Russ Gibb at Random

No test left behind

April 28, 2008

Click to watch the video clip


A must see coming up thurday april 24

April 17, 2008

For tickets, come to room at dearborn High A-1 (High School Students) Or call 827-1635! or you can buy tickets at the door.
5$ now OR 7$ at the door! The Movie Premiers April 24th at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center!
The video students from Fordson,Edsel and Dearborn High school every year do a full length student written and produced movie.
Every year they have become more and more professional . Bring the family. Help out our Dearborn public school students.


Edsel Ford

April 16, 2008

TONIGHT is opening night for Edsel Ford High School's spring drama "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller. It runs Wed. April 16 through Sat. April 19 at 7 pm, and tickets are $6 in advance or $8 at the door. The show will be presented "in the round", so seating will be limited. It is not recommended for children under 12.

SparkNotes calls this famous play about the Salem witch trials, "a powerful and timeless depiction of how intolerance and hysteria can intersect and tear a community apart."

For more info, please call 313-827-7656.


Dearborn School Board

April 9, 2008

Contact: Ms. Sharon Dulmage, President, Dearborn Board of Education (313) 561-6569
Mr. Thomas D. McLennan, Thomas D. McLennan & Associates (313) 410-7241
David Mustonen, Communications Coordinator (313) 827-3006

Superintendent Candidates
Narrowed To Seven

Thomas D. McLennan & Associates presented the Dearborn Board of Education with a list of seven candidates for superintendent at a special public meeting held on Monday, April 7, 2008.

The group of seven includes:

Dr. Felix H. Chow Former Superintendent
Hamtramck Public Schools
Flint Public Schools

Dr. William L. DeFrance Superintendent
Eaton Rapids Public Schools

Dr. Ernando F. Minghine Superintendent
Westwood Community School District

Mr. Paul J. Rogers, J.D. Superintendent,
Madison District Public Schools

Mr. George J. Sassin Superintendent,
Clintondale Community Schools

Dr. Theresa (Terri) M. Spencer Superintendent
Harper Woods School District

Mr. Brain J. Whiston Director of Government & Community Services
Oakland County ISD

The candidates will take part in Board interviews scheduled for Friday, April 18 beginning at 6:30 pm and April 19 beginning at 9:00 am. The interviews are open to the public and will be held in the Board Room of the Administrative Service Center, 18700 Audette, Dearborn. Second round interviews will be scheduled with those candidates selected after the first interview.


A kiss from Dearborn High

April 7, 2008

Dearborn High presents it's spring musical... KISS ME KATE April 10, 11, 12 at 7:30pm April 13 at 3pm Tickets: $11, $10 & $7 (313) 827-1647 - Info & ticket reservations The Cole Porter songs include: Another Op'ning, Another Show Why Can't You Behave? So In Love We're Off to Verona Tom, Dick or Harry Wonderbar I Hate Men From This Moment On Always True to You in My Fashion Women Are So Simple Kiss Me Kate Come out and enjoy Dearborn High School's musical version of "The Taming of the Shew". This Cole Porter masterpiece hasn't been performed in this area in many years.


A Fordson student speaks out.

