Chariho School Parents’ Forum

September 24, 2008

Treating private, charter and public students alike

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 11:01 pm

A dozen or more parents came to the Committee meeting on Tuesday to testify about the difficulty they have with the current bus riding times.  According to the parents present and others who have contacted me directly, some of these students are on the bus for 2 hours or more, each way.

There is a policy (guideline?) that says in-district students will not be on the bus for longer than one hour but no such policy exists for private or charter students.  I made a motion to treat the students the same but it failed.  Ricci said he was unaware and if the parents would notify him it would be taken care of.  A parent present said that they have been telling the school about this problem for years and that if individuals stopped complaining it is because they have given up and drive the kids themselves.



  1. Harassing private school families probably gives the School Committee jollies as they resent having families disgusted with Chariho erode their power base (also known as children).

    Why would Mr. Ricci have to be notified by parents to “take care” of the issue? He can’t take care of long bus rides just because it’s the right thing to do? Nobody loves non-transparent and inaccountable discussions more than this guy (okay, I admit the gang members on the School Committee are his equal when it comes to secrecy).

    Thank you for once again standing up for local families Mr. Felkner. If only there were more of you…

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 25, 2008 @ 10:23 am | Reply

  2. Oh yes, the great conspiracy theory once again! CR, get real, how can someone take care of problem when they aren’t hearing about it? Should Mr. Ricci and the bus company create special bus routes for the private school kids? Oh! geesh, then it’s a conspiracy by him and the bus company to increase the budget. It’s problem, no doubt, but when I went to private school, it wasn’t up to the city to provide me with transportation. Why do we even have to provide the transportation? If people want to send their kids to private schools, it should be up to the school and the parents to provide the transportation, NOT THE DISTRICT!

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 25, 2008 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  3. I would agree with you CP, IF you were to give me the monies I spend on the train wreck(Chariho). Then I would happily drive my kids to a school of my choice and you would would never here from me again.

    Comment by RS — September 25, 2008 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

  4. It is a state law that all children must be provided transportation to school. Plus, charter schools are NOT private schools, they are public. This is where the two hour plus bus ride comes in. The length of it is probably meant to discourage children from utilizing the bus. Which is does.

    Comment by ARRRR — September 25, 2008 @ 5:32 pm | Reply

  5. Mr. Felkner did bring it to the attention of Mr. Ricci and the School Committee. They decided to do nothing about it. I don’t believe for a second that Mr. Ricci was “unaware”. He’s aware now and pretends he will magically fix it if only parents tell him. They’ve been told…they made their decision. Mr. Ricci should be man enough to admit in public he won’t do anything. If he planned on doing something he would have done said so at the meeting instead of hiding from the public once again.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 25, 2008 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  6. ARRRR, just because it’s state law that doesn’t make it right! The law needs to be repealed, plain and simple. Also, it doesn’t pertain to just charter schools, it also pertains to all private schools. And that’s a fact, Jack!

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 25, 2008 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

  7. CR, so what do you want the school district to do? Depending on where a student lives and where the school is, it could be a lengthy ride on the bus. If they set up special runs just for private and/or charter schools, that will increase the school budget to pay for transportation, then you’ll complain about that, too. Sounds like a no win situation for Barry Ricci when it comes to your line of thinking. Sometimes I think you complain about Barry Ricci just to complain, no matter what he will do there will be a complaint.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 25, 2008 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  8. I don’t know the logistics or the cost. I don’t have a definitive opinion other than to note that every child who goes to private school saves the community thousands of dollars in education costs. Seems to me we benefit greatly, and unfairly, when parents feel compelled to pay for private school rather than risk their children’ futures in the hands of Chariho.

    Mr. Ricci should try being honest with the public. If there really is something he can do to “take care of it”, then he should have offered ideas at the meeting. If he can’t, or won’t, really do anything, then he should have admitted it in public.

    In the world of Chariho ineptitude, this issue is small potatoes. I’m a proponent of vouchers…that’s what I want every school district to offer…free market competition.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 25, 2008 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

  9. It is still the law whether or not you agree with it. I understand that this includes private and public schools. Does this include high school students though? Although, the high school kids around here are bused we were not bused to public high school in Providence. The way the schools are set up there it was a much greater distance and we had to take the RIPTA (with discounted tokens). I’m pretty sure this is still the case.

    Comment by ARRRR — September 25, 2008 @ 8:49 pm | Reply

  10. I’ve been a private school parent for a long time. Currently, my kids are on the bus for over 1-1/2 hours each way to go to Prout when they ride the bus (frequently in the morning, rarely in the afternoon).

    It was better years ago, but the number of private school students is rising, so the buses are larger and thus take more stops (over miles and miles of back country roads, at least where I live) to fill up before driving to school.

    I have a lot of sympathy for the bus company and the public schools in this case; the Chariho transportation budget is big already and the per-student cost for private buses has gotta be huge, but there’s no way the law will change (it’s there so Providence area legislators and their friends can send their kids to the private school of their choice, be it Moses Brown, Lasalle, etc.).


