Excellence, Expectations, and Standards

Excellence: The quality of being outstanding or extremely good; an outstanding feature or quality

Expectation: A strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future; a belief that someone will or should achieve something.

Standard: A level of quality or attainment; an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations.

There should be only one Federal standard when referring to the system of education in America and that is excellence. The United States Constitution should be amended to read, “Every State shall provide every child in America with an excellent education.”

The expectation should be that every child will achieve something outstanding or extremely good, in their future.

The only way to reach an educational standard of excellence is to change the focus of education so that it concentrates on the gifts and talents of our children and by allowing our children to set personal standards of excellence for themselves.

When we provide every child with an excellent education, that is developmentally appropriate, founded in the arts, experiential, and delivered in neighborhood schools, by dedicated teachers in low student/teacher class sizes, who are experienced in discovering and developing a child’s gifts and talents, children will understand that their special gifts and talents are necessary in order to make our world a better place in which to live.

Once children know and understand that their lives are an important contribution to the betterment of society, they will grow to become actively engaged, knowledgeable, citizens who respect themselves and the contributions others bring to the table of life.

The level of attainment for all children in America, the “thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations” must be excellence.

When we expect every child to do their best, challenging them to become as great as they were created to be, personal failure is no longer an option.

When we have an expectation of educational excellence for all children, the standard becomes the discovery of the individual outstanding feature or quality of every child.

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The Grass Has Taken Roots

Citizens across New York State are pushing forward, the movement to end high stakes testing for use as measures of evaluation for teachers and administrators as well as the data mining of student information that is irrelevant to childhood development, or education, with more strength than ever.

Parents are supporting teachers and teachers are supporting parents. Organizers are banding together and supporting each others’ efforts, the only power of a true grassroots movement.

Now it is time for everyone to support our children.

The push back against testing and data mining is necessary but the movement must not stop there. Every parent, teacher and concerned citizen must fight to change the focus of education so that it concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of America’s children.

If we continue to concentrate on trying to “fix what is wrong” with our children, not recognizing the gifts and talents each child possesses, we will continue to fall prey to the manipulation of educational dollars into the pockets of the “hedgehogs” who will seek to control the spending habits of an increased “middle class” through the “mandated” use of their technology to administer tests, regardless of their purpose.

When we change the language of the Federal government to Constitutionally guarantee the excellent education of every child in America and leave the responsibility of how to deliver that excellent education to the Local Education Agencies serving their population of children, with the States holding each LEA accountable for the delivery of an excellent education to every child in their district, we can realize the true intent of education, the creation of a knowledgeable, respectful, responsible, actively engaged citizenry who sustain and are sustained by the entrepreneurial enterprises in their community thus reducing and/or eliminating the need for big business and debt.

Providing all children with an excellent education by ending the control of corporations over education policy and the $788 million tax dollars that support the Federal education budget will strengthen the voice of the people and create a more powerful America.

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From The Federal Register

United States Code, 2013 Edition
Sec. 6303 – School improvement

(a) State reservations
Each State shall reserve 2 percent of the amount the State receives under subpart 2 of part A of this subchapter for fiscal years 2002 and 2003, and 4 percent of the amount received under such subpart for fiscal years 2004 through 2007, to carry out subsection (b) of this section and to carry out the State’s responsibilities under sections 6316 and 6317 of this title, including carrying out the State educational agency’s statewide system of technical assistance and support for local educational agencies.

(b) Uses
Of the amount reserved under subsection (a) of this section for any fiscal year, the State educational agency—

(1) shall allocate not less than 95 percent of that amount directly to local educational agencies for schools identified for school improvement, corrective action, and restructuring, for activities under section 6316(b);

(c) Priority
The State educational agency, in allocating funds to local educational agencies under this section, shall give priority to local educational agencies that—

(1) serve the lowest-achieving schools;

(2) demonstrate the greatest need for such funds

How does funding low performing schools improve the academic achievement of the disadvantaged?

Funding the closing and reopening of school buildings and restructuring the administration has had no effect on the failure of LEA’s to provide an excellent education to children who live in urban and rural areas.

Agency Information Collection Activities:
Comment Request; Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Third Party Perjury Form
The form is used by Privacy Act requesters to obtain personal records via regular mail, fax or email. The department will use the information to help identify first-party or third party requesters with same or similar name when requesting retrieval of their own documents.

What does this have to do with educating children?

Our current system of education funds failure and collects data.

Changing the focus of education so that it concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all children is the only way to achieve educational success.

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Respect For Everyone

Recently a radio segment featured the author of a book about parents respecting their children.

Our current system of education shows little respect for the gifts and talents of our children.

By standardizing and normalizing our children according to the data that is collected and inconsequential to the educational development of the child, children who do not and will not meet the norm are systematically labeled and tracked as needing Special Education services, receiving more funding, making them more valuable to the “hedgehogs”.

By acknowledging and then discovering, developing, and directing, the gifts and talents of every child, we are showing respect for the individual contribution every human being can make in their life to the betterment of their community and this world.

By allowing mistakes to become learning opportunities our children will begin to challenge themselves to greatness and become passionate about positive things that make them proud of who they are.

Providing a multitude of different experiences opens the child’s world to the possibilities that can become reality. Poverty doesn’t stop the music it provides the opportunity to find an innovative way to play the music anyway.

By empowering our children to look beyond where they are to be able to go wherever they choose we are insuring the evolution of all mankind into a society where the differences about us are our greatest resource and collaboration centers around building relationships and finding positive, non-life threatening solutions to the global problems we face.

