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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Recipe For Kool-aid Revealed

My last blog entry about KIPP has angered my BFF for revealing how they mix the Kool-aid. (Making people angry is what I do best - remember 4 wives) Don't get me wrong, I like the wrap around concept of charter schools. My problem is what I have previously stated - the funding mechanism .

Our Savior's Sad Song

So KIPP's vaunted success is all about how you define "success".   Can anybody say "statistical manipulation"?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is A Little Bit Good For The Soul?

When asked if the failure to ask Harder and Rosati to supply a license was an oversight, Donovan said simply, “It’s done now.”

That quote came from yesterday's Item. I hope that the parents of the kids who may have been exposed to this known carcinogen can take comfort in that air of finality. What about the teachers, custodians, and other school personnel that were victims of this exposure?

We are supposed to overlook this oversight because it was only a few small jobs. How small is your child's health? Our airwaves are polluted with advertisements from lawyers making a living on some of these small "exposures". It seems to me, our response is not to respond. Are you satisfied with this?

Keep Following

I believe readers of the "Watch" knew about this yesterday afternoon. But a least this story doesn't have the same poor quality of typing as mine. I can't afford a copy editor. Actually I can't afford any staff. I'm lucky to keep the lights on. Marblehead schools' effort pleases Patrick

What Does It All Mean?

Now that the Confidential Secretay has won her suit what direction is LPS going. When you add her back pay with benefits to her salary going forward and all the legal fees surrounding this case that has to be a drain on school finances. All because peoplewouldn't come to the table. Too much testosterone. Who suffers, our kids. Do they think we can still afford a new Deputy Superintendent position?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BREAKING NEWS - Confidenial Goes Public

I hear that Civil Service ruled that LPS must put the Confidential Secretary they laid off and refused to allow her to use her seniority in her position. This could be costly to LPS and uncomfortable for Dr. Lattham and her administraion. More details as they come avaiable.

Classes In Chaos

This story is another example of the tail "wagging the dog" when it comes to controlling classroom behavior. I don't know any of the people involved or the specific situation. I do know there is a lot of discontent with the Special Ed. administration and the lack of appropriate testing. The wrong diagnosis may puts a kid in the wrong place, frustration naturally builds and viola you have a recipe for problems. One hand doesn't know what the other one is doing. That's why SPED should be in the same building as the rest of the school department. Maybe then we wouldn't have to wonder why there is no comment. Lynn special needs student bites teacher

Governor Patrick Talks With Ford Students

Just got back from a meeting with the GOVERNOR. Okay he didn't actually come to see me personally but I got to shake his hand. The focus of the attention was on the students.Gov. Patrick came to Hillel Academy to observe a vital partnership between Hillel Academy and Lynn that goes back over twenty years.

This particular part where seventh and eighth grade Hillel students tutor third and fourth grade Ford students in math which has shown improvements in Math MCAS scores. I mentioned to Governor Patrick he should recruit some of these students to help balance the budget.

The meeting ended with students sharing ice cream sundaes. One little girl from Ford mentioned she shook the governors hand and was never washing it again. Well I'm going to wash mine.

Also present were Congressman Tierney and Representative Erlich (who reminded me we are Facebook friends), I urged her to check out today's Item about the ASBESTOS story. Maybe I'll make sure she gets a copy.

Follow My Lead1


Indicted asbestos co. worked in Lynn

Trying To Uncover The Asbestos

I went to a Highland Coalition meeting last night an in attendence was LSC member Maria Carrasco and oh yeah that Delores lady (I'll have to listen to her gripe if I don't mention her name). I approached Maria and verbally and directly asked her to check into the ASBESTOS fiasco.

She correctly reminded me that she tried to get annual testing donr for mold and was told there is no money. Maybe there is no money, but SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL.

I guess I accidentally signed Delores's and Maria's campaign papers. I really thought I was registering for a door prize.

RICK STARBARD has said he already has an e mail into Dr. Latham and will let everyone know the result. Good, I am waiting.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How Safe Are Your Kids At School?

In addition to the last letter I published about the alledged handing of ASBESTOS in our school buildings,  at the LSC meeting Thursday night, a couple other areas of concern were raised. LSC member Maria Carrasco asked about the annual testing of all our schools for mold given the recent tests for Bioaerosols (mold) at  Ford (we were told it was free of contaminants) given the age of our OLD school buildings. She was told that would be cost prohibitive.

When Rick Starbard pointed out that having to spend $100,000 to repair old portables would be like trying to repair a "TOTALED" car, he was told, "We just can't afford new ones.". Good money after bad? Who do you trust? What school does the people's kids giving the answers go to? We deserve answers that are truthful.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Scoop Of Dirt Helps The Bad Medicine Go Down

Below is a copy of a "Letter To The Editor" the Item chose not to run. I am printing it. While I can not attest to the truth or validity of these claims, they are easy enough to verify with a few phone calls to the people listed in the letter. I trust the source but what do I know, I m just a poor, disabled poet. Here you go!

Dear Editor:

As I was reading Saturday, March 19, 2011 Item I noticed something peculiar.  On page 2 there was an article related to someone getting indicted for their 5th DUI.  In the same article a contractor AEI Environmental LLC of Lynnfield was indicted for violating the solid wastes act and the clean air act.  AEI Environmental performed work at both Lynn Woods School and Marshall Middle School.  With AEI Environmental LLC already indicted can Mike Donovan and his gang of supervisors at ISD be far behind? 

Here’s what they are not telling you.  A grand jury is investigating the City of Lynn’s ISD department concerning how asbestos was illegally removed from our schools under the direction of ISD supervisors and disposed of in an improper manner.  Numerous workers and ISD supervisors have already been subpoenaed to testify. 

Although the Item has already reported about the illegal removal of asbestos tiles from the Cobbet/ Fectu/Leary School building maybe the Item should investigate what really happened at Lynn Woods School or Marshal Middle School.

I used to think the letters I and S in ISD stood for Inspectional Services but I guess it stands for Incompetent Supervisors!  You would think that they would have had an inspector or supervisor around while AEI Environmental was working due to the dangers posed by asbestos.  I guess they were all to busy writing tickets to taxpayers for not removing the snow from their sidewalks fast enough or not having your trash in an approved trash receptacle or your trash receptacle doesn’t have a proper cover.

