Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 22, 2009

RIDE Mandates

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 11:09 pm

At the House Labor Committee last night, the idea of eliminating mandates was brought up. They are looking for those involved (superintendents, school comm members, town councilors) to tell them which mandates to eliminate and why.

Click here to see the RIDE Mandates

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October 15, 2009

School Choice Workshop

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 8:51 pm

The Oct 26th workshop to discuss a school choice plan has been postponed. I believe it will be Nov 9th but will confirm and let you know.

October 10, 2009

Is it any wonder our graduates are so poorly prepared

Filed under: Higher Education — Editor @ 8:51 am

From the ProJo

The Foundation for Intellectual Diversity has assailed Brown University’s hiring of a Nigerian author who the group says is known for denouncing British author Joseph Conrad as a “bloody racist” and says Brown should “rethink” its plans to expand its Africana studies program.

“It is unfortunate that Brown continues to buy into this empty notion of diversity based on race, sex and ethnicity,” said Stephen Beale, the foundation’s president.

Read the rest here

October 8, 2009

He’s Baaaack

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 6:03 pm

I try not to do too much cross posting – but  this is sooo sweet I can’t help myself. Get those tips flowing.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Parker Lacoste
P.O. Box 2401
Providence, RI 02906
Tel: 401-228-6691

 
Hummel Returns to Investigate Waste and Corruption
 
Ocean State Policy Research Institute Partners with WPRO to Launch Investigative Report

 
PROVIDENCE, RI – The Ocean State Policy Research Institute announces that it is partnering with former ABC 6 reporter Jim Hummel and WPRO radio to launch the Hummel Report, which will investigate waste and corruption in state and local government.
 
Hummel’s investigations will debut on WPRO radio and its Web site and be posted in video form on http://www.hummelreport.com once a week.
 
“We’re excited to partner with WPRO, Jim Hummel and the dedicated Rhode Islanders that sponsor this important work,” said William Felkner, Director of Operations for the Hummel Report and President and Founder of the Ocean State Policy Research Institute (OSPRI). “This partnership is exactly what is needed to expose the government waste and corruption that has mired and embarrassed our state for decades.”

 
Added WPRO Program Director Paul Giammarco, “Jim Hummel’s association with our award-winning news team and Web site 630WPRO.com creates an outstanding opportunity for all Rhode Islanders to see and learn first-hand about corruption and government mismanagement. Hopefully these reports will inspire Rhode Islanders to become more aware so that we can begin to facilitate systemic change.” 

The Hummel Report Web site, which will feature its first report on October 15, also will provide a daily compilation of links to state, local, and town news and access to a database of municipal salaries, benefits, public employee union contracts, state legislative voting records, and other public document databases provided by OSPRI. Hummel will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Hummel Report.
  
Hummel, who has nearly three decades experience as a television and newspaper reporter in Providence, brings a depth of institutional knowledge to the project. Hummel was a reporter for the local ABC affiliate, WLNE-TV Channel 6 in Providence, from 1995 to 2008. In the 1990s he led the station’s coverage of corruption at Providence City Hall. He also reported from Washington, DC on issues pertinent to Rhode Island. In 2004, he became the chief reporter, managing the station’s political and investigative unit and hosting the Sunday morning show, “Six News on the Record.”
 
Hummel also resurrected the “You Paid for It” news segments. In 2007, he won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reportingfor a story on the North Kingstown school administration, which spent restricted federal special-education funds on food and drinks for a staff retreat. His two-part series, “Steak and Lobster,” prompted state and federal investigations into the district, resulting in the ouster of two top officials. The state concluded that the district had misspent nearly $250,000 in federal dollars.
 
Prior to joining ABC 6, Hummel was a reporter for the Providence Journal, where he was a reporter, editor, and manager for 13 years. While at the Journal, Hummel covered local politics, crime, the courts, the state General Assembly, and the Governor’s office. He also managed three of the newspaper’s local news offices.
 