March 9, 2008

Hello all,
I am a future product of the Dearborn Public School system, and a personal bystanding witness of these events. Dr. Ames(not "Miss", as so many people have referred to her; she has earned the title and deserves it) is one of the few teachers at Fordson who does just that--teaches. Many teachers attempt to, but she is one of the few who actually forces the students to work. I have seen students try to drop her class, call her a "bitch" when conversing with their friends, and seem incredibly annoyed when walking to her class. Is this because she is a bad person, or a bad teacher? On the contrary, it is because our community at Fordson needs a student reformation as the majority of our students are becoming lazier by the year. People should not be attending classes expecting to pass simply because they show up, or expecting an "A" simply because they studied. The purpose of attending a school is to receive an education, and to gain knowledge. The students leaving Dr. Ames' class may not have the highest English grades in the school...but each and everyone of them has a undeniable knowledge of the subject that they may not even be aware they have gained---due to the hard work she gave them and introduced them to.
As an NHS sponsor, Dr. Ames sits to the side and lets the students run the meetings--not as a way of being irresponsible, but as a way of teaching these people to be independent, responsible, leaders. Everything that is discussed in meetings is previously discussed at the NHS board meetings. In terms of the survey, a student made a mistake. Should an adult be responsible? Of course. However, should the blame rest on one adult? No. Who renewed the copy code without checking the document first? Who saw the cover and did not put a stop to it from the beginning? If the student took the cover, copied it herself, and was not asked by the administration why she was making copies, should Dr. Ames be the one to blame? Truthfully, the student of this level, a Senior, should be aware of her actions. We're being raised and trained to be adults and to survive in society as such...shouldn't we be able to make simple decisions for ourselves, and take responsibility for our actions? These are not average students...they are products of the supposed honors and dual-enrollment programs at Fordson, and the, if I may quote WEB DuBois "talented tenth" of the school.
The board meeting, which was publicized on television and the internet, was somewhat of a joke on behalf of those who testified against the survey. The NHS president claimed that he agreed with the administrator on the survey issue. Well, if that's the case, then why did he approve it to begin with? Had the NHS board not approved this to begin with, the survey issue would not have even been around. The Student Council president stated that she also agreed with the administrator. Again, if this was the case, the survey should not have been approved. The question should not be whether or not the survey was appropriate, it should be "why was this supposedly inappropriate fundraiser able to make it so far into the system before anyone put a stop to it?" Someone along the way didn't do their job, and it currently seems to be more than one person. A parent at the board meeting who spoke against those who petitioned questioned the board's motives as to whether they had proper documentation, not just emails and phone calls. Emails and phone calls are legally binding in the court of law in the U.S. If an email can get us into trouble, and put us in jail for sexual assault, why shall it not protect us as well, when we feel the need to speak our minds? Those parents who opposed this survey due to religion and culture (more so the second), had every right to do so in terms of their children, however, in terms of ridding it from the school entirely, I do not think that the parent of one student has the right to infringe his thoughts and ideals on the child of another parent. We are all raised differently, and if one parent disagrees with something, another may not. As long as the children are not being physically harmed, what's wrong? The way in which the PTSA approached Dr. Ames was in an overtly crude fashion, acting as though they were on a mission to teach her a lesson. She is human--and she deserves to be spoken to with respect.
Students of the Fordson community are constantly complaining that "Dearborn High does this", "Dearborn High gets that". Our test scores are constantly being compared to those of the other two high schools by the administration of our school. However, when someone tries to bring something to our building that could possibly benefit the students socially, he or she is put under fire and forced to endure a situation that is far from pleasant. Is this what someone gets for trying to encourage students to get to know one another? The school spirit at Fordson is far from average, and not in a positive way. In all honesty, there is not much to look forward to. We go to school. We do work. We go home. Well, the good students, anyway. We're the ones who suffer. Those few who are failing, those few who are the cause of all the strict rules and the cause of the hall sweeps and stricter attendance policies are already having their fun. High school has not been much of an experience. It's been work and slight socialization, however, cliques are separated, so the option of being exposed to new people to socialize with is not necessarily available to all, and the survey would have helped this situation. This is an American school, and American ideals, regardless of what many of those in opposition to this survey may think, are not meant to encourage dating or immoral behavior, the ideal of high school, on the contrary, is a time to have fun, enjoy ourselves, learn from our mistakes, learn about our lives and transition into adulthood, all while enjoying our last few years as children. These are supposed to be "the Golden Years", the last few years where we are allowed to be teenagers and have our fun without any extreme responsibility. School is where children receive most of their socialization...and allowing the students to participate in fun, wholesome, supervised activities keeps them from doing worse things behind their parents' and administrators' backs, which, because as I must stress again, they ARE teenagers, and they WILL likely do.
To blame Dr. Ames for everything, and to question her intent is unfitting. To completely blame Mr. Fadlallah for the situation on opposing ends and claim that he doesn't care about the students is also unfair. One thing that nobody can deny him, regardless of their feelings for him, is that he does take time out to listen to the students. In this situation, the parents and staff were involved as well, and the entire issue was blown out of proportion. I commend Dr. Ames for taking the initiative to state her case...she has every right to do so. As far as those adults who are being disrespectful and acting like children go, if you act this way in front of us, who are we supposed to look up to? It's not a good example. You need to show us how to behave, how to act, and what to do, if you expect anything morally fruitful to come from us.

