THE BACK STORY...
THE COST/BENEFIT OF SEX AND OTHER CLASSES FOR NMUSD
Since the renowned "Educational Researcher", Jay Leno, proved time after time in his "Man on the Street" interviews, it has been glaring obvious that the vast majority of these well-dressed seemingly intelligent beings are just plain dumb about the world around them. Therefore, the first class on my list would be called "HOW TO BE A USA CITIZEN STARTING IN KINDERGARTEN"
The kindergarten curriculum would include these little would-be citizens learning the name of the President of the United States along with their own address, phone number, their town, and the name of their school. Each week they would be responsible for sharing some little fact about any of these people as well as repeating the names and their addresses.
They would also be made aware that this is a country in which they have a voice and begin to learn how to use it. They would dictate their thoughts about the food, custodian, cafeteria, and possibly the principal to the teacher, and she would write the letter/email for them to the intended receiver. It would be in the form of a question, a compliment, or even a complaint
In first grade all this would be repeated with the addition of the political parties, the town and mayor. They might want to say something about the crosswalks, lack of parks, or something else that could be in their little minds.
This would go on in ever-sophisticated forms until graduation. By that time, these redoubtable, informed, empowered students, would be sent out into the world to become actual citizens.
Next class... THE COST/BENEFIT OF SEX.
Let's face it there are costs associated with sex, some of them obvious and some not-so-obvious. In the past when institutionalizing the teaching of sex education in an educational setting it made some people (including teachers) very nervous, and slowly but surely, it was eliminated from the curriculum altogether. Presenting the subject in a very adult/American way as a financial issue would probably satisfy the most conservative among us as well as placating the liberals (who get as nervous as everyone else).
Everything costs money and so does sex. The obvious costs involve birth control, pregnancies, births etc. The not-so-obvious costs include the possible psychological expenses, results of the distractions including falling grades, reduced interest in future, possible loss of choice of colleges or other schools, lack of training, and the possible loss of relationships with parents and families, resulting in loss of financial support. In this world where cost/benefit is king, taking the drama out of the subject and replacing it with a dollar amount would not only be refreshing but interesting.
In NMUSD's constant search for relevant curriculum, perhaps they should consider these two classes.
You may wonder what the benefit part of cost/benefit might be. Sorry, the answer makes me nervous.
THE "GOOD" OLD DAYS
I used to look with disdain on the "manners" of the 50's and 60's. I thought the whole thing was giant facade ...phony and silly. Talking in a certain way, the opening doors for women thing, women having to wear certain clothes. For 23 years of my life I wore heels every day. Doing yard duty was just not fun in heels.
I have changed my mind. Now that all that is gone and we clearly are over-populated we have regressed to animal life in so many ways. We are rude, aggressive, unfeeling, non empathic (guess that is the same thing) and murderous all over the world.
I never thought that I would actually long for the days of a little phoniness....Damn that Salinger anyway.
Mom...modeling at Smiley's with heels
This is totally my happy place. Oddly I picture it in Maine where the weather is crazy and not in Newport, but if it's Newport ...I'll take it.
No group of students who have ever applied for the Asper Family scholarship has ever been as articulate, honest, philosophical, intelligent, resourceful, ambitious and most of all ...caring as you have been.
You all displayed a stunning amount of community service:
Working against domestic violence
Young senators program
...and this is just a few.
Honesty about your individual lives was surprising and inspiring.
One student wrote about his fear after he experienced a loss and said "Ironically my biggest fear in life now fuels my ambition."
Another student wrote about his very hard and compelling personal story when his living situation changed radically...he said "Everyone chooses what they want to become in the future. It practically defines who a person is and what they like.
A very wise student wrote "What needs to be understood is that not every single student has the same home life. Students who do not have the most adequate home conditions do not perform well in school"
Teachers you loved and respected were by far the subject in every essay.
"He simply blows away our expectations and creates calculus and any type of problem from the air and with it actually works it out"
"Teachers are like angels- they bring light into a child's life through education."
"The teacher would give up her weekends, her time with her family, her lunch just to have me in her class and make sure that I was doing my homework"
Same student about another teacher "She pushed me . I grew tired of it and finally forced myself to become responsible"
A bunch of you talked about your kindergarten teachers.
"She even took it as far as eating lunch with me and having me say the food that I was eating..."
Some of you expressed outrage how the city of Pomona, and PHS is talked about and wanted to help change that.
Your individual heritage was discussed in the excellent essays.
