Category Archives: school

Fraudulent Language Becoming Common Among Public Officials

By Bob Shannon Central Garage

I left the Joint BOS & School Board meeting Tuesday evening feeling elated. It was quite a contrast to the night before and the surreal atmosphere shamefully brought on by just such use of the now common fraudulent language being employed so public sector officials insure they get their way, facts be damned. Puzzled for years when I would hear that school/county employees hadn’t had a raise in XXX years , after sitting in the very room just months before witnessing the raises given to both county and school employees, I just could not understand how they could make those statements knowing they were false………until Tuesday night when I finally figured it out.   What I am about to describe is “ learning a new language”

If my Boss gives me a pay raise of $100 a month, and consequently my phone bill that same month increases $100——well according to their “ interpretation” I did not get a raise ? Yes, that is correct I received an “ offset” a new word created in the Bizzaro world of the public sector. In the Power point presentation by Deb Stickly it states that school employees hadn’t had a raise in XXX years ? One is reminded of the old adage , “ it’s takes years to build your integrity and minutes to destroy it” But heh, isn’t it her job to carry the message after all ?

www.doc.virginia.gov/teaching/workforcedata/salaries/2013-14/salary report pdf

Visit this site which tracks annually for each locality the changes in school employee salaries and any raises /adjustments PAY ATTENTION TO PAGES 17—19 where you will read the commentary box by each county ( info submitted by the schools ) Under King William you will read the following quote:   “all teachers received a salary step increase plus a salary scale adjustment of 2-4%. In addition the division increased all salaries to account for the increase in employee VRS contributions from 1-5%”   ????? Confused—so was I

The term “offset” and understanding how the public sector mindset works, if the schools give their employees a raise to “ offset” the increase in say for example health insurance premiums, according to their language………that wasn’t a pay raise—that is an offset ? Catching on yet ?

If the county /schools give out a pay raise to “offset” the required contributions to VRS, …..well that isn’t a pay raise ….that is an “ offset”

Next time your company gives you a pay raise, if you are also experiencing any other expense increasing simultaneously , go tell your employer of the new LANGUAGE,

“ boss I haven’t had a raise in XXX years” “ No Joe, I just gave you a raise last month” “ But Boss, that was just an offset”… “ Joe, find somewhere else to work, maybe the public schools”

 


Article written by: Tom White

Forum: Does Education Need Reform?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:Does Education Need Reform?

Fausta’s Blog : Yes, education thoroughly needs reform.

All schools must be answerable to the parents, who should have freedom to choose what schools they want for their children.

Elementary schooling is most important in a child’s development. For instance, substantial research on the brain’s neuroplasticity shows the importance of learning cursive handwriting during childhood. My experience is that few elementary school teachers are even aware of such research – and teaching cursive is a long, hard process which is not favored by the “teach for the test” environment.

In today’s society, schools are called to do many functions that parents should. At the same time, most teachers’ colleges favor a politically-correct approach of “everybody gets a trophy” instead of focusing on a sense of the value of virtue, a work ethic, and thorough respect and familiarity with the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights, all of which are American values.

As the mother of a boy, I can attest to the fact that most schools – public and private – are oriented to teaching in a way that does not foster the way male students learn. Luckily we were able to place my son in an all-boy’s school that encouraged hands-on learning, and where recess was never cancelled (in fact, the youngest grades had two brief recesses in the morning). He graduated from college with honors.

Current curricula is affected by the latest trends. I remember when the local school board proposed to change (at great expense to the taxpayer) the math curriculum years ago. My husband asked “were any studies done comparing the new plan’s effectiveness to the current one?” Not one member of the board had even thought of such a study. Now we have Common Core, with murky math exercises that I cannot understand even after having completed nine semesters of college and graduate school statistics, calculus, and economics.

I also believe that one of the most important things a good educator can have is a sense of the value of learning-from-failure, which goes hand-in-hand with understanding the value of healthy competition. It is tragic that the present educational environment can not comprehend either. As ever, it falls to us parents to make sure our children do.

