On Local School Boards
by Linda Schrock Taylor
by Linda Schrock Taylor
I am stunned at how few citizens correctly evaluate government schools in America; at how many people misjudge their own local school districts. Parents are too often guilty of ignoring or recreating reality as they avoid the necessity of taking action. Too often parents are busy supporting their children in every kind of school activity…except those involving Reading, Writing, and 'Rithmetic. If children bring home A's and B's, all must been fine at school, right? Not always. Grade inflation has taken the meaning out of grades and scores. One only needs to teach freshman English classes at a college or university to remove any lingering doubts. However, the general population has neither the opportunities to see the whole picture, nor do they demand that policy makers and administrators keep them accurately informed. Remember, it is local school boards that are condoning and voting for policies that administrators request that they pass.
Citizens should participate in local school board meetings. They must expect, and demand, that local administrators and teachers: 1) strictly obey laws; 2) use good stewardship over each district's funding, carefully keeping in mind that all monies come from taxpayers; 3) be honestly and fully pro-child; 4) intelligently and fairly lead, rather than attempting to brutally rule local schools. Local citizens should insist that the school board members hold appropriate and legal public school board meetings, never sneaking around, using illegal serial communication "small group" meetings, whether by phone, email, or chats in places hidden from supervision by the public. If your local school board is out of control, and/or controlled by administrators and media, it is time to rid the district of those grave problems. Local citizens should immediately fire and/or recall any administrator or board member, who inappropriately leads (rules) the schools by controlling staff, students, parents, and even the media, by way of retaliation, threats, lies, favoritism, or even via family circles.
Citizens must learn to recognize disastrous leadership and will if they become more alert. Question anything and everything that does not match what your intuition indicates should be the truth. Question everything about the school district that seems at all errant or irrational. One excellent place to watch is your local news sources. Does the newspaper editor write/publish dishonest, biased, and distorted articles about individuals who are repeatedly treated in ways that would lead others to suspect they are on an administrative hit list? Does the media, TV or print, attempt to whitewash lies and misdeeds of school administrators? To distort or totally avoid providing information about both sides of any conflict? Say that you were at the board meeting and you heard a young man, one you have known for years, calmly ask an appropriate question, but when you read the newspaper report that young man and the situation are described as raving and inappropriate. Do not let such things go un-confronted. Inform the editor that you are canceling your subscription, and tell him exactly why. Let him know that the eyes of the community are upon him. If you think that you smell a rat…you probably are right. Seek information from any source other than the local school board and the local media.
Be alert to inappropriate hirings, firings, promotions, demotions; to extra duty assignments awarded by favoritism, or denied/handed down as punishment. Keep tabs on the outcome of the various special assignments, and complain if an unworthy recipient is being paid for poor performance. In one community, a teacher was rewarded for Loyalty (certainly not for any teaching skill) to the King (i.e. principal), with a promotion (+ extra pay), to serve as webmaster for the school. In the years since that $$ treat $$, that webpage has been one of the worst I have ever visited. The site was far better when computer students and their supervisor did the work for free. The site went downhill as soon as the boss's fair-haired follower was gifted with the job. Check on the Year Books at your schools. Do the graduates receive them in time to gather signatures from friends and faculty prior to the kids leaving school and heading out in the different directions that life takes them? At my school, with a graduating class of 300+, we had the yearbooks before year's end, and we very much appreciated the competency and professionalism of our yearbook advisor. One administrator has allowed the school to get years behind in delivering yearbooks to students. This same administrator appears to have disbanded the curriculum committee; and removed the legal approval of curriculum and the purchase of textbooks, from the local school board. Does that board not notice that their obligations and legal responsibilities are being circumvented and violated? Might there be kickback involved from the publishers? Ask why a board would put such decisions in the hands of a one-administrator, one-person committee!
Note and complain about any questionable actions taken by administration in regards to sports teams. Are the best coaches being denied positions simply because the King/Principal holds a grudge? Are teachers who want to coach, being slighted and bypassed while the big snots award positions to non-teaching persons from the community? If you have no idea of how many teachers and staff members in your district are being harassed and abused by your administrators, ask questions and find out! How many teachers and others have been laid off inappropriately? How many lies have been told; how many schedule changes have been made in a ploy to trick the public into believing that administrative decisions are handled appropriately and legally? Watch for suspicious decisions that amount to retaliatory treatment of teachers and staff.
