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Archive for September, 2012

The lack of transparency has reached a breaking point.

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Tuesday will be the first time the SB will be presented the progress on the joint planning between the City and MCPS with respect to capital improvements.

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012, 7:00 pm

Location : City Hall – 9027 Center Street

Find out if the new school board is the same as the old school board, where the only subject they considered truly open for discussion was how much money they could take out of your wallet? Will Manassas continue to put your children into trailers? Will Manassas School Board Members and City Council members continue to put themselves into box seats at Hylton Center events while your children sing and dance for them? Will the TuTu Don continue to move Manassas Education Forward so nobody looks back and see how much money has been diverted to the Arts, as defined by the Don and his gang?

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Well, not quite, and not yet. MCPS has announced that it is pursuing a federal educational grant for 10 million dollars and that may,  or may not be good.  New school board member Ellen Purdy describes the possibility of getting the grant as “huge” and out of respect for Ellen, who knows a thing or two about budgets and spending requirements, I’ll wait for her and others to describe in more detail what Manassas will be getting into by accepting the money if it does win the grant.  The Feds, like the States, have a way of sneaking in trojan horses, such as mandates and burdensome reporting and testing requirements into their grants of ‘free money! ‘ which turn local school systems into little more than experimental labs which federal officials and politicians magically transform into section 8 school systems.

On one hand , the brief press treatment in Patch sounds great – we’re already doing or planning to do many of the things that the grant funds, according to our new superintendent, i.e., we don’t have to do anything but just ‘be!’ The Manassas City Public Schools deserves $10 million because it is the Manassas City Public Schools! Hmm? If money is the source of all happiness and the metrics for success, I guess this may indeed be a good thing. Personally, I would like the school system to focus more on what other things we need rather than just simply money and more of it.  Pouring more resources into a trouble system simply gets you a larger troubled system.

We lack vision in Manassas. Nothing has demonstrated that more than the failure to adequately address the huge influx of ESOL students into the system. It is time to turn a negative into a positive. We have to give greater thought to how a large bilingual demographic  in our schools can improve the performance of our schools and ultimately pay dividends for our community, it can and it should.

Here’s an idea that will cost us nothing more than a cup of coffee or maybe a lunch to kick off: why doesn’t the new Superintendent invite the new President of GMU to Manassas and discuss the possibility of a joint initiative on how Bilingualism, (Multilingualism) can benefit the educational milieu within a region rather than balkanizing it and tearing it apart.

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“A fallow blog is a blog no one follows.” -Blogger Brown

I received a very pleasant, a very personal e-mail from our Congressman Frank Wolf on August 17th requesting to plant a yard sign in my front yard, as opposed to my backyard. By all means Congressman, if, if you can recite Kipling’s poem IF on site and if you can explain to me, and mine, why the corrupt hiring practices at USCIS, and DHS in general, are any less important or a threat to the safety of your constituents, or the nation, as the hiring practices you ordered investigated at DOJ? Then, you can plant your sign.

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