Ms. Jadwin, and your suggestion is...
PARENTS & TAXPAYERS: STAY ALERT!!!
As soon as I saw this, my FIRST QUESTION was: If the Rochester Board of Education is going to hire Colleges and Universities to help MANAGE RCSD SCHOOLS, does this mean that their compensation will come out of Dr. Vargas's pay, i.e., out of his six-figure-salary, and/or out of the six-figure salaries of his so-called Superintendent's Executive Group (SEG)? After all, MANAGING THE SCHOOLS IS THE SUPERINTENDENT'S AND HIS HIGHLY PAID SEG'S JOB. THAT'S WHAT THEY WERE HIRED TO DO. If the money to pay for this is not coming out of their salaries, as far as I'm concerned. THE DISCUSSION SHOULD STOP RIGHT NOW --- because it is absolutely unconscionable, immoral, unethical, and would be fiscally irresponsible for the Board to approve the idea of paying Colleges and Universities additional money to do what Dr. Vargas. and his SEG are already being paid BIG BUCKS to do, especially when numerous RCSD schools are suffering from the lack of adequate, fundamental, structural, and programmatic resources.
SECONDLY, where is the evidence that Rochester area Colleges and Universities have (as Dr. Vargas claims) "an excellent track record of successful education management” of URBAN schools? There is no such evidence, which necessarily leads me to ask: Does this whole idea boil down to nothing more, or less than new, symbolic, SNAKE OIL? STAY ALERT!!!
DEBUNKING FOOLISHNESS...................DEBUNKING FOOLISHNESS
- "White attributed the victories at least partially to what he calls a growing understanding among voters and the community at large that the district’s problems were there before the incumbents arrived. He says that rational minds know that they didn't create the district’s problems."
- RESPONSE: If there is a so-called "growing understanding" (based on the numbers of participants in the election) --- such an "understanding" can only, possibly exists among less than 10% of eligible voters --- since more than 90% either voted for someone other than incumbents, or did not participate at all (with of course a full 69% falling into the latter category).Thus, Commissioner White has no idea, and no means of determining what "the community at large" believes or "understands." Just because less than 10% who supported incumbents MIGHT "know that they didn't create the district’s problems" --- this does not mean that they are automatically more "rational" than the 90-plus% who apparently understand that although the incumbents did not "create the district's problems" --- over the past 8, 6, and 4 years (respectively) they have done nothing to improve the district's problems, which have clearly grown worse. In fact, it is easy to construct a legitimate argument that the former group is possibly less "rational," and just might be flirting with insanity, i.e., doing the same thing over, and over again, i.e., reelecting the same people over and over again, but expecting a different result.
- “They don’t blame us because they know we’re not responsible, but the majority do trust us with the responsibility of fixing the district,” White says."
- RESPONSE: As spelled out above, if we're judging by the full outcome regarding participation in the election, as opposed to fabricated, positive-spin, then the exact opposite of the latter quote is true, i.e., the overwhelming majority do not "trust [incumbents] with the responsibility of fixing the district,”
- "Her enchantment with charter schools could also encourage her to help begin the transference of charters’ most effective practices into city schools..."
- RESPONSE: WHAT??? WHAT??? Is Tim Macaluso, and City Newspaper
attempting to place a magic wand into Mayor-Elect Lovely Warren's hands? Based on the latter quote above, it sure sounds like it.
- A recent study by Mathematica Policy Research and the Center on Reinventing Public Education shows that charter management organizations cited three practices for their success: smaller schools, reduced classroom sizes, and strict behavioral conduct. Could Warren use the influence she says she has in Albany to support such reforms?"
- RESPONSE: With regard to urban education in particular, we didn't really need another "study" to inform us that "practices [such as] smaller schools, reduced classroom sizes, and strict behavioral conduct [are conducive to] success." We have known this for decades. However, we should think very carefully about Mr. Macaluso's question as to whether or not Ms. Warren "could use the influence she says she has in Albany to support such reforms?" The reason why we need to think carefully is because, in essence, what he is asking is --- can Ms. Warren (apparently, single-handedly) do something that the entire local, political establishment has been either unable, and/or unwilling to do, i.e., convince the Governor, and State Legislature to appropriate significantly more financial resources to the Rochester City School District, which would be absolutely essential --- in order to produce significant numbers of "smaller schools, and reduced classroom sizes?" I'm not saying that she can't, but my belief is that she would need a lot of help, and support in the process.
