Russ Gibb at Random

Education in the Sad State of Michigan

May 20, 2008

I could not be more disillusioned by the current state of affairs in our public schools. It's not just Dearborn either, our entire state. It's like a boat floating around with no direction or course, just floundering with the waves of contemporary and meaningless BS from Lansing.

We are told that we need to increase relevance, yet we are killing off every single elective class in each school. We are told to increase rigger but than are told to simply teach the MME test. What’s wrong with this picture? AP and Honors courses have made them so damn rigorous in the high schools that students are opting to go to HFCC and take them with unqualified part-time teachers to catch less than 5 hours a night in homework per class. The whole system has been turned on its head! The kids who are at the top of the academic scale are suffering for our grandiose view of rigger and the kids at the bottom are suffering for our grandiose view of relevance.

For the kids at the bottom, we are killing off every single program that made sense of math, and science and language arts for visual learners. When we gut out all of our vocational programs like electronics, manufacturing, automotive, welding and wood shop. We destroy relevance for kids who use the principals they learn in academic classes while learning a way to make a good living. We have slashed the graphic arts departments as and they were the biggest peddlers of language arts for kids who struggle in English classes.

We are building football complexes and I ask you, where is the relevance and rigger in artificial turf? Where are our priorities? What in the hell are we doing to our kids and the future of our state and country making decisions like this?

I am floored at the lack of imagination, not just by our own school board, but our state superintendent. I do not understand how they have allowed this abysmal state of affairs to have crippled and corrupted our educational system to the point where my, soon to be freshmen, son can’t even take a wood shop class until he is a junior. Why can’t he take a wood shop class you ask? Because some Principal in the east end has decreed that after 4 years of failing to achieve AYP every single 9th grader will have to take remedial reading classes instead of electives. This is simply insanity!

Than we have the union groping for more money at the same time that the school board is rattling their saber to slash programs like instrumental music, middle school sports, shop classes and other electives.

When is someone going to stand up and damn all of the leaders for their shortsightedness and lack of vision and spinelessness? I hope someone does it soon as it looks like another summer with the union and the administration playing chicken with our kid’s futures!

--by Lets try this....... on 5/20/08 Lives: Michigan


Education in USA Failing

May 24, 2008

The sad state of eduction is our own fault, that of parents, citizens, teachers, administrators. We have allowed those who have no idea of quality education to run things. As long as our kids received As and Bs, as long as teachers didn't get any parent complaints, etc., all was well. Guess what? All is not well and the chickens are coming home to roost. Whatever is latest fad is the new program, curriculum, etc. Have you ever noticed that no education reforms, NONE, ever mention hard work, responsibility, accountability, etc.? Oh, don't talk about the state tests. The way teachers teach to the test, as if the tests were legitimate (Don't believe me? Check the newspaper throughout the state which have found errors, flaw, etc. in the test or ask to take the test yourself.), the results are flawed. About a dozen years ago, my son had a teacher who was following the district "cooperative learning" scheme. My son was graded down, consistently, because he wasn't "cooperative." I asked why and the teacher said he wouldn't go along with the group answers; he insisted on submitting his own. Well, I asked, were his answers right? The teacher, with a straight face, replied, "Yes, they always are." To make a longer story shorter, I just told her, "That's the stupidest thing I ever heard." You see, teachers are either afraid to confront such stupid policies as this or, well, don't realize they are stupid policies (and what does that say?). Of course, who gets to be the administrators who determine these policies? Yep, those who went along with the earlier jokes. Nope, things won't get better until more than one person objects...and most of us are too busy watching American Idol, following the Red Wings, or whatever else is more important than education. Just one man's lonely opinion.

--by Ron on 5/24/08 Lives: Michigan

at random

What are friends for ?

May 25, 2008

Though no longer a resident of Dearborn, I continue to feel a certain kinship for that special place. You see,Dearborn was my hometown and Russ Gibb was my pal growing up. We shared many adolescent adventures together. In the ensuing years, Russellbob (that's what I call him) and I though I now live in San Francisco, have managed to maintain long-distance contact with one another. Russellbob was a groomsman in my wedding. Though we may have differing views on certain delicate issues (read political), I continue to respect his integrity and stubbornness in mounting his horse and riding off in all directions in support of his views (wrong though they often may be). Russellbob and I recently had occasion to renew our friendship and it was he who made my return to the old hometown one of the memorable moments in my life. I don't always agree with him but I continue to love him.

--by Jim Dunbar


Barack Obama. His record.

