Showing posts with label Most Likely to Succeed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Most Likely to Succeed. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Schools: who's the master of the plan?

On the afternoon of November 28th, the Gloucester School Division's three Superintendents hosted a tour of the high school and a viewing of a movie titled "Most Likely To Succeed" after which there was a presentation and discussion among those attending. While the seating was limited to 350, according to accounts "less than 100" attended, and of that number who were parents of children in the system, "maybe two dozen." The movie, a Sundance Festival entrant, has made the circuit around the country and is yet another attempt by education management elites to foist yet another methodology on the tax paying public's check book and patience. The mantra is "project based learning" but the echo is "college and career." What's all that mean?

If you follow this stuff and you should because lots of money is at stake, the other side of the school day coin with its inventive curriculums and testing regimen includes "life ready" and "later-life outcomes." That's the "what will I be when I grow up" part of the equation. But parents need to know that all the research in the world hasn't been able to connect what happens in a public school including all the test scores that your kid accumulates, with any correlation to their success in life. What does count is what happens at home. The best place for a child to be raised and taught is with their biological parents in a stable family, learning the virtues necessary for and the joys that spring from the pursuit of the truth. There's no "winter break' on that calendar.

Government Departments of Education get giddy with the possibilities of technology but forget that it threatens to take away the human to human connection essential to the learning of truths that lay beyond the dull drone of today’s culture that rob kids of their imaginations and threatens the victory of reason.

So why are parents forced to send their children to public schools? Well, they aren't as long as they provide learning at home or at a private or parochial school; and more are doing that every year. But it can be expensive and a lot of parents organize their life expecting that government will be there with child care of some sort while one or both parents pursue their day's activity. It's a heck of a conundrum, but there are helpful tools and good meaning people with advice and help if anyone is interested. Heck, there are even some great old movies and books that teach character, and heroism, and civic history. That's a start!

In a newspaper account of Gloucester High School deficiencies and a master plan, the author said the students were "herded" into hallways that were crowded and noisy. It's been a long time but I recall school classes being dismissed and me walking unassisted into halls and the next class, or lunch, or gym. No one shooed me through a door. So what's really going on? Read this carefully. The Gloucester School Division has an operating budget of over $60 million a year for around 5,500 students. Hypothetically that's almost $11,000 per student and a class of 30 kids represents gross operating revenue of $330,000 per classroom per school year. Say the teacher and their salary, retirement and benefit account takes around $80,000. of that gross. That leaves $250,000 per classroom for maintenance, supplies, phone bills, electricity, loan payments and non teaching staff. Again, that's $250,000 a year per classroom. Are any business owners with accounting skills paying attention? Does the $250,000 seem excessive when the crucial relationship is teacher-student?

So now the superintendents have hired a consultant for a fee of $100,000 to tell them how to go forward with AC and heating problems and some remodelling. I think the entire Gloucester community -- hey Supervisors, I'm talking to you too -- should be yelling "Stop" and then asking why anyone would use the word "herd" when talking about schools. If that word applies at all, it's to the taxpayers and the money they are forced to ante up.

Coincidentally on the Monday following the school tour, Gloucester property taxes were due. How much was your tax bill?

Ken Larson
Ware Neck, VA

Thursday, December 8, 2016

What the Heck is Happening to Gloucester’s Public Education System??

On Monday, November 28, 2016, I and some other folks attended an open house and viewed a film at Gloucester High School. The school system appeared to be prepared for 350 or so people, but only 60 to 65 people showed up. I believe more Gloucester People would have attended if the school system had scheduled it for a Saturday event from, say 9AM to 3PM and advertised it vigorously within the community. Instead, the event began at 5:15PM and lasted until around 8PM, on a Monday. Aren’t most people either still at work or driving home at 5:15PM on weekdays? The event time was also during dinner hours for most folks.   

Having attended GHS for a couple of years shortly after it was built, I was amazed at the great condition of the schoolhouse. After hearing stories for the last several years about how bad of shape GHS is in; I was expecting the place to be in shambles. That was absolutely not the case.

There likely needs to be a significant amount of money spent on our schoolhouse, but not as much as our school administrators are trying to make us believe. One of their complaints is the undependability and inefficiency of the heating, ventilation and cooling system. Considering the schoolhouse was built in the mid 1970’s, it is probably time to replace the entire system. The administrators complain the roof needs to be replaced. Well, roof maintenance is part of maintaining any building, so if there is a need to replace the waterproofing components of the roof, then it needs to be replaced before other components are damaged. If a future replacement account for major schoolhouse components had been started when the school was built, money would be available when needed. Every year monies could have been added to the account as part of the schoolhouse’s operating expenses. When a school system builds a schoolhouse it is provided with information that identifies the life expectancy of such things as HVAC and roofing systems. Our local, state and federal governments choose to wait until something falls apart, then borrow money to fix and replace things. Operating this way is costing us far more than investing money in a replacement fund every year. Just let it accumulate interest each year and then pay cash when things are needed. Maybe someone needs to look into who is benefiting from all of the interest money we pay each year.

