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Monday, October 31, 2011

THEY CAN RUN BUT WE WON'T LET THEM HIDE

CANDIDATES FOR LYNN SCHOOL COMMITTEE: IN THEIR OWN WORDS


The ITEM has a great piece on page A6. With all the coverage from the paper, Cleo's blog and of course mine, along with three debates where all the candidates showed up, voters should be able to make informed choices. Mine you, there is a difference between "informed" and "right". I hope you don't get the idea that I'm biased.
Police step up school patrols

With the 3 new SRO's and the increased police presence LPS should feel a little more at ease. Now if people can avoid yelling "fire" in crowded rooms. Still these alleges abduction attempts are scary even if it is HALLOWEEN.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

DOLORES DOES PARTY WELL

Any excuse for celebrating! Next there will be a "CASTING PARTY" for her first vote.
 
FINAL ELECTION BASH.....ELECT DOLORE...
Tuesday, November 8 at 7:30pm

TEACHER'S PAY

Pay Teachers What They Deserve!
Better Wages For TeachersIt's simple: In order to invest in our children's futures, we have to invest in their teachers! Teacher quality is the most important factor in a child's education, and America's educators are woefully underpaid.

Everyone has had an inspirational teacher they will never forget. Let's bolster great teachers with the incentive they need to succeed. StudentsFirst is an organization that aims to elevate the teaching profession by advocating for teachers to be recognized and rewarded.

The impact of excellent teachers cannot be underestimated, and should never go unrecognized. Sign today if you support StudentsFirst in their effort to reward excellence!
Take Action!

SCHOOLS EAT FROM THE DOLLAR MENU

I don't see what the problem is all we need to is serve something up using a recipe from one LPS's COOKED BOOKS. Don't you know we have a different menu for every school? Well maybe the dish we serve is the same, but we definitely have a bigger budget at some cafeterias.

How are we going to keep our MCAS scores anorexic if we waste time on eating? How does that go, "Feed A Kid, Starve A Mind" or "Starve A Kid, Feed A Mind"? I always get it backwards.


» Wanted: A little common sense on school snack issue

Friday, October 28, 2011

COME GET CAUGHT WITH THE NET EFFECT

A chance to Hang with Hong!


"Home Stretch" Reception for the...

AND THE SURVEY SAYS....

Cleo does what Cleo does.

 
uneducacion.blogspot.com

THE REALLY SPECIAL ED OR IT DOESN'T ADD UP

Special ed gets higher grade after DOE reconsiders

Well I guess congratulations are in order. But I tell you right now it's more fun when I point out bad stuff and my numbers are higher. However if I am ever to be taken seriously (and I'm not sure why I would want to be) I've got to give praise when it's due. It looks like it is due. This recalculation from a Level 4 designation to a Level 2 one is a big deal. Again, good he is smart even if she is a math person.

BUT.......

I do wonder about the dramatic difference in the recalculated scores. This had to come from more than just carrying a digit. New math or old school politics?

Again I want to bring up the fact that we never get to see these COMMUNICATIONS. Put them on line. A letter like this one, you ought to be proud of anyway.

I know you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, I just want to be sure that we are staring at the right end of the horse.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

KEVIN'S DINER

Chef McHugh serves up some tasty treats that seem to be figure friendly to certain schools. While some schools are fattened up with higher per student expenditures, others are wasting away with a cash-poor diet. All recipes come from the the LPS COOKed BOOKS.

Trying to separate the chaff from the grain, MAYOR KENNEDY got indigestion and sent her plate back to the FINANCE SUBCOMMITTEE to make it more palatable.

DELORES IS DOING IT AGAIN


THANK GOODNESS FOR LYNNCAM

Sadly the members of the LSC will not get to see my smiling face tonight at either the subcommittee meetings tonight or the regular meeting. Personal stuff. No I'm not out celebrating my new job. Though....Rick did get that party room at the Museum auction.....Stop it I digress.

Anyway I'll get to watch it on TV  and drink fresh coffee, plus my seat om the front row will be available.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

rsvpada.blogspot.com

Although I'm still gonna like poetry and I'm darn sure going to stay disabled, I'm going to be a little less poor. Now what possibly does this music event have to do with anything other than being a great place to celebrate? Well let me tell you cause my new job is with the sponsoring agency, the Independent Living Center for the North Shore and Cape Ann.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Phelan Slaps Me In The Phace - Metaphorically, Of Course

After the HICO debate last night council president, Tim Phelan approached me at his own risk. He had to know I was packing a loaded pen. After an exchange where he bestowed upon me heaps of praise a grand measure of respect for my willingness to put myself out there. He said nothing really bothered him that I write even though I have been poking phun pretty heavily about his stand on Phacebook,


BUT....

He was none to happy about the raising of questions about his wife's credentials. I got to tell you I was pretty intimidated when he started telling me about how intelligent his wife was and she worked her way through graduate school. He even insinuated (I felt) that she was such a good writer she could take a red pencil to my blog. Whoa Mr. Phelan, I don't want no trouble with no GRAMMAR POLICE. Anyway I told him I would take his WORD about his wife's credentials. After all he has a LAW LICENSE and all I got is a POETIC LICENSE.

Monday, October 24, 2011

BUZZY BE GONE FROM THE HICO DEBATE

Where o where can the top vote-getter be? I looked everywhere but I could not see maybe that's because people could hear.We are a multi-cultural community and this is a multi-cultural race (electionally speaking). However no one can photoshop positions on issues or recognition of what an issue is.

Swelling campaign coffers don't always translate to campaign wins if you can't speak the language, any language other than x's and o's. That one helps if you are playing tic tac toe.

CLEO CONFIRMS NET'S NOD

uneducacion.blogspot.com

Is it any wonder I have been working diligently for Hong's candidacy? I've been photographed holding signs for Hong. I just wished they would have gotten my good side. STRIKE A POSE!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

THIS IS NOT YOUR MAMA'S CPR

Soon AED will be placed throughout LPS  offering much better first-aid in the event that someone suffers from cardiac arrest. A properly measure electrical charge will be automatically be delivered to the victim. A computer in the device insures that only the needed charge is given.

