Archive for the ‘schools’ Category

Nanny state: Kids can’t bring lunch from home

Monday, April 11th, 2011

It takes a Little Village,
Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home
To encourage healthful eating, Chicago school doesn’t allow kids to bring lunches or certain snacks from home — and some parents, and many students, aren’t fans of the policy

That’s supposed to be an enchilada.

Not only does the school believe that parents can not act responsibly, it will cost each student $2.25 per day.

Where does that money go?

Any school that bans homemade lunches also puts more money in the pockets of the district’s food provider, Chartwells-Thompson. The federal government pays the district for each free or reduced-price lunch taken, and the caterer receives a set fee from the district per lunch.

There’s money to be made.

It’s up to the principal.

Jeff G:

Wait, so you mean a government that overreaches into nearly every aspect of our lives might in fact create perverse incentives for public employees to usurp parental rights — and that those incentives might be money based?

A reminder:
This is what enchiladas look like in the real world, when not processed and regurgitated by school districts’ food providers:

25867

And now for the vagina dance!

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Out of 34 countries assessed, U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, 25th in math, but this ought to make us #1 in idiocy:

Warner Todd Hudson writes about the Crystal Lake’s Prairie Ridge High School lesson on female anatomy,

As a teaching tool Levin used “The Vagina Dance,” a song replete with dance steps and arm movements, and required her entire co-ed class to participate in it – all to the tune of The Hokey Pokey, no less.

No word on whether a penis dance was added for a full Hokey Pokey effect.

24771

5,000 salad bars?

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Wasting money and food, and most likely creating a health hazard in the process,
White House to put up to 5,000 salad bars in schools

First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to announce on Monday a major new initiative that would place up to 5,000 salad bars in public schools nationwide, despite uncertainties over how local health inspectors might treat those salad bars and USDA nutrition-tracking rules that could prove a major impediment.

I can see it now, a salad bar where kids are picking the few things they’d like (like Jello) with their unwashed hands. You think it grade school kids won’t? Think again – I’ve seen it at a college. I’m not alone:

Cooper named three school districts she knows of — Philadelphia, Austin, Tex., and Montgomery County, Md., — that have already indicated they will not support salad bars. Concerns have been raised that elementary school children in particular might be prone to spread disease at salad bars because they are too short for the standard “sneeze guard” installed on most salad bars, or because they might use their hands instead of the serving utensils provided.

Yech.

The “healthy” items like lettuce and raw vegetables will go wasted. And don’t forget about the endless temptation for food fights.

This is what happens when you have put people in power who have absolutely no real-world experience in food service, or in dealing with young children. Anyone who’s ever catered (even modestly) a party for kids KNOWS a salad bar is not a good idea.

Interesting paragraph at the end of the article (emphasis added),

Michelle Obama has embraced more fruit and vegetable consumption as a major plank in her efforts to improve American diets and combat weight-related illnesses, especially among children. Kass, who directs the First Lady’s nutrition efforts, was seen as central to bringing the various salad-bar interests together and developing a unified effort under the White House banner.

“Salad-bar interests”? MOTUS:

I’m not sure who all those “various salad-bar interests” are. Aside from the food service contractors who enjoy HUGE contracts with the federal government to supply food for school lunches. Their fat contracts will now be embiggened by the addition of tons of fresh fruits and vegetables. And the SEIU of course.

seiu_shirt2_copy[5] seiu_pin[5]

Do you have any idea how many more food service workers it takes to chop up all those green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and radishes that the kids won’t eat? And then clean up the mess at the end of the lunch hour and throw away all the uneaten fruit and veggies?

And do you know how much it will cost government-paid food contractors to buy all that produce from certified SEIU-friendly fresh food distributors? Who will buy the produce from other certified SEIU-friendly fresh food handlers and processors? Who will get all that produce from comprehensive-immigration reform friendly “organic” farmers?

The answer is: $4.5 billion. For starters. Think of it as part of our economic stimulus plan. That’s why we need more money. It’s for the children. And their fat behinds.

This is one food idea that deserves a pie in the face:

And,, yes,
I stopped eating at salad bars because they are unsanitary.

