Malgieri contract under fire – and so is Vargas

BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO

Since being named Rochester schools superintendent in April, Bolgen Vargas has been extremely popular with most school board members. But the honeymoon is over. In a special meeting last night, the board went into executive session to discuss Vargas’s decision to hire former deputy mayor Patricia Malgieri. And it didn’t go well.

Malgieri has been a strong critic of the school district, and most board members are furious that she was chosen for a key district position. In an interview this morning, board member Van White said some board members are considering defunding the position. They will be meeting with Malgieri to discuss some of their concerns, he said.

“I hope it doesn’t come to that,” White said. “But I have some significant concerns about how this relationship can benefit the children in the city school district.”

Even before board members went into executive session, tempers flared – about the Malgieri contract and about several other issues.

In a nearly 20-minute exchange, White and board member Mary

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas: School board is upset at hiring choices and other issues. FILE PHOTO

Adams complained angrily that Vargas had not followed through on a board directive involving professional development of teachers.

In late March, Vargas had agreed to have the staff at the Freedom School – a pilot program designed for very low-achieving students – to provide teachers district-wide with professional training this summer. Board members say the training was supposed to focus on building cultural sensitivity and engaging parents. Vargas, they say, was also supposed to restore the Freedom School program at East High, where it operated for two school years before the district shut it down a year ago.

Freedom School, White said, has been successful in getting parents to become more involved in their children’s education, something that has eluded the district for years.

But Vargas didn’t pursue the program with any vigor, the board members said, and now it’s too late, because school opens in about three weeks. Vargas countered that his staff has been overloaded and stressed, and that the person who was going to handle their request has just started working with the district. He had expected some understanding and flexibility from the board, he said, because of the “mess” he inherited in the district.

He also said he wanted to pursue a professional development program that has “integrity.” That comment seemed to infuriate both White and Adams.

White said this morning that the superintendent has developed a pattern of deflecting the board’s directions on policy decisions. And his decision to hire Malgieri, White says, was not in the spirit of working as a team to solve the district’s problems.

Regardless of who is right in the controversy over Malgieri, though, Vargas has put the board in an awkward position. Vargas has the right to hire whom he wants for his senior, cabinet-level positions. But White says the Malgieri contract and those of three other new administrators committed the district to unprecedented demands. For instance, Malgieri is guaranteed a job for two years unless she is guilty of outrageous behavior – committing a crime, for instance. Most cabinet-level employees work at the will of the superintendent, White says.

But if the board attempts to defund Malgieri’s contract, it could open the district to potential legal action, and the public relations fall-out would be a disaster.

 

32 comments

  1. RaChaCha · · Reply

    Maybe these new hires in Vargas’ cabinet were given contracts that make them seem untouchable, but Vargas is not — he serves at the pleasure of the school board (and remember what the board did to Janey when he lost their confidence).

    Some would say that the board wouldn’t be in much of a frame of mind to do something like a vote of no confidence in Vargas, having just gotten through the never-fun-to-say-the-least process of a superintendent transition. But there are others in the district eminently qualified to step into the super’s job on short notice & hit the ground running.

    Especially given the other issues with Vargas that are beginning to surface, as mentioned in this article, the board should give serious consideration to cutting their losses, upending the chessboard, and reconsidering their choice for superintendent.

    Yes, seriously.

  2. Seriously?

    RCSD has been broken for years. The school board is a non-functional farce on steroids. And the Central Office is the best example I can think of of worthless, taxpayer supported burocracy. However, in this case, the reporter is failing to disclose important details about who actually controls the Freedom School program. City Newspaper – that should be your next follow-up story, since you missed it here.

    1. Van Henri White · · Reply

      Please tell us… Who “controls” Freedom School? It is public knowledge that they come under the arm of N.E.A.D. and are closely affiliated with the nationally respected Children’s Defense Fund. So who are you referring to?