Do not count on the union to protect the targeted teachers. One administrator openly refers to the teachers he hates, usually all of the older teachers, as riffraff, and despite his transparent agenda for firings, the local school board supports his treachery, regardless of the loss to the students and the damage to the district. Too often, administrators pad the union rep jobs with Loyal Followers (i.e. suck-ups), so union representation becomes yet another fraudulent act unseen by the public. The local union rep might be a rewarded-for-rear-kissing webmaster. Another might be a fearful, weak teacher, one who would turn to stone rather than be involved in a conflict with the boss. Another might be a band director who would sell his soul to protect his program and instrument purchases. Any hope that he would ever go head-to-head with retaliatory administrators is laughable. Check everything. Take back your communities and your community schools. If the feds closed your local schools for consolidation, pull your children out of those massed and distant schools and bring them home. If you cannot homeschool, then open new local schools!!
I am convinced that the collapse of the American way of education is bringing about the general collapse of the culture; the rending of the moral fabric of this nation. The collapse is bad enough, but even worse are its aftershocks which cause massive and permanent damage to individuals; families; individual and familial pride in self-support; ever-increasing welfare rolls; growing yet disintegrating prison populations; a worsening economy; invasive foreign policies; foolish/stupid voting during elections. All citizens should also shudder at the near-total lack of regard, comprehension, and support for the U.S. Constitution. This national implosion will continue, in infinitely widening circles, because… the reading skills; the intelligence levels; and the thought processes, of Americans have been in steady decline for the last few decades. The population has been mis-educated by a devious and socialist-leaning public school system. America cannot survive when the majority of the citizenry are illiterate and uneducated voters whose brains have been programmed to allow the manipulation of their lives and decisions; who are mis-informed by TV ads and government propaganda. The American Way of Education is rapidly bringing about the destruction and ultimate death of the American Way of Life. This all happens while local school boards back the wrong team; while they illegally work against the best interests of the children.
As the public schools orchestrate the death of America, public school administration, from the U.S. Department of Education all the way down through to the local school districts, orchestrate the ruination and ultimate death of those very public schools. The most shocking aspect of this unscholastic undermining of the United States of America, is that few administrators, at any level, understand the ramifications of the following basic scientific and economic truth: A parasite can only thrive until its host has been devoured.
Far too many administrators have eyes glazed with retaliation; attitudes reeking of manure. With apparent glee, and unfortunately with apparent impunity, evil administrators continue destroying local school districts. Apparently, such leaders (and their circle of dishonorable shills, fools, and even family members) are incapable of drawing and intelligently expressing, this simple conclusion: "Our evil manipulations have already driven away 40% of the students from our district. When we finish driving off the other 60%, and finish alienating the entire community, our paychecks will stop. Oops! We might lose our homes, and even have to sacrifice cars, motorcycles, and other treasures. We will be without a school board to manipulate! Without a staff to terrorize! Without a fund balance from which to weasel unearned raises. Double-Oops!" No, such administrators are too self-centered to think about the outcomes of unethical, illegal behaviors. They are incapable of drawing insightful and intelligent conclusions.
Small-time, power-hungry yet ethically challenged, leaders completely devour the academic carcass, even when there is little hope that another victim will be available. Apparently, such administrators are simply too simple to realize that the more they cheat the students; destroy the staff; offend the parents; and undermine the community — the sooner there truly will be no host upon which to feed! Such administrators have such poor math skills that they are incapable of ciphering: ZERO (0) STUDENTS = ZERO (0) $$ REVENUE $$. The destruction of a local school district happens when local school boards work for the administration instead of for the citizens and children of the communities.
Unprincipled administrators, at all levels, are killing the goose that laid the golden egg, but they are either too stupid, or maybe just too arrogant, to admit the imminent approach of a very bleak personal financial future. (The imminent approach of a bleak educational future for children plays no part in these decisions.) The Jobs Project, as defined and described so astutely by John Taylor Gatto, is rapidly coming to an end. Michiganders, with their wonderful, to-the-point vernacular, would describe such behaviors as "administrators sh**ting in their own nests!" Blunt, but true! Even animals are smarter than such administrators. Mammals are smarter than such administrators. Birds are smarter than such administrators. Reptiles are smarter than….Well, you get the idea.
Actually, teachers are smarter than such administrators, and that is not only frightening, that is the underlying issue behind the deterioration and collapse of the entire public school system. Teachers should not be expected to shoulder the blame for the sick schools because most are doing their best, considering the impediments against which they must struggle: inferior teaching training courses; NCLB; Special Education laws and policies; plus many impediments too subtle, too numerous and too complex to be noticed by the general population. Teachers are expected to perform as ordered to perform. Teachers are expected to jump when and as ordered by: less intelligent, less trained, less intuitive, increasingly more inept, bossy, manipulating, retaliatory, childish administrators. The illegal, federal-theft-of-States-Rights, Government Education System purposely puts such little people into positions from which they can do such big damage. That same crooked system hires and supports these unethical mental peasants and covers for their illegal and/or ignorant decisions and behaviors. Such administrators are rewarded, even as they mistreat others; lie to the public; and even cancel accreditations without school board approval and processes. "I can't get rid of the staff members I want to remove (i.e., real school counselors, librarians, foreign language teachers, certified special education teachers, etc.) and still pass an accreditation investigation. The only obvious solution to my dilemma is to — write a letter and simply withdraw the school from the program! I'm all powerful and need not even adhere to laws; I need not even put the issue before the school board. I am strong! I am invincible! I am KING!!" Such as this occurs when local school boards support the wrong team.
Here I offer you a very unique opportunity — that of actually observing the disintegration of a local school district via illegal and unethical administrative and board practices. Please do visit http://www.highlandwire.org. The videos have been filmed right at board meetings. Teflon administrators, and their cohorts in crime, can be observed in their natural habitat as they say and do anything to insure that nothing, especially blame, will stick to them. Viewers will be shocked at such obvious ploys, and appalled at how the local school board members sit there, faking attention and good judgement. The site is very enlightening; at times ridiculously funny. Please note that the parasites are still chewing away on the host, garnering 6-1 votes for the destruction of the district. Watch the site for updates.
Of course, there are good administrators, ones who valiantly struggle against the inherent evil, and the dumbing down practices, built into the government school system. There are fine administrators whose mission is to provide children with quality educations. This article is certainly not directed to, nor does it speak of, those persons. The sad news is that their ranks are rapidly thinning. Several communicate with me, and one recently wrote to say that he will quit at the end of this school year. He is withdrawing from the fight in order to do something else, anything else, that in no way involves public education. To that fine leader, with whom I have been communicating for over a year, answering his questions about the best curriculum and materials, I say, "Thank you for your virtue; for your worries; for your efforts and successes; for your struggle to educate the children under your care. You have exceeded expectations with your successes in the face of the ever greater obstacles that the Feds are constantly throwing in your path. I thank you on behalf of the children, the parents, the local taxpayers, the People of America. Godspeed, and may your life and work be successful and appropriately challenging."
To those of you who will remain, I thank you for similar sacrifices and successes. I encourage you to become tattle tales, informing the citizens of your communities, states, and nation, as to the counterproductive policies and laws that your superiors force you to foist upon the nation's greatest resource, its children. I encourage you to speak up! Open this Pandora's Box of Public Education and expose all the evil for all to see. Fight for effective and efficient traditional educational methods. When you finally realize that your efforts to save the schools only help evil to increase, please help the system crash so that you can join others in establishing genuine local schools that will only answer to local taxpayers, parents, citizens. If your local school board continues to play footsies with those greatest adversaries of a free America — those power-mad, FedEd-loving, public school administrators, VOTE THEM OUT!! Lead the charge! Lead the change.
Eventually, the entire school system will collapse, but please, do not fear that day. The collapse will provide a long overdue and much-needed cleansing. The collapse will provide a healthy way to end the suffering of the society, and begin the renewal. The Fall will flush out evil, and evildoers. I challenge citizens to play active roles in pulling down the remains, and I encourage you all to give your time, ideas, and skills to the Rebuilding. The task will not be as difficult as one might think; as the powers-that-be want us to believe. I suggest something along the lines of Extramural Education, but each community will develop viable plans that will be appropriate to their own districts. Local citizens are the best decision makers on issues involving their lives; their children; their property. Let us always remember that. Local taxpayers pay the bills and deserve to have the schools that they prefer and need.
In closing, Everyone has a price…or so John Hersey claims in The Child Buyer, ("A Novel In The Form Of Hearings Before The Standing Committee On Education, Welfare & Public Morality....") I find the discussions in the book to be very relevant to the problems Americans face today; problems brought about by FedEd, then condoned by local school boards. The book is worth a read/reread and it will give readers much better, deeper, and clearer insights into the workings of local schools, manipulated as they are by the Federal Department of Education and the 50 state Department of Education clones. We all owe it to the children of America. We must educate ourselves so that we can be effective in educating every child. I repeat — so that WE can be more effective; not THEY!
American schools used to belong to the American people, but they no longer do. The schools belong to the STATE. With laws, the STATE forces the crippling changes in focus and curriculum. With local school boards covering its misdeeds, the STATE assures the disintegration of the schools we once loved. It is time for the nation to awake from its apathy and misplaced trust. It is time to watch our local school boards and carefully evaluate everything they do. It is time to insist that they always obey laws and act in the best interests of the children. It is time to take back our schools.
March 31, 2008
Linda Schrock Taylor [send her mail] is a reading specialist (continually seeking ways to improve her methods for Rapid Reading Remediation); a former public school teacher (The nail that sticks out is the one that gets hammered…); and a former homeschooling parent (whose son, now 20, insisted upon growing up, putting an end to all the fun). Linda now teaches English composition at a state university and is writing her first book.
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