As first reported by Toni Konz, WDRB, a state audit recently forced JCPS to reassign many of its non-certified instructors to supporting roles instead of supervising classrooms, since state law does not allow them to do so without a certified teacher present. This has apparently resulted in modification or discontinuation of certain optional classes in many schools.

We have heard that 270 instructors were affected, so we want to hear what kind of impact this has had on your school and your child. Please take a moment to complete the following survey. Your information will be aggregated into a report for others to view, but personally identifiable information will be kept confidential.

This article also came out in the Courier Journal yesterday and contains a link to the letter Dr. Pollio sent to the state in response to the audit findings and the action the district is taking.

We are interested in learning from all who have been affected, instructors included, and see if we can’t compile your responses and propose solutions to district leaders and state legislators. We believe this is a problem that has been evolving over time as a result of district leaders’ admirable attempts to make quality programs available under tighter and tighter budgets. As with many public education issues, when unintended consequences like these occur, some grassroots advocacy work may be required to get everyone back on the same page.

Dear JCPS’ goal is to find commonality among all groups affected and use that messaging to communicate to try to bring state and district leaders to a solution that benefits our students and staff, instead of losing valued programs and putting unfair burdens on our beloved instructors.

    Let us know if they have canceled these programs or if they are being continued. In the comments below you can provide more details.
    Let us know what has happened to the teacher(s). In the comments below you can provide more details.
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  • Tell us your role at the school. Are you the affected teacher? (We will not reveal this.)
  • Please provide your email. This will not be displayed, but is used to contact you should we require additional follow up.
  • What would you like to see happen, and what suggestions do you have for district leaders or state legislators that you believe can make this happen?
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I received the attached email from board member Linda Duncan this morning. I wanted to share it with you, along with my response.

 

Hi Linda,

Thank you for your email.

As they say, “correlation does not equal causation.” Yes, gaps have widened, and yes, students have become less engaged. However, that doesn’t mean busing is to blame. There are many, many other factors that come into play. And this is where we need to be focusing our attention.

It’s also not an either/or scenario. As I explained to Rep. Kevin Bratcher (who sponsored the “Neighborhood Schools” Bill last session), by the board approving a Males of Color Academy, we have not “announced … that diversity is not the top value anymore.” Not at all. Families who want schools to provide Afro-centric curriculum and equity in instruction, discipline and opportunities has nothing to do with wanting to return to segregation. This should exist in ALL schools, but since it doesn’t, they are requesting we start with one. Why must families choose between diversity and equity?

Males of Color Academy is open to students of all races. Segregation by choice is not the same as segregation by force, or by lack of access. If disenfranchised families want this option, we should listen to why, but it doesn’t mean we should force it upon all. We all agree things must change, but that doesn’t mean the only way to do it is to return to segregation. It’s well past time to do the difficult work of revisiting the student assignment formula and process. It’s been a taboo subject no one wants to touch and that’s finally starting to backfire on us. The current student assignment process is not transparent, has significantly more hurdles for poor, minority students, and frankly, it’s discriminatory.

How can district leaders come to ANY conclusions without giving those most affected by busing an opportunity to be heard? I encourage you to talk to teachers and families in these downtown and West End schools. I encourage the district to engage in authentic dialogue with community members. Not just the ones who know how to advocate but the ones who are too busy overcoming systemic injustices to contact their board members and attend community forums. We must get out into the community and find out what people want to see happen here. We cannot defer to the ones who are the loudest, because some of the same folks who are promoting a privatization agenda have given a small sliver of the community a megaphone. They do not speak for the majority of people I encounter in my advocacy work.

Our student assignment plan is not perfect. But due to our segregated housing in Louisville, and lack of schools in the West End, busing is still needed. Approval of the Males of Color Academy should not be used as “justification” to end busing and take away opportunities that busing and integration provide to a greater number of students … not just students of color, but white students, as well.