      1. Interesting how there was no reply to your clarification, Commisioner White.

  3. ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT THE BOARD IS NOW REAPING WHAT IT HAS UNANIMOUSLY SEWN. THIS MAKES ME THINK ABOUT SOMETHING THAT MY LATE GRANDMOTHER USE TO SAY ALL THE TIME. SHE SAID FREQUENTLY: “BOY, REMEMBER THAT GOD DON’T LIKE UGLY — AND HE AIN’T TOO CRAZY ABOUT PRETTY.” THE LATE GOD FATHER OF SOUL, JAMES BROWN, CALLED IT “THE BIG-PAYBACK.”

    Howard J. Eagle

  4. talisha · · Reply

    What is the big deal?..why is Vargas’ decision to hire Malgeri a problem for the board?

    1. Anonymous · · Reply

      Good question. Due to the huge annoyance of texting on the iPhone I’ll make it short and sweet. Maligeri is part of the new wave of educators with ties to the corporate takeover in US schools- in the same spectrum of Jean Claude Brizard. There is a TON of money in education right now. those race to the top grants are not puny. PLUS politicians can use fear tactics to eliminate the teacher’s union.( more power) . Warning- slight off topic rant- funny how the admin’s union is left alone and their eval’s are practically void of accountability? Back to the topic- these top dogs are following one mantra. Clue: it has little to do with educating kids.

  5. Tacostonite · · Reply

    He received his perminant position dubiously thanks to most board members sans White and Adams (me thinks) so why are they crying now?! Vargas said he didn’t need a dep. super when Kim dyce held the position now he needs one ?! ALONG with making almost 200k a year? The board and they’re decisions…. Good grief!

  6. Joe Smith · · Reply

    I remember that Mary Adams had nothing but great things to say about bolgen. He’s so nice he is the fresh air that the board needs. Mary how do you feel now. All of you board members get what you voted for. If you board member would have listened to the community this would not have happened. But, I must say that I am really suprises with Mary. I voted for you because of your view on the current superintendant. You went against everything you said you were about. Did you sell your soul for riches? I really hope that it was worth it. I expected this from those other 6! Who is going to make policys that’s going to help our kids? I can see now it is not you

  7. Daniel Forester · · Reply

    @anonymous: you make some good points, but I must take issue with you referring to Malgieri as an ” educator” she is not an educator, she has zero years of teaching experience. She is sympotmatic of what is wrong with education today. She is a disciple of Eli Broad and a puppet of Lt. Governor Duffy. Someone with a destructive agenda, zero years of experience teaching city youth. Her” data driven” expertise has nothing to do with learning. I was a fan of Vargas until this, i believed in him. Now I believe he is a pawn, and taking orders from unseen forces aligned with the pro corporate

  8. lohad2012 · · Reply

    I dont understand, the board is mad because Patty “Malgieri has been a strong critic of the school district,” ? What?!! And why shouldnt she be? Why shouldnt EVERYONE be a critic of the city schools right now? Parents SHOULD be outraged along with Malgieri because what has been in place is CLEARLY not working. A damn shame that the politicians (school board members) and the Union President are using the children as pawns.

  9. Mary Adams · · Reply

    Joe Smith – Your source is wrong. Here is what I said about Vargas, including explicit statements about his alignment with Brizard’s policies. Those commenting about Malgieri’s undisputable alignment with anti-public education forces are correct. Criticism about my vote for Vargas is fair, but I stand by my statement, then, that the alternative(s) considered by the board as a majority could have been even worse.
    http://therochesterian.com/2012/04/24/vargas-and-emotional-security/

  10. Joe Smith · · Reply

    At what point are we going to stand up and come together. The board has supported the last few superintendants and how did that work out. They hired a guidence councler from greece when there were a whole lot more qualified applicants that were avalible. These board members get on their soap box and speak about being for the community when their policys say differently. President Obama coined the term “RomneyHood” where the rich steal and/or take from the poor to get richer. I term the current school board with the name of “busters” and disapointment(s) all 7 of them. This has to change and what’s more is that those people that have the “power” are the same ones that are keeping these kids failing. dlkkids down.

  11. Avery Blackman · · Reply

    This is nothing more than regulated political gimmicks. It is a local political process that has a consistent track record in manipulating the ignorance and ineffective socioeconomic strategies of so-called black leaders in Rochester. The bottom-line speaks for itself: The overwhelming majority of students attending the RCSD are African American. Most so-called black leaders in this city are driven by their egos, not by authentic cultural analysis. It’s a political gimmick and most black political aspirants are willing to sell their souls to engage in political debates that are regulated and serve no purpose in redressing the real cultural-scioeconomic crisis that’s destroying so-called black America.