Thank you for your time.


The other side of the story. Fordson

March 6, 2008

At the school board meeting on February 25th, 2008 a few facts concerning this ordeal were omitted and/or misrepresented:

• First, the NHS president mentioned that I came to them with this
idea for the fundraiser. To clarify, the material for this fundraiser was in my mailbox at the beginning of the semester addressed to “The National Honor Society.” As with any fundraising material, I brought it to the NHS board and allowed them to make the decision as to whether they wanted to allow their members to vote on possibly holding this event. (I did mention that I had run this survey in the past at Dearborn High and that it had been financially profitable).
• The question as to whether this fundraiser had been done at
other Dearborn schools was, indeed, brought up at that the board meeting and Dr. Artis was unable to give the board confirmation as to whether it had. To clarify – it has. I am a graduate of the district and participated in this activity all four years of my high school experience at Edsel Ford. (This was under Jerry Dodd’s administration).
I also was the faculty sponsor at Dearborn High for the Class of 2006 and we ran this fundraiser in 2004 with no problems or parental concern.
(This was under Judy Coebly’s administration). This survey continues to be utilized as a fundraiser across the nation. In fact, it ran the week ours was terminated at a local high school in Novi.
• The (supposed) primary objection to the survey was the cover
letter that accompanied it. However, how this document circulated around the building was not fully explained at the community forum on the 25th. The NHS officers appointed two students to chair this event.
One I approved to make 2000 copies of the survey itself with our NHS copy code. I oversaw this process. I checked the survey and I approved these copies – and only these copies. Again, these were the only documents that were approved to be circulated in the school. The copying of the actual surveys, in fact, maxed out our copy code and any further copy attempts would have needed to be approved by me after this.
Shortly after the other student co-chair decided that having a cover letter for the NHS members to circulate around the school with (and possibly leave behind for classroom teachers) might be useful.
Utilizing the marketing packet supplied by the company, she chose one template (or sample cover letter) and adapted it to fit our Fordson information (date, drop off location, etc.) Her decision was made with the best of intentions and was innocent in nature – despite the backlash it would later entail. This addition of the cover letter was made without my knowledge and this student approached the main office (the principal’s secretary in particular) to ask for approval to make the copies (to renew the previously mentioned maxed-out copy code). The administration approved the copy code renewal (although it would appear without looking over the document in the student’s hand) and the copies were made. The first time I saw the cover letter was after the fundraiser had been ceased. A parent spokesperson noted that an adult should be responsible for this occurrence, that I in particular should be responsible for this document. However, I was clearly not the adult that made this particular error.
• The secondary concern with this event rested on the issue of
lost instructional time. Although I believe this to be a valid point of discussion, it should be noted that as both an educational and a social public entity, high schools in this country have long been marrying the two spheres together. The long history of pep rallies, class elections, and school performances attest to the importance of building school community, social relations, etc. If the district is suddenly going to mandate that from 7:20am-2:15pm in the school day no time can be spared for such longstanding traditions, a policy needs to be in place to enforce this in all three high schools. And, in my opinion, if this is passed, the high school students will be missing out. If not, uniformity needs to exist in terms of district and building wide decisions in terms of what exactly constitutes a “waste” of classroom/instructional time. At Fordson High school two weeks after the cancelled NHS fundraiser, another school organization was able to pass out Valentine’s Day roses (with notes of affection) to students (whom may or may not have wanted to receive them and had no choice in the matter – unlike the voluntary nature of the personality surveys our group tried to run). And just last week we lost almost 20 minutes of class instruction to a mid-semester locker cleanout. I am not saying that this school housekeeping event was not needed, I am simply pointing out the possible problems that might result (or procedures that would need to be changed) with such rigidity in terms of defining class time usage.
