Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dick Sieron Board Of Education Candidate District 5 Comments

Recently I knocked on a number of doors, introducing myself as a candidate for the Milford board of education, I was amazed at the response. Nine out of every 10 persons I talked to were fed up with our schools and eagerly invited me into their homes for discussion. The one out of ten who refused to talk to me did so because, when they found out I was a member of the Milford Independent Party, they said that they were either a Democrat or a Republican and would not vote for me. Isn’t it astonishing that the Milford government web site board of education page lists one school board member as the “Chairman of the Majority Party” and another member as the “Chairman of the Minority Party.” Newspaper articles also refer to those certain school board members by those same titles.

I submit that the practice of politics in our school board is outrageous. The Republicans and Democrats are incapable of thinking beyond party politics. George Washington, (in his farewell speech,) said to beware of political parties because they represent the will of those parties and not the will of the people. When there is disagreement among school board members, voting is often along party lines, as though no one is capable of critical thinking.

The Milford Independent Party is offering candidates based on their abilities, not party patronage, and will not base any decisions along party lines.

I have talked to a number of Milford school teachers and every one I have talked to so far has been angry with what goes on in our schools. It is amazing that their anger is not reported in the media. At one home that I was invited into, a teacher did not even give me a chance to speak first. He informed me that they were forced to teach their students WHAT to think and not HOW to think. He said they were forced to spend all their time giving the students the “No Child Left Behind” tests and over-teaching those tests, leaving them no time to teach anything else.

Our schools will lose millions of dollars from the state if they do not give the NCLB tests. The State of Connecticut gets those millions of dollars from the Federal government. The federal government is forbidden by the Constitution from having anything to do with education at the state and local level. That is the sole province of the States. And so, big brother gets his nose in the tent through the back door. The dollars are paid by the taxpayers in the first place and everyone knows that the closer you get to the local level, the more wisely the dollars are spent. The federal government has no monopoly on brains and common sense. The only monopoly they have is on corruption.

Tax wise, we are one of the wealthier towns in Connecticut. The mall and all the commercial businesses on the Post Road and other business centers bring in large tax revenues. We spend well over a hundred million dollars each year on our public schools, what do we get for that money?

Statewide, Milford’s highest ranked (CAP tests) elementary school in 142nd place and the lowest ranks 285th (among 544 elementary schools). Foran High School ranks 94th in the state (CAPT tests) and Jonathan Law ranks 119th (among 171 high schools). One of our elementary schools recently dropped 48 ranking positions from 2008 and another school an incredible 85 ranking positions. Foran dropped 15 ranking positions and Law dropped 10. Our school board should be in “crisis mode,” but nobody seems to be awake or aware.

We pay our superintendent of schools Apx. $185,000.00 p/y and all he seems to be able to do is find himself mentioned in a scandal appearing on the front pages of the newspapers. Incidentally, school Superintendents should not be close friends with members of the school board. A board member cannot make objective decisions about the performance of a close friend of the Superintendant.

I have nothing to fear making the above statements. I have lived in Milford for 15 years and raised a family elsewhere. I am not a member of any union, nor do I own a business. Education in our country is in an incredible state of decay. Our grandparents were far better educated then today’s younger people.

If elected to the Milford school board, I promise the following;

I will ask tough questions and demand major reform.
I will report regularly to the press as to what happens at board meetings and how the board members vote.

Dick Sieron
Independent Candidate For Board of Education
District 5


Anonymous said...

Good summary of some of the problems, but what are the solutions? You mention the problem of federal funding linked to NCLB and testing, but offer no remedy. Asking tough questions and demanding reform are nice ideas, but what are the specifics? Please provide a more solution-oriented summary of your action plan if elected.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking at this site and find it to be really helpful. I would greatly appreciate any help.