Saturday, August 05, 2006

Editorial: Some schools are eliminating graduation gap of black males

School choice would eliminate the problem below. But teachers unions and the legislators they elect refuse to allow school choice. This is a form of oppression for the minority and the poor. Keep them in their place, keep them needing social welfare programs and than tell them the democratic party is the only people who care about them. If legislators and unions really cared they would go to a true choice or market system allowing minorities and all students to get the best education possible. Teachers more than the taxpayer public as well as legislators send their children to private schools but they will not release their iron grip on the public education system. So that all parents can choose the right school for their children. Jessie Jackson and Jessie Jackson Jr. send their children to private schools but will not give choice to the people they "serve." This way the people can serve legislators and the public educations system. The following story appeared in Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Editorial: Some schools are eliminating graduation gap of black males
Thursday, August 03, 2006
America now has more black, male college graduates, professionals and other success stories than ever before, yet the numbers at the other end of the spectrum are growing, too. Check out just about any index, and black males are at or near the top of the "worst" lists: unemployment, poverty, arrests, incarceration, health problems — all tend to hit them harder.

Some of the problems have been exacerbated by racism and discrimination. But many of them stem from missing out on a good education. Nationally, an estimated 45 percent of black males graduate from high school, compared with 70 percent of white males.

Palmeiro should come clean.
Frost Bank Tower sold for $188 million
Court hears redistricting plans
Fired Austin water program director sues
Austin mulls extending bilingual stipend to all city workers
That disturbing gap must be closed. If black male teens continue to fall off the basic education cliff at these rates, they will pull a part of American prosperity along with them.

To reverse that trend, the Schott Foundation for Public Education focuses research on black males in public school. Its 2006 report, based on the most recent data from the National Center of Education (2003-04), shows that more than half (55 percent) of black teens do not graduate from high school on time.

The study offers a state-by-state report card on the status of black males in public schools. Wisconsin has the worst record: 38 percent of black males finish high school compared with 84 percent of whites — a 46 percentage point gap. In Texas, 52 percent of black males get diplomas on time, compared with 71 percent of whites.

The Massachusetts-based Schott Foundation is doing more than just reporting data; it mines the numbers for success stories — both to reward those programs with scholarship funds and to share their successful strategies with other districts. They have found, for example, that several schools in Ohio and Maryland have practically closed the graduation gap. In studying those programs, they learned that while parent and community support are important, schools can also have an influence.

Difficult family circumstances can be overcome when educators establish goals, set high expectations, track progress and offer immediate help when pupils start falling behind.

Promoting economically integrated schools also helps.

Interviews with high-achieving students confirmed the importance of expectations. They said black male friends at other schools had limited course offerings and were not treated as if they could be good students.

The foundation recommends that schools, school boards and state education departments target resources to improve achievement among black males — and the successful methods they have examined provide a road map. Because the problems young black men encounter have such serious consequences for society, and for the young men themselves, it is important to help them succeed educationally.

Those who fail in the classroom — regardless of race — are more likely to grow into the ones who use guns, break laws and create conditions for neighborhood decay. Without the skills to become contributing, productive citizens, it is easier for them to turn to lives of crime and dependency on the state.

It's in everyone's best interest to keep black teens in school and succeeding at their studies. The Schott Foundation's work has potential to help more graduate at the same or better rates as their white peers.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Ann Coulter on Teachers - Holland new D - 50 principal hints at referendum.

Ann Coulter on public school teachers....."In real life, these taxpayer-supported parasites are inculcating students in the precepts of the Socialist Party of America-as understood by retarded people."

The above quote appears in Ann Coulter's book The Church of Liberalism Godless.
Chapter 6 titled, "The Liberal Priesthood: Spare The Rod, Spoil The Teacher" is a must read for all before supporting a referendum or for those education reform minded individuals.

Debbie Holland is the new principal for District 50. In today's Northwest Herald Ms. Holland hopes to help pass a referendum. As stated in the NWH today. "Debbie Holland said she hopes that, as the new Central School principal and district assessment coordinator, she will be able to help the district pass a referendum. " The article goes on to say, "I'd like to see us have a good reputation in the community when that whole thought process of, 'Do we want to give our schools more money?' comes up," she said, referring to school tax referendums, which have failed in District 50 six times since the 1990s.

Ms. Holland's contract pending approval calls for a salary of $69,230 dollars, plus benefits and $6847 toward her teacher retirement pension fund.

To the school board and Ms. Holland. Harvard has told you at least 6 times no to a referendum. Clearly any money you have is spent on salaries for retired superintendents working part-time receiving a salary while still receiving a pension and hiring a public relations person instead of buying new text books. You would not need a public relations person if the board would spend money wisely, listen to the voters that have said no time and time again and take a real look at the economics of the community and the people you serve. Economics 101 would go a long way with District 50 board and employees.

