11 thoughts on “Connect the dots and follow the MONEY

  1. Gomes Innovation SchoolsJennifer Clune – Founder and “anticipated principal” of the Gomes Innovation SchoolJennifer Fernandes – FounderNancy Davis – FounderOthers affiliated with this school:Jack Liveramento – United Interfaith Political Action Group/School CommitteeTerry WolkowiczDavid MacKenzieKatherine KnowlesRosemary GillDarlene Spenser – Education RoundtableSteve BeauregardMaria Rosario – Education RoundtableCynthia LoomerSusan BeckCathy SmilanKathy Marzilli MiragliaHelena DaSilva HughesNoelle FoyeDavid Prentiss

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  2. Roosevelt Innovation SchoolOthers affliated with this SchoolKerry DeJesus – Founder Andrea Galipeau – FounderCatherine Tillerman – FounderMarlene Pollock – School CommitteeAna Maria MartinezSandra CunhaDarcy FernandesDanielle CarrigoHelena DaSilva-HughesCorinn WilliamPhyllis HardyDarlene Spenser – Education RoundtableBrian WitkowskiTina BabalasCarlos BenavidesLee Blake – Education RoundtableMinerva GonzalezYael Zakon-BourkeIsmael Ramirez SotoWill Gardner – Alma Del Mar Charter SchoolJustine Medina – United Interfaith Action Political GroupKelly BloomTom Davis – Global Learning Charter School – Former Member of the Education Roundtable

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  3. Roosevelt Innovation SchoolKerry DeJesus – Founder Andrea Galipeau – FounderCatherine Stillerman – FounderOthers affiliated with this SchoolMarlene Pollock – School CommitteeAna Maria MartinezSandra CunhaDarcy FernandesDanielle CarrigoHelena DaSilva-HughesCorinn WilliamPhyllis HardyDarlene Spenser – Education RoundtableBrian WitkowskiTina BabalasCarlos BenavidesLee Blake – Education RoundtableMinerva GonzalezYael Zakon-BourkeIsmael Ramirez SotoWill Gardner – Alma Del Mar Charter SchoolJustine Medina – United Interfaith Action Political GroupKelly BloomTom Davis – Global Learning Charter School – Former Member of the Education Roundtable

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  4. Have any of you spotted any of the following “community members” in your schools? How many of them have you seen at school committee meetings? How many volunteer at any of our schools? What makes these “community members” education experts? Craig Dutra, Community Foundation of Southeastern MassachusettsUnited Interfaith ActionTom Davis, Greater New Bedford Industrial FoundationCoalition for Social JusticeRev. Dave Hammet, Pilgrim United Church of ChristDarlene Spencer, for Community Connections CoalitionCorinn Williams, for Center for Economic DevelopmentMaria Rosario, North Star LearningBob French, North Star LearningAnthony Sapienza, President & COO, Joseph Abboud Mfg. Corp.Lee Charlton, NAACPJim Mathes, New Bedford residentKate Fentress, MSW, Executive Director, Women's FundCraig Lindell, CEO, AquaPointJustin BragaDr. Carolee Matsumoto, Senior Scientist at the Education Development Center, retired, Education ConsultantRev. Paul Langston-Daley, First Unitarian ChurchFr. Marek Chmurski, St. Lawrence MartyrKen HartnettJohn VasconcellosIrene Buck, Chair, MassCreativeRabbi Raphael Kanter, Tifereth Israel SynagogueGail Fortes, for YWCA Southeastern MassRobert Pereira, President, AFC Cable Systems, Inc.Helena DaSilva Hughes, Immigrants Assistance CenterAdam Viera, Student Committee for Educational ProgressRhoda Purcell, New Bedford High School, retiredKathy Miraglia, Associate Professor of Art Education, Chairperson of Art Education Department, UMass-DartmouthCathy Smilan, Associate Professor of Art Education, Director, Master of Art Education Program, UMass-DartmouthLaurie Robertson-Lorant, Ph.D., Education Committee Chair, New Bedford Historical Society, Adjunct Professor, English Department, Bridgewater State UniversityNoelle Foye, Executive Director, ArtWorksRev. Rebecca BlairDawn Blake-Souza, New Bedford Public Schools principal, retiredCentro Communitario de TrabajadoresDr. Bruce Rose, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Emeritus, UMass- DartmouthLee Blake, Director, UMass Campus CompactDenise Porche, Executive Director, Island FoundationStephanie Wick, Educational ConsultantRev. Marc Fallon, C.S.C., Catholic Social ServicesDr. Susan Costa, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Emeritus, UMass-DartmouthKathy Westgate-Vena, M.S.W.Dante Vena, Ph.D.Carol Pimentel, Director of Internal Audit, retiredIvone Rego-Cass, Executive Director & Founder, Reel Serious, Documentary Film ProgramNelson Abreu, Assistant Director, Department of Transitional AssistanceRev. Brian Souza, Pastor, The Centre

