Posts Tagged ‘School Board’

“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

Questions to 281 Administration

October 23, 2008

281 CARE asks some very good questions in this Sun Post letter:

During a work session July 14, ISD 281 administration and the School Board were presented by the district’s director of finance a “Referendum Analysis,” with a five-year projection of the general operating fund balance.

This document showed our district will be required to make further cost reductions or ask us for more money between three and five years from now. Taxpayers should be asking some questions.

If the 2008 referendum/levy is only going to only last three to five years, why is the district asking for a seven-year term?

Is the district trying to use smoke and mirrors to get more money that is stated to last for seven years, knowing that the district will be back in two to four years?

The current referendum has three years left. Why didn’t the district ask for additional money for three more years and re-evaluate in two years when projecting that they need additional money?

Robbinsdale Area Schools provided their employees with an 11 percent increase over the last four years (2005-06 to 2008-09). This is approximately the same increase they received from the state of Minnesota in revenue. A good, fiscally responsible entity would know that it has other costs that will be increasing and not pay off all its revenue increase to its employees and still stay in business.

Can you trust this administration and school board? I say they have not shown a reason to trust them.

Vote no on Nov. 4.

Ron Stoffel