One student said about her Mexican Heritage "I want to prove to others that a Mexican American can be successful in life as well as those who are considered wealthy"
Alf Asper who was the inspiration for this scholarship was all about fairness and hard work, and in light of that, we, the family, spent a lot of time sweating over this scholarship.
Personally I think all of you deserve it but just be proud of what you've accomplished...some of you under really difficult circumstances...and your promise to yourself to succeed and be the caring, smart adults that you are now as students.
SPEECH WRITTEN FOR THE APPLICANTS OF THE ASPER FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP AT POMONA HIGH SCHOOL 2015
To bring you up to date #5 was fired from NMUSD on January 22, 2015, given his salary in a lump sum, humiliated by being walked out of the building a fate usually reserved for embezzlers and child molesters (neither of which applies to him of course).No one knew why. According to NMUSD he was abruptly fired "without cause".
#5 then went to court to have his 94 pages of documents regarding the issues that he had been bringing up for months to be made public. The district's position was that it was "moot" because he could release them himself, (which would have ostensibly made him vulnerable to a lawsuit), and more importantly the district denied his whistle blower status.
#5 lost that case.
He then appealed the verdict and won. The ruling was that NMUSD must release the documents to the public and that he was in fact, a whistleblower.
John Caldecott appeared on that much coveted Daily Pilot Most Influential People List December 31, 2015. Caldecott was # 5. The superintendent was # 32, and the trustees were numbers 33-39. Ironic?
So where does this end? What else does Caldecott plan to do? Why?
Caldecott, otherwise known as #5, plans to talk to the NMUSD Board Tuesday night. He apparently has interesting things to say.
One might posit that all of this relentless pursuit is "pay back" for what he has happened to him and the ill treatment he received, and that would be understandable. Not many people have the experience of being fired, and walked out of a building where you have worked for ten years. Caldecott says that he has a far different reason. " My mission is to prevent this ever happening to any employee who finds it necessary to become a whistle blower."
So here we are. #5 is on a mission and shows no sign of stopping. The district has spent a completely unnecessary excess of half a million dollars on this case. The superintendent and the board are in trouble, and at the very least will look bad for multiple reasons.
The students and teachers are also in trouble in a very different way. They need this money. They are experiencing overcrowded classrooms, lack of materials, lack of air conditioning, and in the teacher's case having to beg for salary and benefits while the administration is blithely spending money on a court case that shouldn't have happened.
Caldecott has actually done NMUSD a big favor, bigger than even he knows. From now on other district employees who would like to "see something, say something " will feel safer to do that, not only in this district but in other districts in California.
Perhaps now instead of talking about transparency the district will actually practice it. Maybe the board will do serious "due diligence" instead of just accepting what they are told by the administration, and stop this strange decades-long practice of "circling the wagons", voting and apparently thinking as one.
It's beyond time to just talk about transparency. It's beyond time to be recklessly cavalier in the treatment of employees. It's beyond time to talk about being a great district and to actually be one.
There is always a back story. From the grumpy waitress, to the snotty IT guy on the phone, to the woman who is tailgaiting you, and especially to the kids who populate our schools. THAT we need to remember.
This page is going to be dedicated to what I consider the back story to be in some of the things that are going on in our schools and our community.
THE RE-DISTRICTING MEETING
1. The deciders were all school board members
2. School board members stick together
3. Vickie Snell clearly thinks that trustees primary job is to go to "events"
4. Superintendent Navarro doesn't know which zone his schools are....."Russell, Russell..."
5. No one cared that a citizen committee means nothing.
I am worried….just read Albright’s book and we are headed for a country that we won’t recognize in fifteen years…I barely recognize it now. We have become coarse, hard and bitter.
We suck as people. We have lost the ability to even begin to think about how it might be to be a black person, a refuge, a small kid who has been taken away from your mother.
We no longer believe anything we read UNLESS it matches our crazy view of life. We have little faith in anything really and most of us have quit going to church…and when we go we choose a church which agrees with our view. We don’t really believe in God but we want prayer in schools, and we don’t want fetuses murdered, but we are okay with murdering people in prisons…
We are fine with private prisons, private everything….
When asked our views, we are damn sure about them, but the second level questions about our research is beyond us. We know however that what we are told to think is absolutely right.
We have a crazy president who is doing the bidding of God knows who…
We are headed for something worse than Germany in the 30’s , something worse than fun at the coliseum when people were thrown into the pit with lions, something worse than concentration camps and slavery…
Why? Because it’s 2018.
Madeleine Albright's Book