Top Paid Pennsy Official Out At PSERS Amid Fed Prob

Top Paid Pennsy Official Out At PSERS Amid Fed Prob — If you’ve missed it, the top two executives of Pennsylvania’s Public School Employees’ Retirement System or PSERS have quit amidst an on-going FBI probe.

Gone are Executive Director Glen Grell, 64, and investment chief James H. Grossman Jr., 54.

PSERS said they are “retiring”.

Grossman’s $485,000 salary was the largest in state government.

PSERS with its $73 billion — $5 billion of which are an annual contribution from taxpayers —  is the largest pension fund in the state.

The investigation concerns bribery and kickbacks.

SpotlightPa.org is doing a great job of covering the issue. Check it out.

Top Paid Pennsy Official Out At PSERS Amid Fed Prob
Top Paid Pennsy Official Out At PSERS Amid Fed Prob

Wokeness Makes Teacher Question Support For Public Schools

Wokeness Makes Teacher Question Support For Public Schools

Here is an open letter to the West Chester Area School Board:

To: Dr. Bob Sokolowski, Mr. Chris McCune, and members of the WCASB:

As a retired college teacher, mother of two and grandmother of four, all of whom have all attended public schools, I have supported public education all of my life.  I have opposed school choice until just recently since I feared that the poorest students with uninformed parents could end up in the worst schools.  Over the years I’ve praised the WCASD profusely to neighbors in my local community and also to those in other districts.  I have never, even as a senior citizen, complained about school tax increases as long as academics are a top priority in the school district.  However, the cultish, CRT-related DEI ideologies that are infecting our public schools (including the WCASD) with their concomitant racist, political, sexual and emotional indoctrinations and propagandizing of our school students have caused a 180 degree turnaround in all of my aforementioned viewpoints.  From certain observations, it seems apparent, and is unacceptable to me, that the WCASD is heavily involved in social engineering pursuits to the detriment of academics.  However, that is a story for another time. 

The duplicitous and evasive manner in which the West Chester school board and administration mishandled the latest fiasco involving the book Gender Queer at the October 25 school board meeting has further diminished my once positive opinion of the WCASD.   


DESCRIPTION OF SITUATION AND TIME LINE

  • Chris Manos, a district resident, showed pictures from the book Gender Queer to the board and asked board members to raise their hands if they thought the images were pornographic. The school attorney immediately told the board members not to respond and they did not.  
    Note: I totally understand and agree that board members should not have responded at that time since the rules specify that school board directors are not to answer questions posed of them in the Comments portion of the meeting.  I also believe that this is a sensible rule.
  • During Mr. Manos’ speech, there was quite a commotion from the audience and the meeting went into a 15-minute recess.
  • After the recess, Chris McCune, the board president, stated emphatically…“That book is not in our district, that book is not in a district in our county, that book is not in a district in our state. So therefore it’s not really material to our board meetings.”  This statement can be seen in the video of the 10/25 meeting at ~1:15.21 minutes.
    Note: This premature statement turned out to be totally false and should never have been made.  It would have been more prudent for Mr. McCune to have told the audience that the school board would check into this situation and would reply to Mr. Manos when they acquired more information, but he did not.  In fact, not only was Gender Queer a suggested book that was linked to the WCASD web site but it was later found to be in two of WCASD’s high school libraries – East and Rustin.
  • The board and WCASD administration then went into damage control. On October 26, Mr. McCune responded to an unidentified person in an email saying: “I have confirmed that the book in question was part of the 2020 recommended reading list for grades 10th through 12th grade on our Equity page.  The board will be reviewing this list with the administration.”  

    The district removed the link the morning after the board meeting so that it can no longer be accessed.  However, months before, a watchdog group had made screen shots and recorded URL’s of what had been there previously and included these in the attached document that they compiled, entitled “Compilation and Examination of Portions of the Equity Resources Specified on West Chester Area School District’s Web Site.” The screen shots and live links leading to the Gender Queer book can be found on pp.17-24.  

