More Money Is Not The Answer – Providing Children With An Excellent Education Is

Coalition of education groups calls for $2B increase in school aid by Keshia Clukey of Politico states:

“ALBANY — A coalition of major state education organizations is calling on the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to increase school aid by $2 billion in the 2018-19 state budget.

The New York State Educational Conference Board’s recommendations include a $1.5 billion increase in state aid to maintain current services and an additional $500 million in targeted funding, according to a report provided to POLITICO. The targeted funds would assist struggling schools, invest in professional development, help meet the needs of English language Learners, strengthen college and career pathways, and assist districts with growing enrollments, according to a news release accompanying the report.”

According to, “The median annual School Superintendent salary in Rochester, NY is $153,351, as of October 30, 2017, with a range usually between $125,266-$185,034 not including bonus and benefit information and other factors that impact base pay.”

The same site states, “The median annual School Principal salary in Rochester, NY is $101,653, as of November 28, 2017, with a range usually between $89,784-$114,346 not including bonus and benefit information and other factors that impact base pay.”

According to, “The New York Department of Education requires school districts to report the salaries and titles of their top ADMINISTRATORS based on a threshold it sets each year — but doesn’t release the names. Districts had to report ADMINISTRATORS who will earn $130,000 or more for the upcoming 2016-17 school year. The data does not include administrators who earn below the annual threshold. The state also does not require the big 5 city school districts to report their salaries. (Rochester is a Big Five district)”

In reviewing the RCSD approved budget for the 2017-18 school year, there are 299 administrative positions accounting for $31,648,104 of the annual budget. This figure does not include their benefits.

In a failing district one must ask, “Why are there so many administrators being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars each year when our schools are not properly educating our children?”

The problem is not how much money there is in education, but how education tax dollars are spent.

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Another One Bites The Dust

This article appeared in WXXI news: Future of RCSD School 41: Close or forced receivership

It states,
“Receivership schools are schools that are deemed struggling by the state. If they don’t make any progress within a year or two, they must find support outside the district in order to stay open.

Kodak Park School No. 41 in Rochester is one of those schools.

A number of indicators, a minimum of 10 for each school, including graduation rates and suspension numbers, determined progress.

Elizabeth Mascitti-Miller, Chief of the Receivership Schools for the Rochester City School District said they are disappointed but focusing on moving forward. . .

RCSD now has two months to decide to either close the school, or submit a plan for independent receivership of the school and get it approved. . .

Eight schools are in receivership in the Rochester City School District: Nathaniel Rochester School No. 3, Roberto Clemente School No. 8, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School No.9, Enrico Fermi School No. 17, Mary McLeod Bethune School No. 45, James Monroe High School and Northeast High School all showed demonstrable improvements.”

The Rochester City School District page 25 reports:

“The draft 2017-18 Rochester City School District Budget expenditure is projected to
increase to $920.4M from the 2016-17 December budgeted expenditure of $876M; this
represents an increase of $44.4M or 5.1%. The overall increase in revenue for 2017-18 is
projected to be $865.8M, which includes $15M in Appropriated Fund Balance for General
Fund. As a result, the School District has a structural budget gap of $54.6M.”

How can the Rochester City School district justify a nearly billion dollar budget when they are failing to property educate so many of our children.

When will we, as a citizenry, begin to fight for a new system of education that concentrates on discovering, developing and directing the gifts and talents all of our children possess?

When will we, a human beings, stand up for the right of our children to receive an excellent education where they are taught to be critically thinking individuals instead of compliant, subservient adults?

We will never change the future by living in the past.

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The Money And Opportunity Is There

Announcement of Funding Opportunity
RFP #GC18-015
2018-2024 NYS Pathways in Technology Early College High School Program

“The New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School (NYS P-TECH) Program will prepare thousands of New York students for high-skills jobs of the future in technology, manufacturing, healthcare and finance. The model incorporates a six-year program that combines high school, college, and career training and will be targeted to academically and economically at-risk students.