Yes, let’s change the formula. But let’s do it in a way that is equitable, transparent and inclusive. Let’s stop throwing our most vulnerable, most disenfranchised students and their families under the bus, literally. Let’s seek their input and give those paying the highest price a chance to lead the discussion for once. This is difficult work the JCPS community must do, not have dictated to us by lawmakers. Dear JCPS is ready to assist. Please let me know how we can help.

Thank you for your service, and again for reaching out.

Thanks,
Gay

Click here to join our support group for SBDM members.

Tomorrow, the Kentucky house and senate education committees will be holding a joint meeting to discuss, among other things, taking power away from SBDMs. Read more from KASC’s post: Keep Your Voice.

Koch-Brothers aligned “free-market” proponent BIPPS is one of the anti-SBDM speakers tomorrow. In an opinion letter that appeared in several papers across the state recently, they say teachers and parents are not equipped to make curriculum decisions. That’s ludicrous. Teachers are among the BEST equipped persons to do this. They have master’s degrees and certifications in education, are current on what’s going on in education and classrooms, and they know their students. A superintendent who, in a district the size of ours, may not have taught in decades and may only set foot in our building maybe once a year. A school in a high poverty area has many different needs and learning styles than a more-affluent magnet-only school. A superintendent has their own “adult-centered” agendas and when the state puts demands on them that force them to pay more attention to how things “look” than what they know to be right, they don’t always have the ability to do what’s best for the school. And depleting power from the local school level will only make matters worse.

I know this first hand.

My son graduated from an “Advisory SBDM” school. As a high-poverty school, we were in the first cohort to hit priority status under the new regulations, and the SBDM was made “advisory” prior to our arrival. When we found the school, the principal was dynamic and the school was in the midst of a turnaround. Despite being the lowest performing school in the state at the time, the energy was electric, and my son absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, at the end of my son’s first year there, because the principal did not get the school out of priority status in the state’s allotted 3-4 years, he was forced to resign.

His school went the next several months with interim principals, each having to leave after completing 6 weeks of service so they didn’t jeopardize their retirement plans. Soon into the school year, JCPS considered reimagination of several schools with innovation in mind and a district-devised “plan” was proposed and pitched to board members as something “everyone loved.” We were told the plan was necessary in order to “prevent us from being taken over by the state,” even though we had no leadership and no one representing the students or teachers or parents had been consulted in crafting “the plan.” And it was FAR from being “loved.” Finally, after numerous objections from parents, teachers, staff, students, alumni and community members, and speaking at board meetings and to the media, by Christmas break, JCPS Halts Redesign Of Shawnee High, Considering Principal Applicants. Soon, we had a new principal. SBDM meetings resumed and capacity was beginning to resume. However, our new principal left abruptly a year and a half later (two weeks before the end of the school year) and the next principal was not selected until 36 hours before the next school year started. Shawnee was the FIRST school to know they needed a new principal and, despite repeated appeals to the superintendent, it was the LAST one to get one. That would not have happened if we had an empowered SBDM.

Each principal selected by the superintendent was loyal to her, not the students and parents and teachers in the building. With the most recent replacement, the superintendent overlooked the overwhelming support from the SBDM advisory council to name one of the HIGHLY qualified APs in the building who knew the kids and could keep the momentum going. Instead, she put someone she either owed a favor or who she knew would do her bidding in the open slot. And she did so at the last possible moment. Our SBDM implored the superintendent to realize that our kids needed consistency. We even asked if this had been communicated to the new principal. Instead, this new principal changed EVERYTHING. She killed our mentoring program. She realigned the staff and put them in jobs that they weren’t suited for. Not knowing what worked or didn’t work, and not being given time to prepare, she got her marching orders from the superintendent who only saw us as “failing.” Our new principal clearly intended to make her mark, even if it upset the apple cart for these kids, AGAIN.