    A description of the removal (“scrubbing”) process and before-and-after screen shots are documented in the attachment entitled: “Scrubbing of Link on WCASD Web Site to Gender Queer Book Description.”
  • Dr. Sokolowski sent the following mass email to district parents the morning of Friday, October 29:

Subject: Library Book Information 
From: ” rsokolowski@wcasd.net” < rsokolowski@wcasd.net
Date: Fri, October 29, 2021 11:31 am 
Dear WCASD Parents/Guardians,
It is our goal to provide high-quality, age-appropriate reading materials in our schools. At our most recent School Board meeting, a resident brought a book to our attention that he felt was too sexually graphic. This book, Gender Queer, an American Library Association award-winning text, was in circulation at the East and Rustin school libraries.  Upon my review, I immediately pulled both copies to place the book through our administrative review process.
As outlined in School Board Policy 906, any person(s) may bring a book they have concerns about to our attention. Our process is to first review the book with our administrative team. If there are remaining questions or concerns, we then form a committee to review the text and determine whether it is appropriate for our school libraries. This is a process that has been in place for a number of years.
The book in question was brought to us during a School Board meeting, however, our School Board is not involved in the selection of library books or the development of reading lists. The process of how books are selected for placement in our libraries is one that we haven’t examined in many years. We are always looking for opportunities to grow, and we will be evaluating this process with the support of our school librarians. Again, our goal is to provide reading material that is engaging, relevant, and also appropriate.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s principal or me. I wish everyone a great weekend.
Sincerely, Dr. Bob Sokolowski, Superintendent

THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS…

  • Mr. Manos was publicly humiliated by the board when they virtually dismissed his concerns about the Gender Queer book as irrelevant by incorrectly noting that this book had no association with the WCASD. At the very least the board and administration owe Mr. Manos a public apology.
  • Mr. McCune deserves credit for admitting the very next day that there had been a link to Gender Queer on the WCASD web site; however, I doubt that he had a choice since there were many who had proof of what had been there prior to October 26. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether the “review and update” of the WCASD page less than a day after the school board meeting was because the district genuinely didn’t want a link suggesting a pornographic book on their web site or whether it was an effort to cover up (“scrub”) this link to a suggested book that included graphic sexual images.
  • Dr. Sokolowski’s situation is delicate since he has to both accommodate and avoid offending numerous groups – the school board, teachers, parents and taxpayers. However, describing Gender Queer in his email to the parents as “an American Library Association award-winning text,” seems deliberately deceptive in that he whitewashed a book containing pages that innumerable individuals, including myself, consider to be irrefutably pornographic.  He never mentioned or took responsibility for the incorrect information that had been presented to the numerous attendees at the school board meeting nor did he apologize to Mr. Manos for the board’s dismissiveness regarding his legitimate concern.  The email seemed to be crafted so as to mislead parents who knew nothing about the situation into thinking that this was just a complaint from one resident who thinks that the book is too sexually graphic.  I assure you that there are countless parents and taxpayers who share Mr. Manos’ viewpoints!  I wish that Dr. Sokolowski had spent the three days before sending out the email to read the book, consult with others, and make a decision as to whether this book is indeed is too sexually graphic to be in our school libraries.  However, no such opinion was relayed to parents in the email.  Instead, almost the entire email discussed the procedures for reviewing books.
  • Certainly, Dr. Sokolowski and the school board cannot vet every single book that is in our school libraries. However, it would seem that the East and Rustin high school librarians should bear some responsibility for allowing such sexually explicit material to be put on their shelves.
  • There is absolutely no question that some pages in Gender Queer contain graphic and pornographic sexual images. Some of the text and also some images can be seen in the video of an outraged mother who excoriated the Fairfax, VA school board regarding this book that was in their school library. 
    Note: I find many of the comments to the video at least as despicable as the book but it is the only video I could find to describe portions of the book.
    There are also links to two of the sexually explicit images that Mr. Manos showed the WCASD school board in the  boardandliberty.com article noted at the end of this email.
  • I want to make it very clear that my strong objection to this book is not that it contains LGBTQ pornographic sexual images; I would object just as strongly if it contained heterosexual pornographic sexual images.