To exclude any child from receiving an excellent education means that we will continue to fail to move forward to a time when we actually realize the true intent of America, “Freedom and Justice for All

America deserves an educated citizenry in order to become the powerful nation it was intended to be.

Our children deserve to be respected so that they can respect themselves and understand that others deserve respect as well.

Respect every child, provide every child with an excellent education that discovers, develops, and directs their individual gifts and talent.

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Change The System – Change The Standards

Early childhood education must be about uncovering the hidden talent every child possesses.

Educational standards should provide guidelines on how to discover that hidden talent.

Standard 1:
Ask the child questions and listen to the answer the child gives.
In order to discover the gifts and talents of any child, you have to hold a conversation with that child.

Standard 2:
Watch the child play without interrupting, even when a problem arises between children. Allowing the children to work out the problem as best they can before adult intervention.

Standard 3:
Listen to the conversations between children without adult interpretation. These are children who do not yet understand adult concepts of love, sex, and all manners of physicality that they may or may not have been taught.

If a child is affectionate, that is an attribute of the child, some children are shy. If a child is outgoing, that is another positive attribute that can point to leadership abilities.

Standard 4:
Provide a multitude of play activities for the child to experience and then notice which activities the child favors and avoids and create a connection between the two. Show the child how to include the activity they don’t necessarily like in the activity they prefer.

Standard 5:
Provide a multitude of experiences, museums, zoos, farms, classical music, plays that the child wouldn’t necessarily be privy to in the home, then watch how the child interacts with the experience. Comfort the child’s fears, support their interests, and challenge them to explore new and different things.

Standard 6:
Role model the positive expression of the individual gifts and talents of the adults in the educational environment and use those gifts and talents to create a developmentally appropriate, engaging, experiential, and inspiring curriculum that promotes conversation and critical thought between and among all stakeholders in the school community.

Standard 7:
Provide a positive and engaging learning environment that allows for reflection by teacher and students within the process of discovery.

Providing and excellent education to every child is possible when you concentrate on the gifts and talents of every child.

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Discipline And Drugs Or Love And Attention

Recently, a football player, raised in the South, “cut a switch” from a tree and “beat” his son. This caused a great deal of media attention on the discipline measures one should take with children.

Admittedly there are better ways to discipline a child however, if it was good enough for dad, it was good enough for dad’s son, after all dad turned out pretty good.

We are expected to reject this type of punishment while being told to believe that prescribing psychotropic medication to a three year old child is acceptable.

The bruises from the spanking will heal and whatever action brought on the disciplinary measure will give pause for thought before being repeated.

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant prescribed to children from 3 to 5 years of age who have been diagnosed with ADHD. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Side Effects:
Palpitations, tachycardia, elevation of blood pressure, sudden death, myocardial infarction. There have been isolated reports of cardiomyopathy associated with chronic amphetamine use.

Central Nervous System:
Psychotic episodes at recommended doses, overstimulation, restlessness, dizziness, insomnia, euphoria, dyskinesia, dysphoria, depression, tremor, headache, exacerbation of motor and phonic tics and Tourette’s syndrome, seizures, stroke.

Dryness of the mouth, unpleasant taste, diarrhea, constipation, other gastrointestinal disturbances. Anorexia and weight loss may occur as undesirable effects.

Urticaria, rash, hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema and anaphylaxis. Serious skin rashes, including Stevens Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis have been reported.

Impotence, changes in libido.

Long-term use of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine can slow a child’s growth.

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is a drug of abuse and may be habit-forming.

JAMA Pediatrics reports, “. . . Most studies have not benchmarked the appropriateness of medication treatment against actual DSM-based diagnostic status.”

Our children are loaded with energy, wanting to explore their world and exert their individual creativity. Playing with them, talking to them, teaching them right from wrong is the role of every adult, not just parents.

Education is the problem and the solution.

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Better Now Than Ever

There is a resurgence of push back against the common core.

“NYS Parents Fight to Reclaim Student Education from Excessive Testing and Data Collection: 250,000 High-Stakes Test Boycotts Planned Statewide”
For more information contact:
Eric Mihelbergel (716) 553-1123; nys.allies@gmail.com
Jeanette Deutermann (516) 902-9228; nys.allies@gmail.com
NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) – http://www.nysape.org

“Our representatives in Congress need to stand up for parents and strike back against government agencies far too cozy with business interests and profiteers,” said Lisa Rudley, Westchester County public school parent and founding member of NYSAPE.

“John King’s casual and dismissive attitude towards the law in NY only reinforces the need for strict parental consent legislation,” said Anna Shah, Dutchess County public school parent.

Jeanette Deutermann, Nassau County public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out says, “We won’t stop until our children’s education system returns to a focus on learning rather than test scores and data collection, and we have a plan to accomplish this.”

Chris Cerrone, Erie County public school parent, middle school educator, and Springville-Griffith Institute CSD Board Member, says, “We intend to reach out to both state and federal legislators through a tactical campaign.”

NYS Allies for Public Education consists of over 50 parent and educator advocacy groups across New York State. More details about our education positions and advocacy can be found at http://www.nysape.org.

It will take a concerted effort by parents, students, teachers, and community members to bring about the change necessary to realize the goal of creating an excellent system of education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all children.

The first move, to change the language of the Federal government’s entitlement programs.

All children are gifted and talented in some way.

Education dollars must be spent to insure that every child is educated in a classroom that has a low student/teacher ratio. Every student deserves a dedicated teacher that delivers a child centered, developmentally appropriate, arts founded, experiential education that focuses on teaching the child how to use their abilities to overcome life’s challenges in a positive and productive manner.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!