Posts Tagged ‘Robbinsdale’

“Retired” Stan Mack a semi-finalist for St. Paul Schools Superintendent

November 13, 2009

Nov. 15 updated: the Pioneer Press reported Stan Mack did not make it to the final three picks. That sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief.

We noticed a high hit count this week from online searches about Mack and thanks to a reader we know why. They pointed us to this article in the Star Tribune:

When the board announced semifinalists Wednesday for the job of leading the state’s second-largest district, there was only one out-of-state candidate.

The semifinalists are Elk River Superintendent Mark Bezek, North Branch Superintendent Deborah Henton, recently retired Robbinsdale Superintendent Stan Mack, Deputy Superintendent of the Portland, Ore., schools Charles Hopson, and St. Paul employees Chief Academic Officer Valeria Silva and Chief of Schools Nancy Stachel. (more…)

Look for that union label

October 20, 2009

These signs have been popping up around the district:


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

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

Patsy Green to run again for school board

August 16, 2009

Green announced her candidacy in the MN Sun Post August 13. A section read:

My ongoing priorities are:
– Academic excellence
– Stable funding for public education
– Effective and efficient programs
– Lower class sizes
– Productive communication

Great schools are key to good communities. I will provide the continuity crucial to keep this district moving in the direction so many residents wanted through their input in the strategic plan and successful referendum.

The only continuity Green has provided our district is ineptitude, and we give her a failing grade on all of her “priorities.”   Read our archived posts for a history of Green’s performance as former Chair:

If there’s one candidate who doesn’t deserve re-election, it’s Patsy Green. The Sun Post announced Linda Johnson is seeking re-election, and we are hearing that Tom Walsh and Jonas Buegen may also run again.

We are also hearing that the field of opposing candidates is growing and we’ll post info on them as we get information. Candidates can file to run for school board Tuesday, August 25 through Tuesday, September 8, with a filing fee of $2. Two dollars and enough votes can buy a lot of healthy change in the district!

Wanted: Qualified School Board Candidates!

June 22, 2009

For those considering running for one of 4 open school board seats this fall, there will be a candidate info session tonight at 7:00. From RAS:

New Hope, Minn. (May 28, 2009) – On November 3, 2009 community members of  Robbinsdale Area Schools will elect four candidates to four-year terms on the school board.  Potential candidates must be at least 21 years old, a resident of the district for at least 30 days prior to the election, and be an eligible voter.

The district will host a Potential Candidate Information Session on Monday, June 22 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. in the boardroom at the Education Service Center, 4148 Winnetka Avenue North, New Hope.  The session will include an overview of the district, school board policy governance, school board roles and responsibilities, and campaign information.  Residents interested in running for the school board are encouraged to attend.

The first day to file for the general election is Tuesday, August 25; the last day to file is Tuesday, September 8. Candidates must file an affidavit of candidacy with the school district clerk; the fee is $2.00. A primary election will not be held. For more information, please call the district office, 763-504-8012.

This is your chance to make a difference for a getting our school district back on the success track! Please consider running.

“Giddy” Patsy Green steps down as School Board Chair

January 7, 2009

From Speed Gibson, who attended the Jan 5th school board meeting:

Also tonight in the annual Organizational Meeting, Robbinsdale School Board member Patsy Green stepped down as Chair. The new officers are now Chair Tom Walsh, Vice Chair Linda Johnson, and Treasurer Sherry Terrell. Helen Bassett continues as Clerk.

This is excellent news, after Patsy exposed herself as a partisan politician for Keith Ellison, then further tainted her image in a Channel 12 news interview last Saturday that she was “so giddy” about the 281 referendum passing. Imagine how happy residents will be when “P Giddy” is not sitting in any school board chair in 2009, and recuses herself from running for any future public office.

13 out of 16 Robbinsdale Schools Fail AYP

August 18, 2008

The Sun Post reports three more (up from 2007) Robbinsdale schools failed AYP:

Just three of the 16 schools in Robbinsdale District 281 met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards in 2008 under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

They are Forest Elementary School in Crystal, Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion School (RSIS) in Robbinsdale and Zachary Lane Elementary in Plymouth.

“We are really proud of our staff and our students,” Forest Principal Connie Grumdahl said of the results released last week by the Minnesota Department of Education.

The AYP data is based on students’ performance on the MCA-II tests administered last spring. Students in grades two to eight and the 10th grade took the reading test, while students in grades three to eight and the 11th grade were tested in math.

