenile Correctional Facilities (Two Points).

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $30,047,000 for the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities program for FY 2017, of which we intend to use an estimated $2,500,000 for this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $450,000 to $500,000 per year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $471,352 per year.

Estimated Number of Awards: 5.

While this might seem like a noble expenditure of educational funds, we must ask ourselves,

“How will making five SEA’s compete for funding help their LEA’s assist their vast number of disabled students succeed?”

“How many disabled students will actually be serviced over the five year period this award will be granted?”

“With the addition of Priority 3 is our government recognizing that many disabled students have been incarcerated?”

“Does funding such as this promote the over classification of students as disabled in order for States to compete for these funds?”

When we provide every child with an excellent eucation priority funding will not be necessary.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Public Education Is For The Public

This article by Henry Gass was printed in The Christian Science Monitor, Church, state, and school: What might Supreme Court ruling mean for vouchers?

He posits, “Thirty-eight states have amendments prohibiting state money from going to religious organizations. A Supreme Court case Wednesday, about whether a religious private school is eligible for state grant money, could change that.”

Many people believe that States should provide parents with vouchers that allow them to use tax education dollars to send their children to private schools in order to receive a better education than they could or would receive in a public school.

The question is not whether States should provide parents with vouchers, the question should be, “Why aren’t public schools providing every child in America with an excellent education?”

“The current average per student cost (of public education) is $7,552 and the average cost per special education student is an additional $9,369 per student, or $16,921.” NEA

In 2014 Money magazine reported, “According to data from the Nation Center for Education Statistics, the average price of a year of private elementary school is $7,770, and the average annual cost of private high school is $13,030.”

Surprisingly, sending our children to private schools would save tax payers millions of dollars and our children would receive a better education.

If public schools concentrated on educating children instead of providing jobs for adults and profits for “hedgehogs” there would be plenty of money to provide every child in America with an excellent education.

We must, as a people, change our current system of education from one that is wrought with regulations, normalization, standardization, and dehumanization, to one that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents all children possess towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens that would understand that children are our greatest resourse and that they are more valuable than money.

When every child in America receives an excellent education, religious organizations can concentrate on providing the children of their congregation with the spiritual guidance in which they believe.

An excellent education for all means an excellent America for all.

Join the Movement to Save our Children!

Educated Children Will Guarantee Educated Adults

Federal Register

Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities-Early Childhood Personnel Center

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.

To address this challenge, IDEA Part C (section 635) requires the State lead agency to develop and support high-quality, coordinated comprehensive systems of personnel development (CSPD) [2] and IDEA Part B (section 612) requires the State educational agency (SEA) to ensure that personnel are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained.

This priority is:

Early Childhood Personnel Center.

Background:

All infants, toddlers, and preschool children (young children) with disabilities should have access to high-quality early childhood programs (U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, 2015).

The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to establish and operate an Early Childhood Personnel Center . . .

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $83,700,000 for the Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program for FY 2017, of which we intend to use an estimated $2,000,000 for this competition.

Nearly $84 million tax education dollars will be spent to provide SEA’s and LEA’s or their subgrantees, with a personnel development center that will provide them with the ability to hire teachers that are capable of providing a high quality, early chilhood education.

Wouldn’t it be more efficient and effective to provide the priority requirements to colleges and require them to train their student teachers in the instruction of early childhood education prior to their graduation so that the pool of teachers applying for these positions are already capable?

This award simply diverts valuable education dollars from the actual education of children to the profits of “hedgehogs” who would operate these Early Childhood Personnel Centers.

Educated childen produce educated adults.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Our Best Defense Is An Excellent Education

In FY 2015, Pentagon and related spending totaled $598 billion, about 54% of the fiscal year 2015 U.S. discretionary budget.

The President’s 2016 Budget provides $70.7 billion in discretionary funding and $145 billion in new mandatory funding for the U.S. Department of Education.

The combined total of the education budget is less than half the defense budget.

Federal Register:

Estimated Available Funds: The Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017, would provide, on an annualized basis, $87,752,864 for this program.

Estimated Range of Awards: $0-$60,000.

Note:
Depending on the number of eligible LEAs identified in a given year and the amount appropriated by Congress for the program, some eligible LEAs may receive a Small Rural School Achievement allocation of $0 under the statutory funding formula.

Estimated Number of Awards: 4,300

Which LEAs are eligible for an award under the SRSA program?

For FY 2017, an LEA (including a public charter school that is considered an LEA under State law) is eligible for an award under the SRSA program if it meets one of the following criteria:

(a)(1) The total number of students in average daily attendance at all of the schools served by the LEA is fewer than 600; or each county in which a school served by the LEA is located has a total population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile;

Listed below, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, are the number of rural school districts in the United States:

Rural
Fringe/ Distant/ Remote
1,582 / 3,145 / 2,429

The government is making these districts compete for funding by offering 4,300 of them the opportunity to properly serve their students. That number will decrease by the number of charter schools that receive an award. The maximum award for an LEA with fewer than 600 students only provides the LEA approximately $100.00 per student.

