Russ Gibb at Random
education

hey, hey

October 12, 2008

FALL FEST CONCERT FEATURING ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE, AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS THROUGHOUT DEARBORN Dearborn, MI – On Thursday, October 23rd, the Dearborn High School choir program will present its annual Fall Fest Concert at 7:30pm. This year the evening features the musical talents from the Award-winning choirs of Dearborn High School Chorus, Women’s Ensemble, and Vocal Impressions. In addition the Valentine Auditorium stage will also be host to the musical talent of Dearborn’s Elementary Honors Choir, Middle School Honors Choir, and Smith Middle School 8th Grade Choir. This gives the audience the unique opportunity to enjoy the outstanding musical gifts of the Dearborn school system. It also offers an educational opportunity for younger students to be involved in a high school level program. The evening will begin with Dearborn Elementary Honors Choir featuring students from all of Dearborn’s Elementary Schools and directed by Jim Walters, followed by the Middle School Honor’s choir with students from all of Dearborn’s middle schools, and then the Smith Middle School 8th Grade Choir, both directed by Jennifer Pegouske. The Dearborn High School choirs will end the evening with the Chorus leading the way, followed by Women’s Ensemble, and ending with Vocal Impressions all led by DHS Choir Director Carmelle Atkins. Linda Lukens will accompany all choirs on the piano. Doors will open at 7:00pm with general admission seating, and the concert is scheduled to begin at 7:30pm. A suggested donation of $5.00 will be taken at the door to benefit the DHS choir program. Valentine Auditorium is located inside Dearborn High School located at 19501 Outer Drive, Dearborn. # # #

education

Education today

August 17, 2008

Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District in Texas approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.

In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and have to use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.

education

I have asked the same questions

August 5, 2008

Mr. Gibb,
How is it possible to screw nearly 50 years of former students and no one at DPS seems to care?

Dr. Artis signed a contract that violated DPS policy "The Board will not allow the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information (or otherwise providing the information to others for that purpose).".

This started at the end of April with the Alumni Directory Program. Its a letter "from" the principal of the high school you attended telling you to call and give out more information to appear in an directory.

This letter is from a company called Harris Connect Inc. and what they don't tell you is that you have a right to opt out, not appear in the book, and not allow them to sell the information to other 3rd party marketers.

I got this letter and was concerned what information was released, DPS has all former students Social Security numbers in its records. Its taken 6 letters/emails and 3 months, and finally a FOIA request, to find out what information was released. DPS Board Members only comment was they had done similar things, or their kids want to be in the directory when concerns about what data was released.

In the case of Edsel Ford, DPS sold approx. 20,000 records for $0.04 each, good for them $800 for screwing 20,000 people. They shipped permanent records to an outside company and allowed them to collect information, they claim they only took what was allowed. They do not tell you they have the right to then sell this information to other marketers if you "express and interest in products or services". They say only other former students can get copies, but the contract states "close relations" as well. The privacy policy online, if you google Harris Connect Inc. is very different than whats in the contract. This whole program REALLY smells like a scam and is being mishandled at every step by DPS.

Why is DPS stonewalling on this issue? Why when a former student directly asks did you hand out my Social Security Number do you not provide an answer? If DPS gets over 10% of the people to buy an overpriced useless book, they get $5.00 a book sold. (at least for the contract covering Edsel Ford.)

So they broke published DPS policy, one board member claims that policy only applies to current students, the contract also gives Harris Connect the right of first refusal for more student records into the future. Its very possible they have violated FERPA, the federal law protecting students privacy rights. Mr. Gutkowski has "misstated" the privacy policy of Harris Connect Inc. and ignored direct questions about this program.

People are giving out demographic information to a company pretending to be DPS and not asking any questions. They think DPS would never sell out former students. They did and on the cheap.

I guess maybe I am just angry that my privacy was only worth $0.04, and that 19 years after I graduated they decided to try to make a quick buck off of my privacy. Maybe I am pissed at the amount of buck passing and I don't know anything about this program I got in replies to questions. Maybe the fact they did not think enough of a former student to even spell the name right in replies. Maybe that the people we elected might need to remember not to take a dump on the people who put them there, and that it should not be to much work for them to find the answers to simple questions. That pushing someone to have to file a FOIA request to see if they set me up for identity theft might not be the reasonable thing to do.

But then I'm only a Dearborn resident, and graduate of their schools. I should just be a good little sheep and not rock the boat. Or maybe I should let people know whats actually happening and let them decide if they want to be in yet another marketing database. Let the voters know these people violate their own rules to make a few bucks off of their graduates backs.

I'd love to see a story about this on your site letting people know about this, but I'd also like to keep my name out of it. Imagine that, I like my privacy. I've got the letters and emails that backup everything I've said. I'm more than willing to let you copy them and verify my claims. I just think the people should be informed of the facts before they decided to hand out their information to this company who is not being upfront and forthcoming.

education

public schools?

July 31, 2008

There are two great teacher unions in the USA and I belong to one of them, the American Federation of Teachers. However, I was sorely disappointed when I heard that both Unions had endorsed Barrack Hussein Obama for presidential Democratic candidate; particularly when I found out that Mr.and Mrs Obama, have chosen private education for their children education.

Obama’s daughters attend the private University of Chicago laboratory schools where annual tuition ranges from $15,528 for kindergarten to $20,425 for high school. Why is it that so many of our big time politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, talk the talk about public education but walk the walk for private education? Could it be that they believe private schools do a better job of educating young people than public schools?

education

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
Michelle

education

A Christian writes.

May 31, 2008

Russ,

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.

education

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

education

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

A citizen asks ?

May 17, 2008



Hey Russ, I just read an article in the P&G that said 50% of the students in Dearborn Public Schools qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. http://www.pressandguide.com/stories/051408/loc_20080514004.shtml The article also said that this percentage is used to determine the number of students from "low income" families. Considering the types of cars I see dropping kids off, or parked in the student parking lot, I wonder how this can be, statistically speaking? I drive a 10 year-old car with 81,000 miles showing on the odometer so I can afford to send my kids to private schools, and these parasites drive new cars and still qualify for free lunches? Based on the 50% figure, it's reasonable to believe that many students driving or getting out of brand new cars in front of the schools are also getting free or reduced-price lunches. What the hell is wrong with this picture? I guess I'm just a sucker of the highest order. If they can afford to drive a car that is well beyond my means, and my kids aren't starving, they can sure as hell afford to pay to feed their kids! I sure as hell shouldn't be paying my share AND their share to feed them!

education

Help. Deaborn Public Schools.

May 11, 2008

We have been invaded by the McLennon Clones. What was supposed to be a nationwide search produced 10 applicants, 6 interviews and 3 finalists. Every single one stated that they were contacted by Tom McLennon regarding the position and he felt that they were a good fit. The public was involved. For the first round of interviews there were maybe 30 people present. on the second round of interviews for the public meeting there were between as many as 20 and as few as 8. After 3 days of brain numbing interviews. They answered the questions the same way. There was a lack of difference between the candidates. The board has let us down again. The lack of public attention to this and the lack of good candidates would lead one to believe that we are going to get another John Artis.

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