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, 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:

—– 00 —–

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.

—– 00 —–

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.



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. 

“People get really defensive and nuts and generally you are reminded ‘of your place and stature.’ In addition, there will be a mob-handed operation going into effect to neutralize you. Not many hours have to pass before you are alone at the lunch table or staff stop talking when you walk into room. Most of the idiots don’t even know why you are being black balled, but are so cowardly they dare not go against the crowd. They fear that same thing will happen to them and it is a realistic fear, so they keep their mouth shut.  This happens over and over again. I kid you not.
“The Union mob go into action, too, across the district.  Pretty soon, you are so isolated and worked against that it is impossible to do anything in your job effectively.”
Not a pretty picture, but it is the TRUE PICTURE of what is happening in the name of public education in Pittsfield.
Our advice to any parent who wants the best for their children: If they are enrolled in a Pittsfield Public School, exercise school choice. Get them out of there, before it’s too late and the walls come tumbling down. It may happen sooner than most anyone realizes.
And meanwhile through all this, not one public statement by the school committee or its chairman. The PPS also remains silent. It’s easy to see why: They have to defend an indefensible position, and they can no longer do it.



  1. Andrew
    May 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Leaving aside the massive ego stroking that is literally the entire first half of your post, with your history of publishing information that is falsified or untrue, is that “talking points” memo you received actually from the Superintendent’s office or is it something else entirely?

    Can you provide said document? Maybe a screenshot of the email itself or just link us to the the pdf so we can judge for ourselves. You incorporating into your post while claiming that it’s an actual document leaves some doubt out there. Be a diligent blogger and let your readers make up their own minds.

    • bobbyd
      May 18, 2012 at 3:23 am #

      Leaving aside the massive ego stroking …

      Stroking is right! This place is one giant “intellectual” circle jerk.

      • Pittsfield Pete
        May 18, 2012 at 9:22 am #

        Yeah! I agree …. So well said … The circle is PPS and it always comes back around to a foul smell and smoke screen from The Mercer Building.

        Circle the wagons for the GOB’s of the school department boys!!!!

    • hoppity
      May 18, 2012 at 6:17 am #

      Well, literal document or not, I have a neighbor who works in school admin. Obviously I will not share the name, but he told me about the “talking points.” They were eerily similar to whats reported here. I think the point being made by the blogger is that Mercer has circled the wagons.

    • Just A thought !
      May 18, 2012 at 7:51 am #

      Dan- Fair exchange in Mercer Parking lot , -,Dorothy Mack in the flesh for PDF file of document .

  2. Home Run
    May 18, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    Who’s your Daddy Andrew ? We know …all those photos in taken in west Stockbridge will be good for us to show

  3. Home Run
    May 18, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    Why would you want emails or screen shots when you have them already you clone

  4. Home Run
    May 18, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    Hey Andrew-are u related to Attoy Dupris or Cohen ?

    • Andrew
      May 18, 2012 at 5:08 am #

      Who do you think I am? This cryptic paranoia crap isn’t making much sense.

      • Home Run
        May 18, 2012 at 10:56 am #

        Nice Try Andrew… Send in another PPS clown to The Planet, under a different name. Maybe one of your ‘Relatives ‘ will have an idea as to who it should be, what they should say, and what name to use.

        • spectator
          May 18, 2012 at 11:58 am #

          He’s one of the GOB’s himself.

          • GMHeller
            May 20, 2012 at 12:40 am #

            Andrew is most likely Praxis33 the guy who poses as Andrew Stevens, Solons, Robert, and so many others on these PV threads and on Topix.
            He’s also the clown who posed on PlanetValenti a few weeks back as a Greylock Federal Credit Union branch manager and spread misinformation about GFCU.

          • Andrew
            May 20, 2012 at 8:38 am #

            To GMH:

            I am unequivocally none of those people. I’ve also never posted on Topix and didn’t know what it even was before you started talking about it on this site.

            Every should relax and try to actually respond to the merits of my arguments rather than to obsess over who I am simply be

  5. Outfox
    May 18, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    DV, be sure to hit Tony Luke’s in South Philly for the best roast pork sandwich under the sun.

  6. Jim Gleason
    May 18, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    If Dougie Do Right is in fact the interim super it is a sad day for Pittsfield. He was a failure and a thug as a principal at Reid and Taconic and is behind Howard the third to the hilt. It is sad to even think of this happening.On another subject, went to Third Thursday for the first time last night. Haven’t seen the BB but whatever inflated figure they give for attendance there were, at the very most, 2,000 people there. Not as great as they and other propagandists say it is for me. It was alright but I’d have just as good a time hanging out with friends watching a game on TV or in person, maybe a better time in fact.

    • taxmano
      May 18, 2012 at 5:29 am #

      I thought Doug would be out of the running due to the Canning lawsuit that ended his reign…

    • Pittsfield Pete
      May 18, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      Thug – yes that is exactly what he was. He ran his building like a dictator.

