Monday, August 13, 2012

NBEA Votes Against Not So "Innovative Schools"

August 13, 2012

The New Bedford Educators Association is opposed to all efforts to create “Innovation Schools” within the New Bedford Public Schools. We believe that such institutions would cause irreparable harm to the district and the vast majority of students that it serves. True “innovation” can only come when the district works with teachers as partners to enhance student achievement.

There is no doubt that many of the decisions made at these schools would have an impact on the rest of the district’s schools and we cannot support an initiative that provides special treatment to a small number of schools while disrupting the rest of our schools.

Since these schools would make their own policies, students who don’t conform to the behavior or educational standards of the school could be counseled out and be sent back to other schools in the district, just like the charter schools do now. Similarly, students who drop out of the autonomous school would most likely be sent back to other public schools in New Bedford.

To maintain the small class sizes the autonomous schools promise, the classes in other district schools would have to absorb any overflow of students.

It is our belief that these schools would siphon money from the district’s budget, much like charter schools do now. Their budgets would be secure and well-maintained. The rest of the district would have to spread its financial resources even thinner while trying to provide a quality education.

Ultimately, as proposed, there is little difference between a charter school and a small autonomous school under the state’s Innovation School model. In fact, this proposal is nothing more than a Trojan Horse that would introduce quasi-charter schools, create a two-tiered education system for our students, and reduce collective bargaining for teachers involved.

NBEA cannot and will not support any Innovation School proposals that would create an unequal educational system of “haves” and “have nots.” We believe that the district would be strengthened by a partnership between the administration and the Association as is evidenced by the creation of the Engineering Academy within the structure of New Bedford High School.

Louis St. John for the Board of Directors, New Bedford Educators Association


Anonymous said...

The UIA Exposed….

Since United Interfaith Action (UIA) has dominated the education debate in New Bedford, Whaling City Watch thought it would be useful to take a look at the organization itself.

UIA promotes itself as “a faith based organization founded in 1996,  (that) promotes social and economic justice and improves the quality of life of all residents in Southeastern Massachusetts with a specific focus on the cities of New Bedford, Fall River and Dartmouth, by recruiting and training clergy and lay leaders to act on issues of greatest concern, founding social action on the teachings of our different faith traditions.”

However, a former UIA insider has a totally different view.  The Reverend James Blair of Fall River believes the UIA exists to promote leftist political views.  In other words, the UIA is a political organization that uses religion as a smokescreen.  Reverend Blair shared this information with the readers of the Fall River Herald News on April 7, 2011.

“I am writing as a former member of United Interfaith Action, a community organization about which your staff writer John Moss reported recently. (“United Interfaith Action meets, lobbies to protect public programs”, April 3, 2011)

While it is wonderful to see such a diverse group of people meeting enthusiastically over sincere concern for our community, there are some unreported facts about UIA, which I believe your readers should know.

First, not unlike a labor union, UIA’s organizers are salaried professionals supported in large part by membership dues. Second, United Interfaith Action is an affiliate member of the PICO National Network, which has an extreme left-wing political agenda.

As is typical in community organizing, these facts are hidden from view intentionally in order to encourage more local participation and to cultivate a non-partisan “faith-based” appearance.”

The letter is also posted here:

A number of New Bedford houses of worship are part of UIA.  They include Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Saint Anthony Catholic Church, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, Tifereth Israel Synagogue, Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint James Catholic Church, Saint Lawrence Catholic Church, and Grace Episcopal Church.  If you attend any of these churches/temples, YOU should be asking questions about the UIA and its political agenda.

Please remember that the ultimate left winger and father of Communism, Karl Marx, said that “Religion is the opium of the people….”  We all know that organized religion doesn’t fare well in Communist societies and its adherents are often persecuted.

Whaling City Watch hopes that the good people of the aforementioned congregations re-consider their relationships with United Interfaith Action.

Anonymous said...

So were fighting Marxists now. Give me a break

Anonymous said...

Lou, thank you for voting against this madness. How did the mayor and superintendent vote?

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank Lou St. John for taking a strong stand against the UIA innovation school proposals. At least we know there is one person in the city who cares about the future of the students of New Bedford, as well as the teachers and their livelihoods. Thank you once again, Lou.

Anonymous said...

we all know the UIA is self serving... like the Presidential election, why would people shell out so much money to attain a job that you only recoup a small portion? POWER! If you belong to any of these churches... question were the donations in the collection baskets are going