  12. lohad2012 · · Reply

    everyone is complaining about the school board members has to remember, they ARE elected. You keep voting them in….what do you expect?

  13. Vargas will say whatever to please the audience he is front of. Anyone would have been liked after JCB. I have yet to see Vargas truly do anything since being in office except the Alternative High School. I seen this coming months ago. Now, too bad the school board didn’t keep their receipt so they can return the guidance counselor back to Greece! That’s what ya’ll get!!!

  14. Michael Eaton Mason · · Reply

    what this tells me is that Mr Vargas does not even have respect for the school board that hired him during the wxxi debate with Malik Evans and Bob Duffy about mayor control the new Chief of Staff was there coaching him and talking firings breaks and I know Mr Vargas heard about this or saw it first hand what this tells me is he knew the board would have concerns about this but with his four year contract and her contract he just didn’t care.

  15. Commissioner Adams,

    With regard to your assertion that “the alternative(s) considered by the board as a majority could have been even worse” — I’m certain that I’m not alone as it relates to being interested in reading your explanation relative to the possibility that Dr. Walter Milton — “could have been even worse.” Surely, you don’t expect that (at this point) — people will just take you word for it?

    Howard J. Eagle

  16. Despite Commissioner Adams’ reference to her strategic statement rationalizing her vote for Vargas, she largely stood by when the process barreled forward to bring about the end game in which “Vargas was the only option”. Let’s not try to repaint that history as if there wasn’t more Commissioner Adams could have done to expose and oppose that dynamic when it became clear how rigged the superintendent search process truly was. Couching current positions (given recent events with Vargas’ Superintendent Employee Group hires and unreasonable contracts) in that history doesn’t help clarify the political mess that this history speaks to.

    Again, Commissioner Adams’ silence was alarming then and making reference to a well-timed statement to obscure this reality now is equally alarming. Bottom line, Commissioner Adams (as well as the rest of the School Board, of course) need to stand up and hold these decisions in check. Political posturing and tactical gestures won’t cut it. Hopefully more folks in the community are starting to wake up to the reality that any change on the level of the Board will require well organized pressure in order to ensure any substantive, sustainable shifts in direction.

  17. RCSD school board members, I don’t envy you your position. You’re suddenly facing the prospect that your next 4 years could look a lot like the 5 years Rochester city council experienced during the previous mayoral administration: dealing with an an affable, well-spoken, well-liked front man backed up by well-connected power players & hatchet-people that you don’t want to mess with.

    A quick analysis would seem to show few options to avoid being ensnared in such a fate. There’s trying to finagle a way to defund the cabinet positions, knowing that the other side has almost certainly vetted this issue already. That’s almost certain to result in a lawsuit, lots of negative press, and even more turmoil in a community already at the breaking point on school issues. The other option would seem to be to all join hands and step together off the cliff of firing Vargas just shortly after you hired him.

    Exercising that option, you’d take a short-term financial hit buying out his contract, but if you did it quickly enough you’d probably be able avoid most if not all financial hits on the cabinet contracts (which would then instantly become moot). If you went that route, you’d also damn well have to have a replacement superintendent ready to install — presumably someone who knows the district, is qualified to lead and administer it, and who could quickly gain the confidence of the community to get things moving forward. That would be a _very_ short list of names.

    Against the advice of many, you put your fingers into this Chinese puzzle. It will be interesting to watch if and how you’re able to extract them.

