In Memory Of

Our hearts go out to the families of Trayvon Martin and Larie Butler. We would like to show support to their parents by honoring the memory of Trayvon and Larie. God bless and keep them.

Please come join us for a prayer and candlelight service. Bring a candle, wear your hoodie.

Sunday April 1, 2012 6pm
Cross of Christ Deliverance Temple
597 N Goodman St

The Times They Are A Changing

Transparent: Free from pretense or deceit.

The School Board will meet tonight at 6PM in Room 3A to discuss and vote on the amended All City High proposal. This proposal was tabled at the February business meeting and taken off the agenda at the March meeting.

A public meeting was held on March 5, for which comments, suggestions, ideas, and alternatives were to be collected, disseminated, and used to amend the proposed plan to better suit the needs of the students to be enrolled in the program. However, there was no follow-up community meeting to review the amended proposal.

Jean-Claude Brizard touted the necessity of the district to be transparent. Interim Superintendent Vargas has expressed the same sentiment. Board President Malik Evans said that this district is committed to being transparent.

Actions speak louder than words! It is very clear that our educational leaders do not fully understand the meaning of the word transparent.

The RCSD is not a transparent entity. They have not had to be. In the past they have operated without care or concern for public opinion because very few citizens have bothered to object to their dealings.

The Board must realize that things are changing. The community is becoming involved, and it is time to move out of the comfort zone of community complacency and realize that the only way to provide for the excellent education of our children is to be truly transparent in the process of educating our children.

We cannot afford to “race” after Federal and State educational dollars by failing to properly educate our children.

We cannot afford to shut out the very people we are supposed to engage in the process of educating their children.

We cannot afford to create the illusion of transparency but must begin to scape the opaque sludge of deceit off the process of decision making to clearly see that it will take all of us, the entire community, working together, to produce an efficient, effective, and excellent system of education for our children.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

All Children – Not All City

Tomorrow the School Board will meet to consider Interim Superintendent Vargas’s proposal for an All City High plan which is meant to serve an unidentified number of students that this district has already failed to educate.

This program was a collaborative effort between the district and the Rochester’s Teacher Union. A committee was formed “to identify issues student’s face in our traditional schools and propose[d] solutions. Each member of the committee identified the ingredients of their ideal school. Each committee member was asked to invite a parent or community member who is interested in our children’s future. Each parent and community member shared their vision and their experiences in regards to our traditional educational process. At each site the schools will utilize innovative scheduling and staffing to create smaller learning communities on the two campuses.”

District staff and teachers created a program and then asked one parent or community member to “share their experiences” not be involved in the process.

A key component of the program is the “Family of Five” theme. “All staff will have office hours 3 times each week for 1 hour totaling a minimum of 3 hours each week and every staff member will be assigned 5 students to mentor and guide.”

Students will be assigned a “family” that will have less than an hour a week to address their mental, physical, emotional, social, and financial concerns.

At the DPC meeting Monday, Commissioner White pointed out that there were several problems with this program. Students, parents, teachers, and community members have pointed out that there are many problems with this program.

Our children don’t need another program that serves the needs of adults. There is no doubt that we have an obligation to find a way to solve the problems for students created by a system of education that initially failed to educate them. However, employing more adults is not the solution.

If the progenitors of this program did not deem it necessary to involve students and parents from the beginning of the process, how valued is their participation in the process?

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

For The Children

Regent Wade Norwood was the guest speaker at last night’s District Parent Council meeting. He spoke to a bantam group of parents and community members about the role of the New York State Regents board and about the Healthi Kids initiative.

In his introduction Regent Norwood expressed concerns about the lack of serious involvement in the creation of a “great environment” for children. “We are not creating a wonderful environment for kids to have their minds and their spirits touched.”

Regent Norwood went on to say that his predecessors “created an awful policy environment that confused testing with teaching and with standards of education.” Testing, in Mr. Norwood’s opinion, “is a very inappropriate framework in which to create the types of young people we need for the twenty-first century. We have to disaggregate the learning standards from the test. Young people don’t even understand how they can take their talent and knowledge and apply it to career or college. This is an American problem because we have taken our eye off of what is the aim of education.”

Norwood stated, “I was only [one of] about three or four Regents who were really willing to have a compulsory curriculum as apposed to a compelling curriculum.”

Regent Norwood was asked how the Board of Regents could help the citizens of Rochester facilitate educational change and his answer was much like that of former Regent Coefield, local control comes from voting.

The second part of the DPC meeting concerned the proposed All City High program. Commissioner Van White was able to attend this portion of the meeting and provided a great deal of insight into problems with the proposed plan. While it was announced yesterday that the Board will hold a special meeting on Thursday, March 29, 2011, to vote on the proposal, Commissioner White did not feel as though the plan will be supported.

There are those who support the need for widespread, fundamental change in the system of education. It is up to all of us, working together, supporting one another, to make that change happen.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

SOS – Help Is On The Way to Washington

This weekend, March 30, thru April 2, 2012 Save Our Schools will be marching on Washington to “Take Our Message to Capitol Hill”.