    Comment by david — September 25, 2008 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

  11. Again, whatever the cost of transporting private school students, the net result is still a huge cost savings to the community as parents pay the cost of education.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 25, 2008 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

  12. Hi!
    I will stand corrected, but it has been Chariho’s stance unless I am wrong,that children going to private schools does not save money. It is still cheaper to have them at Chariho. I do not necessarily agree with that, and doubt that it does, but that is the schools position as I understand it.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — September 26, 2008 @ 11:24 am | Reply

  13. Bill,
    Did you have a second to your motion? Who voted what and who was absent?

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — September 26, 2008 @ 11:31 am | Reply

  14. Scott,
    What do you know about saving the taxpayer’s money? After all, you caused double digit tax percent increases for two years in a row in your town. Yeah, you’re a real money saver!

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 26, 2008 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

  15. Sure, it won’t save us money if Chariho administration doesn’t make employee and other adjustments based on enrollment. I can believe Chariho refuses to adjust according to enrollment. In fact, enrollment has declined around 5% over the last ten years according to recent reports, but I would bet Chariho employment has risen substantially over the same timeframe.

    Considering the irresponsible and unaccountable management at Chariho, I wouldn’t be surprised if they “choose” not to save money when parents remove their childre from Chariho. If they don’t save money, they are fools. Since they should save money, the point still remains.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 26, 2008 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  16. Seems like Mr. Felkner only told part of story, not the whole story. This is from tonight’s Westerly Sun that ran article about this very problem:

    “According to some school officials, that’s what the par­ents should have done first. Chariho’s transportation pol­icy, posted on the district’s Web site, says an appeal to a bus company decision should be directed to the superin­tendent, and then to the school committee — which is ultimately responsible for student transportation under current state law.”

    ““This is what we were told to do,” LuAnn DiPietro told school officials, referring to a note that “said come to this meeting.”
    Committeeman William Felkner of Ashaway then revealed that he invited par­ents to attend the session.”

    “What Felkner didn’t dis­close during the session was that his 5- and 6-year-old children also attend St. Pius. After the meeting, he told a reporter that his children do not have a lengthy bus ride because they’re at one of the last bus stops on the route.
    During a recent open house gathering at St. Pius, Felkner said the issue of “transportation came up” among parents. Felkner said he also asked St. Pius’s prin­cipal to refer parents to him if they had concerns with transportation, adding that “more people showed up” at Tuesday’s meeting than he expected.
    Devin Baccari, of Hope Valley, said the Chariho administration had been “helpful” when she contacted the district about her 6-year­old daughter’s bus route. She said it allowed her child to use a different bus stop “but I still have to drive 10 to 15 minutes to take my daughter there.”
    She and other parents who spoke before the committee said they favored group bus stops and were willing to drive to one, if it meant their child would have a shorter bus ride.
    Before meeting with par­ents in another room, First Student Manager Lillian Benoit told the committee that the company polls par­ents before the start of the school year to ask if they would prefer a group or indi­vidual bus stop.
    But the parents showed frustration over the process to determine their child’s bus route, accusing the bus com­pany First Student of being “uncooperative” when they tried to request information or attempt to change their child’s assigned stop.”

    So it seems that the problem isn’t so much with the administration, as Mr. Felkner would lead you to believe, but with the parents who didn’t follow normal policy at Mr. Felkner’s suggestion and with the bus company. The parents are given a choice as to how their children bussed to the charter/privats schools. The problem I do see is that the bus company can inflexible at times. But these parents made a choice before the school year started, stick with it. The bus company can’t be changing the bus routes every other day because of the whim of some parents. I can understand why they are inflexible at times.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 26, 2008 @ 7:24 pm | Reply

  17. Prout and Monsignore Clarke and Compass and Kingston Hill are nearly a half hour away from most of Chariho, so saying no child can be in a bus for over an hour doesn’t seem practical at all.

    In my fourteen years of using this service, I have found the bus company to be helpful, but the large district and small student populations at some of these private and charter schools will guarantee long busride problems.

    Comment by david — September 26, 2008 @ 7:37 pm | Reply

  18. David,
    At least you’re being practical and you seem to be following the right course of action by talking to the bus company first.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 26, 2008 @ 8:45 pm | Reply

  19. Mr. Felkner reached out to parents. He saw a problem and he attempted to have the issue addressed. Per usual, he is a leader in putting families first. Per usual, the rest of the School Committee punted.

    It’s reported that Mr. Ricci was unaware. Seems to me it is his job to be aware. Maybe Mr. Felkner should be the superintendent?

    I have no idea if the bus routes are unreasonably long. If children are on a bus for four hours a day, I would agree this is way too much time. In any case, if parents have concerns, they should be dealt with honestly regardless of who discovers the problems.

    I heard today that Westerly private school children used to be bussed to their respective public school. They would then disembark and wait for another bus to take them to their private school. Private schools began complaining because the children were routinely late to school. Westerly recently changed their routes and most children now stay on the same bus.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 26, 2008 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

  20. The omnipotent CR once again fails to see the point. If Mr. Felkner wants to post something, he needed to post the ENTIRE story, not just a part of it.

