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An Educational Report for Our Nation: Forget Trump’s School Choice

Trump is for School Choice, clearly not my choice and for good reasons. The Success Academies (charter schools) should no longer be compared to a single school or even to an entire district. It is time to wake up and straighten out the mess that has been made.

Before I get to Trump and School Choice, let us take a look at climbing Trump’s wall. This video uses no equipment and is public information. And this video shows just a rope that is being used. With more equipment being used, Trump’s wall will be obsolete on the first day. I’ve done my homework!

As far as his experts’ testimony and the American people waking up, when there is no open space or open border desperate immigrants will go over the wall. Very little equipment is needed and electrical workers can be seen climbing a wall as high as Trump’s wall on the internet as well.

And here is war in a congressional hearing as a Trump supporter touts the wall as a solution to national gun violence problems. You will read much more on this later.

Jeffrey Goldstein and I have collaborated before and I feel that our nation should forget Trump’s Wall and put $24 billion into panic buttons in all our nation’s schools. Jeffrey is working with Lori Alhadeff who lost her daughter Alyssa during the shooting to pass Alyssa’s Law in every state.
Here is new information that may not be in the report issued about the Parkland shooting. And people may find this very disturbing.

I learned this afternoon from a reporter of the Sun Sentinel in Florida that Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter, was in an alternative high school program, but that may not have been the best “school choice” for Cruz. Was he working at a snail’s pace toward his high school diploma or advancing at a good pace? Did the school superintendent offer Cruz the G.E.D. pathway to success? Was an official practice test (G.E.D.) offered to Cruz to decide which road to take?

These are things that I have been concerned about for almost two decades. Parent involvement is required for candidates under 18 years of age, but Cruz’s mother had passed away.

Trump is for School Choice, clearly not my choice and for good reasons.

This was sent to the Speaker of the New York State Assembly on May 23, 2016 about charter school aspect of school choice.

The Success Academies (charter schools) should no longer be compared to a single school or even to an entire district. I believe that this means that the work of Commissioner John King and others like him have been wrong from the beginning. It is time for these people to wake up and straighten out the mess that has been made.

I hope that I have invented a new category for evaluating the progress of students and we need Commissioner King’s response immediately.

We could go back in history to the Catholic schools and see the same pattern. The same thing has been true of yeshivas. The same thing with a different twist was true of Jaime Escalante who either threw out students or allowed them to leave his class, leaving only the students who wanted to be there and they did learn the math. The same thing was even true of Marva Collins (remember the movie with Cicely Tyson?). New York has just moved up on AP scores in ranking. The top ten include Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, California, New Jersey, New York. Virginia, Colorado, and Illinois. This is good for those individuals and their families, but things are not good for other states and communities.

Things are not so bad for many other states which include Washington, Utah, Idaho, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Montana. Those are the best G.E.D. states in our nation and those diplomas are helpful to communities. The states that are the worst are clearly those states with low graduation rates and far fewer deliver of G.E.D. diplomas. And ranking on A.P. exam success could be factored in.

New York, for example, has ranked at the bottom of the barrel with Alabama and Mississippi on the passing rate for African-Americans and the gap is about twenty-five percent between Whites and African-Americans. This impacts on communities and clearly presents problems such as low educational attainment, job opportunities, and crime in communities. And all the above affects the tax base. Wyandanch, Long Island is now struggling to retain teachers for the next school year at a time when it needs to do the best for the students and the community.

I was looking for other interesting data to present and here is something important. It does show that the South and many other states that do not have a clue about what educational success is. And that affects voting as well.

Trump incidentally is a perfect fit for school choice or charter schools. The charter schools that I have read about in New York had success rates that were far lower than the general public knew, but showing very good results for the small fraction of successful students was convincing.
In Chicago where Paul Vallas intends to be the next mayor of Chicago, we only have to look at police records of people committing crimes in the zip codes with the highest crime rates, see their educational attainment when Vallas was in charge of Chicago’s public schools and make a determination of where Vallas failed.

Now Vallas, as a mayoral candidate, wants to give the police a license to do what he says they know how to do. Wrong! Especially wrong as this rhetoric comes from a man who was involved in the education of the entire city and his failures have to be made part of the mayoral campaign.
Arne Duncan, for example, took personal responsibility for all the lives lost in Chicago when he retired as U.S. Secretary of Education. See the difference? I know the Chicago police and it wants all the help it can get.

