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Author Topic: Kindergarten Discussion  (Read 6276 times)
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« on: February 25, 2011, 05:49:02 PM »

This board is for those discussing the topic of Kindergarten at the CSD.
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2011, 05:59:16 PM »

FROM PREVIOUS BOARD:
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JustMe said:
« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2011, 03:56:24 PM »
I was just informed that next year K will only go 2 days a week, and if you want your child to go 4 days a week you will have to pay $250 a month. I did miss the last board meeting, however did attend January's and also the community info night...here's my big question...why are these things not announced? Is this not a major change that will affect many parents? Is this not something that should be open for discussion? I understand that most schools offer 1/2 day K and you pay if you want full day, so this is how they are able to legally make this change: Corbett runs full day K so in 2 days they can clock the mandatory class hours. My concern with this is having a child go to school only 2 days a week and have 5 days a week off...what does this mean for retention of learning? Would it not make more sense educationally that since it is a budget issue, to make K a 1/2 day program 4 days instead of going to only 2 learning days a week?? Personally I can't swing the $250 a month, could possibly pay 1/2 that. If your child qualifies for free lunches than the fee is waived...but what about those who fall in between getting assistance and being able to afford that monthly tuition? I just don't think learning wise a 2 day a week program is a good idea. Anyone else have an opinion on this? Also anyone go to the last board meeting? Obviously they have made decisions in regards to the budget crisis and I would really like to know what those decisions are and what the changes will be. Thanks!
   
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gorgewind replied:
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2011, 09:44:21 AM »
The proposal to the school board at the February meeting was to provide kindergarten at half-time (2 days per week).  Dr. Trani and Mrs. Hanes also presented this to the parents at kindergarten registration on February 15th.  Having parents pay the $250  to go full time would help fund the cost, since the state of Oregon gives half the money (about $3000) for kindergarten students.  If you think about it, $250 is quite reasonable.  It comes out to about $32 a days for eight days a month to care and educate your child.

Corbett actually did something similar to this when my son was in kindergarten back in 1993-94 (without the option to go full-time).  The kids went to school full days either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday and then every other Friday (we were on a five day week back then).  This was a change from kids going AM or PM five days a week the years before.  The main reason is the cost of transporting kids increases the cost, which is the same reason today.

Frankly, the fact that Corbett provided 60 kids full day kindergarten this year was pretty incredible.  60 kindergarten students bring in about $180,000 from the state of Oregon.  60 kids in grades 1-12 bring in $360,000.  That $180,000 would come in handy right about now.

During the school board meeting Dr. Trani also spoke about the fact that our district is struggling to find enough money to finish the school year.  All stipends for spring athletic coaches were cut and the possibility of cutting five contract days from all staff (this saves about $20,000) a day.  This requires an agreement from the teachers and classified staff (aides, bus drivers, and maintenance).  Administration would also cut five days off their contract.

If people want full-day kindergarten they need to be talking with their state representatives.  Kindergarten students going full-time is certainly preferred.  Funding is just so tight right now that school districts just can't afford it.

I hope that I answered some of your questions.

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She said replied:
Re: Charter School Discussion Continues
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2011, 03:15:23 PM »
I am sure that back in '93 or '94 there was a stand alone kindergarten class. Now that is no longer an option. The classrooms are k-2. When the question was ask on how that would work with k-2 classroom the answer was that part timer would just miss whatever they miss.   So  if you send your child part time they get half an education?  I don't really see how this gives anyone a choice.  I know that our family will make paying the 250 a month work if we need to but it REALLY makes me angry that it is being the done this way. I am currently looking into other kindergarten options.  I get that daycare cost most people more that that but you can also get a tax credit for that.     I also wonder if the kindergarten in the charter school are subject to the same fee??  I seriously doubt that they are.
 