23915

If Chris Christie was thinner, his b*lls would clang when he walks VIDEO

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Before you read this post, bear in mind that the median household income in Parsippany at the time of the last survey was $68,133.

—————–

New Jersey finally has a governor who talks the talk and walks the walk, and you could hear his b*lls clang, because he sure has the fortitude to confront the school administrators head-on:

“Let me tell you about the new poster boy for all that’s wrong with the public school system that is being dictated by greed,” Christie said. “This contract is the definition of greed and arrogance.”

“I suspect that the executive county superintendent is going to look very poorly upon someone who is trying to game the system and take from the taxpayers of Parsippany, and by extension, the taxpayers of New Jersey,” the governor added. “If Lee Seitz wants to try to put his greed and his arrogance ahead of the taxpayers of New Jersey, you elected me to stand up to people like Lee Seitz and others across the state, and I will.”

Ed Morrissey notices that,

But there’s another reason for Christie to make an example out of Seitz. Had this gone unnoticed, every school board in the state would have tried gaming the system in exactly the same manner, hoping to outmaneuver Christie and the legislature. Christie makes it clear that he will fight back hard against the establishment if they attempt to work around his reforms, and that lesson will not be lost on those who prefer anonymity in that regard.

Cubachi explains,

Back in July, I wrote about Governor Chris Christie’s proposal to place a cap in pay for public school superintendents and administrators that have salaries of $175,000.

Christie’s proposal is to limit the pay of these administrators, cut the pay for those exceeding the max, and introduce merit-based bonuses. 366 superintendents will be affected at the end of their contracts, and according to Christie’s estimates, it will save school districts $9.8 million. The cap will not take effect until February, however the Governor is quick to lash out at districts and take names of those trying to circumvent the date and screw tax payers.

In Parisppany, to the chagrin of the tax payers and the governor, the Parsippany Board of Education voted 6-2 tonight to renew the contract for district schools Superintendent LeRoy Seitz, extending his contract another five years, and paying him an average annual salary of $225,064.

Ace is worried that Christie may be perceived as a bully; however,

Someone will have to explain to me why every plan to improve the education of our kids involves one primary element: Paying teachers and administrators more money to do the jobs they weren’t doing all that well to begin with.

Are they holding back on us? Do they have some sick teaching skillz that they’re refusing to utilize until they make $200,000 per year?

The administrators – already being paid 3 times the median household income a family the area earns – are getting salary increases that outpace those of private industry, while being paid by taxpayers who may be unemployed or about to be laid off. The taxpayers will be stuck with having to pay for this administrator’s pension and benefits after he retires. The state employees themselves will not get a raise this year. If governor Christie names those who are gaming the system while the rest of us have to pay for it, good for him.

23786

Michelle Obama: More government control will keep your kids thin

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

In a not surprising twist of logic, Michelle Obama insists that a federal law is what’s needed to keep children thin:
A food bill we need

Right now, our country has a major opportunity to make our schools and our children healthier. It’s an opportunity we haven’t seen in years, and one that is too important to let pass by.

The Child Nutrition Bill working its way through Congress has support from both Democrats and Republicans. This groundbreaking legislation will bring fundamental change to schools and improve the food options available to our children.

To start, the bill will make it easier for the tens of millions of children who participate in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program — and many others who are eligible but not enrolled — to get the nutritious meals they need to do their best. It will set higher nutritional standards for school meals by requiring more fruits, vegetables and whole grains while reducing fat and salt. It will offer rewards to schools that meet those standards. And it will help eliminate junk food from vending machines and a la carte lines — a major step that is supported by parents, health-experts, and many in the food and beverage industry.

Over the past year, I have met with community leaders and stakeholders from across the country — parents and teachers, school board members and principals, suppliers and food service workers — about the importance of making sure every child in America has access to nutritious meals at school. They all want what’s best for our children, and they all know how critical it is that we keep making progress.

As one would expect, this uses the usual Dem arguments of
1. it’s for the children!
and
2. it’s good for your health.

