Where is it all going — Maybe to London, Helsinki, Singapore or Rio de Janeiro — on Your Tab? Talking Pinapples, Trips to London, $32 Million to Test Prep Company, Illegal Lobbying, Attorney General Investigation. You PAY, they PLAY!
New York state awarded a five-year $32 million, yes MILLION dollars to Pearson Education, a testing company now under investigation by the NY state Attorney General for illegal lobbying in New York state! $32 million dollars of YOUR money to the company that included the fable of the Hare and the Pineapple as a reading comprehension test question for YOUR 8th graders. The idiotic question raised such a hullaballoo that it was removed from the test…and Pearson gets $32 million for treating your kids like half-witted garden slugs! (Did the Times Useless, the News Herald, or the Daily News report on this?!? Answer: NO!) Of course not, instead they picked on a citizen devoted to realtity and commons sense, a “sovereign citizen” (we’re all sovereign citizens!) on the RCS CSD Board of Education, they scandalized the sacrificing public servant (unpaid!) and smeared him all over the front page, while the real sluts pointed fingers and abused the board! Morons! Press and local sluts have been strangely silent!
Oh! And if you’re curious about the Hare and the Pineapple question, click here to read the-hare-and-the-pineapple.
I guess the purpose is to make idiots out of the population and New York state can continue paying off it’s lobbyists with taxpayer money and the lobbyists can use their tax-exempt, non-profit foundations like the tax-exempt Pearson Foundation to funnel money to lobby for Guess what!: Fat State contracts to the tune of $32 million. And what pricks up the State Attorney General’s ears? Not the kids. Not the idiotic test questions. What got the State’s attention was at least four education conferences — in London, Helsinki, Singapore and Rio de Janeiro — since 2008, according to people familiar with the investigation. And, as the New York Times reported:
“In New York, Pearson Education most recently won a five-year, $32 million contract to administer state tests, and it maintains a $1 million contract for testing services with the State Education Department, according to state records. The last contract was awarded after David M. Steiner, then the state education commissioner, attended a conference in London in June 2010 that was organized by the Council of Chief State School Officers and underwritten by the Pearson Foundation.” Why London?
The Times goes on, “Dr. Steiner, currently a dean and professor at Hunter College, said on Wednesday that his trip had been cleared by an ethics officer at the Education Department. “I am sure that there was no sales pitch,” he said, adding that “given the many attendees and presentations, I cannot be sure that there was nobody speaking at some point in the conference who was from Pearson rather than the Pearson Foundation or other organizations.”
“But Dr. Steiner said “there is zero link” between his trip and the state’s subsequent contract with Pearson. He said that he had no direct involvement in the decision to select Pearson and that his role was to report the recommendation to hire Pearson, made by the department’s staff, to the Board of Regents. “I followed exactly our rules and protocols,” he said. “I still believe it was a useful and informative and professional activity that had been properly cleared.”
Somebody Seriously Needs To Go To Jail!
Yeah, Dr Steiner, and pigs have wings, too…and don’t forget talking pineapples in the reading comprehension tests for New York’s 8th graders, too!
Now back to RCS CSD:
Read the Daily Mail and Times articles at these links:
A reader, Mr L. Polyak, shared some thoughts with us this week and we’d like to publish them in part here.
Mr Polyak: To clarify: “There is a formula it would be about 8.4% increase to RCS CSD would be allowed just to stay the Same. keep in mind RCS is a “failing School” according to Feds And NYS Dept of Ed’s( we can’t teach our kids- too many drop outs [suspensions are high, too]. We are already in the crosshairs of the NYSED. We lose pilot-programs money paid via our income taxes as a result. We lose money via property taxes (settlement out of court over 10 yrs ago, people moving out of the district), fewer state grants What I was just trying to say is even with 2% here, 2% there and everywhere (tax caps) 8.4% (RCS), 2% from town, 2-5% from Village of Ravena, God knows how much the from Albany County around 130% a good guess, water and sewer 10 to-20% each, the Ravena library taxes (Note the only tax I would never have problems with because they do stretch their money a long way; you do see it working for you. [Editior’s Note: The director of the library recently reported to the Coeymans Town board that she expects to be expanding to occupy the old Knights of Columbus building on Main Street. How much $$?]) and some fire district tax (If I could I would write them a blank check I would God Bless them all!) etc. Simply it adds up and up and up. There are RCS CSD workers themselves and fixed income folks who can’t afford all the increases as property owners–even with this new tax cap. Some who lose or have lost their jobs never mind life long folks on fixed incomes and trying their best to stay here to be with the grand kids; some have already given up and moved out (about 1000). The reality: less kids in school less teachers needed. Then there’s the law suits and fines we are not told about. We use taxes rates from 4.5 to 6.9 % or higher out of 700 school dists. in NY we compare ourselves to our neighbors New Scotland. Bethlehem, etc they are not like us in any way; for that matter we could compare ourselves to South Hampton it’s so off base. This where RCS CSD hides the real costs as in the past. For example, the pool there In reality, there are very few school dists out there who are like us in every way For example: Icabod Crane School Dist. They have similar problems…half the district is farms, rural,the tax base is similar, population (about the same), and number of students, etc. but they are $7 million less in their budget, 39 fewer teachers, and one less member on the school board (only 8), and they graduate 90% and their student go off to college. We have a failing teachers report card from the feds and NY state Ed Depts. and conflict-of-intrest left and right. [Here Mr Polyak provides a link to Ichaodcrane http://www.ichabodcrane.org] Compare for yourself and when you do you won’t be happy. Vote NO on the budget! The State Ed Dept (NYSED) is aware. I know I sent them copies of a [this] blog, too. if they take over RCS CSD half of the teachers will lose their jobs, half of the administration goes, too. It [should be] about placing the students first. What is your solution? 2 million New Yorkers have move out of NYS in the last 15 years US census Fact! Good Luck!”
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