Less Is Not More, It Is Less

From the Federal Register:

The number of regulatory changes that will take place in the “Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities and Preschool Grants for Children With Disabilities Program; Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities” is staggering.

The notice begins:

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

Final regulations.

The Secretary of Education amends the regulations implementing Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These conforming changes are needed to implement statutory amendments made to the IDEA by the Every Student Succeeds Act, enacted on December 10, 2015. These regulations remove and revise IDEA definitions based on changes made to the definitions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the ESSA, and also update several State eligibility requirements to reflect amendments to the IDEA made by the ESSA. They also update relevant cross-references in the IDEA regulations to sections of the ESEA to reflect changes made by the ESSA. These regulations also include several technical corrections to previously published IDEA Part B regulations.

These final regulations are effective June 30, 2017.

You can spend hours going through the regulations and their changes only to find that the Federal government has relaxed its position on Charter schools and their staffing.

Remove the definition of the term “core academic subjects” in § 300.10, the definition of “highly qualified special education teachers” in § 300.18, and the definition of “scientifically based research” in §§ 300.35 and 303.32 because these terms have been removed from the ESEA.”

We are revising the definition of “charter school” in § 300.7 by removing the phrase “section 5210(1)” and replacing it with “section 4310(2).”

This particular revision replaces an explaination of what a charter school should be and how it should operate to one that is neither in-depth or regulatory.

As a nation, we are allowing the expansion of schools that will not be held accountable for educating their students.

We must stop funding a system of education that does not educate our children but enslaves them to the control of poverty and ignorance.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

What Our Children Need Now

This letter to the Editor of the Finger Lakes Times, LETTER: Despite senator’s comments, ‘new approach’ to Common Core not new by Gerald Masters of Geneva states,

“Researchers at the New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) have published reports that use facts to refute unsupported claims made by Common Core’s cheerleaders. Helming asserts “major changes.” NYSAPE researchers characterize the changes as “minor tweaks to verbiage and placement.” Helming shills for Albany that “the new standards focus on educational equity, closing achievement gaps and providing more opportunities for students.” Standards can do no such thing. Parents and NYSAPE know better; resources can.”

Mr. Masters is correct however resources alone won’t solve the problem of mis-education in America. New York State, especially, boasts that it spends more per pupil on education than any other state in the Union, and that is true. It is also true that the majority of the money spent never reaches the child.

Administrative salaries and costs, common core curriculum materials, testing materials, charter school subsidies, and general mis-management of funding all usurp valuable educational tax and lottery dollars away from actually providing America’s children with an excellent education.

However, even if these dollars were well spent, we would still not be providing our children with the education they deserve.

Our children deserve a system of education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their natural gifts and talents towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens that will choose a career path that brings them personal and financial freedom.

Education must teach every child that they are wonderful and have something wonderful to offer the world so that they will feel like and be an important member of society who works together with their fellow citizens to effect a better world for all.

We must educate our children to be the leaders of a world where righteousness is the norm and respect of self and others the ideal.

It is then that America will be the great nation it was meant to be, a beacon of peace to the world.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Follow The Money Not The Rhetoric

Glenn Blain reported, “Lawsuit claiming New York fails to provide ‘sound basic education’ for NYC, Syracuse students approved for trial”

He reported,

“ALBANY – The state’s highest court on Tuesday allowed a lawsuit that accuses New York of shortchanging school kids to proceed to trial — but only as it relates to New York City and Syracuse.

In a partial victory for Gov. Cuomo’s administration, the Court of Appeals dismissed the claims of an educational group that New York was failing to provide a “sound basic education” to school kids across the state.

The court ruled that such arguments must be made on a district-by-district basis and that the group, New Yorkers for Students’ Educational Rights, had only provided enough information to justify those claims for the city and upstate Syracuse.

“The NYSER plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged deficient inputs and outputs with respect to New York City and, although in less detail, Syracuse,” Judge Rowan Wilson wrote for the majority in the decision.

