Wednesday, May 3, 2017

PTA questionnaire

PTA questionnaire of school board candidates is available:
http://www.mtlsd.org/page.cfm?p=563 

The FIOS guy is coming Friday morning since I don't have TV, internet, or phone. This is impossible to do on my iPhone.

I will add more when I am back in business. Sigh. 

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does the Riemer, Strotmeyer, Diamond questionnaire not make much sense?

Question six has brackets around the last part of the answer. Why?

Throughout the first seven questions the answer is from the group. Question eight starts, "My desire to serve on the school board is mostly holistic in nature..." I have so many questions about this. First who's speaking? All of a sudden it's a singular person speaking instead of the group. Second, what does that even mean? It's nonsense.

I know that this blog and its readers do not favor "The Timmy Team", and I was leaning toward the Riemer, Strotmeyer, Diamond team as well, but this was poor and may just shift my vote to the other side. If this ticket can't even proofread a simple PTA questionnaire before sending it in, how will it do running a top-flight school district?

Does anyone on the ticket care to comment?

E. T. Gillen said...

I noticed that as well. It looks like the PTA posted a draft. I know that some consider me a conspiracy theorist, but keep in mind that this is from the PTA.

I wouldn't change my vote over this, 12:03 AM. May the 4th be with you. ;)
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Why didn't the PTA ( Timmy's sub group) ask the candidates about Ethics, Corruption, Transparency, or Nepotism?

I think this questionary is a bunch of nothing. FYI the Timmy Ticket answers were much the same.

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah blah, the questions and the the answers from all but one of the candidates are the blandest, most insipid responses I've ever read from candidates running for any office.
I guess though, when you're asked questions that are designed to elicit pablum that is exactly what you get.

Take the PTA's questions and the two team's responses and they could be applied to almost every school board election at any time in the last 30 years.

There's one and only one stand out, Justin DePlato that throws caution to the wind and attempts to address a few of the issues that confront this board. He appears to be someone that isn't afraid to be honest and straight forward

His response #12 shows explicitly that here's someone that understands what education is all about-- "Stimulating intellectual curiosity is no easy task."

He may be the only candidate that gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

Switch the links to responses from the four Timmy Team candidates and I'll bet it would be nearly impossible for a voter to say you mixed them up.
To me it looks like they sat down with the PTA and designed the question and then their responses to be as nebulous as possible. Want more of the same---- vote for the Timmy Team.

Anonymous said...

I find question 6 most important ( what in your background qualifies you for the school board). Only DePlato has actual in classroom teaching experience and a clear education background...certainly would be useful having an education expert on the board.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. DePlato for reminding us of what education is about.
It's not about Tak Mahal buildings or impressive athletic facilities. It's primary obligation is to stimulate intellectual curiously and teaching to the whole child.
Great job Mr. DePlato bringing us back down to earth.

Anonymous said...

If I were a MTL teacher and just read Mr. Deplato's response to the PTA questionnaire I'd be on the horn to the teachers union calling for it to endorse this guy.
If you don't like his responses maybe you're in the wrong profession.

Jason Margolis said...

8:46am - Feel free to write me in if you want. Though I am not sure I will write myself in.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Remely, while patting himself and Cappucci on the back for the high school renovation fails to mention several important facts.
Foremost that 12 (or was it 13) building professionals advised against the plan used and went so far as to submit plans for a design they believed could be done for under $100 million.
He also fils to mention that the project still isn't finished and plays a big role in the need for bigger budgets.

Anonymous said...

Funny how there is also a pro-PTA article on Lebomag this month.

E. T. Gillen said...

I Had to laugh when Mary Birks couldn't answer the first question about gaps because she didn't have kids in school, but she was able to answer the second question with no kids in school. Puleeze.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

It appears that Ms Cappucci has the role of the School Director a bit reversed. She said "Primarily, I am a representative of and advocate for the children of the District. They are the group who,for the most part, do not have a voice or a vote, and it is my responsibility to do that for them." I agree the children do not have a say or vote and nor do they pay taxes, their mommies and daddies pay the bills.

Richard Gideon said...

Mr. Deplato' answers are encouraging, but stating that "A great school is always a school known for where their kids go to college" is unfortunate. The purpose of education in the primary and secondary levels is to allow a young person to choose the kind of post-secondary education that he or she desires. Our over-emphasis on college has made the United States an ill-prepared nation in terms of the trades, and has devalued a Bachelor's degree to a point where, in many instances, it is hardly worth more than a high school diploma. In addition, the almost maniacal idea that every child should go to college has resulted in enormous college debt, much of which is carried by graduates with degrees that are of little value in the real world. In my 23 years of teaching in a post-secondary technical school I had many students in my classes with Bachelor's (and a few with Master's) degrees who where retraining because they couldn't find employment in their degree fields (i.e., Art History, English, etc.). Some of these people told me they never wanted to go to college in the first place, but were pressured into going by their parents and high school "guidance" counselors.

Certainly college is important, and I would never discourage a kid who really wants a college degree from going to college. On the other hand, I would never encourage a kid to go to college when "said kid" really wants to become an electrician.

In summary, a great school (district) is known for placing its graduates into the types of post-secondary education and training best suited to their desires. Apparently none of the current crop of candidates for the school board recognizes that fact, or if they do they are afraid to say so; and that's a shame.

Richard Gideon said...

Oops..let's make that "Mr. Deplato's answers....".

Anonymous said...

Richard, I agree. In fact from what I've read some of the most lucrative careers are in the "trades."
Unfortunately, though most measures of a good school district are focused on the per cent age of graduates going onto college so I'll give Mr. DePlato a pass on that subject.
Still think his comment on stimulating intellectual curiosity is the most valuable training we can give our kids, whether they become college grads, tradesman or whatever.

Anonymous said...

I really haven't followed the school board race closely, but I'm always suspicious of posts on this blog by someone like 12:03 a.m. who wrote, "I was leaning toward the Riemer, Strotmeyer, Diamond team as well, but this was poor and may just shift my vote to the other side.", i.e. it reminds me when the pro-kill deer proponents, thinking they were sneaky-smart, would post comments hiding their true identity and intentions, trying to influence the blog readers.

BTW, I'm not saying that this is the case with this particular poster, i.e. I think "she" makes a valid point, but just saying it raises a red flag to me. It just looks and feels very familiar.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gideon, I think you make a valid point, especially in today's world where having specific skill expertise may be more valuable in making a living than a liberal arts college degree, when the only jobs America hasn't outsourced yet are the exciting mgt careers in the fast food industry. However, speaking as someone who does basically have one of those useless liberal arts college degrees, I have to say that if I wasn't exposed to all the great literature, philosophy, political science, etc., I wouldn't be the same person or have the world view that I have today. That said, I think all the options pro and con should be presented to our children, so that they can make the most informed decision for themselves, and then as a parent we need to support their decision. I think I would encourage college, but would support their decision.

Anonymous said...

1:40, I had a similar feeling. After reading the Timmy Team's individual response I wondered did these four "get a hold of the test before hand" or did they look over each other's shoulder while they answered the questions.

Since the 3 ladies are so closely related to the PTA I can't help but feel this whole exercise was an attempt to support them.

Anonymous said...

Mr. DePlato is spot on! Stimulating intellectual curiosity (or learning how to learn) is the training our kids will need to be successful in the future.

"How to Prepare for an Automated Future - NYTimes.com"

"The logical response seems to be to educate people differently, so they’re prepared to work alongside the robots or do the jobs that machines can’t. But how to do that, and whether training can outpace automation, are open questions.
Pew Research Center and Elon University surveyed 1,408 people who work in technology and education to find out if they think new schooling will emerge in the next decade to successfully train workers for the future. Two-thirds said yes; the rest said no. Following are questions about what’s next for workers, and answers based on the survey responses.

At universities, “people learn how to approach new things, ask questions and find answers, deal with new situations,” wrote Uta Russmann, a professor of communications at the FHWien University of Applied Sciences in Vienna. “All this is needed to adjust to ongoing changes in work life. Special skills for a particular job will be learned on the job.”

Schools will also need to teach traits that machines can’t yet easily replicate, like creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, adaptability and collaboration. The problem, many respondents said, is that these are not necessarily easy to teach."

How do we educate people for an automated world?

People still need to learn skills, the respondents said, but they will do that continuously over their careers. In school, the most important thing they can learn is how to learn.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/upshot/how-to-prepare-for-an-automated-future.html?WT.mc_id=SmartBriefs-Newsletter&WT.mc_ev=click&ad-keywords=smartbriefsnl&_r=0&referer=http://www2.smartbrief.com/uyd/editProfile.action?t1=56740512&t2=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F05%2F03%2Fupshot%2Fhow-to-prepare-for-an-automated-future.html

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but the Timmy Ticket candidate -Caste- talks about STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math ). The correct acronym
is STEAM. Science Technology Engineering ARTS, and Math. If she is does not know this I question if she is qualified to run .