Dear Brothers and Sisters
It has been a long race.
First, and foremost, I would like to thank all of those who supported our campaign, especially Ms. Carla Williams, Ms. Kashima Morrison, Mr. Mark Friedman, Mr. Tim Adams, Ms. Dominique Thomas, Mr. Dana Bratcher, Mr. Jerry Hunt, Mr. John Rouse, Ms. Olivene Adams, and of course my running-mate, Mr. Ronald Hall, as well as many others who supported us financially, and in other ways. I thank my family for their tremendous patience, and understanding. We are humbled by the support of two-thousand-plus voters who backed us at the polls on September 10th, and again on November 5th. WE SINCERELY THANK Y'ALL!
Apparently, the majority of the relatively small percentage of eligible voters who came out for the General Election are not ready for change in the Rochester City School District. Because the majority of this relatively small group of participants have chosen to go with the status-quo (again) --- this virtually guarantees that conditions will not improve substantially within the Rochester City School District.
PLEASE DO NOT VIEW MY LATTER STATEMENT AS REPRESENTING SO-CALLED "SOUR-GRAPES," OR ANY OTHER SUCH SILLY IDEA. Brothers, and sisters this is very serious business, and I'm asking you to think --- I mean really THINK. The three incumbents --- whom were just returned to the Board for four(4) more years --- have (collectively) been part of the leadership of the worst performing school district in all of New York State, and much of the nation for eighteen (18) years (eight, six, and four years respectively). Have conditions improved over the past eight, or six, or four years? Of course this is a rhetorical question. We all know the answer. So, what would make us think that these Board members will suddenly gain the knowledge, commitment, expertise, and intestinal fortitude, which will be necessary in order to produce widespread, fundamental change, and improvement? Precisely because it is crystal-clear that conditions will not improve, and are in fact, likely to get worse under the current "leadership" --- we will begin preparing for two years from now (2015) when four Board seats (the majority) will be up for re-election. It is our hope that by 2015, even many so-called "prime" -voters, and staunch supporters of the status-quo will come to their senses, and realize that in order to produce substantial change, and improvement --- new, bold, knowledgeable, committed leadership is necessary.
Of course, a major task for us will be figuring out how to produce more involvement on the part of massive numbers (the clear majority of eligible voters) who currently (for many reasons) choose not to participate in the electoral process.
Brothers and Sisters, so-called "democracy" in Rochester is not healthy. When the vast majority of the electorate are not participating (for decades) --- "democracy" is not healthy. When an incumbent school board member who has been part of the leadership of the worse performing school district in the State, and much of the nation for six years --- out-polls the next Mayor of the City by almost 3,000 votes --- that's a clear indicator that something is wrong with the health of democracy. When two novice candidates for school board who have no real, in-depth knowledge, or understanding of educational issues, and no real records of service to Rochester City School District students, and families, out-poll two committed, veteran educators with long records of service (at the level where the rubber hits the road i.e., the classroom) that's a clear indication that something is very wrong with the health of democracy.
WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO, AND WE HOPE THAT OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS Y'ALL WILL JOIN WITH US TO HELP PRODUCE WAY-OVERDUE, MUCH-NEEDED CHANGE, AND IMPROVEMENT, WHICH OUR CHILDREN, AND FAMILIES SO RICHLY DESERVE.
The Struggle Continues...
THIS ARTICLE BELOW (FROM CITY NEWS PAPER) IS VERY, VERY INTERESTING:
"What this means for the school district is hard to say."
NO IT ISN'T. I'VE JUST SAID WHAT IT MEANS (ABOVE).
ROCHESTER SCHOOL BOARD
Despite the Rochester City School District’s abysmal academic performance -- something that has dragged on for years, marked by a declining enrollment and increasingly disengaged parents -- voters tonight returned the three school board incumbents for another term.
Board members Jose Cruz, Cynthia Elliott, and Van White, all Democrats, have beaten their challengers in the general election, and they've done so with fairly wide margins.
Led by White, the incumbents grabbed the lion’s share of votes -- well more than 60 percent. And even though candidate Candice Lucas came extremely close to overtaking Cruz in the Democratic primary, she was no threat to him tonight.
What this means for the school district is hard to say except that a strong majority of the voters who turned out tonight passed at the opportunity to remove nearly half of the school board.
