Saturday, March 28, 2009

The primary educators in a child's life.

I am going to save my commentary for after the following piece written by my fabulous and intelligent husband.

"At our last meeting, we discussed the issue of class size on academic performance. A woman in the audience commented that I was “lucky”, having endured large classes without undue personal harm. I took this veiled complement in stride, but the word “lucky” stuck in my mind.

If I felt that I had fared well in life, was it the result of luck? Not a chance! I had fantastic teachers for whom “luck” was not part of the program. These teachers not only provided the knowledge to carry me through life, but taught me values, gave me a sense of purpose, and the life skills I depend upon to this day.

I remember one teacher who took time after school to teach me how triangles worked. He taught me this when I was only 11, avoiding the scary term “trigonometry” so I would accept this as something I could understand. Less than a year later, another teacher lent me her Calculus book, not revealing that it was a college level text, paving the way for years of fruitful learning through my college years.

The greatest teachers in my school years went out of their way to impart their knowledge to a rather unappreciative adolescent. Beyond the scope of the standard school texts, they taught me music, thermodynamics, relativity, metallurgy, anything else that I was able and willing to absorb.

These teachers didn’t stop with mere academics. They taught self-reliance, and that “impossible” is a dirty word. It would be a grave disservice to allow such teachers, to whom I owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude, to remain anonymous.

So mom and dad, thanks for all you’ve done. You provided an environment in which one could not help but grow. Tell my mom I was lucky, and she’ll tell you it was years of dedication and duty as a mother. Tell my dad I was lucky, and he’ll show you the years of planning and sacrifice that went into the personal and scholastic financial planning that made our education possible."

Jim Peschke

In response to the budget cuts some people stated "You are ruining my child's education." I am sorry this is hogwash, as a parent you are responsible for a child's education. There is no more important teacher in a child's life than a parent. Your child will take from the current situation in Croydon what you present to them. The cuts in the budget are not the end of the world. There is no correlation between per pupil spending and academic performance. Want further proof look at all the homeschoolers who educate their children for fractions of pennies on the dollar when compared to public schooled children. Homeschoolers also out perform their public schooled counterparts.

Yes we need public schools but educators must remember that schools exist to serve the children, schools do not exist to serve the educators who have hijacked the system as their own entitlement program. Public education dollars should follow the child and not the system. Those on food stamps, medicare or medicaid are not forced to pick one institution to get their service in the town in which they live, those being served by public education should not be held hostage by one institution.

When I went to school we did not have para educators and teacher's assistance, we had room mothers. If as a parent you are concerned about the teacher load volunteer as tens of thousands of mothers have done in the past. Educators complain they want more parental involvement well parents get involved. If both spouses work maybe it is time to put your children first and learn to live on one income so you can be more involved in your child's life.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Newport Schools to Receive $390,000 from "Obama's Let's Bankrupt the US Funds"

The Valley News is reporting that Newport Schools will receive $390,000 from the "Let's put our children and grandchildren in debt for the rest of their lives fund." The story is titled "A Windfall for Twin State Schools" and appears in the March 26th addition of the Valley News.

The money comes with stipulations that could create problems for Newport taxpayers in the future. The stipulations are that the money must supplement current budgets it cannot be used within the current budget thus giving taxpayers a rebate at the end of the school year. There is also no guarantee that that this money will be available again in 2011 (which is a good thing because this is just printed money that has been added to the US debt). Once enacted these programs will either be dropped after 2011 or the Newport Taxpayers will be asked to increase their property taxes yet again in 2011.

I believe that Newport schools and all schools should just reject this money as that it is just funds that are bankrupting our Country. Rejection of the funds would set a good example for the students of Newport about fiscal responsibility and living within your means. But, Newport schools rejecting these funds is about as likely as a crack addict giving up crack.

Since Newport and Croydon are part of SAU 43 will Newport share the funds with Croydon? If Newport keeps the money they should offer it to Croydon as a good faith measure since our contract is expiring in 2010 with Newport schools. I would hope that the Croydon board would reject the funds but we will have to see what happens at the next school board meeting if it is indeed offered. Than again sharing of the funds is about as likely as an 18 month old sharing his favorite toy.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

What HAS happened to our public schools?

