Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Are Public Schools Across the US in Crisis?

House Bill 610 has been introduced.
This bill will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children grades K-12 and starts the defunding process of public schools.

In addition the bill will eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nation's educational law and provides equal opportunity in education.

ESSA is a comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners,

AP classes,

ESL classes,

classes for minorities such as Native Americans,

Rural Education,

Education for the Homeless,

School Safety (Gun-Free schools),

Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs.

The Bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch. For our most vulnerable, this may be the ONLY nutritious food they have in a day.

The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting special needs kids, no mention of IDEA and FAPE.

Some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities
-Ensures access to the general education curriculum.
-Ensures access to accommodations on assessments.
-Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning
-Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based
interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups.
-Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning, including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of adverse behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion).

Please call your representative and ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 610 (HR 610) introduced by three Republican reps.

PLEASE copy and paste, don't just share. That limits it to friends we have in common. Thank you.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Candidate Speaks

Just in case  you missed the Candidate's forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters  Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Presented here are the Opening and Closing Statements of EPSD School Board Candidate Bill Feinstein....I was impressed

Good evening, I would like to thank the League of Women Voters for hosting this debate and for all of you for coming out tonight.

William (Bill) Feinstein 

I was raised in Englewood and proud alumni of the Englewood Public Schools.  I am running for the Englewood School Board so that we may continue the positive direction that our district has been moving and to ensure EVERY child is receiving the BEST well rounded education possible.

Over the last year the district has introduced a number of positive initiatives. 
  • The implementation of new technology, including Genesis which provides direct access for parents and students to get up to date educational data including homework assignments, lesson plans and grades. 
  • The district has established Partnerships with local colleges & universities giving our students the opportunity to earn up to 30 college credits by the time they graduate Dwight Morrow High School. 
  • The curriculum has been revamped, providing consistency and a smooth transition from one grade to the other and the soon to be introduced APP called the Footsteps2brillance that will be available early next year and free for every city resident to help parents give their children a head start before even entering school.
  • There have also been policies implemented to provide more checks and balances related to financial controls, resulting in over a million dollars in savings to the district. 
  • Test scores have always been and must continue to be a focus.  During last month’s Board of Education meeting the superintendent presented the results of the 2015-2016 PARCC. While the scores are still not where they need to be, the district is showing positive signs with year over year improvement.   We must continue to evaluate our current programs to ensure each is providing the required and necessary results.  
As a board member and policy maker my number one priority will be to ensure we are Providing EVERY child with the BEST education to prepare them for success.    
While doing that, we must also balance the interests of all stakeholders including, Our Students & Parents, our Teachers & Administrators and The Englewood Taxpayer.  I look forward to your questions and to discuss the future of the Englewood Public Schools.

Thank You.

Closing Statement

Devry Pazant, Bill Feinstein, Jeff  Carter
Again, thank you to the league for sponsoring this event, I’d like to thank my fellow candidates and thank the audience for attending and your questions tonight.
On Tuesday November 8th, the voters of Englewood will need to make a very important decision. Who will the next three school board trustees be?

If you believe we must continue in the positive direction we have seen over the last year? Your only choice is Pazant , Carter, Feinstein.

If you support a strong Englewood Public School system that includes operating with integrity, accountability and transparency?

Your only choice is Pazant, Carter, Feinstein.

If you believe that school board members must be properly trained and attend all training required under the law?
Your only choice is Pazant, Carter, Feinstein.

If you believe that ALL kids’ education matters? 
Your only choice is Pazant, Carter, Feinstein.

As you enter the voting booth, ask yourself this question. If you have a winning horse in the race, would you choose to change jockeys? If your answer is no
Then Your only choice on November 8th is Pazant, Carter, Feinstein.

I respectfully ask for your vote to support myself, Mr. Pazant and Mr. Carter.
Ballot positions 3,4,5 on Tuesday November 8th.

Thank you

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

All Mothers Matter, But All Mothers Do Not Know Best!

All Mothers Matter,
All Mothers do not always know best......
Did you forget that you pushed for Outsourcing?

Did you conveniently forget that over 109 people lost
their jobs, 32 of whom had promises of employment signed
by the Superintendent and the Board of Education?
Did you even check the addresses of houses where
you left off your blue and white signs paid for by the same
people who financed "Outsourcing"?
Does it bother you at all that you are leaving signs in the yards
of people that you got fired?

You are asking the same families that your actions tore apart to put "you" on the Board of Education.
At least 2 of the "Mothers who know best" worked very hard getting the Secretaries and Paraprofessionals fired.
I was told to my face that, "the secretaries and Paraprofessionals are a group of unmarried women with children who have the nerve to be in a Union." That quote was uttered by one of your sponsors.
I was right there watching you with my camera and videotape.

Englewood Residents. how much more "Outsourcing" can this District swallow?
Do you have your questions ready for meet the Candidates?

Vote like you remember .............

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Can You Stand the Rain?

Word on the street is that the Dwight Morrow High School Alumni Association will not be seated on the stage at today's DMHS Graduation. 

4 PM on the Great Lawn.

The President of this organization is not invited to speak.

The plaque slated to be destroyed
once Lincoln
School is demolished.

Hear we go again....

Valerie Huttle once told me that the DMHS Alumni were the ones who destroyed the Academies@Englewood. By the way, seems to me the Academy is alive and well. We can't say that much for the rest of the School District. Is that State Takeover over yonder on the horizon? I have been told that there is profit in failure.