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  5. I’LL HAVE ANOTHER……by whalingcitywatchhttp://whalingcitywatch.com/2012/08/01/ill-have-another-21/“I’ll have another….” is a phrase that was probably heard at John Mitchell’s swanky $100 per person fundraiser at the Waterfront Grille back on June 5. Hey, I’ve been known to have an adult beverage or two. However, it is totally another matter when people get behind the wheel of an automobile. That’s exactly what happened to two pillars of the community who attended the Mitchell function.The Fall River Herald News reports that Sylvia C. Africano, a member of the Westport School Committee, was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to operate within marked lanes and failing to stop for a police officer. Ms. Africano was allegedly so snookered that she had passed the Westport exit 12 miles east of where she was stopped, IN SWANSEA! Her husband, in the passenger’s seat, was also allegedly too drunk to drive.Who is Mr. Africano? Well, he’s none other than Craig Dutra, Westport selectman and President of the Community Federation of Southeastern Massachusetts. The good people of Westport have been amazingly silent throughout this scandal. I’m hoping they are just waiting for Ms. Africano, an attorney, to have her day in court.The board of the Community Foundation has also been too quiet. Do they condone this type of behavior from their CEO? They have been aided in their cover-up by the blab sheet on Elm Street. The blab sheet has kept this story on their back pages and only recently reported that Dutra is a Westport selectman. They never mentioned his day job. More quality journalism from the South Coast’s leading bird-cage liner.Then there’s Mayor John Mitchell, a former federal prosecutor. Yeah, he’s really tough on crime. How can we take him seriously when he hosts fundraisers that allegedly encourage people to become intoxicated? This should have been front page news, but the blab sheet on Elm Street is still too busy kissing Mitchell’s backside.That’s why we’re here. Whaling City Watch exists to keep the alleged journalists, politicians, and anointed elite in our community honest. If we don’t do it, who will?

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  6. THE REST OF THE STORY…by whalingcitywatchhttp://whalingcitywatch.com/2012/11/10/the-rest-of-the-story/You can add February 12, 2013 to your calendar. That’s when Carolina, often known as Sylvia, Africano will have her day in court.By now you know the story. All the way back on June 5, Carolina and her husband, Craig Dutra, left Jon Michell’s fundraiser at the Waterfront Grille. Later that evening, Westport’s power couple was apprehended by Swansea Police. Ms. Africano had driven TWELVE miles past the I-195 exit for their home. Attorney Africano, a member of the Westport School Committee, reportedly agreed to field sobriety tests, but refused to take a Breathalyzer test. The Fall River Herald News published an account of what allegedly transpired during that test:“I asked Ms. Africano if she could recite the alphabet from A to Z without singing it,” (Swansea Patrolman Donald) DiBiasio wrote. “Ms. Africano started the test but I stopped her several times instructing her each time how the test should be performed. Ms. Africano completed this test but when she got to R she stated, ‘r n s t u v w x y z,’ and then sang, ‘Now I know my abc’s, next time won’t you sing with me.’”What about Craig Dutra? Well, the Swansea Police report states that Mr. Dutra was also under the influence of alcohol. Dutra, a Westport selectman and President of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, had to be taken to the station to arrange for a ride.The Fall River Herald News has done a great job covering this story. Their standards of journalism are evidently higher than the blab sheet on Elm Street. Even in an article published earlier this week, the blab sheet continues to omit certain details:Africano and Dutra most likely became intoxicated at the Mitchell fundraiser.Dutra’s involvement in the incident.Why is the blab sheet attempting to cover-up this scandal? Could the old money interests of the Community Foundation be threatening the blab sheet with a loss of advertising revenue? That paper is already on life support. On most days, the ads are rather sparse. Even one of its star reporters, Charis Anderson, moonlights as a swimming instructor. A couple of the guys at Whaling City Watch would love to take a swim with that cutie! In any event, the blab sheet’s omission of key facts shatters any credibility they had left.We’re also willing to bet that Carolina, despite some pretty compelling evidence, escapes with no punishment or a tap on the wrist. When you are well off and politically connected, the justice system sometimes gives you a pass. As Lenny Bruce once said, ” In the Halls of Justice the only justice is in the halls.”Whaling City Watch will continue to monitor developments in this interesting case. In the meantime, we believe the citizens of Westport should expect more from their public officials. Our nation just saw the resignation of former General David Petraeus for an extramarital affair that did not threaten anyone’s lives. The allegations against Africano and Dutra are far worse as their conduct endangered the well-being of their fellow motorists. They should be forced to resign.