More people must speak up about the problems within our public schools, (aka government schools aka taxpayer funded socialist indoctrination centers) until they do nothing will be resolved. More and more I see people speaking up and Croydon residents for the first time in a long time have stood up against the public school spending race. However, under the current federal administration it is like using a finger to plug a hole in the Hoover Dam.

The following piece appeared on the Delmarva Media Group website.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

What has happened to our public schools?

By Shaun Fink • March 23, 2009

The new administration has apparently figured out what is wrong with our educational system. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the lack of clear goals and objectives in today's public schools, because we are told that every student is unique and ought to be able to move at their own pace regardless of results. We are not to look at the impact of the lessening of school discipline, because we do not want to hurt or diminish our young children's self-esteem.

Likewise, do not blame the dumbing-down of what now passes for math, where 2 + 2 only equals 4 if it does not offend anyone; or the new history, where all of our forefathers were hateful men who cared only for their own self-interests.

You see, we the people have been in error about the problems facing our educational system. But do not worry; President Obama has explained it to us. We have been doing all the right things, just not enough of them. The solution, says the president and all the teacher's unions, is to lengthen the school day, week and year. If what you are doing does not work, do more of it.

According to the president, continuing to teach a social agenda instead of the four R's is a good thing. We are also to believe that focusing on a child's sense of worth instead of his achievements is the proper course of action in a world so mean and intolerant. What do parents know about raising their children; it takes a village, right?

Unfortunately, longer school days and attending year round will serve only to widen the chasms that already exist in the modern American family. At a time when we ought to be fostering a stronger home life, the decision has been made to attempt to separate children from their parents even more.

This will not work. The real solution is to change the method and content of our public education system. The better way is to model schools after those that are actually producing proven results. What we should be doing is looking to private, Christian, parochial and home-schooling systems to see what works.

The achievement gap between students attending public and nonpublic schools is large -- and growing every year. We have the know-how to teach our children, just not the political will to do so.

Of course, instead of looking to our own successful nonpublic schools as a model of how to properly educate, our president cites South Korea as the pinnacle of educational prominence.

South Korea? Are we now following the rest of the world? What happened to other countries looking to us? I remember when the United States stood as the shining example of achievement. If we were to place our trust in the hands of teachers -- not teachers' unions -- it would not be long before this nation once again stood tall as the world leader in educational excellence.

It is time to stop following and start to lead again.

Shaun Fink lives in Millsboro.

Quote of the Day “The best of my education has come from the public library... my tuition fee is a bus fare and once in a while, five cents for an overdue book. You don't need to know very much to start with, if you know the way to the public library.” Leslie Conger

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Per Pupil Spending vs. CPI

Click on the above image to enlarge.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Note about Cathy's Commentary

My husband Jim is now on the Croydon School Board that does not mean I will now remain quiet about the failures of our public education system and the spending problem within our public school systems including Croydon.
As Jim often states a great man once said, "Trust but verify."

Although married we each are responsible for our own words and statements, at times we may disagree with each other. Our actions are independent of each other and should not be used to assess the character of the other.

Cathy Peschke
Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

I spotted the above picture on the Northern Sun website.


This must share piece is presented to my readers without my commentary.


I am a student of history. Professionally. I have written 15 books in six languages, and have studied it all my life. I think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is just a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis. Yes these exist, but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus.

Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about ten or fifteen years. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two.

We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know they can never pay back. Why?

We learn just days ago that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has 'loaned' two trillion dollars (that is $2,000,000,000,000) over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms. That is our money. Yours and mine. And that is three times the 700 B we all argued about so strenuously just this past September. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of 'we the people,' who loaned our powers to our elected leaders. Apparently not.

We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy. Why? We have intentionally dumbed down our schools, ignored our history, and no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why we are worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate. Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, and school boards continue to back mediocrity. Why?
We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (now violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it wants marriage to remain between one man and one woman.

Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago? We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic. To what purpose?

Now our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, social security is nearly bankrupt, as is Medicare and our entire government, our education system is worse than a joke (I teach college and know precisely what I am talking about) the list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth. It is potentially 1929 x ten. And we are at war with an enemy we cannot name for fear of offending people of the same religion, who cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so.