Harvard beware they do not understand the meaning of no they will keep cramming referenda down our throats until Harvard passes a referendum.

To view the whole story go to Northwest

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mark your calendars - Stupid in America September 1st.

The following is a note from John Stossel. Mark your calendars now and spread the word to all your friends and family.

Another bit of good news: Our special on the destructive government monopoly in education, "Stupid in America," will rerun Sept. 1st! This gives me a chance not just to show the surprisingly well-rated documentary again, but also to tell the story of what happened after "Stupid" aired: the teachers union protest, their demand that I teach for a week, my acceptance, and the revealing bureaucratic response to that.

"Stupid in America," 10 p.m. Friday, Sept 1st, (in 20/20's usual time slot)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

8TH GRADE TEST 1895 vs 1999 History test.

Below is the test from 1895 be sure to visit the Educational Cyber Playground for the test from 1999.

The following document was transcribed from the original document in the collection of the Smoky Valley Genealogy Society, Salina, Kansas. This test is the original eighth-grade final exam for 1895 from Salina, KS. An interesting note is the fact that the county students taking this test were allowed to take the test in the 7th grade, and if they did not pass the test at that time, they were allowed to re-take it again in the 8th grade.SOURCE:
Smoky Valley Genealogical Society
J.W. Armstrong, County Superintendent
Examinations at Salina, New Cambria, Gypsum City, Assaria, Falun, Bavaria, and District No. 74 (in Glendale Twp.)
Reading and Penmanship. - The Examination will be oral, and the Penmanship of Applicants will be graded from the manuscripts.
Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
7. - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts./ bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per are, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607 1620 1800 1849 1865
Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e'. Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences, cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
Geography (Time, one hour)
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fermandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.
This Gives the saying of an early 20th century person that "she/he only had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Four residents apply for Dist. 158 board

The following article appeared in the Daily Herald. The following is great, we can see how the new superintendent wants to be open and honest with the public, "Superintendent John Burkey said he couldn’t provide the names of candidates because the school board didn’t want to release the information." Anyone want to place bets that Henderson is appointed to the school board? The board, teachers' union, administration and BEST would not dare let the most qualified person Tony Quagliano be appointed to the board.

Four residents apply for Dist. 158 board
By Jeffrey Gaunt
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Four candidates are vying for the open seat on the Huntley District 158 school board, district officials said on Monday’s deadline for applications.

Superintendent John Burkey said he couldn’t provide the names of candidates because the school board didn’t want to release the information.

But residents Mike Andre, Roger Henderson, Derek Martin and Tony Quagliano said they all submitted applications.

“I think my knowledge is very strong about what has happened and what will happen in the district,” said Andre, adding that he attends most board and committee meetings.

Andre said he hopes to improve the board’s communication with the public.

“I’m pretty good at taking complicated information and making it simple and easy to digest for everybody,” he said.

Like Andre, Henderson said he’s been active in the district.

“I’ve followed the district basically ever since I’ve been here,” Henderson said. “I’m a parent. I’m a coach in the district.

“I’m a very hardworking individual who’s very dedicated to both the community and the school district,” he said.

Martin is taking another stab at a spot on the school board.

He was appointed to the school board in 2004 to replace former President Gary Slagle, but lost an election bid in 2005.

“There are a lot of challenges facing District 158 with the continued growth of the district,” Martin said. “I’d like to be part of making sure good decisions are made for the future of the students.”

Quagliano is a member of the district’s financial advisory committee. Recently he helped rewrite the state’s property tax cap law to help District 158 and successfully pushed for another nearly $1.3 million in state aid for the district.

“I feel I’m in the best position to mend the fences that exist on the current board,” Quagliano said, speaking of a rift between board member Larry Snow and some of the other members.

“I hope I can get the two sides to listen to each other,” he said. “I just think for the short term of the district I can do some good.”

Monday, July 31, 2006

Another tax hike request?

Another example of how school boards do not take no for an answer. The following article appeared on Students First and in the Daily Herald.

Another tax hike request?


By Russell Lissau

Daily Herald

A Mundelein High School committee is finalizing a plan to put a new funding request on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The group is weighing whether to ask voters to borrow money - possibly more than $10 million - for improvements at the Hawley Street campus. Cafeteria renovations and replacing the grass on the football field with artificial turf are among the projects being considered, committee chairman Skip Spillone said.

The school board ultimately will decide whether to ask voters for more money. If the plan moves forward, it will be the district's third referendum campaign since April 2005.

Neither of the previous efforts was successful, but that doesn't matter to Spillone.

"If you need it, you have to keep going for it," he said.

But board member Karen Havlik, who also sits on the committee, doubts the board will support a ballot question that doesn't address the school's educational needs. The previous referendum, brought before voters this past March, focused on education, she pointed out.

"Without an education component, we're giving the public very mixed signals," Havlik said.