The manner in which this entire episode was handled by the school board and the administration was disappointing and an unfortunate stain on the reputation of the WCASD.  This book containing sexually graphic images is just one of numerous examples in which the implementation of the Diversity/Equity/Inclusion ideologies facilitate sexual indoctrinations of our students.  Had Mr. Manos not spoken up, Gender Queer would undoubtedly still be on the high school library shelves with possibly more of the same added in the future.  

In closing, I strongly urge you to read the attachment entitled “Compilation and Examination of Portions of the Equity Resources Specified on West Chester Area School District’s Web Site.” This was assembled in August of 2021 by a watchdog group in the WCASD.  It clearly demonstrates how engrained the CRT-related DEI ideologies are in the WCASD.  The examples provided therein are only a tip of the iceberg of what is actually on the WCASD web site. 
Thank you for listening. 

Joanne Yurchak 

West Chester, PA

Wokeness Makes Teacher Question Support For Public Schools

Wokeness Makes Teacher Question Support For Public Schools Wokeness Makes Teacher Question Support For Public Schools Wokeness Makes Teacher Question Support For Public Schools Wokeness Makes Teacher Question Support For Public Schools

Wokeness Makes Teacher Question Support For Public Schools

Maskless Parents Cause Panicked Board To Call Police

Maskless Parents Cause Panicked Board To Call Police — A passel of protesting parents entered the Garnet Valley School Board meeting sans masks, Aug. 24, resulting in a call to police and the board members panically prancing from the room.

The Pennsylvania school district in suburban Philly passed a policy, Aug. 16, requiring all entering district buildings to wear masks.

The parents were pointing out that the policy wasn’t science-based. They were prepared to present evidence showing such, but, as noted, the board members panicked and pattered away.

Leah Hoopes, who was one of the parents and is one of our favs, says the policy is not just stupid but is counter-productive to health and education.

She notes that The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) describes significant contamination issues concerning masks and indicates they are ineffective if used improperly as they would invariably be.

“If this is about safety is Garnet Valley replacing the masks every time they are touched?” Leah said. “No because it’s the illusion of safety.”

Leah also points outs that hearing impaired children can’t read the lips of teachers wearing masks, a problem the district is pointedly ignoring.

“Garnet Valley spent $40,000 on resurfacing tennis courts ,tennis courts that were locked up in 2020, while they simultaneously told a mother of a hearing impaired child they wouldn’t pay for clear masks for the teachers so she could read lips,” she said.

A Daily Times story describes the number of protestors as between 30 and 40. Leah says it was 50.

One of the few bright sides about the pandemic is that our public schools are revealing themselves to be nowhere near as effective, or caring, as those who run them pretend they are. The possibility of reform progresses. Money should follow students not systems whose primary purpose seems to be providing six-figure pensions for the privileged. Vouchers would automatically shift the power balance to the parents from the bureaucracy.

Maskless Parents Cause Panicked Board To Call Police
Maskless Parents Cause Panicked Board To Call Police

AASA Promotes Stupidity And Laziness

AASA Promotes Stupidity And Laziness — We have been sent this poster produced by the AASA The School Superintendents Association LOL as further evidence of the laziness and delusion that has become the norm in public education.

The AASA is the professional association for school administrators.

Leave the childish illustrations aside and note that there is nothing on it about universal literacy or numeracy. There is nothing on it about how our laws are created and why we should respect them. There is nothing about why we think racial inequality is bad such as this and this and this and this.

Poster like this are promoted by silly people more interested in shining their halos before going off to a two-hour catered workday “symposium”.

Stop funding systems. Start funding students. Get your kids out of public schools.

AASA Promotes Stupidity And Laziness
AASA Promotes Stupidity And Laziness

AASA Is Racist; School Choice Now

AASA Is Racist; School Choice Now — The professional association for school administrators is promoting racism under the guise of “anti-racism”.

The American Association of School Administrators — or as it now strangely and stupidly calls itself AASA, The School Superintendents Association — is encouraging dividing children by race and putting artificial hobbles on those it places in the divisions.

An example is its promotion of single tracking in math. The AASA claims that children of light pigmentation or of Asian descent do better in math, hence letting the kids advance according to their ability, and parents’ wishes, is somehow unfair.

