P E Y T O N   W O L C O T T
h o w   w e   t a k e   b a c k   o u r   c h i l d r e n ' s    e d u c a t i o n  --
o n e   p e r s o n ,   o n e   q u e s t i o n ,   o n e   s c h o o l   a t   a   t i m e .        
  Copyright 1999-2006 Peyton Wolcott

How we take back our children's education:
one person, one question, one school at a time.


Friends, because
there's now so much on
this site--reports,
commentaries, book
excerpts, all designed to
help you bring
improvements to your
local schools--I'm in the
process of preparing
a site map.  Underlining
indicates active links.  
Please check back.


SITE MAP


NEW COMMENTARIES:
RANDOM ROUND-UPS

ACCOUNTABILITY &
OPEN RECORDS ISSUES:

School District
Checks/Check Registers
Online

Connecting the Dots

Pass the Trash

Reader Q & A's

SLAPP
(Strategic Lawsuit
Against Public
Participation)

Transparency Report
____

GOVERNANCE ISSUES:

The American
Superintendency

Team of Eight
____

Arizona
Nogales USD
Pima County Ofc. of Ed.
Santa Cruz County OE

California
Glenn County Ofc. of Ed.
San Francisco USD

Florida
Citrus County PS
Miami-Dade County PS

Michigan
Ann Arbor

New York
New York PS
Roslyn

Ohio
Strongsville PS

Texas
Bremond ISD
Cleburne ISD
Dallas ISD
Eanes ISD
Edgewood ISD
Everman ISD
Houston ISD
Katy ISD
La Joya ISD
Lake Travis ISD
Llano ISD
State Board of Education

____

Edu-Conferences
____

BOOK EXCERPTS:

Education, Inc.

How To File a Public
Records Request

How To Organize

Lax Oversight

____

WHAT OTHER FOLKS
ARE DOING:

MODERN MINUTEMEN

SUCCESS STORIES,
KINDRED SPIRITS
____

COMMENTARY
ARCHIVES
___

SPECIAL REPORTS:

TEXAS LEGE:
TEA POWER GRAB

PAYING FOR TEXAS
PUBLIC EDUCATION:
A PRIMER
____


About/In the News

2006 - Year in Review

AASA - American
Association of School
Administrators

ASA - Association of
School Administrators

CSD - Consolidated
School District

DOE - Department
of Education

ES - Elementary School

HS - High School

ISD -  Independent
School District

JHS - Junior High School

MS - Middle School

MSM - Mainstream media

NSBA - National School
Boards Association

NSPRA - National School
Public Relations Association

PS - Public School(s)

SBEC - State Board for
Educator Certification

SD - School District

Sup't - Superintendent

TAKS - Texas Assessment
of
Knowledge & Skills

TASA - Texas Association
of School Administrators

TASB - Texas Association
of School Boards

TASBO - Texas Association
of  School Business Officials

TEA - Texas
Education Agency

TEKS - Texas Essential
Knowledge & Skills

USD - UnifiedUnited School
District
GUIDE
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QUOTES



Separatists in
India's north-eastern
state of Manipur
have
shot six male
teachers in the leg
for allegedly
helping students
cheat in exams.

Two women
teachers were
beaten with sticks
for the same
offence, the rebels
of the Kanglei Yana
Kan Lup group said.
 The teachers were
abducted from their
homes after an
exam on Thursday.  

The rebels said
the teachers
took up to 5,000
rupees ($110) for
helping students
cheat
and warned
of further
punishment if the
cheating continued.  

The Kanglei
Yana Kan Lup
(KYKL) is one of
many separatist
groups fighting
Indian administration
in Manipur.  

It said it
abducted the eight
teachers from their
homes in and
around the state
capital, Imphal,
because of reports
they had
taken bribes.

--By Subir Bhaumik - BBC
ATTENTION EDUCATORS AND ADMINISTRATORS:
Every attempt possible has been made to verify all sources and information.   In the event you feel an error has been made, please contact us immediately.  Thank you.
Copyright 1999-2007 Peyton Wolcott
Britain's King George
III once ruled our
country; despotism
by those with power
does not last.  
Public school
superintendents
would do well to
remember this
lesson from history.