    I wonder who CR knows that’s a mind reader and can know that someone has a problem when it’s not mentioned to them? In my job, I tell my computer users that if they don’t tell me or one of my co-workers that they have a problem with their PC how can I correct it? The same applies here. How could Barry Ricci correct it if he isn’t told about it? There are no doubt many problems at Chariho but no one can fix a problem without proper notification. Why didn’t Mr. Felkner have them also report the problem to Mr. Ricci instead of telling people to “let him know”, this smacks of a power grab. Seems to me tellling them to notify the bus company and the administration would have been the proper course of action instead of telling them to attend the school committee meeting first. But what do I know, the omnipotent CR has all the answers anyway.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 27, 2008 @ 10:28 am | Reply

  21. where is the scott bill hirst victory party going to be on election night??

    Comment by where — September 27, 2008 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  22. A brief comment for CharihoParent. In your September 27th posting you said “But what do I know, the omnipotent CR has all the answers anyway.”

    I think you probably meant “omniscient”. If he were “omnipotent” he would no doubt have changed some things at Chariho and elsewhere by now.

    Comment by Thurman Silks — September 27, 2008 @ 1:18 pm | Reply

  23. Nope, I meant omnipotent… having very great or unlimited authority or power. In other words, he’s the the one who speaks with such a position authority on the blog. Omniscient does apply though since he knows so much about everything and everyone. Also he’s a telepathist, he’s able to read everyone’s mind, too. Heck, I’m surprised he didn’t know ahead of time that there was a “problem” with the busing, he’s so good at knowing what’s going on in other people’s head.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 27, 2008 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  24. where, don’t you mean where will he be crying in his beer?

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 27, 2008 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  25. You are correct Mr. Silks. If I were omnipotent there would be changes 🙂

    CP misses the irony as he rambles on about Mr. Ricci not being aware, which is exactly what Mr. Felkner did…made Mr. Ricci aware.

    Does CP think Mr. Felkner put an ad in the Westerly Rag looking for disgruntled parents?

    According to the reporting, Mr. Felkner was at an event at St. Pius and discussions ensued about children being on Chariho busses longer than parents felt necessary. As The Rag reports, Mr. Felkner’s children do not have a long bus ride, so he truly was looking out for children and parents, not himself.

    Subsequent to discovering parents’ dissatisfaction, Mr. Felkner put the issue on the agenda. I wish all School Committee members were as diligent in looking out for local families.

    One doesn’t need to be omniscient…reading comprehension will suffice.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 27, 2008 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

  26. With Meadowbrook Waldorf school families, the bus company was reasonably helpful about creating group stops when a bunch of young children in southern Charlestown had long trips to that school. Likewise, in order to cut down on the bus trip length for most kids, the offloaded a few children from Richmond so that the elementary school bus could take them home.

    All this is to say that my experience suggests that working with the bus company is not a waste of time.

    As a school committee member, I believe Mr. Felkner should support established procedure unless those procedures have been proven to be inadequate.

    Of course, I also think that school committe members should support their superintendent.

    Comment by david — September 27, 2008 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  27. David, I couldn’t agree with you more. To me, all it comes down to is Mr. Felkner looking for headlines, especially when it’s coming close to the general elections and he has his hat in the town council race. As CR said, reading comprehension will suffice to see this.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 27, 2008 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

  28. It could come down to management style. With up to ten families showing up to discuss bus routes with the School Committee, Mr. Felkner could have suggested they all individually contact the bus company or the school or the issue could be addressed for everyone at one time.

    I do see this as one more example of Mr. Felkner taking the bull by the horns on behalf of his constituency. I’m not surprised when those who are oppose Mr. Felkner’s attempts to reform Chariho choose to cast the issue in negative terms.

    I believe Mr. Felkner has proven whose side he is on over and over again. Chariho apologists here and on the School Committee have also made it clear they will tolerate anything Chariho does. Even if harms children. Guess we’re all back where we belong.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 27, 2008 @ 5:31 pm | Reply

  29. The School Committee should support the superintendent when the superintendent does his job well. Obviously this is where the rubber meets the road. Many of us feel that Chariho fails children, families, and the community. We’ve been over most of it here. I vote for School Committee members who I feel will represent the interests of my family. Mr. Felkner would be derelict if he supported a superintedent who has proven himself not up to the task.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 27, 2008 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

  30. CR, I suggest that is your opinion and need not be held to by everyone. No one sees conspiracy and rampant negligence like you and a few others. No matter what Mr. Felkner says it’s the correct thing. It is my opinion that this was nothing more than a headline grab when there is a known policy to handle this situation and once again, Mr. Felkner goes against policy for his own purposes.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 27, 2008 @ 6:26 pm | Reply

  31. Of course it is my opinion, but I’m confident it is an opinion shared by many.

    I would be shocked to find the parents of children scoring less than proficient in math, science, and English are thrilled with Mr. Ricci’s leadership. Since this group of poorly educated children is the majority, I’m guessing my opinion of Mr. Ricci is not unusual.

    Then we can factor in the elderly, on fixed income, who see a failing school where spending outpaces enrollment (which has declined) and inflation. The elderly must recognize they are paying more and getting less under Mr. Ricci’s managerial reign. Do they share CP ignorant bliss? I doubt it.

    Chariho is what it is. Richmond and Charlestown voters routinely support anything goes while Hopkinton seems to be split down the middle. While my calls for greater transparnency, accountability, and responsibility are dismissed by many, I’m confident that those of us expecting better education for our money exceed a “few”.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 27, 2008 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  32. Once again, much of what you state is opinion. Yes, the grades are not where anyone would like but is that a problem solely with administration or is that a shared problem with the teachers, the school committee AND the administration? Does the administration set the curriculum or is that the responsibility of the school committee?

