$2B Controlled By Smart Schools

Proverbs 22:7: The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

New York State is luring school districts into compliance with their failing educational practices by promising millions of dollars if they will prepare their schools to teach children to “participate in tomorrow’s economy.”

The Smart Schools Executive Summary begins with a misnomer meant to create concern for the lack of technology in the classroom. According to the report, the necessity for technology is that it “helps students gain the skills they need to compete for in-demand jobs in the 21st century economy.”

The summary continues, “furthermore, equipping all students with up-to-date tools is essential to ensure that New York State’s students develop the skills they need to become competitive participants in the 21st century economy.

There are seven “Keys to Success for Achieving a Smart School”.

1. Embrace and expand online learning . . .
2. Utilize transformative technologies . . . to deliver differentiated instruction . . .
3. Connect every school to high-speed broadband . . . and deliver sufficient wireless capability to serve every student. . .
4. Extend connectivity beyond the classroom . . .
5. Provide high-quality, continuous professional development . . . to ensure successful integration of technology into the teaching and learning experience.
6. Focus on in-demand STEM skills . . .
7. Plan, plan, and plan again

It seems as though Governor Cuomo and Microsoft have made a $2 billion dollar deal to push forward the Common Core testing regimen that has every student in every school taking standardized tests at the same time, on computers that collect data on the physical and emotional responses of our children to their assessments.

The plan is to capture this data in real time so that it can be utilized immediately to control the spending habits of our youth to insure their future profits.

Educational dollars must be spent on providing America’s children with a developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential education that concentrates on engaging their gifts and talents to build within them the confidence necessary to become concerned, respectful, responsible adults that take an active role in their government and its efficient and effective operation.

Our children are more important than their profits.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

The $2B Smart Schools Bond Act

The Smart Schools Commissioners, Eric Schmidt, Geoffrey Canada, and Constance Evelyn, released their final report to Governor Cuomo on, “the state and future of classroom technology and broadband connectivity in New York’s public schools and communities, along with a series of Smart Schools Keys to Success for school districts to consider.”

The commission was charged with, “advising the State, based on research and proven best practices, on how best to invest the proposed $2 billion in Smart Schools Bond Act to enhance teaching and learning through technology.”

The commission states that their report, “reflects the input of hundreds of parents, teachers, students, administrators, and private stakeholders convened in a series of public symposiums, staff meetings, school and facility tours, and through our website. . .”

The commission ends their introductory letter by saying, “It (the report) provides school districts with a roadmap to plan for and implement a technology-driven overhaul of their schools that enhances student achievement and prepares students to participate in tomorrow’s economy.”

The proposed allocation for Rochester would be $47,234,577, if they qualified, money that tax payers will have to repay, will have to be spent on technology and facilities.

Not all districts will receive Smart School funding, districts must submit an investment plan to receive grant funding.

There is a provision within the Smart Schools plan that states, “Any classroom technology purchased by a school district with Smart Schools funding must be made available, upon request, to students attending non-public schools within the same school district.”

It is reported that approved spending, “would have to fit the legislation passed by lawmakers earlier this year. Specifically, the bond would have to be spent on equipment like whiteboards, laptops and tablets; installing high-speed or wireless internet; or installing “high-tech security features” in schools.”

It is time we invest in our children by providing every child in America with a developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential education that discovers, develops, and directs their gifts and talents so that they can grow to become respectful, caring, responsible adults.

We want smart children not smart schools.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Concern Is Growing

Last night more than a hundred gathered to have an open dialogue regarding Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow.

The concern, the lack of equality in our judicial system that unfairly arrests, prosecutes, convicts, and incarcerates certain groups of Americans.

In the conversation it became evident that those who work in the justice system are more than concerned with the inequities that exist but also realize that the school to prison pipeline that feeds the prison system is responsible for the failure of our children to realize their true potential.

Using statistics to disseminate the causes of the failure of education does little to solve the problems that are contained within a system that was designed to fail a certain population of children.

Quoting those statistics to distract concerned citizens from the truth and convincing parents and educators to “fix what is wrong” is the same process used on our children to siphon billions out of education funding in the name of Special Education.

Our current system of education cannot be fixed because it isn’t broken. It is working exactly the way is was intended.

We can no longer be distracted by the causes of our children’s educational failure but must concentrate on changing the system of education so that it focuses on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of America’s children.

When we provide an excellent, developmentally appropriate education, delivered by knowledgeable, caring, dedicated educators in small class sizes so that interpersonal relationships can be formed between the teacher, parent, and student, the failure rate will decrease.

When educators can construct a curriculum that addresses the individual gifts and talents of their students that is based in the arts and provides for experiential learning opportunities that engage and excite learning, educational failure will turn into success.

When we allow our educators to be passionate about their gifts and talents and to use that passion to excite the creative process within their students, educational success will be realized.

Concern is growing, change is inevitable, success is a reality.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Respect Will End Bullying

Nobullying.com reports: “When children turn into bullies, there is almost always a psychological reason why they do so. While the majority of children don’t turn to bullying, the ones that do are usually crying out for help. The circumstances a child has dealt with in their life determine whether or not they will become a bully.