Listen to Lily Talcott, deputy superintendent in the Ithaca City School District (NY) explain it starting at the 19 minute mark.

If you think you can stomach other examples of racist child hate disguised as virtue signaling listen to the entire podcast.

Or just take our word. Life is short.

You really want your kids to be forever burdened due to the sense of aesthetics and selfishness of people like Lilly Talcott? Keep supporting public schools.

The disadvantage “Black” kids face is that 72 percent of them are raised in homes without fathers. Bring the fathers back and dark faces start appearing in Algebra 1.

Racism is dividing people into races. It becomes acute when you start saying these artificial constructs should be treated differently.

Keeping a child from achieving because of his skin color is racism as is insisting that it is skin color that keeps such achievement from happening.

This is what Lilly Talcott and the ASAA are doing.

Racism ends when one recognizes that skin pigmentation is meaningless and that “Black” and “White” are unnecessary adjectives for the word “people”.

Regardless, get your kids out of public schools. They are run by fools.

AASA Is Racist; School Choice Now
AASA Is Racist; School Choice Now

Elana Fishbein Will Speak At Delco Conservatives

Elana Fishbein Will Speak At Delco Conservatives — The Delco Conservatives will host Dr. Elana Fishbein, founder of No Left Turn in Education, as this month’s speaker, 5:30 p.m., July 1 at Gatsby’s Bar & Grill, 4936, Pennell Road, Aston, Pa. 19014.

She will describe how education is becoming tainted with historical revisionism based on distortions and lies, political correctness, and the outright rejection of values which have long been at the core of the American experience.

Information about her group can be found here:www.noleftturn.us

Also, Mike Ciach, who is  the Republican State Committeeman in Delaware County, will explain what it means to be a State Committeeman (or Committeewoman) and why voting in the Primary is important.

Also, Ruth Moton will explain how to become a poll watcher and provide information on a class she will be teaching, and Leah Hoopes will be explaining “Right to Know” and “Freedom of Information Act”.

Links about voting, the election, “No Left Turn”, “1776 Patriot Pac”, “Audit The Vote PA”, and more, as well as information about current, local candidates can be found www.delcoconservatives.com. Click on “resources” at the top of the home page or just click here.

Interested citizens can also use the contact at the bottom of the resources page request research into specific area or additional links.

Delco Conservatives meet the first Thursday of every month at Gatsby’s. Come grab a drink and a bite to eat while you are there, support local!

Elana Fishbein Will Speak At Delco Conservatives
Elana Fishbein Will Speak At Delco Conservatives -- The Delco Conservatives will host Dr. Elana Fishbein, founder of No Left Turn in Education, as this month's

RTM Plans New School, Residents Should Plan For New Pain

RTM Plans New School, Residents Should Plan For New Pain — This gentle warning has been passed to us that you are about to be again robbed by the Rose Tree Media School District.

Pennsylvanians would save a lot, and we mean a lot, more money if education funding followed students and not systems. If we learned anything from the pandemic it’s that Pennsylvania schools are way fat.

More importantly, though, education would be greatly enhanced and parents would be greatly empowered.

Your little boy is being taught he should be a little girl? Fire the fools and find a new school.

If vouchers are too radical for you, rescinding the prevailing wage law would save 20 percent of the cost of this looming boondoggle. Just sayin.

Anyway here is how the heist is starting:

I want to provide you with an update on the progress towards our new elementary school. We understand how critical selecting the location for our new elementary school is — a decision we do not take lightly. Over the last several months, our Project Oversight Committee (POC) and Core Design Group (CDG) for the new elementary school has been working extremely hard to reach this point. We are very excited and proud to announce the location of our new elementary school in Edgmont Township! 