Don’t worry though they have come up with a sure fire plan on how to keep our school children safe.  If the tiles are loose they have a custodian or maintenance worker just grab some duct tape and tape the lose tiles to the tiles next to them.  If the tiles are chipped or broken then they are instructed to duct tape a piece of rug over it.  I’m sure the Environmental Protection Agency would love to know how they’re disposing of those broken or chipped tiles since no ISD employee is certified to do this.  If I were a parent who had a child at the Shoemaker school or Pickering Middle school I wouldn’t be to happy seeing rugs duct taped over tile considering the amount of taxes you have to pay.  Until those tiles are tested we will never know if they contain asbestos.  I find it hard to believe that the ISD department couldn’t find some money in their budget to remove and test these tiles.

We all keep hearing how there is no money in the budget and maybe that’s why they came up with this plan.  But now there is a new twist to the no money theme.  Mike Donovan just created a new supervisors job in the ISD department for one of his friends.  Just to see if this was another one of those special appointments that Mike Donovan has made in the past like making his two golfing buddies ISD supervisors I called the City Councils office to see if the Councils personal subcommittee had created a new position in the ISD department.  Nothing listed in the council’s personal subcommittee minutes. 

Now I’m told they are calling it a temporary position but everyone in the city knows what temporary means, lifetime appointment.  You would think that they would use the money to fix the asbestos problem but not Mike Donovan.  I guess he thinks a new temporary supervisor is more important.  I guess the saying about Lynn is true “It’s never about the money, its always about who is getting it!” 

In closing I’d like to remind the citizens that didn’t Chip Clancy say the reason that the custodians and maintenance workers were transferred from the schools to the ISD department because of the ISD department’s expertise in these types of issues?  With experts like this in charge God help the City of Lynn taxpayers and their children who attend our schools.


You heard it here first. I got an e mail copy of a letter to the editor that our beacon of investigative journalism has for whatever reason chosen not to print. I will post the entire letter just as soon as I hear back from my source on just how to handle that person's identity. One other hold up may be my lack of technical expertise on just how to post it.

Priorities, Priorities, We Got Priorities!

Apparently we are in the latter stages of pettitioning for a new building for Marshall and in the beginning stages for Pickering from the MSBA (Massachusetts Schoool Building Authority). Contact your state representatives to push these iniatives.

I was wondering though, how did Marshall jump ahead of Pickering? I am NOT an engineer, architect, or even a school janitor but Pickering looks more run down than Marshall. I have kids at both so either way I win.

Transparency You Can See Through

Last night's LSC meeting gave us a perfect example of why my call to put all of the reports, e mails, or other correspondence the administration gets on line for all to see. The Inspectional Services Department issued two reports, a Microbial Assessment of Fecteau-Leary School and a Bioaerosol Assessment of Ford School.

We were all told that nothing was found at either school. I guess we should feel confident in the dissemination of this information. Who among us has ever been dissatisfied with the information we have ever received from this administration?

We were told that Ford's test was conducted in one room and it passed. I maybe mistaken but I believe they have class in more than one room. I may be further mistaken but I believe it was a test for MOLD which exists in more than ONE place.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Giving Us The Unfinished Business

On the agenda for Thursday night's meeting of the LSC under unfinished business was NOTHING, NADA, ZIP. Are you kidding me? In a school system as big as Lynn's are you saying everything is all wrapped up?

What about all the failing schools? Since Connery's Turnaround plan was rejected, what are we going to do? What about that Deputy Superintendent's position we so desperately need? What about plans for "Race To The Top" money. I would go on but I'm to tired too type any more. You get my point?

We Don't Need No Help

Last month LPS hired (near as I can tell) 7 teachers, an Assistant Director of Alternative Schools, 5 cafeteria workers,  8 clerical workers, and a Homeless-liason nurse. But remaining unfilled for nearly two years was the position of Parent Liason that has had funds set aside for filling it.

I guess we really don't need to fill it. We all know how easy it is to navigate through all those regulations. I do wonder though, I wonder where the money went that was set aside to pay for that job?

It's Hard To Find Good Help

Yeah, what's you gonna do? It's the middle of the year and laid-off teachers aren't hanging by the phone despite the much ballyhooed working conditions in Lynn Public Schools. Last month alone seven teachers were assigned to fill various teaching positions throughout the school system. Of those seven four were not certified for their position.

I know certification is just a piece of paper, but if your doctor didn't have that piece of paper would you find another place to go?

Who's Watching The "Watch"?

As a courtesy I send copies of the "Watch" to a few selected people. I do this so they can have a feeling for the general sentiment of some of the masses. I send it to Dr. Latham, Dr. Wary, Terry Young, Ex. Asst. to the Lynn City Council, John Ford of the LSC, Maria Carrasco of the LSC (Rick Starbard of the LSC subscribes and frequently contributes), I used to send it to Patti Capano of the LSC(I LOST her e mail address), and Jessica McLaughlin of the Special Ed. Department. Jessica was a recent addition to my list.

Back during the "RAT WARS" John Ford told me he agreed with my position of the vermin, "Let's Move On". So he must be reading it and has never complained. A few months ago I got hacked and somebody stole my address book. At a break between meetings Dr. Latham approached me that she was afraid of viruses so she deletes everything. I said that was okay and even laughed when I relayed the story of my priest getting Viagra spam because of it. I have long since fixed it and I have heard no more from her. Terry Young from LCC wrote me an email where Councilman Phelan expressed his gratitude for the work I am doing.

And then came Jessica. I just checked my e mail inbox after a couple of days last night. There was over a hundred unopened messages. One of them was from Jessica, asking to be removed from the mailing list. I had only added her after attending my first PAC meeting. Since nobody from the SPED department attended the last PAC meeting and from what I understand that is not a uncommon occurrence, I thought Jessica would want to keep abreast of the parents' sentiments. Apparently I was mistaken. She has become the first person to say she doesn't want to receive it, so I will honor her wish.

I mean I am sure she is very busy solving problems and resolving issues to waste time hearing from parents. I figure it takes a lot of time to commute to Lynn. That's probably the reason she wasn't at the last PAC meeting.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tight Squeeze!

What this article fails to mention is that there was a little disagreement about if we are allowed to realign the individual school's district to alleviate overcrowding as it pertains to our Level 4 schools students at Connery and Harrington. On one side you had our most Honorable Mayor Kennedy said that according to her interpretation of the regulations, you weren't allowed to move students out of Level 4 schools (cause they might consider that statistical manipulation). Dr. Latham strongly disagreed, claiming that we were allowed to in this extreme case.

Now who you going to believe when it comes to regulations, policies, and all hat legal stuff,a lawyer or a glorified math teacher? Surprisingly I'm going with the math teacher because she is better able to "count" the violations.