One week, when student fights had gotten out of control, the principal denied it was a problem. She also apparently didn’t log them in the system, because she didn’t want to look bad or she was following a directive to not report. When pressed, our superintendent claimed she couldn’t help us with added resources, because the “data didn’t support it.” So, our students videotaped the fights and sent them to the media. A few days later, we got the support we needed. Unfortunately, in the school that already had the highest turnover in the district, and where relationships matter, we also got an unwelcome consequence. Three of our most beloved staff members were intentionally moved to different schools. Intimidation tactics were employed that sent the message that more retribution would be necessary if these “factions” continued. One of the displaced staff members was our only high school counselor during critical scholarship and college application window — in a high-poverty school that NEEDS help with college applications and scholarships more than most. This retaliation would never have been able to happen if the SBDM had been involved in staffing decisions.

Our new principal also was able to select members to serve on the advisory SBDM who were not engaged enough to ask hard questions, and often missed meetings. Business could not get done. She chose what she wanted to share for input, and made the important decisions behind closed doors. At one point, I had to do an open records request when we wanted to simply see the budget. This lack of transparency is one of the reasons we have been opposed to charters. We do not need it in our public schools too. It almost seems like someone has an agenda to make public schools on par with charters, doesn’t it? So charters can be more competitive.

My son’s school met its AMOs for several years in a row, but because they couldn’t get out of the bottom 5%, they couldn’t get their SBDM powers back. Such an arbitrary and moving target should not be used to hold decision makers hostage. However, the superintendent could have helped his school meet this goal by simply changing the student assignment plan, since the inequities had never been made right after being assigned the highest poverty levels in the district in 2008, and since test scores are an indication of wealth, nothing more. (Makes you wonder if his school wasn’t set up that way so other schools could be more successful.) Anyway, who is held accountable for the failings of a school when decisions are not in their control? The superintendent is supposed to be, which is why you say you want to give them this power. But there is no evidence anyone is paying the price at my son’s school except the kids.

So, while one county has indicated that there are problems at their schools, there is no reason to abandon parental and teacher involvement in decision making at the local school level in other districts. I can assure you doing so will create many, many more opportunities for delays, lack of transparency and corruption than it solves. Not just here in Jefferson County, but in districts across the state.

Sincerely,
Gay Adelmann
Parent of 2016 JCPS Graduate
Former SBDM Member

Want to share your thoughts on SBDMs? Click here to contact the education committee members, or email them all at the same time.

White privilege is real. So is generational, institutionalized racism. Nowhere is it more prevalent than in our public school system. But often, those who make the rules have a hard time seeing how those rules can limit access to opportunity for others. While these issues are nothing to make light of, sometimes you need a hands-on approach to help white students or family members understand their privilege. We hope this example is of benefit to those who wish to approach these sensitive, yet undeniable, issues with an open heart and open mind. (Download a PDF of the flyer here.)

RULES:

Set up your GAME BOARD. Give yourself cash, properties and hotels and houses, totaling $18,000. Your opponent gets the traditional $1,500 to start. This 12:1 disparity represents the median amount of wealth transferred from whites to their heirs, compared with African Americans.

There are two sets of CARDS. Educational injustices experienced by students of color go in the FAT CHANCE pile (click here to print your own cards). Tax breaks, stock market gains, work bonuses, opportunities due to “who you know,” etc. go in the PRIVILEGED COMMUNITY CHEST.

They choose their TOKEN (the IRON, because it’s the only one that’s left), and the game commences.

When they notice that the board is not set up equitably, they complain. You respond with, “That’s in the past. We’re all equal now. Let’s play!“ You roll and proceed to move forward the correct number of spaces.

When a player lands on a “DRAW A CARD” SQUARE, you draw from PRIVILEGED COMMUNITY CHEST. Your opponent draws from the FAT CHANCE pile. These distinctly different stacks of cards represent the systemic disparities still in place from generations of targeting, profiling and redlining of the black community reflected in policies and norms throughout society today.