      Form PPS departments point of view he is the right candidate for the job. He could round up all the rebels in town who dare to ask questions and put the fear of G-d in any teacher who dared raise their head. Just like he did at Taconic for years.

      Please, This School Dept is a joke. Thanks Howie III

      • Jim Gleason
        May 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

        There are many McNally horror stories I’ve heard from many people. I had a very bad experience with him at Reid myself. He liked to pick on people he perceived as weak or inexperienced. I was young and he accused me of something ridiculous that I had nothing to do with. He was and is a bully and we don’t need him in our schools again. Hope this rumor is untrue but it’s going all through the schools today.Sad.

    • Home Run
      May 20, 2012 at 11:47 am #

      Dear Andrew

      I would very much like to give your arguments the merit you feel so compelled for me to have for them. However,  let me point out some very difficult questions I, as a  silly Planet reader has. (A Planet reader who is some what second rate in your view, as I  often misspell words. )

      In your post You ask others here to indeed give merit to your arguments made in your very long post. Iin this very long piece, you  make the the following points. ( I do paraphrase)

       1. If an argument is to have SUBSTANCE it should be based on reliable sources of knowledge, based on a solid source of facts and be made by someone who knows about such things.

      2. The PPS are a fine place to send your kids based on the provided data in your post and when compared to the rest of the county and the places in the world such as Russia. In fact, our schools in PIttsfield are solidly AVERAGE. 

      You do go on in great detail in other areas of you piece , providing MCAS data from Egermont, Williams, Reid, Herberg. All schools in our district. 

      Andrew, please help this ‘poor misguided and uneducated reader’ of The Plant understand why…

      I should  give ‘ merit to your argumants’ when…

      The next day you post…. 

      1. I am not nor have I ever been an employee of the Pittsfield Public Schools.

      2. I do not currently live in Pittsfield and haven’t for some time.

      3. You have no idea who I am but I am not a person of any significance.

      Based on your point that schools should be judged only by those who are ‘qualified’ to do so and only based on true facts about the school , I, as a poor silly Plant reader am confused. 

      Since you are a person of ‘NO SIGNIFANCE’ and you have no connection to PPS, you simply are not a reliable source and have no substance. Despite sounding important, you clearly are not and have no substance on which to base your arguments. 

      Why should  I just calm down and drink your ‘Hog Wash’ when the the merits of your arguments well ‘ have no merit’ (You are after all  a person of ‘ no significance ” and do not work for PPS.) 

      You truly, insult our intelligence here. I would advise the Spin committee that the PPS has formed to do much better than insuling people in such a way. Perhaps thay can start by making a public announcement addressing the matters raised here on the Planet. Instead, of having fools such as you try feed us junk. 

      If the admistration have any credibility and truly care about our comminity and schools they will do so. If they truly stand behind the bill of goods they are trying to sell us in the form of our schools. If they believe in our schools and are guilt free if any wrong doing , than stand before us and speak the truth. Put your name to the goods you sell us and have created and stop hiding. Such hiding only leads us to question , what their maybe to hide.. 

      In the meantime, sending  in clowns such as you to say…

      ‘ just calm down’ everyone is not acceptable. 

      If an argument is to made that PPS are a good place to get and education than please have someone make it … someone ‘ with substance and some one with authority ‘  after all we have learned from you that just idle chatter from someone without any ‘SIGNIFANCE’  or knowledge of PPS facts is dangerous and just unfounded ‘rally cries. ‘

      In the meantime, as the bobble heads, in the form of Lawyers, ‘spin doctors’ and Amin  minions debate such a move , PLEASE stop insulting our intelligence. 

      Thank You

      PS – Can you please pass this on to the bobble head spin committe for PPS …
      ‘Everyone to just relax and to respond the merits if our arguments’ Rather than obsess over my spelling.

    May 18, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    After living in Pittsfield for many years will somebody tell me who the GOB is? The Planet and others at this site have been ragging for months about some mysterious group of people who are like the KKK and manipulate every aspect of Palookaville’s life. Can any names be released or are they members of a very secret, xenophobic group like the Know Nothings of a century and a half ago? Is there a leader? Perhaps this should be addressed if we are going to keep ranting about them. The Planet will never name a name, it will only tell you that they are there.

  8. Anytime
    May 18, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    Ambrose the names have been named many times. A GOB is anyone who holds a privileged position one of power and uses the position the power to his or her own selfish advantage the hell with the citizens. A GOB obtains power eithr by election, appointment or s/he is someones relative, family member or “knows someone.” Dr. Eberwein for example is a GOB, Ruberto, Stracuzzi Nilan certain bank presidents, councilors etc. A GOB is one who “plays ball” even(especialy when) it screws the people . Does that help?

