November 26, 2005

Sunday Insight with Charlie Sykes

Tomorrow mornings Charlie Sykes show will be all about blogs. If you are reading this blogs must be of some interest to you. Tune it in, 10am on Channel 4.

I'm out of town this weekend but set up the VCR to tape it, I'm looking forward to the show.

Update: Charlie was kind and gave RealDebate a mention, our thanks. If you missed the show, you can download it here,

Racine Schools, a Diamond in the rough.

So the Journal Times is out with the next part of their perception vs reality series on Racine Public Schools. So who put forth today's great Journalistic triumph? None other than Supernintendo Hicks himself!

You can read what he wrote here.

Now I ask you, and this is the only question I can think of, why on Earth if you want to maintiain any Journalistic ethics at all would you let the District Super write your piece? It makes no sense to me. Sure interview the man, but have him write it?!?

What the Journal TImes is doing is starting the PR campaign for next years losing referendum.

November 25, 2005

New Spokesperson announced for Racine Unified.

Our pals at the Racine Journal Times are at it again. Over the next four days they are running a puff piece telling us the perceptions are very different than the realities at Racine Unified Schools.

As they put it. "The Racine Unified School District takes a pretty big beating in this community." They went on to add, "ThereƂ’s a segment in this community that seems to delight in finding any opportunity to put down the schools."

Today's big revelation, a video tour showing some worn carpet and a storage area with pour ventilation. They have titled the video Unified Reality. The larger point they are trying to make is because Supernintendo (I love Ralph Wiggum) Hicks redecorated his office, there is a perception the Unified Central Office is some Taj Majal. Here, look at this worn carpeting we are working in squalor.

Here is the bottom line, straight from the JT's mouth, "So whats the point of the Journal Times series on perceptions about the district?To set the record straight. To give a more rounded perspective on topics ranging from the superintendents bonus to the environment in our schools.So if the time comes to criticize, its not based on rumors and incorrect information."

I see, so those of us who are critical of the district do not have enough information for our opinions to be valid? Well thank you very much. No wonder the first referendum last year got flushed down the toidie, we were not smart enough to vote right. Now I get it.

Hey Journal Times, here is a real story about Racine Unified School District for you, breaking news you might want to listen here. The union meeting the other night, you remember the one where they told people that 520 Unified employee's private information was shared with 11 prospective software vendors? Did you know that Dr Hicks, remember he of the newly remodeled office, was no where to be seen? On an area that important, a lawsuit against the District already filed he nor his public mouthpiece Linda Flashinski found it an important enough of an event to show their faces, and you did not ask that question.

Additionally, this is the only place that is making the point that while Central Office was so busy pushing for the second referendum that this monumental example of stupidity took place. Perhaps this would of never happened if the entire district had not been focused in that direction.

I look forward to the rest of this series telling me my opinions are uninformed and silly. I am sure by the time this is all over they will win me over.

November 24, 2005

Educational Outrage.... Huh?

My buddies over at the Racine Journal Times ran a piece yesterday highlighting a study put forth by the Public Policy Forum. As the JT put it, The Public Policy Forum, a Milwaukee-based think tank with the fancy motto 'Moving the Region Forward', pinned Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha school districts as the ones setting education in Southeastern Wisconsin backwards.

The Public Policy Forum is looking at the region as a whole trying to figure out a way to promote the area and wave a magic wand at the rather unimpressive economic expansion in the area. Education is always a big piece to a plan of that nature.

The folks over at the Journal Times seem to be outraged Racine and Kenosha are being lumped together with Milwaukee. They posed the following question, Is it fair that The Public Policy forum lumps Racine and Kenosha Schools in with Milwaukee's, which are more numerous?Or, is the group justified in their observation that the entire region can be blamed for a widening achievement gap when compared with the rest of the state?

Is it fair? Is it fair? Is it fair?

I would pose the following question, who cares?

Public schools in these areas are at best anemic, and we all know it. The question seems to be, well Milwaukee is worse so leave us alone in our mediocrity.

And why are our schools in such sterling shape? Two reasons, spendocrats and apathetic parents.

From the Spendocrats, their answer is always the same. We are under funded, the State this, the Federal that, the property tax the other... yadda yadda yadda. If only we had the resources we need. A message to the Spendocrats, we the over burdened taxpayers have had enough of paying for crummy performance. If you showed us some initiative or any type of forward thinking or responsibility on your part we might be more open to pulling out the checkbook. No one likes to pay top dollar for bottom dollar results.

Secondly, the parents out there are accepting the lackluster performance of these school districts, they should be holding their own children accountable and demanding higher performance from the schools that serve their children.

So to the Journal Times, Racine Schools, Kenosha Schools, Milwaukee Schools pay attention. Quit pointing fingers and start accepting responsibility. Trying to say yeah but we are not as bad as they are is not going to change anything, as a matter of fact it is illustrative of the real problem.

Change your attitudes, change your performance and watch the attitude of the tax payer change.

November 22, 2005

Racine Unified Screws up Again.

I heard about this on Saturday, but it broke today. Racine Unified Schools apparently shared the personal information of some 500 district employees with prospective software vendors back in April. Information included bank accounts and social security numbers,

Even though this happened some 6 months ago RUSD is just sharing this with their employees now.

My oh my, how on Earth could they of been so busy back in April to make a mistake this monumentally stupid???? Oh yeah, they were busy scaring the students into getting their parents to the polls to overturn the no vote on their referendum increase.

Everytime I talk education someone comes along and lambasts me on being anti-kid or anti-teacher. You know nothing could be further from the truth. Fact of the matter is, this group at Racine Unified has shown a pattern of mismanagement and out right stupidity and they do NOT deserve any more of our money.

I hope the residents of Racine have finally learned their lesson and duct tape teir wallets closed.

Somehow, I doubt it.

Give Thanksgiving

Well people we are coming into the Thanksgiving holiday and I want to take a brief moment and offer thanks and issue you an invitation to do the same. Please, let us keep the mud slinging to a minimum on this post.

  • I give thanks for CyberDad who had a rough year but never stops teaching me by how he faced it.
  • I give thanks for Mrs RealDebate who is unwavering in her support and love.
  • I give thanks for my God who blesses without end.
  • I give thanks for the blogosphere for giving me a voice.
  • I give thanks, believe it or not, for Scott. Scott may make me crazy, but I admire his passion and his willingness to share.
  • I give thanks for all of those involved and caring enough to be passionate about their beliefs. Especially those who participate here.

May you have a Blessed Thanksgiving, and please share what you are thankfull for.