Prior to this decision, the POC and District administration completed several decision worksheets, narratives, and a full site comparison analysis including anticipated costs, facilitation sessions, and several conversations with the School Board and local city and municipal regulatory agencies. Understanding the locations of new developments and our existing students within each elementary’s school’s boundaries, the team sought to minimize impact and costs when selecting the new site. In addition, key priority drivers for this decision included: 

  • Location, size, and cost of the property 
  • Site attributes including accessibility, entry points, utilities, drainage, soils, environmental integration, etc. 
  • Transportation impacts: time spent on the bus for students, the number of buses needed, staff impacts, etc. 
  • Timeline to develop property
  • Other unique attributes such as a redistricting plan, community goals, housing developments, and logical locations

Over 23 sites were vetted as potential options during the last two years. Sites in Middletown Township and Edgmont Township were shortlisted, but ultimately the property in Edgmont Township was selected and the sale finalized for the new facility. Local, community schools have been a keystone of our District for many years, and the selection of the current site reflects our ongoing commitment for neighborhood schools.

Currently, we are working on finishing the Schematic Design Phase of the project. We invite you to join us next Tuesday, June 29 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for a Public Presentation that will outline the work and progress completed so far. This will include a 30-minute presentation and a 30-minute Q&A section. You can attend either in-person at the Penncrest High School Auditorium or virtually via Microsoft Teams. The link to join the meeting virtually will be posted at 6:00 p.m., 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting, on our Room to Learn Room to Grow website, our District’s website, and social media. 

I encourage you to visit RoomtoLearnRoomtoGrow.org/pre-design-phase for ongoing updates to our progress. We’re very excited to provide our students with room to learn and room to grow!

Regards, 

Dr. Eleanor DiMarino-Linnen

RTM Plans New School, Residents Should Plan For New Pain
RTM Plans New School, Residents Should Plan For New Pain

RTM Expensive New Slot Designed For Ruining Lives?

RTM Expensive New Slot Designed For Ruining Lives? — Norman Ralph Harrison of the Rose Tree Media School District in Delaware County, Pa. — for those outside Pennsylvania, RTM is the school district in which Wawa has its headquarters — is leaving his $161,392 job as Penncrest High principal to become the district’s “Administrator for Safe and Inclusive Schools,” a new position that takes effect July 1.

It’s a safe assumption he’s getting a raise.

So what exactly does this new job entail?

Groups pushing “Safe and Inclusive Schools” usually begin describing it as the prominent ADL does: Name-calling, bullying, harassment and bias often get in the way and leave students feeling marginalized in school.

Great. Who is for bullying? Well, okay, there are some, but most of us think bullying is very bad.

The big concern, though, is that “Safe and Inclusive Schools” appears now to have become part of a movement to refrain from discouraging — if not out-and-out encouraging — young, often prepubescent, people to make life-changing, often destructive, decisions regarding their sexuality; and to give a nod of approval to objectively destructive sexual behavior.

One is not a bully if one tells someone out of love: “Don’t do that. It will hurt you. Fight the urge.”

And we are not just considering student behavior here, or restricting it to homosexuality.

There is great evil in the world even, maybe especially, in RTM. The goal must be to teach the young to stand up to it, even if it means standing up to it in themselves.

If we learned anything in the past year it’s that we should never assume the consensus of the credentialed have our interests at heart.

And we really don’t believe that stopping bullying is the real goal of this new job. We are pretty sure it’s a money and power grab by the district.

Parents, please understand that it is education that is important. Schools are merely the means to get it. If there are better means to this end, demand it, especially if it you find yourself with happier children and more disposable income.

Public funds should follow students, not systems.

We do not need a dozen (plus?) people making six-figures in any public school district.

RTM Expensive New Slot Designed For Ruining Lives?
RTM Expensive New Slot Designed For Ruining Lives?

Communism Reality Is Forgotten By Youth

Communism Reality Is Forgotten By Youth — The youth of today have some sort of bizarre sunshine and rainbows notion about communism, the fault of which can mostly be laid at this county’s educational system.

Garrett Ziegler put on a post at his Telegram channel that is red pill for the many who need it.

George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police (pp. 197–198):

“At Odessa the Cheka tied White officers to planks and slowly fed them into furnaces or tanks of boiling water; in Kharkiv, scalpings and hand-flayings were commonplace: the skin was peeled off victims’ hands to produce “gloves”; the Voronezh Cheka rolled naked people around in barrels studded internally with nails; victims were crucified or stoned to death at Dnipropetrovsk; the Cheka at Kremenchuk impaled members of the clergy and buried alive rebelling peasants; in Orel, water was poured on naked prisoners bound in the winter streets until they became living ice statues; in Kiev, Chinese Cheka detachments placed rats in iron tubes sealed at one end with wire netting and the other placed against the body of a prisoner, with the tubes being heated until the rats gnawed through the victim’s body in an effort to escape.”

