Tag Archives: School

‘Kids, don’t forget to make your gender choice’

‘Kids, don’t forget to make your gender choice’

By Lyn Leahz

California on edge of freeing students from their anatomy

Instead of only announcements about clubs, classes and curriculum to start a school day, students in California soon may be allowed to decide what gender they would like to be that day.

The California legislature has passed AB 1266 that would require all public schools to allow youths to choose whatever restrooms, locker rooms, sports teams, and other gender-based portions of the school in which they would like to participate.

Eighth grade teacher Valerie Vislay Jones said the bill sounds like a nightmare, especially for girls.

“Bathroom breaks are chaotic enough! This brings on a whole host of new discipline problems. And what about that time of the month? I can see boys using the girls’ restroom just to be funny, and then there would be no privacy for the girls. Adolescent boys do not understand the whole menstruation thing anyway, and adolescent girls do NOT want boys to know that they menstruate. Way to make adolescence even more confusing.”

She continued, “What adolescent boy wouldn’t love to get into the girls’ locker room?”

As a teacher, she said this would be an enforcement disaster.

“I have enough to keep track of in the morning, then to add this. Now, my morning would include this phrase, ‘Don’t forget to make your lunch choice and gender choice.’”

She added, “Why does our culture insist on letting children make important decisions or have a say in everything.”

Is there a model that could work, without letting school children choose their own gender identities, with no guidance from teachers, school administrators, or parents?

Larry Lunt of New York says no. He remembers being in high school and thinks this is a recipe for disaster.

“Does this mean that teenage boys with raging hormones will be free to say ‘I’m a girl today’ and use the girls’/womens’ restrooms/locker rooms, etc.? That’s absurd.”

David Henderson, from Anondale, Va., thinks the new law would be discriminatory to boys, “I can honestly say that I would have declared myself a female for the day if I could go into the girl’s locker room. My raging teenage hormones would have left me no choice.”

In Europe, for example, they will have mixed locker facilities, but they include a row of “changing rooms,” so one can always step into a changing stall and change privately. They are set up for a level of privacy. The new bill passed by the California legislature will not include such protections from harassment, objectification, and molestation.

WND has reported on the redefinition of gender bias based on the politically correct elite who sponsor bills like the one to name LGBT couples who cannot conceive “infertile.”

WND also brought the story of California students receiving free cars for attendance. And then there is the story of California students drafted to promote Obamacare to their own families.

But random anatomy selection for children, whether they are six or 17, is a new one, even for California leftists. Some, who believe anatomy is a static matter, are up in arms.

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute said the law is in direct violation of the principle of protecting children. He says this is all about appeasing the vocal and powerful LGBT lobby.

Jack Watts, a Christian author and culture critic agrees.

“The real war is not on women, but on men, particularly young boys. By purposefully obscuring the lines of their male identity, we will be creating a nation of sexually confused men who will be unable to sustain a male-female relationship,” he said. “The only winners will be divorce lawyers.”

This bill comes as California is already losing population. Census data showed that since 1990, the state has lost almost 3.4 million people to other states. California is the only state not replacing its own population, and about 225,000 leave each year. More conservative states like Texas and North Carolina are inheriting the disgruntled Californians.

Leon O’Dell is one of those former California residents, and he said that this bill only validates his decision to have left the state years ago.

“This entire sick scenario makes me glad I left my home state. I have no desire to return there. California is the laughing stock and an embarrassment,” he said.

Jim Bellano, a former assistant professor of political science at Western University, said that the California Legislature has “redefined the ‘ABC’s’ and the ’3 R’s’ of education to ‘LGBT.’ Will the signs on the bathrooms and locker rooms be replaced with rip-a-way daily calendars?”

Matthew McReynolds, an attorney for Pacific Justice Foundation, is one of those who tried to fight the bill. He said the legislation has many shortcomings, and that it completely disregards the privacy of the students who are not transgender, or “gender-questioning.”

He argued that “these students (and their parents) have reasonable expectations that they will not be forced to share intimate spaces with members of the opposite biological and anatomical gender.”

McReynolds contends that “there are no safeguards whatsoever in the legislation that would allow responsible adults, including coaches, teachers, chaperones, school administrators and others to act in the best interests of all students.”

“Even the most liberal politician should see that allowing boys and girls as young as five, or as astute as 17, to be able to pick and choose which gender’s bathroom to use is outrageous.”

Some found the legislation so “out there” that they made jokes in response to the proposal.

Nick Kasoff, a political analyst from St. Louis, Mo., referenced the news on Anthony Weiner, “the big question is, will Carlos Danger move to California and try to pass as a high school student?”

Clarence Walls considers himself a political observer, and he had this observation of the California legislation: “Stupidity, like morality, has no gender.”

The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature.

But it’s a long way from the first gender outrage adopted in California.

In fact, the Pacific Justice Institute has launched a site, GenderInsanity.com, to bring attention to California’s actions.

Earlier moves in California include SB 48, who requires positive portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in class.

Others cited by the pro-family SaveCalifornia.com as being on a radical sex agenda include:

SB 543, signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, “allows school staff to remove children ages 12 and up from government schools and taken off-campus for counseling sessions, without parental permission or involvement.”

ACR 82, approved by the California Legislature in 2010, “creates de facto ‘morality-free zones’ at participating schools (pre-kindergarten through public universities). Schools that become official ‘Discrimination-Free Zones’ will ‘enact procedures’ (including mandatory counseling) against students from pre-kindergarten on up who are accused of ‘hate,’ ‘intolerance,’ or ‘discrimination.’” The definition of “hate” includes peacefully speaking or writing against the unnatural lifestyles choices of homosexuality and bisexuality.