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MSHAW replied:
« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2011, 04:35:39 PM »
The teachers who will be planning and orchestrating the primary classes strive to make the students' experience well rounded and meaningful for Kindergartners,first and second graders. Your  child's initial experience in school is taken very seriously. I encourage parents of future kinders, or first and second graders to visit the classrooms, ask questions and experience first hand what your child will be part of.

A previous post was very clear and concise as to why the kindergarten will take the shape it will next year. It's about funding, or rather the lack of it. I too, urge parents to voice their desire for full day Kindergarten to the people in Salem...those people who decide what and how programs gets funded. Let your anger and motivation for change start there.


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Wondering replied:
« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2011, 08:21:25 PM »
In reply to "She said" and MShaw, it is amazing and admirable that Corbett has been able to fund full-day K this long.  This is a state funding issue, not a district issue.  The state only funds half-day K, and Oregon is one of the few states left that does not financially support full-day K.  MShaw is right that dismay over this important issue should be directed to state representatives.

However, the situation doesn't look too optimistic since the state has been doing this funding shell trick for some time, even before the recession.  One group of parents down in Corvallis tried to make a legal case against the state for charging for public education a few years back, but lost. Our family currently lives in Portland, and for a number of years there have been only two ways to get full-day K without paying tuition: 1.  your neighborhood school has enough poverty to qualify for federal funds to make up the $ gap for full-day K or 2. your neighborhood school is in a wealthy neighborhood  where enough $ is raised through auctions and other fundraisers to pay the gap.  Either situation spells I-N-E-Q-U-I-T-Y, but that seems to be way Portland Public operates, and it's one of the main reasons we are trying to get out of Portland.  We send our kids to a charter school here, and, yes, we paid over $300 a month for both kids to go to public school K for more than the state-funded 2.5 hours each day.

It is a blow to hear Corbett had to pull full-day K off the table, but the tuition issue has been around in other districts, including charters, for some time.  I can see, however, that it might make sense to consider K only classes if kids can't go every day; otherwise, it seems like it will be hard for the part-time K kids to really integrate into the classes.
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2011, 10:27:07 PM »

There are myriad ways to supplement your child's education while they are in half-time kindergarten.  Talk to your teacher about some specific ideas, but in the meantime, try reading to them, talking to them, taking them to see interesting things, and for pity's sake, keep them away from excessive amounts of television, computers, and video games.
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2011, 10:32:34 PM »

One thing I almost forgot.  Let your child have as much unsupervised play time as you can.
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 06:13:32 AM »

Barbara,
Do you not find any irony that this board is primarily parents telling the schools how to run schools and telling teachers how to teach, yet you are upset that a non-parent would give advice about parenting? Especially one who apparently works with kids?
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Barbara
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 06:28:42 AM »

Barbara,
Do you not find any irony that this board is primarily parents telling the schools how to run schools and telling teachers how to teach, yet you are upset that a non-parent would give advice about parenting? Especially one who apparently works with kids?

Actually no. No one is telling teachers how to teach, certainly not me but I do know some people on this board who are teachers. And good ones, so be careful with your assumptions there. What I find ironic is that you, and anyone else directly benefiting from moving to an experimental educational model and expanding a Charter School without community support, are so quick to dismiss the parents who have children NOT THRIVING and even STRUGGLING. Why is that? It's like you can't see that these parents have the right to notice when their child isn't doing well or when the system is in question. Shame on them for saying anything? Really? That's a great model. Here's a question, where did all the kids in the Charter go this year? Grade school district side have classes pushing 30 and Charter side less than 20? There is something very unequitable going on and if you think it is OK for a director and his wife to make over 300,000 off our community, by pushing through a Charter like this, then you and I obviously have a difference in opinion. OH, and I have to say if that picture is who is working with our kids --- we just might have some other problems to worry about too!
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 02:38:24 PM »

The following is a refutation to Barbara’s comments:

BARBARA: “What I find ironic is that you, and anyone else directly benefiting from moving to an experimental educational model and expanding a Charter School without community support, are so quick to dismiss the parents who have children NOT THRIVING and even STRUGGLING. Why is that?”