Latham: Lynn schools in danger of overcrowding

Let The Good Times Roll

CHARLIE Gallo  was in the audience for last night's LSC meeting, as was my BFF Melissa  was filming it for LYNN HAPPENS. That lady Delores was their in spirit maybe but my glasses aren't special so I didn't see her.

For whatever reason LSC member Patti Capano wasn't there. The meeting went smoother than usual. I'm sure those two facts are just a coincidence.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So Many Questions?

I was wondering, "Has Lynn Public Schools gotten any numbers from the city on how much they will b contributing to the school budget this year"? Since Mayor Kennedy heads up both the city and chairs the school committee, she should know. I think they call it the "cherry sheet". (Boy that moniker begs for some sort of joke but I will play nice)

Somebody said something about some grant money going to purchase some computers for the city. I don't know but I hope the city is generous with their contribution to the school budget. But whatever it is I hope it's made known real soon. We have a lot of work to do in our schools and being transparent is so time consuming and at times, a little uncomfortable.

Is PAC Getting A Shot At The Title?

When I was at the PAC meeting Mon. night, I heard things. I don't know if it's true but we will see. Those PAC people are crazy you know. They are claiming that they are entitled to some of the Title I money.

I don't know if that was prebudget banter or what. Admittedly it does make some interesting scenarios. I don't know nothing bout no numbers. But this is Lynn where we fight fair and everything and everybody is on the up and up. I'm sure that everyone will get EXACTLY what's coming to them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tomorrow's Another Day

Looking over the agenda for tomorrow night's LSC meeting posted on line, I noticed conspicuously absent was even any preparatory talks about next year's budget. You know I am not to good at that math stuff so I like to start early.

Well now really is not all that early but it does not even seem to even be warming up, not publicly at least. I am sure everybody WANTS to be transparent and all. But somebody might get the WRONG idea that the school department is waiting until later, say when school is out, to pass a transparent document when there aren't so many people around to see.

I just wish I was better in math so I could understand how numbers are easier to manipulate in the summer. I guess that understanding comes with all those advanced degrees.

Surviving Testing

Students taking the MCAS at Ford School are increasing their chances of survival from this testing trauma thanks to the help provided by the kindergarten class. After joining them in a kick-off pep rally the kindergarten presented the testing class each with a kit packed with items to assist them in their recovery from this ordeal.

After caressing their kits for good luck just like a rabbit's foot, the students passed them in for safe keeping until the test is over and it's time for recovery. Kits included various items with clever instructions like Smarties to remind students "You are what you eat".

This idea not only benefits the test takers themselves but helps with premeditated worry for the future kids. Now if they only had a survival kit for bloggers.

The Thanks I Get

I am outraged. I do my part. I volunteer in the library and I sacrificed my seat behind the desk this week so they could have their stupid test. Do you think I get an invite to the party. NOOOO!
I am furious. I will not return until my salary is doubled. After all, I am a graduate of the "Charlie Sheen School Of Anger Management".

I bet Jen was off key anyway.

Ford students stage rally for MCAS success

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Of Mice And Me

John Stienbeck wrote the the classic "Of Mice and Men". I have a blog. Am I tryinng to suggest a comparison of myself to such a great writer? Do you think I am really that vain? Wait don't answer that.

Actually I am triyng to strike a comparison between the mouse and myself. Really I am poor as a church mouse. I'm not joking about that. But it is not just a comparison between myself and any old mouse. I am talking a church mouse.

Why is the fact that it is a "church" mouse and not just your run of the mill vermin? Because regardless of the particular denomination, some faith formation is going happen even if by osmosis. The results mean strong, deep convictions but also the belief in something larger than yourself.

That something is the education of our children.

We Will Hear No Whine Before Its Election Time

What does that title mean? I have no idea, I just like the way it sounded. I'm a poet remember? Well maybe it has some tangential relationship to what I want to talk about next. Cue introduction.

Last night I got to meet Charles Gallo, a candidate for the LSC. I showed up a little late so we didn't get to talk much about his vision, his experience.

How much does all that really matter? The important things are he is a snappy dresser and he was giving out refrigerator magnets. He could give Vinnie some real competition in the fashion department. Those magnets could come in real handy affixing my picture onto administration dart boards.

Need A Little Face Time?

I've been thinking. Several people have commented about the difficulty in contacting or getting in touch with the LSC members. We are livining in an interconnected world. Most of these people are on FACEBOOK.

Ask your questions there. A good way to try out the effectiveness of this modern mode of communication would be to express your opinion on the new Deputy position. Remember it will come up in Thursday night's meeting.

Just a thought.

Put "Giving Us The Business" Out Of Business

Of course, like always, I don't know nothing. I think there is going to be a Personnel Sub-committee meeting before the regularly scheduled LSC meeting. In it they are supposed to tinker with the posting for the already approved posting for the six figure position of Deputy Superintendent. It may be our last chance to have an impact on this matter.

Voice your opinion to the people that matter. Donna Coppola chairs the committee. She previously voted against its creation. The other two members who voted for it are Maria Carrasco and Patti Capano. Call them, e mail them. Let them know what you think, how you feel. If you don't know how to get in touch with them, I feel sure Dr. Latham's office would only be too happy to help. Parent involvement, that's a good thing, isn't it?

Oh yeah, we don't have a science curriculum person and I hear there is some question about our reading programs. Perhaps those are areas this new Deputy should address, but I don't know nothing.

Timing Is Everything

Thank you Lynn Public Schools, thank you Lynn Daily Item. Your timing was impeccable. I can't make this stuff up, I guess you need one of those advanced degrees for that.

Maybe I read this article wrong, let me see. I think what it says, "We are winning because we are not losing as much". Don't get me wrong, it's better to be a little loser than a big loser that is unless you are in a reality show and then the biggest loser is really the winner.

Do you see where I'm going here? I don't and niether does LPS for that matter. That's just my humble opinion and what do I know? I mean I'm from WV for goodness sake.

The timing of this article is a bit ironic because at the PAC meeting last night they talked about the "poor" reading programs we have like "Trophies" and "Sidewalks On Reading Street". They trotted out all these statistic and tossed around phrases like "not scienifically based" and "not peer reviewed". They were not talking about just as the program applies to SPED students but to the student population as a whole.

Who do those SPED people think they are? How dare they broach areas that concern all the students in Lynn? I got to give it to LPS here, by not showing up to the meeting they didn't have to listen to those pesky parents.

Reading program a success; Lynn kids fight summer skill loss

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's My Party And I'll Cry If I Want To

I showed up late for the PAC meeting tonight, Can you believe my daughter had the nerve to have a cheerleading banquet tonight! How inconsiderate.

Surely she cost me the chance to hob nob with the top special ed. brass. Last night I got a call from somebody sounding like Jessica from the the SPED inviting me to tonight's meeting. Some people say it was just an automatic computer generated impersonal call. But I am going to tell everyone I got a personal invitation to a parent and SPED soiree.

Okay I showed up late like I said but it was before the SPED administrators left so I breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately then I realized, THEY NEVER SHOWED UP.

Well maybe they got the time or location wrong. Maybe they never actually listened to the message they were sending out. So they missed the meeting, so what. Who do these parents think they are? There's nothing a good law suit can't settle.

Civics Reborn

This story is an example of the opportunities for positive engagement. Kudos to Councilman Crighton or helping to initiate it and some kudos to the ITEM as well for covering it. We've got to get involved if we are ever going to change things. This is a good place to start.

Councilor's class Politics 101 for Lynn students

PAC Again!

Maybe I won't have much library work this week, it will be a busy week in education for Lynn. Aside from whatever testing might be going on there are important meetings.

The first of those meetings is tonight at 10 Church Street (Lynn Housing Authority) @ 7 pm is the bimonthly PAC meetings . I am hoping to make it but I gotta do the parent thing myself, cheerleaders banquet. I am hoping one of my new friends there gets me notes at least. There is so much to write about.

Then there is Thur. night's meeting of the LSC. I am sure everyone on the committee along with Dr. Latham and friends are counting on me to be there. I wouldn't want to disappoint.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Child Is Not A Number

Looks like I'll have it easy at my volunteer job next week since I think my library is being used for testing. I think it might be the BIG ONE, you know part of the MCAS. It's hard to keep track of what specific test is being used when.

I know we have to have some way to measure progress, gauge success. It's just that so much pressure is centered around this one test that it is impossible to get a true, accurate picture of the effectiveness of the education. All we end up doing is teaching the test.

More control of the educational direction should come from the teachers after all teaching is what they are trained to do. Statisticians should go count beans and beans grow in a garden. Last I looked kids grow in a classroom.

What do I know?  I am just a poor, disabled poet.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why We Do So Bad On The MCAS, I think

Have you heard "It's all about the numbers"? It is true that for better or worse, our state's education system is test driven, nationally for that matter. Math is a language all its own. Languages are at the root of our problem and no matter how we decide to address the problem of the multiple languages that are our kids live with and the language we say they have to learn in, we have to live with the consequences of that decision. Those consequences are lower standard test scores.

I know of classes with kids who don't speak any English. It's easy to take a hard line and say, "This is America, 'Love It Or Leave It". But you know what, those kids didn't have a choice, they all came with their parents along with their other baggage.

Am I saying that we ought to be teaching these kids in their own language? Absolutely not. There are too many kids with too many different languages for us to do that. Remember we can't afford librarians (don't get me started).

Guess what? I don't have the answers. If I did they would pay me more. Oh yeah, they don't pay me squat, nada. All I am saying is that we need to take a hard look at finding a better way of addressing this problem or be prepared to live with the consequences. The consequences will be lower MCAS scores, more failing schools, ad more negative publicity (some of it coming from me).

Maybe  that proposed new Deputy Superintendent with their six figure salary will have the answer. ($150,000, didn't I tell you math was a language? It's just not mine.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Warning! Warning! Qualified People Are Running!

  My new good friend Shawn (don't worry Melissa, your still my BFF) asked me to check out this new web site for Delores who I guess is running for something or other. Well I did and let me tell you I think my throwing my support would set a dangerous precedent.
She is clearly qualified and extremely professional. I ask you, "Why would we want people like that on the Lynn School Committee, when the current administration has worked so hard to elevate the perception we are achieving educational greatness? People are flocking to get into our schools.".
Besides I have a reputation for being completely objective and non biased. One more thing, I jealous of her web site. If you must check it out for yourself go ahead, but don't say I didn't tell you so.

Why I Do What I Do? What Is It That I Do?

They call me "Mr. Librarian". I'd like to thank Mr. Poitier for that quip. I sit in the library for up to three hours a day checking out books, checking in book person never accomplishes anything by quitting. Everybody has something to give. Education can be found in the everyday. My degree is not in education. I have never taught in a public school. But you don't always have to have lots of letters after your name to know what you're talking about.

Division Is Not Divine

I recently got a letter from a person who resents the lack of attention paid to "gifted" students in the LPS system. It seems to this person that LPS's focuses too much on one population at the expense of the other. Sounds like a case of sibling rivalry to  me.

It's not my intention to come off too flip and not give this reader the credit her concerns warrant. Because "gifted" students are special needs students too. It's just that they are at the other end of the continuum They just don't have such a disruptive impact on the entire family

Having a special needs child myself and having come from an education system myself that never allowed me to develop my so-called "gifted" potential, I can empathize with both sides of thee argument. But you know what, it's the same argument. The only way to "win"  the argument is by not arguing.

We would have better use of our time by developing creative and innovative approaches to provide our students with a quality education and look to teachers not accountants, actuaries, and other number crunchers to lead us to educational salvation and the promised land.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Some Rumours Are True!

After playing phone tag all afternoon, Dr. Cowdell got back to me at about 4pm. He reported to me that there was a surprise security check at all three middle schools. The operation was conducted by the Lynn Police and the county sheriff.

He gave me the same description about the difference between a "Shelter In Place" and a "Lock down" that my daughter did (maybe that's cause she heard it from him). Where I come from we have another word, "Shakedown".

The good news as Dr. Cowdell pointed out was that ONLY one student was found to be in possession of drugs but the bad news is that the student was from Marshall. Dr. Cowdell says he put out one of those auto generated messages to all the parents. I probably got it but I rarely check my house phone and never check my messages.

Drugs and students unfortunately go together more than people want to admit. Thirty-five years ago or so when I was in Jr.high back in WV, I could tell stories about classmates smoking pot around school. What's worse than the crime is how the coverage was managed. It shouldn't be left to a poor disabled poet to shed light on this incident.

Does anyone remember why Martha Stewart went to jail? Not for the "insider trading" she was initially charged with but "obstruction of justice" for impeding the investigation. Dr. Cowdell is no Martha Stewart.

Drugs Found At Marshall?

I called Marshall today at about 915 am. He was not there and the secretary and she had no idea and referred me to Dr. Cowdell? Less than an hour later, I received a phone call from an official at Marshall. I was at the laundromat so I couldn't hear real clear but he gave me the following information.

All three middle schools had a random security check. I asked him a specific question, "Were drugs found?".
 He said he believes some were found. I REPEAT HE SAID HE BELIEVES SOME DRUGS WERE FOUND!

This is UNBELIEVABLE! Where is the ITEM? I will let you know when I find out more.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Please Tell Me It Was A Drill!

I heard some very troubling things that allegedly happened at Marshall yesterday. Surely there is more to this story. I can't find anything about it in the Item and we all know how reliable a news source it is.

Here is what I heard. During a practice "Shelter In Place" at the school yesterday, some dogs from the Lynn Police actually sniffed out some drugs in the 7th and 8th grade lockers.

Surely this must have been a training exercise. I would like to think these middle school students are not brazen or stupid enough to bring drugs into school. If it was a drill then more should have been done to make this clear because every time they have a fire drill my daughter doesn't come home telling me the school burned down yesterday.

If it wasn't a drill then I'm sure someone out there will tell me. Wait don't tell me, I'm hoping to get an administration job.

Reading's Destination Location

With  this increased scrutiny that is going on about LPS's reading program "Sidewalks On Reading Street", it has refocused my attention on the wrong direction we are heading in our educational geography. Our libraries are barely on the map.

In the few schools that actually have libraries of their own the have avenues of unattended books collecting dust. With no librarians to direct traffic our educational highways remained under traveled.

Librarians are included in the road map for rehabilitation of Harrington and Connery. Isn't it better to know how o get to your destination before you leave than to rely somebody else's directions once you are already lost?

The reason this is especially important now is that we are fast approaching budget time. We all need to pressure our LSC members along with Dr. Latham to fund the librarians for next year. Reading should be a priority no matter what road we take.

Winning Road Trip

The Classical High School Girls Softball Team will be heading south for the spring. From April 16 through April 21 the girls will be playing some non-league games at some facility near Disney World. It will be an all expenses paid trip complete with park passes. I DON'T KNOW WHO'S ACTUALLY PAYING BUT I WANT THEIR AGENT.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Students Taking Over!

The stage has been set. Since our regular LSC has had its share of troubles running our school system, the students have decided to overthrow the current administration and TAKE OVER (for a day at least). The school committee meeting scheduled for April 14th has been rescheduled to April 12th to coincide with Student Government Day allowing the students to participate in the business of government.

There should be some talk of making this proposed move permanent. How much worse could they do? I mean we have all these failing schools and we are paying all these top administrators big bucks (I think 26 over 100K) and I bet we could get the kids to do this work for close to minimum wage! I mean it has worked for McDonalds and they serve BILLIONS.

Jaywalking On Reading Street?

My new BFF Melissa has been bugging me to take a look at the reading program, LPS uses, "Sidewalks On Reading Street" (I don't know if the whole LPS uses it or just SPED). I've been extremely busy and I am no expert on reading. But I'd thought I'd just throw it out there and let some of who are go at it.

The anecdotal reporting seems pretty good but that is subject to editing. The trouble I see is the testing appears to be on a limited sample. I'm not making any accusations but I will say, "The smaller the sample, the more prone it is to statistical manipulation" Help me out here, please.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Please Forgive Me Dr. Latham For I Have Sinned

The good Doctor must have advanced degrees that I didn't know about. I learned by virtue of your denying the grievance of a fellow cane wielding  comrade of their grievance and request to move to a less burdensome assignment. You probably are a doctor of medical science too, how else could you have made the determination with such determination that this person's medical condition warrants their placement in such a "light duty" position as an aide in a behavioral class where most of the students have "passive restraints" as part of their IEP. It was pretty astute of you to realize that the person's cane could be used as a weapon, useful in subduing them (not to worry, the student will NEVER use it as a weapon against your staff or other students beside it is useful as a distraction since they almost daily knock it out from under this person).
One of your doctorates must also be in jurisprudence, since clearly you have a better understanding of the Americans With Disabilities Act than I regarding what constitutes reasonable accommodations. You have managed to convince. the teacher's union that the problem is a collective bargaining issue. I must have heard our honorable Governor Deval Patrick misspeak this July when I went to an ADA 20th anniversary rally in Boston last year when he labeled ADA violations a "civil rights" issue.

Hopefully you will be moved by my deep sincerity an absolve me of my venial sins. Perhaps a penance of 20 "Hail Cathe's" will suffice.

Who's Side Are You On?

I want to revisit an issue tht I find extremely troubling.  That is the location of the Special Education Department. If you add the IEP's with the 504's, we are talking roughly 3000 of Lynn's 14 thousand or so students. I would bet the department's budget makes a bigger portion than the just the student ratio.

Imagine if you will if the Red Sox had part of their team on the other foul line. It just doesn't do much for team harmony and morale. Not to mention the smaller part of the team will be unhappy with their playing time and more likely to file for arbitration.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fat Sunday? Carnival Today At Ford

Around 300 kids and family enjoyed a carnival inside Ford's gymnasium today. The festivities were put on by the 7th and 8th graders of Hillel Academy in Marblehead with the support of Becky Shepard, Jerry, and Karen.

Fun activities like face painting. a couple variations on the old bean bag toss, and bowling. Most of the kids walked away with prizes. Madison Wiley won a jar of Skittles by being the one who was closest in guessing the number the jar contained. Malik Ellis walked away with a jar of jelly beans.

Maria Carrasco from the LSC was there observing the fun. This was the kind of activity a school should be involved with to be a vital part of the community. This must represent what Dr. Latham has talked about when she talks about the mandate  that the schools have been charged with to be involved with the total continuum of care for our kids.

Nurse Needed Now

Effective March 4th LPS's Homeless Liaison Nurse resigned. They gave a reason for the resignation but I forget. What I do remember is there was unanimity in sorrow over her departure. The disappointment was more than just a personal loss.

Jennifer Spina served a lot of children in the LPS. The numbers would surprise and shock you. I'm sure somebody out there will fill me in on the exact number but even one child is too many. No matter what your political view, you have to agree the child is not responsible for their situation. They are just victims. One day they will grow up and create the society that we are all going to have to live in.

How we treat them now is how we can expect to be treated later, Ever heard of the Golden Rule? I hope this position is filled quickly, if it is not already filled. Not having a place to get your junk mail is bad enough.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Show Us Your Papers

Something is happening at every LSC meeting that I find a little troubling. Every meeting a packet full of copies of letters the school department has received between meetings. Granted these are often boring housekeeping communications that not many people would be interested in, thank you letters and such.