When the program is fully implemented 17 units will be installed throughout LPS. I believe LPS will be working closely with the police and fire departments to be sure the proper people get the proper training on these lifesaving devices.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

THE PLACE IS THE POINT OF THE DEBATE

Lynn Councilor Candidate Debate
Monday at 7:00pm
 
I got to shout out about this debate for a couple of reasons. First, it's sponsored by the HIGHLANDS COALITION and well I'm on the board of directors. More importantly because, as I will remind you, 50% of the city's budget is their contribution to LPS, so the city councilors are big players in education whether they want to admit it or not.
 
PLUS, it is being held at FORD SCHOOL, right across the street.

CLEO CARES ENOUGH TO ASK IF YOU CARE


Here is an opportunity to express your opinion on your level of interest in the current crop of candidates and where they're taking LPS's education. Maybe they (LPS) will be smart enough to listen to the people that ELECT them. Good stuff, Cleo!

uneducacion.blogspot.com

Delores May Be Dee-lightful But Donna Is My Darling

Some people might say that I may not be completely objective like a good journalist ought to be. Well I take a measured amount of offense to that fairly well substantiated claim, I honed my unbiased journalistic skills watching hours and hours of FOX NEWS on the overnights at the DMR group home I used to work.

Now mind you I am impressed with the breadth of both Delores's education and experience, Donna has long had my educational heart. I have discussed her educational philosophies for around fifteen years. I have watched closely here development on the LSC since her first election. During that time I have witnessed her willingness to fight with or against the prevailing opinion, always keeping the best interest of our kids at the forefront.

Unfortunately her fundraiser which is Monday October 24 at the Hibernian Hall, from 6-9 causes a serious time conflict for me since the HIGHLANDS COALITION'S COUNCILOR-AT-LARGE DEBATE featuring my man, CEF ROSA, CANDIDATE FOR WARD 4 COUNCILMAN, also rocking the mike, I have a dilemma. My plans are to hit both but my driving limitations (do I actually have limitations on my driving if I don't actually drive?) may make that problematic.

Anyway, I have no problems categorically stating DONNA is my NUMBER 1 candidate.

Friday, October 21, 2011

SHARPEN YOUR CRAYONS!

Fashion guru VIN SPIRITO brought to the LSC a proposal to let the  ORDER SONS of ITALY conduct a coloring coloring/drawing contest about CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS. Grades 1-3 get to color while Grades 4 & 5 have to make a line drawing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

THEY OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES

lynnhappens.com

Here is the debate where I never got the chance to give out my WATCH awards complete with flowers got by my BFF to give the winners. After the omission, I was told I could give them out at the Counselor-At-Large debate. Well maybe, but they won't have the IMPACT.

Anyway, thanks to Seth for having video.

CLEO CONCENTRATES ON WHAT'S GOING GOOD

uneducacion.blogspot.com
 
Don't let it be said I'm just a bitter old, crippled man who wants to dwell on how bad LPS is. Of course you could say I just sucking the positive energy out of a younger, able bodied, and better looking competitor.

WHERE'S THE BEEF?

This past summer I ran a series called DOLLAR DAZE where I tried to analyze this year's budget line by line. I was full of myself because I thought I was pretty thorough. Take that you number crunchers.

Yesterday I got my come-uppance. One of my FAITHFUL readers asked me just how much is KIPP costing LPS ? She wondered because she couldn't find a line item in in the LPS budget for that listed on the Internet. Wow, why hadn't I brought that up? See I told you I'm not too smart. I mean I think there are other charter schools or applications for such out there. The LSC meetings may be Open but the details are pretty sketchy.

I would hazard a guess that the money is skimmed off the top (skimmed is an appropriate word) before the budget is formulated. As my lawyer friends tell me, a "guess" is not the same as a statement of fact. However when you're not told all the facts, all you can do is guess.

NUMBERS GAME, YOU LOSE!

"The package you have in front of you is the best we could do." That was the answer the members of the teacher's union got for about every question. And I understand there were questions, lots of questions. To close to call with a voice vote, members demanded a secret ballot.

At the end of the meeting the teacher's passed a new contract. This three year contract will provide the raise in STAGGERED amounts of 0% the first year, 2.5% in the second, and 2.5% in the third year. I understand Social Security recipients are getting a 3% raise and don't forget Business Manager Kevin McHugh got a 7% raise recently all at once, at least I never heard of any schedule.

IT DOESN'T SEEM FAIR, DOES IT?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

FAMILY FIRST

WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN. That's a message RICK STARBARD put forth in Monday night's LSC Debate. It seems we are spending around 10 % of LPS's budget on 1% of of our student population. These are for outside placement for services we don't provide. Let me help you put that number into perspective, that is $10,000,000.

If the placements are going outside, usually the DOE is involved and we have no choice. Services that the child is entitled to are not available here. Why? Lynn is what the 5th LARGEST school district and we have to contract with some smaller district for services and programs we should be providing? MARBLEHEAD has enough money and besides people LEARN better at home.

Now I have heard rumblings about some politicians also abusing these outside placements. I don't know about that. All I'm saying is if we had the necessarily mandated programs in place, there could be no potential for abuse. MAKE IT SO.

WHAT DID YOU SAY?

Numbers. They can be big. They can be scary. Often times people can be hurt by them because other people like to throw them around. Like 47, the number of Language spoken by the LPS students or 76, the actual number of different dialects. We can argue about what number is actually more accurate but whatever one we come up with we can guarantee it will be overwhelming.

Overwhelming, because there is no practical way that LPS can place multi-lingual in every class and to satisfy my more conservative readers, THIS IS AMERICA, ENGLISH SPOKEN HERE.

BUT....

This is also America, melting pot. "Give us your tired, your hungry..."or whatever the exact quote is inscribed at the base of Lady Liberty. We have a reputation for openness and respect for human dignity that many a brave soldier has fought and died for.

That is why what MARIA CARRASCO said with her broken English at Monday night's LSC debate came through loud and clear. She didn't stumble through this eternal truth. BODY LANGUAGE IS A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE AND EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS IT.

I am lucky to have spent last year filling in as a VOLUNTEER LIBRARIAN at the FORD SCHOOL where I got to learn that language being taught every day by all the teachers. I witnessed many different students, new arrivals from some distant spot on the globe, made welcome and to feel invited to learn Invited to one day make this great country even greater.