And now we have elected a man no one knows anything about, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla , Alaska . All of his associations and alliances are with real radicals in their chosen fields of employment, and everything we learn about him, drip by drip, is unsettling if not downright scary. Surely you have heard him speak about his idea to create and fund a mandatory civilian defense force stronger than our military for use inside our borders. No? Oh, of course. The media would never play that for you over and over and then demand he answer it. Sarah Palin 's pregnant daughter and $150,000 wardrobe is more important.

Mr.. Obama's winning platform can be boiled down to one word: CHANGE.


I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now!

This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.

And that is only the beginning.

And I thought I would never be able to experience what the ordinary, moral German felt in the mid-1930s. In those times, the savior was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing. What they did know was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory and promises. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his 'brown shirts' would bully them into submission. And then, he was duly elected to office, a full-throttled economic crisis at hand [the Great Depression]. Slowly but surely he seized the controls of government power, department-by-department, person-by-person, bureaucracy-by-bureaucracy. The kids joined a Youth Movement in his name, where they were taught what to think. How did he get the people on his side? He did it promising jobs to the jobless, money to the moneyless, and goodies for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe , and across the world.

He did it with a compliant media. Did you know that? And he did this all in the name of justice and . .. .. change. And the people surely got what they voted for.

(Look it up if you think I am exaggerating.)

Read your history books. Many people objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and made fun of. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though.

Don't forget that Germany was the most educated, cultured country in Europe .. It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And in less than six years a shorter time span than just two terms of the U.. S. presidency' it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors. All with the best of intentions, of course. The road to Hell is paved with them.

As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice: I can either believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust); I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades; or I can hope I am wrong by closing my eyes, having another latte, and ignoring what is transpiring around me.

Some people scoff at me, others laugh, or think I am foolish, naive, or both. Perhaps I am. But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe, and why I believe it.

I pray I am wrong. I do not think I am.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Judge Orders District To Provide Kindergarten

In a number of posts in the past I have discussed why kindergarten benefits educrats and not children. Yet again we have judges interfering with due process and the constitution. The following infuriating piece appears in the Union Leader via the Nashua Telegraph.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Judge: Hudson, NH must have kindergarten by fall

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) -- A judge has ruled that the school district in Hudson, N.H., must have public kindergarten in place in time for the start of the school year this fall, even if its unfunded mandate lawsuit against the state continues in court.

The Telegraph reports that the decision, handed down last week following a court hearing, will be the subject of a special school board meeting Tuesday night.

The district had asked for an injunction preventing it from starting kindergarten while its lawsuit is pending.

In his ruling, Judge James Barry wrote that the district failed to convince the court it would suffer irreparable harm if forced to implement kindergarten under the existing state funding formula.

The suit now moves to the trial phase, expected to start in September.

You Pay More Taxes, I Really Don't Want To

Jim and I have been fighting for true education reform and against excessive education spending for 7 years. In all of those years, every time a referendum or warrant has failed we asked those who want to pass tax increases on others to voluntarily contribute to the public schools aka government schools. No one has ever voluntarily contributed to the public schools the proposed increased tax burden or funds to make up the lack of taxes caused by failure of a tax increase to pass. I believe these people really do not believe the schools need the extra funds or they would be willing to find the money in their own budget to give to the schools. Often times those that push the increases have direct financial benefit from the passage of said tax increase.

The following LTE recently appeared in the Valley News.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Twenty-five Croydon voters opposed the $67,603 cut in the school budget. Some were deeply concerned how this would affect their children’s education. First the parents are ultimately responsible for the education of their children. Where a school fails it is the parent’s responsibility to fill in the cracks. Second these 25 voters can cut a check to the Croydon School District for $2704.12 each, this amount would replace the funds that were cut. Voluntary contributions on your part will show your true commit to the education of Croydon’s children.

Cathy Peschke
Croydon, NH

School Board Meeting Tonight

There is a school board meeting tonight at the Croydon School House. The board meeting will be at 6:00 p.m. Tonight the board will cut $67,500 from the budget. This amount was agreed upon by the majority of voters at the March 14th town hall meeting.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.