    • Pittsfield Pete
      May 18, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Nice answer Anytime! When you spell it out like that this city has an over load of GOBs in key positions.

    • dusty
      May 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      There are many meat and potato stories begging to be told around Pittsfield right now. Andy Mick, head bobble at the Eagle, is not interested in doing so. Why? I think it is because he is a GOB in charge of protecting other GOBs. One unholy cog in the wheel.

    • levitan
      May 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm #


      I don’t believe there is a GOB network. Locating one would require an intense sociological study likely to be inconclusive and dull reading.

      But, GOBnes is a status, worn with stupid pride or plain hubris by blithering idiots who for any number of unfortunate reasons lack the insight, sophistication, or drive to do things such as coming prepared to meetings or taking a stand without looking around the room to see who’s nodding. The idea of ‘doing the right thing’ is so far off the radar for them that greater urgency can be worked over obliterating mosquitos than establishing a search model for a school superintendent.

      What is the source of this problem? Lack of intelligent people willing or able to jump in. Bloated councils. We have 11 members, Philadelphia has 17. What’s a councilman, more or less? PEDA is incompetent – so what’s the fix? Add more seats.

      How about this for a fix: we cut all the councils and departments in half and we require each member to say one smart thing per week. It’s a cultural crisis, the mobs are raging in the streets, Rome is burning, we need leadership.


      • levitan
        May 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

        And “we’re still stupid – it’s the economy” is still a bad slogan, Dan.

      • Pittsfield Pete
        May 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

        Levitan says …

        The idea of ‘doing the right thing’ is so far off the radar for them that greater urgency can be worked over obliterating mosquitos than establishing a search model for a school superintendent.

        You make the point so clearly Levitan. I guess catching flies is much more important than choosing a leader for our schoolls. The school comm is only looking for someone who will allow them to continue this stupid ‘ hide and seek ‘ game with the public.

        The solution.. Let’s call in macNally !!! Keep it strongly in the GOB family and keep all the secrets hid.

    May 18, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    What a shame some idiots had to give 3rd Thursday a black eye. And please, your law enforcement hater, don’t start blaming this on the police, What I heard from someone that witnessed this these youths were so out of control and rioting. The Police had there hands full and did a good job. Person said ” they used minimal

    • Home Run
      May 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      I just saw a homeless man waking on Union Steet. He had no shoes on and was drinking from a bottle in a paper bag.

      I feel so sorry for that man. How truly sad and disturbing.

      It is so,so, sad the the level this town has been reduced to. Can you imagine having to live downtown now? Or living on Union st and seeing that poor man everyday as you go into your appartment?

      Riots on Third Thursday, shootings, stabbings and now talk of our schools crumbling before us.

      The GOB s in this town have a lot to answer for.

    May 18, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    What a shame some idiots had to give 3rd Thursday a black eye. And please, your law enforcement hater, don’t start blaming this on the police, What I heard from someone that witnessed this these youths were so out of control and rioting. The Police had there hands full and did a good job. Person said ” they used minimal force, and boy they all did a good job, hats off to them”.

  11. Andy
    May 18, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    I know both Dorothy and Christine personally and have for decades. They are dedicated to their careers and the people they serve. It’s too bad good people are caught up in this mess while others seem to make it through unscathed.

    • Tim
      May 18, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      I heard mack was fired, didnt hear why… She or nobody else needs to come on here and explain why. If she screwed up a grant or something, then she should have been fired. If its for some other reason, and its was just, then let them find a replacement. If it was unjust, she is a strong personality who knows how to fight her own fight and will probably do so. Unless she decides to cut her losses, of course.

      • Just a Thought !
        May 18, 2012 at 9:07 am #

        If she was fired ? Why the need for an escort out of the building and use handcuffs?

        Never having worked at PPS, I wonder if handcuffs are standard procedure and necessary when firing someone.

        Maybe she asked too many questions about the PPS and the sheriff from the JRC arrested her.

        Or maybe she did something illegal with fund raising and grant funds .

        Or maybe she was abducted and has not been showing up to work and nobody cares or notices. Either way something stinks.

    • Pittsfield Pete
      May 18, 2012 at 8:26 am #

      I don’t know whomDorothy Mack is but Christine Canning is one top notch educator. We sure missed the boat on that one if she applied for super. The fact that she did not get an interview blows me away. If you google Christine Canning Wilson she has a list as long as your arm and they are not fluff hits like Facebook pages either. She even has educational books for sale that she wrote on Amazon.

      The fact that she grew up in Pittsfield and has been such a respected educator in my mind would have made her a perfect fit as she would have ties to the community and pproably would have stayed for a long time.

      Now we have the very person Christine blew the whistle on as a possible super. What a joke. The School Comm must think we are all fools.

      Doug Mc Nally as an intrem super’ Please!

      I am so sickened by the antics of the school dept. There is too much of a stench wafting out of Mercer for all this to be made up by some crazy people as the PPS would like to have us believe. I can catch the stench wafting from Mercer all the way down by the old jail building.

      The smell wafts like a GOB cancer throughout his city.

    • Home Run
      May 18, 2012 at 11:42 am #

      In my opinion, many , many people have been caught up in the ‘messy’ and ‘underhanded’ and ‘illegal’ acts of the PPS administrators. Clearly, these two are just two we have heard about.

      All my opinion though. However, like the saying goes ‘ Where there is smoke there is fire’

  12. Just A thought !
    May 18, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Yeah! / Me too, but then again, I think Howie Sr also had some issue with a lawsuit or was forced to step down.

    Now look, he has been at the head of the JRC sucking down a load of cash in payroll paid by the city.

    Maybe a past lawsuit while having worked at PPS is a resume builder and a requirement for an admin job.

    • Pittsfield Pete
      May 18, 2012 at 9:14 am #

      Yeah ! Just think of the resume builder Dorothy Mack pulled off.
      If we wait a month she will be back in town as the Intrem super!

      She has all the needed qualifications now!

  13. taxmano
    May 18, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    I’m losing track..what is the issue everone wants the school dept. to comment on? Why have they prepared talking points? The alleged affair of Jake with a principal? The misuse of federal funds? Other?

  14. Pittsfield Pete
    May 18, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    Humm! I too am losing track, Let’s see – disappearance of Dorothy Mack the director of a partly funded program by PPS.

    Can we add that to your list? And the strange rebuff of Christine Canning , a top notch educator by the school comm’ in the search for super.

    I am sure by tomorrow we will be able to add 2- 3 more. At this rate think how long the list will be in a week from now.

    Such a memory you have Taxman. The PPS does not seem to have the same capacity as you to so quickly recall such a list.
    Guess they think if they forget about it it must not have happened.

    • Home Run
      May 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

      I would have more questions to add to the list Taxman

      If it were up to me. I would ask the school comm to make a comment on the following…

      Does the school comm have any reason to doubt or contrary knowledge to make them doubt that…

      Jake is stepping down to spend more time with his family ?

      In m y opinion that would be something I would ask. If I ever had the chance.

  15. Teecha Teecha
    May 18, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Could someone elaborate on the whole “McNally as dictator” and exactly why he was ‘fired’? from his position at Taconic. All I remember was him walking around the building while Simonelli ran the show.

    • Home Run
      May 18, 2012 at 10:49 am #

      No …. We will leave the answer of that uestion to be given by the PPS. School comm and Department. After all , no one here wasnts to upset Andrew. He might just run off to one of his Relitives ( see above post) and complain.

      There was indeed a Christine Canning case though, she worked at Taconic when Doug McNally was principal. Her case was mentioned in the Eagle. Funny thing is… I think part of the settlement was a gag order on Ms. Cannevery to never give details of the case. I could be wrong about this, but it is another good question to asI your PPS department. If I am wrong, some one can just give her a call, to get the facts from the horses mouth.

      Then again … Let’s ask Andrew , he is posts here and with such authority on PPS issues. He might know the details for now till we get a clear answer from PPS.

      • Andrew
        May 18, 2012 at 10:56 am #

        You’re clearly borderline illiterate and paranoid. This will be the last I respond to you.

        -I am not nor have I ever been an employee of the Pittsfield Public Schools.

        -None of my immediate or extended family has ever been an employee of any school system in Berkshire County.

        -I do not currently live in Pittsfield and haven’t for some time.

        -I don’t know anybody living in Stockbridge.

        -You have no idea who I am but I am not a person of any significance.

        -The ideas and opinions I have are mine alone.

        • Home Run
          May 18, 2012 at 11:06 am #

          That’s good, ‘cos I was getting tired of talking to you too. But before we stop talking though, can you forward my questions about the Canning case and McNally to the PPS.

          Just so we can clear this up and maybe beable to at least be civil to each other in the future. In the meantime, I will work on my spelling and typing, just to please you.

        • Pittsfield Pete
          May 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

          Too much personal information for me Andrew? Your on The Planet’ as a blogger,

          – why are you talking and giving a list of details like you are in a court of law?

          ‘Just sayin Andrew’ and my point of view as I sit here and read this.

          • bobbyd
            May 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

            It’s so weird. Whenever I read your posts I hear them in Yosemite Sam’s voice.

      • Pittsfield Pete
        May 18, 2012 at 11:22 am #

        Always heard the Canning case being a referred to as a
        ‘ Whistle blower’ case. I could be way off, although I am pretty sure that was the term used by the Eagle. Maybe we can go back and find the printed article to clear this up.

        Is it true that the term ‘ whistler blower’ is used when an employee speaks out on major illegal things going on in an work place.

        Perhaps I am wrong again and someone could define whistle blower for us or take a peek at those Eagle articles.

        • Just A Thought !
          May 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm #


          Just so glad you could stop talking about the legal aspects of a school comm long enough to hear anything.

          ‘Who cares what voice you heard it in. It is a true sign of progress for you and all if us.’

          • bobbyd
            May 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

            Thanks. I guess.

            What exactly is the progress?

  16. Home Run
    May 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Hey Planet Folk, read this … It will take a while but well worth it when the dots are connected towards the end of the post.

    Andrew states the following today… See quote from his post below…

    -I am not nor have I ever been an employee of the Pittsfield Public Schools.

    -None of my immediate or extended family has ever been an employee of any school system in Berkshire County.

    -I do not currently live in Pittsfield and haven’t for some time.

    -I don’t know anybody living in Stockbridge.

    -You have no idea who I am but I am not a person of any significance.

    -The ideas and opinions I have are mine alone.

    However yesterday Andrew posted this…All in defense of PPS

    Now while I’m sure people will respond with snarky retorts riddled with sarcasm and spelling errors while sadly lacking substance, I feel somewhat compelled to offer up to those deeply concerned about the state of Pittsfield’s education some much needed perspective. This isn’t a defense of any one person or policy, it’s just I grow weary hearing (certainly not just on this site) about how bad our schools are.

    To those people I always say: “In comparison to whom?”

    Let’s go beyond Pittsfield for a moment and look at the state of education in our Commonwealth. Year after year Massachusetts is ranked at the top of all 50 states as having the best education. Whether it be NAEP testing, SAT/ACT scores, literacy rates, college admissions, or dropout rates, Massachusetts is at or near the top. This is something to be proud of.

    Many of you aren’t that familiar with what a true failing school or struggling school district looks like. You haven’t seen how schools are run in rural Mississippi and Arkansas or inner city Atlanta or even in Hartford or New Haven. I can confidently tell you that the worst Pittsfield School on its worst day looks nothing like the schools in those areas.

    A 2011 Harvard Study reaffirms this. While reading proficiency in Mississippi is comparable to Russia or Bulgaria, Massachusetts performs more like Singapore, Japan, or South Korea. Massachusetts students rank fifth in the world in reading, lapping Singapore and Japan as well as every state in the Union. In math, Massachusetts slots in a global ninth, ahead of both Japan and Germany.

    As somebody who is very familiar with standardized tests as well as curricula, the MCAS is one of the best written in the country. While I abhor the concept of “teaching to the test”, if one can do well on the MCAS I believe that it’s a reasonably accurate assessment of a student’s academic achievements. Flawed but accurate.

    So now that we’ve established that there isn’t a single other state (and few other countries) with a better educational system than that of Massachusetts, let’s look at Pittsfield.

    A simple glance at the 2011 MCAS scores show that, compared to the rest of the state, we’re generally right in the middle. Our two best elementary schools (Williams and Egremont) are in the top quartile in MA while the others are in the middle or lower quartiles. You can almost trace the levels of academic achievement by schools by the economic statuses of their neighborhoods. This is no different than literally every other part of the state. A state, I remind you, that is top in both the country and the world.

    Both middle schools perform around the average for schools in MA. In some grades and subjects they’re better while in other’s they’re worse. Our high schools perform below the average, yet neither are close to being the worst. Depending on the subject matter and grade there are between 50-200 high schools in the commonwealth that perform worse than Pittsfield.

    So let’s review. The Pittsfield Public School District is essentially an average-performing district in the state with the toughest standards and highest achievements. To be average in the best state is not something to cause wailing or gnashing of teeth. While some parents might send their children to Lenox (it’s gotta be tough for a school district whose mascot is “The Millionaires”) the Pittsfield School District is an absolutely fine place to get an education and will continue to be in the future.

    Now of course there are people who want to shake everything up and shout “reform!” to the rooftops. Those people often have few substantive ideas beyond some trite and weak concepts of what “good” schools are; concepts that are often rooted in some nostalgia-induced myopic vision of how their childhood schools were supposedly run. While people should also want to push their communities forward and better the futures of our children, let’s not let hyperbole be the enemy of reality. Could Pittsfield Public Schools be better? Of course. Is it currently bad? Not even close.

    NOW Planet Folk is it just me or does this sound like a statement from some one who

    Does not work for PPS ? And is a person of no significance in the PPS?

    I guess we should believe that this Andrew person lives in Iowa and has no other connection to PPS other than to spend his time reading up on and having access to data about the PPS.

    I Guess the Plantet is having a greater effect on people than we thought if , someone in Iowa is becoming so verses on our Pittsfield School System.

    • Scott
      May 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

      The same information was on public radio (round table) this week.

  17. Pittsfield Pete
    May 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    LOL – Good One !!! Pittsfield Pete says you hit a Grand Slam ! Way to go Home Run …

    LOL.. That’s what I do on my days off , read and study data about a school system I have nothing to do with, and do not even have relitives who work there.