. . . When a child has become a bully, they want to show their dominance over other children and be admired by their schoolmates for it. Children who bully others want to receive affection and since they are not, they turn to picking on other kids.

. . . Many times, children who are bullies have suffered some form of abuse in their life. As a result, they often have trouble controlling both their actions and their emotions. They often struggle with psychological problems and drug and alcohol abuse as well as delinquency.

. . . Some kids will bully others simply because they think it is fun. And when teachers don’t do enough, or even worse, do nothing to stop the bullying the problem only becomes worse. Without an adult intervening, some kids see nothing wrong with bullying others. There are also many cases where parents set a bad example for their children which leads them to believe it is okay to be a bully.”

The only way to end bullying is to end the self-hatred that creates the bully.

Teaching children that they are gifted and talented, that they have something wonderful to offer the world will end the bullying that our children, parents, and teachers are exposed to everyday.

Providing every child in America with an excellent education that is developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential, and delivered by caring, dedicated adults that know through their gifts and talents they can show their students how to be proud of themselves by using their gifts and talents to make the world a better place.

We must work to change the system of education so that our children will respect themselves and others for the wonderful contributions they make to their school, community and world.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Disable the System – Support Our Children’s Gifts And Talents

Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities: >Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services.

Purpose of Program: The purposes of this program are to (1) help address State-identified needs for personnel preparation in special education, early intervention, related services, and regular education to work with children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities; and (2) ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in serving those children.

Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute. . .

Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

The purpose of the Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services priority is to improve the quality and increase the number of personnel who are fully credentialed to serve children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities—especially in areas of chronic personnel shortage—by supporting projects that prepare special education, early intervention, and related services personnel at the baccalaureate, master’s, and specialist levels. State demand for fully credentialed special education, early intervention, and related services personnel to serve infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities exceeds the available supply (Bruder, 2004a; Bruder, 2004b; McLeskey & Billingsley, 2008; McLeskey, Tyler, & Flippin, 2004). These shortages of fully credentialed personnel can negatively affect the quality of services provided to infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and their families (McLeskey et al., 2004).

Our children are gifted and talented and the federal government should be spending educational dollars educating teachers on how best to discover, develop, and direct those gifts and talents in order to teach our infants, toddlers, elementary, and secondary, students that that are wonderfully talented and their gifts will create a loving, more enlightened society.

Our children deserve to have their gifts and talents recognized.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Charter A Trip To Distraction

While some wonder if charter schools are the answer to the failure of public education to provide our neediest children with an excellent education the question still remains, “Why aren’t public schools providing the same type of education charter schools are able to provide their students?”

With State and Federal funding available to financially support public school systems with the highest concentrations of poverty the ability to offer their student populations a child centered, developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential education, delivered by knowledgeable and dedicated professional educators in a class size that allows the student and their family to develop an interpersonal relationship that extends to the entire school community, the discussion of whether or not to support charter schools becomes moot.

When Federal and State legislation and policy dictate practice, education becomes profitable as the “hedgehogs” push their data driven ideals upon our children.

We must ignore the distractions placed before us and concentrate on changing the system of education so that our children become the focus of our educational intentions.

When we acknowledge and educate the gifts and talents all of our children possess, the affect and effect will be the evolution of our society into the America it was intended to be; a nation of knowledgeable, respectful, concerned citizens that are involved in their government and elect leaders who represent their voice in the Senate and Congress in order to make the best decision for the entire nation according to majority rule.

The interest of education must be our children and not the dollars and data it takes to educate them. Our concentration must be on what our children can do and making them proud to do it.

Our teachers must be proud of their gifts and talents and be able to use them to excite and engage their students on a personal level that the Federal and State have no way to evaluate other than the successful, positive communities that will grow out of that pride.

We must ignore the distractions and fight for change.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Respect Trumps Poverty

The Democrat & Chronicle reported, “Some of the Rochester School District’s most persistent critics took their protest to the home of Board of Education president Van White on Tuesday, marching in the rain and railing against the district’s alleged failure to properly engage with parents.”

The Rochester City School District creates an educational disparity by not offering our children the opportunity to experience all of the engaging and culturally responsive learning venues in Rochester and its surrounding areas as a regular part of their education. Walking to school and being bused to a museum shows respect for the child and the process of learning.

The disrespect shown our students is also shown to their parents and teachers.

This creates another disparity that exists within most large urban areas of concentrated poverty.

When district leaders know and understand that the urban community, to which they should be responsive, has no voting voice parents are discounted. When teachers allow their union to make their voting decisions for them, they are discounted.

The only relevant voice then becomes that of the “hedgehogs”. Our children’s failure is directly tied to their profit margin; the more they fail, the more they make.

The only way to gain the respect of elected leaders is to raise our voice through our votes.

If parents feel that they are not being heard by their elected leaders they have the opportunity to vote them out in four years.

Our children have been experiencing educational failure for decades and the incumbents are consistently re-elected.

Our children deserve our best interest in the policies and procedures of the system that is supposed to educate them.

It is incumbent upon every adult of voting age to raise their voice to change the system of education so that it concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of our children.

When we stand together and show respect for each other, our children will begin to respect the adults in their environment and then they can have respect themselves.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!