RESPONSE: Let’s first dissect the initial premise of your statement. Just who is this, “…anyone else directly benefiting from moving to an experimental educational model and expanding a Charter School without community support.” Really, just who is this? Are you implying that specific people or types of people are benefitting from specific actions? Please elaborate with detail instead of making a brash generalization that seeks to paint some group of people as having ill intent. Just who is this audience and how are they quickly dismissing parents of children who are struggling? Just because you’re unhappy with something doesn’t provide a platform for you to speak on behalf of all the families of struggling children. All students struggle. If they didn’t, school would be useless. Please qualify your statement before making brash generalizations and painting some people (whom, I’m not sure) in poor light.

Anecdotally speaking, one of my children has been struggling a lot, but he certainly wasn’t thriving at his previous school either. I’m not so quick to dismiss Corbett teachers for this situation. In some realms (e.g., math), he is thriving well beyond what we ever expected and experienced, while in other realms he’s still plodding along behind his peers. His teachers work hard to help him learn and for this effort he truly enjoys school, even if his progress is a bit slower in some areas. This is what we like about progress-based learning: my son struggles --but still progresses—in some areas, but in those areas where he excels, there’s no ceiling for what he can learn. Regardless, he knows he’s learning (progressing) and he loves it.

Now to my next point: I simply cannot fathom why you and others work so desperately to use rhetorical nonsense to shift focus away from real issues. First, you use the term, “experimental educational model,” which is an attempt to place a negative label on something that isn’t negative. As a former educator, I know that all educational models are to some degree experimental (not yet fully established or finalized).  Even tried and true (and poorly performing) traditional classroom curriculum methodologies are under constant evaluation, getting tweaked and redesigned from month-to-month and year-to-year. Education is not “fixed” and constant.

What’s more, your statement assumes and implies that your notion of what school should look like is somehow more appropriate or better. How dare we look at educating our children in a different way than the traditional model we’ve used for so long! The way we’ve done it has worked for so many decades, why stop now? Perhaps that’s why American students on average perform so remarkably poor on the world stage –our fantastic traditional, Henry Ford-inspired education model. Don’t assume that your comfort with a methodology makes it just or correct. If American students have had success on the world stage it is in spite of our traditional educational models, and more likely the result of good teachers, good families and good genes.

BARBARA: “…expanding a Charter School without community support…”

RESPONSE: Finally, you state something we can actually discuss in a meaningful manner. I agree that community support is an essential component of a community school. During Mr. Dunton’s tenure as Superintendent, communication and community dialogue were not given much attention. I see great change in how our current Superintendent handles the district and I like this shift in attitude.

This being said, your statement ignores the facts of our district’s financial situation and assumes that all moves made by the district must be tacitly approved by your notion of the Corbett “community”. I’m not going to waste time validating the financial facts. They are readily available to anyone who bothers to ask the district or attend the appropriate meetings. We need more revenue and the charter represents the easiest path to get more revenue without inflicting undue harm on the district.

As for your insinuation that the Corbett “community” should have some tacit approval for any district action, it’s just plain nonsense. If the district waited for a majority of the 2,000+ Corbett residents (just one way to looks at the many Corbett communities) to register their approval, nothing would get accomplished. There isn’t a single Corbett community. What’s more, what gives this phantom Corbett community the expertise and right to decide how our schools should be managed? I turn to experts when I need expert assistance, yet it seems that educational experts are not given the same respect. If you disagree with the decisions made by district representatives in any way does that mean that they’re wrong? And by extension, does that mean that you’re right? The issues at play are far more complex than a simple black and white perspective can comprehend.

BARBARA: “It's like you can't see that these parents have the right to notice when their child isn't doing well or when the system is in question. Shame on them for saying anything? Really? That's a great model.”