Statewide, 983 schools (including charter school and alternative learning programs) made AYP in 2008, while 937 did not. The number of schools failing to make AYP in 2008 is an increase of 210 schools over 2007.

Last year, 10 of the district’s 16 schools failed to make AYP. Three of the schools that were successful last year – Neill Elementary in Crystal and Sonnesyn and Sunny Hollow elementary schools in New Hope – did not make AYP this year.

As in 2007, none of the district’s three middle schools or two high schools made AYP this year.

This is the fifth consecutive year Armstrong High School in Plymouth, Cooper High School in New Hope and Plymouth Middle School have been cited.

Sandburg Middle School in Golden Valley was off the list in 2005, but has been cited each year since then.

Here is Superintendent Mack’s response:

“Student achievement has always been the highest priority of our district and our community, and it continues to be in our new strategic plan,” Superintendent Stan Mack said in a news release from the district. “We are working on a number of initiatives to help all students meet expectations.”

Do his initiatives include dipping into the budget by hiring a PR firm, offering skewed surveys and asking for more of our taxes in another referendum this November? Maybe we’ll make a 16/16 AYP failure score next year.

Educrats Never Sleep or, Get Ready For Referendum Round 2

August 13, 2008

A 281 CARE member writes at FreedomDogs (emphasis mine):

In May of 2006, as a prelude to a school bond referendum, District 281 hired Springsted, Inc., a public relations firm and paid them $36,620 to provide consulting, marketing, public relations and market analysis services to the District.

The referendum they helped construct was defeated and one can, in hindsight, say that the District threw the money down a rat hole – money, a radical might argue, that could have been used to feed a starving child!

They’re doing it again. Springsted has convinced the District that the rat hole needs to be replenished. They have hired Springsted again to do market analysis for a pondered referendum vote during the general elections this fall.

As a member of 281 CARE I can tell you that nothing close to $36,620 was spent by the opposition to defeat the last referendum. And, here’s the critical difference: The money spent by 281 CARE was private and VOLUNTARY. The funds used by the District to pay Springsted is, and was, public money. It comes from the District budget. I have studied their analyses and can see that they are toying with different ways to word their proposals so that they evoke the most public sympathy. Springsted has conducted extensive surveys and have concluded that the District 281 tree is ripe for referenda. (In reviewing their surveys it occurs to me that the way they worded their questions could have ONLY evoked sympathetic responses for the District – which is a kind way of saying that firms like Springsted know how to milk money from clueless educrats).

Now, this is not to say that the District shouldn’t hire a PR firm. However, the dishonesty of using public money to petition voters for more public money ought to discourage anyone who sees the growth of the public sector as counter-intuitive to our larger American destiny.

Let the public be forwarned. The full-court press is coming. They’ll be in your face again this fall. They will pull out all the stops, again, to wear the public down with the illusion that what they’re doing is ‘for the children.’ They won’t mention the words ‘school choice’ in any of their ads. They will not dwell on declining enrollment or empty schools or importing students from other districts in order to feed their huge bureaucratic beast. They will not mention the words ‘voucher’ or ‘tax credits.’ They will, instead talk of ‘investments’ and ‘sacrifices’ or improving the ‘quality of life’ or ‘increasing property values.’

I think they’re making a critical, crucial tactical error, however, in having the referendum voted on in a presidential election. The reason Districts always sponsor their referenda votes in off-years is so the general public can be minimized in their process. That way they can mobilize their strong union influence to make certain they pack the polls with those who have a vested interest in growing the education empire.

Well, like they said last week: Let the games begin!

Cooper HS Coach Charged With Having Sex With Student

December 13, 2007


Prosecutors charged a high school hockey coach with third-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly sexually assaulting one of his players.

Nathan Antrim, 35, of Rogers, Minn., was the victim’s hockey coach at Cooper High School for the past two years.

The victim’s father told the school his daughter was not home last weekend and he believed she was with Antrim.

The victim told police Antrim had given her a cell phone and an iPod and frequently drove her home from hockey practice. She told police Antrim took her to his house on Nov. 30. She then called her father and told him she was staying with a friend.

When questioned, Antrim told police he had sex with the girl last weekend, the criminal complaint said. Antrim said he had given the girl the iPod and cell phone as gifts.

If convicted, Antrim faces up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.