How? MARIA identified the universal translator.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MAKEOVER DO-OVER

At the debate last night the wiring was secured to the gym floor with pink masking tape in tribute to BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. Nice gesture, I heard someone in the audience say that being the fashion GOD that he is GQ should have worn pink socks. That would have been very symbolic and proven his comfort in his own skin.

What VIN SPIRITO chose to call attention to is the fact that we are the best of the worst when you lump all the similar size school districts. To me that doesn't evoke feelings of pride. Heck that makes me want to take a shower.                



NEIGHBORLY

According to Patti Capano in last nights debate, all of our schools are community schools, each community is just different. REALLY, the way I take that statement is that say the black community is different than the white community is different than the Hispanic community,

Obviously she doesn't have a clue what a community school is. It's not based on ethnic origin, it's about partnering with the members of the residents for the best interests of everyone, no matter what superhero is on their lunchbox.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A TIMELY LUNCH TIME

Our Superintendent is a WOMAN OF ACTION. I here she went right down to the HOOD SCHOOL to witness the effectiveness of these extended fifteen lunch periods. Perhaps she should have canvassed COMMERCIAL STREET to see how many of them take such short eating times. Instead of going down to HOOD, she just could have SIZED UP some of the administrators, for their opinions that is.

A SLIGHT PROBLEM WITH TONIGHT'S DEBATE

Before I Blog about tonight's HIGHLAND COALITION LSC debate let me say I feel I was SLIGHTED. Mind you I had said a few weeks ago my intention to give out WATCH AWARDS at tonight's debate so in keeping with my busy, hectic, dare I say crazy life, I texted my BFF this morning to come up with three certificates, one for CLEO HEREFORD, LISA CONALLY, and MARY ELLEN PALERMO. My BFF wanted to one up the first debate by handing out flowers with the certificates.

I WOULD HAVE LOOKED SO GOOD.

BUT.....

Here I was standing at the end of the debate holding three bouquets of flowers while the crowd rushed to the door after they were told good night. Talk about insulting, I was one of the people who worked on the HIGHLAND COALITION'S Articles of Incorporation. The WATCH is largely responsible for a good deal of interest that's out there about local education policy. Maybe I should just take my toys and go home!

WILL PHELAN FRIEND BUZZY?

I guess I might leave PHELAN'S FACEBOOK FOULUP to devote more of my creative energy to the BUZZY BEAT DOWN. It's nothing personal, it's just POETRY.

TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT (I LOVE ROD STEWART)


Don't forget to join the Highlands Coalition at the Ford School (49 Hollingsworth St.) for the Lynn School Committee Candidates' Debate

BOUNCING BUZZY BACK

Well I never knew just how much COURT experience MR. BARTON has and it is not limited to the BASKETBALL court. Seems like he has played a game or two or THREE with the CITY and lost. Since this is not baseball where three strikes and you're out, he decided to run of office. Now he must be trying to work on his INSIDE game.

I am concerned about LPS where he has a record of not following rules. Since half of the city's budget is the LPS, I don't want any SUSPENSIONS of funding. Also, he seems to have TROUBLE on the BOARDS (RETIREMENT that is). We'll see how he REBOUNDS from that.

STARBARD STARTS SOMETHING

Mayor seeking UN aid for immigrants


Way back at the first school committee debate, Rick Starbard called for this, glad to see the MAYOR is finally acting on it. RICK was saying, WE NEED HELP!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

THE LATEST BUZZ - BEFORE MEETS AFTER

Friday night I was at RICK STARBARD'S fundraiser and I saw BUZZY BARTON there. I was wearing my best WATCH T-shirt so I thought I would introduce myself. I mean, I actually voted for him in the Primaries. Don't yell at me yet. I'll let you in on my thinking.

He is a retired FIREMAN, I guess on disability. Well I'm disabled and I thought maybe we could have some male bonding, you know maybe watch some games. I would say shoot some hoops but my outside shot isn't that good.

The deer-in-the-headlights gaze when I shook his hand was not enough of political faux pah, he made some lame attempt to establish some common ground by stating how we don't seem to get around as well since we're older. TECHNICAL FOUL.

I'm not sure whether he was patronizing my gray hair or my handy,dandy cane but something wasn't kosher in his kommets. DOUBLE DRIBBLE.

I would think I will not be having any BACKCOURT VIOLATION come the GENERAL election. Maybe by then, he will find out who I am.

BATTLE PLAN - OCCUPY LVTI

At Lynn Tech we have a state of the art teaching facility.  Shrinking enrollment has resulted in the underuse of this top notch educational facility. In these tough economic times the time has come for us to unite as a community and demand that facilities that we already have paid for be open and available to us to insure maximum utilization. Let's put our already spent tax dollars at work.

Don't buy into the propaganda that only property owners pay the taxes that pay for the building and maintaing of this structure. All rental income, even Section 8, provides the source of the landlord's income to pay their share of the tax burden. No one pays taxes out of a spirit of altruism.

The time is now to take back what is already ours. Come, listen, share ideas with others as we develop a plan that shows that we as a community understand that education is a life-long process and we are going to demand we receive what we are entitled to, not an entitlement.


Community Hearing

November 2, 2011 5:30pm
Housing Authority Community Room
10 Church Street in Lynn

Saturday, October 15, 2011

WHIGGED OUT OVER THE WATCH

It was not the place for it. We are all supposed to be in it for the kids. During a finale of what had been many meetings of and student's IEP plan the SPED department DIRECTOR apparently went ballistic over a kallous komment by a konsumer of Kool-aid. I had repeatedly warned her her proclivity to kontinue to go-over the legal limit and it's effects on her lucidity.

Is it surprising that I had trouble getting kontroling a woman? I mean, doesn't the four marriages tell you something? Be that as it may, that gave the DIRECTOR the right to go off on an advocate during a meeting ABOUT A STUDENT about any possible comment this person may or may not have made about a blog posting in the WATCH? Now no one at LPS ACTUALLY reads the WATCH but they all seem to have a friend that does.

This IEP was apparently interrupted by threats of libel and lawsuits. This calls into question the leadership ability of our leaders to lead. Step up princess, "sticks and stones" you know.

