Then And Now

In the past, children would get up in the morning, do their chores, eat breakfast, walk to school, come home, eat dinner, do their homework, and go to bed.

What you learned in school was connected to everyday life to make understanding easier and more relevant and your classmates were neighborhood friends.

Reading involved discussion, Math provided consistency, Science explained life and Social Studies made the world more interesting. Homework was a reinforcement of the days learning and was reviewed the next day in school.

At the end of the school day children would come home, open their books, do their homework and chores, eat dinner, and go to bed.

If you were able to complete your homework and chores before dinner, you could go outside and play until you were called in for the night, before it got dark.

Saturday and Sunday were the days children had to relax and play.

Today, children are in school for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner in after-school programs. There are even Saturday school programs.

Subjects are disconnected from each other having little to no relevance to the child’s life experiences making comprehension difficult and in some cases, impossible.

Homework is no longer a reinforcement of the days lessons but an extension of learning that cannot take place in class due to test prep and reviewed only in rare instances.

Children cannot bring their books home to help them study because they may be lost or damaged and their friends who attend different schools with different school work, cannot help either.

Education has become a “place holder” instead of a tool for advancement, learning time has been replaced with “time on task” and school has become a “babysitting” service with free transportation.

The concentration is no longer on the child but on graduation rates and children are not being prepared for life but for the workforce.

Education no longer leads to success but overwhelming failure.

Children and their learning styles have not changed, our system of education and the learning environment has.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Love and Happiness vs Hate and Discontent

In the past, the goal of public education was to provide children with the experiences and opportunities in life that their parents could not.

Bringing children together in order to broaden their interpersonal skills and understanding of the various cultures that exist throughout the world was part of the curriculum.

To be educated meant that you were given the skills to survive in whatever environment you happened to find yourself whether it be forest or fancy restaurant.

In the past, public education prepared children for their role as an informed citizen that was able to read the daily newspaper, understand, and discuss current events at home and around the world.

Please and thank you, excuse me, after you, were expected human kindnesses and helping one another was a heart felt value not a monetary one.

Being an elected official was more than a popularity or beauty contest, you actually had to have your “finger on the pulse of America”.

In the past Americans took pride in themselves and in their country.

Today, the goal of education is to get children college or career ready. It separates children by placing undue attention on arbitrary concepts such as wealth and race.

Environmental survival skills have been removed from the curriculum and reading the newspaper to learn about and discuss current events has become an obsolete concept.

You rarely hear adults say please or thank you to children in a respectful way, excuse me has become an ultimatum, me first has replaced after you, and giving at the office has replaced helping your neighbor.

Being an elected official means forwarding your own agenda regardless of what Americans actually want or need.

Get over to get by has made it impossible for anyone to take pride in themselves or in America.

It is time we took a few steps back to figure out where we fell off the track. We have to return to that time in our history when love and happiness were coveted in order to replace the hate and discontent we are currently experiencing.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Special Education Or Education Slavery

According to NYSED, “Instructional Expenditures for General Education are K-12 expenditures for classroom instruction (excluding Special Education) plus a proration of building level administrative and instructional support expenditures. These expenditures include amounts for instruction of students with disabilities in a general-education setting. District expenditures, such as transportation, debt service and district-wide administration are not included.”

According to the New York State Department of Education’s district Report Card, this district’s per pupil instructional expenditure for General Education students is $9,594. The per pupil instructional expenditure for Special Education students is $26,624.

The Rochester City School District has reported that 56% of its students receive Special Education services with a classification rate that is 5.1% higher than the State average. One does not need to be a mathematician or an accountant to understand that the district received three times more money for classified, Special Education students than General Education students.

Rochester citizens are told that schools will have to close due to decreased enrollment yet the NYSED Report Card shows that enrollment at the Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten levels has increased.

The total number of teachers decreased from 3018 in 2009-10 to 2717 in 2011-12 (301) with the total number of assistant principals doubling in the same period.

According to the Accountability Report, the only group to achieve a Performance Index(A PI is a value from 0 to 200 that is assigned to an accountability group, indicating how that group performed on a required State test (or approved alternative)) greater than or equal to the EAMO or Safe Harbor Target for Secondary ELA Performance was African American Males which happens to be the group with the highest classification rate.

The resistance to change the focus of education so that it concentrates on the gifts and talents of every child is because districts receive three times more money to educate a “disabled” child. As well, a classified child can remain in the system two or more years longer than the average Gen Ed student.

It is time we stop using our children to fund an inefficient and ineffective system of education that produces nothing but failure.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Control And Chaos

Control: to direct the behavior of (a person or animal); to cause (a person or animal) to do what you want; to have power over (something); to direct the actions or function of (something); to cause (something) to act or function in a certain way.

Chaos: Complete confusion and disorder : a state in which behavior and events are not controlled by anything.

Only fifteen days into the school year and elementary and secondary schools throughout the Rochester City School District are suffering from widespread violence.

Parents, teachers, and families of both had “Coffee with the Superintendent” last night to discuss the violence and bullying their loved ones are experiencing in schools.

At the same time members of the Policy Committee were meeting in the next room to discuss issues of violence, the number of incidents of arrests last year and the demographics of those arrests.

The reality is, when an undue amount of external control is placed on individuals those individuals will respond negatively and chaos will ensue.

This is what is happening in the district.

