Power of Ten Update
In this edition:
  1. Students plead for mercy from school board
  2. Next board meeting is Wednesday March 21
  3. Rockland Community College to Hold Public Forums on the Future of Educational Assessment
  4. New Radio show “East Ramapo Underground”
  5. Message from the Editor
1) Students plead for mercy from school board
The videos from the March 14th meeting is here. You can watch them all at www.youtube.com/luckylouproduction or click on the link for any video.
Vanessa Decembre talks about education http://youtu.be/wrvp-_poygc
Tendrina Alexander talks about high school http://youtu.be/C4G1a_WPSTA
Israel Colon talks about Thespian Troupe 721 http://youtu.be/0PO2EsiraRU
Nicole Canada talks about the school district http://youtu.be/7vOLLTboaPM
Tatiana Vera talks about going to school in East Ramapo http://youtu.be/XPpTXdUFN5o
2) The next School Board Meeting is Wednesday, March 21st @ 7:30 pm
105 S. Madison Ave, Spring Valley
Please come early to support the students, even if you can’t stay for the whole meeting.
3) Rockland Community College to Hold Public Forums on the Future of Educational Assessment
Free and open to the public
Ramapo- Parents, educators and students who are interested in the future of educational assessment are invited to participate and share their thoughts during a series of public forums
What: Gordon Commission Forums at Rockland Community College
Where: Technology Center, Ellipse (Rm. 8180)
When: Educators – Thursday, March 22, 7:00-9:00 pm
From your unique perspective, what do educators need from assessment, and how can testing be used to improve teaching and learning?
Parents – Thursday, April 26, 7:00-9:00 pm
What do parents want and need from assessment in education?
HS and College Students – Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 7:00-8:30 pm
What do you seek from educational assessment and testing? What troubles you about contemporary testing practices?
For more information about the work of the Gordon Commission visit www.gordoncommission.org
For additional information about the forums, please call the RCC Office of the President: 845-574-4214 or email: contact@gordoncommission.org
4) Join the East Ramapo Underground
Every Thursday on WRCR 1300-AM right after the Steve and Charlie show from 10:10am – 10:40am.
The East Ramapo Underground will cover the issues and discuss the challenges facing the East Ramapo School District.
The first show will be Thursday, March 22, 2012.
The show will also stream live over the internet from www.wrcr.com
5) Message from the editor
Budget season is upon us. Once again, the school board finds itself trying to piece together a budget at the last minute, without ever having substantively discussed the failure of the district to respond to the needs of the students. The usual excuses are given about state aid, taxpayer resistance, and the economy. But there is a greater problem than any of these and that is lack of vision on behalf of the school board. A lack of vision which stems from the divisive way in which the board members have gained power. A lack of vision which stems from the lack of respect that the board members have for the students, the teachers, and the concept of public education itself.
This school board showed its real colors when it let Pedro Santana go. Pedro was the darling of the students, and beloved by the staff. He was the most effective administrator the district has ever seen, according to long time staff who served directly under prior administrators. He was inspiring the district to a new vision, one of recognizing the value of our diversity. The usual excuses about money were absent- this was a cold hearted act which seriously set back the morale of the district.
This school board has been propelled into power by mighty financial interests who manipulate divisiveness for their own gain. They are the 1% of East Ramapo, the real estate investors who have the most to gain by gutting the budget and scapegoating the students, the teachers, and the community.
The votes they cannot get by bullying they get by propagating myths. How often have you heard it said that “private school parents pay twice?” While it is certainly hard for many families to pay private school tuition, the truth is that as a whole, the district pays out more in services to private schools than it collects in taxes from the parents with children in private school. This is verified by the district’s own internal study. Another myth is that East Ramapo parents “just don’t vote”. The truth is that citizens in East Ramapo vote at 3 times the rate of other districts in the county; indeed they have one of the highest voter turnout rates for school elections in the nation. Another myth is that East Ramapo teachers are overpaid. The truth is that over the last decade East Ramapo teacher salaries have risen less than most districts in Rockland, barely keeping up with inflation. The most despicable myth of all is that our kids are just not able to succeed. The fact is that these are smart children just waiting to be given a chance. They need a district that understands them- where they come from, and where they want to go in life. They deserve a district that has a vision for their success. That is what this newsletter has dedicated itself to for the past four years. – Steven White, editor

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