At the time, she did not know that I am a DMHS Graduate, or did she?

Today, I have this question.

Who is destroying the entire fabric of the City of
Will our children always be
on the outside looking in
while our District is
on by men
building monuments
to their own egos?
while speaking from both sides of his mouth? If we are ONE Englewood, how do you recruit 3 sitting Council Members and proceed to actively try and destroy another Englewood Councilman? How?

One Englewood? Which One?

Why is the DMHS Alumni Association being pushed aside, Peter Elbert?

..........And how are the children? When will we be able to say the following?

“All the children are well” means life is good. It means the daily struggles of existence, even among poor people, include the proper care of the young and defenseless..."

...And how are the Children.....?

Did we just hire another Delta T?
Standards Solution Guru
Sharon Pagonis

We are subcontracting the writing of Curriculum grades 1-12 to one woman who uses unknown subcontractors from who knows where? What ever happened to hiring a company with a proven track record? 

A teacher recently challenged my loyalty to teachers by accusing me of not being pro - teacher. I am a dues paying member of the same union as he and resent the implication. The only difference is that I do not work in a paid position for this District. My allegiance is to the students.

I am pro student...

You can't get anymore pro teacher than that. This person would do better to question this Michelle Rhee admirer who is being trusted to cut and paste curriculum into a template she created for an entire School District. Seems to me EPSD teachers are able to do that themselves. If Curriculum can be subcontracted all over East Jabit, why can't it be subcontracted out to the folks who have skin in the game by someone who has a proven record in doing such. This type of company does exist. One such led a group of teachers in the process when I was in the classroom. It was a rewarding experience. 

Teachers, Administrators and others who care. This is a sad comment on the ability of the paid employees in the EPSD. All of you should be just as angry as I am instead of accusing me of not standing with you.

A few years ago, I read curriculum cut and pasted from various sources by the then Director of Curriculum & Instruction. I gave him a failing grade. This woman gets a D, based on her website where I could find no examples. I assume that there are boiler plates that the many subcontractors or vendors will use to create curriculum for you. 

One of our Board Members recently referred to a prospective graduation speaker as "scraping the bottom of the barrel". Although I understood why, I thought it a bit crude. Now I want to say the same about this choice of Curriculum writer or mapper.

Are we scraping the bottom of the barrel?

Last night, I spent some time watching video footage from the days when Carlisle was hiring more teachers than we had classrooms. I marveled again how Stephen Brown sat quietly with his knee bobbing up and down under the table in disapproval, but he let it ride. He knew what was coming. A few months later we  were in a supposed economic crisis and "had to abolish Secretaries and Paraprofessionals" - that lead to the firing of over 100 people.  At least 32 of these employees had "promises of employment signed by EPSD". Stephen and his cohorts are doing the same thing now. There are Personnel items on the recent agenda that should have sent Board members through the roof. 

Are we going back to the future?

In 2011, when Carlisle arrived, we had surplus on top of surplus. We have surplus on top of surplus now.

I don't know about you, but I'd like to get ahead of another crisis like the one this town had to endure during the entire year of 2012.

Watch this one closely.......
Standards Solution Holding, LLC - $72,000.00
"Standards Solution Holding, LLC is a team of educators that are specialists in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Standards Solution Holding, LLC consultants will assist the district to prepare for the Common Core State Standards by leading workshops to align practices with the Common Core State Standards, as well as by creating documents to assist the district to transition to PARCC. Standards Solution Holding, LLC’s consultants and product developers are certified educators with years of distinguished service as teachers, supervisors, and administrators. May 2016 Conduct curriculum map in grades 1-12 for English, mathematics, science and social studies May and June 2016 Meet with small groups to discuss findings of curriculum map July 2017 Submit the first draft of work completed to date August Submit the final draft and present to BOE for approval." 
Sharon Pagonis
Linkedin Profile
1999 - 2002 Columbia Teacher's College
Standards Solution 2009 - 2016

What has she done with her time? Did she teach? Was she an Administrator somewhere? I would like to see her Curriculum vitae.

Where are the Testimonials from the satisfied School Districts?
Who are her team of Consultants/Educators? What are some of the names and where do they work? Name the members of this TEAM.
Seems to me, she works out of her home in Washington NJ.

Our new Superintendent does not hesitate to point out the fact that one or more of EPSD programs are not used by any of the Districts that work. So why are we using one of those Companies right now to write the Curriculum for our entire school district? Where are the Testimonials for Standards Solutions from Districts that work? Her Linkedin profile identifies Michelle Rhee as one of her influencers.  Picture that. Michelle Rhee is pro Teach For America and dead set against unions. This does not bode well for us....

Company website....
"If I could give this review zero stars, I would. I worked here about a year ago and I can attest to the fact that all the bad reviews about this place are true! I walked out on the job which is something I have never done before. When you feel you have been backed into a corner every single day by the owner, I felt I had no other choice. Talking to her reasonably was not an option because she is a raging lunatic. You never knew what mood you were going to get when she walked through the door. I used to dread going into work every day. She absolutely makes you feel like you can't do anything right and that you are completely worthless. The only people that have been able to make it at this place are people she knows personally, like her best friend and former nanny. Stay away from Standards Solution and you will be happy you did!..."

Have we been PUNKED.....Again.....?