“It’s great to be returning to the Rhode Island as part of such an innovative project,” Hummel said. “The combination of online media and talk radio formats, partnered with an organization that is committed to making government operations transparent, provides an outlet for information that is unequaled in the market today.”
 
Further distinguishing the Hummel Report from other media sources is its formation as a non-partisan, nonprofit entity. Dedicated to exposing waste and corruption for the people of Rhode Island, the Hummel Report is funded by tax-deductible donations.
 
“I’ve always felt that I worked for the people of Rhode Island,” said Hummel. “Now I really do. I take that as a great honor and responsibility and I will maintain the integrity and vigilance to my job that the public has come to expect.”
 
For more information, including how to donate, visit http://www.hummelreport.com.
 
 
About Ocean State Policy Research Institute:
 
Founded in 2007, OSPRI is a 501(c)(3) research institute that advocates for sound public policy based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, and traditional American values. We offer timely research and analysis on important issues for elected officials, the media, business leaders, community organizations, and citizens. We also maintain the Transparency Train-public financial and legislative information repository.
 
About The Hummel Report:
 
The Hummel Report is a non-profit 501 C-3 organization dedicated to exposing waste and corruption for the people of Rhode Island. Its investigative reports, produced by veteran reporter Jim Hummel and debuting on WPRO, will combine with news and public information to offer the first local multimedia news outlet of its kind at http://www.hummelreport.com.
 
About WPRO:
 
WPRO is the dominant news and talk radio station in Rhode Island. WPRO operates simultaneously broadcasts on 630 AM and 99.7 FM. With 167,000 listeners a week, WPRO has the largest audience in Rhode Island.

September 28, 2009

Are “conflicts of interest” still conflicts when you make money off of them?

Filed under: Nov 18 meeting (where I was removed from office) — Editor @ 10:07 am

From the Westerly Sun – h/t Dorothy

Two committees, different entities

IT STANDS TO REASON THAT THE CHARIHO Re­gional School Committee and the Chariho Building Committee are different enti­ties. Beyond the most obvious difference — their names — they have distinct member­ships and roles.

So, it would seem, they are different enti­ties before the law.

Now, it is true that the two committees serve the same public and share many goals, such as turning the tri-town district’s $20.5­million capital projects into reality. But when you move in the realm of public office — or multi-million dollar projects — there’s no such thing as making too certain your legal ground is secure.

In legal matters, both panels turn to Ed­wards, Angell, Palmer and Dodge, a Provi­dence law firm. On a simple level, that makes perfect sense. If the firm is good enough to represent school officials, why not represent school building officials?

That argument faltered when the school committee was told by Attorney Jon M. An­derson that he couldn’t offer a legal opinion on an issue because it regarded another client — the building panel.

[Editor’s Note] – Jon Anderson is the attorney who told the Chariho School committee that I couldn’t serve on both the SC and Town Council because of “conflicts of interest.”

The very idea angered Andrew J. Polouski, a member of the school committee, who said that the primary function of the firm is to serve the elected board, and that the build­ing committee should have hired another firm.

Admittedly, it seems on the face of things that such a relationship might be the most efficient course of action, but in this scenario we’re also talking about a $20 million project and that has to take precedence over poten­tial savings of a fraction of that cost.

We find it odd that the law firm didn’t at least raise the issue of a possible conflict by serving both boards, however remote it might have appeared at the start. Neverthe­less, the local boards have a responsibility for considering potential or perceived con­flicts of interest in this kind of scenario as well.

It’s been tough enough for the school dis­trict to pass a bond in the first place; we hate to see preventable technical dilemmas get in the way of implementing the bond.

While the two panels are certainly on the same side, as School Committee member Ter­ri Serra noted, perhaps this bump in the road can serve as a caution sign to be on the look out for any other potential issues as this exciting project takes shape.

 ___________________________________

 Chariho continues to embarrass itself …

September 23, 2009

School Choice Workshop

Filed under: Hopkinton,School Choice — Editor @ 9:54 am

Two town council meetings ago we set October 26th as a date for a workshop to discuss a school voucher or tax credit program that would empower parents with consumer choice when selecting a school for their child. I’m putting together a proposal with the guidance of Adam Schaeffer, Ph.D., Policy Analyst Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, and Dick Komer, Senior Attorney at the Institute for Justice.  This is a tremendous step and I hope those interested will send me their input and attend if possible.