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 27, 2008 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

  33. One more point, I’ll grant you that it’s more than a few but without solid numbers, I can’t say that it’s a majority of Hopkinton residents. To say that it is would be a matter of conjecture.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 27, 2008 @ 7:29 pm | Reply

  34. I didn’t say a majority…I said it seems to be split down the middle. My hope would be that the economic downturn has more people paying attention and realizing Chariho fails the community in about every way possible. Time will tell, but I’ll remain optimistic until Hopkinton capitulates vis a vis approval of a bond.

    As for setting the curriculum, well that goes hand in hand with blind support for the administration. School Committee members who “support” Mr. Ricci are easily fooled as evidenced by the constructivst math catastrophe. A little research by anyone at the time would have revealed that constructivist math has been harming children for more than a decade. As noted here several times, California made the same terrible choice in the 1990’s and math proficiency plummetted. California got rid of the curriculum and then Chariho switched to it. Another brilliant move. Aren’t we happy nobody on the School Committee deviated from “procedures” and questioned Mr. Ricci’s judgment?

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 28, 2008 @ 3:18 am | Reply

  35. CR, the way you jump to conclusions is unreal. Without hard numbers how can you even say it’s split down the middle? No one has any numbers to prove or disprove that their position is the one being supported or not. I feel though we’ll have a better idea after November 4th.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 28, 2008 @ 6:59 am | Reply

  36. Now why would CP think November 4th will give a “better idea”? Apparently he agrees with me that the bond vote indicates whether a voter is happy or unhappy with Chariho.

    I wrote that Hopkinton’s view of Chariho is split down the middle based on the last bond vote where Hopkinton vote about 50/50. Unless CP is planning on going door-to-door surveying Hopkintonians on November 4th, theh he’s apparently willing to “jump to conclusions” himself.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 28, 2008 @ 10:09 am | Reply

  37. CR, I said we’ll have a better idea come Nov 4th for the same reason you want to say it’s split 50/50 based on the previous bond we voted on. I say this because more voters will be out on Nov 4th than what came out last year, there by giving a much better indication where the sentiment in Hopkinton is. Since the opposition in Hopkinton is extremely vocal, more voters that were in opposition were apt to come out and vote.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 28, 2008 @ 1:55 pm | Reply

  38. Hilarious…Chariho spent around $8500 promoting the bond. Propaganda flyers from school. Propaganda flyers in the mail. The local media paid to write propaganda editorials. Yet the “opposition” was “extremely vocal”? Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    I remain optimistic Hopkinton will once again recognize the folly of committing millions more to a dysfunctional school system. Presidential elections do have the propensity to draw uninformed voters who might not be paying attention to Chariho issues. I concede the possibility, but to the extent Hopkinton has spoken on Chariho’s poor performance, we’ve been the one town insisting Chariho be held accountable. Will we rise to the challenge again? I hope so.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 28, 2008 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  39. CR, can you prove your allegation that the local media was paid to write propaganda editorials? Or is this another one of those things you just know because you’re a telepathist?

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 28, 2008 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

  40. Can you prove the opposition to the bond was “extremely vocal”? I’m guessing not.

    It’s all perception, but at least in the case of the media, we know they received advertising dollars from the groups promoting the bond. Maybe they are simply idiots? Maybe the media supports money to government regardless of the history of the government institutions.

    I suspect profit motives were involved, but then again the media may just be as stupid as them seem. Anything is possible. Give me $8500 to spend and watch how loud I get 🙂

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 28, 2008 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  41. CR, you did NOT say advertising dollars. You implied they were paid to write editorials in support of the bond. That is two very different things. All the maybes and the “I suspect”s are not proof. And yes, the opposition was very vocal, just look at all the “letter to the editor” articles that there were then. Many more than those that were in support.

    Comment by richmondrinews — September 28, 2008 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

  42. My implication is that advertising dollars influence editorial decisions. In his case, media received hundreds or thousands of dollars to advertise support for the bond. They also wrote editorials spouting the same propaganda. Does richmondrinews have proof they weren’t influenced by the money they received?

    Certainly CP and richmondrinews aren’t trying to convince us that opposition was more vocal than groups which spent $8500; propagandized to captive audiences of parents and students; and editorialized 100% in favor of the bond? Or maybe they they think we were loud because we dared to speak up against the plethora of entrenched interests all working in concert to fool the voters?

    The first bond was David against Goliath. Goliath took an unexpected fall, but he’s up on his feet and madder than ever. Hopkinton better have its slingshot ready to go.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 28, 2008 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  43. Last night I had the opportunity to read the latest flyer put out by the Chariho Building Committee. They obviously tried to be more objective and adhere to the law regarding not using taxpayer money to promote govenment spending. I acknowledge a vast improvement from the “It’s time too…” propaganda, yet the Building Committee apparently couldn’t help itself and still used biased language.

    Interestingly, I also received a flyer from the Secretary of State in which state bond proposals are presented. The flyer is titled “Voter Information Handbook 2008”. The contrasts between Chariho’s flyer and the state flyer is enlightening.