Maggie’s Notebook : We first need the will to change education. To do that we need parents insisting on it and finding a way to sacrifice whatever is necessary to put their children in good schools when their public school is failing. Most importantly, we need teachers willing to stand up for truthful text books and honest methods of teaching, grading and passing pupils. Today’s teachers come out of their own education taught to hate and be victims. We are on a merry-gro-round. When our kids fall off, the merry-go-round continues to spin.

How do we get truth into textbooks? The only answer I have is that educators and parents must insist on it. If we find a way to provide truthful civics and history textbooks, then can our children CANNOT pass the SAT, aligned to Common Core, and testing is not going away anytime soon. For decades, Liberals have tried to bring racism and victimization into everyday life so that every school child is turned into that community’s organizer.

We barely teach English and Math. Neither are considered important today –– nor is it important to know how to balance a checkbook or understand the stability behind a bank account yielding profit. It’s more important to learn how to put a condom on a banana, or create a flier showing support for Islam. History is so obscenely distorted, we may not be able to reconcile the decades of damage already done. After all, many of our schools are staffed with those who themselves were taught to feel victimized.

Spend some time with Fox News’ Jessie Watters on beaches in very influential communities, or on some of the university campuses considered the finest in the country, and you’ll understand how little our children know or care about liberty and freedom.

Some parents believe their efforts have removed Common Core from their schools, but as long as English, History and Mathematics are taught to pass the current testing, Common Core lives.

The crux of all evil in our schools are the two major teacher’s unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). We can’t fire them, even when they molest our children. Such a teacher may be removed from the classroom, but not removed from the payroll and retirement benefits. To be sure, there are excellent teachers, who suffer over this problem every day of the school year, but in our current and common environment, good teachers can do only so much.

Then there are the lawsuits –– dropped on schools on a whim –– costing thousands to defend. It’s easier to give in. Banish the child that chews his pop tart into the shape of a gun. Praise the child bringing a suitcase with the guts of a clock inside that clearly looks like a bomb. That early teenage child has been told that MIT will welcome him.

Does education need reform? Such a disturbing question. I don’t think there’s an answer to fix it. I don’t think there are enough aware parents to shield their children. I don’t think there enough good teachers to fight their unions. I think there are far too many teachers/administrators teaching the poor to continue to be poor, to continue to hate others for their plight.

Laura Rambeau Lee,Right Reason : Many people today are surprised to discover the U. S. Department of Education was created during the administration of President Carter in 1979. Until then, the control of our public education resided within the states. Our Constitution makes no mention of the federal government having any duties or responsibilities related to education, and as such the DoED is an unconstitutional agency. In the past thirty-five years, the federal government has taken control of the education of our children by enticing states and counties with funding. Unfortunately these funds come with strings that have shaped everything from the curricula to what our children are eating for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner in some districts. School districts compete for these funds and policies enacted in order to receive these funds.

Right now we have the federal government colluding with private corporations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, taking our tax dollars and turning our education system over to entities not as much interested in providing our children the best education as they are making money and pursuing the social engineering of generations of our youth. Our schools should not be laboratories and our children should not be guinea pigs to untested and unproven standards such as Common Core. The Common Core State Standards is the latest incarnation of the old No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top programs, all promising to improve standards and turn out children who are college or career ready. Charter schools and magnet schools are being sold to parents as an attractive alternative to low performing schools, but again, people must realize this is the taking of public tax money which should be going to public education and putting it in the pockets of private corporations. The states have no oversight over these charter schools and the curricula is proprietary, meaning no one is able to see or review what our children are being taught. An early charter school, International Baccalaureate, has direct ties to the United Nations through UNESCO, and promises to promote “rigorous” study and create young people who embrace multiculturalism and diversity as “global citizens” and where, as they say on their website “These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.” IB started out as a high school diploma programme, but now includes primary and middle year programmes as well as a career related programme. The Common Core State Standards appear in many ways to be fashioned after the International Baccalaureate programme.

