The Irony Is Profitable

Janice and Geoffrey Strauss published an article in pressconnects titled, “Want to fix the teacher shortage? Here’s how.”

The article outlines eight ways to make teaching a more attractive profession.

To summarize the article they state, “If we want more teachers, we must make the profession attractive financially and creatively. Let teachers do what they do best — teach!”

How much more “attractive” can “teaching” be?

1. You no longer have to be dedicated to educating children, just willing.
2. You are given a structured curriculum, so no time spent differentiating for students.
3. You are given scripted lessons, so no time spent bringing personal experience into the lesson.
4. Many students are classified with learning disabilities so they are out of the classroom for a substantial portion of the day, lowering the class size.
5. You only work 180 days out of the year.
8. You are given a monetary incentive to work in failing schools.
9. Controlling student behavior is more important than guiding student learning.
10. Student success depends on how well a question is answered not how well the concept is understood.
11. Reading is decoding, Math is rote, Social Studies/History/Geography is almost non-existent and Science is delivery not discovery.

Making the teaching profession attractive attracts the wrong type of individual to it, leaving the profession to be ridiculed and disrespected.

There are plenty of dedicated educators wanting to become and remain teachers if they would simply receive the respect they deserve as gifted and talented individuals who recognize and respect the fact that every child they serve is also gifted and talented and can be taught to be an asset to their family, their community and this world.

Research has shown that receiving respect in the workplace is more important than receiving a monetary increase in pay to individuals who are dedicated to their profession.

When we provide every child in America with a developmentally appropriate, Arts based, experiential education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their individual gifts and talents towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens, there will be no lack of dedicated teachers to guide them.

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It Isn’t Great

In the latest GS4A blog author Mark Hare writes, “As a recent Century Foundation report notes, at least 91 school districts now use socioeconomic status as a factor in assigning students, up from just a couple in 1996, and around 40 in 2007. . .

. . . Huge majorities of both city and suburban parents here {Rochester} now say they want (not just tolerate) much more diverse schools for their children because they believe that when schools look more like the world we live in, they will better prepare children to succeed in that world.”

What is the purpose in knowing the socioeconomic status of the parents of the children we are Constitutionally bound to educate?

If, in America, “All men are created equal” then “All” children should receive the same excellent education regardless of any status.

If huge majorities of parents want more diverse schools for their children why did they move into segregated neighborhoods with segregated schools?

When we integrate our neighborhoods our schools will be integrated. However, if we continue to place a monetary value on educational success then there will always be a discrepancy in the value of education received by children who live in the “wrong” neighborhoods.

Should this integration model succeed, another wheel will be placed in the “hedgehog” slavery machine. Integration is simply another means of segregation. It does not address the standardization of our children in every school nor does it guarantee that the children integrated will benefit from being bussed out of their “inadequate” neighborhoods and schools.

Teaching children that money and the lack thereof determines a persons “station” in life is as archaic as it is hatful.

The only way to end poverty in America is to refocus our educational intent from growing workers to inspiring children to become creative thinkers that believe in themselves and their ability to positively change the world by acknowledging and respecting their own gifts and talents and the gifts and talents that everyone else possesses in order to make this world a better place to live for every human being, not just the wealthy ones.

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An Effort To Maintain Confusion

From the Federal Register:

Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Form for Maintenance-of Effort Waiver Requests Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended

Abstract: Section 8521(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act provides that a local educational agency may receive funds under title I, part A and other ESEA “covered programs” for any fiscal year only if the State educational agency finds that either the combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate expenditures of the LEA and the State with respect to the provision of free public education by the LEA for the preceding fiscal year was not less than 90 percent of the combined fiscal effort or aggregate expenditures for the second preceding fiscal year. This provision is the maintenance of effort requirements for LEAs under the ESEA.”

This is the confusing language of government that thwarts the efforts of education advocates to change the system.

Our governments, both federal and state, collect tax dollars to provide every child with a free and public education. The fact that some families send their children to private school should ease the financial burden on public education to provide for those children whose families do not contribute to the tax system.

At the State level, the coffers of the education budget are supported by a lottery that boasts payouts in the hundreds of millions, only ten percent of the dollar intake from the lottery. Though ninety percent of the lottery money is to support public education, the majority of the money accrued is, through governmental language, placed into the “general fund” of the state to support anything but education.

When we concentrate on spending our educational tax dollars on providing every child in America with a free and public education that is developmentally appropriate, founded in the Arts, experiential, and concentrated on discovering, developing, and directing their individual gifts and talents towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens, our efforts will be to maintain that high level of educational success for every child.

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Super Intent End

There are those who believe that our current system of education is best for our children as long as it is implemented properly.

They too believe that college and career ready adults should be the result of a successful system of education.

In his article, Who Should Formulate Policy in America, the People or the Politicians? The Essentials of “Good Government” William John Cox explains,

“The Essentials of Good Government

Irrespective of culture or national origin, from the most ancient tribal-based settlements to the unimaginable societies of the future, there have been and will continue to be certain essential organizational functions required to preserve the integrity of the group. As basic public policy, good government must:

Provide every child with equal access to nutrition, health care, and education;
• Provide economic security to ensure the ability of all parents to care for their families;
Provide and enforce laws to guarantee equal opportunity and individual rights for everyone;
• Provide physical security to defend the society and its people; and
• Provide coordination of large-scale efforts to serve the public good.”