SB 572, signed by Schwarzenegger in 2009, establishes “Harvey Milk Day” in K-12 California public schools and community colleges. In classrooms, schools and school districts that participate, children are taught to admire the life and values of late homosexual activist and teen predator Harvey Milk of San Francisco in the month of May.

SB 777, signed by Schwarzenegger in 2007, prohibits all public school instruction and every school activity from “promoting a discriminatory bias” against (effectively requiring positive depictions of) transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality to schoolchildren as young as five years old.

AB 394, signed by Schwarzenegger in 2007, effectively promotes transsexual, bisexual and homosexual indoctrination of students, parents and teachers via “anti-harassment” and “anti-discrimination” materials, to be publicized in classrooms and assemblies, posted on walls, incorporated into curricula on school websites, and distributed in handouts to take home.

SB 71, signed by Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and implemented in 2008 through the new “sexual health” standards approved by appointees of Schwarzenegger and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, teaches children as young as fifth grade that any consensual sexual behavior is “safe” as long as you “protect” yourself with a condom, and teaches children that homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality is “normal.”

AB 1785, signed by Davis in 2000, required the California State Board of Education to alter the state curriculum frameworks to include and require “human relations education” for children in K-12 public schools, with the aim of “fostering an appreciation of the diversity of California’s population and discouraging the development of discriminatory attitudes and practices,” according to the state legislative counsel’s digest.

AB 537, signed by Davis in 1999, permits teachers and students to openly proclaim and display their homosexuality, bisexuality or transsexuality, even permitting cross-dressing teachers, school employees and student on campus, in classrooms, and in restrooms.

Father’s Stunning Claim: Son’s School Is Teaching That Americans Don’t Have the Right to Bear Arms

Conn. Father’s Stunning Claim: Son’s School Is Teaching That Americans Don’t Have the Right to Bear Arms
By Billy Hallowell

A Connecticut father is accusing his son’s school district of teaching children that Americans do not have a constitutional right to bear arms. Steven Boibeaux of Bristol, Connecticut, is claiming that his child, an eighth-grader at Northeast Middle School, was given a social studies worksheet that is anti-Second Amendment in nature — or, at the least, opposed to the conservative view of the provision.

In an interview with Fox News’ Todd Starnes, Boibeaux said that he’s “appalled” and that the school seems to be “trying to indoctrinate our kids.” The worksheet in question, published by Instructional Fair, is entitled, “The Second Amendment Today,” and it allegedly proclaims that American citizens do not have the right to guns.

“The courts have consistently determined that the Second Amendment does not ensure each individual the right to bear arms,” it purportedly reads. “The courts have never found a law regulating the private ownership of weapons unconstitutional.”

When it comes to interpreting the Second Amendment, the worksheet provides additional parameters through which the constitutional provision should be viewed. Starnes explains:

The worksheet, published by Instructional Fair, goes on to say that the Second Amendment is not incorporated against the states.

“This means that the rights of this amendment are not extended to the individual citizens of the states,” the worksheet reads. “So a person has no right to complain about a Second Amendment violation by state laws.”

According to the document, the Second Amendment “only provides the right of a state to keep an armed National Guard.”

Boibeaux also alleges that the teacher told the class that the Constitution is a “living document” and the worksheet seems to drive this point home, noting that “the interpretation changes to meet the needs of the times.”

“I’m more than a little upset about this. It’s not up to the teacher to determine what the Constitution means,” the father told Starnes. “I just don’t appreciate this as a parent. I expect teachers to teach my kids and tell the truth – not what they think their point of view is.”

This report comes as debate over classroom studies across America — and CSCOPE and Common Core-aligned curriculum, in particular — rages.

Read the entire report here.


Parents: Rule’s half-baked

Parents: Rule’s half-baked
By Laurel J. Sweet and Chris Cassidy

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Bake sales, the calorie-laden standby cash-strapped classrooms, PTAs and booster clubs rely on, will be outlawed from public schools as of Aug. 1 as part of new no-nonsense nutrition standards, forcing fundraisers back to the blackboard to cook up alternative ways to raise money for kids.

At a minimum, the nosh clampdown targets so-called “competitive” foods — those sold or served during the school day in hallways, cafeterias, stores and vending machines outside the regular lunch program, including bake sales, holiday parties and treats dished out to reward academic achievement. But state officials are pushing schools to expand the ban 24/7 to include evening, weekend and community events such as banquets, door-to-door candy sales and football games.

The Departments of Public Health and Education contend clearing tables of even whole milk and white bread is necessary to combat an obesity epidemic affecting a third of the state’s 1.5 million students. But parents argue crudites won’t cut it when the bills come due on athletic equipment and band trips.

“If you want to make a quick $250, you hold a bake sale,” said Sandy Malec, vice president of the Horace Mann Elementary School PTO in Newtonville.

Maura Dawley of Scituate said the candy bars her 15-year-old son brought to school to help pay for a youth group trip to Guatemala “sold like wildfire.” She worries the ban “would seriously affect the bottom line of the PTOs.

“The goal is to raise money,” Dawley said. “You’re going to be able to sell pizza. You’re not going to get that selling apples and bananas. It’s silly.”