Board Vice President Steve Wirt said he hasn't heard the committee's proposals yet and is eager to review its suggestions.

The committee expects to speak to the board about its plans Aug. 8. The board has until Sept. 5 to decide whether to put a question on the November ballot.

The referendum committee formed earlier this summer and consists of local residents and two board members, Havlik and Jesse Ortega.

The group has a wish list of about 15 projects, Spillone said. Projects on the list include remodeling and expanding the music rooms and replacing sections of the roof.

Not all of the possible projects will stay on the list, Spillone said. The price tags for the projects probably total about $15 million now, Spillone said, and he wants to get that figure down to $10 million or $12 million.

"It's hard to say where it's going to end up," Spillone said.

If the board opts to put a loan for facility improvements on the ballot, the question would be radically different from the district's most recent funding request. This past March, voters rejected a proposal to boost the maximum tax rate for the education fund.

Voters shot down three funding requests in April 2005. One would have refinanced existing loans, another would have borrowed money for the working cash fund, and a third would have raised money for construction projects.

The community authorized a $12.5 million building expansion in 1995.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dist. 158 executive says hire was fair

Jeffrey Gaunt of the Daily Herald wrote the following excellent article.

We love the following line from the story below " The criticism has bothered him, Stewart said last week. But he stands by his character." To this we say "Mr. Stewart a board member of man of character would have never applied for the job."

Dist. 158 executive says hire was fair
New officer says he didn’t use influence to get his job
By Jeffrey Gaunt
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006

Swept onto the school board last year in a tide of voter unrest, Glen Stewart was a face of change in Huntley District 158.

The district, and a divided community, had just emerged from a contentious campaign for a 55-cent tax rate increase.

The school board had just apologized to the public for misinformation during the tax campaign.

And the superintendent and top two financial administrators were being ousted.

Stewart was appointed vice president of the new school board, and everyone, from board members to administrators to community activists said it was time for change.

A little more than a year later, after serving as a voice for cost controls and public trust, Stewart, still a board member, in June was hired as the district’s new chief operations officer at an annual salary of $101,000.

The hiring decision was announced shortly after an audit said the district lacked proper financial controls. And shortly before the investigation of an employee for stealing an estimated $8,000 to $10,000 from the district’s coffers.

Once a face for positive change, Stewart over the past month became a rallying cry for critics who say it’s bad business as usual in District 158.

The criticism has bothered him, Stewart said last week. But he stands by his character.
“I’m not that kind of person,” he said in response to claims that he used his spot on the board to land the job. “I never did that with any intention of creating an opportunity for myself.”

Stewart said he has only one regret regarding his jump from the school board to the administration. He shouldn’t have voted in favor of administrator raises while he was a candidate for the job.

“I did not take into account how that would look,” Stewart said. “I apologize to the children and residents of the district for that oversight.”

The other board members could — or should — have handled things a little differently as well, board President Mike Skala said.

“The only thing I think we could probably have done better as a board, is let the community know Mr. Stewart had applied for the position,” Skala said. “It never really crossed our minds as something to do.

“I guess hindsight is always great,” Skala said.

But Stewart said he doesn’t apologize for accepting the new job, as long as he believes he can make a difference.

“What’s important to me is that the best person got the job,” he said. Whether that was him or another candidate.

“The greatest joy in your life is serving others,” Stewart said. “I’ve made more money, but I don’t know where I’ve had more fun.”

Stewart now oversees the transportation, operations and maintenance, food and health services departments.
With a background in plant management, quality and manufacturing, he said he’s well suited — and qualified — for the job.

New Superintendent John Burkey, who was in on the hiring process, agreed with Stewart’s assessment.

Stewart had passion for the job, Burkey said. Stewart had experience in a managerial role. And he was a strong candidate even before another applicant — a retired U.S. Navy officer who serves as chief operations officer for Cincinnati Public Schools — pulled out of the running, Burkey said.

“It’s different,” Stewart said of his move to the public sector. “There’s a lot more public scrutiny. I think you have to be aware of that without letting it take you off task.”

The task now, he said, is using his experience in the private sector to help the district cut costs.

Whether that means tweaking the heating and cooling systems to conserve energy, or looking for ways to save money on bus parts, Stewart has thrown himself into the job.

“This is what I bring from the private sector,” he said. “I want us to make good use of the money no matter where it comes from.”

But despite the experience he brings to the table, he acknowledges questions persist about how he got the job.

Stewart was picked by the administration — and approved by the board — out of a field of 14 candidates.

He had no previous experience in school administration, outside of what he learned while on the school board.

He had recently been laid off from his job as a general manager for a Crystal Lake tool and die company.

He helped tweak the job requirements, eliminating the need to have an administrative certificate, which paved the way for his application.

And he replaced former assistant Superintendent Mike Kortemeyer, who resigned suddenly just days after Stewart lost his job.

To view the rest of the article go to the Daily Herald website.