When your opponent lands on YOUR PROPERTIES, they pay you RENT. If you own all properties in a COLOR GROUP, their rent is DOUBLED.

When you land on THEIR PROPERTIES, same thing. Except, they probably don’t own any properties, you bought most of them (or inherited them) before they got there.

Eventually, they will inevitably land on one of your HOUSES or HOTELS and they won’t have enough cash to continue. If they happen to have purchased a property, they have the option to MORTGAGE their property to the bank in order to stay in the game. However, they only get half the LOAN AMOUNT on the back of the card.

When your opponent runs out of cash, they have to GO TO JAIL, while you continue to roll the dice until all assets have been acquired. If they complain about any of the rules, you say, “That was one of the rules that was decided on before you got here. Don’t like it? Get here earlier next time.”

OBJECT OF THE GAME:

To inspire whites to understand their privilege enough to research it and develop talking points so they can respond to others who try to marginalize it by saying racism or privilege don’t exist, and to commit to fight to create equitable learning opportunities for our children of color.

Credits: Created by Gay Adelmann. Inspired by Shelton McElroy and Jane Elliott.

Disclaimer: We realize this post will probably upset some of our white followers. However, in this current climate, and the increasing suffering of our students of color, we believe it’s a chance we must take. If you disagree with the examples presented in this post, it’s possible that you are not one of the ones impacted by them. The FAT CHANCE CARDS were created based on actual examples experienced by students of color in our district. These hurdles continue to happen every day in our schools. And we cannot end them until we acknowledge they exist.

If you happen to know any of these nice people listed below, could you have a talk with them? Could you let them know gently, one-on-one, that by supporting vouchers, and their evil cousin Scholarship Tax Credits, they are, perhaps unknowingly, supporting profiteering efforts that are backed by ALEC, The Koch Brothers, and others who wish to take money away from our already underfunded public schools? Maybe these kind people had good intentions when they clicked on the sign-up button on the Ed Choice KY page, but if they truly understood the myths and facts about education tax credits, and the out-of-state corporations and special interest groups backing scholarship tax credits in our local communities, they would reconsider their support. We’d like to think so.

Image result for thou shalt not steal

The language, “Scholarship Tax Credits,” sounds so innocuous, doesn’t it? But to those of us who have been leading the fight to protect our public schools from these outside threats, we recognize those words as the next steps in the Playbook to Privatize Public Education. Since Kentuckians are beginning to dissect the promise and peril of school vouchers, and are wising up to the fact that school vouchers aren’t working, and that these devices likely violate our state Constitution, lawmakers appear to be planning to bypass this route altogether. Instead, they are going straight for the jugular with scholarship tax loopholes, I mean credits. These credits circumvent tax dollars from going into the state’s general fund by providing a tax credit to individuals who make a donation to a private school, which in turn depletes the amount of money available, not only for public education, but many other public services, as well.

EdChoiceKY’s page says these members “support more educational opportunities for Kentucky students … to ensure that every student gets the best education possible – regardless of their socio-economic status.” Who wouldn’t? That sounds wonderful! However, what these members may not realize is that what really happens is that money is taken away from schools that are also serving students who deserve these same opportunities. And children of low socio-economic statuses often cannot afford the full tuition, books, fees of the private school, and so the scholarship funds meant for the needy generally end up benefiting those who can already afford to attend private school.

We agree that ‘more educational opportunities’ are needed for kids, such as the family resource and youth service centers, extended school services, all-day kindergarten, school nurses, field trips, facility upgrades, transportation, etc. in our public schools, all of which are already underfunded by the state. If the state general fund doesn’t have the financial resources to fully support these educational opportunities and services, then it doesn’t have enough to forego $25-75 MILLION per year, and increasing every year, under a scholarship tax credit, as proposed.