Food fundraisers have helped send the renowned Danvers High School Falcon Band to the Rose Bowl Parade in California and the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. Danvers Parents for Music Education sell fudge because “it still works,” said the group’s president, Matthew Desmond. “Even my wife will buy it.”

Middleboro School Committeeman Brian Giovanoni, whose board will discuss the mandatory meal makeover Thursday night, said, “My concern is we’re regulating what people can eat, and I have a problem with that. I respect the state for what they’re trying to do, but I think they’ve gone off the deep end. I don’t want someone telling me how to do my job as a parent. … Is the commonwealth of Massachusetts saying our parents are bad parents?”

No, insists Dr. Lauren Smith, DPH’s medical director.

“We’re not trying to get into anyone’s lunch box,” Smith told the Herald. “We know that schools need those clubs and resources. We want them to be sure and have them, but to do them a different way. We have some incredibly innovative, talented folks in schools who are already doing some impressive things, who serve as incontrovertible evidence that, yes, you can do this, and be successful at it.”

State Sen. Susan Fargo (D-Lincoln), chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Public Health, said the problem of overweight children has reached “crisis” proportions.

“If we didn’t have so many kids that were obese, we could have let things go,” Fargo said.

“But,” she added, “this is a major public health problem and these kids deserve a chance at a good, long healthy life.”


The real agenda behind gay anti-bullying clubs in your school

The real agenda behind gay anti-bullying clubs in your school

by Peter Baklinski

– Back in the early 1990’s most people in North America would have doubted there would ever come a day when the homosexual agenda would be accepted with open arms in elementary and high schools. Today however, that agenda is firmly implanted in public schools and is quickly making its way into Catholic schools, thanks to a well-planned strategy laid out by radical gay activists in 1995.

In the early 90’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) activists in Massachusetts sought to indoctrinate school children with homosexual values. GLBT activist Kevin Jennings, who was later appointed by President Obama as the assistant deputy secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools inside the Department of Education, masterminded the scheme of gay anti-bullying programs as a perfect inroad into the otherwise resistant classrooms of the nation.

“If the Radical Right can succeed in portraying us as preying on children, we will lose,”
warned Jennings in a 1995 speech to fellow GLBT activists outlining his strategy. “Their language–‘promoting homosexuality’–is laced with subtle and not-so-subtle innuendo that we are ‘after their kids.’”

Jennings argued that the key to success lay in “framing” the issue in another way, to the advantage of the GLBT cause.

The strategy consists in linking the GLBT cause to “universal values” that everyone in the community has in common, such as “safety.” One then builds on this universal value the idea that “homophobia” represents a “threat” to students’ safety since it creates a “climate where violence, name-calling, health problems, and suicide are common.” From this point, one simply promotes legislation and programs for schools that frames the GLBT agenda in the language of these universal values.

“This framing short-circuited their arguments and left them back-pedalling from day one,”
boasted Jennings. “[N]o one could speak up against our frame and say, ‘Why, yes, I do think students should kill themselves:’ This allowed us to set the terms for debate.

Jennings realized that this strategy would effectively throw any opposition into a defensive mode and steal their best line of attack. If anyone objected to the homosexual and transgender indoctrination that the activists planned to push in the schools, they would be accused of heartless disregard for students.

Despite the fact that it has been executed time and time again for almost two decades the methods and talking points have hardly changed at all. A recent policy to address “homophobic harassment and bullying, and homophobia and heterosexism” approved by the Board of Education in Burnaby, BC followed Jennings’ strategy precisely, right down to the language of “safety.”

Policy # 5.45 states that to “ensure that all members of the school community work together in an atmosphere of respect and safety regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, the Board of Education will adopt appropriate administrative regulations and strategies that promote respect for human rights, support diversity, and address discrimination.”

The final goal of the campaign, according to Jennings, is that one day when, “straight people” hear that someone is “promoting homosexuality,” he would say “‘Yeah, who cares?’ because they wouldn’t necessarily equate homosexuality with something bad that you would not want to promote.”

While much of the past 15 years has left the goals of the gay ant-bullying scheme carefully unspoken, a recent article in an online homosexual publication let the cat out of the bag.

“Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?,” wrote Daniel Villarreal on Queerty.com, a website that promotes the gay agenda.

We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it. Recruiting children? You bet we are,” he added.

“I for one,”
continued Villarreal, “certainly want tons of school children to learn that it’s OK to be gay, that people of the same sex should be allowed to legally marry each other, and that anyone can kiss a person of the same sex without feeling like a freak. And I would very much like for many of these young boys to grow up and start f**ing men.”


We Don’t Need No Thought Control: Teachers’ Leave Those Kids Alone

Obama rolling back Bush-era education law

By KIMBERLY HEFLING Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – (WPVI) — President Barack Obama is giving states the flexibility to opt out of provisions of the No Child Left Behind law, a move he says is designed to energize schools but Republicans challenge as outside his authority.

The law, a Bush-era education initiative passed with bipartisan support, has grown increasingly unpopular as more schools risk being labeled a failure.

Under the plan Obama was to outline Friday, states would be allowed to ask the Education Department to be exempted from some of the law’s requirements if they meet certain conditions. That includes enacting standards to prepare students for college and careers and setting evaluation standards for teachers and principals.

“To help states, districts and schools that are ready to move forward with education reform, our administration will provide flexibility from the law in exchange for a real commitment to undertake change,” Obama said in a statement Thursday. “The purpose is not to give states and districts a reprieve from accountability, but rather to unleash energy to improve our schools at the local level.”