In the 2016 presidential election we must get behind a candidate who promises to abolish the DoED and return education to the states and local districts. The future of our country resides in taking back control of our education system at the local and state levels and assuring our children are being taught the basic knowledge and skills that will carry them into being productive, competent and capable citizens into their adult lives and professions.

JoshuaPundit : I think a great many people have finally become aware of how poorly our education system works over the last decade, and that’s been underlined by the nonsense that’s been making headlines lately at our universities.Fixing this is going to involve several steps,and it’s going to be necessary to look at the origin of the problems, break down the root causes and solve them in increments.And since part of the solution is obviously political, a lot is going to depend on the national will.

Let’s look at K-12 first.

School choice is important, even vital but it merely underlines the fact that the enormous amount of money spent on public education has largely been a waste, since parents, given the choice, overwhelmingly choose private schools whom are normally able to educate students for less money per pupil and at a much higher level than majority of the public schools. My own experience is that the average 12th grader in private schools is at least 3 years or more ahead in terms of the work they’re doing.

Private schools usually have these things in common – parents whom care very much about their children’s education and are willing to invest in it, high standards of discipline, work ethic and conduct for the students themselves (frequently including religious and moral education as well as sex segregated classes), non-unionized teaching staffs and a much lower ratio of administrators to teachers than the large public school districts. Teachers also have much more freedom to gear the pace of learning to the classes’ level rather than having to devote set amounts of time to mandatory programs that bore the more intelligent children or overwhelm those whom need more time and help. And teachers are likewise judged by their empirical results rather than tenure or other considerations.

Once public education became unionized and the Left took control of it, most of not all of the above qualities including scholastic ones were degraded over time as education became indoctrination, standards were lowered and bureaucracy became an end in itself. The tool the Left used to accomplish this was federal and state money, which is why the attendance head count in the morning has become the most important part of the day. Ironically, it’s also a tool that can be used to reform the system in the right hands.

To fix K-12, the following steps are necessary in my view: Breaking apart the larger urban school districts into smaller units, de-unionizing teachers by making public employee unions voluntary and regulating the involvement of public employee unions as organizations in political campaigns, getting rid of tenure and enforcing much higher standards in teachers are the first steps.

The Federal Department of Education and the threat of withdrawing federal money can be used to accomplish much of this, and federal school choice legislation would be needed for the rest.

The next steps are more difficult, because they involve changes in attitude. First, the pernicious influence of the Left needs to be curtailed. A good start would be for textbooks to need to be approved by a new Bureau of Standards as a part of the DoE before they could be used in the public schools, and for standardized tests to be administered at different grade levels for tracking purposes of both teacher fitness and individual academic progress. And yes, I’m talking about British-style O-levels. Some children are university material and some are better served by good vocational training. Moral education also needs to be taught again at an early age in the public schools as it once was, and discipline re-established. This unfortunately is vital nowadays.

Public education should not be thought of as a right but as the privilege it is. Children and teenagers who habitually disrupt classrooms, act out in school and show disrespect for teachers should be removed to a single facility in the district more geared to their special needs so that they do not deprive the other children who actually came to be educated.

Dealing with the Universities is an extension of this.

Even private ones receive public money and subsidies as well as student loan funds. This can likewise be used as a lever to effect change.

College has become an overpriced scam particularly in the Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, which these days are anything but liberal. This could be changed with the following policies.

First, any university receiving federal funds of any kind would have to eliminate tenure, base admissions on a race neutral basis, have its curriculum meet certain federal standards as established by standardized yearly testing and allow ROTC training and military recruiters on campus in accordance with the Solomon Amendment.

In addition, the Federal DoE could easily create college curricula for various majors that could be available online at a fraction of the cost of what college costs today, and some universities already offer such programs. My daughter is now working as a special ed teaching assistant in the field she wants to make her career while taking online courses that will give her a BA in a year’s time at a fraction of what even a state university would cost, and minus the indoctrination and ethos that entails nowadays.When she gets ready to start her career, it will be with actual job experience on her resume and zero debt.