. . . “We are pleased that the court ruled in the state’s favor on every issue it contested and once and for all dismissed the false claims paid lobbyists have been peddling around Albany for years,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said. “The truth is that New York dedicates more money per-pupil to education than any other state — including over $25.8 billion in this year’s Budget — and we’ll continue to work to strengthen our public schools and provide New York children with the education they deserve.”

Douglas Schwarz, a lawyer for the group, vowed to press on with the case.

“The court has said that our essential claims are viable, it is just going to take longer to establish them,” Schwarz said.”

While it is true that New York dedicates more money per-pupil to education than any other state, it is also true that New York spends that money on pushing the common core curriculum on its districts, standardized testing, administrative salaries and benefits, and charter school proliferation.

New York State spends educational tax dollars on mis-educating its children and supporting the profits of testing companies.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Political Profiteering

Regents math test is easier to pass – thanks to low standards
By Susan Edelman

In this article Ms. Edelman describes how politics plays into the mis-education of children allowing elitists to profit from their failure.

She writes,
“New York high-schoolers who took the Regents Common Core Algebra I exam this month had to earn just 27 of 86 points, or 31.4 percent, to pass. On the Regents grading scale, that gives them a minimum passing score of 65.

The required number of right answers remains at its lowest level since the exam — which kids must pass to graduate — was introduced three years ago, records show.

. . . Aaron Pallas, chair of education policy and social analysis at Columbia’s Teachers College, said the threshold for passing should get higher as math skills sharpen.

“Kids should be doing better,” he said. “It should require a higher score to be proficient, but that’s not yet what we’re seeing. It’s going the other way, which is puzzling.”

Setting standards is a “political” decision, Pallas noted. Officials want a challenging test but a scoring system that doesn’t knock down the graduation rate — and outrage parents.

Bob Schaeffer, public education director for the national watchdog FairTest, said, “If the test’s difficulty has remained constant from year to year, then it certainly looks like passing the Algebra I exam became easier.”

. . . “Cutoff scores have been manipulated to produce politically desirable results in many jurisdictions,” Schaeffer said.

But David Rubel, a consultant to city parochial schools that award Regents diplomas, foresees a crisis.

Last year, 11,340 more students failed Regents Algebra exams than in 2014, he found. Meanwhile, the number of students who failed eighth-grade state math exams has tripled from 14,000 in 2012 to 44,483 since Common Core exams in grades 3 to 8 were introduced.

“I think you have a storm warning,” Rubel said. “That’s a huge number of kids not on track to graduate.”

Our children are purposefully being mis-educated to maintain the continued control of elitists over our government which supports their profits.

We must break the chains of ignorance by providing every child in America with an excellent education.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Vacation vs Education

The Bloomberg View editorial board published this article:
The Case for Slashing Summer Vacation
The longer American students stay away from school, the further they fall behind.

In it they state,
“U.S. students spend about 180 days in school per year, with the vast majority receiving 10 to 12 weeks off in the summer. Regardless of their socioeconomic background, they’ll forget two months’ worth of math instruction from the previous year by the time they return to classes in September. Poorer students — who can’t afford summer enrichment classes and are less likely to have a parent at home during the day — also see their reading skills atrophy.

Those losses grow over time. A two-decade-long study of public-school students in Baltimore found that half of the achievement gap between high-income and disadvantaged ninth graders could be attributed to so-called “summer learning loss” during elementary school. Those lower-achieving students subsequently had higher high-school dropout rates, were less likely to go to college and had lower lifetime earnings.

. . . U.S. schools should strive for something in between. About 3,000 schools — some 3 percent of all public schools in the U.S. — have ditched the extended summer hiatus in favor of “year-round” calendars, which more closely resemble international school systems. Schools are typically in session for 45 to 60 days, followed by two-week breaks, during which teachers provide voluntary tutoring and enrichment sessions. Summer vacation lasts four to six weeks.

There are some drawbacks to year-round school: It can wreak havoc with family vacation plans, complicate child-care arrangements, and reduce professional development opportunities for teachers. (It could also disrupt the $18 billion summer camp industry.)”