And while voters also showed their support for Lovely Warren as the city‘s next mayor, who incidentally campaigned heavily on an education platform, they weren't necessarily giving her a green light to make big changes.
Tim Macaluso, and City Newspaper are literally making stuff up about the Rochester City School District:
"...you have to wonder what's really on the minds of voters when it comes to the school board seats. This is a wild guess, but voters may be seeing a glimmer of something positive in the district and maybe they want to give it a chance." WHAT??? WHAT??? !!! IT SURE IS A "WILD GUESS" REAL WILD!!!
"And Superintendent Bolgen Vargas seems more comfortable and confident after having made some dramatic changes to the district."
"DRAMATIC CHANGES"??? WHAT??? WHAT???
The know-nothing, elitist, dangerous, super-liberals at City Newspaper (whom, as far as I know, STILL, in 2013 don't have a single person of color on their reporting-staff, nor on their Editorial Board) had the intestinal fortitude, and unmitigated gall to write that: "Lori Thomas and Howard Eagle are knowledgeable and dedicated, but their combative style – for which neither apologizes – would cause serious problems on the school board."
If the thoroughly incompetent, tongue-in-cheekish, ineffective, bumps-on-a-log, entrenched, current, school board does not have "serious problems" --- it never will. In addition to being know-nothings, elitist, dangerous, and super-liberal --- the all-white City staff is also hypocritical. They tried hard to explain why two of the current, bumps-on-a-log, incompetents "deserve to be re-elected," and why apparently the third one doesn't, but their explanation falls woefully short regarding consistency, and logic. Everyone who is paying close attention knows that it's simply a matter of them preferring a familiar, palatable, soft-spoken, tongue-in-cheekish, go-along-to-get-along type black woman --- rather than the type who is quick to nicely tell super-liberals, and any other know-nothings, where to get off.
Since I see them as a big part of the problem, it's not very often that I agree with the Democrat and Chronicle's Editorial Board, especially regarding education issues. For example, their school board endorsement choices for the November 5th General Election is baffling (to say the least). However, I must agree wholeheartedly with one thing they wrote: "To endorse members of a board that oversees such a poorly performing district would be irresponsible, regardless of the individual strengths, talents and experience those members possess." AMEN!
So, not only are the all-white, know-nothing, elitist, dangerous, super-liberals at City Newspaper hypocritical, but in accordance with sound logic (provided by, of all the sources, the D&C's Editorial Board) --- they are also "irresponsible."
I'm certain that most people don't follow their recommendations, but since they don't have a clue about what / who is needed on then Board of Education, and/or in general --- both groups really ought to get out of the endorsement-business --- just as a matter of principle, which would give them more time to do a better job of objectively reporting, as opposed to influencing, and making news.
I must agree that this is not a good idea. In my humble, but staunch opinion --- the last thing we need is another war on petite, street-level, drug dealers. We know what that has reaped over the past 4 or 5 decades --- jails and prisons filled with mainly black and Hispanic youth (many of whom are literally slinging drugs as a means of survival) --- since in many cases they have little to no education; no job skills, and often, no hope --- while the real culprits behind the multi-trillion dollar, illegal drug industry continue to go free. It IS time for a war on drugs (a real one) --- on the big-shot, supper-wealthy, mafia-types who ship drugs into the harbors, and fly them into the private airstrips of this corrupt nation --- by the ton-loads. I have often wondered --- how is it that young children in our neighborhoods can tell you where the illegal drug spots are, but the Rochester Police Department, Monroe County Sheriffs, New York State Police, FBI, CIA, ATF, Secret Service, Homeland Security, and other law enforcement agencies that we have probably never even heard of (with all of their sophisticated intelligence-gathering methods, and super-technology --- technology which I once heard Dick Gregory say can spot a gnat on a dog's behind from outer space) --- can't seem to find the illegal drugs that flow through Rochester, and other urban communities --- like water flows from High Falls? I would propose as an alternative --- that y'all (city and county leaders) help pull people together who are sick-and-tired-of-being-sick-and-tired of our neighborhoods being flooded with illegal drugs, and weapons, and develop a comprehensive plan by which we make a concerted, collective, deadly serious demand that those listed above do more to solve the problem NOW --- by going to the root, as opposed to continuing to fiddle around the edges. WE NEED A MOVEMENT.
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