Please ask these folks to reconsider their position. As a teacher, parent, staff member, taxpayer, help them see how this has played out in 43 other states where charter school legislation, vouchers, tax credits, etc. have passed in prior sessions. Look at how Arizona is going broke with similar voucher/tax credit schemes that increase every year and are far more costly than they originally thought they’d be.  Originally estimated to cost that state $4.5 million per year, they eventually topped out at $140 million. Certainly not the “cost savings” snake oil they originally peddled. There is no reason to believe the same would not happen in our Commonwealth. Kentucky wrote the book on education reform. We do not need to follow in anyone’s footsteps. Not Arizona. Not Ohio. Not Indiana. And especially not Michigan (where Secretary of Education, DeVos, hails from).

How will the people below feel when our public schools are further decimated by hedge fund investors and billionaires, and they look back on this pivotal moment and the role they played? Ask them to call EdChoiceKY and have their name removed from their Smarter Future Council web page, because Scholarship Tax Credits are an attack on our public schools. And public schools are the cornerstone of our community and our democracy.

Al Burke- Burke Financial services
Albert Leis – Kentucky One Health
Allen L. Crumes – Money Concepts
Anthony L. Schnell – Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC
Becky Phillips – MCM CPAs and Advisors
Ben Waiz – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Benjamin C. Fultz – Fultz Maddox Dickenz PLC
Beth Ruehlmann- Diocese of Covington
Beth Silvers – Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Bill Howard – Fastline Media Group
Bill Roby – USA Cares.org
BJ Ruckriegel – CandyRific
Brian Eviston – Strauss Troy Co., LPA
Charles Bradley – Fifth Third Bank
Charles H. Leis – Brandeis Machinery & Supply Company
Charles J. Kane – 2nd Generation Capital, LLC
Charles Paradis – Bramco, Inc.
Charlotte Lowe- Pattco, LLC
Craig Carlson – US Bank
Craig Jones – Jones Plastic and Engr
Daniel Groneck – U.S. Bank Cincinnati
David Jarboe- Vertical Recruiting
David P. Calzi – Ernst & Young LLP
David P. Heintzman – Stock Yards Bank and Trust Company
Deborah Jo Durr – Richwood Manor, LLC
Donald J. Kelly
Douglas Stough- Assured Partners NL
Edward Bessler
Elizabeth Wiseman – Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions LLC
Greater Louisville Inc.
Heather Huddleston – School Choice Scholarships
James A. Patterson – Pattco, LLC
James U. Smith III – Smith & Smith Attorneys
James Wilson – James E Wilson CPA LLC
Jay Oliver – Humana
Jeff Arnold – Medcare Pharmacy LLC
Jeffrey L. Ashley – Ashley Rountree & Associates
Jennifer Henning- Class Act FCU
Jeremy Lancaster- The Lancford Group, LLC
Jesse Flynn – The Flynn Group
Jim Tencza – Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC
Joesph L. Landenwich – Kindred Healthcare, Inc.
John Hayes – Brown-Forman Corp.
John P. Hollenbach, Sr. – Hollenbach-Oakley, LLC
Jon Votel – K.O.I. Precast Concrete Inc.
Julie Dupont – Dupont plumbing inc
Kathy Oyler
Kathy Potts – Republic Bank
Ken Rechtti
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Kris Knochelmann – Schneller Plumbing Heating & Air, Inc.
Kurt A. Zinser – Prospect Insurance Group
Larry J. Walker – Boca Properties, LLC
M. Kristin Stuedle- Stuedle Spears & Company CPAs
Mark Guilfoyle – DBL Law
Mark Plummer – J & J Transportation, Inc.
Mark Wheeler – Central Bank of Jefferson County
Martin Butler – Strauss Troy, LPA
Michael Brennan- Bramco, Inc.
Mike Ash – Fifth Third Bank
Neil Ramsey – RQSI
Neil Zinser – Strothman & Company, PSC
Patrick Potter – Flexo Wash LLC
Paul F. Smith
Paul M. Grisanti – Grisanti Group CRE, LLC
Paul Sartori- Legacy Financial Advisors
Paul Schulte – Horizon Group International
Paul T. Costel
Paul T. Verst – Verst Group Logistics
Phil McCauley- Madison Group at Morgan Stanley
Phil Stuecker
Phyllis Sparks
Phyllis Yeager – Gateway Community and Technical College
Ralph Drees – Drees Homes, LLC
Raymond Erpenbeck – ECE, Inc.
Rhonda Evsiston – St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Rich Lechleiter – Catholic Education Foundation of Louisville
Roy B. Hill- Dean Dorton Allen Ford RETIRED
Rudy Kreutzjans – Legacy Management
Sean McGuire- Fastline Media Group
Shawn Freibert – Freibert & Mattingly Title Group
Stephen Embry – Frost Brown Todd LLC
Steve B Thompson – Syetling G Thompson Co
Steve Brunson- Pediatric Partners of NKY
Steve Ford – Ingredient Resource Corporation
Steve Gray – Commercial Kentucky, Inc.
Thomas Colvin – Arthur J. Gallagher
Thomas D. Clines III – United Mail LLC
Thomas Perrone – Perrone Wealth Management Group
Tim Rawe
Tink Guthrie – Archdiocese of Louisville
Todd McGee- Comfort Keepers
Tom Partridge – Fifth Third Bank
Tom Wimsett – Wimsett & Company
Vince Tyra – ISCO Industries, Inc
Wayne Hartke – SERVEPRO of Northwest Cincinnati
William Hoskins- Jackson Kelly PLLC
William Ralston – Kentucky Planning Partners
Zach Zinser – Zinser Benefit Service, Inc.

