Life Is A Choice – Death Is An Option

Choice: The opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities : The opportunity or power to make a decision.

Option: Something that can be chosen.

An excellent education provides our children with the opportunity to see and understand the possibilities that exist within them that make choosing their life’s path personal and meaningful.

If, in education, we don’t open the doors to the realm of possibilities for success in life, death becomes an option for our children.

Unfortunately, the morbidity rate of mis-education has increased the educational mortality rate of our young men and women.

It is impossible to teach our children how powerful they are when the adults in their immediate environment feel powerless to control their own lives. This attitude of helplessness is learned.

Children are born fearing nothing and loving everything. As they get older, they begin to adopt the attitudes and beliefs of the adults within their sphere of influence.

Upon entering school, children are introduced to a whole new set of attitudes and beliefs that they will juxtaposition against those they bring from their primary environment, home.

If, in school, children learn that their primary environment is unacceptable, they generalize that attitude and believe that they are also unacceptable.

In our current system of education, children of impoverished parents are not seen as having the “proper knowledge” base and are therefore “classified” as learning disabled so that they can receive the “special education” they must have in order to meet the requirements of the grade in which they have been placed.

Parents, whose children have been classified, accept this fate for their children because more than likely, they were indoctrinated into the system of education in the same way.

This sense of helplessness is perpetuated generation after generation as has become more than a symptom of mis-education but a legacy of failure throughout our country.

When our children are given no choice for a successful future, their only option is death by drugs, guns, incarceration, hopelessness.

Our children deserve the power of choice that an excellent education provides.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Building A Workforce vs Educating Children

Though Resolution 2013-14:32, which calls for entering into an agreement with the Gates Foundation to spend $360,000.00 to teach our district leaders how to manage the district, was tabled and moved to a Special Meeting to be discussed, it was not voted down.

The resolution should have already been discussed before coming to the Board for approval. Each member of the Board should have realized the ramifications of this agreement and, understanding the implications of the open-ended time reference, “future years” should have immediately rejected it on that basis alone.

What was approved by the Board was $15,213.00 with the justification that “Teachers will support the Teacher Incentive Fund Conference though Avatar work and programmatic support of the conference including presentation sessions aligned with the Regents Reform Agenda.”

$110,000.00 for “The Office of Professional Learning in Partnership with the Departments of ELA and Math will provide training for 7, 8, and 9th grade teachers on the Ramp Up and On Ramp protocols.”

$60,000.00 for a program that will provide “First Aid training with certification opportunity. Self-esteem and community building activities.”

Also approved was a series of amendments that moved $1,110,140.00 dollars out of the General Fund budget and into Title 1 Grant funding to cover the cost of summer school.

By not voting down Resolution 2013-14:32, approving the expenditure of money the district does not have, and having to redirect those expenditures to Title 1 funds that are designed to help those students with specific learning difficulties, our district leaders have proven that they are unable to properly manage the district and its affairs.

Is it the intention of the Board to follow the lead of corporate concupiscence by mis-educating our children to become the 21st Century workforce?

Is the Board more concerned with getting money to employ adults rather than using the money they have been given to educate our children?

As concerned citizens it is imperative that we are cognizant of the decisions that our elected, appointed, and hired leaders make.

We must change the leadership in order to change the system of education that has been failing our children for decades.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your “Piece”

Many sayings speak to the ignorance of mankind but none so relevant as those of Adolph Hitler who said,

“How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.”

and, “The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.”

The biggest lie ever told is “ignorance is bliss”.

People have clung to this saying to remain complacent in their own lives while living vicariously through others who feel more deserving of a better life because they have more money.

The truth, ignorance is not bliss, it is deadly.

The RSCD monthly business meeting was postponed until today, Monday, July 29, 2013. On the agenda is Resolution 2013-14 which calls for the district to enter into an agreement with the Gates Foundation for $360,000.00 to teach them how to manage the district.

There is only one speaker at tonight’s meeting addressing this agenda item.

The larger community is aware of the devastating effect of corporate influence on education, yet remains blissfully ignorant of their power to stop the corporate carnage devouring our children’s educational future.

We tell ourselves that nothing we do will make a difference, not understanding that by relinquishing our power their power increases.

They know they cannot take our power, we have to give it up freely and in doing so, we remove ourselves from the responsibility of self governing.

As their role models, seeing our lack of commitment to the truth, our children believe they are powerless and fall prey to the lie.

Our children look to us to help them make sense of this world. They see the acceptance of man’s inhumanity to man and believe this to be “the truth” of life since few speak out against it.

When we, as role models for our children, don’t believe in the power of our voice to change our world, what chance do our children have to stand against the “powers that be” to change their world?

We must stand together against the lie of ignorance.

Knowledge is empowering, our voice is powerful.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Student Success System Failure

The Federal government claims, “The Student Success Act (H.R. 5) will restore local control, support effective teachers, reduce the federal footprint, and empower parents.”

A summary of the bill states H.R. 5 will:

1. “dramatically reduce(s) the federal role in education by returning authority for measuring student performance and turning around low performing schools to states and local officials.”

2. “Instead of Washington bureaucrats making decisions, the legislation will allow superintendents, school leaders, and local officials to make funding decisions based on what they know will help improve student learning.”

3. “maintain(s) separate funding streams for the Migrant Education, Neglected and Delinquent, English Language Acquisition, Rural Education, and Indian Education programs, but merges them into Title I of the law.”

and

4. “the bill supports the development and implementation of state and locally driven teacher evaluation systems that provide states and school districts the tools necessary to measure an educator’s influence on student achievement.”

Republican Tod Rokita says, “Many Hoosiers will also be pleased to know that the Student Success Act prohibits the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core, again returning accountability and standards to state and local school districts, where it belongs.”