In speaking of the education of children are the editors saying that family vacation plans, child-care arrangements, teacher PD, and the loss of revenue to the summer camp industry are more important?

Where are we in society when revenue loss and adult education are more important than the educational success of our children?

The focus of education must be on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents all children possess so that we can create a more humanistic society for everyone.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Another Rubber Stamp

WHEC News reported: Rochester City Council approves budgets for city and school district

“The city council approved budgets for the City of Rochester and Rochester City School District during  a meeting Tuesday night.

“I am pleased that again taxes will decrease for City homeowners, all while maintaining city services and amenities,” said Council President Loretta Scott in an emailed statement.

The city budget was approved by a 9-0 vote while the school district budget passed by a vote of 8-1 with Councilmember Carolee Conklin voting “no.”

Speaking with News10NBC about the school budget, Conklin, who is retiring this year after three terms in office, did not mince words.

“It’s a horrible waste of an awful lot of money. It’s a district that’s failing its students,” says Conklin. “It’s not preparing them to go out into the world forJOBS , for adulthood, even to maintain a checkbook.”

. . . “We’ve been innovative,” says White. “We pulled in the U of R, the largest employer in this region. We recently signed an agreement, a letter of intent, with SUNY Geneseo to run one of our elementary school. We have a smart phone app where parents can look at their phone and look real-time in terms of when their kids are going to graduate — that’s going online. We gave a car away to increase attendance, so we do think there is some progress.”

The mayor agreed.”

Identifying inconsequential movements as innovative, handing off schools to be run by colleges, allowing parents smart phone access to their child’s graduation date and giving away a car to increase attendance are placative, ineffective and expensive responses to the real problems that plague the RCSD.

Enticing attendance does not educate, parent access to graduation dates does not educate, bringing in colleges to do your job, for which you are being paid, does not educate.

Motivating students to want to learn by showing them they are gifted and talented with something valuable to offer society will cause them to want to become intelligent, knowledgeable, actively engaged members of their society.

This is something to which we can all agree.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

No Excuse – No Truth

New York spends more per student than any other state for 5th year in a row by Julie McMahon states:

“New York for the fifth year in a row spent more money per student than any other state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In fiscal year 2015, New York spent $21,206 per pupil. That’s an all-time high for New York, up by nearly $600 from the previous year’s total of $20,610.

New York’s per pupil spending is almost double the national average of $11,392.

Of the $21,206 per student spent each year in New York, $8,758 goes toward instruction, or teacher salaries. That’s the highest number in the nation.

Here’s how much some of the largest districts in the state spend, according to the Journal:
Buffalo: $21,294
Rochester: $21,800
Syracuse: $19,278
Utica: $15,656
Albany: $20,327”

What are the ‘Big Five’ school systems? The Journal News asks:

“As the state’s fourth-largest district, Yonkers is one of the so-called “Big Five” school systems, along with New York City, Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse. The districts operate as a branch of local government, with no taxing authority. They rely on city, state and federal aid for funding..

K-12 student population: 27,624
2015-16 budget: $801,818,597
Increase from 2014-15: 1.1%
State aid: $539,020,182, 67% of budget
Economically disadvantaged: 90%
Building condition: Joint Schools Construction Board authorized by the Legislature in 2007 to rebuild or renovate 38 schools over 12 years. Phase one completed 2014. Phase two, for $435 million in work, approved in December. State funding up to 98 percent of more than $1 billion cost.”

Billions are being spent on renovating schools and testing students. We are air-conditioning buildings that will be empty during summer. We are not adopting a “year-round” school system to offset the condition of summer loss of learning statistics.

We are providing summer school classes that allow students to “move up” to the next grade level. We are not requiring students to complete their work during regular school year classes so that they do not have to go to summer school.

Student failure in the “Big Five” is a very lucrative endeavor. Placing the blame on poverty is a very convenient excuse.

Failure fuels funding is the real truth.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!