The administration says it is acting because Congress has been slow to address the issues by rewriting the law.

But Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., who chairs the House Education Committee, has questioned whether the Education Department has the authority to offer waivers in exchange for changes it supports. He’s said the president has allowed “an arbitrary timeline” to dictate when Congress should get the law rewritten and that the committee needs more time to develop its proposals.

Kline on Thursday called the administration’s plan a political move and said he could not support a process that sets a precedent by granting the education secretary “sweeping authority to handpick winners and losers.”

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., the ranking member on the Senate committee that oversees education, said the president’s plan would undermine the policymaking authority of Congress.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said the plan would not undermine efforts in Congress because the waivers could serve as a bridge until Congress acts.

Duncan said the emphasis would be more on growth than on test scores.

“We can’t have a law on the books that’s slowing down progress, that’s slowing down innovation,” he said Thursday in Joplin, Mo., where schools were left in ruins after a tornado in May.

The No Child Left Behind law passed in 2001 with widespread bipartisan support and much fanfare. It sought to hold schools more accountable for student performance and get better qualified teachers into the classrooms. It also offered school choice and extra tutoring to students attending schools deemed failing.

In Obama’s plan, states granted waivers would have more control over how troubled schools are handled, although to qualify for a waiver they would have to show they had a plan to help low-performing schools. A majority of states are expected to apply for waivers, which will be given to qualified states early next year.

Critics say the law placed too much emphasis on standardized tests, raising the stakes so high for school districts that it may have driven some school officials to cheat. In particular, the requirement that all students be on grade level in math and reading by 2014 has been hugely unpopular.

Duncan has warned that 82 percent of schools next year could fail to reach proficiency requirements and thus be labeled “failures,” although some experts questioned the figure.

He has said it is “dishonest” for schools to be labeled as failing if they are showing real improvements and that the law is creating a “slow-motion educational train wreck.” Duncan also has said that many states under the law have lowered standards instead of making them more rigorous.

The law has been due for a rewrite since 2007. Obama and Duncan had asked Congress to overhaul it by the start of this school year but a growing ideological divide in Congress has complicated efforts to do so.

The GOP-led House Education Committee has forwarded three bills that would revamp aspects of the law but has yet to fully tackle some of the more contentious issues such as teacher effectiveness and accountability.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a former U.S. education secretary, said waivers should be limited.

Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2011 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)


The Biggest College Admissions Edge

The Biggest Admissions Edge

Steve Cohen

Every year, parents pay through the nose for college-admission counselors who will supposedly let them in on the secret to getting into a first-choice school. So let me save you from emptying your bank account and tell you, right now, the single biggest advantage students can easily give themselves for getting into a top university: Apply early decision.

By applying early decision—for which the application deadline is usually Nov. 1, two months before most regular-admission deadlines—the applicant agrees to attend that school should they be accepted. Which means kids can only apply early decision to one school. If the school says yes, so must the student.

Many people don’t know that early-decision applicants get an edge when applying to college. What even fewer know is just how big that edge is. It’s enormous. Applying early admission can often double or even triple your child’s chances of getting into a top school. It is the single most effective admissions strategy there is for most students—and the most underutilized.

Every sign suggests that this year’s college-admission sweepstakes is going to be crazier than ever, and last year’s numbers were positively insane. Six of the eight Ivy League schools had admission rates under 10 percent, as did Stanford, MIT, and a handful of other very specialized schools. But even several dozen colleges that aren’t in the very top tier had regular admission rates under 20 percent. For example, Bowdoin, Emory, and Hamilton all had regular admission rates under 20%. Just five years ago, there were all over 30 percent.

But here’s the big caveat: Those are admission rates for regular applicants. For early-decision applicants, the data look a lot rosier. A couple of examples: Brown reported an overall acceptance rate of 8.7 percent last year, but for kids applying under the regular deadline, their odds were actually worse than that: only about 7.5 percent of them got in. By contrast, a whopping 20 percent of kids who applied early decision received a fat envelope from Brown—one of the most selective schools in the country.

The story repeated itself at other Ivies. Penn accepted just 11 percent of kids who applied under the regular deadline, but more than 34 percent of kids who applied early decision. Cornell was even more dramatic: 16 percent of kids who applied under the regular deadline were admitted, but fully 36 percent of early-decision kids found good news in their mailbox.

This difference was just as pronounced at highly selective non-Ivies. Amherst took just 12 percent of regular applicants but 34 percent of kids applying ED. Midwest powerhouse Northwestern took just 26 percent of the regular pool but 39 percent of the early group. And Bucknell accepted 27 percent of kids in the regular pool, and a staggering 62 percent of early-decision applicants.

Its tempting to chalk up the success gap separating regular and ED applicants to something other than the actual act of applying early decision. Do kids who apply early have significantly better qualifications?

Hardly. In fact, it is often just the opposite. Certain segments of the early-decision applicant pool often have lower grade-point averages and SAT scores than the regular applicants. This is particularly true among college athletes. Because the Ivy League and Division III schools are prohibited from offering athletic scholarships, the tactic favored by coaches at these schools is to build their teams by “encouraging” student-athletes to apply early decision. (Only five of the Ivies—Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Penn—use ED.) Coaches can’t guarantee admission—that is the exclusive province of admission officers—but they typically have significant clout.