But lumped with those frivolous letters are reports from Inspectional Services. This last meeting there were quite a few items from ISD, for example a report on a boiler failure at Abborn, an Indoor Air Quality Assessment at Pickering, an update on that same report, and a copy of an e mail from Covino Environmental Associates regarding the Sisson School portables thrown in for good measure.

I am not implying that anyone has anything to hide, I am just wondering why we can't have access to them. I know there are laws around confidentiality but I don't see how they apply here. Maybe so. I would think they ought to post  redacted copies on line for everybody to see. This is the 21st century and any idiot can post stuff on line. Look at me.

From The City Of Sin To Sin City

Coming up from March 24-27, the Lynn Teachers Union requested and got approval to send four  paraprofessionals to the 2011 Annual AFT Paraprofessional And School-Related Personnel in Las Vegas. I would hope the union is paying for all this.

Professional development is vital but I think maybe they could develop a little closer. That way maybe more than four would have the opportunity. Vegas is nice though, especially after the winter we have had.

Speaking From My "Bully" Pulpit

The vacancy or even potential vacancy of Dennis Thompson's position when combined with the possible loss of someone within the administration to move up to fill the newly created Deputy Superintend position will cause a tsunami of disruption within the LPS system. Who will be the casualties of this devastation? Our kids, that's who.

Who is going to provide our kids with the assurance that bullying won't be tolerated in our schools? Mr. Thompson has done much work to define the concept of bullying in LPS. His absence would be sorely missed.

Hopefully his six figure salary has just allowed him to move up and out to a bigger, nicer house. Continuity in student security is especially of concern to parents of special needs students since who are often victims of bullies.We just need assurance that protection of our children.

As LSC member Rick Starbard pointed out in an earlier post, the timing of the creation of the Deputy position could cause additional disruption if the position is filled in house since that would mean a new vacancy in a crucial position created due to promotion. After all, some one qualified for this new position must have been doing vital work in their present job.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What To Do, What To Do

The new Deputy Superintendent's position has already been approved. Done deal.The votes were taken and only Starbard and Coppola voted against it. Our fate has been sealed, our future certain. Or is it?

We don't have to be held hostage by those that may not have the best interests of our kids first in mind. The position has been approved, it has not been filled yet. Dr. Latham can still be subjected to the pressure of public opinion. Write, call, or e mail her at the school department. Make your voices heard.

There is still another way to yield your influence. Maybe Mayor Kennedy was having second thoughts about her earlier affirmative vote but whatever the reason she insisted the posting be sent back to the Personnel Sub-committee for revising or updating the job description. Dr. Latham was ready to put the process in motion and did not appear to be happy with this delay.

The Personnel Sub-committee consists of Coppola, who is chair, Carrasco, and Capano. I would recommend calling or writing them so at least you can have a little influence on the type of person who eventually gets the position. If you like failing schools or like the way LPS has done business in the past, by all means remain silent, Dr. Latham will be glad you did.

Who's To Blame And What Do We Do?

It is easy to beat up on the teacher's union and blame them for the sorry state of our schools. That is because teachers and even principals are the ones we a parents have access to. When is he last time you had a sit down with Dr. Latham or even Dr. Wary? I'm fortunate enough to see them every LSC meeting and we often exchange pleasantries.

Would it be acceptable to them if they had a teacher who's class had one fifth failing grade? We have 5 failing schools in Lynn out of 26. Do you see the analogy?

Of the two Level IV schools we have, the state already rejected one. Failing is bad but it's what you do to make yourself better that is really important. What's the first thing a sports franchise does when it starts habitually losing? There's a lot of unemployed managers out there to answer that question.

Is LPS Like A Sinking Ship?

Boy, did I hear some interesting stuff. I was all excited thinking I had some juicy gossip that only I was privy to. You know confidential sources like "Deep Throat" in Watergate. Except this time I was both Woodward and Bernstein. I saw a movie in the works, "All The Superintendent's Men".

I checked my blog this morning and a reader wrote in with the exact same information. That busted my bubble. I was already planning on different ways I could spend the money I would make on merchandising "Watch" T-shirts.

Okay enough with the suspense. A "For Sale" sign has been seen in Dennis Thompson's yard. Mr. Thompson wrote the Bullying policy for Lynn School's, is responsible for tracking the 504 plan kids, wrote the grant along with Sue Rowe for the credit recovery plan, and has his fingers in a lot of the pie they are servingg up down at the administration's office.

I haven't heard if he is planning to leave LPS or not. With his six figure salary he could afford the commute, even with rising gas prices. But what if he is leaing LPS? Does he know something we don't? Hopefully somebody out there has some answers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

An Invitation To The Party

You can see by my numbers traffic is exploding on this site. People throughout Lynn have displayed an interest in our kids education and a willingness to enter into a discussion of the issues. That's why it troubles me that more of the LSC members, the candidates who want to members, and top administrators of LPS don't contribute to the discussion. Without answers to question, we are to speculate.

So far only Rick contributes from the LSC and only Delores from the candidates. Looking at this bloq's numbers, those members and candidates do so at their own peril. We need to know your position on the issues important to us and our kids.

Follow The Money To Where?

I thought I heard on channel 5 news last night that the chief justice of the state supreme court makes $154,000 a year while Dr. Latham make $167,000 a year.  Can somebody please explain to me how this is justified. I know Lynn is the fifth largest school district in the state, but we are talking CHIEF JUSTICE

I believe there are 25 school administrators making over $100,000 a year. We will be adding a new deputy superintendent to that is at probably $140,000, I'm just saying, "What's in your wallet?".

I wonder how many more kids we will have to crowd into the classrooms to pay for this new deputy?

Classical Student Recognized Running Rampant

Let us pause for a moment, taking a break from Confidential Secretaries, SPED, and talk of wasteful deputies, to honor Hillary McGuffey, a Classical High student who was recognized at last week's LSC meeting for being MIAA Student-Athlete of the Month.. While participating in Cross country and both indoor and outdoor track, Hillary still finds time to maintain a 3.3 GPA having all Honors classes. The "Watch" is particularly impressed with her career goal, an OPHTHALMOLOGIST. Maybe one day she will help me see things a little more clearly.

See I don't always have to write about violations, misappropriations, and miscommunication. Am I getting soft in my old age? I did turn 49 yesterday        

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stan For School Committee? I Think I'll Run For The Border

I have had a number of people approach me to consider a run for school committee. There are several problems with that. I don't have a long history of community involvement in Lynn, I am poor I don't have the thousands of dollars it would take to run, I have never had one education class, and people often mistake me as as s no somebody's client.

On the other hand I have gotten a large following fast and it's been FREE! No doubt I could get some people to contribute enough for a campaign. I'm a poet so slogans should be no problem (Stan the Man goes with so many rhymes). All things taken into consideration, I think I would have an excellent chance of winning.

BUT WHY WOULD I GIVE UP THIS BLOG FOR ONE LITTLE OLE VOTE? With the "Watch" I can influence everyone who is a member. Someone has to have an independent voice. Besides this is too much fun and I don't have to worry about somebody firing me or shutting me down, unless Verizon does for nonpayment (not completely a joke, March 10 is my one year anniversary since I become too disabled to work). Besides I'd have to start shaving every day and I'd have to start dressing nicer. Vinnie "GQ" Spirito has set the fashion bar pretty high.


Does anybody else find it ironic that yesterday that President Obama was at a high school in Dorchester congratulating that school for focusing on science and having 90% of its students going on to college and Lynn Public Schools doesn't even have anyone in the administration heading up the science curriculum? But we have money in the coffers  to fund a new Deputy Superintendent position.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

C'mon Now, Let's Give The Doc Her Due

Recently Lynn Public School's Dr. Latham received  an award or some kind of recognition  from the legislature for promoting in school health centers  in a few of our city's schools. This is a good thing. Getting services  where the problems are. A healthy body needs a healthy mine or is it the other way around.  Starve a cold, feed a fever

Schools are now mandated with the responsibility for a broad range of responsibilities on the overall continuum of care. The award was presented by Lynn's own Rep. Steve Walsh. Doesn't LSC member John Ford work for Rep. Walsh?

Politics makes strange bedfellows. Hey, today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras and all. Were there any beads inolved?

Are They Following The "Watch"?

Maybe it's just me but I find it kind of funny that all of a sudden a number of education stories appear in the ITEM today. First there is the story about asbestos concerns and the Hadley School in Swampscott. I could tell you I have heard rumours of asbestos problems in some of Lynn's schools but I won't. As an earlier reader comment pointed out people are not interested in reporting they can read in the National Enquirer I have much higher journalistic standards I learned from watching Fox news. Fair and Balanced.

LVTI's $300,000 bio-tech grant got good coverage too Just everybody remember, that money is for materials and equipment. Hands Off. No Deputy money here!

There was another one but I forget it and I am not going to waste my time tracking it down.

Finally there was a little blurb buried deep in the paper about Special Education records before 2003 being destroyed after April 15. I know I am an undereducated hillbilly from WV and not savvy with all these big city ways and all, but do you think they have been watching my numbers explosion and realized people are interested in their kids education? Sometimes with this brain damage I get these delusions.

Is Free Speech Really Free?

You may have noticed I removed all advertising from this blog. I can't even figure out how to get Google to pay me the $20.35 they owe me. Anyway I don't want anybody trying to "BUY" my opinion. However I would be willing to rent it for a significant sum of money payable in bills of small denomination with non sequential serial numbers.

My Sincere Apologies

Last night's PAC meeting was attended by LSC member Rick Starbard and candidate Delores (I'm not typing out her last name because she contributes to this blog ll he ime and I am too lazy). The cynical thing is to remind everybody that it is election time and it is. But let me ask you what other LSC mmbers or candidates wee there? SALTED!

Now some people have accused me of being biased toward certain people. To those people I say, "So what, if you don't like it, get your own blog". I try to be 100% slanted toward the kids and that means favoring those people, programs, and schools that line up with my objectives. SORRY (not really)

Point, Counterpoint Attack Of The PAC Attack

Wow! I am still dizzy from the wealth of information that was presented at last night's PAC meeting. The fact that I was overwhelmed just screams about the need for the filling of the Parent Liaison position that has remained vacant for 18 months. Having someone help in the navigation through the maze known as Special Ed. is vital and crucial.

First p last night the SPED deparmament of LPS descended on the meeting with an army of presenters describing their own little area of expertise wearing down the crowd with stimulation overload and  intimidating the audience with their advanced degrees.

By the time the second PowerPoint program was put on the audience was weary from their journey through LPS. I am not going to type out the organization who presented. Its too early in the AM to go rummaging through my notes Suffice it to say, it was about maximizing the IEP process. Very educational about education. It was ashamed that I ad to leave before it was finished. But even sadder was the fact several left before me. I will dig more into this later. I have a lot to say about last night. STAY TUNED.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Who's Zooming Who?"

She must have been talking about Lynn Public Schools when, Aretha Franklin, Goddess of Soul uttered those prophetic words. After all with no Parent Liaison, the parents have no voice, no song to sing.

On the other hand that Educational Diva, Doc Latham has no problems getting across her sad melody about how hard life is without adding another Deputy Assistant Superintendent. Same old Song.

We, parents need  RESPECT!

PAC It In ( TONIGHT) Lynn Public Schools

Looks like I am going to the Parent Advisory Council meeting tonight at 7 pm. My new BFF Melissa and her husbad are picking me up after a appointment at Salem Hospital to take me to the meeting at the Lynn Houing Authority building at 10 Church Street. I understand Rick Starbard is going for his initial meeting. All of us should get to meet school administration officials Jessica McGlaughiln and Lydia Muggeo (I'm sure I butchered the spelling of their names, I only hope I can be kinder in my reports on the meeting). Hope to see everybody there.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Silence Is Not Always Golden

How can LPS be responsive to the needs of the students of Lynn if it has chosen a policy of disengagement with the parents? Deb Stone's position of parent liaison has been vacant for eighteen months while she has been out on medical leave. Just cause she's not there doesn't mean her work is not. Who speaks for the parents? This is on top of the loss of the Confidential Secretary to the Special Ed. Dept. Who speaks for the students? WE NEED TO REMEMBER WHY WE"RE HERE AND WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Drug's, Alcohol, And The State Of Our Schools

Last Thursday when I was at the LSC meeting, my new BFF Melissa, an avid Watch reader and volunteer documentary producer for lynnhappens (she really only recorded the meeting so Seth could post it but everybody likes to be thought of as famous) talked to me during a break and asked if I would look into the Item's coverage of an incident that recently happened at the Washington Community School You can put the link below in your browser and take a look for yourself. That way some of my critics out there (and you are growing) can't accuse me of spreading rumours and fictionalizing. Sensationalizing maybe.

This story has multiple victims and in fact everyone involved loses. You notice I said loses without calling anyone a loser. One's problems shouldn't identify oneself. In the words of Deval Patrick (and later plagiarized by President Obama) "Words matter". Language comes with baggage. That is why that the fact LSC member Vinnie Spirito painted the origins of special needs  students can be found in in a home-life of drug addiction and alcohol, is troubling.