When I was reading the book about John F. Kennedy, JFK wanted to provide educational programs to African-Americans instead of integrating housing and moving full speed ahead with Civil Rights. He spoke and suggested that the African-American leaders copy what the Jews had achieved. And today in New York and in Israel we see that finally people are speaking out against the education that they received in the Orthodox-Jewish community.

So school choice does mean Torah and Talmud and no math, science, and history. This new beginning also can have political repercussions since Michal Zernowitski has an agenda that could shift the thinking of Jews away from its current alliance with Republicans like Donald Trump. She is against the right-wing politics and supportive of Palestinians as she runs for office. She may not have much immediate support, but neither did Hitler and Trump in the beginning.

In relation to Puerto Ricans and Puerto Rico and those in New York and other places, the problem is the same. The independistas of Puerto Rico all these years left a huge part of the adult population without a diploma as those people left without completing high school. There’s a lot of blame to share as even progressives working with Latinos or Latinas today, work hard on environmental and other important issues, but leave behind their constituents.

As we turn to the newly elected president of El Salvador Nayib Bukele or even President Lopez-Obrador, we have to look at the same problem, especially as It affects recruitment in gangs and the violence that takes place by gang members. And those countries with much less money for new programs should not follow the path of American cities where programs were often wasted on the young who were never at-risk.

Trump has done nothing right to ameliorate the violence in our cities. Even his criminal justice law is a small effort by a party that doesn’t want to do a lot. That’s what Republicans and conservatives today are mostly about. Trump’s small hands and his humanity have failed us all except those people that sustain him. National safety has been sacrificed on the altar of so-called national security.

This is a letter that I shared with a parent leader in the Hempstead School District in New York which is the worst performing school district on Long Island.

Aalayah Eastman was in a Holocaust studies class when the Parkland shooter entered and killed her classmates. Holocaust studies have been mandated in many states and its goal is to teach everyone (and bring people together). There will be more about Parkland in this article. Also in Congress, a Floridian expressed the opinion that Trump’s wall is more important than all the massacres that have taken place in America including Parkland, Pittsburgh, Charleston, Las Vegas, and Orlando among others.

Dear Parent,

Hempstead is going to get help, but not from the State Education Department. Who is going to help Hempstead? The parents are going to be empowered.

First of all I have been to Hempstead many times and I will be blocked no longer.

Let’s begin by making sure that things are in order.

Here I am in 2010 at the Haitian Diaspora Forum with 500 Haitians from around the world.

Recently when a state leader of the National Action Network called me from South Carolina to tell me that Haitians were being detained by ICE there, I put those people in touch with the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, D.C. and the embassy thanked me.

Let’s go back to the final years as a G.E,D. teacher in New York City and see what I was doing to help youth.

Open the book and see what was being done to youth in the NYC Housing Projects.

And just a few years ago I brought the family of Dr. Mary Macleod Bethune in Maysville, South Carolina together with former members of the Harlem Globetrotters in Atlanta to discuss a literacy program that was being created. Olympian and icon John Carlos was with us as well.

Here is my article in Spanish about Hempstead Schools in La Tribuna Hispana USA in 2013 and there were only 2 more graduates at the end of that school year.

Here I am sharing one of the major things that have to be done to help students keep up with their work each day.

This article reveals a deficiency in the use of security for students of Central Islip School District. See where the children were in the photo and read where the security guard was.

More students can pass their state exams and it takes expertise to accomplish that in a school district. We can discuss ways to make improvements well beyond what the State can accomplish.

African-Americans, Hispanics, and White people can unite, but it takes the right leadership to accomplish that. In a school district, there are people of all colors and of course people get underrepresented or worse in school policies. I’ve seen that over the last 50 years. Here is a video that I made a decade ago about my friend Bud.

His real name has reverberated around the world and Bud and I have attended meetings in various places. I do the driving and he takes care of the business. Bud’s last name is Bell and his son was shot at 54 times by the NYPD and killed the night before his wedding.

I am going to keep this brief (October 1, 2015), I sent this to former Chancellor Carmen Fariña of New York City. Toya Graham made front page news and she was contacted later by Oprah.