Save Our Schools is a national movement to save public education. This movement began nearly a year ago as the siege of public education by private plunderers began to overtake this nation’s public schools replacing them with private and charter schools that sought to dissemble teacher unions, lower teacher’s pay, and take educational dollars away from the poorest of our children in urban settings.

Their first march on Washington brought national attention as citizens, comprised of parents, students, educators, and celebrities, gathered in the Mall behind the White House, marched, and then held conferences in order to organize and build.

Public education must remain public in order to insure that every child has the opportunity to succeed. Public education must also undergo a drastic systemic overhaul in order to insure that every child has the opportunity to succeed. The Save Our Schools movement seeks to create long term systemic change in education by giving educators a voice in the process.

Private and charter schools are not the answer but an exacerbation of the problem. They rob public school systems of educational dollars with no measure of accountability in place for their success or failure.

While the Save Our Schools movement is an important step on the road to education reform, before any true, fundamental, change can occur, there must be a united, collaborative effort between and among all stakeholder groups in education.

Parents, students, teachers, administrators, and education leaders must join together in one accord and fight against the current system of education that is destroying the future of our neediest children.

Marching on Washington, lobbying in Albany, protesting in Rochester, are all necessary and important steps that must be taken in order to effect change. If our leaders in education are not willing to take these steps, we, as a community, must ask, “How committed are you to our children’s educational success?”

Change is necessary, change agents are crucial.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Decisions, Derision, Division

BILL NUMBER: S1987B
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the education law, in relation to enacting the dignity for all students act

S 10. LEGISLATIVE INTENT. THE LEGISLATURE FINDS THAT STUDENTS’ ABILITY TO LEARN AND TO MEET HIGH ACADEMIC STANDARDS, AND A SCHOOL’S ABILITY TO EDUCATE ITS STUDENTS, ARE COMPROMISED BY INCIDENTS OF DISCRIMINATION OR HARASSMENT INCLUDING BULLYING, TAUNTING OR INTIMIDATION. IT IS HEREBY DECLARED TO BE THE POLICY OF THE STATE TO AFFORD ALL STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AN ENVIRONMENT FREE OF DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT. THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO FOSTER CIVILITY IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND TO PREVENT AND PROHIBIT CONDUCT WHICH IS INCONSISTENT WITH A SCHOOL’S EDUCATIONAL MISSION.

S 801-a. Instruction in civility, citizenship and character education. The regents shall ensure that the course of instruction in grades kindergarten through twelve includes a component on civility, citizenship and character education. Such component shall instruct students on the principles of honesty, tolerance, personal responsibility, respect for others, observance of laws and rules, courtesy, dignity and other traits which will enhance the quality of their experiences in, and contributions to, the community.

When was citizenship taken out of education curriculum?

We now have to pass a law in order to make people accountable for being civil to one another?

If ever there was an indictment of the extent of mis-education in America, this is it.

Unfortunately, mis-education in public schools has been a reality for many generations and those children previously mis-educated by the public school system are now the adults that sit in seats of power and decision making, and they are bullies. With the advent of the internet, we have found one more avenue to lash out against another human being without conscience.

Each day our children witness the bullying of adults. Adults bully and threaten each other and they bully and threaten children. The children of these bullies grow up to be bullies and the viscous cycle has continued until it has become necessary to legislate respect.

We cannot save our children until we change ourselves.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Actions Speak Louder Than Words!

Everyone knows and understands that the system of education must change before our children will be properly educated. Why has it taken so long for so many knowledgeable and capable groups to come together and affect that change?

Why are parents waiting for legislation that gives them the power that they already have in order to come to the aid of their children who are failing in a system designed to fail them?

This situation is no longer the fault of the School Board or educational leaders. This community is not standing up for its children but allowing rhetoric and irresponsibility to stand in the way of real action.

We fought for the right to vote our School Board into office and with the exception of Mary Adams, Board members were re-elected. This was not done with the expectation for change.

Outside extremist have done more to further the cause and bring adults to justice in the Jada Williams case than the activist groups have right here in her own community. There were no marches on Central Office, no call for action, no petition to the State Education Department, no call tree to State Ed Commissioner John King, no 310 Appeal filed.

This community complains that the Board of Education makes decisions irrespective of its views or voice when in fact the Board makes its own decisions because the community refuses to stand together, support one another, and, in one accord, make their voice heard.

We have proven that actions speak louder than words. Those times when solidarity has awakened the Board to our cry we have been acknowledged. However, instead of pushing forward, we back off and then have to spend time regrouping for the next united effort. This is counterproductive to the cause of real systemic change and it is exhausting.

The Board of Education is not the problem here. The lack of commitment to action is the brick wall that stands in the way of our progress. Our children are dying while we discuss our next move. We must ACT NOW!

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!