We highly recommend all to sign up for Telegram. You can find our channel here: https://t.me/BillLawrence

Communism Reality Is Forgotten By Youth
Communism Reality Is Forgotten By Youth

Union Hates Charter Schools, Parents Love Them

Union Hates Charter Schools, Parents Love Them

By Leo Knepper

Public charter schools empower parents by giving them options for their children’s education. Because most charter school teachers decide against forming a union and provide competition for traditional public schools, teachers’ unions and their allies have made charter schools into a boogeyman. Since becoming Governor, Tom Wolf has been openly hostile to charter schools and attempted to reduce their funding at every turn.

Union Hates Charter Schools, Parents Love Them

On last week’s CAPitalist Cast, which you can find below, CAP CEO Leo Knepper had a chance to talk with Lenny McAllister about how charter schools are funded and how they’ve handled the challenges created by COVID 19. Mr. McAllister is the CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools. It was a fantastic opportunity to explore the role these schools play in educating the next generation of Pennsylvanians.

Mr. McAllister has written several opinion columns recently. We found some of the information they included fascinating. Below are excerpts and links to the articles. 

The first article from Mr. McAllister, co-authored by Amber Northern and published by the Daily Signal, details the funding myths pedaled by teachers’ unions and their political allies (emphasis added):

“Contrary to charter critics’ preferred narrative, total revenues per pupil increased in most states as the percentage of local students who enrolled in charter schools rose…Simply put, charter schools in Pennsylvania receive less money than district schools. For example, a recent study estimated that Pennsylvania charter schools received $12,175 per pupil, while traditional public schools would have received $17,989 for those same students

“According to University of Arkansas researchers, “The state funding formula for charter schools begins with the same amount of funding as a charter school’s home district, but then subtracts up to 21 categories of prior-year district expenditures,” resulting in a funding disparity that favors districts.

“In other words, the host districts get to keep the subtracted funds…districts were actually being paid more to educate fewer students.” 

On the subject of cyber-charters from GoErie (emphasis added):

A report showed that roughly one-fourth of the third through eighth grade cohort, including a disproportionate number of socioeconomically challenged students, did not take specific annual academic assessments.

In Pennsylvania, these issues have cropped up for months in school districts despite district officials telling lawmakers for years that they could provide online academic instruction better and cheaper than public cyber charter schools. The pandemic has proven otherwise — here at home and around America.

“In contrast, public cyber charter families didn’t miss a beat.

Pennsylvania’s cyber charters have been teaching online for more than 20 years. These schools know how to use technology to educate large numbers of students at home. As a result, thousands of families exercised their right under Pennsylvania law to choose a public cyber charter school for their children...The “blame game” has ramped up from school district officials and education unions. They complain that their money is lost to public charter schools — especially cyber charter schools. However, it’s not their money. It’s state funding allocated for education in Pennsylvania, regardless of where a student attends a public school.

Public charter schools are public schools – just like those in local school districts, but simply operating at roughly three-fourths of the cost.

On the importance of school choice to ensuring racial equality, from USA Today:

“Families who have chosen to enroll their children in public charter schools deserve to know with certainty that the new [Biden] administration understands, values and supports their choice. These 7,500 unique public schools educate about 3.3 million children across the USA, mostly from Black and brown families.

“These children have the ability to thrive in innovative public schools that best suit their needs for life, with teachers who look more like them and curriculum that is malleable to fit diverse backgrounds and learning preferences. These schools are effective at teaching our nation’s nuanced history and developing students not only with strong academic foundations but also with self-esteem and civic awareness.”

The USA Today article also profiles three outstanding examples of Black educators working to improve educational opportunities in the communities.

The best way to counter Governor Wolf’s narrative about education funding is to be armed with the facts.

Mr. Knepper is executive director of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania.

Union Hates Charter Schools, Parents Love Them