Those students who want ‘the college experience’ as a prolonged adolescence, are legacies with wealthy alumni parents who are seeking contacts or want to use college as a talent showcase for the professional sports franchises will still likely want a typical high priced brick and mortar university, but the opportunity to obtain the same degrees at a fraction of the cost is going to appeal to a lot of young Americans.

The DoE could also enable a rebirth of vocational colleges and paid apprenticeships in various trades that would be far more practical, useful and cost less than some of the ridiculous majors many students are currently pursuing while bankrupting themselves or their parents at the same time.

Implementing these changes would take time, but the results would be seen fairly quickly. And they would revolutionize education as it is today.

Well, there you have it.

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Forum: Does Education Need Reform?


Article written by: Tom White

Hold the Celebration: The GOP Got By on the Skin of Their Teeth – We Need New Ideas

I went to the Buddy Fowler Victory Party in Ashland Tuesday evening with excitement (It was looking good the Del. Fowler) but also trepidation.  Gecker was ahead – was it 3000 or 40o0 votes?  Powhatan was out but how many votes can that be?  Will it be enough?  I knew little about the Hal Parrish seat.

I was thrilled to hear at the party that Fowler wins!  I think it was 60-40!  And my thrill grew when I heard the Powhatan vote put Sturtevant over the top!  And I was more glad for the 10th district win when I heard that the Democrats held the Colgan seat.

So what did I hear:  GOP barely gets by?  Holds on by a tiny bit?  We’re thanking the four who ran for Sheriff of Powhatan County today?  No:

To: Interested Parties, Press
Re: McAuliffe’s Million Dollar Failure
Date: Nov. 4, 2015
The media on Wednesday morning headlines said it all:

Now it’s great to celebrate a hard-fought victory.  I am glad at least the Richmond-area voters said NO to Bloomberg.  Too bad Prince William voters did not.

I hate to be Debbie Downer but I think we just got by.  And we need some answers.  Or next time, we’ll not be so blessed.

I submit that we need some new packaging of old ideas and some new ones.  Let me give a few:

      • Term limits – 8 years for service in each house
      • Some sort of initiative and referendum
      • Education reform – continue to show why the public school monopoly is not good for Virginia’s children BUT let’s also discuss:  Top heavy administration at the university and secondary/primary school level.  And don’t forget the State Board of Education.  Make college presidents and division superintendents justify administrative costs.  After say the President of UVA and Tech are on the hot seat, the head of say JMU will say:  I won’t be next!
      • Something must be done about the domestic relations laws.  Want to win (back) suburban women?  Reform the archaic divorce laws:  Lower separation periods, maybe get rid of fault except as a factor to consider in dividing the marbles or perhaps spousal support.  End the adultery or other fault bar to spousal support.  Increase the use of simple forms for uncontested divorces.
      • Electoral fairness:  Better ballot access for minor parties (see this post for details)
      • Procedural fairness:  A statewide public defender system – the study bill should be introduced and when it is we’ll debut it at this blog!
      • Sovereign immunity reform:  Sovereign immunity, correct in principle, is being used to keep government actors including police and state agencies, from being held accountable. The courts, as they should, are upholding sovereign immunity in many cases.
      • Do not mindlessly adopt tort reform ideas while keeping common sense in the mix.
      • Seek out the African-American community.  There is a fair amount of hostility to the GOP by blacks but under some circumstances, you can earn the right to be heard.  But we must reach out and listen.  Issues to consider:  Overcriminalization, especially for juvenile offenders and freeing up parents to decide what schools to go to – that is how vouchers can be sold in the African-American community.  Sincere faith is strongly attractive.  Explain why you are for voter ID but also make sure all voters can get the ID.  After you win the right to be heard, you can explain why minority set-asides and some affirmative action programs are scams and where government gets to pick winners and losers based on race.  Ask the question:  Do we want to do that?