My
New
Book


PEYTON WOLCOTT
QUERY
THE SUPE
& THE PR GUY
TO:
KATHY COX-GEORGIA
SUP'T OF SCHOOLS &
CEO-GEORGIA DOE
CC:  
DANA TOFIG-
GEORGIA DOE
PUBLIC INFO. OFCR.
DATE:  JAN. 22, 2006

Can you please send me
the
annual dollar
amount
for each school
year (the five annual fiscal
cycles 2000-2005) that the
Georgia Public Schools
DOE has spent with
vendor
Computer
Consulting Services
Corp.
, described as a
consultant to Georgia's
DOE.
DATE FIRST SENT:   
FEB. 14, 2006

RE-SENT 03/26/06

Dear Strongsville
Superintendent
James Gray:

I'm hoping you can
clear something up for
me for my book and
website regarding your
standards for
administrative
practices in
Strongsville as there
have been not one but
two situations this past
year warranting
scrutiny....  

Regarding special ed
teacher Christine
Scarlett's
offering a
date with herself as a
grades incentive

1.    What rules/
guidelines do you now
have in place to
assure that nothing
like this happens
again?
 Would these
be administrative
changes or has your
board set specific
policies in place for
you to follow in future?

2.    
Rumors of an affair
between Scarlett and
Bradigan persisted for
several months.  You
have stated that you
have no idea such an
affair was going on.  
Do you feel
the fact
that you are
commuting from your
home in
Akron (if this
has changed, please
let me know) has
adversely impacted
your ability to monitor
what's going on with
your employees in the
Strongsville
community in an
important and
sensitive area such as
this?  Has your board
since made a
condition of your
employment that you
move to
Strongsville
and become an
integral part of their
community?

Regarding the sex
education booklet
placed last fall in
young children's
lockers

4.    What guidelines
did you follow from
your established
board's policies for
such?  

5.    There appears to
be a growing number
of parents who want to
be consulted before
such materials are
given to their students.  
As one mom put it,
"What's wrong with so
many people in the
educational fields that
they don't even think
twice about providing
children with
inappropriate
materials and not even
consider the parents
wishes....Their tactics
mirror those used in
Communist China and
Cuba where children
are considered not
children of parents, but
wards of the State."  
While this is clearly the
statement of an upset
parent, it does raise an
interesting issue
regarding public
school administrators
in the U.S.  
Do you
consider the students
in your schools yours
to educate as you
deem best or the
offspring of parents to
be consulted before
disseminating such
materials?

Regarding trainings
and conferences

6.    Of which
education-related
associations are you
and Strongsville City
Schools a member?
 
What are these
organizations'
guidelines for
disseminating such
materials?

7.    In which
education-related
conferences have
your and your staff
participated this past
year?  Where were
they and what were
the costs for each?   
Have you attended any
other seminars,
workshops or the like
offering guidance in
this area, and what
were those costs?

It may well be that
there are perfectly
reasonable
explanations for your
approving the placing
sex-education
pamphlets in young
students' lockers
without notifying
parents first, and it may
also well be that there
is a perfectly
reasonable
explanation for your
allowing a teacher to
offer a date at the Dairy
Queen with herself to a
young student; if so, I
am eager to learn such
reason or reasons.
==================
She said the booklet,
which also provides
information on the need for
parental consent for
abortion and a Web
address for the
Lesbian/Gay Community
Service Center of Greater
Cleveland, is
inappropriate for
11-year-olds.  I believe
some sex education needs
to be given, but when
subjects are discussed or
material is given to kids of
this nature, a notice
should be sent home to
the parent and they should
be allowed to opt out of
the program if they wish,
Fleming said.  School
Superintendent James
Gray said he gave an OK
for the pocket-sized
directories, which were
provided to the district by
United Way Services in
conjunction with the
county health department
and county commissioners,
to be given to students at
the high school, middle
schools and to sixth
graders.  Gray said he
received two calls from
parents who took
exception to the booklet's
content.  I understand that
and probably, in
retrospect, I should have
considered sending a
letter along with it as far
as an explanation, he
said, adding, this is a
developing situation. I
don't know what we are
going to do at this point.  
Colleen Grady, a city
resident and a member of
the state school board,
said she got calls from four
parents concerned about
their children getting the
directory.  Grady, who is
also a former city school
board member, said she
has not personally seen
the publication, but they
(parents) read me sections
over the telephone.  She
said the state board of
education may wish to
make a legislative
recommendation to the
Ohio general assembly,
and the board could also
consider discussion about
adoption of a model policy
for the distribution of such
materials.  Gray said there
will be continued
discussion, in the district's
curriculum and pupil
services departments on
whether to curtail
distribution of materials
which are considered to
be sensitive, particularly
for the younger kids.
STATUS:
No response
rec'd from
Sup't Gray as of
Jan. 22, 2007
QUERY
THE SUPE
(& CC THE BOARD)
CONTACT:
Peyton Wolcott
P.O. Box 9068
Horseshoe Bay, TX  78657
peyton@peytonwolcott.com