  18. Joe Smith · · Reply

    Dear Commissioner Adams,
    If what I said about the words of praise that you had bestowed upon Bolgen were incorrect at the board meeting of which you had casted your vote, I sincerely apologize. But, I do remember that when you were casting your vote you had spoken very highly of him and stated publicly that you had change your opinion of him. As a member of the community that had voted for you based on the fact that you were openly opposed to a guidance counselor running one of the biggest school districts in NYS it really saddens me and you not only disappointed me but, you have disappointed most of the people that voted for you not only me. Now to the point at hand. Your vote along with those 5 other votes caused this situation of which we have her now with the above situation. The policies of which you and your “elitist” colleagues have supported has created mistrust with you to the community of which you and those 6 other have served. It really is sad when the people that are elected to do a job on their platform up and change less than 1 week of taking office. Those “so-called” leaders are really Judas’ who turned their backs on the community. I really am glad that only one of you guys that ran together got in. What would have happened if all 3 of you guys did? Would everyone change for the worst? I don’t have the answer. And that is the sad thing. I have a very low opinion of the members of the school board based on the policy that they support and I will work day and night to get people in there that will fight for the health and wellbeing of our children. How can you sleep at night knowing that the policies of which you support is contributing to the prisons and death of the same children of which you are sword to serve. And I understand that it is not just you Mary, everyone else that is serving the board up there do not care about serving the community or our kids. It’s like a “shell game” divert all of the attention over here when we have over 1/3 of the students in the city of Rochester school district in summer school. Whenever Bolgen makes a choice that you or your board members do not agree with please look into the mirror because your vote (against the community wishes) caused these situations. Be blessed.

    1. Anonymous · · Reply

      I agree with anonomous

  19. Dear Mr. Smith,

    With regard to your latter comments above, if you think — “as a member of the community that had voted for [Mary Adams] based on the fact that [she claimed to be] openly opposed to a guidance counselor running one of the biggest school districts in NYS” — please try to imagine how we, as members of the Community Education Task Force (who not only voted for her, but worked our fingers to the bones — in the process of helping to elect her, and whose Platform she ran on) are feeling right about now, and have been feeling for months. We could not agree more with your belief that she has “disappointed most of the people that voted for” her. We also agree with your position that “it really is sad when the people that are elected to do a job on their platform up and change less than 1 week of taking office. Those “so-called” leaders are really Judas’ who turned their backs on the community.” Several members of the Community Education Task Force have publicly expressed these exact sentiments to Commissioner Adams (face-to-face) at Board of Education meetings, which is a matter of public record. With regard to your comment and questions about being “glad that only one of [us] guys that ran together got in. What would have happened if all 3 of you guys did? Would everyone change for the worst?” As one of the persons who ran on the Community Education Task Force Slate For Educational Change (along with Commissioner Adams) — I assure you that there is absolutely NO possibility that I would ever sell my supporters down the drain (at any price). I believe that thousands who supported me each time I ran are fully confident that one thing they’ll never have to worry about is me selling out (again, no matter how high the price may be). I plan to run again next year (hopefully as part of a Slate). This time around, we will be much more careful to choose the types of individuals who (like myself) will say what we’ll do, and will do what we say (if elected). There will be no flim-flam; no hood-winking; no bamboozling people who support us. Since you are interested in “getting people in there that will fight for the health and well being of our children” — I ask that you please examine my record (prior to, during, and after having served 23 years as a RCSD high school Social Studies teacher). My record of constantly and consistently fighting for child and family-centered change and improvement (for more than three decades) is clear. Like yourself, I have been wondering since January of this year, (when Commissioner Adams was sworn in) “how can [she] sleep at night knowing that the policies which [she] supports are contributing to the prisons and death of the same children which [she is] sworn to serve.” I also agree whole heartedly with your point that “whenever Bolgen makes a choice that [Commissioner Adams and other] board members do not agree with [, they should] look into the mirror because [their] votes (against the community wishes) caused these situations” — period (end of sentence — bottom line). Thank you for your comments.

