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Sunday, June 18th 2017

7:25 AM

Charter, Private, Parochial Schools Vouchers and Subsidies

The opinion below are the result of my professional experiences as an: historian, webmaster, master teacher, teacher's union vice president and president, parent and grandparent.

Public education evolved over time in the United States from the Boston Latin school to our modern community supported schools. The underlying hope of the parents, who paid their taxes and worked to maintain the mental and physical structures, was that their children would be educated and thus develop a better life. Drawing from the Age of Reason many felt that an education would make their children better, more informed citizens. The evolution was slow and bumpy but steadily improved the average persons thinking and questioning skills, creativity and understanding of our world. Eventually public education became the foundation of one of the world's greatest most influential middle class. Many of our religious, political, military and entrepreneurial leaders arose from the ranks of public education. Public schools are the great equalizer of our society.

Today a strong movement is trying to destroy this foundation and thus undercut the underpinnings of our middle class and social structure. By shifting money away from public schools and towards religious and private  systems the public schools are endanger of collapsing. The movement has for years undercut funding and support of the public schools and teachers, then showed outrage when the schools did not meet their expectations. Now they are demanding vouchers, subsidies and the creation of charter schools, which will cripple public schools and virtually seal its future. We will thus widen the growing gap in our society, economically, politically and socially.    

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Thursday, July 30th 2015

7:17 AM

Substitute Teaching

Substitutes are vital to education and we feel the following recommendations:

1. No person should be a substitute teacher unless they have passed a security background check by county, state and federal security personal.
2. Substitute teachers should be paid according to the degree and years of experience. Give substitutes raises when all the other employees are given raises.
3. Hiring priorities need to be according to an individual’s degrees or certification.  School systems are looking for warm bodies to fill the classroom. Often the substitutes give wrong or erroneous information.  In the medical profession only a certified professionals are allowed to handle a patient. Should the education field have a lower standard?
4. Unless certified in the field no substitute should be allowed to give lectures, administer tests or act in the same capacity as a teacher.

5. Unless certified in the field no substitute should be allowed to replace a teacher for extended periods of time. 

6. Substitutes should be given three or four days of instruction by a professional on a teacher’ rights, responsibilities, methods and state, county municipal procedures.
7. Substitutes need to have liability and workman’s compensation insurance.
8. Substitutes need to have access to automatic deposit, credit union, in-service programs and all other services offered by the state, county and municipal employees.
9. Substitutes need to be backed for discipline problems equal to that of the teacher.
10. If a substitute is called in for an assignment or consultation, he or she needs to be paid for his or her time.
11. A uniform system of contacting substitutes needs to be established. Hours need to be set and standards need to be made on who and when he or she will be called.
12. A substitute must be allowed to turn down a position without recrimination.
13. A set of standards of evaluation needs to be established so that a sub can understand their strengths and weaknesses.
14.Teachers and students need to be instructed on the proper respect, treatment and methods of handling a sub.
15. A cadre of either retired or part time teacher’s needs to be established to fill in the teacher’s position when he or she is incapable of fulfilling his or her duties.
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Wednesday, July 29th 2015

2:21 PM

Common Core

There has been some discussion, misinformation, criticism and politicalization of Common Core. It is not   a federally initiated or run program. The American Diploma Project started in 1996 and the National Governors’ Association and business leaders saw a great need to standardize assessment, graduation requirements, knowledge achievement, skills acquisition and classes to prepare all students for work, college and the challenges of modern American life. Student would move from state to state, city to city or county to county and found they were either behind or a head of their classmates. Therefore they were frustrated and had to struggle to either keep up with the work or bored because they already covered the material. Teachers, counsels and administrators had to develop remedial programs to accommodate the transferees.  You can read more about Common Core at: http://www.gradebook.org/CommonCoreStandards.htm

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Wednesday, July 15th 2015

3:48 PM

Internet and the Classroom

The 21st Century will bring new tools to current and future teachers, students, administrators and parents. The onset of whiteboards, IPads, tablets, smart phones, desk tops and laptops give, teachers, students, parents and administrators at their finger tips a host of opinions, facts and information that are truly  world –wide. Education sites like The Classroom, Timesavers for Teachers, provide   advice, tips, worksheets, lesson plans, information, links and tools to anyone interested in opening  minds and improving the quality of education. One can see a future in which textbooks will be a secondary source of information and the internet will be an unlimited path for resources, inspiration, information and advice on all levels. The teacher, parent and administrators must be the gateways, filters and guides for the information  and materials being used by the student.

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Wednesday, June 11th 2014

9:00 AM

What is Going On?

 I see several issues that are having devastating effects on public education:

The increased attack on the schools by armed individuals and the reaction of allowing guns in schools and loosening  gun laws that enable the purchasing of guns to those who should not have them.

Recently indiviuals and special interest have challenged and are dismantling the Core Curriculum Standards. It is not fair to the students to have different levels of accomplishment from state to state, country to country, county to county and city to city. Businesses need the assurance that all their employees are capable and literate. Parents need to know that their children can pick up where they left off from their previous schools. Students must be confident that what they have learned in their schools meets the expected levels of achievement for college, work and interaction in society.

The continued movement to underfund and undercut the support of public education through vouchers, charter schools and legislation. Public schools are the life blood of our culture and achievement. It created our middle class and assured every student that they could achieve their dreams and aspirations.

The attack on teachers by some elements of society. Most teachers I know today and knew, from when I taught, are extremely hard working, professional and dedicated to their students. Yes there are individuals who don't belong in the profession and methods should be applied to remove them. To blame the ills of the system on all teachers is an insult injustice and a travesty.

The high cost of tuition must be mitigated. Students are graduating with very high debts and no way to pay them off. Universities need to find ways to pay less attention to sports and more to the needs of their student body. Legislators need to legislate corrective measures and spend less time bickering.

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Thursday, December 20th 2012

4:54 PM

Sandy Hook


As a retired teacher, my heart goes out to the children and staff who tragically lost their lives. Those teachers who fought to protect their students deserve all the praise one can give. They are why I got into education so many years ago. I suggest we all do something this Christmas season. Bring donuts to a local school or library with at thank you note for all they do for children. Hug your child no matter how old they are and tell them how much you love and appreciate them.
Still nothing has been done to prevent another atrocity. How many men women and children must be hurt before politicians decide to put and end to these horrible events.


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