Archive for October, 2009

The choice is yours November 3

October 31, 2009

There are four open seats for School Board (four year terms), and enough votes can radically change the makeup of the board. Speaking of four, that’s the number of Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers ads we counted in one MN Sun Post paper with their four picks (including the 3 incumbents). Could those union dues have gone towards the needs of teachers or students instead of colorful ads in local papers? How much did those 4 ads cost in one paper, let alone other metro editions in the district? (more…)

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Charter schools a threat to some on 281 School Board

October 23, 2009

“I would not put a charter school in a residential area to compete with our schools,” Boardmember Sherry Tyrrell said.

But Boardmember Jonas Beugen said he is more concerned about the district losing additional students.

“I think there is a place for charter schools,” he said. “They provide an opportunity for creativity and opportunities for doing things differently. We should keep our options open. Having charter schools in the community isn’t necessarily bad for our community.”

Boardmember Patsy Green maintained it is not “a level playing field.”

“Charter schools can do things we are not allowed to do,” said Green, who did not support the district’s sale of the former Lincoln School to Prairie Seeds Academy charter school.

Why are Patsy Green and Sherry Tyrrell so against charter schools in the district? This stat from a MN Sun Post article may be why:

The charter school segment has grown from 105 students in the 2002-03 school year to 620 students in 2008-09, outpacing non-public, home school and other public district school choices, Executive Director of Technology Dennis Beekman wrote in a memo to the School Board that was reviewed at the board’s work session Monday, Aug. 10.

Of the 620 resident students in the district who are attending 51 different charter schools, 507 (87 percent) attend 16 schools.

Green and Tyrrell don’t support giving parents options in our district. And we’ve seen the growing numbers of parents voting with their feet to other districts, charter schools and home schooling. Speaking of voting: unseat Patsy Green November 3.

Robbinsdale School board candidate forum

October 22, 2009

The forum was held Oct. 22 in a very packed boardroom at the ESC. You can watch it on Channel 12 (cable). Call 763-533-8196 for information or go to www.twelve.tv (more…)

Look for that union label

October 20, 2009

These signs have been popping up around the district:

RFT_sign_slate

We weren’t surprised to see Mark Bomchill added with the incumbents. He seems a bit over-confident that he’s bagged the job, as shown in these lines from emails sent to 281 Exposed:

  • If you knew me, you would vote for me.  I am still convinced on Nov 3rd, you will be checking my name.
  • When I am elected, I will need help to stop back door referendums.
  • Let me tell you this, when I win I will always hear what you have to say and take it into consideration.

Sorry Mark, but that sign tells us that you four are for more of the same. Union members, not students are priority one – and you’ll likely follow their wishes over citizens if elected. The incumbents’ track record has been failing our students and district. Again, we encourage those who want needed change to vote for candidates without the RFT endorsement. Visit Teachers Unions Exposed for some of the reasons why, or AFT Exposed where we found this quote:

After all, it was Albert Shanker, former president of the AFT, who said, “When schoolchildren start paying dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.” (more…)

Letter: “Seeking accountability”

October 19, 2009

Here’s another Sun Post letter that echoes our wishes to elect new leadership for Robbinsdale Schools:

Last year, I met with the former [District 281] superintendent and a number of school principals to learn more about the referendum that many championed.

When I toured two elementary schools, I noticed a phone, a TV, a DVD player and a computer in each classroom. I noticed fully supplied computer labs not being utilized. There was a nurse, counselor and social worker in each building. There were full-time librarians and music teachers.

When I was in school, I was not entitled to any of these amenities.

Now the district boasts about Newsweek’s ranking of Cooper. Well, what could Cooper be if more than 35 percent of 11th-graders passed math on last year’s No Child Left Behind scores?

Funding is not the problem. Robbinsdale Schools lack leadership. The change towards improvement started with the new superintendent and with the elections approaching in a few weeks, the change needs to be completed.

Since student performance is poor, we need new leadership on the School Board.

When I vote in November, I will cast my vote by not re-electing any candidate. The current leadership has enabled mediocrity long enough. We need leadership who can create a remarkable educational environment and academic success. We need an educational revolution in Robbinsdale, and it’s time to change the School Board. May accountability ring.

Todd M
Plymouth

Letter: “Vote Richter, Oathout”

October 19, 2009

This letter appeared in the Oct. 15 Sun-Post, and echoes our stance on local control and responsibility:

Last week, it was opined in the Sun-Post that Patsy Green understands municipal vs. state funding of District 281 schools. It was stated that she wants “to help eliminate the burden from the tax payers.”

Let’s think about that. The last few years have proven that with local referendums we have control over how our schools operate and how our money is spent. When our schools are funded through the state (still our tax burden, by the way) we have a level of bureaucracy that enforces mandates and places restrictions on our district’s capital and our education options.

What’s next, federal funding and federal control? No Child Left Behind is working great, right?

I’d like to suggest a different path, a path towards local responsibility. Let’s elect stronger local representation that will be brave for us. Let’s elect members who will fight to retain local control of our education dollars.

Let’s keep the tax burden local and elect new talent from within our community so we will be able to control spending while improving the performance of our schools. Let’s look for local solutions that actually work, rather than mandates from above that waste our resources.

Let’s vote this year to take our schools back from big government.

You know the answers lie here within our neighborhoods, rather than off under a state or federal dome.

Support Andrew Richter and Jim Oathout this fall for District 281 School Board.

Chris G
New Hope

Pride and Prejudice: Sherry Tyrrell

October 5, 2009

First off, thanks to Give2Attain for providing helpful links for Robbinsdale district voters, including 3 from our site. It’s important for voters to get candidate information so they can to make an informed decision on November 3. One link provides the latest League of Women Voters newsletter, and LWV is hosting our school board candidate forum October 22.

When reading the “Presidents Letter”, we find that the President is Sherry Tyrrell, a sitting RSD school board member. This comment in her president’s letter was interesting:

We’ve come a long way baby! We have witnessed many firsts: the first woman to serve in the Senate, the first to serve on the Supreme Court, a presidential candidate who was almost taken seriously (oops, editorializing!)

How’s that for feminist irony from a supposed non-partisan organization: LWV President Sherry Tyrrell publicly mocks a FEMALE PRESIDENTIAL candidate? Perhaps we’ve not come a long way, baby. Will the LWV be impartial to the male candidates, or those not following their agenda template on October 22? Let’s all make sure that the LWV candidate forum is handled without gender prejudice by its president, who thinks that she is taken seriously (oops, editorializing!).