For the rest of the kids who apply early, the odds are noticeably better as well. Colleges rarely break out the mean SAT scores of kids admitted early compared to kids accepted during the regular round. But the observations of people like Mike Muska, my co-author of Getting In!, and the longtime Dean of College Relations at Brooklyn’s Poly Prep are instructive. “The early decision round is more forgiving than the regular round. They won’t admit a candidate who is not in the ballpark. But they will enlarge the sweet spot. Is it a 20 percent variability? Absolutely. 30 percent? Maybe.”

Why do colleges offer early-decision programs? Simple: competition. Every college is competing with schools both above and below them in the rankings pecking order. And every year they have to get “attractive” kids to apply, and then—the harder part—get those kids they accept to actually show up in September. Early decision is the only way a college can guarantee that an admitted kid will become part of its incoming freshman class.

The following chart shows the percentage of each class that was filled in 2010 by early-decision kids:

The percentage of students who choose to matriculate at a particular school compared to the number who were accepted by that school is known as yield. Every college uses a mix of historical data and newer factors to calculate its expected yield. Did the school play in the Final Four the previous year? Has a particular celebrity enrolled? Was the lavish new $50 million student center finally completed? But in the end, predicting yield is still basically guesswork. Early-decision acceptances help colleges reduce that uncertainty, providing schools a better chance of hitting their target enrollment numbers.

Surprisingly, most kids don’t take advantage of the early-decision option. Last year, more than 245,000 applications were received by the eight Ivy League colleges, but only 21,000 of them were under the early-decision or early-action umbrella. (A very small number of highly selective colleges—like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford—offer an “early action” option: apply early in the senior year, and we’ll notify you early. But it is not binding and it doesn’t offer an edge.) Even smaller percentages of kids took advantage of early-decision programs at Amherst, Duke, and Middlebury, all schools that shower love on their early-decision applicants.

So why don’t more kids take advantage of an option that both improves their odds of acceptance and makes the application process a lot less stressful? Three reasons are commonly heard.

First, kids don’t get their act together soon enough. Way too many families begin the college-admission process in earnest at the start of senior year. For most families, that’s too late to do any real investigation of individual colleges.

Second, because of this late start, kids are hesitant to commit to a single school, afraid they’ll choose “the wrong one.

And third, parents are concerned that they will receive a smaller financial aid package because the school knows that the student has already committed to attending.

The most important piece of advice good college counselors give families is to start the admissions process early. At most top private schools, the college selection process gears up in earnest early in the junior year. That gives families enough time to visit colleges, do substantive research about various places, and engage in a thoughtful sorting process.

By contrast, most public schools don’t start the process with their kids until the beginning of senior year. Moreover, many public school districts have cut back on the number of college counselors. With 300 or more kids per counselor, adequate individual attention is rare.

Kids—preferably with a parent—should visit the three or four colleges they are most interested in as soon as possible. Setting foot on a campus is the single best way to know if a school is a good fit.

Second, making a wrong college choice is not the end of the world. Very often, kids visit colleges, do their research, and take the time to make an informed choice—and then, after a semester or less, figure out the place is wrong for them.

Third, schools are not inclined to squeeze families who have shown them loyalty by applying early. Financial aid decisions are based on need, and the award package from one school shouldn’t be too much different from another—at least not for early-decision kids. In the regular admissions pool however, financial aid offers can be affected as the total bank of available money gets depleted.

Finally, one of the little known secrets about financial aid is that the package offered to families is not engraved in stone. Financial aid officers can exercise what is known as professional judgment. They have some discretion in how much they award and how they craft financial-aid packages. So, fear of a reduced financial-aid package shouldn’t be a deterrent to applying early decision.

One note of caution: use that early-decision application wisely. You only get to pull the trigger once, so the competitive bump shouldn’t be wasted on a school where you have little chance of getting in. If you’re in the ballpark—based on your grades, SATs, and some desired “hook” you’re bringing to that campus—it is worth pursuing early decision. But if you’re a solid B student who can’t sink a basket, consider using that ED bullet somewhere more realistic than a hyper-competitive Ivy.

It is always wise to discuss your ED strategy with the high school college counselor. Many of them will know particular college preferences. For example, the University of Pennsylvania is not hesitant to admit that if you’re a legacy hoping to leverage that edge, you’d better apply ED. Similarly, coaches will tell you that if you don’t go ED, you’ll lose their admission support.

The bottom line? Kids who want to get into a selective or highly selective college should do everything possible to take advantage of the early-decision option. It’s the best arrow in your quiver, so leaving it there unused just seems foolish.

– What do you think about College in the 21st Century? Many have alluded to a natiowide College Conspiracy pushed on the public to encourage the notion that ONLY through College can you become a success. This fallacy is one of many propagated by our Government, Loan Originators and the Public Education System.. The simple fact is College is not for everyone. We seek formal education primarily for monetary gains. Be sure to know your path before you begin the journey of higher education. – PECAN


Schools are an integral part of the formation of the control grid

When the high school in Tewksbury, Mass., decided it was going to take a proactive stance on security, they installed one of the most sophisticated integrated security systems.

The idea was precipitated by Police Chief John Mackey in terms of his concern for the welfare and well being of the children.

In conjunction with the Tewksbury Police Department and the Tewksbury Memorial High School(TMHS), Vanguard Managed Solutions, Mansfield, Mass., formerly Motorola Multiservice Networks Division, issued its SafeWatch security approach to alleviate security concerns at the high school. Motorola is helping the local law enforcement respond to emergencies by providing real-time or archived access to information in potentially dangerous situations.

