Ask And You May Receive

The Administration for Children and Families was created April 15, 1991, under authority of section 6 of the Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953.

The PACT project, adopted by this federal agency, is a formative evaluation whose overall objective is to document and provide initial assessment of selected Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage grant programs that were authorized under the 2010 Claims Resolution Act. This information will be critical to informing decisions related to future investments in this kind of programming as well as the design and operation of such services.

Currently in our country, whoever expresses the greatest need for funding and is familiar with the many governmental agencies, local, state, and federal, that offer a multitude of grants, can receive funding. However millions of dollars remain underutilized because many not-for-profit agencies don’t know about the grants or simply don’t know how to apply for them. This is the reason why major corporations and organizations retain a grant writer on their staff.

Educational dollars are disbursed in the same manner. It is not so much which school, LEA or state needs financial support, many times, it is a matter of which entity has the best grant writer.

Funding education should not be contest where some win and some loose. When some loose, we all loose, because it becomes our responsibility as Americans to care for those who loose. What we fail to realize is the more people we have to take care of the more tax dollars our government will need from its citizens to do so.

By reducing government at the federal level and increasing the responsibility of government at the local level, and holding local and state education leaders accountable for the success of their education systems and programs, we can reduce our reliance on federal support for those programs that were put in place to care for those who inappropriately graduate, fail, and drop out of the learning environment.

Once we create and successfully implement an excellent system of education for all of America’s children, they will be able to take care of themselves.

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A Facelift Will Fall

City Newspaper, in reporting on the city’s Focused Investment Program quotes Mayor Tom Richards. Physically, there’s little doubt that neighborhoods participating in the City of Rochester’s Focused Investment program have improved.

Mayor Richards is correct, the participating neighborhoods look better physically because the concentration of the focused investment has not been children or even people, the focused investment has been in the physical aspects of the neighborhood.

City News also quoted Kyle Crandall, President of the Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition, “People are willing to invest in areas where they see the potential for sustained growth,” he says. More people are coming to neighborhood meetings, he says, which signals they’re willing to take responsibility for and contribute to their neighborhood.”

Mr. Crandall is also correct however, simply improving the packaging doesn’t solve the neighborhood problems we face either in Rochester or in our nation.

Both Richards and Crandall are worried about the focused on communities when federal FIS dollars run out or are redirected. This is because they both understand that money cannot solve the ills of a neighborhood or a society, it can only hide them.

One excellent solution was proposed and implemented that shows the City and the City School District know how to collaborate and initiate common sense solutions to urban blight, and that was to make public school #33 the hub of the community. Whatever service the community needs can be found at School #33.

Unfortunately, neither the City or the City School District seem to understand that busing children to schools outside of their neighborhood breaks the connection to the neighborhood that they are trying to grow.

Investing in the physical aspects of a community does not change the attitudes of people, that they do not belong, either to the community or the country.

We must begin to invest in our children. Don’t bus them out of their revitalized neighborhoods, give families the opportunity to become connected by having children attend school in the neighborhood where they live and provide the connectedness necessary “to take responsibility for and contribute to their neighborhood.”

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The Stage Is Set

On Thursday, February 28, 2013, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education will hear “Raising the Bar: How Are Schools Measuring Teacher Performance?”. The hearing will be presented live via Webcast at 9:00 AM.

Ours is the only government that allows its citizens to take part in the working of its legislature. If our system of government is not transparent, it is the responsibility of the people to make it so. Transparency is not the problem. Active participation, or the lack thereof, is.

Teacher performance evaluation is an important aspect of success. However, measuring the performance of a single actor in a failed play is counterproductive. Before we can adeptly measure the success of the actors in a play, the play must first be proven successful. Our current system of education has never been successful for ALL of America’s children.

A great deal of time and money has already been spent covering the failure of our current system of education. However, there is no amount of time and money that can repair the damage our current system of education has heaped upon our children and our society. Our only hope is to recognize our failure and change our perspective in education to one that concentrates on the child.

As we build a successful, child centered system of education, there must be performance measure for all stakeholders in the process of education, not merely students and teachers. First and foremost, our education leaders must be held accountable for the programs that are provided, the funds to support successful programs, the courage to abandon failing programs, and the integrity to work with the community to provide an excellent education to all of its learners.

Before America can be successful, its citizens must be successful and the only way to insure that success is if every actor in the play performs their part with passion and resolve.

We must provide our children with the opportunity to become passionate actors in this play we call life. It sets the stage for a successful America.

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What Makes America Great

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

There are many views about what makes America great but the single most important aspect of America that makes it greater than any other country on Earth is its Constitution.