• In regards to this, board members questioned exactly how this
fundraiser was approved (especially if it was to have run during school hours). I believe their concern was that it had not been halted for this reason before it began. The NHS officers filled out a concession form and submitted it to the Student Congress. It was approved by the student congress members and their faculty sponsor. It was approved and signed by the principal as well. This concession form was signed, and the event was approved, although the time in which the surveys were to be distributed was listed as “TBD.” No one questioned the students or myself. No one from this level asked to preview the survey before it was copied and/or administered. The discussion at the board meeting made it seem that the staff and administrators were blindsided by this NHS fundraiser and that they were only aware of its existence when students arrived in the classrooms on Thursday January 17th, 2008. This was not the case. The week of the survey I personally emailed the building (faculty and administration alike) and forewarned my colleagues of this event. All teachers were given the option to: a) allow the students to take the survey on the spot, b) allow the students to simply be handed the surveys to then fill out at a later time and drop off, or
c) not even allow the NHS members to enter and interrupt the class time at all. I received no complaint from any staff member and so the fundraiser began as scheduled.
• As it was pointed out at the board meeting, this fundraiser was
stopped abruptly midway through first hour while NHS students were still in the process of administering the fundraiser. Board members questioned the rationale for this termination, especially the claim that it was halted due to “parent concerns” because there would (should) have been no way that a parent could have been aware of this fundraiser, or could have seen the cover letter or survey, at 8am during the school day. However, that there were staff complaints is accurate and I can attest to this truth. In fact, one teacher’s public announcement (in front of both her own students and the NHS volunteers) that she was outraged by the fundraiser because it was against her religion and because it “promoted dating in the Muslim community” did ignite passionate classroom discussion (as was noted) as students carried these comments with them into their following classrooms (forcing staff members to deal with this heated issue throughout the day) and it most definitely helped spark the student petition that then circulated in the coming days. It should be noted that this democratic tool had little ground to stand on in terms of “separation of church and state” (as was mentioned in their argument) being that the administration was very careful to not use this as their reason for halting the survey.
However, its other points concerning the student’s right to actively decide which activities to participate in and to not have one group’s preferences and/or cultural practices/comfort dictate those of the remaining were well made. In the end, the ultimate decision rested with the principal of the building and the petition was overturned.
• Before closing my correctives, I also want to reiterate the
intent of this survey. It was not, as some community members have mistakenly believed, a “dating” survey. It remains a personality survey aimed to match students with persons of similar mindsets. Some questioned our desire to do this. I doubt that it will come to anyone’s surprise that we remain a divided community and school district. This division is likewise seen inside the secondary schools. Although high schools are often known to have separate social circles, this problem is magnified at my school and our learners remain segregated (accidentally or not) by race, religion, and culture. Our organization opted to do this fundraiser to build connections and awareness within our building in hopes that a few students might come to realize that there are a great many commonalities among this student body so large that it rarely has a chance to question its social divisions and normative operations.
I still stand by the positive intent of this survey and object to its negative community response.

I wanted to provide you with this information so that you might have the opportunity to more fully cover this story and represent the entire occurrence. Although I am sure that many of us will be quite thrilled when this issue has passed beyond the spotlight, I do not believe it is fair to cover an issue and not represent both sides. (An example might be the fact that neither myself nor the student representatives in favor of the survey/petition were present at the board meeting whereas the other community speakers conveniently knew to attend the meeting and align their discussion points beforehand).