Cox continues to ask some very important questions,

“• If the American People are capable of earning their own living, raising their children, paying taxes, and being emotionally and physically maimed and dying in the defense of their Nation, aren’t they smart enough to have a more direct say in the policies that govern their future and the destiny of their children?

• Have the money interests become so entrenched in both major political parties that the politicians no longer address the needs of the People?

• Are the People once again being taxed without representation?

It is the purpose of the “hedgehogs” to countermand the principles of good government to remain in control of the policies, procedures, and programs used to enslave the masses.

When we provide every child in America with a developmentally appropriate, Arts based, experiential education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their gifts and talents towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens, they will, in turn, guarantee equal opportunity and individual rights for everyone.

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Questionable Spending

Federal Register:

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and approval; Comment Request; Preschool Development Grants-Preschool Pay for Success Feasibility Pilot

Abstract: Pay For Success is an innovative contracting and financing model that tests and advances promising and proven interventions, while providing taxpayer (or other) dollars for successful outcomes for families, individuals, and communities.

Taxpayer dollars are going to be used to intervene into what and what outcomes are expected to be successful?

Through a PFS project, government (or another entity) enters into a contract with an investor to pay for services provided to specific people or communities once concrete, measurable outcomes have been achieved. Payments are made only if interventions achieve the outcomes agreed upon in advance. Where PFS financing is used, the government (or other entity) typically makes Outcomes Payments that cover the cost of services and also offer Investors a modest return, which typically amounts to a fraction of the short and long-term cost savings to the government (or other entity) from the successful outcomes.

This is a sound investment for “hedgehogs”

The first step in exploring implementing preschool services through PFS is a Feasibility Study.

More data collection, more profit collection.

A Feasibility Study establishes whether PFS is viable, for a specific intervention, in a specific jurisdiction and geographic area. It identifies potential Outcome Measures for the project and evaluates the feasibility of implementing or scaling a specific intervention for an identified Target Population. The study analyzes and quantifies the fiscal benefits for government and societal benefits that result if the Outcome Measures are achieved for the target population. It may also identify statutory and legal barriers, as well as potential partners for PFS. This information collection is an application package for a competition that seeks to award grants for Feasibility Studies to measure the viability of preschool pay for success projects.

Provide every child in America with developmentally appropriate, Arts based, experiential education that discovers, develops, and directs their gifts and talents and our children’s educational success will pay for itself.

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Of Mice And Men

In every bit of honest writing in the world there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. There are shorter means, many of them. There is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme. Try to understand each other.

— John Steinbeck 1938

Civil disorder, also known as civil unrest is a broad term that is typically used by law enforcement to describe unrest that is caused by a group of people.

From the Federal Register: Applications for New Awards; Promoting Student Resilience

Purpose of Program: The Promoting Student Resilience program provides grants to local educational agencies to build and increase their capacity to address the comprehensive behavioral and mental health needs of students in communities that have experienced Significant civil unrest in the past 24 months.

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $4,750,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,500,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 2-4.

Our federal government will award public and/or private educational institutions five million dollars to address the needs of students who live in communities that have experienced significant civil unrest.

Inner city public schools have addressed the needs of students who live in violent areas of large urban cities for decades.

Civil unrest is a natural occurrence that arises when the people become dissatisfied with the functioning of the government.

Protesting against the edicts of the common core by uniting in an effort to “Opt Out” of testing is an example of civil unrest.

What behavioral and mental health problems are expected?

Is our government trying to spend five million dollars to quell the efforts of parents and community members by “helping” our children believe that they should not rise up against a government that has stopped working in their best interest?

Civil unrest is a necessary change agent our children should be taught to utilize in order to further the cause of “freedom and justice for all!”

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Proof Positive

In a recent D&C report, RCSD superintendent hopeful Luvelle Brown said, “. . . he has received several job offers. He said part of his motivation for staying in Ithaca is the fact that his young children recently began school there.”

“While the other opportunities may be enticing or sound good … the two most important students in this state and in this country, for me, are living in my house,” he said.

An Excellent decision.

Why would anyone who has children want to move to the worst school district in the state?

Not even Rochester’s Board members want their children to attend RCSD schools.

The Rochester City School District is the worst in the state due to its leadership. It rejects any relevant change to its policies and procedures while budgeting first for administrative salaries and then for educational opportunity.

Transparency has been eliminated from the Superintendent selection process and once again the Board has turned their backs on parents and community members.

Even when the process was “transparent” and the community was “allowed” to meet and interview prospective candidates, the community voice was ignored time and time again until it was silenced.

The RCSD Board of Education is comfortable in its reign because the community refuses to vote for new leadership that may possibly work towards the educational success of our children and not the increased salaries of its administration.

Dr. Brown made a parental decision to stay in Ithaca, not a financial one.

Our School Board, new members notwithstanding, is only interested in making financial decisions that culminate in the failure of our children and an increase in their budget.

When we change the educational leadership of the Rochester City School District we may be able to change the direction of our efforts towards success.

Our children deserve a system of education dedicated to providing a developmentally appropriate, Arts based, experiential education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their individual gifts and talents towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens that will be more concerned with their children’s educational success than their financial prowess.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!