RESPONSE: I’m not sure anyone said that. I certainly don’t see that written or stated anywhere in these comments. Please, by all means help me eat crow on this.

BARBARA: “Here's a question, where did all the kids in the Charter go this year? Grade school district side have classes pushing 30 and Charter side less than 20?”

RESPONSE: The charter school has an enrollment cap and it filled its classes to the cap. To assume otherwise is silly. Now the charter school’s cap has been raised and thus the charter school will once again fill its classes to said cap. The key here is that the charter school has a capped enrollment that produces classes that are sized differently from the district. As the district increases the cap, the charter classroom sizes grow. If the charter school were allowed to have a greater cap, I imagine you’d complain that there were too many charter students. Your statement is a non-starter. 

BARBARA: “There is something very unequitable going on and if you think it is OK for a director and his wife to make over 300,000 off our community, by pushing through a Charter like this, then you and I obviously have a difference in opinion. “

RESPONSE: First, the word in inequitable, not ‘unequitable’; if you want to argue about education, come to the table educated.  Second, the charter salary argument is so tired I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open even commenting about it. Who gives a darn what you, I, or anyone else thinks about anyone’s salary? This is a non-issue. No one is, “making money off our community” --what a ludicrous statement. How is Corbett –my home—losing money from the charter school in any way? Based on the estimates I’ve seen from the district, the charter school is on tap to contribute well over $700K to the district next year. How is this contribution in any way making money, “…off our community?” If you’re going to make a big claim like that, please substantiate it. Otherwise, you’re just adding more bile to the rumor mill. The charter school is an independent entity that the district has elected to engage in a synergistic relationship that benefits both schools. Still, the charter school’s finances are separately managed. Regardless of whether they paid their director $50 or $500K a year, their contribution to the district would be the same –or as in the case of this school year, more than budgeted.

In short, people are always entitled to their opinions and the right to pursue a quality education for their children as best they can. Attempting to direct undue and misguided vitriol against an entire school, district, its teacher or administrators due to misconceptions and ignorance is dangerous. I’m saddened that anyone from outside the district would stumble upon this rumor mill and see it as a barometer of the school communities. It’s just not.

If you’re going to get on this rumor mill and share your jaded misconceptions, consider having a real heart to heart conversation with yourself about your intentions and motives. Do you really give a darn about education for all, or is it more about your own situation and frustrations? If so, work hard to improve that which you control instead of working tirelessly to break down our schools.
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 03:34:10 PM »

Re-posted in part from another board:

Forum trolls/rumor trolls:   " One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of ad hominem attacks (i.e. "If you’re going to get on this rumor mill and share your jaded misconceptions," ) with no substance or relevence to back them up, which he uses to simply avoid addressing the essence of the issue. "

Please keep in mind that even though you may not agree with what other parents ( who are also community members ) have posted on this forum as to their own feelings and experiences in regards to Corbett Schools, that you too have a responsibility to be thoughtful and respectful on this forum.

This web site and forum was launched in 2002. It does not exist for the sole purpose of discussion on CSD. It is too bad some people prefer to see it differently. While I don't agree with every post on this forum either, I also don't presume to have all the answers or be better than those I disagree with. It is counter productive to resolving our differences and actually having the discussion and moving forward. All people and especially parents have every right to advocate for the best education they can for their kids and for all kids in our community schools. I support that as do our friends and family!