September 21, 2009

New Ashaway Principal

Filed under: Ashaway Elementary,Chariho — Editor @ 10:29 pm

Has anyone had an opportunity to meet, talk or work with the new Ashaway principal, Steven Morrone? He came to the town council meeting to talk about a bus issue. He and Bob Petite were there asking for a parking ban during school bus loading and unloading times. Tom Buck has a good handle on the issue and I’m comfortable with his direction on it. But I was more concerned, or curious, about the principal.

My concerns are based on the principal’s experience, or apparent lack of. The principal is on the front lines of interaction between our kids, the teachers and parents, and what little I know of this person from searching the internet and what he wrote us in a letter does not give me a great deal of confidence. 

According to the letter he sent the council, he “taught in Westerly for the past five years in special education and in the classroom. (He) also completed (his) masters degree in administration through Providence College. As part of that program (he) completed a principal internship under Victor Ventura, principal of Springbrook School in Westerly.”

I don’t want to assume that that is the extent of his experience, maybe there is more and he just didn’t mention it. Then again, as young as he is there couldn’t be much more. According to the Westerly Sun he is 28 years old.

Personally, I’m not comfortable with someone so young being in such an important position – a position that requires him to be the facilitator of interactions between children, teachers and parents.  He is younger than 2 of the three.  And he has no experience and very little experience in education at all.  And in this high unemployment you would think we could have found someone with experience. Was this a cost savings move? Does this person posses unseen talents?

The principal also spoke about a new program encouraging “community” he has started. Instead of having the kids go from the bus to the class, he has them go to the  gym so they can build “community.”  I think of community more of helping your neighbor and stuff like that, and whenever a newly educated educator speaks about “community” I fear phrases like “social justice” are soon to follow. But I shouldn’t read too far ahead.

That being said, there are freakishly talented young people who are dedicated at an early age. Maybe he is one of them. I also see he has modeling aspirations. So, I’m not sure what to read on his dedication or capacity. His letter was what I would expect from someone 28 years old.  My first inclination is to be insulted that Ricci would put someone in our schools with so little, strike that – NO, experience in the job. And if his letter is the totality of it, he only has a handful of years in teaching.

That’s why I’m asking if anyone has had contact or interaction yet. Let us know.

September 13, 2009

Chariho contract

Filed under: contract negotiations — Editor @ 9:27 am

This article is from the Sun. Below that you will find a link to videos from the Tiverton School Committee discussing open negotiations. Wouldn’t that be nice…

 

WOOD RIVER JCT. — Contract talks between the Chariho Regional School Committee and the district’s teachers’ union is expected to resume this week.

Private negotiations for a new, three-year pact are scheduled for Tuesday. The parties last met on Sept. 3.

A three-person negotiation team has represented the school board since talks began in January, but other board members began participating at the last meeting. The issues now at hand “require a full school committee focus,” said School Committee Chairwoman Holly M. Eaves.

“It’s getting down to the more difficult stuff,” she added. The current contract with NEA Chariho — the local arm of the National Education Association that represents 341 full-time certified employees — expired on Aug. 31. The union has opted not to strike or “work-to-rule,” when teachers do not participate in extra-curricular activities like tutoring.

Jeanette Woolley, Chariho’s NEA representative, did not return a phone message by press time.

September 9, 2009

Fire Tax

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 7:53 pm

I’ve gotten some comments about the Ashaway fire district tax. I was as surprised as the next guy. My bill went from about $170 last year to $270 this year. Maybe the next time someone wants to spend tax dollars we should make sure they know the costs involved. I just thought I would start this post for people to comment on it.

September 4, 2009

Great show on FOX

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 6:02 pm

There is a great show on FOX tonight at 8 and midnight – Tucker Carlson – Do you know what is in your kid’s textbook.

Try to catch it.

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