The NYS P-TECH model delivers five core benefits to students:
1. A rigorous, relevant and cost-free grades 9 to 14 education focused on the
knowledge and skills students need for Science, Technology, Engineering and
Math careers;
2. Workplace learning that includes ongoing mentoring by professionals in the chosen career sector, worksite visits, speakers, and internships;
3. Intensive, individualized academic support by K-12 and college faculty within an extended academic year or school day that enables students to progress through the program at their own pace;
4. An Associate of Applied Science degree or the two-year degree that is the industry standard for the targeted jobs in a high-tech field (referred to as an AAS degree for the purpose of this RFP); and
5. The commitment to be first in line for a job with the participating business/employer partners following completion of the program.

The program is also designed to:
• Develop programs of study in high-wage, high-skill, high-demand career areas;
• Align school, college, and community systems in these programs of study;
• Increase opportunity and access to postsecondary education for academically atrisk, disadvantaged populations of students;
• Support strong academic performance;
• Promote informed and appropriate career choice and preparation; and
• Ensure that employers in key technical fields have access to a talented and skilled workforce.”

Rochester has one P-Tech school, Edison which also received roughly $500,000 worth of its expertise to lift it out of poverty from IBM.

This is the first step in bringing Rochester’s students into the world of technology as creators, not simply users.

Tech learning should begin in elementary school.

We must recognize the gifts and talents of our children and begin to educate them for their future.

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Not The Best, But Not The Worst

Why Do We Inflict FORCE AND FLUNK Young Children?
By dianeravitch
October 15, 2017 //19
Nancy Bailey describes one of the worst ideas that is current in the world of corporate-style reform: Forcing little children to read at a very young age, as early as kindergarten or first grade, which turns reading into a chore, not a joy.

Then, if they have not met arbitrary standards in third grade, shaming them by holding them back.

This is a child-hostile idea that got started in Florida, where so many bad ideas have begun. It did wonders for fourth grade reading scores, because the kids with the lowest scores flunked.

But it is a truly dumb idea because it forces reading on children before they are ready and it does not make children better readers. Whether children begin to read at age 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 doesn’t matter. What matters is that they learn that reading is a wonderful skill to master and that it opens worlds of enchantment and knowledge. By the time they are 10 or 11, no one remembers when they first began to read. Little children are not global competitors. They are children.”

The worst idea in education, ever, is the Achievement Gap assessment of children.

The “achievement gap” in education refers to the disparity in academic performance between groups of students, the highest group being “white male” and all others being considered “sub groups”. The achievement gap shows up in grades, standardized-test scores, course selection, dropout rates, and college-completion rates, among other success measures.

While individuals and groups continue to fight against standardized testing, no one seems to mind that every child who is not a “white male” is forced, through assessments, to consider “white male” as their educational goal and to be normalized to this construct in thought, word, and deed.

As Ms Ravitch so eloquently stated, “They are children” unique in thoughts, expression and lifestyle.

Why then do we hold on to the archaic, supremacist, notion of standardization?

Because “white males” control the system of government which dictates our system of education in America.

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From the Federal Register

Secretary’s Proposed Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs

This document has a comment period that ends in 32 days. (11/13/2017)

In order to support and strengthen the work that educators do every day in collaboration with parents, advocates, and community members, the Secretary proposes 11 priorities and related definitions for use in discretionary grant programs that are in place today or may exist in the future.

The Department believes that more Federal programs are not a sufficient proxy for progress and that increased Federal funding cannot be a stand-in for increased learning. We will focus less on discrete funding streams and more on innovative problem solving. This can only happen when everyone gets a seat at the table and can focus on high-priority local projects that promote change from the ground up. We will place a renewed focus on our core mission: serving the most vulnerable students, ensuring equal access for all students, protecting their path to a world-class education, and empowering local educators to deliver for our students.

Proposed Priority 1—Empowering Families to Choose a High-Quality Education that Meets Their Child’s Unique Needs.