    Those studies quoted above must be so so compelling to read.

    • bobbyd
      May 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

      Well, I admit it’s not as fun as a weekend of beer and NASCAR.

    • bobbyd
      May 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

      Damn! I meant “we admit.” We admit it’s not a much fun as a weekend of beer and NASCAR.

      • Scott
        May 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

        That sounds like a high caloric time!

      • Jim Gleason
        May 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

        I’ve had quite a few of those at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and they were some of the best times I ever had.NASCAR people are not pretentious snobs like you and Andrew. I take that as the ignorance it is.

        • Scott
          May 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

          I was just making a reference to sitting around consuming high calorie alcoholic beverages. Some one like you Jim suffering from diabetes should be more aware. Also don’t lump me in with Andrew although he does articulate his points well he’s plainly nuts.

        • bobbyd
          May 19, 2012 at 9:27 am #

          Back off, man. Pretentious snobs can like NASCAR, too.

    • Just A Thought !
      May 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      Andrew says when talking about PPS

      This isn’t a defense of any one person or policy, it’s just I grow weary hearing (certainly not just on this site) about how bad our schools are.

      To those people I always say: “In comparison to whom?”

      Not only does Andrew study that data and have access to data about PPS , but it seems from these quotes he talks to people abut the PPS. Can you imagine being at a dinner party with him.

      Of course it should be pointed out – that Andrew states he does not and never has worked for PPS.

      There is even some rumor he lives in Iowa.

      • Just A Thought !
        May 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

        Andrew states

        I feel somewhat compelled to offer up to those deeply concerned about the state of Pittsfield’s education some much needed perspective.

        In response to Andrew’s statement and because we here at ‘The Planet’ have not heard from Andrew for so long. I thought I would point out some obvious things. In his statement, Andrew is so very compelled to provide perspective on PPS. In essence, Andrew ties to feed the public a very large glass of ‘hog wash’

        Andrew, also takes a side jab at bloggers in ‘The Planet ‘

        When he states….

        ‘Now while I’m sure people will respond with snarky retorts riddled with sarcasm and spelling errors while sadly lacking substance…’

        Here Andrew tries to elevate himself above others and as someone who clearly would know better than others because his statements are filled wiith substance and of course lack spelling mistakes.

        The mention and frequent criticism of spelling mistakes of bloggers on this site is fairly recent. It is usually a comment made by someone supporting PPS in their comments.

        In my opinion, such comments, are really counter productive, as it just tries to convince some … who maybe guilty of spelling mistakes, that they are less intelligent than those who can spell properly and can quote Harvard studies while making ‘ substantive arguments.’

        In other words you are being told….’ butt out you stupid Pittsfield Smuck’ you know n othing, you can’t spell and your questions about PPS lack substance.

        The fact that most bloggers on the site are products of PPS we will leave unexplored at this time.

        Andrew, I say you are a self appointed snob. A stature and opinoin you are well entitled to hold of yourself, but for the fact that you live out of our pockets in this town and we carry you on our backs.

        Stop trying to tell me and others here how we are fools for asking logical questions. We are no such fools even if we do misspell words.

        Without having to lean on a Harvard Study to support my opinion, I would dare to say, I have just seen through you like Swiss cheese and shredded your attempt to tell me that PPS is a good place to send my kid. At the very least, if it is in the hands if a snob like you, who feels so much smarter than me or kids of my ilk… I say, no way, buddy boy, my kid is going near your classroom or even your school with you in it.

        I ll close by saying … I hope I made myself loud and clear to you , with spelling mistakes and all – you lousy smuck.

        • bobbyd
          May 19, 2012 at 9:30 am #

          You mad, bro?

        • levitan
          May 21, 2012 at 6:48 am #

          To be fair, citing a Harvard Study – or any other – would be substantive if he could anticipate or answer the questions thrown at it, as opposed to responding with his own snarky and sarcastic comments.

          The more tacky authors tend to commit the same offenses they accuse others, often simultaneously.

          • danvalenti
            May 21, 2012 at 8:21 am #

            Good point. Studies are one thing, but one needs to know much about how the study came about to invest as much in it as our correspondent obviously did. Who commissioned it? Why? What questions were asked? How was the data collected, analyzed, interpreted, and presented. I learned all about this in graduate school in a course called Statistical Programs for Social Sciences. Essentially, it was a course that taught you how to design and understand polling.

        • levitan
          May 21, 2012 at 9:15 am #


          Those are underlying questions that need to be addressed even before presenting a study. From there, a shrewd writer would think, “Likely bet someone will take issue with comparing the education system of a small city to that of a nation overseas. For example, you can’t even put all the schools in Pittsfield in the same boat. Williams is unusually strong, and there likely isn’t any school in Berkshire County that measures up to it.