Toya Graham and Baltimore have made national news. Did she fail her son? Did the school fail him? Did her son’s church fail him? Did her son’s friends fail him? Or was he just a David taking on Goliath?

And for the other youth who were arrested, the school to prison pipeline is full of special ed students and yes a much better parent involvement is needed to help. We need the Toya Grahams of our nation to become parent leaders in our schools. We have to train them and train them well. Keep this in mind. Her son did not belong there with a ski mask and a rock in his hand without his mother’s knowledge.

I later sent information to make sure that parents were engaged in the schools in addressing the opioid addiction, but I was writing about reaching parents in Skype (Facebook) meetings where every parent could participate. But nobody listens to me.

And before Trump took office in January 2017, I was sending out information to involve more parents in preventing teen deaths due to drugs.
The heroin addiction problem has been in the making for years now and there has been a very limited response. I have been talking about changing Title One Parent Involvement to include the fight against drugs and heroin of course. This attempt to change things with the aid of Camelot on Staten Island and the New York City Department of Education.

And this as well was sent out to important people in government.

Recently I wrote to Secretary of Education John King in Washington, D.C. and I can confirm that the information is being processed by that office. It is my opinion that the problem has been acerbated by the people in power. I know that the state of New Hampshire is facing a severe problem and I called the office of a United States senator there to give the same advice. What has happened since? Your guess is as good as mine.

Chris Mancini, a lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale, provided this information about Congressman Matt Gaetz. Here is the Gaetz-Trump Connection. Mancini is a former federal prosecutor who is interested in justice for all people in the community.

Yesterday, Republican congressman Matt Gaetz, a staunch Trump follower, offended the families of Parkland victims by declaring that background gun checks for those in the country illegally would do nothing to stop gun violence, but Trump’s medieval wall along the border would. To add insult to idiocy, Rep. Gaetz then tried to get the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to remove the father of one of the gun victims who stood up in the audience to denounce Gaetz’s magical thinking.

Rep. Gaetz then went on to say that the drivers of such violence do not include “the firearm” and that illegal immigration creates a greater threat of gun violence than guns do. This is what happens when Republicans slavishly follow Trump’s line of thinking.

The truth is that the Parkland students and staff were not killed by an illegal alien, they were killed by a white native-born American using a AR-15, the weapon of choice in mass murders all over America.

Manuel Oliver, the father of Joaquin Oliver who was one Nikolas Cruz’s victims, later called Rep. Gaetz a “salesman” who focused on Trump’s border wall as a solution to all our problems simply because the Salesman in Chief, Donald Trump, is trying to peddle that snake oil to his base of largely white voters as a cure all for what ails us. Truth deniers like Trump and Gaetz are a part of the problem and as such, have nothing to offer us as solutions.

Somewhere over the rainbow before 2016, we had a country that cared much more about facing the truth than stoking the anger of white voters about their forthcoming loss of majority control of this country due to immigration. The majority of Americans have supported increased back ground checks and the banning of military style assault weapons and many other common-sense gun safety laws, but the minority of Trump Republicans, who support the flow of cash into their election coffers by the NRA, are happy to ignore the will of the people.

Men like Trump and Gaetz ask that angry and grieving voices like Manuel Oliver’s be removed from their presence when it is those voices that we need to hear the most. I say let Gaetz and Trump continue to stoke the anger of the grieving parents of the Parkland tragedy until the rest of us who were fortunate not to have lost a loved one get primed and ready to vote their anger. Only then will the likes of Gaetz and Trump be forced to deal with the truth that they govern by the consent of the governed, or not at all.

And finally we get this information from Jeffrey Goldstein who lives just two miles from Parkland H.S. and who is very active in reaching out to everyone in the community. Let’s unite!

This Video was taken on February 18, 2018 less than one hundred yards from where this young man lost his life here in Parkland Florida on The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Campus.

Yesterday, almost 1 year to the anniversary of losing his Son to Gun violence Manuel Oliver silently protested a comment made by a politician during a House Judiciary Committee meeting, Oliver stood up and quietly protested and then was asked to leave. This man and his family have been put through the worst unimaginable grief. We are not supposed to bury our children. Unless you have lived through the pain of losing a loved one to a gun, don’t be ignorant.

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