While this deregulation seems like a good idea, leaving an issue as important as education to the 50 individual states given the current data on the transience of the American family, is an irresponsible response to a very complex problem that can only be solved by uniting educational efforts with a Constitutional amendment making the provision of an excellent, child centered, free and public education a guaranteed right of every child in America.

As well, the adoption of this Bill comes only after Federal Common Core Standards have been created and forced upon states and will continue to drive the teaching and evaluation process of most inner city, high poverty, districts as they scramble to access Federal entitlement dollars while wading through mounds of State regulations handed down by corporate influence.

We cannot allow our elected officials, at the Federal, State, or local level to wash their hands of our children’s educational future.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Common Core Capitulation

Commissioner Mary Adams has called for a committee of individuals who are interested in developing guidelines for complying with the common core curriculum handed down by the Federal government.

And, while it is prudent to take steps necessary to secure the Federal funding necessary to maintain our current funding, it is not wise to continue to spend time and money in support of a system of education that has proven, year after year, to fail to provide an excellent education to all of America’s children.

There have always been standards of performance for students and teachers and like the Common Core those standards are lax in their “rigor” and unmeasurable except for a “norm referenced” group of individuals.

The expectation for the Common Core curriculum is that it will be used to assess students and teachers on their educational progress and teaching abilities. It will do neither.

In order to assess students properly, Common Core standards cannot be “student will” statements. If levels of ability are preset for students, their true gifts and talents will never be recognized as relevant to the norm.

Instead, Common Core standards, that align with the developmental learning abilities of all children should read, “Student is able to”.

In order to properly assess teacher’s instructional capabilities, there should be included in the Common Core, “teacher will” statements.

For example, “Teacher will, in accordance with the developmental learning ability of the student, observe, note, and construct lessons that specifically address the multiple intelligences of the students enrolled in their classes.”

We cannot continue to capitulate to the small battles and expect to win the war to change the current system of education from one that dehumanizes our children to a system of education that inspires the creativity, ingenuity, individuality, and spirituality of our children.

Commissioner Adams is, understandably, working within the system to open the doors of education to the community however, upon entering we must not accept what is before us but work diligently to change what has been forced upon us.

Our children are not “common”.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Be It Resolved

Thursday, July 25, 2013, at the monthly business meeting of the Board of Education, Commissioners will vote on Resolution No 2013-14: which calls for the Superintendent to enter into an agreement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that will allow the foundation to:

“serve as the District’s Technical Assistance Partner, deliver tools, training, benchmarking and guidance, provide the framework for analysis, leadership, change management as well as execution and monitoring of Operating Budgets for 2014-2015 and future years, with the goal to improve efficiency and effectiveness of budgeting processes and the alignment of resources to implement the District’s instructional priorities based on a consideration of value versus cost, for the period August 1, 2013, or as soon thereafter as the Agreement is fully executed, through October 31, 2014, for a sum not to exceed Three Hundred Sixty Thousand Dollars (360,000.00), funded by the Office of the Superintendent and/or the School District Management Efficiency Grant, through the Office of the Superintendent, contingent upon grant funding and budget appropriations and contingent upon the form and terms of the Agreement having been approved by Counsel to the District.”

In layman’s terms, the Commissioners of the Board of Education are considering entering into an agreement with the Gates Foundation to receive $1.2 million dollars, $360,000.00 of which the district has to put up first, to learn how to manage the fiscal responsibilities of the district.

While it is evident that the current sitting Board is lacking in the knowledge and understanding necessary to successfully manage their fiscal responsibilities, spending $360,000.00 to “function as a testing ground” is irresponsible.

By adopting this resolution, the Board will be handing over the “Operation” of the district to an entity that cares nothing about the children the district is charged with educating.

Their goal “the alignment of resources . . . based on a consideration of value versus cost“.

The goal of education is to provide children with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful citizen of the United States and the world, not the alignment of resources.

Stop the sale of our children’s educational future. Speak out against the adoption of this resolution.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Let’s Untwist It

Responsibilities of the Board
The Rochester Board of Education is a seven-member board elected by the citizens of Rochester to direct and oversee the operations of the school district. Board Commissioners serve four-year terms. Among the responsibilities of the Board of Education are the following:
•Setting the strategic direction of the District through policy development and adoption.
•Appointing the Superintendent of Schools.
•Promoting an alliance of teachers, administrators, students, parents, citizens, government, and community resources.
•Working to secure adequate resources for maximizing student learning.
•Ensuring the wise use of community educational assets and resources.
•Serving on Board committees addressing the areas of Board Governance & Development, Audit, Community and Intergovernmental Relations, Finance & Resource
Allocation, Policy Development & Review, and Excellence in Student Achievement.
•Representing the best interests of the citizens of Rochester through effective leadership.

Board Commissioners serve as liaisons to specific schools. Board liaisons visit their assigned schools periodically and serve as advocates to the full Board on behalf of those schools.

Millions upon millions of dollars have been spent over the last twelve years hiring, firing, retiring, rehiring, removing, and approving superintendents that have done little more than usurp parent and community authority in our district through the inefficient and ineffective leadership of the Board of Commissioners.

School Board Commissioners have failed to diligently follow Board policy concerning their own positions and have shown little to no integrity in holding either the Superintendent or Central Office administration to the efficient and effective performance of their duties.

Managing a school district is not a popularity contest, it is a position of great responsibility and challenges.

Reading Board Policy 2160 – Code of Ethics, it is evident that the Board, the Superintendent, and district administrators have fallen short of meeting 2160 requirements.

It is the responsibility of citizens to know and understand the expectations of the individual they are voting into office and whether or not the incumbents have been diligently fulfilling the duties of the office to which they were elected.

Holding public office means earning the public’s trust.

Our children deserve their best.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!