Anthony Romano, principal of TMHS said that Chief Mackey drafted a proposal and met with school officials and Dr. Christine McGrath, Superintendent of Schools, to discuss it. The proposal was to add a security system at TMHS and expand that eventually to other public schools in the town.

“The cameras are not installed to monitor activities of everyone on a daily basis, but only if there is a threat to the well-being of students or personnel,” Romano says. “It is a tool that’s in place to enhance our ability for communications should an incident occur.”

SafeWatch is a complete real-time video monitoring system, allowing public safety officials, in the event of an emergency, to remotely activate cameras located in the public areas of a school. The images can be viewed and the cameras can be controlled from a public safety facility or vehicle. This provides public safety officials with a real-time view of the affected area and allows them to make informed decisions on how to address an emergency situation. In the event of an emergency, SafeWatch immediately notifies the police for instant viewing. The school, however, monitors activity on a continuous basis.

“During emergency situations, tactical visibility can be very low. The current communications systems can be disabled pretty quickly. Because the schools are older, their capabilities are limited. What we try to do is go in and use the existing network in place and extend those communications capabilities,” says Ray Patalano, public safety offering manager at Vanguard.

The SafeWatch system allows the police to respond to emergencies by providing real-time or archived access to dangerous situations.

A Safer Watch

The system was designed so that the cameras remain dormant at the high school until activated by the police. If an emergency happens, the phones are networked under the 911 system and will automatically connect to the police station. At this point, the police can use the video to assess the situation. In addition, the video link can extend through a wireless link to a computer in a police vehicle. The system operates over computer networks currently in schools, which eliminates the investment in new wiring.

SafeWatch is the first integrated package that allows users to securely access, monitor and control digital video-whether in real-time or archived, onsite or remote, from single or multiple locations-using the Internet Explorer Web browser. By combining the RemoteVU Guardian IP Video Transmitter, VOIP capabilities, telephones and wireless networking hardware over a managed IP network, SafeWatch will help security professionals enhance the service they provide their clients and communities.

“Because we have a long history of networking expertise, we can integrate the pieces in a managed package that is unlike anything else available today,” says Patalano.

It’s effectiveness is measured based on the concentration on the main areas; the hallways, the gymnasium, the library, the cafeteria, large areas where you’ll see a lot of students and teachers congregating.

“The networking approach includes digital video, voice over IP and wireless technology. The synergies between Eastern Video security, Billerica, Mass., and Vanguard networking are a perfect fit. SafeWatch can be customized to include any other technologies whether it is access control or alarms,” says Patalano.

The Package

The components of the SafeWatch system are: RemoteView Guardian-an IP digital transmitter that takes all the analog cameras and puts them over a network and it digitizes them and stores them. It brings them back to the police station.

o Vanguard IP voice gateway: allows for a back-up phone system in the schools. If the phone lines are taken down, you still have verbal contact that runs down the network directly back to the police station. Secondly, it allows us to connect to the intercom system. Back at the 911 control center, they can actually connect to the intercom system as if they were standing right next to it or standing in the principal’s office. The value of that is for the police to give instructions back and forth; if they need a kid to go out a certain door, if they need to go and talk to somebody via the intercom system.

o Wireless transmitter and receiver: put inside the school to send video wirelessly to a police cruiser. The police will be able to drive into the parking lot and in strategic locations. These strategic locations will be able to actually connect inside the school and see a real-time view of what is happening.

“By October, that system will be a mobile command center instead of a cruiser. If anything should happen, the mobile command center would respond from the police station. It has everything it possibly could need to be able to take command of the situation from the school. We are in the process of making the command center. Within our department we will be able to respond and when we get to the school we will be able to monitor it from outside the building as well as from the station.” says Mackey.

Spreading the Word

Police Chief John Mackey is also highly visible and vocal in his approach to part of a consortium called NEMLEC (North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council) which is made up of 35 – 40 communities in the area. Dealing with Rick Stanley, North Andover Police Chief and NEMLEC, they thought that it might be a good idea to eventually move in a direction where they could put this in all the schools in the NEMLEC region, which would be substantial. “Again, the sole reason being is to help us make a good, logical decision as to how to move and how to move quickly at a school location under the worst possible scenario that you can imagine,” says Mackey.

“Schools are safe, but we all have come to understand the fact that tragedies do occur in schools. Based upon some of the ones that have occurred, such as Columbine, it puts police in a position of looking at how they would respond to those kind of catastrophic situations,” says Mackey. “I look at it like an insurance policy. It is something that you hope you actually never have to put into use, but it is good to know that it is there if you do.”

SIDEBAR: The components of SafeWatch

Component RemoteVU Guardian

Crisp, clear, real-time
video as data
Remote access capabilities
Multiple camera control selection

Vanguard IP Voice Gateway

Instantaneous connectivity between school and police station
Virtually eliminates long distance telephone charges
Streamlines operations
Integrates voice, data and video over one network

Networked Telephones/Intercom

Designated phone lines networked directly to 911 and the police station

Wireless Connectivity

Wireless broadband connections to mobile vehicles

Bundled Services

Site survey to assess needs
Chain wide installation and maintenance
Network monitoring & management
Network security
Grant writing


What Is Outsourcing?

What Is Outsourcing?

Once upon a time in America, virtually anyone with a high school education and the willingness to work hard could get a good job. Fifty years ago a “good job” would enable someone to own a home, buy a car, take a couple of vacations a year and retire with a decent pension. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Every single year the number of “good jobs” in the United States actually shrinks even as our population continues to grow. Where in the world did all of those good jobs go? Economists toss around terms such as “outsourcing” and “offshoring” to describe what is happening, but most ordinary Americans don’t really grasp what those terms mean. So what is outsourcing? Well, it essentially means sending work somewhere else. In the context of this article I will be using those terms to describe the thousands of manufacturing facilities and the millions of jobs that have been sent overseas. Over the past several decades, the U.S. economy has become increasingly merged into the emerging “one world economy”. Thanks to the WTO, NAFTA and a whole host of other “free trade” agreements, the internationalist dream of a truly “global marketplace” is closer than ever before.

But for American workers, a “global marketplace” is really bad news. In the United States, businesses are subject to a vast array of very complex laws, rules and regulations that make it very difficult to operate in this country. That makes it very tempting for corporations to simply move out of the U.S. in order to avoid all of the hassle.

In addition, the United States now has the highest corporate tax rate in the entire world. This also provides great motivation for corporations to move operations outside of the country.

The biggest thing affecting American workers, however, is the fact that labor has now become a global commodity. U.S. workers have now been merged into a global labor pool. Americans must now directly compete for jobs with hundreds of millions of desperate people willing to work for slave labor wages on the other side of the globe.

So exactly how is an American worker supposed to compete with a highly motivated person on the other side of the planet that makes $1.50 an hour with essentially no benefits?

Just think about it.

If you were a big global corporation, would you want to hire American workers which would cost you 10 or 20 times more after everything is factored in?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why millions of jobs have been leaving the United States.

Corporations love to make more money. Many of them will not hesitate for an instant to pay slave labor wages if they can get away with it. The bottom line for most corporations is to maximize shareholder wealth.

Slowly but surely the number of good jobs in the United States is shrinking and those jobs are being sent to places where labor is cheaper.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. multinational corporations added 2.4 million new jobs overseas during the first decade of this century. But during that same time frame U.S. multinational corporations cut a total of 2.9 million jobs inside the United States.

So where are all of our jobs going?

They are going to places like China.

The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

In addition, over 40,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed permanently during the past decade.

What do you think is eventually going to happen if the U.S. economy continues to bleed jobs and factories so badly?

As the U.S. has faltered, China has become an absolute economic powerhouse.

Ten years ago, the U.S. economy was three times as large as the Chinese economy. At the turn of the century the United States accounted for well over 20 percent of global GDP and China accounted for significantly less than 10 percent of global GDP. But since that time our share of global GDP has been steadily declining and China’s share has been steadily rising.

According to the IMF, China will pass the United States and will become the largest economy in the world in 2016.

Should we all celebrate when that happens?

Should we all chant “We’re Number 2”?

Our economy is falling to pieces and the competition for the few remaining good jobs has become super intense.

The average American family is having a really tough time right now. Only 45.4% of Americans had a job during 2010. The last time the employment level was that low was back in 1983.

Not only that, only 66.8% of American men had a job last year. That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in all of U.S. history.

Just think about that.

33.2% of American men do not have jobs.

And that figure is going to continue to rise unless something is done about these economic trends.

Today, there are 10% fewer “middle class jobs” in the United States than there were a decade ago. Tens of millions of Americans have been forced to take “whatever they can get”. A lot of very hard working people are basically working for peanuts at this point. In fact, half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

Things have gotten so bad that tens of thousands of people showed up for the National Hiring Day that McDonald’s just held. With the economy such a mess, flipping burgers or welcoming people to Wal-Mart are jobs that suddenly don’t look so bad.

Right now America is rapidly losing high paying jobs and they are being replaced by low paying jobs. According to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth. Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth.

Thanks to the emerging one world economy, the U.S. is “transitioning” from a manufacturing economy to a service economy.

But it certainly doesn’t help that China is using every trick in the book to steal our industries. China openly subsidizes domestic industries, they brazenly steal technology and they manipulate currency rates.

A recent article on Economy In Crisis described how the Chinese paper industry has been able to grow by threefold over the past decade while the U.S. paper industry has fallen apart….

From 2002 to 2009, the Chinese government poured $33.1 billion into what should be an unproductive industry. But, with the help of government subsidies, China was able to ride export-driven growth to become the world’s leading producer of paper products.

In the same time frame that China pumped $33 billion into its paper industry, U.S. employment in the industry fell 29 percent, from 557,000 workers to just 398,000.

So why should we be concerned about all of this?

Well, just open up your eyes. As I have written about previously, our formerly great cities are being transformed into post-apocalyptic hellholes.

In a comment to a recent article, Trucker Mark described what he has seen happen to the “rust belt” over the past several decades….

I am a product of Detroit’s northwest suburbs and the Cleveland, OH area, where together I lived almost 2/3rds of my 54 years. As a 30-year semi driver, I am intimately familiar with large areas of the industrial Midwest, the Northeast, and even much of central and southern California, and everything in-between. I am also college-educated, in Urban Planning and Economics. What has happened to not just Detroit, but to virtually every city in the southern half of Lower Michigan and northern Ohio is mind-boggling. When I was 18, it was quite common to head over to a car plant and get hired immediately into a middle-class job. At one time I had dozens of friends from school working at car plants, dozens more in other large factories, dozens more in major grocery warehousing and distribution, and me, I was a semi driver delivering to all of those places. Between 1979, when I started driving semis, and now, I must have seen 10s of thousands of factories across just the southern Great Lakes region close their doors. Some of them were small, and some of them employed 10,000 workers or more.