I just want to welcome that kommenter to the klub. I've heard of many applecarts that I have upset and attempts at finding a legal remedy to to return them to right-side up. I'm still riting.

HELP FOR HOOD HERE



One option available to to our most honorable mayor is to employ the services of the two mercenaries from the Food Corp who humbly approached the LSC at Thursday nights LSC meeting and offered whatever assistance they could provide to LPS.

These nimble warriors, Andy and Norris, were trained in the jungles of the FORD SCHOOL garden by that rebel faction, the HIGHLANDS COALITION, before being taken under the wing of JAY HARRISON of THE FOOD PROJECT.

Filled with arsenal of knowledge about nutrition and organic gardening, these brave warriors are ready to engage in mortal combat with the evil forces trying to deprive our young prisoners of education of their right to grow up healthy.

OCCUPY LVTI

Our Community, Our Space.

Lynn Tech prepares our students for success during the day.

What if Lynn residents could make use of all Lynn Tech has to offer?



How would YOU like to use the space?

Share your thoughts during the open mic session.

Hear from School Committee candidates:

Will they support the Lynn Tech community space?

Featuring: music & dance by Lynn youth.

Please RSVP to Carly McClain at 781-595-2438 or newlynnorg@gmail.com

Community Hearing

on opening up the doors of Lynn Tech

November 2, 2011 5:30pm

Housing Authority Community Room

10 Church Street in Lynn

Friday, October 14, 2011

"HOW POLITICS PLAY DOWN ON COMMERCIAL STREET" or "THE NEW SPANISH INQUISITION"

Have I said before I got sources? Have you been following my hit counter? I got sources everywhere.

Seems like some people play politics in the school department but try to play old school. Kind of ironic that they would play that way in the newest school in Lynn, CLASSICAL. As a poet I could appreciate the juxtaposition of terms if it wasn't so insulting. Some of you are complaining, "Who are you to complain about insulting?". True, but even I have a few lines I won't cross and at least I make you laugh sometimes.

I wish I could say what happened at CLASSICAL on October 12 was a "comedy of errors" but I'm not laughing and I seriously wonder if this degrading slight was intentional, payback for opposing DR. LATHAM on many issues, not the least of which was demanding that if and when we hire another  deputy superintendent that they have the credentials needed and not just a friendly face (Cue theme song - Pretty Maids All In A Row".

At the second annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, a fireman and a policeman got to address the assembly. These are important jobs and we all should be proud of and grateful for their service and dedication regardless of their nationality or background.Bravery doesn't come in colors.

Sitting in the front row with the other Latino dignitaries was LSC member, MARIA CARRASCO. MARIA was the FIRST and ONLY Hispanic elected official in Lynn. But the only thing heard from her was SILENCE.

What an opportunity lost, lost due to accidental oversight? C'mon, she is a SCHOOL COMMITTEE person and this program was held in a school. The BAND is not the only ones given marching orders.
MARIA provides the perfect example of what it takes for a minority to rise to a position of leadership and inspiration. She was called on last year to address this year but not this year, even after Lynn officially became a majority of minorities.

This was not the first time MARIA'S been insulted or slighted, depriving her of the dignity deserved of her position. I was at a LSC meeting where PATTI CAPANO made what most would call an ethnic or racist remark about MARIA'S accent. I blogged about it way back then and it was one of the most clicked on entries I ever had.

Where do we go from here? Well first we have to recognize where we are at. Until we recognize our faults, we can never change them. Well one of our faults is to have a superintendent in place that would promulgate such an environment where such an affront to the dignity of a whole group of people could occur. Because the slight wasn't just to MARIA CARRASCO, LSC member, but it was a slap in the face to every person of any color struggling to achieve the dignity they deserve.

RICK'S CHARITY FUNDRAISER IN A FUNDRAISER

Auctionng off Patriot's game tickets for Lysoa bought by Ed Ford for $500. Package included two tickets, transportation and a TAILGATING party hosted by Rick and Lysoa wirker Antonio Guittrezz.
Rick's fundraiser/party 10/14/11

LAST CHANCE TO PICK THE BRAINS OF YOUR PICKS

LYNN SCHOOL COMMITTEE CANDIDATES DEBATE

ITEM UP ON WHAT'S GOING DOWN

Police searching for suspect who tried to kidnap girl in front of Classical High School
[more]

Funny in a sad sort of way this incident happens on the morning after DR. LATHAM announces that SRO's will be going back in the middle schools VERY SOON due to some police grant. I want to point out that the victim is listed as 14 years old. My daughter is 13 and in the seventh grade so I would hazard a guess that since BREED SCHOOL is right there that that is the reference point that should have been used.

Both of these developments casts perhaps a different light on the recent knife incident and what should be the ramifications of the student's clearly unacceptable actions. Mitigating circumstances? Oh I forgot at the last LSC debate Vin Spirito told us our schools are fine.

PHELAN'S FACEBOOK FLAP FINISHED IN A FIZZLE?

Lynn board passes social network rules

With a little tweak inserted by Coppola, this frenzy iniated by COUNCIL PRESIDENT TIM PHELAN (who I believe is running for re-election) over the potential for "inappropriate cyber-relationships" came to a quiet  end last night with the passage of a policy that changes almost nothing. Actually though one unintentional good thing did come out of this trumped up fury. That was the realization that part of the teacher's professional development day ought to be devoted developing creative ways of using social media. WELCOME TO  THE 21ST CENTURY.LPS!

WOULD THE ITEM PROMOTE ME? OH WELL, IT'S FOR A GREAT CAUSE

USED BOOK, VIDEO/DVD,

BAKE SALE
Saturday, October 22, 2011

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Daily Item Parking Lot

38 Exchange Street, Lynn
Proceeds will benefi t the

Newspaper in Education Program

Event sponsored by

The Greater Lynn Community Education Collaborative

BEING RIGHT AT ANY COST

Wrong. Yeah I guess you could say I've been wrong a time or two or three. I am on my fourth wife. I have a track record, experience. I am a veteran of being wrong. I'm right quite a bit too, more often than I'm wrong. Mistakes are learning experiences. Now some crazy people think I'm pretty smart even though I can't spell, I mean type. Well if I am knowledgeable about things it's because I've had  lots of learning experiences.

Being overconfident that you are always right can often be a disguise for arrogance. Smart people know what they don't know. I guess that means I must be smart about marriages. Now wait a minute, what did I just say.

Anyway, it seems to this poet's little mind that it seems like a HUGH waste of money to place someone in an out of district placement when that student seems to be thriving in his own community, all because some people cling to petty jealousies and political agendas.

In lieu of honoring a signed IEP giving a child a one to one aide, the child is being shipped off to some distant private school with students who may or may not be on his academic level. Sometimes what kids learn from their peers are not always good things. That's why it's good to be close to home, It's not just logistics , remember LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT. Being with strangers place  social restrictions on a child.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

HOOD HEADED HURRIEDLY TOWARD RECESS RESOLUTION

Speaking at Open-mike parent, Ms. Kristin Powers presented her petition of 40 school yard parents signatures demanding something be done post haste about the elimination of snack time and the rush job of railroading kids through a shortened lunch period.

After Ms. Powers spoke Mayor Kennedy expressed her ignorance about this problem before the ITEM'S article and promised to put it on some yet to be named subcommittee agenda and they will look into it. This should not be happening. Score one for the parents.

BUT WAIT A MINUTE.....

The story does not end there. Since last year there was an exodus of 22 different employees from the HOOD SCHOOL and supposedly most of them due to the allegedly bullying style of the principal, GAYLE DUFOUR. I can't say she is a BULLY, I've never met the woman. She hasn't invited me down for coffee. But then again I walk pretty slow and nobody can run me through my paces.

Also, I hear she is a good friend of DR. LATHAM'S and you know what they say about birds of a feather. Are ducks considered birds if they are lame?

Breaking News****Student Resource Officers to Be Back

Dr. Latham announced tonight she just talked to Chief Coppinger and learned that Student Resource Officers to be back at middle schools as early as next month through a grant to LYNN POLICE

MARSHALL MAKES US PROUD



I KNOW, I KNOW. I have pointed out a number of times MARSHALL has been tagged a failing school. Still I question the quality of the curriculum. I have a daughter that goes there.

Still MARSHALL got a banner of distinction from the non-profit foundation, COLLEGE FOR EVERY STUDENT. there are 131 schools across the nation in this program and MARSHALL was one of only nine of them that got banners of distinction. (See picture above) Good job DR. COWDELL and staff.

BUT....

The really good story coming out of MARSHALL was one my daughter gave me. There was a dodge ball tournament that pitted one home room against the other. What a GREAT way to increase school spirit and promote exercise all on the cheap. My daughter even made a T-shirt they wore for a uniform. How cool. Simple activities like this promote a healthy sense of community. Shame you didn't get a medal for that Dr. Cowdell.

IS THE UNION PUTTING OUT THE CONTRACT ON ITS MEMBERS?

"CONFIDENTIALITY of CONTRACT DETAILS

The teacher's negotiating team has worked diligently over the last twelve months and as a result of their efforts a tentative agreement was reached. At the onset of negotiations, all parties agreed to keep the details confidential. Members may disagree with this strategy. The intent is not to deceive but to keep the details of what's being worked out from ending up in the newspaper, being taken out of context or otherwise misinterpreted."
                                                      taken from a LYNN TEACHER"S UNION flyer


Have I ever said, "I'm no lawyer"? Well I'm not, but I do think this IS a perfectly legal position. Worry about the whole matter being misconstrued seems legitimate.

BUT.....

The opposite is also true. If you don't give people facts they will make stuff up  and call it  GOSPEL.  On top of that, does the Teacher's Union have something to hide?

ANYWAY show up and vote. Being poor is not fun cause poetry doesn't pay that well.

OCTOBER 19, 2011

LYNN ENGLISH HIGH SCHOOL
Doors at 3 pm
Meeting will begin at 330 pm

DOES MY COMPUTER HAVE AN LPS VIRUS?

I don't know, I;m not good with this technical stuff either. For some reason I can't seem to get the full agenda for tonight's meeting from the website, http://www.lynnschools.org/School%20Committee%20Agenda.htm. Must be me, I'm sure there's NO BIG SECRET.

THE STORY IS THE UNDERSTORY

RE- ELECT RICK STARBARD


Push to the Final Election Fundraiser
Friday, October 14th - 7:00-11:00pm

Franco-American Hall , 535 Western Ave., Lynn

Entertainment by:
“REUNION”


“Join us for a great Friday evening as we close in on the final election. Have a great time with

friends and meet and mingle with other elected officials and candidates for office.”

Patriots Ticket Auction with all proceeds going to LYSOA. Lynn Youth Street Outreach Advocacy.

Great food by: Old Tyme Italian Cuisine


www.StarbardForLynnSchools.org

Your support is needed and greatly appreciated

Suggested Donation: $25.00 • Committee to Elect Rick Starbard

The real story here's the PATRIOT tickets! These will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to LYSOA, Inc. So Lynn's youth gets the benefit why the winner gets the beef (from the grill) and someone else to fight the traffic! Hopefully the winners will also get to see the PATRIOTS defense storm the CASSELL.


























Wednesday, October 12, 2011

COMMUNITY SCHOOL GROWS GREAT

thehighlandswatch.blogspot.com

HARD TIMES FOR HOOD

Snacks leaving, lunch on the run. Someone needs to tell the Principal Gayle Dufour that fast food is made fast not necessarily eaten fast.

Whats on the menu or how fast the is eaten is not the only thing giving indigestion at that school and apparently the kids and the parents aren't the only ones getting with stomach problems. I hear there was a semi-mass exodus of teachers fleeing from that school directly related to the dictatorial style of management.

I also got to witness a lot of the "so-called problem behavior children" were exported to FORD SCHOOL where most of them ended up going into regular classes for the first time in years. And as we all know the quality of education a student gets in a regular class is a world away from a BEHAVIOR class.

How can we expect the students to control themselves if the one in charge is out of control?

VOTING IN THE DARK

I hear that there is already a new teacher's union contract, signed sealed and almost delivered. Well not officially. All this is set to happen on October 19, 2011. That's when the teacher's are set to vote on their new contract. The vote ratification will occur on that date at LYNN ENGLISH HIGH SCHOOL at 3 pm.