Yeah that's a problem for some but it's not their problem, the child has no control over it. Using such a broad brush is irresponsible and counter-productive to resolving troubles in the classroom. Sure you can come up with all kind of sociological data and demographic trends but you know what? You can't put milk and sugar on statistics and have them for breakfast.

Vinnie has a wealth of experience as principal and several years on the LSC and using such a poor choice of words may be due to editing, words taken out of context, or maybe he just had a bad reaction to prescription drugs (that excuse worked for Charlie Sheen). Anyway, let's not be too harsh on him, after all he's a snappy dresser.  (copy and paste)

Friday, March 4, 2011

They're Not Even Irish Twins

Of the two redesign plans for our two Level 4 schools only one was accepted Harrington and they get a grant for 1.1 million dollars while Cobbett's plan was rejected. They get a consolation prize of 367,000 and a free trip back to the drawing board.

At the LC meeting Doc Latham was bewildered ad perplexed that one could be approved and not the other since they were almost identical plans. Duh, they are two DIFFERENT schools.

I've Got To Get My Hearing Checked!

You know as I get older my hearing ain't so good. Now I heard or maybe just thought I heard the Confidential Secretary whose story was responsible for starting the avalanche of hits I've been getting was actually "fired" for some disclosure of some privileged information. I kind of got the impression that it may have been a set up?

Laid off or fired, which is it? The actual fact is I think public information and doesn't tell the whole  truth of the matter. Either could accomplish the same result but could lead to different consequences for the parties involved.
Somebody help me and help us all.

My stormy past with probate court has taught me, "Just cause you say it, don't make it true!".

Too Early?

Spring is in the air but if you look outside most of what you see now is all the trash unmasked by the melting snow. Alright you cynics were right, there was no a sea of GREEN last night at the LSC meeting  washing away the past sins of corruption and entitlement,

However closer examination of the educational calender indicate a warming trend for our children's future. The presence of Melissa, toting a GREEN ribbon I might add, represented herself well during the open mike session before the start of the meeting. She displayed a command of the facts of our current state of education and the applicable laws. Also, she manned the camera for lynnhappens. Yea!

We need an objective record of the events. I would have volunteered to do it but I understand some of you out there think I am biased. Whatever gave you that idea? Besides if I acted like one of those true journalist people, I couldn't put my spin on the facts.

Lots of facts came out and I will be spinning in the coming days. Even though there is snow and mud on the ground if you've noticed there are buds in the trees. We will be GREENING up real soon.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

GREEN Revolution

T minus two hours and counting. Hopefully GANG GREEN will emerge as a political force at the LSC. We must be respectful but demanding that our children get the QUALITY EDUCATION they deserve. Maybe I will be the only one with green cause I know it's easier to write than do. But then again, I WILL reach 11,000 Hits TOMORROW. Somebodies are a knocking and we wanna come in.

Green Is The Word

I have to go get my hair cut today. I hear we are going to be on TV. We'll see if lynnhaappens, happens. Seth has offered his camera and Melissa has said she is taking him up on the offer. Cool. Okay everybody, get your GREEN  on.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

All Dressed For Battle!

Thanks to my wife, I will have a lot of green ribbon, along with pins, to bring to the meeting tomorrow for all the "Watch" people. I'll be easy to find, not only do I sport gray hair and have a cane which alone could give me a classy almost distinguished look but my wife got me a lime green T shirt to wear. Don't have to worry about me appearing too dashing. Come to me and I pin you a member of the Watch Brigade. (Boy will I look like a fool if I'm the only one).

Come tomorrow night and let's FOLLOW THE MONEY!

Are You Ready To Rumbllllllle!

The last item on tomorrow's LSC agenda is a DRAFT posting of the posting of the newly created position of Deputy Superintendent. I may be mistaken but it probably won't be a volunteer one like my library one. They might actually "pay" this person.

I'll be anxious to find out how they are going to bankroll this payroll. Please show up and find out with me. GO GREEN!

Go Green But Don't Stay At Home!

I just got a comment from Melissa asking that all the "Watch" people wear a colored ribbon for tomorrow night's LSC meeting. What a great idea! I choose the color "green" because the "Watch" wants to "follow the money".

My wife brought it to my attention that also St. Patrick's Day coming up. That works out good because there must be some leprechauns working for LPS since they must have found a "pot of gold" to pay for all  those new administrative positions!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Attention! Attention!

Looking over the agenda for Thursday night's meeting posted on-line, I just want to thank whomever (or whoever, all right grammar people, take your best shot Remember I'm a poet so all of my mistakes fall under the creative license umbrella) makes up these things.

It may be an agenda for your meeting but it is an itinerary for my closer examination. I already see a number of troubling items to inspect. Just waiting to put your words into my action. Hopefully we will have a crowd on hand to witness what I plan to write about. The meeting is Thurs. March 3 at 7 pm. Hope to see you there.

In case anybody doesn't know, elections are coming up and people are already jockeying for position. Wendy Williams say it best, "How you doin?".

Hidden (in the) Agenda

I was plowing through last month's agenda, looking for something to write about then I came upon it. My eyeballs almost popped out of my head and there was a sickness in the pit of my stomach. In the middle of a school year where we have had to deal with overcrowded classrooms, the loss of most librarians, some of our schools falling apart, and our teacher for the past three years being asked to give up a day to help make the budget look better, I find the appoint of five new positions. These are a done deal, o approval necessary. And I thought the Deputy Superintendent vote was the only travesty.

These five new appointments deserve a closed inspection. Of the five only one was a teacher, An Adult Basic Literacy teacher. The other four were a Vice Principal at English, a Program Specialist for Language, a Confidential Secretary, and an Assistant Director Of Curriculum and Instruction for Reading/ELA. So much for Dr. Latham's cry about  the need for a new Deputy because she is overwhelmed because the department is down ten positions.

Only one position is a teacher who has direct contact with the students. The others, you have to make an appointment to go see. Those four probably come with a hefty salary. Oh yeah, the teacher is the only one of all five that's from Lynn. I guess with the other's salaries, they can afford to commute.

A Story With Some Bite!

Finally, a story you can sink your teeth into. Lynn Public Schools, Mass Health, and Forsyth Dental coordinated the paperwork to get needed services to where the problem is. A few days ago before all this silliness, I saw dentla professionals visiting the Ford School working on the kids. Forsyth Dental had really cool, colorful vans. I understand that Ford was not the only school that had this program. Kudos to whomever initiated it. Direct services, that's where our emphasis should be.