          So, Andrew countered my argument by mistaking the examples of his study for the argument of the study. A common enough error, but that is where I take issue with him.

  18. Just A Thought !
    May 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    A long read but SO worth it ….

    I wonder could the ‘ Spin be In’ along ‘ with ‘ The Talking Points’

    • Home Run
      May 19, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      Planet Folk , news just in..

      The Fairy Tale of How The Two Andrews Were Born

      Here is my imagined theory of how it came about that Andrew the other day made a very long statement on he posted on The Planet as to how PPS is providing a great education. He goes on chapter and verse quoting MCAS data, and the performance of schools in our district. Then the very next day he  blogs how he iis not a PPS  employee, never has been and  does not even have a family member who works in PPS. 

      This idenity switch all though some what  ironic and funny has a very possible explanation as to how it came about.

      This of course is only a theory and of course not based on facts. To say it was based on fact would require producing a screen shot of and email or passing on an email with a PDF file of our proof . Perhaps a photo or Video of Andrew  posing the blog would be needed. I digress though. Iin our imagined story anf funny little fairy tale ee nade up and we are about to tell  we remember that in the last week ‘The Planet’ ran several articles at about the PPS. In essence, these articles gave some downtown who run our schools two black eyes and probably a bloody noise as well. We can’t be exactly sure as the were virtual punches , but for sure we know they were felt.  Without going into all the details of each article written by Dan last week. On reading these articles Planet bloggers becane upset and wondered why nothing had been made mention of in the Eagle.  They wondered why  PPS had not responded or refuted the issues raised in the reported articles. 

      Each day more issues were raised and revealed in Dan’s daily articles Well…  still no response paid by the PPS or any mention in the Eagle. Bloggers got madder and madder on this site and still no response. The wote posts asking for a response from PPS . Then soon the details if articles Dan written we’re the talk about town. At the very least town folks were wondering  what the h-ll was going on. Bloggers daily wondered if the  PPS would ever make a public statement to address the articles. 
      Well in essence, no statement was ever put forth. Instead, in our theory here and our little  fairy tale which is totally fictional. The Alien’s on ‘ The Planet’  with their demands for comments finally got heard. Administrators downtown had really been reading The Planet ‘ everyday, but they had hoped ut woukd ass blow iver as it had  so many times before. But the Plant folk were still blogging and daring to ask questions. Getting more worried by the day that there  would be a riot of little folks storming school buildings all the  head bobble heads put their heads together. Bobble heads from the district called in other so very wise bobble heads from far sbd wude. In this fictional meeting, that   we say took place, the great bobble heads decide with great wisdom to send a statement to the planet via a blog posting. Super, ingenuous said the biggest and greatest bobble head of all. That’s what we will do. And the greatest bobble head if all decided that the  angry dimwitted folk on this far away planet could all be calmed down if with great reason and many quotes of Studies and MCAS data were presented. The greatest bobble head of all would easily convience ThePlanet people that their schools really were good schools. 

      And so , with much eloquence and perfect grammar and no spelling mistakes, a perfect document was written by the big and greatest bobble head of all. Once finished, he grinned. There he said to himself , in our imagined fairy tale lies great work. Very pleased with himself he told other bobble heads. ‘ My towns folk will be well pleased to here how great our schools really are. They will be convinced by my great arguments in my document, and that  our schools are a great place to send their kids.’  Average, but very strongly Average, could summerize how the schools were reported to be in this masterpiece written by our biggest bobble head of all. 

      This plan crafted by lawyers and great minds from all across the fairy tale land who had gathered downtown was almost complete. Now let’s post this great piece of work one bobble head said. And so they did … They chose to make a statement to the public, but to not reveal the pen man of the document . To do that would give too much power to the Little People on ‘ The Planet’ in the future.  To make an officail statement with the great bobble head’s name attached would mean having to answer to The Little People in the future on this silly planet. The name was decided on by the bobble head crowd. Blandewho was chosen as a good name. The post was entered, it was up for the silly little planet folk to read. The bobble heads breathed a sigh of relief as each retired to bed i their palace that night. We did great work today thought on bobble head. Finally, those silly Planet folk will now see the light when they read our biggest bobbles words. Our schools are Average and our planet folk will be much relieved. The bobble heads slept well as with smarts and correctly spelled words they had solved another problem that would now blow over. There folks lies the end of this very made up story and  little fairy as to how the first Blandewho was not out Planet. It revels how The first idenity of Blandwho was created. Much more tomorrow on this  bedtime story tomorrow night. 

      The End 

      May you sleep well and rest your weird little bobble heads. 

      • bobbyd
        May 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

        Wow. You must have worked all day on this. We can’t wait for the next installment to find out what happens to Blandwho.