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  7. I'm willing to bet that Carolina will get away with it. The more money you have the more you can get away with. Craig has the power, the money, and the connections to buy sweet Carolina a lot of Justice. After all, he is a pillar of the community.

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  8. Helena Marques is now Helena DaSilva-Hughes? She is like a bad penny.Feb. 12th mark your calendars. Stay tuned. Speak up! Westport drunks should not tell us what is wrong with our school system.

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  9. Innovation has many powerful advantages over progress and hard work. It is exciting, it is simple and easy to communicate, while hard work, by its very nature, usually tends to be detailed, nuanced and complex. Promises of change and innovation require little evidence beyond a feeling that, oh well “it is worth a try” ( in the words of Craig Dutra), or a sense that it is popular amongst the power brokers ( as seen by the political show of force at this week's stage managed conference). Even if evidence is offered, it need not be accurate. See, SC member Pollock's comments about Paul Dakin and Revere's innovation school, none of which are remotely accurate. See the same comments on local cable about 44 other innovation schools, none of which have the slightest bearing on the two proposals being pushed in New Bedford. This week, the 40 community group members pushing for a rapid blank check approval for the Innovation plans have only to repeat their slogans and buzz words about equity and dramatic improvement and they come across as well intentioned. Last week, when the same number of actual teachers in the actual school buildings make separate statements to the school committee, they get little coverage. When the Association that represents 1,000 local teachers argues about the specifics of the Innovation law and process as it applies in New Bedford, they get labeled as obstructionists.

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  10. This is not a light detail. Pointing out that the School Committee process varies from the law in several respects is likely to harm your professional prospects when a district's governing board is ruled by political pressure groups the UIA and CSJ. Such groups can quickly deliver mass petitions, pack meetings, fund and train religious street organizers, hold pickets, write letters by the dozen, and generally drown out and intimidate the opinion of the working teachers who are actually affected by the Innovation Proposals. As these tactics are endlessly repeated and rapidly promoted by a local editor who dedicates a reporter to their cause, the legal and practical concerns can be buried deeper and deeper. An alternative image can be promoted, where the actual arguments against the Innovation plans are ignored and something uglier put in its place. Why listen to the Roosevelt teachers when you can claim that an anonymous blog insult is the teachers' opinion? Why detail the specific concerns of a Gomes teacher at a public forum when you can claim that a teacher at a meeting sneered at an Innovation school proponent. The latter is much, much easier. It requires no evidence, no specifics and builds enough of a mood and narrative to whitewash any legitimate concern. It is the written equivalent of crying or yelling to win an argument. This is precisely what Bruce Rose and Kate Fentress are doing with their letter today. This is now the tactic to be used to wear down regular teachers who attempt to discuss the details of the proposals. Teachers are right to be concerned. These are political players. If you are a five or even ten year teacher you have no idea who you are dealing with. Very few of the 40 community brokers at this week's conference are new to this. They are mostly top level executives at amply funded non profits or tenured higher education posts, with all the state and local connections that that brings. They attend the fund raisers when Gomes and Roosevelt teachers are grading papers. They cut the $25 to maximum $250 checks to candidates when teachers are buying classroom supplies. They decide who gets woman of the year, youth of the year, whose stories get published with positive spin, who gets interviewed, what the headline and op ed will say. From Pollock, Mojica and CSJ attacking Longo in 2002, to Bruce Rose charging Lang and Francis in 2010 to Blake Souza and Robertson Laurent stalking Bruce Oliveira today, it is the same machine. If the democratic choice of a committee displeases them, they can picket its meetings, charge them with racism, and guarantee enough smoke to feed a fire of editorials and letters that undermine the work of any committee, mayor or superintendent for months and even years. And, they won’t stop here. They will be with us during the next schools issue, and the one after that. They are the real political power that unashamedly cries about the political powers ( Dutra, quoted this week) who oppose them. Their projects and ideas never have to work. A level 3 charter school, a failed superintendent search, dozens of pointless “non profit” programs, the point is not for them to make any positive impact. The point is to reward and praise the community power brokers who came up with the idea, the Innovation!! Awards quickly follow at fundraisers and press conferences by which point the teachers can deal with day to damage that is very hard to undo.

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  11. Isn't it “wonderful” that the Gates' foundation is offering a $10,000 grant to each one of the new innovation schools? I wonder how much new technology that could purchase at the high school for the students who are now doing without??? (just sayin')

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