This list was taken directly from EdChoiceKy’s website as of 8/21/17.  Charles H. Leis, President and Andrew Vandiver, Vice-President appeared on KET Tonight with Dear JCPS and SOSKY co-founder, Gay Adelmann, where they discussed Scholarship Tax Credits in more detail, below. Mr. Vandiver is a paid lobbyist for EdChoiceKY. EdChoice Kentucky is housed at he same address as Catholic Conference. 

Dear JCPS,

We are so grateful that the proposed changes to the Director of Library Media Services job description have been tabled. Our sincere thanks to the Superintendent and School Board members for this wise reconsideration. We hope that also means that the weeks of not posting the position to the job list are over, and that the district will begin accepting applications for this vital office. The sooner the position is posted, the more seamless the transition once the current director retires.

 

School librarians support ALL areas of core content, and teach using an inquiry framework that embeds information literacy into core content instruction. We collaborate with teachers to lead students to deeper learning experiences using the rich print and online resources available in our libraries. We are anxious to begin this important work without the worry and distraction of not having our new director hired and available to support our efforts. We trust that the position will be advertised soon and look forward to great things in the 2017-18 school year.

Sincerely,

Concerned Librarians

This letter was submitted via the Open Letter Form. Although the name(s) of the person(s) submitting the letter are kept anonymous here, they are not anonymous to us. If you have a concern you would like to share, please let us know.

We are pleased to report an update to this story. We have heard that this item will be coming off Tuesday night’s agenda. Advocacy works!

 

Dear JCPS,

Tuesday night, the JCPS Board of Education is looking to revise the minimum job requirements of library director for JCPS, just in time to replace our current retiring director.

In order to become a librarian, I had to obtain an additional Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. This was after I already had a Master’s in Education and a Master’s in Literacy. I have a Rank I, three Master’s degrees and a Bachelor’s degree. Despite all of my credentials prior to obtaining my LIS degree, I still needed an additional degree to become a librarian. And even though I had nine years of teaching under my belt, I really wasn’t qualified to be a librarian until I had completed my degree. Through the completion of this degree, I learned the skills and tools necessary to become a librarian.