May 27, 2008

Just Some of What Defines Barack Obama :

* He voted against banning partial birth abortion.
* He voted no on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions.
* Supports affirmative action in Colleges and Government.
* In 2001 he questioned harsh penalties for drug dealing.
* Says he will deal with street level drug dealing as minimum wage affair.
* Admitted marijuana and cocaine use in high school and in college.
* His religious convictions are very murky.
* He is willing to meet with Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jung Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
* Has said that one of his first goals after being elected would be to have a conference with all Muslim nations.
* Opposed the Patriot Act.
* First bill he signed that was passed was campaign finance reform.
* Voted No on prohibiting law suits against gun manufacturers.
* Supports universal health-care.
* Voted yes on providing habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees.
* Supports granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
* Supports extending welfare to illegal immigrants.
* Voted yes on comprehensive immigration reform.
* Voted yes on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security.
* Wants to make the minimum wage a "living wage".
* Voted with Democratic Party 96 percent of 251 votes.
* Is a big believer in the separation of church and state.
* Opposed to any efforts to Privatize Social Security and instead supports increasing the amount of tax paid.
* He voted No on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax
* He voted No on repealing the "Death" Tax
* He wants to raise the Capital Gains Tax.
* Has repeatedly said the surge in Iraq has not succeeded.
* He is ranked as the most liberal Senator in the Senate today and that takes some doing.

at random

The joy of being a teacher

May 28, 2008

Young Professionals Mark One Year of Saving, Investing, And Financial Advice For Upcoming Generation .Alex was one of my "old" students.

Northville, MI May 29, 2008 – Young Professional Finance Blog ( celebrates one year of providing saving, investing, and financial advice for and by young professionals.

YPFB, started by Alex Fisher of Northville, provides insight and advice to young Americans in their 20s as they begin to finish university and move into a career, their own home, and choosing how to live their life.

"Learning how to manage money, becoming financially independent, and giving back to the world," said Fisher, "aren't necessarily skills taught to us in school. Yet, they're very important and they have to be picked-up somewhere."

A recent graduate of the University of Michigan—Dearborn with a Computer Engineering degree and a minor in Hispanic Studies, Fisher got his first job as an engineer in a new area and realized he had to learn about meeting new people, developing a career, giving back to the community, paying bills, and saving for retirement. He couldn't find a good resource for people just graduating college, and decided to create his own.

Assisted by other young professionals, Fisher contributes to the blog-o-sphere weekly where readers from as far as China check-in for the latest article.

Young Professional Finance Blog has had thousands of visitors in it's first year and even had one of it's stories featured as the number 1 entry on's "what's hot" list, a popular destination for many on the web today.

"I'm really amazed at how much traffic and excitement has surrounded the site," said Fisher, adding "it's a great time to be a young professional!"

Young Professional Finance Blog ( is a personal finance site for young professionals learning to manage money, to become financially independent, and to give back to the world. Further information is available, contact Alex Fisher at 313.575.4036.


A Christian writes.

May 31, 2008


I read this morning in the Free Press of the School Board meeting Tuesday night, and how it was overrun by Muslim parents supporting the firing of long-time coach Jerry Marszalek from the Fordson wrestling team. Apparently, this is a pre-emptive strike from the Fadlallah camp to prevent disciplinary action against that man for his apparently illegal actions.

Fadlallah years ago forbid Trey Hancock from being an assistant coach on the wrestling team. Trey Hancock is the father of at least one All-State wrestling son on Fordson's team, and was the coach of a club team. The problem Fadlallah has with Mr. Hancock is that he is a Christian pastor. Evidently, according to the story, years ago he baptized a young Muslim boy who converted to Christianity. Fadlallah didn't want such an influence around the Muslim boys on the wrestling team. So, Trey Hancock's 'crime' was being Christian.

Fadlallah went further than that, however. As hypocritical as his 'separating Church and State' reasoning was for removing Hancock from his coaching spot (as Islam is promoted constantly at Fordson, including the recent flap over a Valentine's Day survey), it was nothing to the illegal attempt to bar Mr. Hancock from attending his own son's matches.

What this all boils down to is this: A Muslim principal fired two coaches because he didn't like the open expression of Christianity. Imagine the uproar if it were the other way around.


wake up Democrats

June 1, 2008


I hear music and so should you.

June 2, 2008

Hi Russ,

This letter goes out to all Dearborn Residents and than some. There is a Board of Education meeting on Monday, June 9th and we are asking for all parents to attend in support of the Dearborn Instrumental Department. We have found out that classes are being cancelled throughout the district but more so in East Dearborn. At the elementary and middle school level they have been all cancelled. At the High School level they have been downsized to two classes. We have also found out that all 3 High School Instrumental Teachers will be laidoff and a traveling teacher will be in place. Our children deserved equal education across the district and with school of choice being cancelled we can not relocate our children to new schools with in the public school sector.

Please whether you have children in music or not - attend, show your support and stand by all students of Dearborn.

thank you


The media lies by omission.

June 3, 2008

Did you see he photo of Obama speaking before a group of "supporters" as far as the eye could see ? The truth of that "mass crowd" grouping allegedly for Obama was that the crowd was there due to a band performance that preceded Obama's presence there. The crowd, essentially, was there in such numbers due to the musical event, not due to Obama. Drudge never corrected his earlier enthusiasm of the crowd as photographed -- after Obama took the stage -- and it created (and has maintained) a false enthusiasm for Obama.

at random

Honor our military

June 5, 2008

Many time when others are bashing our military men and women who serve our country. I pause and think about several of my students who faithfully served our country. Particularly the several who made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives for our country.
DHS video student, Sean Rinna, is having his film, "Shadow Over My Brothers" honoring our veterans shown at the Detroit Institute of Arts on June 8 Sunday evening at seven.Open to the public.
What an extraordinary accomplishment for a student film maker who is only seventeen years old! We all need to celebrate and support this kind of creative endeavor.It's an amazing video for one so young.

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