Saturday, April 10, 2010

On Paid Leave? She should be fired.

She the teacher in the story below still be employed by a public school?

The following piece appeared in the Nashua Telegraph.

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

Woman arrested is teacher
Staff Writer

MERRIMACK – The woman arrested last week for allegedly having someone sober start her car is a teacher at Merrimack’s Mastricola Upper Elementary School.

Lisa Dinucci, 46, of 135A Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack, was arrested April 3 and charged with alcohol ignition interlock circumvention, police said.

Dinucci, a French teacher at the elementary school, was required to install an ignition locking device on her car as a result of a Dec. 12, 2008, aggravated driving while intoxicated conviction in Milford District Court, police said. The device essentially requires a breath test to check alcohol content, before the car can be started.

Police allege that Dinucci convinced another person to blow into the tube for her on two occasions so that Dinucci could drive the car.

Marge Chiafery, superintendent of the Merrimack School District, said she found out about the arrest from a Telegraph story and placed Dinucci on paid leave while she conducts her own investigation.

Chiafery didn’t know how long Dinucci had been at the school but said she works on a continuing contract, so she’s been there at least four years. Dinucci teaches French to the school’s fifth- and sixth-grade students.

Chiafery said she had not heard any complaints or concerns from parents. She declined to explain what her investigation into the allegations would entail. She said putting a teacher on paid leave is a standard response in similar situations.

“I think obviously it’s just incumbent on me to do the investigation,” Chiafery said. “I’m always concerned about student welfare. We just need to find out the truth.”

Police didn’t report whether they were able to identify the person who allegedly blew into the device for Dinucci or whether that person might also be charged.

Dinucci was arrested Saturday, charged with alcohol ignition interlock circumvention, and later released on personal recognizance pending arraignment Tuesday in Merrimack District Court.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or

The Break Down of Our Country Hastens with Actions in Public Schools

Take a child away from a their parents and teach them the State's political ideas and you breakdown the relationship between parent and child. There is a reason I call them Taxpayer Funded Socialist Indoctrination Centers. The following piece appeared on Fox News.

Quote of the Day - Friedrich Engels, who in his 1847 draft of the Manifesto called "Principles of Communism" wrote as one of its tenets: "Education of all children, from the moment they can leave their mother's care, in national establishments at national cost."

Education is a privilege not a right. The only right one has when it comes to education is the right of a parent to educate their own children as they see fit.

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

Maine Commission Moves to Ban Gender Specific Bathrooms, Sports Teams in Schools
By Diane Macedo -

The Maine Human Rights Commissions taking heat over a proposal to ban schools from enforcing gender divisions in sports teams, school organizations, bathrooms and locker rooms, saying forcing a student into a particular room or group because of their biological gender amounts to discrimination.

The little girls' room won't be just for little girls anymore, if the Maine Human Rights Commission has its way.

The commission is taking heat over a controversial proposal to ban schools from enforcing gender divisions in sports teams, school organizations, bathrooms and locker rooms. It says forcing a student into a particular room or group because of his or her biological gender amounts to discrimination.

The issue came to light last year when the commission ruled that, under the Maine Human Rights Act, a school had discriminated against a 12-year-old transgender boy by denying him access to the girls' bathroom.

Now the commission aims to issue guidelines on how schools should deal with similar situations in the future. It would make Maine the first state to implement such guidelines for schools as young as preschool and nursery -- and even some private schools.

But not everyone in the state is on board with the current proposal.

Some school districts and organizations have criticized the commission for making its initial ruling without getting enough input from conservative groups, and then for coming up with proposed guidelines in what some described as closed-door sessions.

"The conservative side was never brought in on the discussion in the first place, if you look at who gave testimony, written testimony, etc., in the beginning,” Rev. Bob Celeste of Harrison told “When you only bring one side in, you’re not looking for an honest debate. You’re looking for an agenda.”

Once it came time to vote on the guidelines, the commission again came under fire for not doing enough to inform Mainers of the vote, and for not allowing the public to speak at the hearing where it was held.

“We found out about this hearing by accident. We were never informed of it,” said Celeste, who was the first person to speak out at the March hearing.

“When I went to the hearing I expected to ask, ‘Why are they doing this?’ And they said that they weren’t going to have public hearings,” he said. “I said ‘Mr. Chairman, it’s getting late, when are we going to be able to ask questions?’ and he said, ‘You can’t.’”

Celeste says he then walked out of the meeting, but other outraged citizens got very vocal after his departure and apparently persuaded the commission to postpone the vote.

Now those critics are looking to get their voices heard again at a public hearing on the issue next month.

"When we separate biology it gets very confusing for everyone," Mike Heath, president of the American Family Association of New England, told "Now we're talking about bathrooms where ladies will entertain the possibility of men being in the restroom with them, and every woman I've talked to has indicated that they wouldn't be comfortable with that."

With the law affecting schools ranging from nursery level to post-doctorate studies, Heath says he's concerned with the ramifications of opening up "this can of worms," especially when it comes to younger students.

“I get a little more upset with the topic when it touches on young children and what they’re going to have to think about and process,” he said.

Critics seem especially concerned about the mixing of genders in bathrooms and locker rooms. The commission's proposal reads: "Transgender students must be allowed access to the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity or expression or, if they prefer, to existing single-stall bathrooms."

"There's not a whole lot of places a girl can expect privacy, but the bathroom should be one of them," said Celeste. "And there's not a whole lot of places a boy expects privacy, but the bathroom should be one of them. Married couples close the door when they go to the bathroom.”

Ken Trump, President of National School Safety and Security Services, says the guidelines set out in the commission's draft brochure pose some serious safety issues as well.

"If my kid walks into a girls' bathroom and sees a man in there, the child is going to instinctively feel that something’s wrong. If you create an entirely new climate where anything goes, you’re going to create increased confusion, and those with ill intentions could take advantage of that confusion and decreased ability to make a distinction," Trump told

"The reality is, every day we’re seeing more and more cases of exploitation of children and others, and this would be creating an environment where the risk is increased for that exploitation."

Because the commission suggests that people won't be obligated to supply medical documentation that proves they are transgender, Trump says the policy also paves the way for increased sexual activity on school grounds – both consensual and non-consensual.

"Educators at the middle school level struggle every day in trying to keep student hormonal issues under control so that the focus can be on education," he said. "We certainly don’t need to create an environment to accelerate and exacerbate the issue and further the experimentation, the inappropriate comments, inappropriate touching, groping, grabbing, sexual assaults and in some cases, rapes in schools."

Karen Kemble, the Director of Equal Opportunity for the University of Maine, says the university has not taken a position for or against the proposed guidelines, but she shared concerns over some of them, including schools' inability to ask for "proof" of sexual orientation.

"This would leave the institution without any way to determine the bona fide nature of the gender identity or expression," Kemble said in a letter to the commission.

"It is routine practice to seek documentation of non-obvious disabilities in the event of an accommodation request. Even in the case of religious accommodations, an employer may sometimes seek additional information regarding either the religious nature of the request or the sincerity of a particular belief," she added.

As an NCAA institution, Kemble says the University of Maine system could also face many hurdles when it comes to incorporating the guidelines into its athletic program.

"Some of the issues that we face are that the NCAA has rules that if we, for example, allowed a transgender student to participate in gender-segregated sport, then that may raise concerns about fairness and also may spark action by the NCAA, she said.

"We certainly want to have a welcoming environment and are doing everything we can to support the right to gender identity and gender expression," she added.

John Gause, counsel for the Maine Human Rights Commission, told that the commission is still in the process of developing guidelines on how the Maine Human Rights Act "applies in the context of sexual orientation in schools and colleges."

"A date and location for the public comment session will be finalized in the near future," he wrote in an e-mail.

The commission said more information on the public hearing will be posted on its Web site once those details are finalized.

Neither Gause nor the commission's executive director, Pat Ryan, returned follow-up e-mails and phone calls seeking a response to concerns raised over the guidelines.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nice! Not!

Teachers' Unions such wonderful people. What is the jab to the tea party members at the end of the story?

The following piece appeared on the website.

Quote of the Day - “When school children start paying union dues, that 's when I'll start representing the interests of school children.” Albert Shanker

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

Prayer returns to the classroom: Teachers’ union prays for Gov. Christie’s death
By: J.P. Freire
Associate Commentary Editor
04/09/10 11:50 AM EDT

If you’re concerned about violent political rhetoric, perhaps you should pay more attention to the New Jersey Education Assocation (sic). According to the Bergen County Record, the powerful teachers union circulated a memo that added Christie to an “attack” list and prayed tongue-in-cheek for his demise:

Bergen County representatives of the state teachers union have ratcheted up the campaign against Governor Christie’s agenda in a fiery memo that encourages members to “get some dirt” and “go public,” and adds the education commissioner to the “attack list.”