Mindy Schmidt
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"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire



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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2011, 11:00:06 AM »

..Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree. Kudo's to you James for your comments.  Misinformation and miscommunication runs rampant.  Don't get me wrong, most of the time I see a mix of true and false statements -- but putting blame on the Charter for the districts financial shortfall is not right.  It is a separate entity who's financial support to the district has been a positive.  What their staff is paid is irrevelvant, the district does not pay/support that staff - the Charter does.  The financial situation (for the most part) is the result of state funding, it is an issue state wide, not just to Corbett.  Charter parents 'graciously' opened their wallets to donate funds for the Sports programs, also for the Music program when cuts had to be made by the district. What did the district community do?  The Charter never asked for a pat on the back or a thankyou. They just gave support when asked...shouldn't the Corbett community do the same.  Shouldn't "we all" take pride in the wonderful community we are proud to be a part of and step up and contribute in any way we can, instead of searching for the negative and focusing on that?  When the two funding campaigns were put into place, District parents were asked to contribute $500/per family..  The Charter funding campaign asked families for $900/per child.  The difference boggled my mind...  Those funds are to 'help the district' offset their deficit.  Not to support the Charter.  It is to GIVE to the district they want to support and choose for their children to be a part of.

You can't please everyone. But at the end of the day its about children and their education.  If you chose to agree to disagree, that's ok.  Everyone is entitled to an opinion.. and its nothing personal.
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Barbara
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011, 11:35:58 AM »

ME: I have to say that this discussion gets people really worked up. It is a good discussion though and its too bad some people (who spend a lot of time on this forum ) seem to jsut hate it and those of us posting so much. I have enough friends with kids in the grade and middle school to know that there are two different stories going on at the same time and I think it’s more dangerous to attack people that are speaking up for one side because you don’t want your side tarnished......... and, sorry, but without this forum I wouldn’t have known what an ASS Dunton really was! OR what kind of things we should ALL BE AWARE OF!!!

To your very lengthy responses and questions to me....

JW: Just who is this, “…anyone else directly benefiting from moving to an experimental educational model and expanding a Charter School without community support.” Really, just who is this?

ME: Bob Dunton, and those that support Bob Dunton. There. Happy now? That, obviously, includes you too.

JW:  In some realms (e.g., math), he is thriving well beyond what we ever expected and experienced, ...

ME: Great. Glad your son is doing so well in math .... BUT it is Saxon Math. It is not taught. There is no traditional instructional time in most classes for math in the grade school..... A teacher in the middle school has gone against this recently because the kids weren’t learning on their own... And now, strange enough... they are! Saxon math means students work at their own pace and when you get stuck you have to wait for help from a teacher or another student ( if it ever comes ) mostly parents I know say they are the math teachers at home.

Kids are learning math from their parents along with the guided lessons in a book. So the fact your son is excelling is less a reflection of the school than it is a reflection on your son enjoying math. For those kids that do not like math... they spend a lot of time alone in the commons area of the grade school. I know for a fact they don’t learn sitting by themselves. How is that “model” so amazing for them?

JW:  Now to my next point: Education is not “fixed” and constant.

ME: Well spelling and writing should be constant. The Grade school and this EXPERIMENTAL EDUCATIONAL MODEL doesn’t put any weight on how well kids can spell or write. Kids are told spelling doesn’t matter in the fourth and fifth grade – there are no spelling tests they are just supposed to “get it” HuhHuhHuh  I have a friend who pulled her kids from CSD this year and they are VERY behind at their new school in reading and writing from the new classroom. It sounds like you have no use for those damn traditional models or those pesky state assessments. How did our third graders do again this year on the AYP Report?

JW:  I agree that community support is an essential component of a community school. .. This being said, your statement ignores the facts of our district’s financial situation and assumes that all moves made by the district must be tacitly approved by your notion of the Corbett “community”.

ME: All moves? Who cares about all moves a district makes. I don’t ----- but the change that has occurred that allowed the Charter to get its start here should have been something the community had a chance to at least consider or hear about first – are you so deluded you don’t think that is why people are pissed off about it being here in the first place? Cause unless you were following along – there was no way to know until after it happened. And this year they should have had a chance to weigh in on the idea of expanding and extended for years to come. 