    Specifically, the Chariho flyer proclaims “crowded in a facility with failing infrastructure”. Clearly this rhetoric is a matter of opinion and should not be included in an objective recitation of fact. On the other hand, the state flyer includes a bond proposal for increased funding of RIPTA. One component is the funding of new busses and repairs for existng busses. No where does the state describe the condition of existing busses. They simply provide facts on cost, timing, and expectations. The closest the state gets to providing subjective information is when they estimate the “Useful Life” of the items requested.

    I do think the Building Committee tried to get it right this time. Unfortunately, in their desire to get their hands on millions more from local families, they couldn’t help themselves and interjected their opinion into a flyer which legally should only include facts. Perhaps next time we re-vote on the bond the Building Committee can study the state’s approach to using taxpayers’ money to get their hands on more taxpayers’ money?

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 29, 2008 @ 11:11 am | Reply

  44. I see the Feel Good Brigade has been busy defending their cherished School Administration, but yet no post on the latest RIPEC report posted 5 days ago. You folks do know that the blinders are optional?

    Comment by RS — September 30, 2008 @ 10:00 am | Reply

  45. I was wondering who was going to be the first to come out with the stupid “feel good” comment. RS, you’ve won the idiot prize this time around. This really isn’t about any “feel good” crap. It’s about what’s right the right thing to do about transportation (the long commute time) and whether or not the bus monitors could or couldn’t be taken off the buses. I don’t see it as simplisticaly as what CR or you do. Seems like there’s more involved to getting a waiver then just parents meeting the bus.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 30, 2008 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

  46. While I would like to see monitors gone, all of them, the discussion here evolved from David’s contention that applying equitable standards to private school bus routes would cost money. I offered elimination of monitors as a possibility for offsetting costs. I offered the rationale that parents could monitor their own children. Shocking to some that I suggest parents be responsible, but I can’t help myself.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 30, 2008 @ 1:34 pm | Reply

  47. As usual, you resort to name calling. God Bless you.

    Comment by RS — September 30, 2008 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

  48. …..and oh yeh, you can start defending the School Administration over the latest RIPEC report now…if possible, or just wear the blinders and forget the factual reports about the state of the entire Chariho system. Keep on FEEL’N GOOD BABY!

    Comment by RS — September 30, 2008 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  49. RS, I learned the name calling tactic for the best… You, CR and RQ, et al.

    CR, unfortunatly, too many parents don’t take responsiblity. It’s what this government has done to society. Way too many people depend on the government to come up with the answers to take care of them instead of taking care of themselves.

    Dependency is slavery.

    And as JFK said… Ask not what your country (government) can do for you…. we all know the rest of it.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 30, 2008 @ 2:31 pm | Reply

  50. Oops, should be “from the best”

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 30, 2008 @ 3:20 pm | Reply

  51. Looking back through this entire post, the only name calling I see is from you CP. Go figure, the FEEL GOOD BRIGADE strikes out again with the “it aint my fault syndrome” you started it first. Oh well, to be expected.

    Comment by RS — September 30, 2008 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  52. RS, I’m guessing you’re familiar with Saul Alinsky’s,”Rules for Radicals”?

    With one of our Presidential candidates being an Alinskyite I’ve become more familiar with leftist tactics for advancing “social causes”. I imagine many on the extreme left find themselves using Alinsky’s rules merely because they are aping the tactics used by their leaders and heroes. They may not even mean to do it, but it comes naturally when you favor government control over individual control.

    RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

    If all else fails, there’s always – “I am rubber. You are glue.” 🙂

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 30, 2008 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  53. You two crack me up, if you only knew my political leanings. Let’s see, you’ve both called me a racists, a socialists, I work for or have connections to Chariho or I’m connected to one of the unions and probably a few other choice comments that are so far off base but I’ll shoulder the blame and say that I started it first. At least I’ll be a man about it unlike either one of you.. Too funny, I know just what to say to bait both of you and you both fall for it every single time.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 30, 2008 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

  54. If it looks like lipstick, taste like lipstick, and smells like lipstick…..then it must be, well lipstick.

    By the way, I don’t “lean”……I’ve said it before, I’m a fiscal conservative and consider myself a patriot of our republic, so as such I defend your rights and freedoms to lean whichever way you choose. No need to interpret what I might be saying in a post, I don’t leave anyone wondering what my real “leanings” are, it is what it is.

    Comment by RS — September 30, 2008 @ 6:52 pm | Reply

  55. My politicals views are best described as a blend of libertarian/conservative. I doubt anyone is “surprised”.

    What is more important: 1) Who you claim to be? 2) Who you are?

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 30, 2008 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

  56. RS, your taste buds are a bit off because I’m also a fiscal conservative and patriot of the republic. Where we differ is that I don’t see conspiracy and corruption in the ways that you do. I also believe in doing things the right way and work within the system to correct what is wrong. I also believe in upholding the laws of my town, state and country, even when I don’t always agree with them but I do try to get changes enacted.

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 30, 2008 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  57. The only changes I’ve seen you attempt to enact is the changing of the minds of those who don’t agree with the status quo of the Chariho trainwreck. Try reading what Republicanism is about, corruption is to be fought against, not condoned. Now try and convince me their is not corruption in Chariho and RI.Good luck.