Once again our government is denying our children an excellent education throughout all walks of life in America.

All of America’s children deserve an excellent education and that should be a major priority in program funding with our tax dollars.

We, the people of the United States, must reprioritize our federal spending to support education first.

Join the Movement to Save Our Childen!

Lowering Requirements Ignoring Gifts and Talents

Pressconnect‘s Joseph Spector writes in his article, NY scraps higher test scores,

“Students in seventh grade were supposed to need higher test scores in two years to pass New York’s standardized exams.

The tougher requirements have been scrapped.

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia wrote to schools last week saying the state will not install the new “aspirational scores” that were to be required of students entering ninth grade in the 2018-19 school year.
She said the state is in the midst of overhauling its testing standards. So the students will still need to get a 65 grade or higher on the tests to get a Regents diploma, she said.

“There will be no change in the scale scores required for students to meet the graduation requirements for the class of 2022 on either the ELA (English Language Arts) or Mathematics Regents Examination,” Elia wrote in a one-page memo.

The decision is the latest scale back of tougher testing standards for students and stronger evaluations for teachers under the Common Core initiative.”

Does this mean taxpayers will pay for yet another set of field tests and testing materials?

Commissioner Elia has relaxed the testing requirements for teachers and now for students.

How will New York’s teachers and students be able to compete academically when the requirements for their learning are constantly lowered?

How will paying for students’ college attendance help them if they cannot complete college requirements due to lack of knowledge and experience?

How is the common core curriculum helping to increase the knowledge base of our children when the standards for success are constantly being lowered?

We must rethink the attitude that the only way to become a successful adult is through a college education. There are many more avenues of success as an adult than the college path.

When we provide all of our children with a free and public, excellent education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their natural gifts and talents towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens, teachers and students will rise to the level of any standard set before them.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

The Truth Is Coming To The Light

Badass Teachers Association posted this article, Standardized Testing Creates Captive Markets by Steven Singer. He comments on standardized testing,

“Why do our public schools give these tests? Because peer-reviewed research shows they fairly and accurately demonstrate student learning? Because they’ve been proven by independent observers to be an invaluable part of the learning process and help students continue to learn new things?

No and no.

The reason public schools give these tests is because the government forces them. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires that all students in grades 3-8 and once in high school take certain approved standardized assessments. Parents are allowed to refuse the tests for their children, but otherwise they have to take them.

You have to understand that our government is no longer ruled by the principle of one person, one vote. Money has become speech so wealthy corporations get a huge say in what our government does.

If an industry gets big enough and makes enough donations to enough lawmakers, they get the legislation they want. In many cases, the corporations write the legislation and then tell lawmakers to pass it. And this is true for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Standardized testing and Common Core are one pernicious example of our new captive market capitalism collapsing into plutocracy.

Our tax dollars are given away to big business and our voices are silenced.
Forget selling widgets. Our children have BECOME widgets, hostage consumers, and access to them is being bought and sold.

We are all slaves to this new runaway capitalism that has freed itself from the burden of self-rule.
How long will we continue to put up with it?
How long will we continue to be hostages to these captive markets?”

We must stop the intentional enslavement to “runaway capitalism” by changing our current system of education to one that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of our children towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens and then guarantee, by Constitutional amendment, the right of every child to receive that education.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

The Cost Of Failure

RCSD payroll process pilloried in state audit
Justin Murphy of the Democrat & Chronical reports,

“The Rochester City School District’s procedures for disbursing its budget of almost a billion dollars is a shambles, the New York state Comptroller’s office said in an audit released Monday, with a lack of proper controls along with widespread skirting of the rules that do exist.

The audit found no evidence of intentional fraud, but plenty of opportunity for it. There were problems with nearly every employee payroll and credit card purchase reviewed, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of big-ticket purchases and contracts that hadn’t been properly bid.

In its written response, the district acknowledged most of the auditors’ findings as accurate but disagreed with the overall characterization.

“We are concerned … that general readers of this report may misunderstand some of the findings,” School Board President Van White and Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams wrote. “Our position is that our recurring biweekly payroll … is materially correct.”

. . . Even so, the auditors found a near-universal lack of compliance with purchasing and payroll policies, in matters large and small.”

Just one year earlier the D&C reported issues with the district’s $1.3 billion modernization project.

Our district’s budget reaches nearly $1 billion dollars while we suffer educational failure in approximately 83% of our schools.

Mismanagement of the money we receive and the adherence to State education policies that are detrimental and dehumanizing to our children are the problems we face in education and money is not the answer.

Unfortunately the Rochester City School District is not the only district that operates in this manner but is more indicative of many inner-city urban districts.

With ridiculously large budgets and unconscionably high failure rates is it apparent that our current system of public education must change in order to stave off the oblitheration of public education and the proliferation of charter schools.

Until we change our current system of education to concentrate on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all children towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens, we will continue to financially support failure.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!