Our form of government, a government of the people, where every American is able to vote for or against every Bill presented before our legislators, that is the greatness of our country. Being free to take part in the direction of a country is a precious gift that those who have been deprived of such truly appreciate. It is time Americans realize how fortunate they are and then begin to take an active role in their part to lead this country to the greatness for which it was born.

In order to actively participate in government, you must be passionate about something. Passion dictates our decision making more than money or freedom. When mothers became passionate about the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers, MADD came together and forever changed the way Americans perceived the act and its consequences as well.

It is this intense passion that is needed to successfully and forever change the way Americans perceive our system of education.

Our current system of education does not inspire the individual passion within our children but instead, standardizes them so that they fit the 21st Century workforce mold. This insures that, though change will happen, it will happen slowly and under the control of those who profit from an unchanging system.

Our educational leaders must recognize that our system of education must inspire our children to become passionate members of our society so that America can be great again.

What makes America great is its people, the government. It it time we begin to properly educate our future citizens, our children.

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Pottersville The Remake

The Greatest Gift“, written by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1939, and privately published by the author in 1945 was the inspiration for the movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life” produced in 1946.

One of the most loved films of all times, George Bailey, being told by Mr. Potter, the regions wealthiest man, that he was worth more dead than alive decides to commit suicide to save his family’s bank and the town from falling into the hands of Potter. Clarence the angel saves him by showing him that his worth is not measured in dollars but in his integrity and humanity. In the end, all of the people he helped, help him, the bank and the town are saved and Clarence earns his wings.

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo came to Rochester to lay out his plans for our children and New York State.

For our children he wants longer days and a longer school year. The governor has been told and believes that if our children are in school for twelve hours a day, 200 days a year that the graduation rate will increase and our children will be better educated. Unfortunately, a high truancy and drop out rate tells us that it makes no sense increase the time children spend in school when they don’t even attend school during regular hours.

For New York State, he wants gambling casinos.

With Governor Cuomo leading us, New York’s future is as bleak as that of Bedford Falls without George Baily.

Our children will be in school all day so their parents can work in the casino’s without having to worry about them. Children will graduate knowing that their career will be dealing cards or serving drinks in the wonderful world of the rising moderate to middle class.

In 1946 we were shown two different views of the world. One in which humanity and integrity rule and the other in which “BB” is in control.

Our children deserve an excellent system of education, not more time in a failing one. Our State deserves to be great because of its great citizens.

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It’s Broken, Let’s Fix It

The Declaration of Independence States:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

The failure of our governments, local, state, and federal, to provide an excellent education to all of America’s children has caused a great many Americans to separate from their political ties.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

A child centered system of education will effect the safety and happiness of our children. It will also provide them with self-confidence, self-respect, respect for others, respect for life, and a love for learning.

This afternoon members of the Success-Driven Education Reform Consortium is meeting with Congresswoman Slaughter to discuss amendments to H.R. 555 The Universal Prekindergarten Act and revisions to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s ESEA
Re-authorization, Blueprint for Reform and Built for Teachers documents.

Members of SDERC will be asking Congresswoman Slaughter to support the changes made to these documents, to bring the amended documents before Congress for consideration and then to support the passing of all three Acts this Congressional session.

Our elected leaders cannot run our government on their own. It is because we have been silent for so long, participating independently without acting collectively that they have been forced to listen to the majority voice, “BB”, turning our children into to cogs in capitalist wheel, keeping them subservient to a budgeted existence.

Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of our children.

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Who’s Who In Government

Public Servant: A government official or employee

Servant: One that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer

There seems to be a misunderstanding about the role of those whom we have elected and their appointees and our role as citizens of the United States and the important aspect of this dynamic in the process of government.

We all believe that those we elect are in their positions to voice the concerns of their constituency and hopefully, will work cooperatively with those elected from other states to solve some of the overwhelming problems we face in our nation.

The public’s responsibility, as citizens, is to guide the decision making process of elected leaders by offering relevant, researched based solutions to the problems we face as a nation. And, when the people do their due diligence, our leaders are better able to do their due diligence.

Admittedly there are more citizens than elected leaders and not every idea is a good one. And, while it is necessary to have people that will delineate between those that are committed and those that should be, there must be a recognition of integrity and credibility that is not tied to the financial ability of some to pay their way into meetings with Senators, Congressmen, and even the President. Speaking directly with our elected leaders is the right of every American, not just the rich and famous and infamous.

We are at a time in our country’s history when the people are involved in establishing a real grassroots movement to take back their government. A real grassroots movement doesn’t involve millions of dollars. A real grassroots movement involves millions of voices. Each adding their pitch to the resounding call for change. Change begins with education.

We, the people, are the “Who” in our government and it is ours to shape and reshape according to our needs.

Our children deserve a better system of education and “we” must provide them with an excellent education that causes them to respect their role as citizens.

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