Repackage certain issues:  Abortion – need to be humble about this issue and be very careful in drafting bills.  If you can get women to lead this fight.  Guns – many are afraid of guns in general and mass shootings in particular.  Package this as self-defense and liberty.  Many women want to feel safe.  Gay issues:  The issue is settled; we need to follow the court decision but not expand it to new areas.

 

    Get rid of the entire BPOL system.  You should not have to ask government for permission to start a business.

Other ideas?  Yes sure.  But it is serious.  Let’s try out some or all of these issues in future campaigns.  I am starting the debate!


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

What Rebellion Looks Like…

Rebellion. Civil Disobedience. Revolution.

I keep hearing these words and phrases and cannot help but be interested by the sentiment. However, I do not see patriots and warriors calling for change, real change; I hear bloggers and writers and mouth pieces. I have heard similar sentiments from those with guns, people who hunt, fish, and work for a living; and Mark Levin.

It would make a great movie.

But let’s be honest with ourselves – I don’t see anyone rebelling. Texas is often held up as a proud, American State, unwilling to put up with tyranny. Texas takes money like the rest. I’m not buying it.

Rebellion, real rebellion, is war. It looks, sounds, feels, and tastes like war.

War is awful, hard, and bloody; and usually, tenacity isn’t enough.

rebellion-jewellery_111060If this federal government decides to embrace tyranny, tyranny is what we’ll have. It doesn’t matter how many movies we watch or how much Rage Against the Machine we listen to – power is the ability to do work and the federal government has almost all of the power. So, let’s drop these dreams of rebellion. Because what rebellion looks like is Death.

What we require is not rebellion or Hollywood fantasies of a Rising Generation. What we need are politicians and bureaucrats, public school teachers, journalists, and businessmen that can see further then their own bank accounts. Being angry never solved anything.

Hating your liberal schools won’t stop them from being liberal. You must invade them the way they invaded them. Change them the way they changed them.

Hating your Statist government won’t stop them from being Statist. You must invade it the way they invaded it. Change our government the way they changed our government.

If we don’t retake our political parties, school boards, and our state and federal representatives, then there is no hope.

Freedom looks an awful lot like chaos when there is no Social Contract to protect it.

Morality, philosophy, and engagement are necessary to protect liberty. You cannot rest upon your morality to save you. Christians and Jews have been wiped off the maps in certain countries and their morality and religion didn’t save them. They just died.

Conservatives are being targeted now. Americans are being targeted now.

Rhetoric won’t save you. Facebook posts won’t save you.

The government is organized.

Get organized.

Just saying.

The moral of the story is this: drop what you are doing – whatever it is that is so important to you. Take your schools, communities, states, and federal government back. At best, it will take 100 years. At worst, you’ll all be living in Barack Obama’s Brave New World 6 years from now. Our country is quickly embracing insanity. Ask yourselves, if you trust the people working on your school boards more than yourselves. Do you trust Rob Wittman? Do you trust Bob Goodlatte? Do you trust Rigell?

No? Then do something about it. The establishment Republican Party is about to come down on you with all its’ power, Virginia. Get ready. If you find someone who you think can win, you badger them until they run. You knock on doors until they win. You are not free. This is not a free country. If you don’t take over your governments, it’s over. Period.

Do not read this and say, “Yes!”. Do something. Anything. Everything.

If you don’t know what is going on in your governments, you are a subject. If your politicians and bureaucrats won’t tell you what’s going on in your governments, then you are a subject. Don’t be a subject. A successful rebellion requires hundreds of millions of people.

People follow examples.

Be an example.

We don’t have to be subjects. We can all be the sovereigns we were meant to be. Our government is organized and motivated. We have to be more motivated and more organized if we are to stand a chance. This is reality. I’m just saying. Do something. 2016 won’t save us. We have to save us. Violence and rhetoric in this country will be easily defeated. Don’t believe me? Turn on a TV. If you want to change the world and save it from the Statists, throw out your school boards and your county supervisors. Run against your delegates. Find qualified people – not just angry people. Run a Vince Haley against every Republican you can find. Lose. Win. Doesn’t matter. At this point – just fight.

 


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker