ADMIN: 5,000 And Counting…

We just hit a milestone here at hueyforguilfordschoolboard.org. We just logged our 5,000th visitor to this site’s weblog. Thank you.

It’s a testament to the public to know what’s happening in our schools and what we can do to promote change in our schools. Change is inevitable, but it only takes one person.

My campaign is not a one-man show, for it will take you (all of you) to make it happen. I don’t have a thick campaign staff, I don’t have a lot of money to spend on campaigning (and what I have spent is very little so far), I don’t have a campaign manager (yet), and that’s actually a testament to how grass-roots this campaign and my message is….which is this: we can have better schools. We can have accountability for our taxpayer dollar. We can have the best schools in North Carolina. We can stop the waste and the fraud and the mismanagement. We CAN do it.

And the message is clearly getting out. This is the only independent weblog dedicated solely to public education in Guilford County and beyond. And you all are visiting in droves (and participating). The best thing this campaign has done so far was to move this blog to its own server and the results have been nothing short of stellar. We’ve been averaging between 70-100 unique visitors daily. This is working, because of you.

Thank you.

Stick around. We’ve got less than a year to get ready for the primary, and we’ve already seen that this is going to be a dirty campaign. Our chances look very good, though, seeing as though my campaign is the only declared candidacy so far for the at-large position.

Thank you again,

E.C. 🙂

Public Schools? (cartoon)

Some would say this cartoon describes public schools…in name only. Take a look from our friends at “Weapons of Math Destruction.com“:

Public Schools?

E.C. 🙂

AP Testing Problems at Central

UPDATE BELOW

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This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Massive problems with the administering of the College Board’s Advanced Placement exams at High Point Central H.S. in recent days have prompted an investigation by school officials.

Today’s High Point Enterprise is reporting that missed testing windows and a mysterious disappearance of testing materials have put AP testing on hold. See companion sidebar story here.

For a district that prides itself merely on the amount of students that take AP classes (not how many of them pass the AP exam, or how many pass the AP class itself), these series of developments are troubling, and are probably indicative of an audit and examination of the GCS Testing office.

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UPDATE, 6/3/07, 8:36AM: Would you believe they found the missing tests…undelivered, on a UPS truck?!?!? This, according to a News & Record update story. I’m sorry, but this whole thing stinks to high heaven.

E.C. 🙂

$3,000 Could Buy a Lot of Supplies

…it really can.

$3,000 could buy a lot of printer ink cartridges for our high-impact schools. It could buy a lot of soap of school bathrooms. It could buy a lot of paper. $3,000 can help to fund High Point’s Gradfest, which is in doubt right now because of a lack of funding.

But it is the amount of $3,000 worth of budgeted taxpayer money that School Board member Dot Kearns used ($3,643 actually) as “traveling expenses” for education-related junkets so far this fiscal year, according to a story in this week’s Rhino Times. Kris Cooke came in second, spending $3,225 in taxpayer money.

Unfortunately, this is familiar territory for Kearns. Back in July, 2003, a previous Rhino Timesstory once said Kearns spent more than $5,000 in taxpayer money for traveling to junkets. She once said: “We are certainly not without the need for staff development ourselves. I have never supported cutting our travel budget.”

But teachers can’t always get the time off to travel to these junkets and in many cases, they can’t go because they can’t get the schools to pony up funds to send these teachers to these same conferences.

See this excerpt from this week’s story:

[It] doesn’t come as too much of a surprise because both Kearns and Cooke sit on the school board’s Legislative Committee and that committee is always trying to get someone to give the schools money. School board member Anita Sharpe and Duncan have not spent any taxpayers money for travel expenses so far in the current fiscal year.

I do not support using taxpayer money for this purpose and you can bet that I would rather send a teacher to a conference than myself. I would advocate examining the travel budget once elected and see where it could be further reduced.

The theme is responsible governing. This is clearly an example of irresponsible governing.

E.C. 🙂

Blue Ribbon Commission Meets Today to Review State Public School Testing

This is interesting….

From DPI:

The State Board of Education has convened an independent Blue Ribbon
Commission on Testing and Accountability to provide a comprehensive review
of the state’s accountability system ­ including student testing. Dr. Sam
Houston, chief executive officer and president of the Science, Math and
Technology Center and a former local school superintendent, chairs the
Commission.
The Commission will hold its first meeting this morning from 11 a.m.-3
p.m., in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, 301 N. Wilmington
St., Raleigh. Work of the Commission is on a fast track, with a final report
and recommendations scheduled to be presented to the State Board of
Education by September.
For more information, including a complete list of members and scheduled
meeting dates, please go to the NCDPI Web site at
http://www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under
“News.”

E.C. 🙂

Alston Constructively Criticizes…then Experiences an Epiphany

The eldest son of Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston responded last week to a blog entryI made regarding Deena Hayes’ latest comments at the last Guilford County School Board meeting. DeSean Alston initially called me and this campaign “pathetic” and “a puppet.”

Then the younger Alston proceeded to constructively criticize me on the Conservative Alternative’s blog site as to why I should not have a vendetta against Hayes. In the same breath, he said he would stop the name calling, and he did. He also said that he lays the responsibility as to why our schools are failing on the shoulders of all of our school board members.

He then had an epiphany after others laid out claims as to why our schools, especially our high-impact schools, have failed our children the most. The conversations have been entertaining, thought-provoking, rich and thorough. Alston is seeing the light. He even said: “Indeed I will be making the rounds to the School board meetings as time permits.”

That’s progress. He was right in some respects that I have spent a lot of time and space on Ms. Hayes. Despite what you may think, I really don’t have a vendetta against her. As I said, I think she is a very nice lady. But we really need for her (and most of the other Board members) to put their agendas aside and speak out for our children. Our children are our future.

 E.C. 🙂

Grier Defends Mission (im)Possible

Today’s High Point Enterprise reports Dr. Grier defended the embattled Mission (im)Possible program last night at a joint GCS Board/County Board work session, despite question from several county commissioners.

An excerpt:

Grier responded to questions from commissioners who had been talking with teacher and other constituents about the program.
“The other teachers at these same schools work with the same children and get frustrated,” said Dem­ocratic Commissioner Bruce Davis of High Point. Demo­cratic Commissioner Kay Cashion worried that teach­ers who don’t get the bonuses “don’t feel valued.”
Grier acknowledged that many teachers have com­plained that the program is unfair because it does not give bonuses to art and physi­cal education teachers, for example, at the same targeted schools.

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Of course, Grier sold this idea on the basis that EOC scores would rise. We see now that it obviously hasn’t happened.

Taxpayer money spent. Taxpayer money wasted.

E.C. 🙂