What I hear the teachers will have 30 minutes to review the contract and then "vote". I hear this is the way it has it has always been done. Back in WV we call this BUYING A PIG IN A POKE.

I wonder if the teachers will get the SAME 7% raise that BUSINESS MANAGER KEVIN MCHUGH got. Then again I don't know any teachers making over $100,000. That's a shame.

I would like to recommend you vote FOR or AGAINST it. But it's a secret, even to the ones doing the voting.

PICTURES OF TEACHER'S UNION SPONSORED DEBATE FROM WENDY JOESPH

View IMG_4215....jpeg in slide show
View IMG_4214....jpeg in slide show
View IMG_4213....jpeg in slide show

IT'S A MATTER OF PRINCIPAL

My BFF had an interesting concept at the Teacher's Union sponsored LSC candidate debate last night. What if teachers got to give an evaluation of principals and schools.  Anonymously of course. Turn-about is fair play and some constructive answers could come out of it.

LEARNING FOR LESS

» Lindsay Keyes, left, and Jodi Schmidt of Extras for Creative Learning unpack supplies

Everyone talks about how bad the schools are but here is an example of how to make more with less, getting maximum education on the cheap. It's good to see Lynn lead the way. Thanks Boston.

CROWD(ING) CONTROL


One of the things that came out of last night's debate from several of the candidates is that there are many of classes in the middle schools in 30-35 range. This unmanageable. As a parent of two seventh-graders in two different schools, I can tell you this is a very difficult age to get them to focus. Physiologically and developmentally, too many things are happening that make staying on task difficult and with classes that size, teaching is often relegated to crowd control.

What are we supposed to do? We have several hundred year-old buildings and a growing population.. Since we are not going to wake-up some morning and find someone build us some new buildings, we need some alternatives. JOHN FORD said it was ridiculous to spend 100K fixing up 20+ year-old trailers. Good point, but then I wonder then why he voted to approve it in the past? Renting space is an alternative I have heard before JOHN FORD proposed it last night but he did put forth the idea as a possible solution.

RICK STARBARD put forth a novel solution to put a STEM heavy middle school in the Tech Annex building that currently houses the administration offices on Commercial Street that is if they ever make the long talked about move to Bennett St. Those Commercial St. office must have something that Bennett St, doesn't for as long as it's taking them to move. Could it be air conditioning? Someone ought to put a call into U-Haul.

















.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

USE YOUR VOICE

LYNN FINAL ELECTION

VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE

Wednesday, 10/12 by 8:00 p . m .

Lynn City Hall, Room 203

More information go to
w w w . c i . l ynn. m a. u

YOU WERE SAYING.....?

The LYNN TEACHER'S UNION is sponsoring a debate tonight at BREED  at 7:00 pm. Should be an interesting one seeing as how the negotiations for a new contract are on the table. The LSC members are the ones who do the negotiating so your vote really matters. SOW UP to watch if you can, if not I think it may be on LETV,





































;0

CLEO CONTINUES

FINALLY FACEBOOK FURY THAT'S NOT POLITICALLY PACKED


Mom blasts Lynn schools

How long has it been since Phelan started his Facebook fiasco that turned into a flop because of an impotent LSC? The only thing that was seriously discussed was the POTENTIAL for inappropriate cyber-relationships between students and teachers. Give me a break.

Like I said, "BULLYING" is the issue. Tomorrow everybody is supposed to wear orange because it's some national anti-bullying day, created on FACEBOOK. Is that poetic justice or just plain hypocritical?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

DID WE BARGAIN FOR THIS?

Was talking last night to one of my secret sources and he or she brought up a very interesting point. This person felt that the critical issue going forward was not whether or not the superintendent was retained but instead the negotiation of the upcoming renewal of the teacher's collective bargaining agreement.

Let me say straight up I am a UNION man and I have always tried to support the teachers in my writing. The thing is though I support the teachers in the classroom. It is a difficult yet vital job. I feel teachers should be among the highest paid professionals Actually I think they should be paid more than LAWYERS, my least favorite species.

BUT....

Talking with various teachers, I feel there is a real disconnect between them and their union. It's as if the union has gotten out of control and has taken on a life of its own. It has become like a corporation competing for the dwindling educational dollars to feed its personal appetite.

The current system of "bumping and bidding" is a recipe for turmoil. I hear is unlike anywhere else. We need stability in the workplace before we can have stability in the classroom. In this economy and given the influx of new students (800 SINCE THE START OF THE YEAR) examples of stability are getting rarer in the home life. Do I have the answer? C'mon I am just a poor disabled poet and if I was smart I wouldn't be at least two of those three things.

DO YOUR PART TO END BULLYING

Hopefully the fact that we had a student bring a knife to school on successive days ought to signal a bright ORANGE flag,  UNITY DAY Facebook Event to LPS schools. Do we have a permanent bullying coordinator or whatever his title was before DENNIS THOMPSON moved on to greener and whiter pastures at CLASSICAL. Who is going to RAM the bullying policy now?

Friday, October 7, 2011

GROWING SUPPORT?

BEHOLD! BULLIES ARE BACK, BIG TIME WHILE LPS WAS BUSY WITH PHELAN'S FUSS OVER FACEBOOK

There was so much time wasted in the Policy Subcommitte meeting last Thursday night that they had to table discussion and approval of a policy that probably would have prevented cyber contact between students and teachers.

Instead we used all the time insuring Dr. Latham's ability to micromanage any potential inspection of her work or ability. Kind of like the chickhens asking the fox permission to leave the hen house.

So we never got around to talking about Facebook. No matter, it wasn't a serious attempt to deal with anything that represented any REAL problems. I would guess if that policy would have been in place that sixth grader would have stiil brought that knife to school at least TWO times.

Facts are facts, somebody was being bullied big time. The kid with the knife was loudly announcing that he had a few inches of sharp steel power over any other person who got in his way. His behavior was flat out wrong and can't be tolerated. Then there is the other possibility. Maybe that same kid was being bullied so much he was desperate for self protection. That paints a different picture but either way it isn't pretty.