During our tour we spoke with teachers who said noise transfer from neighboring classrooms and hallways interferes with teaching and learning. I asked if changes in the methods of teaching had increased the noise level in today’s classrooms. The answer was along the lines of “probably”. Upon asking more questions it became apparent that a lot of the noise is generated by small groups from varying classes being sent in the hallway to work independent of the rest of their class. I found all of this odd because when I attended GHS, we had 25 to 30 students per class and we broke down into small groups at times, but we remained in the classroom. Everyone was taught and expected to be conscious of the volume of their voice and to respect each other by not disrupting the class. As a matter of fact, most of the classrooms didn’t even have doors. (Doors were installed some years later though.) We as students were expected to keep the noise level down and for the most part we did. If noise transference is a problem, there are ways of fixing the problem without reconfiguring the entire inside of the building.

Speaking of reconfiguring; that appears to be our school system’s ultimate objective. After touring several areas of the schoolhouse we were directed to the auditorium to watch what I consider an indoctrination film titled, “Most Likely to Succeed”. Chuck Thompson published a review of the film on GVLN and can be found at this link  I must say I agree with Mr. Thompson’s opinions.

America’s public education system has been under siege for a long time; the ultimate objective being to lower America’s educational standards and success in order to bring our Country inline with the objectives of the United Nations/New World Order. Every aspect of their objectives entails weakening the strong and empowering the weak, on a global scale.  

America used to have the most robust and successful public education system in the world. Our public education system significantly helped make America the country with the strongest economy and military in the world. Though there have always been efforts to compromise America’s educational success, none triggered a rapid decline in American public education quality like George H.W. Bush’s commitment of America to the provisions and objectives of United Nations Agenda 21. Don’t get me wrong; there were efforts prior to 1997 to implement Socialism/Communism into America’s public education system. It wasn’t until Old Man Bush sold America out that everything really began to snowball. Mr. Obama further committed America to U.N./New World Order Rule when he committed “OUR”  Country to U.N. Agenda 2030 which has set the efforts of implementing Socialism/Communism into our public school systems into overdrive.

Gloucester County has not been immune to what our so called Presidents have done to our public education system since old man Bush committed America to Agenda 21. We never see those we elect at the local level truly fight back against the plague that is engulfing our country. We elect them to be our voice and all they do is remain silent. They remain silent because we allow them to by not speaking up and telling them we are not going to allow the federal and state government to herd us down the road to Socialism/Communism.   

Former Gloucester Public Schools Superintendent, Howard B. (Ben) Kiser was successful in steering our elected representatives into pushing the Socialism/Communism envelop, by shoving the design of Page Middle School down this community’s throat. Now Mr. Kiser is in a position to influence all school districts in Virginia as the Director of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. The schoolhouse designs Mr. Kiser and others who I consider to be Socialist/Communist oriented traitors to America are pushing on us, were created after thousands of America’s so called educators like Kiser visited Finland on indoctrination trips. They claim Finland’s way of educating is the best way because Finland currently has one of the best rated public education systems in the world. Rated at what measures and by whom; other New World Order propagandists? What our elected leaders and school administrators don’t tell us is; Finland is a Socialist Country where the government foots the bill for everything including educating teachers. They don’t tell us that Finland educators say they have equal success in older box style schoolhouses as they do in modern, more expensive designed schoolhouses like Page Middle School. They don’t tell us the personal income tax rate in Finland averaged 52.96% from 1995 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 62.20% in 1995 and a record low of 49.00% in 2010. (How would you like the government taking over half of what you earn?) They don’t tell us Finland’s schools practice collectivism. They don’t tell us collectivism is a trait of Communism and Socialism. They don’t tell us that in collectivist cultures, identity is based on the social network to which one belongs and with the implementation of collectivism in our public schools, individualism will be erased. Everything will be about what is good for the group and completely ignoring what is best for each individual. This will erase the potential of there being other great individuals like George Washington Carver, Louis Pasture, Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison and so on. The only way to achieve the goal of collectivism is by “leveling the playing field”; in other words the strong must be weakened and the weak must be empowered. In the education spectrum that equates to lowering standards to make it appear more students are successful in academia land.

I believe we need to take back control of our public education system and return it to an educational institution that reflects the values, morals, traditions, customs, quality and superiority that empowered America to become the greatest and freest nation in the World. Common Core must go, but more importantly, the federal government must be stopped from blackmailing our public education system into submitting to the Socialist/Communist ideology of the United Nations.

Look for a future article on, “where the money will come from to pay for our school administration’s $100,000,000 vision”.

Kenneth E. Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point, Virginia
Parent Warrior