Want to subscribe to my
newsletter?  Send me an
email marked
"Subscribe."
F o c u s i n g
o n
accountability
f i r s t
95
Questions
here

Online
School
District
Check
Registers
Here

Random
Round-Ups
Here

2006 -
Year in
Review
here

Nov.-Dec.
2006
commen-
taries
here

Pass the
Trash
here

SLAPP
reports
here and
here

Reader
Q&As
Conservative Commentary
LOCATION:  
Texas
Association of
School
Boards/Texas
Association of
School
Administrators
- Annual
Convention
(Houston,
Texas)
DATE:  Oct. 6,
2006      
EVENT:  UBS
Financial
Services, Inc.
reception
FACTS:  There
were four
chairs at this
table and a
total of five
alcoholic
beverages
(green arrows),
according to
waitstaff.
There's more
than one way
to skin a
cat--or to sell
financial
services.
 UBS
was not listed
on either the
2005 or 2006
TASB/TASA
official paid
and registered
exhibitor list;
instead, it
appears to
have bypassed
the vendor hall
in favor of
doing its
selling at
receptions
such as the
one above.  
This is nothing
against UBS;
they're no
doubt a fine
company, plus
I'm a
pro-business
and free
enterprise
kind of girl.  
But is this the
type of
environment in
which we want
our school
superintendent
s and trustees
to be making
important
financial
considerations
involving
taxpayer
dollars?
Friends, can
you help me
identify the
man and two
women in this
picture from
TASB/TASA
2006?  
Enlarged, with
more
information,
here
No, these folks
above are not
New Year's
Eve
revelers--this
photo was
taken Friday,
October 6,
2006 at a party
hosted by UBS
Financial
Services.  
Educated
guess: These
folks are most
likely public
school
administrators
or elected
school board
members.
CONTACT

KEY POINT:

"Superin-
tendents and
school
boards would
have to be
willing to be
perceived as
being
anti-open
government
and anti-
transparency
to turn down
your request
that they post
their check
registers
online."

--Peyton

Questions

for the
Ameri-
can
Ass'n of
School
Admini-
strators

re

the state
of the
American
superin-
tendency

Tuesday,
Jan. 30,
2007
In progress:
PROBLEMS
WITH YOUR
LOCAL
SCHOOL
DISTRICT?
HOW TO
SOLVE THEM




Mr. Gorbachev,
tear down
this wall.


--President
Ronald Reagan

ONE MORE TIME
HERE'S HOPING
THAT IF OUR TEXAS LEGE PASSES
A PRO-VOUCHERS BILL . . .

They'll also at the same time
completely rewrite our
gibberish-laden,
vendor-driven TEKS
and give our Texas
schoolchildren standards
which are:

Knowledge-based
Academic
Measurable
Explicit
Grade-level specific
and
Objectively tested. *

Otherwise,
if children attending voucher-paid
private school are forced to take the
TAKS test as it is now written,
nothing will be gained--and much will
be lost.  The only place parents will
then have left is to homeschool.

We must be wary that the Lege is not
hornswoggled again as occurred
when the TEKS were chosen over the
Texas Alternative Document--and
common sense.

The FBI appears to be
on the trail of clearing up this earlier
debacle--let's not drop our guard
again.
_____________  

* Thank you, Donna Garner, for this
language.
Vouchers Update
This week's Austin rally
By Peyton Wolcott - Copyright 2007
Published Thursday, February 8, 2007
Vouchers in the
edu-cellar state:
South Carolina
By Peyton Wolcott -
Copyright 2007
Published Thurs.,
Feb. 8, 2007

Your tax dollars
paid for a South
Carolina educator's
week-long vacation
stay here, in the
penthouse of Myrtle
Beach's Regency
Towers.
Crowds were estimated at Wednesday's rally at
3500 to 5000 people, many of them
schoolchildren bused to Austin for the day.
South Carolinians
for Responsible
Government
Invites you to the
2007 School Choice
Legislative Day and
Rally
Tuesday,
February 13, 2007
South Carolina
State House
Rally begins at
11:30 AM

Parking will be
available at the
Capital City
Stadium. Buses
should drop off
passengers at the
State House
Complex (Sumter
Street side).
Shuttles will be
available for anyone
parking at the
Capital City Stadium
from 9:00AM-3:00PM.
Easy to afford a
beachfront highrise
penthouse stay
when you're
defrauding the
government of
$4 million in E-rate
technology ?
According to
the Department
of Justice,