    Comment by RS — September 30, 2008 @ 8:02 pm | Reply

  58. RS, who said I like the status quo of Chariho? You’re trying to put your spin on my words. I don’t see the corruption that you do, I see the corruption of thoughts about how government is involved in our lives starting at the school age. I see goverment control spreading in the schools which I don’t like. I want our schools to go back to the basics of learning and have parents teach what’s ethical and moral to their children. The unions, the teachers and unfortunatly, school committes and adminstrations think they are the ones that should be teaching these things. I sometimes see what you, CR, BF and SBH doing comes closer to chaos and anarchy more than anything else. At times it appears that no matter who would be the Administrator you would want to find corruption there.

    CR, what’s most important is who you are, not what others THINK that you are. I have to be true to my thoughts and beliefs as to what is right for myself, my spouse and my children. They know me best and actually get a chuckle from what you and RS think that I am. Even my co-workers get a chuckle out of it!

    Comment by CharihoParent — September 30, 2008 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

  59. Yeh ok, NO CORRUPTION IN RHODE ISLAND —As stated by CP. What a line, boy I wish I could had a pair of those rosey glasses with complete with blinders.I don’t have time to go through all the post where you support the lackies of the trainwreck(Chariho). I didn’t know wanting to spend MY tax dollars at a school of my choosing was anarchy, but if it is, then I’m all for anarchy.

    Corruption, when applied as a technical term, is a general concept describing any organized, interdependent system in which part of the system is either not performing duties it was originally intended to, or performing them in an improper way, to the detriment of the system’s original purpose.
    By all measures(except when viewed through rose colored glasses w/blinders), Chariho is not performing its intended duties….so by definition….it is corrupt.
    Once again you go out of your way to protect the lackies, hence your support for their ways and views is the reason you give the impression you are either one of them or back them at all cost. I do remember you saying you are happy with the performance of Chariho….thats enough for me to count you as a supporter or extremley naive.

    Comment by RS — September 30, 2008 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

  60. I can’t run the crap you post by any of my coworkers, I’m too embarresed to admit I blog with people of your viewpoints. Sorry but thats the way it is. I live and work in the real world with professionals. Now if I worked at Chariho or for the governemnt,or hung out with the FEEL GOOD BRIGADE then we would be getting somewhere, those folks would surely understand your views about how great the Chariho system is.
    Remember, 2/3 not proficient….WHOOOHOO…lets shout from the rooftops.

    Comment by RS — September 30, 2008 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

  61. There certainly is a disconnect between a claim of fiscal conservatism and support for the status quo at Chariho. Chariho fails the community. Fails families. Fails children. Yet here we are again…arguing about whether we take millions more from families to give to a education system which refuses to change. Refuses to be accountable. Operates in secrecy. i can’t think of any conservative justification for giving Chariho more leverage over our lives. The only group consistently served by Chariho is adult government employees. Conservatives don’t support sacrificing children in exchange for enriching adults. That’s liberal orthodoxy.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 30, 2008 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  62. Why do I even bother? Both of you do nothing but play the spin doctors. Believe what you want, I know you’re both dead wrong about me. Sorry I don’t agree with either of your views on how to change things but I’ll continue put my efforts to better use than whinning on some useless blog. I know what I’ve done to active in my community and how I’ve tried to effect change.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 1, 2008 @ 4:51 am | Reply

  63. Contrare Amigo, we have made positive change. Voting down the bond was a biggy, just not one you agree with. When we put Felkner on the school committee, we made a big and positive change, another you don’t agree with. So what are your accomplishments. The Chariho record is dismal at best, and it has been that way for quite sometime. Whatever changes you seem to think you have made, they sure haven’t improved the students learning at Chariho. Remeber how many are proficient….peek around those blinders.

    Here is some spin for you:
    1. You don’t want me to take any of my $$$$ – tax dollars and spend them where I want, you want the government institution to decide where and how to spend my money. Of course they do this with the NEA lobby machines ok, so a vote for gov’t control is also backing the NEA and the lackies who have made the system what it is today.
    2. You protest and speak against almost every subject BF brings up, once again, he hasn’t brought up anything that isn’t about fiscal restraint, accountability, and tranparency. So I must assume you are against most of the principles.
    3. You have stated you think Chariho is doing a wonderful job, and you support the administration. In supporting the administration, you also must then support the NEA lackies and go along with the status quo….Hence your membership in the FEEL GOOD CLUB.
    There is much more evidence in these postings what your beliefs are, not just your stated ones, but the ones you argue over adamantly. Like I’ve stated before, the Chariho trainwreck is yours, not mine…my children have yet to enter the train station for the ride to nowhere. If I can’t effectuate change before its time for the ride, then my children simply will not be going to Chariho. I take a proactive role in their education, and I will not settle for the proficiency record that Chariho offers as a quality education. We all make our choices, and yours have been made, mine are still pending, so I still ask what is wrong with letting me take “MY” money and put it to good use?
    I’m not making this crap up, you posted it, now you live with it…if it isn’t what your about, then why post it unless you are simply here to discredit whatever BF posts. In that case, get a life.

    Why would you be so against fiscal restraint, tranparency, and accountability? Who could possibly be against those principles. Except of course big government socialist, or those benefiting from the trainwreck, or NEA lackies, and you wonder why we make assumptions about you…..we only have the facts posted by you to use.

    Comment by RS — October 1, 2008 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  64. RS, you obviously still have comprehension problems.

    1. Blantly false, I’ve never said that.

    2. Blantly false again, I rail against the tactics employed by Mr. Felkner. Confrontation simply doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked for BF, it hasn’t worked for Charlestown’s Mr. Mageau either. I’ve said before and once more will say it again, Mr. Felkner certainly has some good ideas but to be confrontational causes others to become defensive.

    3. And another false statement, I have said repeatedly that Chariho has it’s share of problems. No institution is perfect. I do not 100% support the administration but once again, I don’t see the conspiracy for corruption that you do. I see the problems steming more from the school committee then from the administration. If people like Bill Day, Andy P., young Andy and a few others were not so tied to the administration and had a stronger backbone to stand firm and truly work for the good of the taxpayers for the three communities, we would all be better off. Once more, I’ll state for you, the NEA is a cause to our problems, also. I’ve said that repeatedly. Why you fail to comprehened what I say is beyond me.

    I’ve passed the train station, my daughter is now in college and is flourishing there so far.

    As for you last statement, you read what you choose to read and understand what you choose to understand. Not my fault that you’re a part of the Brainless Buffoon Brigade.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 2, 2008 @ 7:06 am | Reply

  65. Mr. Felkner is described as confrontational because he challenges the status quo. There are those who think Chariho is fine. Pays well. Educates children poorly, but no worse than many other Rhode Island schools. These are the Chariho apologists. Any threat to business as usual is “confrontational”.

    There haven’t been many victories for the children and families of Chariho, but the minor victories, such as a change in math curriculum, have only happened because Chariho’s status quo was challenged. Mr. Ricci would have excused constructivist math for the next 10 years if people like Mr. Felkner and Mrs. Buck hadn’t been “confrontational”.

    The problem isn’t Mr. Felkner. The problem is not enough Mr. Felkners.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 2, 2008 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  66. CR, from my understanding it was Deb Jennings that lead the charge on the math program.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 2, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

  67. I see CP, it is always someone elses fault, you are the victim.
    If I have the time I will find the post where you claim everything I posted, of course you will deny, then if that doesn’t work, then resort to lie.

    Comment by RS — October 2, 2008 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  68. To CP: Ref post #63, 64.

    1. You are against vouchers(giving me my money).
    2.I couldn’t find where you support BF, so if you have never spoken oin support, you must be against everything he proposes. Find a post of support for me if you are not being too vicitmized to look.

    Comment by RS — October 2, 2008 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  69. RS:
    #1 – Until I started digging deeper into vouchers and school choice, I was unsure on the issue but once I looked into in more, I can see the benefits. Please see “Study on school choice” post #2 and #4. As you can see, I’m not against it, I just don’t see how we can get our union controlled politicians to accept it since we know that the NEA has them by the short hairs.

    In regards to #2

    Pay up or get out Post #1

    BF, you’ve touched upon on my gripes when it comes to the teacher unions, Here’s another part that upsets me greatly:
    Teacher-union bosses have developed an unhealthy sense of entitlement — that somehow teachers owe the union money, whether or not that union is truly representing teachers’ interests.
    When I see the word entitlement, my blood boils!

    Also, Mr Felkner and I have agreed on the matter of who should be negotiating union contracts.

    What ye say now?

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 2, 2008 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

  70. Where not even sure if the math problem is fixed. Not enough is known about the new curriculum. Ms. Jennings may, or may not, have had role, but I do know Mrs. Buck has been very vocal and provided tons of reasearch supported information about the negative consequences of constructivist math. Time will tell if constructivist math has been permanently eliminated. Too bad no one seems to know for sure.

    I do know that nothing significant seems to change at Chariho without prodding from outside the system. I do know that Chariho has been providing inadequate education for years as measured by the proficiency. I also know that children can’t wait for subtle and slow moving change. We can’t sacrifice years of learning why Chariho’s administration and School Committee pretend everything is okay. A child isn’t likely to recover from one bad teacher…one bad text book…one bad curriculum choice.

    It may sound nice to play nice, but we are talking about the lives of innocent children. Confronting problems should be encouraged. Without confrontattion we guarantee the failing status quo.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 2, 2008 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  71. CR, I agree, we don’t know if it’s fixed, certainly not after only a year or two. I may be wrong but I think a revised math curriculum was tried in only a few grades, not all of them.

    Prodding, yes. Combative confrontation, no. By being combative you only get people on the defensive and they dig their heels in and no longer listen to what you have to say. There has to be better ways other to handle this. For one, the voters have to wake up and get the dead wood off of the school committee. Unfortunatly, Richmond only has one person running for the school committee while two seats are up for re-election so that mean we have Bill Day again for another term. I had seen signs in West Warwick, “Elect anyone but Alves”, Richmond should have political signs that say “Elect anyone but Bill Day”. If I had the time and an understanding employer, I might have run for the seat.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 2, 2008 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

  72. Does anyone know if the majority of the school committee members even have children in the Chariho system?

    Comment by RS — October 2, 2008 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  73. Obviously I disagree. The School Committee has a history of putting the interest of school employees before the inteest of the children and the community. The only thing that seems to move them is community outrage. The only way to get the community to pay attention is to take the approach of Mr. Felkner.