But here is the question:
Where are the local school boards, the parents, and the school administrators? Don’t they pay attention to what’s being served in school lunch programs even when that is one of the expenses in every public school district budget in the country?

If they don’t, they are remiss on their duties as parents and educators.

Cost-wise, local school boards are also the ones best suited to decide on what is best.

Additionally, children learn eating habits from their parents at an early age.

Of course, we’ll probably have to wait until Congress passes the bill to find out what pork the lobbyists and the Dems included in the “Nutrition” part.

Here’s a radical notion for Michelle: It is not the place of the federal government to dictate what is and is not served at our plates. It is our individual responsibility to ensure that we take care of our nutrition and that of our offspring.

And before Michelle boasts about the White House vegetable garden, she ought to have remembered how the produce initially was toxic, and also the time they had to substitute the vegs the Iron Chefs used.

This week Michelle’s off to Chicago en Iberia Costa del Crime, vacationing on our dime. Chew on that.

UPDATE
Welcome, MOTUS visitors. Please visit often!

22057

Christie goes after the public-employee unions

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

George Will writes about how Gov. Christie is Bringing Thunder-ous change to New Jersey

He inherited a $2.2 billion deficit, and next year’s projected deficit of $10.7 billion is, relative to the state’s $29.3 billion budget, the nation’s worst. Democrats, with the verbal tic — "Tax the rich!" — that passes for progressive thinking, demanded that he reinstate the "millionaire’s tax," which hit "millionaires" earning $400,000 until it expired Dec. 31. Instead, Christie noted that between 2004 and 2008 there was a net outflow of $70 billion in wealth as "the rich," including small businesses, fled. And he said previous administrations had "raised taxes 115 times in the last eight years alone."

So he closed the $2.2 billion gap by accepting 375 of 378 suggested spending freezes and cuts. In two weeks. By executive actions. In eight weeks he cut $13 billion — $232 million a day, $9 million an hour. Now comes the hard part.

Government employees’ health benefits are, he says, "41 percent more expensive" than those of the average Fortune 500 company. Without changes in current law, "spending will have increased 322 percent in 20 years — over 16 percent a year." There is, he says, a connection between the state’s being No. 1 in total tax burden and being No. 1 in the proportion of college students who, after graduating, leave the state.

Partly to pay for teachers’ benefits — most contribute nothing to pay for their health insurance — property taxes have increased 70 percent in 10 years, to an average annual cost to homeowners of $7,281. Christie proposes a 2.5 percent cap on annual increases.

Challenging teachers unions to live up to their cloying "it’s really about the kids" rhetoric, he has told them to choose between a pay freeze and job cuts. Validating his criticism by their response to it, some Bergen County teachers encouraged students to cut classes and go to the football field to protest his policies, and a Bridgewater high school teacher showed students a union-made video critical of him. Christie notes that the $550,000 salary of the executive director of the teachers union is larger than the total cuts proposed for 190 of the state’s 605 school districts.

It’s been done before:
Jennifer Rubin:

Christie is taking a page from another northeastern Republican (and another former federal prosecutor) who when he came into office was told he had to raise taxes, but proceeded to show that budget discipline and tax cuts could revive the greatest of American cities. Rudy Giuliani became a conservative rock star and New York came roaring back. If Christie pulls this off, he will not only elevate himself to the top tier of Republican politicians; he will also point the way to taming state budgets (California, are you paying attention?).

How far will Christie be able to implement changes while in a political atmosphere where unions like the SEIU are ascendant at the White House?

We shall soon find out.

Related:
A Tale of Three N.J. School Budgets
In RI, Public Sector Unions Are The State

School district uses MacBooks to spy on their students

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

1,800 laptops given to students with remote-access webcams and spyware: This is so wrong in so many ways,

the superintendent of Lower Merion, sent another letter to district parents, acknowledging that the district had turned on laptop cameras 42 times thus far in the 2009-2010 school year. As he had earlier in the week, McGinley again said that the webcams were activated only as part of an effort to locate stolen or missing machines. Just 18 of the missing MacBooks were recovered or found after the cameras were turned on.