Proposed Priority 2—Promoting Innovation and Efficiency, Streamlining Education with an Increased Focus on Improving Student Outcomes, and Providing Increased Value to Students and Taxpayers.

Proposed Priority 3—Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills.

Proposed Priority 4—Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills that Prepare Students to be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens.

Proposed Priority 5—Meeting the Unique Needs of Students and Children, including those with Disabilities and/or with Unique Gifts and Talents

Proposed Priority 6—Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science.

Proposed Priority 7—Promoting Literacy.

Proposed Priority 8—Promoting Effective Instruction in Classrooms and Schools.

Proposed Priority 9—Promoting Economic Opportunity.

Proposed Priority 10—Encouraging Improved School Climate and Safer and More Respectful Interactions in a Positive and Safe Educational Environment.

Proposed Priority 11—Ensuring that Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families Have Access to High-Quality Educational Choices.

The bottom line is decreased federal funding for education in America.

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If You Can’t Win The Game, Change The Rules

Politico reports, Merryl Tisch is back, will have say in how charter schools certify teachers

“ALBANY — Merryl Tisch, the former chancellor of the state Board of Regents, isn’t done with state education policymaking just yet.

Tisch, who championed higher learning standards and ushered in the controversial Common Core during her tenure, is now taking part in the debate over the certification of charter school teachers as a member of the SUNY Charter Schools Committee.

. . . Last June, the state Senate appointed her to the SUNY board of trustees. Her first SUNY board meeting was in September, after which she was selected to serve on the Charter Schools, Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, and Community Colleges committees, according to SUNY.

Tisch has supported charter schools in the past, touting school choice and the need for increased access to quality education, as well as healthy competition for public schools.

. . . Rosa and state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, in comments submitted to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, called the proposal an “affront to a critical tenet in education,” saying it would diminish the number of effective teachers and would have a negative impact on charter school students of color, those who are economically disadvantaged and students with disabilities.”

The effort here is to make as much money as possible, both from the education industry and the ignorance of an uneducated populous.

SUNY, the State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States. For the Senate to agree that this institution would be able to reduce the requirements for the accreditation of teachers working in charter schools is a direct indictment of their attempt to create and maintain an underclass of citizens who traditionally do not vote making it possible for them to maintain their positions in government, creating the laws that unfairly affect that underclass.

If individuals are not able to meet the current requirements for teacher certification then it is quite possible they should not be teachers.

Teaching others requires that the teacher must be knowledgeable. Schooling children requires nothing more than a watchdog.

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It’s Not The Money It’s The System

Fixing education inequalities will require fixing broader societal inequities posted September 27, 2017 at 12:19 pm by Elaine Weiss and Emma García states:

“In Reducing and averting achievement gaps, we show that there was a large gap in preparedness between high and low social class students who began school in the fall of 2010. Furthermore, this gap changed very little over the prior twelve years. And it’s not only a matter of math and reading skills—there are similar gaps in social and emotional skills, which interact with and inform those traditional academic abilities.”

Immediately these researchers divide children into categories of high and low class. This is disturbing since given their bias, it is relevant to assume that their criteria for assessment does not consider the culture of “low class” students to be acceptable as a norm.

They continue:
” If, as a country, we want to narrow the gaps in reading, math, and social and emotional skills—gaps that exist when low social class students enter kindergarten, and dog them throughout their academic careers—we need to ensure that many fewer children grow up in such deprived contexts. So beyond investing in the education system, we urge the expansion of health care, and a much stronger social safety net that boosts incomes for vulnerable families through policies such as unemployment insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance, cash assistance, the earned income tax credit, and the child and dependent care tax credit.

. . . Because until we tackle the huge inequities at the core of these early gaps, we will continue to live with them.”

The answer to the failure of education for these authors is more money. Unfortunately many people believe this and billions of dollars have been spent on education initiatives with little to no result.

The failure of education is because it is a system that assesses students according to an artificial norm that is dependent upon financial status to drive its intent.

We must change our current system of education so that it concentrates on the child not the money they may or may not have.

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