    I don’t really think it is combative, but yes, it is confrontational. Prior to his being on the School Committee, the issues flew under the radar. The media blandly reported with no discussion of the pros and cons. Reports were matter of fact, and the assumption was that whatever Chariho did was okay. Mr. Felkner has brought much needed attention to the mulititude of problems at Chariho. If he goes, we probably be back to the School Committee rubber stamping whatever the administration proposes. The community will be worse without any real oversight of Chariho.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 2, 2008 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

  74. CR, then the community has to rally together and has to show up en mass at school committee meetings which are poorly attended. We know we can’t trust a lot of the school committee members.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 2, 2008 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  75. Young Andy certainly doesn’t. Bill Felkner doesn’t. Andy P. and Bill Day are way too old to have children but could possibly have grandchildren in Chariho. I believe Deb Jennings has children that attend Chariho. As for any of the others, I don’t really know.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 2, 2008 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

  76. oops, Andy P. and Bill Day are way too old to have children in Chariho

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 2, 2008 @ 7:05 pm | Reply

  77. Mr. Day does have an adult child who works for Chariho. Does that count? Mr. Pruehs has at least one child within the Chariho system.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 2, 2008 @ 7:31 pm | Reply

  78. So there may only be a few of us who really have the kids best interest at heart. If one doesn’t have children in the educational system, they might have an interest in educating kids, but I would think the parents have the most at stake. I realize as a society we all have a stake in the education of America, but facing reality, the ones who lose sleep over it are the parents of the children who are losing out on their chance to learn. For everyone else, its just a job, or its just a committee where they get a title, or a spring board to a higher political office, or they gain financially from being involved in the educational system. So it explains why the “system” is more important to most people than the fact that our children will start their future with a substandard education that has not prepared them for what they will face in life. I see the children of the world in my line of work, and am not limited to just comparing what other children in RI, New England, or the US have to compete with.

    Comment by RS — October 2, 2008 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

  79. I appreciate the compliments on my so-called involvement regarding the math changes, but I truly can’t take much credit for it unless those that made the change possible were reading here. My efforts were to inform people with as much data as possible so that they too could have an informed opinion.

    I heard Deb Jennings played an important role in getting rid of TERC. If this is true, I thank her and the others involved. I can only hope that I had some influence on a positive change.

    Whether this new program is any good remains to be seen as I still haven’t seen any real data regarding which program we may have adopted.

    What I can say is this, I know that the middle school is running a math revamp program. My understanding is that it is to help the children with basic skills and facts. As this was one of the major flaws with the TERC program, I am quite pleased with that. I have also heard that they may continue this program beyond the NECAPs, which have started this week. That is a great idea.

    The text book I have seen is a Pearson/ Prentice Hall book. A website on the book to refer to is

    From what I’ve seen so far, I am happy with it. But this is my initial opinion. I would like to see more of it.

    To take an online tutor course with this series, please go onto to Web Code: are-0775 to see an example of what is available to children that have on-line access.

    A couple other web codes are: are-0205, are-0605, and arj-0851. Now there is no significance to why I chose these codes. I just turned the pages randomly and put them here for your reference.

    (The book is Prentice Hall, MATHEMATICS course 2, which is a green book with bicycle spokes on the front cover.)

    Now I sympathize with parents sending their children to private school regarding their child being on the bus more than an hour, but when a bus leaves the district to go to a different community, one should expect that the ride could take more. The poster, (and I apologize because I do not remember who posted it), that suggested the time should exceed the time from the main campus to the private institution makes a valid argument and this is reasonable. So, if it takes a 1/2 hour to get to Prout from Chariho, then it doesn’t seem unreasonable for a child to be on a bus for 1 1/2 hours each way.

    Everyone has a right to their opinion. What I’ve learned is that if you stick your neck out above the crowd, and in this case post on this blog, you will become the target of someone’s disgust. I’ve chosen to put my name on my target, which is fine, as long as my children don’t suffer the consequences.

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 2, 2008 @ 7:57 pm | Reply

  80. Your modest Mrs. Buck. You were here informing us about TERC/constructivist math while Mr. Ricci was still defending the curriculum.

    If Ms. Jennings and others took the bull by the horns, good for them, but I never heard a word about contructivist math until I read about it here on Mr. Felkner’s website. I’ve watched a number of the School Committee meetings where they were finally talking about changing the math curriculum, to this day I’ve never heard one person, including the administrators, who have the thorough knowledge and command of facts that you’ve demonstated here.

    I certainly hope the math issue has been resolved. With the Board of Regents wisely weighting NECAP testing as part of graduation requirements, Chariho has even more reason to start teaching math the right way. I’m sure the pathetic 22% math proficiency in Rhode Island has a lot to do with the move to constructivist math. The entire Rhode Island educational establishment should be ashamed of themselves for this travesty.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 2, 2008 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  81. FYI

    Chariho is having a meeting at 6:00 PM on Thursday about bus routes for parents with kids at St. Pius. They want to brainstorm to see if there is a better way to go.

    Comment by Jim L. — October 14, 2008 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

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