Last year's BULLYING COORDINATOR, DENNIS THOMPSON, has moved on to bigger and better things at CLASSICAL. Good for him. Just not so sure it's good for the students. You would think being Head of the CURRICULUM DEPARTMENT would keep SUE ROWE extremely busy. It must not be too taxing to do that job for a failing district because she was able to temporarily at least take on the BULLYING job. From the looks of this incident, it appears she manages this new task as well as she does her CURRICULUM job. In all fairness, she does spend a lot of time keeping her ducks in line. There is also a lot of laundry to do down at COMMERCIAL STREET and some of it is pretty dirty.

Now back to Facebook. Anyone want to friend me?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

BOTH ON THE FRONT PAGE OF TODAY'S ITEM, HYPOCRITICAL OR SYMPTOMATIC?

Breed student, 12, arrested for knife

AND

HAYLEY'S HOPE FOUNDATION

Friday, Oct. 7
th

Knights of Columbus, Lynnfi eld Street, Lynn

A Night of Hope & Awareness
                                   
Doors open at 6:00 pm.

• Silent Auction • Raffl es

• Door Prizes • Food • Music

Help us support the mission

of raising awareness

on the rising issue

of teen suicide

TALK ABOUT TIMING


With all of the fallout from the recent "knife" incident, there are sure to be many cutting remarks. Hopefully this opportunity will help you carve out an opinion.

LYNN TEACHERS UNION SPONSORED
CANDIDATES FOR LYNN SCHOOL COMMITTEE DEBATE

OCTOBER 11, 2011
7:00 P.M.
BREED MIDDLE SCHOOL

GARDEN TO GLOBE

SCOOPALISCOUS. I am on fire. I can't be stopped. Only a week after witnessing a CBS camera crew filming in the garden at the FORD SCHOOL, I got to witness a photographer from the BOSTON GLOBE firing off snapshots like a voter counter on election  day.

I happened to be traveling with fellow HIGHLANDS COALITION member and candidate for WARD 4 CITY COUNCILMAN, my man, CEF ROSA when we got to witness this positive development for LPS. Given all the bad press that's sure to follow the knife at BREED, it was refreshing to see garden utensils the focal point of the discussion.

WE GOT HERE HERE FROM WHERE?

This a SAD story. Sad, not only because we know how it's gonna end but we know how it began. No we don't know the particulars of this story from the story. We can't, there are privacy laws. Maybe there were mitigating services - bullying, Romeo and Juliet saga perhaps, or maybe the kid was just a punk. At the end of the day it's not going to matter much, the law's the law and there will be consequences.
 
Once bad behavior surfaces, it's already too late. Our options of dealing with it are limited and more often than not the very punishments we use to stop it often end up increasing the probability the behavior will reoccur. In a perverted sense the punishment morphs into the reinforcer.
 
What needs to happen is to have less people in their ivory cubicles on Commercial Street (soon to be Bennett Street, just don't hold your breath) making mad money while we have overcrowded classrooms, uncertified relatives, closed libraries, and otherwise failing schools.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

THERE IS MONEY OUT THERE


     

ITEM ON TOP OF TERROR TROUBLE

Where does it stop? The better question is to ask where it began. Too mank cutbacks in the wrong places while 20-some admininistrators make over 100K at LPS. All the while we have 90% of our students getting free or reduced lunch!

Police: 12-year-old arrested for threatening another student with a knife
http://affiliates.eblastengine.com/go.aspx?b=272641&l=3360773&c=10535141

DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

The Disability Watch: THE "I" IN IEP STANDS FOR INDIVIDUAL: What Works: Effective Teaching Strategies for Students with Disabilities

SOMETIMES IT'S WRONG TO BE RIGHT



Official’s visit to Lynn school prompts overreaction
That is the headline in today's ITEM editorial. It is a properly measured  assessment. Normally the superintendent should be notified of a school committee person's visit to a school. It's just common courtesy. Let's all work together.



EXCEPT....

It involves a family member in which case, it is none of her business. If the school committee member tries to abuse his or her power then there are proper channels to report that abuse. Letters can be written. The Internet is a powerful tool (huh Dr. Latham?).

There is also one other exception and that is when said committee member is going on a fact finding mission whereby the superintendent's prior knowledge might skew an accurate gathering of the facts. Is this scenario legal or against somebody's policy? Probably, but I've told you I AM NOT A LAWYER. I have found in my many trials and travails through the legal system, there is often a difference between what is RIGHT and what is LEGAL.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

WHERE DO WE BELONG AND WHO BELONGS?

Kids, LPS has them and LOTS of them. We are bursting at the seams. PARTIALLY due to an influx of reugees we have had around 800 new students since opening day (a figure offered by JOHN FORD in the last SC debate). I have heard of one class that has 31. So much for promises.

One panacea to relieve overcrowding is the proposed INNOVATION SCHOOL that is going into the WASHINGTON SCHOOL when the BEHAVIOR KIDS in there get moved to the newly re-opened FALLON SCHOOL.

Supposedly this INNOVATION SCHOOL will relieve crowding at COBBETT and CONNERY or will it? What will be the criteria for admission? Simply geographical or will students BE PICKED from all across the city to attend LPS's answer to CHARTER SCHOOLS? By selecting certain students, you both increase the chances the venture will be a success and open the door for potential political misuse. Either way, we deserve some answers.

GORDON COLLEGE GOES GREAT FOR FORD SCHOOL

Partnerships, that's what it's all about. By teaming up with institutions of HIGHER LEARNING our kids get to get high on learning. No one relates to the young like the young themselves. Gordon College is not the only college that partners with FORD, SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY and NORTH SHORE COMMUNITY COLLEGE have joint ventures as well. It's just I got a thing with G's.

These partnerships allow our schools to leverage our instruction and allow exposure to the latest innovations in learning in return we provide these colleges a mini-lab or practicum for them to craft a better, more-rounded graduate. A win-win situation.

By having more than one partnership, this fosters a friendly competition to see who can do the most for us. In an era of shrinking budgets, sounds good to me.

Oh yeah, maybe I mentioned GORDON COLLEGE first because I found out yesterday their new President, at 39, is the youngest president of a college east of the MISSISSIPPI.Youth Matters.

MISUSE OF USE

This story is slightly slanted due to a less than accurate representation of the facts. This NEW policy is a product of months of haggling. I think it's been on and off the table, been sent back to committee a couple of times.