Cynthia K. Ayer
"used her position
as the technology
director of the
[Bamberg] school
district to award
technology contracts
to her company, Go
Between
Communica- tions,
by submitting
fraudulent applica-
tions for E-Rate
funding of more than
$3.5 million to the
Federal
Communica- tions
Commission’s
(FCC) Universal
Service Company
(USAC) without a
competitive bidding
process. The
indictment further
charges that, as a
result of her scheme
to defraud the E-
Rate program, Ayer
fraudulently obtained
$468,496 in
payments from
USAC. The charges
in the indictment
include 10 counts of
mail fraud and two
counts of wire
fraud."  
In May 2003,
Bamberg Schools
technology director
Cynthia K. ("Cindy")
Ayer apparently
spent ten days in the
penthouse in this
high-rise resort
above; according to
the online
guestbook:
The mission of
Bamberg
School District
One is to
develop
productive,
independent
and
contributing
members of a
multicultural
society by
providing
innovative
educational
experiences
which promote
lifelong
learning and
encourage
respect for
individual
differences.
We stayed at this
Penthouse for a
10 days in May.
I can sum this
condo in one word
FANTASTIC.
The view is
unbelievable from
all rooms.
The decor is
fabulous and the
condo is very
spacious.
We will be back
next year without a
doubt. [sic]
--Cindy Ayer
ABC's Johnson Stossel (above) with Houston City
Council hopeful Carlos Obando; below, Howard
Fuller of the Black Alliance for Education Options
and Dallas Rabbi Aryeh Feigenbaum (L)
Enough stories like
the foregoing, and
the case for
vouchers almost
makes itself.
And what of
Bamberg schools?  
They've got a
mission statement.  
And they're focusing
on multiculturalism.
Veronica Gallegos (L) and
Ashley Gutierrez, 9th graders at
San Antonio's Holy Cross High
School, live in Edgewood ISD;
San Antonio physician/
businessman Jim Leininger  
has funded a $50 million
vouchers program to EISD
schoolchildren.
(L to R) Darryl Thompson, Ashkelon Khan,
DaMarers Waldrup and Dontreal Thompson
(Darryl's brother) traveled from Houston's Fifth
Ward to attend the rally; they are students at E.O.
Smith Middle School
Lots of flag waving yesterday
(above); wearing your ideals on
your shirtfront beats wearing
your heart on your sleeve.
An endless stream of chartered buses -- 88 total, according to event
organizers -- were hired for the event.  Below, students from San Antonio's
Holy Cross High School standing ready for crowd control duty;
Holy Cross is located in Edgewood ISD.

Right now,
if a vouchers bill
passed today,
it would be tied to our
gibberish-laden,
vendor-driven TEKS; this
is the intent of the
education lobby, what I
call "Education, Inc."

While pro-voucher
conservatives are hoping
that vouchers legislation
will provide for testing
and standards which are:
Knowledge-based
Academic
Measurable
Explicit
Grade-level specific
and
Objectively tested,*
Education, Inc.
has been wily in the
extreme in the past.
Remember Voyager?
At all times and at all
costs, Education, Inc.'s
vested interest is to
continue the status quo.  

If children attending
voucher-paid
private schools
are forced to take
the TAKS test,
nothing will be gained
--and much will be lost.  
The only place parents
will  then have left
is to homeschool.

We must be wary that
the Lege is not
hornswoggled again
as occurred when the
TEKS were chosen over
the TAD--and
common sense.
The FBI appears to be on
the trail of clearing up
this earlier debacle.
Let's not drop our guard
again.
THE SINGLE FACTOR
THAT COULD MAKE
VOUCHERS WORSE
FOR TEXAS
SCHOOLCHILDREN
As a conservative,
I'm all for students
getting to go to better
schools with
traditional curricula,  
our tax dollars follow-
ing the students. That
said, there is a big
problem as things
stand right now:
Jim Leininger
(above right)
About the rally,
Connie Sadowski of
Austin CEO
Foundation (above)
commented,
"Private schools need
to be aware at all
times of what their
students are
accomplishing with
standardized
testing--Iowa or
Stanford  achieve-
ment tests.  There
would be no reason to
overregulate private
schools to mandate a
TAKS test which is
very controversial
right now--and in the
middle of a rewrite."
She added,
"There are a lot of
wonderful public
schools and teachers
in Texas.  We're
addressing the needs
of the schools that
are not meeting the
needs of some
children."
Dallas Rabbi
Yehudah
Abrams (R)
John Stossel, February 7th rally's keynote speaker
Below, Channel 8 reporter looks for meaning
and the right words in the State of Texas.