I write this letter not out of anger, as I do completely believe that this issue was blown out of proportion. I do, however, write this out of concern – concern for a building I care about, a district I owe my education to, and a community I belonged to for over two decades. I hope that the students I teach today will have the positive high school experience that I had not all that many years ago. I hope that the students I teach at Fordson will have the same opportunities (instructionally and socially) as the other two high schools. If this fundraiser debacle is any indication that either of the two above statements might not be true, then I will remain concerned.

Dr. Melissa Ames
National Honor Society Sponsor
Fordson High School


The Dearborn Public Fools System

March 3, 2008

Message from: Dearborn Teacher,

Another example of poor decision making by the Dearborn Public Schools . . . Next Thursday, March 13, is the final day of "testing week." Juniors are finishing the MME/ACT, sophomores taking the PLAN, and freshmen taking the EXPLORE. All testing will be finished for the day by about 11:00 AM or so, and someone in the DPS decided it would be a good idea to HOLD CLASSES in the afternoon. This means the juniors, sophomores, and freshmen who just took a 3 hour long test have to now report to their final 3 classes of the day. That will be a great learning environment. To make mattters even more confusing, the seniors, who are not in the building that morning, have been told they DO NOT have to come back for their afternoon classes. What is the point of running PM classes in the first place if we are going to tell 1/4 the high school student body that they don't have to show up? Why wouldn't we let the juniors, who have just endured 3 days of ACT/MME testing, go home after the test like we are doing on Tuesday and Wednesday? Why not use the afternoon for some of this so called "professional development" our leadership is always preaching about, rather than throwing together a semi-half-day schedule that is 1 day before spring break and seems to encourage students to not show up in the first place or leave after they are done testing


Yet Another Sensationalized Issue

March 2, 2008

Once again the D.P.S. superintendent, John Burl Artis, has unnecessarily interfered with the operations of the schools. If his "reign of ignorance" has not yet reaped enough disdain amongst the district (faculty AND student body), his decision to support the "cease & desist" order against the Fordson N.H.S. fund raiser of "matchmaking" is a glaring joke. His "Clinton-esque" flip-flopping is typical of his guest-superintendency of the Dearborn Public School District. Was there not a staff adviser to the N.H.S. student body that needed to approve the "matchmaker" fund raiser to the administration at Ten Eyck or, at the very least, the administration of Fordson High School? Young adults will be young adults. They are not as suspicious nor as jaded as some "mature" adults can get or have become. Let them have their fun, grow up, and become responsible adults WITHOUT arresting their creative instincts or developments. Was this "matchmaking" effort harmful to them? Was it harmful to anyone?

Mr. Artis, in your waning days, please step aside and let OUR (the RESIDENTS and tax-payers of the D.P.S.) young adults of Dearborn express themselves in a positive, creative, humorous manner. Any individual can claim offensiveness to almost ANY situation in any society, but if a petition of nearly 300 out of 2500 is authenticated it should be respected. In OUR last mayoral election it took less than 200 authenticated signatures to qualify for the ballot out of a city population of approximately 97,000. How many signatures would it take to recall a D.P.S Trustee? How many signatures would it take to have you removed from your position?

Please let the children of OUR (the RESIDENTS and tax-payers of the D.P.S.) grow individually and express their creativity and humor WITHOUT your unneeded interference in situations that are NOT harmful to anyone. Please let OUR young adults believe in a United States Of America that does NOT cave in to the political games and lobbying that YOU have succumbed to.

Thomas P. Korte


A shuck here and a jive there.

February 22, 2008

Here's one for the books.

A New York black Columbia University professor gets "sanctioned " for plagiarism on many of her "scholarly" papers. Then a noose is found an her office door. Now her lawyer is concern about racism more than plagiarism.

"sanctioned" It's called political correctness's in education.

Noose on door. She keeps her job.

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