The school board did that talking in executive session. DUNTON, CHILDS, ONEAL, AND TRANI AND OTHERS say it is successful based on Dunton saying it’s successful. But who is keeping count of the kids that are leaving and why? Why is it such a bad thing to ask for an outsider ( not someone in Corbett serving or drinking the Koolaide ) to look at the program and give it a once over and review before giving it a pass?

And why have other districts DENIED Dunton to keep popping up his new schools in their districts based on his MODEL?Huh Are they also just wrong?Huh Why doesn’t anybody want to stand up for the kids that are leaving or having to leave because they are told they aren’t good enough?Huh? What about the kids that come to the Charter under all this fanfare only to realize it is not as great....

And why should CSD become a school full of kids that are from outside of Corbett?Huh?? Why can’t we commit to educate all our kids and not just “most” as Trani has said. The home-schooled, privately educated kids come in and artificially inflate our numbers/tests as to how well we educate in CSD overall. Period. You can’t deny that.

JW:  I’m not going to waste time validating the financial facts. They are readily available to anyone who bothers to ask the district or attend the appropriate meetings. We need more revenue and the charter represents the easiest path to get more revenue without inflicting undue harm on the district.

ME: You are a head nodder. You’ve never looked into anything. I choose to believe the people I know who have!!! I have talked, first hand, to folks that have been given directions to the door for doing nothing more than trying to get help for their own kid get an education.

JW:  The issues at play are far more complex than a simple black and white perspective can comprehend.

ME: Only you and a few of your like-thinking-head-in-the-sand types can fathom the complexity.... Ooooohhhhhh..... Thank you .... Truly, you have a dizzing intellect.

ME: “Here's a question, where did all the kids in the Charter go this year? Grade school district side have classes pushing 30 and Charter side less than 20?”

JW:  The charter school has an enrollment cap and it filled its classes to the cap. To assume otherwise is silly.

ME: Hope you enjoy eating crow. That will be your starter COURSE before the main course of all your ignorant words.... I know one parent collecting a list of names and MOST kids leaving the district are CHARTER KIDS. ( 35-40 kids this last year alone! ) Over ten percent of a schools population is leaving ( not cause they are graduating or moving ) and that is OK with you? Really? Well glad everything, again, is SO GREAT FOR YOU AND YOUR KID. The numbers distict side will be even more interesting after this year! OH... And what about all the parents that won’t even enroll kids IN CORBETT into CSD cause of charging them for Kinder ( while Charter gets a ride on it ) and you don’t even get a kindergarten class you get a K-3 for $2500 a year....

ME: “There is something very unequitable going on and if you think it is OK for a director and his wife to make over 300,000 off our community, by pushing through a Charter like this, then you and I obviously have a difference in opinion. “

JW:  First, the word in inequitable, not ‘unequitable’; if you want to argue about education, come to the table educated. 

ME: “Can you hear this? Can I turn it up?” The amount of money the director pays himself is a reflection of the size of his ego and it has nothing to do with how amazing he is, how much he is worth or what he is doing in Corbett. He comes first on his priority list and anyone that questions him is not worthy of a response without heaps of sarcasm because he ( a lot like you... ) is just so full of himself.

JW:  Attempting to direct undue and misguided vitriol against an entire school, district, its teacher or administrators due to misconceptions and ignorance is dangerous. I’m saddened that anyone from outside the district would stumble upon this rumor mill and see it as a barometer of the school communities. It’s just not.

ME: You are the one playing the rumor mill fella. I am surprised you didn’t say “fifth in the nation” or “doing more with less” a couple times. GEEEeeeshhh.

JW:  If you’re going to get on this rumor mill and share your jaded misconceptions, consider having a real heart to heart conversation with yourself about your intentions and motives. Do you really give a darn about education for all, or is it more about your own situation and frustrations? If so, work hard to improve that which you control instead of working tirelessly to break down our schools.

ME: You need to have that conversation with yourself. Maybe YOU COULD HELP improve the schools by demanding they get honest with EVERYONE and while they are at that – you could do it too.


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