HAS DOUG McNALLY BEEN SECRETLY NAMED ACTIVE SUPT. OF PITTSFIELD SCHOOLS? … JOE PINHEAD LAYS IT ON THE LINE … THE PLANET, EVENING THE SCORE FOR THE LITTLE GUY, CHALLENGES THE GOB TO A LIVE DEBATE … THE EDUCATION SCAM EXPLAINED … UNEASY QUESTIONS NOW BEING ASKED OF SCHOOLS … WE HEAR, FIRST HAND, FROM A TEACHER WHO DARES TO SPEAK OUT … plus … ADVICE TO PARENTS: PULL YOUR KIDS OUT OF PITTSFIELD SCHOOLS NOW, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012) — First item: apropos to nothing and maybe everything, we are hearing persistent rumors that Doug McNally (after the usual nationwide search) will step in as interim superintendent of the Pittsfield School Department. If this is true, it show you how much of a panic the GOB is in, to bring in a retread like this. Also, if this pans out, let it be said: You (again!) heard it on THE PLANET first.
JOE PINHEAD NAILS IT: IN THE PROPAGANDA WAR, ‘THEY’ HAVE THE EDGE … BUT THE PLANET IS CLOSING THE GAP
Joe Pinhead, one of THE PLANET’s most astute and plugged in readers and commentators said it best in his post. Here are the salient points, Joe Pinhead writing:
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Blue Man, I think Ron’s comments are both appropriate and welcome here on the Planet as everyone is aware all are welcome here as long as they move the discussion along. And while his comments are tongue in cheek, they are timely, appropriate and sarcastically spot on. Do you not agree with his comments or how those issues sound devoid of the field of flowers and cute puppy dogs they are so typically brought up in [the postings and reportage by the GOB through their minions such as the BB]?
The discussion is long overdue in this City regarding its public education system. The best thing for ANY governmental body in a democracy is open discussion. We the People who foot the bill need to hear all sides of an issue. The School District gets its chance to tell us (at our expense mind you) of all the wonderful things it is doing for our children and our neighbors children in our name. They have a website, newsletters, parents groups etc. (PLANET’s underlines)
Your fear that people will remove their children from the schools is not unfounded. Simply look at the teachers and elected officials who already have. [Editor's Note: State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, for example, has pulled her kids out of Pittsfield schools for a south county school district]. Do you think they did this because the sun shines brighter in Lenox or wherever? Or is it because they already know what we are finding out?
It stands to reason that being “involved” in the system, they are aware of the situation before we are. And while I do not wish to lose value in my property, if I do because of the value of the schools or lack thereof, I would rather do that than place a generation of kids into a failing system with my head buried in the sand while chanting how wonderful the Emperors clothes are.
I am thankful Mr. Kinnas ran, [won], and is willing to put in the effort and energy that he does. He has started a dialogue. The dialogue might not be palatable or comfortable for everyone, but that’s just too damn bad. If the public officials do not want to be judged and held accountable to the public for the actions that affect the public, they should find employment elsewhere, a private school perhaps.
I am thankful that Dan via THE PLANET brings this info to us often in a thought-provoking way, not to stir the pot but to engage the City’s greatest resource — us —its citizens.
If we are to be good stewards of the resources, we must be open minded, educated, and informed of how it operates, where it operate,s and to whom it serves. And that, Blue man my friend, takes a lot more effort than gulping the proverbial kool-aid.
Joe P. makes a great point. The School Department gets to tell us ad infinitum, ad nauseum how wonderful and fruit-juicy everything thing is in the Pittsfield Public Schools. They have a stranglehold on all county media except for this website, and they would love to get their grubby hands on this. We are NOT FOR SALE!! They have cable TV, the BB, the radio stations, all the junk they release on their “all is great” website.
We The People have nothing … until THE PLANET. God forbid that we offer an alternate view. It makes us [PICK ONE] anarchists, opportunists, cynics, exploiters, crass entertainers, whippers up of crowds, inciters of the masses. We laugh in their face and sneer in the face of doom!
We challenge any public official to a live public debate on the robustness of the PPS. Anybody out there got the guts to take THE PLANET on, one-on-one, live, under the Klieg lights? Let us know. We will answer post haste.
The Boring Broadsheet: In the Pockets, Compliant, and Toothless while the Public Schools Whither on the Vine
They, the PPS, have the Boring Broadsheet in their back pocket, for instance, and all the radio stations. When was the last time you saw the BB do ANY kind of enterprise reporting on what’s going on — in t the taxpayer’s name and on his or her dollar — with public education in Pittsfield?
Ladies and gentlemen, there has been a scam going on in Pittsfield, under the rubric of Public Education, at least since 1993, when Ed Reform was instituted in Massachusetts.
Why Ed Reform, and why then? We’ll tell you why, because we were there, and we reported on this story first hand.
Our “profiles in courage” in the 90% Democratic legislature began to hear huge complaints from two key constituents about the dismal quality of its products, that is, about the graduating seniors. Both higher education (colleges and universities), and Business (you know, the Dreaded Private Sector), began to lobby hard for change. They told politicians that the public schools were producing kids dumber than dirt.
Being politicians, they “solved” the problem by throwing money at it. Now, countless billions later, they have little to show for their progress except inflated test scores achieved on watered-down MCAS tests. Fact is, most of the products of the Pittsfield Public Schools cannot compete in college without first taking remedial reading, writing, and math. And talk to local businesses about the quality they are getting in new hires from the public schools. Too many PPS kids, if they haven’t dropped out first, are dumber than algae — not much of an improvement for the wasted billions of taxpayer money that funded this debacle.
The Center Did Not Hold. Things Are Falling Apart
The center did not hold. The wheels have flown off, and the chariot has ended up in the ditch.
Nonetheless, the GOBs, who have a vested interest in portraying All is Well, control the media, and they have — literally, we’re telling you — ordered the BB to lay off covering the schools [THE PLANET got this from one of our trusty (and disgusted) newsroom sources]. “Only print our press releases,” they have ordered the BB, and the “newspaper” has complied by either ignoring the real news or by printing the fiction. The radio stations and other so-called media? Forget about it.
THE PLANET and THE PLANET alone is taking on the GOBs, case-specific in public education, and beating them with …
… with THE TRUTH.
We The People Are Beginning to Wake Up
Slowly, we are seeing a critical mass of people — citizens, taxpayers, parents of school children, teachers, administrators, and even some public officials — joining in a movement designed to bring the current, corrupt, unaccountable system to its knees. The GOB can no longer control the flow of information, and that is making all the difference.
QUESTIONS AND MORE QUESTIONS ABOUND IN THE UNFOLDING SCANDAL THAT IS THE PITTSFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
We ask some interesting questions:
* Where is Dorothy Mack, the former director of the Teen Parent group? She seems to have disappeared. Suddenly. No one know nuttin! That group operated on grant money. Dr. Howard “Jake” Eberwein III admitted in public that he used grant money to balance the budget. Any connection? Hmmmm.
* What are the talking points the Establishment in the public schools, now in a state of panic, have drawn up to calm the masses? What’s the Kool-Aid they wants you to drink? We have an answer from THE STOOLEY, who works there. The following are phrases the administration has been given with which to respond to any inquiry from media, parent, public official, or anybody else who wants to know what the heck is going on in that spit-shaking operation? THE PLANET got its hands on a “Talking Points” sheet that we believe originated from the superintendent’s office. It was distributed to many (maybe all) senior administrators. Get this, and we quote:
– “A united from needs to be maintained in the community. Our schools need to be portrayed as good schools or we will see a mass exodus via school choice.”
– “Tell any inquiry that ["PLANET VALENTI] is dealing solely in rumors and lies. His source is an angry woman who had been laid off. If asked who that woman is, direct all inquiries to the superintendent’s office.”
— “Say: ‘People are just angry and frustrated, Dr. Eberwein is leaving, and they just want to ruin and punish him.’”
— “The controversy [started by Terry Kinnas and PLANET VALENTI] is way overblown, with little truth to it all.”
— “Dr. Eberwein was a good superintendent and did a lot of really good things for our schools.”
All inquiries are ordered to be reported to the superintendent’s office.
You get the idea. They have developed their talking points, and all of them are hogwash!
* Why, oh why, did’t the school committee even want to look at Christine Canning Wilson‘s resume. From what we have learned, that woman should have been hired on the spot to lead the Pittsfield public schools out of its morass, yet the school committee wouldn’t even give her the time of day. Why?
* What is the state’s TRUE role at this point in time in the Pittsfield Public Schools? We are hearing some mighty interesting claims about this, and about two state officials from the state Department of Education who have been embedded in the Pittsfield tar pit. Has the state finally got fed up with the doing in Pittsfield? Have the two DOE officials been sent here to get data and information in order to Lower The Boom? We are now digging into this aspect of the story, and it may hold the key to everything. Stay tuned. This is getting interesting.
* Why are rank-and-file teachers so angry and frustrated by what one member of the United Educators of Pittsfield calls her “goon leadership?” The union leaders — not the rank-and-file, to be clear, who are disgusted with their leaders but who are held in check by fear — have enforced “an unwritten code.” Let us quote from a qualified source here. Let’s call her Teacher A:
TEACHER A: “I have seen this unwritten code play out sooooo many times it makes it very scary. No bully, intimidation, or scare tactic is spared in such situations. As is so often the case in this system, if you slightly move out of step, or peep behind the wrong curtain, or peer through the smoke screen [of the UEP leadership] — by mistake or on purpose — and generally with such actions you unwittingly start a domino effect, upsetting many for daring to peep and alarm others as what was or could have been seen behind the screen.