The former Packard plant from your photo closed in 1957, and at one time it employed 12,000 workers, and my roommate in 1982 in Birmingham, MI had been laid-off from the old Dodge Main plant in Hamtramck, which once employed over 20,000 workers, which closed in 1981. In 1970 just Chrysler had over 40 plants in the Detroit-area, and now there are just 11 left open. The Willow Run plant, which at one time turned-out a brand-new B-29 bomber every 40 minutes, and employed 50,000 workers, is long dead too, as is the tank plant north of town too. Even fairly new car plants like Novi Assembly are closed, Pontiac’s ultra-modern robotic car assembly plant too. In Cleveland 100 or more huge old plants stand empty, car plants, steel mills, and machine tool builders, in Akron dozens of rubber plants are long gone, Sharon, Warren, and Youngstown have all lost huge numbers of industrial jobs, Canton and Massillon too, where the NFL started, have been reduced to mere shells of their former selves. Along with the plant closings have gone the hopes and dreams of many thousands of retail operators, restaurant owners, and thousands of other small businesses too. Hundreds of entire major shopping malls stand vacant, as seas of potholes consume local roads. The city of Hamtramck, MI a Detroit suburb of 40,000 people, is bankrupt and has had to layoff all but two employees, one of whom works part-time. The traffic lights are shut-off and stop signs now appear at those intersections instead, as the city can’t even pay its power bill. I could go on & on & on for days but I don’t have the time.

I haven’t driven a semi in almost 2 years as my eyesight has begun giving out early. My last 10 years in the industry was spent delivering fresh and frozen meat on a regular multi-stop route through the Chicago-area and throughout southern Michigan. Between 2001 and 2009, my boss lost 14 of 19 major weekly customers in Michigan to bankruptcy, including three major grocery chains, plus numerous less-frequent customers. The Detroit News reported before Christmas of 2007 a 29% unemployment rate within the city limits of Detroit, with an estimated 44% of the total adult population not working, and another news story reported a 1 in 200 chance of selling a house across the entire metropolitan area, which still has 4 million people total. Since 2003, home prices within the city limits of Detroit have fallen by 90%, and today there are thousands of houses in move-in condition on the market there for $5K to $10K. The suburbs are not immune either.

You know what? Detroit and Cleveland used to be two of the greatest cities in the entire world.

Today very few people would call them great. They are just shells of their former glory.

Sadly, this cruel economy is causing “ghost towns” to appear all across the United States. There are quite a few counties across the nation that now have home vacancy rates of over 50%.

Another reader, Flubadub, also remembers how things used to be….

I am also a product of that generation and remember well the opportunities that existed for anyone with even a high school diploma in those days. Just within a reasonable commute to where I grew up we had US Steel, 3M, General Motors Fisher Body, Nabisco, The Budd Co., Strick Trailer and others providing thousands of jobs that enabled you to provide a decent living for your family. There were also plenty of part time jobs to keep high school students busy enough to avoid the pratfalls of idle youth and afford the 28 cent/ gallon gas for their used cars. Most of it is gone now and I don’t blame the Mexicans or the Chinese for stealing it. I blame the greed of the globalists and their flunkies, the phony free trade advocates in office, who’ve spent the last twenty years giving it all away.

Our jobs are being shipped overseas so that greedy corporate executives can pad their bonuses and our politicians are allowing them to get away with it.

According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year.

Life is great if you are a CEO.

Life is not so great if you are an average American worker trying to raise a family.

Another reader, Itsjustme, says that things are also quite depressing In New Jersey….

I live in northern NJ in a suburb a very short ride from NYC.

Our region was hit very hard — we once had a very prosperous and booming industrial area; mixed use with many warehouses and commercial buildings, hirise and lowrise.

The majority of companies that were in those buildings are gone. Long vacant; the signage is left and nobody is inside them.

One large commercical building with 15 floors now is home to 2 tenants: a law firm and a Korean shipping company.

It’s very sad what’s happened out here.

The only “companies” moving into these buildings are small change tenants that that are usually Chinese or Middle Eastern; you’ll see them subletting out 2 or 3 offices in these buildings and they operate out of those offices. They’re mostly importers of apparel or soft goods.

My guess is that they are there on very short term leases.

This will benefit our local and state economy not. These groups usually send the money home.

If this is the shape of things to come, we can hang it up right now. No viable companies are moving into our area; if anything new is being built it is retail and service industry garbage, like crummy fast food chain restaurants. No livable wage jobs are entering our local economy.

As I have written about previously, the standard of living of the middle class is being pushed down to third world levels. We have been merged into a “global labor pool”, and what that means is that the standard of living of all workers all over the world is going to be slowly equalized over time.

Our politicians never told us that all of these “free trade” agreements would mean that soon we would be living like the rest of the world.

America used to be the greatest economic machine on the planet. But now we are just another region of the one world economy that has workers that are too expensive to be useful.

In the end, there is not some great mystery as to why we are experiencing economic decline as a nation.

If millions of our jobs are being shipped overseas, it was basically inevitable that we were going to experience a housing crisis. Without good jobs the American people simply cannot afford high mortgage payments.

Today we consume far more wealth as a nation than we produce. We have tried to make up the difference by indulging in the greatest debt binge that the world has ever seen.

We have lived like kings and queens, but our debt-fueled prosperity is not sustainable. In fact, the collapse of our financial system is a lot closer than most people would like to believe.

Things did not have to turn out like this, but we bought into the lies and the propaganda that our leaders were feeding us.

Now our economy lies in tatters and our children have no economic future.