Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Once again it seems that a class war has emerged in Kansas City.

Here's an angle that deserves exploration.

Check it:


For me this seems more interesting than the classic left vs. right debate and teachers unions fighting with the GOP . . .

What we're seeing is grassroots activism against the 1% attempting to devise an education solution without any community input . . . Just like the translational tax . . . Trying to buy an outcome.


Accordingly . . .

Take a look at this street level clip of a recent protest.

And then . . .

Here are a few quotes on the civic involvement on the district issue. Basically folks see this as another example of the arrogant elite imposing their will on the rest of us yet again:

“I am and never will be opposed to changing the status quo as it relates to education, especially when the evidence suggests that what we have been doing isn't working. So, I get very frustrated when reformers say anyone who is opposed to their reforms are simply afraid of change. I am opposed to many reformist actions that are implemented using a top-down approach. These reforms usually fail to earnestly engage the affected communities and focus solely on governance and the classroom when the evidence suggests that this approach doesn't work.”

“Leaders from MORE2, AFT Local, JWJ, NAACP, Teachers, Students and Parents lament the process that selected CEE-Trust to do "research" in our community. A few people with power and money are interested in experimenting with our children. We must send a message from a collective voice saying, if you are changing our system, you will first have to gain input from US.”

“If Hall and Kauffman would provide their expertise directly to the district instead of steering no-bid contracts, maybe the district could pull to full accreditation even more quickly.”

“I voted against the civic community’s out of touch health research tax and as a former parent I'll join these other parents against the civic community and chambers plan. It’s not about the partisan politics for me, it is about an out of touch elite group thinking they can buy and make decisions for the rest of us.”

“Kauffman using the district to further its national agenda and the Halls seeking to steer in the traditional back room way that KC elite feel is just fine. Kauffman, Halls, and others not mentioned in this article are rising to the level of politics that is taken today as routine, but is far from democratic.”

More from a KCPS Insider . . .

"Bid rigging, bad governance, and secret plans against the KCPS including an ominous sounding organization called the "Trust". These links include your neighbors: parents, ministers, teachers, community leaders, elected officials and students rejecting the exposed takeover plot being hatched by Commissioner NiCastro, her civic allies, and the "Trust."

Here is a brief compilation of news links:

KCTV5: Secret negotiations create big problems for Chris Nicastro

KSHB: Calls mount for Nicastro resignation after e-mails released

FOX4: Group demands top educator to step down after alleged ‘misuse of power’

NBC Action News: Teachers rally in support of education

Developing . . .


Anonymous said...

Do not encourage conflict. It will arise eventually.

Anonymous said...

"Former parent"?

stlgretchen said...

Where is the outrage against the insiders who crafted and/or funded the Common Core standards? The insiders who were not educators? The insiders like Bill Gates? David Coleman? Achieve, Inc? (Did you know Governor Nixon is on the Board of Achieve?)

On the state political level, the insiders would be Governor Nixon, Nicastro and the State Board of Education members who signed to adopt the standards BEFORE THEY WERE WRITTEN. The process also circumvented the legislature and school districts will have to pick up the tab for the infrastructure and assessment costs that never were approved by voters.

Talk about having no voice. And BTW, those teacher evaluations/tenure issues Nicastro got called out on by the MO NEA? Those costly assessments to school districts to evaluate teachers are because of the Common Core State Standards.

You're right. This isn't a Dem/Rep issue. This goes far beyond that. The MO Democratic governor signed onto the standards as did Republican governors. This is the public/private partnership. Taxpayers just have to supply the money and the students and then are shut out of the process of public education. CCSS and charters are the examples of how this is being implemented.

Nicastro simply just doesn't care what taxpayers want. She won't meet with citizens or legislators to answer questions on CCSS and fought against SB210 last session compelling DESE to hold townhall meetings about this transformational educational reform. She writes in an email about charter questions and citizen concern: "yada yada".

When will Nixon be called for his complicity in this? His signature is on documents agreeing to CCSS. It's not just Nicastro. He appointed her. She is doing what he wants. Now he wants to throw her under the bus to save himself?

Anonymous said...

So you're saying that locals are backing a group with a history of bid rigging and bad governance in a fight with another group with a history of bid rigging and bad governance? What could go wrong?

Anonymous said...

please direct all questions about vaccines, fluoride in the water, Obama's birth certificate, and what REALLY happened on 9/11 to stlgretchen.

Anonymous said...

5:56, Nixon did not appoint Nicastro, the state board of education hired her.

Anonymous said...

So Tony scoured his "friends" ie the people who are too afraid of showing up on his blog to ignore him on fb and copied and pasted some responses but fails to acknowledge the biggest parent lead org in the district. Oh yeah, the org KCPS is desperately trying to get rid of.

stlgretchen said...

Anonymous, whoever you are.

Tell me how what I stated is conspiracy. Show me how I am wrong. Go to Missouri Coalition Against Common Core and access the MOUs yourself that the Governor, Nicastro and the State Board signed with SBAC (look it up if you don't know the acronym) agreeing to adopt the standards.

Do your research and find the video of Nicastro stating in the House Interim Committee in October 2013 that these "higher" standards are really "the floor". Michael Petrelli, DESE's star witness admitted that Jason Zimba (do you know who he is? you might want to know his name and figure it out) concluded the standards would make students ready for college and career...for 2 year colleges....not the colleges most parents would want their student to attend.