      • Andrew
        May 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm #


        • Home Run
          May 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

          How does that song go.. ? ‘oh yeah’. …. ‘Send in the Clowns’

  19. Christine Canning
    May 19, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    I filed under the Massachusetts Whistleblower Act. It was Civil Action No. is Superior Court 06-00352-A.

    • Just a Thought
      May 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

      You indeed are my personal hero and have been for sometime. I truly applaud you winning your case. This district leaves no dirty trick unused . I know it was no
      Easy walk to do so.

      Hopefully many more teachers will follow in your footsteps as it seems they did nothing to address any if the violations you blew the whistle on. But the tide is turning now I believe.

      Keep up the good work Christine , we all owe you one here in Pittsfield . Only so sorry you are not going to be our super.
      Hey , maybe some day ! Right!

  20. Joe Durwin
    May 19, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    I’m hurt I didn’t get an email from the School Committee/GOB asking me to only print their press releases. Was it the 2 page rant about how they’re utterly failing on teen pregnancy prevention?
    Maybe I just need to check my spam folder. Is it still, or?

  21. Just A Thought !
    May 19, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Hey Joe,

    You are too funny!!!

    Try some of the following too…

    ThickAsThives@Mercer. com or BullyBoysRule@ Pittsfield

    Either one might work for you as we heard they had to close the GOB e mail account. There were too many questions being asked by The Planet. People are on to them so they shut the GOB account down.

  22. Sandy
    May 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    Can someone tell me what happened to Molly who was always writing in here and was getting the minutes of the school com from Alf albiet they were not up to date. I have not been able to read the blog during the day recently, but have been trying to keep up with it at night. I can not remember the last time I saw an entry from Molly. I have missed her comments.

    Someone awile ago stated that Gary Grunin was at Mayor Bianchi’s fun raisers etc. last fall and wondered why. To me the answer is very simple they were classmates and graduated from PHS together. I hope that answers someone’s question, they go back many years.

    • levitan
      May 21, 2012 at 6:56 am #

      Every once in a while, it’s necessary to step away, live life, and see the sky.

  23. PPS Teacher
    May 20, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    I’m confused. Can someone please clear this up for me? I was under the impression from watching the last School Committee meeting that the interim position had to be filled by a ‘retired superintendent’. To my knowledge, McNatzi, as the kids called him, has never held that position. They were provided with three applications of former superintendents at the close of the last meeting. Will they just blatantly disregard those in favor of bringing back Doug????? Does the superintendent search committee get to vote on this??

    • bobbyd
      May 20, 2012 at 8:31 am #

      They can appoint an interim; it does not have to be a retired super. If they appoint a retired super, they need to file a waiver with the state so the individual in question can continue to receive their pension along with their salary from PPS.

      As for Doug coming back as interim, it’s a rumor. And I’m sure you are aware of the reliability of the PPS rumor mill.

  24. Home Run
    May 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Yeah… Rumor mill is as reliable as the integerty of bobble heads down town.

  25. Sandy
    May 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    I believe it is more like McNally would have to let the MA retirement board know that he has taken another public school position and they would then tell him how much he could make and still collect his pension or stop receiving his pension while working. He would be working for a public school system within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and they have their own set of rules as to what anyone who has worked in the public schools in the state can do in collecting their pensions. If he were to work for a private school it would have nothing to do with his pension from the state of Massachusetts.

  26. Jeff
    May 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Hey Home Run…. Or rather Strike Out might be more Appropriate. Your statement below….

    It’s got to be tough to send your child to a school district that has a mascot of “the millionaires”.

    I’d certainly rather my child ends up as a Millionaire than a crack dealing General or dead beat Brave! Get a clue idiot….. Students are leaving PPS for real reasons and your Raa Raa PPS would lead one to believe that you are still clutching your Pom Poms!

    • Home Run
      May 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      Hey … I agree with you, you misread my post. I was quoting Andrew who stated that. In fact my comment was along the lines of PPS being a failing system for kids education but a place with millionaire teachers.

      Please , I did not say as you quoted me. If you will look back I refute Andrews defence of PPS.
      Thanks Home Run

    • Home Run
      May 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      Hey Jeff

      In fairness , I have not once defended PPS, but I have included in some of my posts quotes from those who do and then gone on to refute these points.

      I agree with you.. PPS are crumbling, in fact PPS m ay well be a rubble heap by now with this administration.

  27. Jeff
    May 21, 2012 at 5:40 am #

    Good enough Home Run. I took it out of context, and I appologise for that.

    • levitan
      May 21, 2012 at 6:53 am #

      Careful!!!! When the schoolmarm wakes up, she’s going to have a hissyfit over your typos. Appologise should be apologize. ‘that’ needs an antecedent.

      There, now aren’t we talking substance?

  28. Jeff
    May 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    LOL Levitan

    I’m getting a little lazy relying on this iPad for corrections. Generally speaking it’s been so effective fixing my typos that I no longer proofread my posts. Yes, that is indeed substance!