Despite what people believe, no, librarians don’t just read books to kids all day. Librarians are more important than that. We are advocates for literacy, research, and support in learning endeavors in schools. We are the go-to spot for current, relevant and factual information. We are essential guides to finding the best resources to achieve goals. We are essential in promoting schoolwide literacy initiatives. We are essential in creating a school culture that promotes and supports the foundations that students need to succeed. We teach teachers. We select materials that support learning. We do so much more above and beyond the minimum job requirements of any teacher. We encourage new readers, foster book groups and promote communities of reading. We are the backbone of each and every school in JCPS.

With that being said, a librarian director for JCPS should be just as qualified to lead more than 155 librarians in our district. A teacher with an admin degree doesn’t have the skills necessary to lead and advocate for our librarians. How can a person with an admin degree lead and teach 155 teachers when they themselves don’t have any concept of what it means to be a librarian? How can a person who has no knowledge of library and information science lead librarians when they have no experience being/doing what a librarian is/does?

I own a car. I’ve been driving for well over 20 years now. I’ve own multiple cars in my life of a variety of makes and models. I’m pretty competent in driving a car and identifying most of the parts of a car. But when I need my car serviced, I take it to a qualified mechanic who knows how everything works under the hood because they know how to diagnose and repair. They have the experience, tools, and training to get the job done. Just because I have experience with cars doesn’t mean I know how to speak the language of a mechanic, or repair the car. It doesn’t mean I can repair my own car, or train mechanics how to repair a car.

Likewise, just because a person has “leadership experience working with diverse populations” doesn’t mean they have the tools, skills, and experience necessary to lead, teach, evaluate, advocate for, and direct 155 librarians in the field of library science. I urge you to vote against these revisions. JCPS doesn’t need a body with an admin degree to fill an open position. We need someone who knows who and what a librarian truly is.

Dear Mr. Brady,

Just curious where this JCPS HR issue stands to date (“I am 100% integrity“). It was brought to light at an earlier board meeting yet, there has been no update. Can you offer, at this time, any updates for the public on this matter. Is there truth to the matter, has it been swept under the rug, or is it of false nature? Mr. Brady, we are counting on you to keep transparent.

I noticed HR director Tiffeney Armour is presenting HR annual report at tomorrow’s (July 25, 2017) Board of Ed meeting. Will this topic/issue be addressed as well? Please address and update.

Signed,

Very Concerned

 

From an earlier board meeting:

Dear JCPS,

Everyone should know by now that you all can only do “so much” due to a possible state takeover but at this point it doesn’t matter and let me explain to you why.

Charter schools are a radical change. Trying to legally segregate us again was an almost radical change. Approving the Dubious Academy was a radical decision (kudos) although seemingly very rushed and unorganized with some very stupid contingencies…but still very good nonetheless.

What are you all actually doing to help the other 30 thousand students of color? From what i see, NOTHING compared to simple things you can do. It is easier to approve a school and start one for a specific demographic than it is to teach culturally and historically accurate information to your teachers and students??? No no no no no. I do not for one second believe that mess. One bit!! I’ve visited a school or 2 with high concentrations of students of color and white teachers. I’ve been at other schools as well where its like walking in a mini university. I’m no professional in the field but correct me if I’m wrong in thinking that its easier to teach students who look like the people who write and sell the curriculum. African descendants built this country. My parents parents parents’ environment was manipulated in a way to create a perpetual cycle of poverty, maladaptive behavior, and a slower pace of growth than every other demographic. And we are seeing the manifestations of the social experiment of the “ghetto” (which was adopted from Adolf Hitler and given steroids) in today’s children and adolescents of color.