The assessments teachers will be assessed on will be from CCSS as MO is signed on to them by Nixon, Nicastro and the State Board. They will be costly to districts, we have that in Nicastro's own handwriting.

Are you an education reformer? Show me your research disputing what I've written. Show me. Show me how the process of adoption/implementation of CCSS and the special interest groups collusion is much different than the charter school process. They are both the takeover of public educational direction/delivery by private organizations funded by tax dollars with no voter accountability.

I can't wait for you to tell me how I can't read government documents and decipher signatures. I can't wait to hear you tell me how the standards are "higher" and "the floor" at the same time. I can't wait for you to tell Susan Ohanian and Diane Ravitch they are conspirators as well. (Do you know who they are?)

Anonymous said...

6:55, you are quite right. The common core has some very good things, but it was rushed through and it is very expensive when it comes to the assessment component. There does appear to be some movement from the state (DESE) to slow the process down, under the guise of expense and not having the assessments ready. That may be a smoke screen to slow it down due to the public's outrage over the way it was forced upon the public.

However, the common core will be a minor problem if there is nothing but privatized charter schools, with non-elected boards running them. Take a look at who is on the boards of the charter schools that are now operating. Where do these people live? They do not have to live in the district to be serving on the board of a charter school. These people are the same people who are the cronies of Kauffman and Hall. The monied elite who think they should make decisions for all of us, but aren't going to fund it with their money, but rather with tax payer dollars.

Anonymous said...

"Common Core" is nothing more than dumbing down the educational process, so that niggers can get through a human school system. Without it, they (niggers) are unable to grasp most subjects and therefore, leave school.

stlgretchen said...

Anonymous 6:41

Governor Nixon indeed did not appoint her. The State Board has that appointment authority:

On a side issue, here is another Missourian (another conspiracy theorist?) questioning the adoption/implementation of CCSS.

what the cheap toilet paper said to the guy with constipation said...

Its just rough being white. Please forgive that I dont acknowledge your struggle.

Anonymous said...

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stlgretchen said...

Wow. 7:22

Did you know that these educational reforms will especially hit the minority and special ed students particularly the hardest? Little to no individualized instruction will be provided. Math standards only mandate Algebra I as required math. Maybe your districts with more money can offer a dual track, but your districts such as KC, STL will not have the resources available. This means students wanting admission to colleges requiring calculus for STEM careers must get it from private tutors.

You might want to research California and the minority community's concern about the standards and how they may leave many minority children behind:



In 2010, the state board created dual math standards: California's fast track to algebra and the Common Core approach, teaching fewer concepts in depth, leading to Algebra I in ninth grade.

But the Common Core sequence is out of sync with the progression that leads to college-bound students taking calculus in 12th grade, as expected by top-tier universities. The question of how to get kids taking the Common Core nonalgebra math on track for entrance to competitive colleges is left up to school districts.

That could mean students would have to take three years of high school math in two years. Some students do that now, said Morgan Marchbanks, assistant superintendent of the Sequoia Union High School District, but it's rare.

If more students stay on the Common Core track, she said, "It's going to have to move from rare to common."

Some say despite its goals, forcing too many students to take algebra in eighth grade has doomed them to fail in math. In Santa Clara County, for instance, two years ago only 44 percent of middle school students tested proficient in math; the figure was only 24 percent for Latino students. And studies show that almost 80 percent of students who retake algebra fail again.


Anonymous said...

Solution: don't live in kcmo.

Messy Man said...

7:36 u have to stop....I was laughing so hard I shat myself....

Anonymous said...

mc caskill must go

Anonymous said...

We are Coming for you Jay nixion

Anonymous said...

Its finally time for class war

Anonymous said...

Fucking sensationalist bullshit, Tony. As usual, you spin things and omit key facts.

19 out of the 32 KCMO schools are currently accredited. Missouri's system just brands the entire district as being unaccredited.

NiCastro just sounds like your typical, run of the mill, corrupted official who takes bribes from private interests. She should know about the meeting held in Jeff City where superintendents from all over the state proposed a plan to revamp the accreditation system so Junior in KC can get an accredited diploma.

Anonymous said...

listen to the video

Anonymous said...

In 1988, Kauffman made a commitment to a group of high school students that if they would stay in school, stay off drugs, avoid teenage parenthood, commit to being good citizens and graduate on time, he would fund their post-secondary education. To be eligible for the program, parents also had to agree to be involved in their child's education by attending meetings and participating in parent/teacher organizations and other activities.

Now days leadership puts together babysitting programs for kids and parents who have no desire for any of the above. And sells off schools because of their frightening lack of imagination and addiction to status and money. Is it any wonder the system is a total wreck?

Todd Twatsworth said...

Must be the holidays when that old prostate milking chestnut comes back.

Anonymous said...

the élites job is to suck oney out of an economy and not be bothered about the poverty They create

Miss Sweetie Pie said...

Mr. Tony,
There is a flaw in your premise that this mess is the still born child of only the civic elite.

Is it possible that the strong rumors that Kiki Curls and Freedom/ Urban Summit digital-prints are all over those emails?
Now, dear, those folks aren't anything elite.

Anonymous said...

Freedom has been fighting for an appointed board or state takeover for years so, I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

dont tell Tony WHO is and WHO isnt élite you fucking skank