The whole debate grew out of concerns that DONNA COPPOLA had that a LYNN group was being charged more to use the facility than a OUT-OF-TOWN group. A  elaborate list was devised to prioritize who would have first use of the building.

The article sensationalizes the exorbitant cost of insurance which would appear to freeze out most groups. But that is not truly the case. Most groups are already covered by somebody's existing plan. The main concern is for FOR-PROFIT groups looking for a cheap place to have an event.

The REAL concern is the question of whether or not this policy gives too much power to the discretion of the SECRETARY OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE too much power in enforcing the hierarchy. Currently this is TOM IARIBINO who usually delegates it to ASST> BUSINESS MANAGER TOM BORGUE.  Have any complaints, cares, or concerns? I'm sure they will be happy to help you.


www.itemlive.com

HELP THOSE WHO FIGHT FOR ALL TO BE ABLE TO GO TO SCHOOL

Lynn Supports the Troops - Holiday - CARE PACKAGE DRIVE

A DISCHORD?

I understand the reluctance to let the student participate. After all LPS doesn't get any money for the student since he opted out of the LPS system and now wants to "sample" from LPS the public school menu. The mother offered to get "private lessons", just let him play, you participate.
Hello. I don't know for sure but I figure there are parents of students in LPS that also take private lessons. I would also guess that playing in the "All City Orchestra" isn't about just showing up and having a jam session. It is one of the perks of the public school system.
Then we have the argument that the mother is a taxpayer and payes taxes to support LPS whether her son goes there or not, no opting out. She hasn't earned that privilege. On that issue she has to march to the same drummer as everybody else.
We just won an award for our community's support of music programs. I was at the meeting where Joe Picano, Fine Arts Director for LPS presented framed certificates to Dr. Latham, Dr. Warry, and Mayor Kennedy for their support of the arts in the community. I got just one question for them, "How's it hangin?".
 

Monday, October 3, 2011

HOW TO CATCH A BULLET WITH A NET

Math scares me as you know. I think it comes as a result of a digital exam as a young boy and I'm not talking about a computer assessment.

Even though I might always have a fear of individual numbers, I do understand concepts. You have up to four votes for COUNCILOR-AT-LARGE but if you only vote for one person, it is like your ballot is on steroids and the gap between your candidate of choice (in this case HONG) is statistically expanded.

Maybe you think this data dilemma goes against the grain and is not the AMERICAN WAY. Come on, this is LYNN.

MAKE A WISE CHOICE BEFORE YOU VOICE

thehighlandswatch.blogspot.com

CLEO JUST KEEPS GOING

Another in Cleo's Classic Interrogatories:
 

EDUCATION IS HIGH ON HONG'S LIST


thehighlandswatch.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 2, 2011

DOWN WITH THE DOG

Don't forget today is the day for Pickering's Funraiser at the LAZY DOG

DETAILS:Pickering Middle School Fundraiser
Sunday, October 2 at 2:00pm

BONE APETIT!

CLEO COMES THROUGH AGAIN

www.doe.mass.edu
MALDEN - The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education today informed school districts that nearly 3,300 students who took the spring 2011 grade 10 MCAS Math test and passed, have earned higher performance levels than they initially received.

  •  

WE HAVE ALL THE MONEY WE NEED, REALLY

Hopefully someone will dig up the story and post it here. It just sounds to crazy to me to be true. I was told of a story back in August sometime possibly in the story about building a new Marshall that LPS gave $100,000 back to the city from the city's contribution to the LPS budget.

Let me get this straight. We have class sizes busting at the seams, most of our elementary libraries are unstaffed, around 800 new students since last year, and we are saying thanks but no thanks to any new money? If this is true, the only logical reason has to be to score political points.

PECULIAR PAY?

I heard some strange math was not only being practiced calculating the MCAS but also in adding up the money given to substitutes filling in for absentee  principals. Seems like last year and years prior, they would get a pay for that day based on some pro-rated scale of the equivalent of the Principal's pay. Now I hear that things have changed. After the front office is done pencil whipping the calculations, the additional pay can be as little as ten dollars for the whole day's responsibility.

I'M SURE THE NEW PAY SCALE IS GREAT FOR MORALE!

TEACHING BY EXAMPLE

Harry was a former LVTI teacher and LSC candidate. The donation will help insure that his example of selflessness will be memorialized.
thehighlandswatch.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 1, 2011

FUNDRAISER WITHIN A FUNDRAISER


Push to the Final Election Fundraiser
Friday, October 14 at 7:00pm
I am sorry, this is totally awesome. At his fundraiser, Rick is auctioning off a pair of tickets to the Nov. 21, 2011 Monday Night Football game against the Kansas City Chiefs marking the return of former Patriot Matt Cassell. The winner of the auction will also get not only transportation to the game but all of the benefits that tailgating provides. I've seen Rick in action and he knows his way around the grill.
The really cool thing is that the proceeds of the auction don't go toward Rick's sure to be successful run for Lynn School Committee but go instead directly to Lysoa Inc.(Lynn Youth Street Outreach Advocacy).Antonio Gutierres will be accompanying Rick on the trip. Despite being a Bronx native and DIE-HARD Yankees fan, I believe he is a born-again PATRIOTS fan. Nonetheless, Antonio is an expert on Lynn kids and will provide the winners the opportunity for and educational and game winning experience!

MCAS PREP

FALL 2011 FREE MCAS PREP CLASSES


WHO: Members of the Class of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013


WHERE: North Shore Community College, LYNN (2nd floor Cafeteria)

WHEN: Saturdays:

September 24th

October 1st, 15th, 22nd, 29th

November 5th


WHY: Fall Retest

November 9th and 10th (MATH)

November 14th, 15th, 16th (ELA)


COST: $0


PLEASE CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX:


ELA only: 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. or  10:30 a.m.-noon

MATH only:  8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. or  10:30 a.m.-noon

BOTH:  8:30 a.m.-noon


  • Breakfast will be provided at 10:00 a.m.


Name (please print):_____________________________


Student i.d. #: ________________________________


Address:_____________________________________


Phone #:______________________________________


School:_______________________________________

Guidance Counselor:______________________________


MCAS Scores: ELA______ MATH______