But it’s the memo’s closing “prayer” that is sure to ignite controversy:

“Dear Lord … this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. … I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor.”

The memo, sent to locals in the county earlier this week and obtained by The Record on Thursday, is signed by New Jersey Education Association field representatives, including Joe Coppola, president of the Bergen County Education Association.
(Hat tip: Jim Geraghty)

Say what you will about tea parties, at least they’re not in your kids classrooms.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Don't Work Too Hard

If people ever wonder why I don't send my children to public schools here is one of the reasons why I don't. The following piece appeared on John Stossel's Blog. As long are unions are in schools, public education will be about the teachers and not about educating students. There is not telling how much potential was never reached because of fine teachers like Jamie Escalante are pushed out of public schools. Public schools will not improve until unions are removed from schools and funds follow the child and not the institution.

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

Quote of the Day - "One of the greatest things you have in life is that no one has the authority to tell you what you want to be. You’re the one who’ll decide what you want to be. Respect yourself and respect the integrity of others as well. The greatest thing you have is your self image, a positive opinion of yourself. You must never let anyone take it from you."
Jaime Escalante Educator

April 1, 2010 11:01 AM EDT by John Stossel
Teachers Unions: Don't Work Too Hard!

Jaime Escalante -- the math teacher who became famous for teaching even the poorest kids calculus in a failing Los Angeles school -- died this week at age 78. His story shows not just what can be accomplished by great teachers, but also what damage unions can do.

Escalante got national attention when 14 out of 15 of his students at a low-ranking Los Angeles school passed the Advanced Placement Calculus exam. By 1987, 73 students from the school passed the AP calculus exam -- more than all but six other schools in the country. After a movie about his success, called "Stand and Deliver", was released in 1988, Escalante became an icon for showing that even the most disadvantaged kids could learn complex subjects if given the right instruction.

I would think that any reasonable education system would reward Mr. Escalante. But this is a unionized public school we're talking about. As Reason Magazine reported several years ago:

One assistant principal threatened to have him dismissed, on the grounds that he was coming in too early (a janitor had complained), keeping students too late, and raising funds without permission.

Can you imagine if a private school operated like that? Sadly, the story gets worse.

After Stand and Deliver was released, Escalante became an overnight celebrity... This attention aroused feelings of jealousy. In his last few years at Garfield, Escalante even received threats and hate mail. In 1990 he lost the math department chairmanship, the position that had enabled him to [teach students from 9th grade on, so that they would have adequate preparation once they got to his calculus class.]

But Escalante kept teaching, sometimes with classes of 50 students or more.

Calculus grew so popular at Garfield that classes grew beyond the 35-student limit set by the union contract. Some had more than 50 students. Escalante would have preferred to keep the classes below the limit had he been able to do so without either denying calculus to willing students or using teachers who were not up to his high standards. Neither was possible, and the teachers union complained about Garfield's class sizes. Rather than compromise, Escalante moved on.

School officials were unapologetic. One official said:

"We were doing fine before Mr. Escalante left, and we're doing fine after."

The result? Over the next five years, the number of students at the school passing AP calculus tests plummeted from 85 a year to just 11.

It is impossible to record all the innovations that unions have destroyed. But unions are clearly one reason that even though America spends more money on education than other countries, American students score near the bottom on international tests.

Read more:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Got to give them a round of applause when it is warranted!

Doing the right thing! Teachers are going to see more job losses over the next 5 years if they do not start to give back.

The following piece appeared on Daily

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

To the Editor:

Congratulations to the Boonton Education Association, and especially to Superintendent Christine Johnson, to coming to an agreement to freeze wages for the members of the union. This bold act is to be applauded as it has reportedly saved 25 jobs and certainly maintains the quality of education in Boonton.

These are hard times for all and many of us in the private sector have been making difficult decisions over the last three years concerning health care, benefits, wages and furloughs. It must have been very hard to come to this agreement considering the pressure that must have been put on this union from the state association and neighboring unions. I applaud the teachers for standing firm and thinking for themselves and not following like robots in making this decision.

Boonton is very lucky to have secured Christine Johnson as their superintendent recently and she has proven to be a true leader.

I hope teachers unions in other towns follow the lead of the Boonton association and compromise on wage freezes and other givebacks to maintain quality education and preserve the jobs of some of their fellow teachers.

East Hanover

Monday, April 5, 2010