As district controls encroach upon the freedoms that should exist within the learning environment, children are beginning to revolt.

One parent reported that the structured schedule every school must follow does not allow time for students to come together and have their morning discussion, trading interpersonal communication with district control.

Another parent reported that their child’s school suspended their field trip to a farm because it was not directly related to the Common Core curriculum.

Here, district control takes the place of experiential learning.

We are seeing the negative effects of district efforts to control and standardize our children.

Understanding the developmental learning process of children to discover, develop, and direct their gifts and talents will drastically decrease the need for the external controls the district has adopted.

A child centered education teaches the child to respect themselves and others by controlling their own behavior.

Providing an engaging, developmentally appropriate learning environment for children all but eliminates the violence and chaos an externally controlled environment insures.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Don’t Standardize Me

Recently Jaden Smith, son of actor Will Smith received negative comments from mainstream media for his comments about the system of education in America.

His comments:

“If Everybody In The World Dropped Out Of School We Would Have A Much More Intelligent Society;” and

“School Is The Tool To Brainwash The Youth;” and

“If Newborn Babies Could Speak They Would Be The Most Intelligent Beings On Planet Earth.”

The young actor is not wrong.

Our current system of education is wrought with failure, mis-educating even the most well-educated in America.

The fact that homeschooling is rapidly increasing across the United States, lends credence to Smith’s first statement since parents are a child’s first and generally best teacher.

The acceptance of a Common Core Curriculum and Standardized testing actually prove Smith’s second statement that “School is the tool to brainwash the youth”.

To teach all children the same thing in the same way and then test their acquisition of that teaching in the same format for ten years is tantamount to brainwashing.

Smith’s last statement could not be more correct since newborn babies are free of the fears and hatred they acquire as they get older.

The reaction to Smith’s comments actually prove rather than disprove his points.

Our current system of education does not concentrate on educating the child but on producing a 21st Century workforce that is intelligent enough to do the work and complacent enough not to question the relevance of the work being done.

Free thinking children grow up to become free thinking adults and free thinking adults cannot be told how to live, what to wear, what to think, and most importantly, how to vote.

It is interesting that the mainstream media noted the negative comments Smith received without reporting any positive comments received. This is all part of the “brainwashing” Smith attributes to schooling.

Smith never said that education was not important, his comments were about school.

It is time we stop “schooling” our children and begin to provide them with an excellent, child-centered, developmentally appropriate education.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

More Cuts = More Corps

Once again the American people are faced with across the board cuts to federal spending that will undoubtedly trickle down to negatively affect the growing “middle class” by increasing taxes and lowering services.

The elected leaders of our country, after years of uncontrolled spending and corporate pandering, now expect the American public to place their children’s education and the nation’s health on the line to help pay for their inability to effectively and efficiently manage our resources.

“The current salary (2013) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year.

The median personal wealth for members of Congress grew to $911,510 in 2009, up from $785,515 in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Nearly half of the members of Congress are millionaires.”

With 535 Representatives earning $174,000 the American people are paying our elected officials more than $93,090,000 in salary which does not include benefits. This is in addition to the money they receive from retirement payments.

The first sequester brought about a Congressional pay “freeze” which amounted to a savings of $856,000.

However, since Congress got us into our debt problems it is only reasonable to expect them to get us out by refusing their entire $174,000 salary until the federal budget becomes more manageable.

Instead, the American people will be convinced that legislators are doing everything they can to stop the uncontrolled spending which mean, educators, who make an average of $53,000 a year, must take a pay cut or loose their jobs in order to help bolster the economy.

In the meantime, corporate takeover of health, education, and incarceration are forcing our nation’s children into a lifetime of slavish servitude to a 21st Century workforce, running after the “middle class” carrot that is getting smaller and smaller as the “middle class” grows.

Until we understand that an excellent, child centered, experiential, developmentally appropriate education is the only answer to the myriad of social and economic problems we face in America, we will remain enslaved to the system of capitalism that has devoured the democratic system of government upon which our country was founded.

One man, one vote is the only hope our children have.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Capitalizing On Socialism

Democracy: A form of government in which people choose leaders by voting; an organization in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights; government by the people.

Socialism: A way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies; a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

Capitalism: A way of organizing an economy so that the things that are used to make and transport products are owned by individual people and companies rather than by the government; an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods.

Estimated FY 2013 Spending for Governments in the United States: Governments spend about $0.8 trillion a year on education. . . principally at the local government level. The federal government spends about $0.9 trillion a year on defense. . . Governments spend $0.6 trillion on welfare programs.

When local, state, and federal government agencies contract with private corporations for their goods and services, it behooves private corporations to create a market for those goods and services to insure their profits.

Capitalizing on the mis-education of America’s citizens becomes profitable when the lack of education disenfranchises citizens and removes them from the voting pool. As well, when disenfranchised individuals become part of the welfare system, they are less likely to vote or become ineligible to vote due to their criminal history.

Privatizing education allows corporations to manage the flow of voter turnout and choice by standardizing the information our children receive and for which they are accountable.

When the government, our elected leaders, is owned and controlled by corporations we no longer have a democracy but a socialistic society with Marxist overtones that combines capitalism and communism to promote and maintain a class system in America in which the “middle class” support both the upper and lower class through the collection of taxes.

This is not what democracy looks like.

Our children deserve to live in a democracy.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!