The citizens of Lebo want to move the district ahead not fall further behind!

Perhaps she does not believe in or support the ARTS.

Anonymous said...

Once again, what's the "official" public information office covering?
Educating our kids and how we pay for that are the probably the two most important issues for this community and where do we get the most info on the candidates?

A free blog that we pay the editor not one thin dime too.

Thank you, Elaine, for your dedication and volunteerism!

Richard Gideon said...

I'm going to make one follow-up comment to my earlier post. I'll given Mr. DePlato high marks for saying that "Secondary education should include entrepreneurial courses along with stressing computer science, coding, and the humanities." Just for that alone he stands out from the other candidates. However, ALL of the current crop of candidates have said or intimated, at one time or another, that great school districts are measured by the number of students that go on to college. This is wrong. That it is a common measurement across America does not make it right. The fact that most of us on this Blog have college educations, or that many feel they have been changed by exposure to "the great courses," is neither here nor there. I'm sympathetic to anyone who got something out of their expensive stroll down the ivy covered halls of knowledge. (I would remind everyone that reading great literature, philosophy, or political commentary does not require a college degree; just the ability to read and understand - something that SHOULD be taught in elementary school.)

This country is sorely lacking in: plumbers, electricians, welders, Aircraft and Powerplant mechanics, skilled general tradesmen, and machinists, just to name a few. But do the candidates for our school board recognize this? Maybe, but if they do they are very reticent to talk about it. After all, a kid going to Carnegie-Mellon for theater looks a lot better on paper than a kid going to the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, as far as our school district is concerned. (Think about this the next time you get on Boeing 777!)

No, I am not bad-mouthing a liberal arts education or calling out anyone with "one of those worthless liberal arts college degrees" - I thought I made that abundantly clear in my first post! I am calling on our declared school board candidates to quit thinking like elitists and start recognizing that education takes many forms.

PS: By the way, my brother-in-law, a tool and die maker, is a co-holder of a patent for a "Delivery device for injectable materials" (USP 5,540,657). He graduated from Eli-Whitney Technical School in Connecticut.

Anonymous said...

Agree Richard!

Entrepreneurs who dropped out of college:
Michael Dell, Dell founder, dropped out at 19.
Steve Jobs, Apple founder, dropped out at 19.
Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, dropped out at 19.
Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, dropped out at 20.
Evan Williams, Twitter co-founder, dropped out at 20.

Anonymous said...

Well this is sort of right .... STEAM started with STEM. Right now STEAM is in the elementary and STEM is in the highschool

Anonymous said...

I agree. I know this blog supports one slate and I'm comfortable with most of the candidates. Avviva Diamond however has very little, if any, experience. In today's political world we definitely don't need more of that
I was saddened to see that strotmeyer aligned himself with her.

E. T. Gillen said...

I will vote for Riemer, Strotmeyer, Diamond, and DePlato. Nobody else.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a plan.
Birks, Cappucci, and Remely had their chances.
Caste looks to be more of the same.
DePlato is a breath of fresh air and Riemer, Strotmeyer, and Diamond aren't The Timmy Team.

Anonymous said...

4:32 it is STEAM . STEM is yesterday

Anonymous said...

Why do I feel like I'm reading transcripts from the interview segment of the Miss America pageant... "I wish for every student to be the best they can be, to stamp out world hunger and live in perfect harmony.!"

Give me some meat and potatoes. How are you going to balance the budget? How are you going to deliver programs while covering pension obligations? What about teacher contracts? The Super? Bathroom policies? Assessment appeals? Tif votes?

Give me your prospectives on the things that matter, not this pablum. The district isn't raising the tax rate this budget, but they'll certainly need to do something next year. What will you stand for candidates?

More taxes? More bonds? Larger class sizes? More student fees?

Anonymous said...

Candidates, where do you stand on:
Transgender locker/bathrooms?
Arming teachers?
Climate change?
Evolutionism vs Creationism?
Religion?
Freedom of Speech?
Property tax reform?
Ghost teachers?

Anonymous said...

When she knocked on my door, all Ma Diamond could tell me was that she is younger than everyone else running.

Anonymous said...

Not understanding the disdain for Ms. Diamond. She has a PhD and is, in my opinion, more available to talk about her positions than many others. I've seen her at several local events recently, and she is very open to discussing positions. I don't think she is any less forthcoming than the others, though I'd love to see BOTH tickets address the questions that may 4, 6:23 posted!

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the most pressing question for school board candidates is-- will you analyze and study all contracts before voting on them?