For starters, a simple way to begin to break the school to prison pipeline is teaching a real education with real facts. Not some europeanized lie that’s been perpetuated for HUNDREDS OF YEARS. You know, like the roman emperor names Septimius Severus who was from Africa. Who was born with heavily melenated skin. Or the man who created the machine to attach soles to shoes. Or the woman who created the ironing board. Or the fact that every major religion on the planet in our existence was started by melenated people. Or something as simple as making sure every map in every classroom that has and needs one shows the relative size of every continent. You know, the fact that America, China, India, and Europe, and Japan fit into the continent of Africa…All together. Or that Plato, Aristotle and their gang of philosophers gained the vast majority of their base knowledge and much more advanced knowlege from Africa. That Alexander the great was intimidated by Queen Candace of Ethiopia and instead of an invasion, he retreated before even going to war with her and her army. That the wealthiest human in history was Mansa Musa of Mali. Or that people from Africa sailed to the americas long before Columbus.

In no way am I saying anyone is better than anyone else, but why lie? Stop contradicting yourselves by saying, “We’re committed to equity” when you pay for books that teach lies. You want real change in the classrooms? Stop closing down schools that actually work. Teach your teachers diversity and empathy, as well as how its difficult to learn when you’re too hungry, tired, and/or wound up to learn from trauma. Fix the biased busing. Teach the truth. Equitably market the schools downtown. Create youth counselor positions for people who will be trained to teach emotional regulation and social skills for our students who live in poverty and affluent neighborhoods.

Of course teaching curriculum based not entirely off of white male fairy-tales will cause a ton of white flight. SO WHAT!!!
If you can’t teach relevant information that will change the perspective of how we view one another to a more positive one then you do not at all need to be teaching anyone’s child anything. Oh and ending the play-based school downtown was a stupid decision. You clearly missed the obvious fact that the schools leaders didn’t support it in the first place. You also missed that they clearly defied the board by not implementing the program like they were directed to. Also, I don’t see how smart of a decision it is to appoint the new CAO when she literally has only worked with 1/6 the students of color population that Louisville has. WAKE UP Pollio. White students get more than enough in this city from the school district. And now the person in charge of Title 1 and 2 funds is the same person who cannot give a moment of silence to 2 students? We cannot continue to be devoid of common sense.

So I leave you with this… Are you all really, truly within your soul committed to radical change? To level the playing field for the most miseducated and neglected? Because your actions say, “Of course not!”

Obi Negus

My name is Dr. Shambra Mulder, one of the FCPS parents that was named in an article that you published by an “anonymous” writer about the Carter G. Woodson.

First of all, I am appalled that you would allow someone to use people’s names in a public way. Had the person not hid their name I may have believed that their intent was not malicious.

Nevertheless, my primary problem with the piece is that it was a gross misinformation about something that is not that difficult to get accurate information.

To save time, I will share ONLY my social media reactions to the article:

1. Not sure of the definition of “Lexington Elite” because we are still Black and are reminded of that fact everyday in Lexington.
2. My son does not attend CGW but if he did it would because it the best school for him and it is his parent’s choice (unlike some of the “elite” programs in FCPS).
4. If all the kids on this list went to CGW they would make up less than 10% of the school’s population.
3. Why be anonymous- could it be be because you are being messy, racist, or just plain cowardly?

Fear is the at the root of everything when you try to block something that would benefit someone else!

The success of racial minorities do not equal the detriment of White people especially when the game is already stack against us (equity).

5. God is at the root of the success of the “Black Elites” and the success of CGW and Satan (or his children) will not stop it.

My other comments: I guess the boys that go CGW are supposed to be from single parent homes, poor, and thugs because that is how they see them.

I truly believe in this era of “fake news” folks just want to write/say things because they think people will believe it if it is in print.

Also if one is bold enough to write people’s name in the letter, the editor should make you report your name Anonymous (because you feel threatened or unsafe?)…lol.

This letter was published with the permission of the author. Dear JCPS believes it is important to share leads and feedback relevant to information being proposed by the administration in order to help our board make informed decisions. Additional responses can be posted on our Facebook page or emailed to moderator@dearjcps.com.