    Sincerely,
    Howard

  20. Gale Riggs · · Reply

    Hello everybody!
    The only thing I got to say is that God will have the last word and say so. The board knew that Vargas was not qualified to run a big district such as the RSC, BUT WAS WILLING TO SELL OUR CHILDREN SOULS IN EXCHANGE FOR WHAT? when he left the district to go to Greece district be was done with the RCS then. I cannot wait to God come back and reclaim his world b/c we as human beings allow money and power to turn us into two-headed blood sucking monsters. Vargas and his appointed cabinet be careful cause it is a sad thing to fall in the hands of an angry God. Remember this RSCD, they are God’s children and for a long time they have been robbed of their education by Albany and our local officials remember we are here to day and gone tomorrow, God is going to replace you all in due time being it health, mentally, emotional or psychological you-all are going to pay for the the miseducation of God’s children. When God put his hands on you for not playing your position then what why does it have to get to this point. The only way out of this mess is gone to be from a higher power and God is in control and in due time he is going to send a message in Albany first, they will not adhere but just mark my word it will not be long b/c this has been going on much too long. And for everyone that holds a position in this district and not played your position God got you baby the bible says you will reap what you sow first it began with taking him out of our schools and let me let you in on a little secret every since that happen what has happen to our district? I am going to pray for all of you b/c strange things is about to start happening to our RCSD people I want say professionals b/c our children has suffer from people not exercising common sense just exercising egos and greed. For the official that had a stake in closing all those schools God know everone of you -all don’t worry you will get you just due too and the making of the “ALL CITY HIGH SCHOOL”.
    Urbanski don’t worry you wont have to worry about retiring then you not gonna want anymore money just some comfort and rest my dear b/c you is going to get your just due too. Too all all teachers who don’t mind paying your dues and knowing you have not handled your business as a teacher remember you-all are going to reap yours to God got your # too remember you have children too how long can you shield them? Our RCS board members old and new Malik you was wet behind your ears when you became President and too young to know what to do but did not stand up and handle your business as the President of our RCS board president you will get it bi-fold and to the rest of the board members don’t worry blind leading the blind I am going to pray for you-all cause you is going to get what’s due to you-all too. For our city officals, clergymen/woman(that did not stand up for our children God got you-all too) you sat back and did absolutely nothing. I just want to know was it really worth selling our city schools children souls for you-all little arrogant wanna be professional positions? I must leave you-all with this you-all broke -up the village of children sold them for ignorance and greed so guess what “you-all sho gonna get it”. Good nite and have a blast on your borrowed time. Albany you guys know our children need to learn their own history it was by design that they don’t b/c you-all want to keep our children with that sambo mentality don’t worry you may/or may not have anything to do with it but you are in that circle so you-all gonna get it too. I love you-all and will ask God to grant you-all a tiny bet of mercy. What time is it now! Reaping time have fun trying to understand what’s happening to you remember I for warned you-all this would happen!

    1. Anonymous · · Reply

      It’s not hard to understand what is going on in RCS,this issue has being going on since the late 1800’s a “the miseducation of our urban students”. Let me say this the blame has to start with the government for not getting to the root of the problems which is the impared parents that is not in position to take care of their children who needs to be in an intensive drug/alcohol facility and take upon a transition to work and intensive parental skills not just handed a monthly tax-payer dollars slapped on the wrist 30 days impatient treatment and back on the streets to collect more tax-payers dollars while their children suffers at their poor parental uneducated skills. The teachers are mandated reporters and when the children come to school unwilling to perform that’s a reg flag that something is wrong but yet they talk about the students to their peers instead of CPS so a few of you want to put down the parents and the students some of them(students) just acting out their feelings and surrounding and if you are not trying to be part of the solution by helping you are adding to the problems by running your mouth so stop talking and be about it. It’s not hard to see that the urban race has been oppressed 400 years only thing that has changed now opposed to then is that our urban children can be caught/seen in a class room opposed to 400 years ago they will be killed seen in a class room, but to keep it real they are yet been killed sort of speak b/c our systems do not want the urban student to know who they really are as a race b/c of the fear that will come behind them knowing what blood line of inventors they came from so to keep them from knowing who they really are the system will not allow them to know their own history this is our biggest problem through-out this world but yet the system want to teach our students that Christopher Columbus discovered America and on his way trying to get to America he got lost and going around and around and ended up on plymouth rock so who met him there? We has to take ownership of what we as a Nation, community, local and national government State and Federal for the roles that was put in place for our urban families and until we understand what is needed to make the RCSD a wholesome and productive district we have got to start from the head and work its way down to the tail but “WE” rather place the blame on others to pacific “our” wrong doing and haven’t “WE” good at that from 400 years ago spilling to this New Millennium and everything and everyone is going just sit back and pass the blame it’s you, no it’s you no it’s them stop acting like pre-schoolers who takes their blinkys to daycare with them and fight each others all day long, something or someone has got to come in and make a change so people get ready there’s a train coming to pick you or someone you most cheeriest to repay you for your position you placed in society. Our RCS students has been handed dittos with one sentence of instruction for homework instead of books with full instrustions but that’s ok and you can tell me God is not going to send down his wrath, he just allowing “US” to do the right thing but we are yet after a New Millennium want to make wrong choices for “OUR” urban students. When our so-called teachers want to meet with the parent they want to set up meetings that’s geared toward their time at school not when the parents get off work or try and meet them halfway with their time, then the parent didn’t show up, and the RCSB want to make some of their meetings when they know the working parents are at work so they can’t attend meeting it’s a bloody mess untill God comes back and reclaim his world, we as a world will just like Christopher Columbus when he tried to discover America going round and a round and end up in God’s hand I long for that day. Untill we come together and work on solutions together we yet will be doomed as a district so put you mouth where you want your money. I am going to leave you-all with this “We all should be aiming for success for our students and city and not perfection and we should never give up our right to want to help our students and city because we then will lose the ability (which is happening as I speak this) to learn new things and move forward.

  21. Jane Doe Smith Anonymous · · Reply

    All School Board members need to keep a tight rein on any changes that are happening in the RCSD. The truth is that the RCSD did not just start having troubles since Vargas becane Superintendent but it has been an ongoing issue. Trying to improve the RCSD is impeded by many due to those who want to preserve their own situations which causes suffering for students. There are many forces at work who criticize just to impede and improve their political careers. Since this is a forum for anyone who can post whatever they wish and behind any names it should not be taken as gospel.

  22. Eric Bettinger · · Reply

    Elephant in the room! The single greatest problem in the RCSD is the lack of interest and accountability in the students and their parents. Vargas and the Board have little influence on this, but were they to break some eggs and bring it to the forefront in every meeting and communication, they would begin to change the culture of failure that has become the impression of urban Rochester. These “touchy-feely” approaches to urban school reform are a joke, and the only people that don’t recognize it are the race hustlers that seek more entitlements and money into failed programs that they can claim as their own. The start of the solution?
    1. Create and enforce a realistic disciplinary policy.
    2. Create and enforce an effective attendance policy.
    3. RCSD should lobby Albany to create legislation that won’t reward the babies having babies- that denies welfare to those that make the choice to be unproductive.
    4. Hold Principals accountable when they give a 20 yr old with 7 credits a diploma!
    Give a man everything they want, and they’ll only be angered that they didn’t ask for more the first time. -this is what has happened in our urban school system.
    If urban communities don’t drive the change from within, I predict the only solution will be a universal conscription program for civil service. Our society needs to figure out what to do with all these overly entitled, unmotivated, uneducated discipline cases that are sucking the vitality from our economy and society.

    1. Anonymous · · Reply

      The only ones held accountable are the teachers. So the REAL decision makers and feigned educators who have never educated are not HELD accountable for notta. So they can do what ever. The board made so MANY bad choices …. And the community voted them in AGAIN- or did we ??? Why do we allow this? My granny use to say when ever I tried to duck trouble: “don’t throw the rock, then hide your hand” all whose hand is on the rock should be held accountable – then we can all see who the weak link(s) are .

  23. I take great offense to any negative comment about Freedom School, as I am a Freedom School parent and I sit on NEAD’s Board of Directors (the agency that manages Freedom School in conjunction with the Children’s Defense Fund).
    The Freedom School experience has greatly impacted my children’s lives. My oldest son is a Servant Leader there, where he mentors elementary students. My middle son volunteered there for years and became a Servant Leader this year, where he served as a peer mentor to high school students; and my youngest son is a Scholar.
    I have spend a lot of time at Freedom School, loving the opportunity to witness true JOY on children’s faces, a break from their everyday stress, violence, and trauma riddled environments (a smile may seem so insignificant, however it is MAJOR in the “hood”, where a smile is interpreted as weakness and a billboard to others that you are an easy VICTIM – kids have often told me that it is “not cool” to smile on the block). I also have seen leaders emerge out of “castaway” kids and power being realized in youth that hadn’t previously recognized that they possesed it. Pride is evident in every conversation, accountability for your choices is taught and expected, morality is displayed and modeled, cultural respect is celebrated and nutured and education/literacy is the driving force.
    Who “runs” Freedom School? Attend a Parent Meeting on Thursday nights or Harambee in the morning and your quick response will be the PARENTS, YOUTH and COMMUNITY run FREEDOM SCHOOL!!!

  24. I agree Ms Shelton. I believe it’s crucial that folks investigate and speak from a position of knowledge before making what I would argue are misinformed, judgmental statements about the Freedom School program.

    1. Anonymous · · Reply

      I’ve heard great things about that school- its funny, programs that WORK get shut down quietly……

  25. Mr. Bettinger,

    This is in response to your comments above. I actually agree with SOME of the information contained in your comments, which as you know, is usually not the case. For example the second sentence of your comments is completely accurate (even though I don’t think it is really reflective of what you intended to say), i.e., “The single greatest problem in the RCSD is the lack of interest and accountability in the students and their parents.” Since I am aware of your routine student-and-parent-bashing — I think what you really meant to say is: “The single greatest problem in the RCSD is the lack of interest and accountability [on the part of] the students and their parents,” which of course is grossly inaccurate.

    You’re absolutely correct about “the race hustlers that seek more entitlements and money into failed programs that they can claim as their own.” I’m just not sure if you realize or not that the overwhelming majority of the snake-oil-peddling “race hustlers” are NOT people of color. Bet you didn’t know that (surprise-surprise).

    I agree whole heartedly that

    •”a realistic disciplinary policy [FOR EVERYONE IN THE SYSTEM MUST BE] created and enforced.”

    •”an effective attendance policy [, WHICH WILL NOT ALLOW FOR STUDENTS TO BE ABSENT FROM SCHOOL FOR WEEKS, AND SOMETIMES MONTHS — BEFORE PARENTS ARE NOTIFIED, OR ONE THAT REPORTS ATTENDANCE RATES OF 99.9 % — WHEN THEY ARE ACTUALLY MUCH, MUCH LESS — MUST BE] created and enforced.”

    • “RCSD should lobby Albany to create legislation that won’t reward [PEOPLE} that make the choice to be unproductive” — SUCH AS MANY AT RCSD CENTRAL OFFICES, AND IN SCHOOL BUILDINGS WHO GET UNDESERVED, 6-FIGURE SALARIES AND AMAZINGLY UNBELIEVABLE BENEFIT PACKAGES.

    •”Principals [MUST BE HELD] accountable [BY BEING FIRED ON THE SPOT] when they give a 20 yr old with 7 credits a diploma!”

    The ludicrous idea that “what has happened in our urban school system [is that] a man [has been given] everything they want, and they [are] only angered that they didn’t ask for more the first time” — is so bizarre that I have no reference point for responding to it — so I won’t even try.

    There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that “if urban communities [,ESPECIALLY PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS, STUDENTS, COMMITTED EDUCATORS, ACTIVISTS, AND OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS] don’t drive the [MUCH-NEEDED, FUNDAMENTAL] change” AND IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE RCSD — IT IS SIMPLY NOT LIKELY TO HAPPEN — PERIOD!

    Again, your “prediction [that] the only solution will be a universal conscription program for civil service” is so grandiose, strange, and seemingly fascist-leaning — that I have no reference point for responding.

    With regard to your latter quote, which follows — you’re just a little late. Did you not know that your “society [LONG AGO] figured out what to do with all these unmotivated, uneducated discipline cases?” IT’S CALLED THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON-PIPELINE, WHICH DEFINITELY IS NOT “sucking the vitality from [your] economy and society.” ON THE CONTRARY, IT IS GREATLY SUPPORTING YOUR THOROUGHLY RACIST ECONOMY AND SOCIETY VIA JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, PARTICULARLY WITHIN OVERWHELMINGLY WHITE, RURAL COMMUNITIES, AND VIA NEW-INSTITUTIONALIZED-SLAVERY, WHICH IS OCCURRING WITHIN THE PRISON-MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX. Didn’t you know this? Where have you been?

    Howard J. Eagle

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