McGinley also said that only two members of the district’s technology department have access to the theft-recovering feature, and expressly denied that the assistant principal who confronted Robbins was allowed to trigger the camera activation.

The district gave the laptops to students but didn’t bother tell them they were going to be spied on, or even that the laptops had the capability

McGinley has admitted that students and parents were not told of the computer tracking feature or its remote camera activation capability. “There was no explicit notification that the laptop contained the security software,” he said in his letter of Friday. “This notice should have been given and we regret that was not done.”

Tim Cavanaugh calls it the lower pervian school district,

I’m predisposed to think the plaintiffs have a strong case with regard to privacy, informed consent and the other issues here, but mostly I am tarnaciously thunderstruck by McGinley’s simple lack of judgment. I don’t remember the Lower Merion kids of a generation ago as being balls of fire, so maybe they have become lawless enough to need constant surveillence these days. (Though I don’t understand why a school would even want to be taking responsibility for kids at home, when teachers already bellyache about how hard it is to have responsibility for them during school hours.)

But the country is so crazed by child porn it’s willing to prosecute children as child pornographers. McGinley’s approval of the webcam program (which the district says was administered by two employees) is appallingly careless management. You could get your mom and dad, or your mom and your mom’s boyfriend, or whoever the two people are you trust the most, and put them in charge of this program, but only after requiring them to convert to Mormonism and obtain Cheyenne Mountain security clearances, and I can guarantee you: there would be actionable jailbait images on your server by third period. I hope the FBI gets a good look.

First the school strip searches; now the peeping-tom laptops.

The idea of privacy has disappeared from the American mind. And our children are in the front lines.

Let’s hope this is declared illegal, too.

A gun is a teensy-weensy gun is a gun

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

No-tolerance asininity:
Student Nearly Suspended Over LEGO-Sized Gun

It’s not just Lego-sized, it’s an actual Lego:
2010_2_toygun

A Staten Island fourth-grader was reprimanded and almost suspended yesterday when the principal spotted him playing with a LEGO policeman and a two-inch-long toy gun during lunch, the Advance reports.

Under the city’s no-tolerance policy regarding guns in schools, PS 52 Principal Evelyn Matroianni brought 9-year-old Patrick Timoney to her office and called his mother to say the boy might be suspended for carrying the miniature toy gun to school, pending the approval of the Department of Education’s security administrator. When contacted, the administrator reportedly said the toy should be confiscated and returned to the boy’s parents, however no other punishment would be necessary.

Confiscate that Lego before that administrator shoots his eye out!

The article also points out that

In 2007, a New Jersey 7-year-old was suspended when he drew a picture of gun.

From which one may jump to the conclusion that it takes a new variety of moron to enforce those no-tolerance rules in such creative ways.

UPDATE
Brace yourself for “Global studies” bs: Schools: U.S. History Out, Environment In. As Betsy says,

What this translates into is the students doing projects which often involve a lot of class discussion as students give their opinions about material they don’t know all that much about. And they do a lot of artwork. But the students remain amazingly free of any knowledge of whatever the content is supposed to be. I’ve encountered schools that pride themselves on teaching skills, not content. They’re quite proud that their students don’t learn the standard curriculum but that they do lots and lots of projects. Now prepare for states across the nation to follow that pattern.

And some wonder why people homeschool?

Good news from Gainsville

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Posted by Erik, via Larwyn,

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcdfw.com/video.

All praise Obama!

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

What is the sound of a personality cult?

Well, you can hear it right here:

Sung with fervor at the Barack Obama Elementary School.

But the Barack Obama Elementary School is one of many that John Nolte found, where the cult of adoration lives.

And, oh yes, your school tax moneys are spent on teaching your children that “no one’s as Irish as Barack O’Bama”:

I’ll wager that one of these days someone’s going to come up with a ditty titled, “No one’s as Puerto Rican as Barraco Obama”, too.

Obama himself participates in the self-adoration, since instead of watching the election results for, say, New Jersey, where he spent four days (including five events scheduled last Sunday) campaigning for loser Corzine, he watched a documentary about himself on HBO.

Makes you wonder if the documentary theme song was Tomorrow Belongs To Me: