If you are Interested In education or an educator, parent or concerned citizen, take the time and review the contents of the most recent articles and updates on New Bedford’s education systems reported in the Standard Times on September 19, 2014, and September 20, 2014.

What is extremely interesting about the Standard Times reports was the title of article, “Some gains, some losses in South Coast MCAS scores”, which came with a political spin, “Modest Improvements”.

If you go to the Massachusetts Department of Education website and do the comparison, you will find that,the Carlos Pacheco elementary school, which was classified as a level 1 school for the last eight years, is now under a new principal, and have dropped to a level 2 school.

Last year Kempton School was classified as a level 1, according to the DSES, it is now presently a level 3 school.
http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/accountability/report/district.aspx?linkid=30&orgcode=02010000&orgtypecode=5&;

These are not modest improvements.

Swift School is the only level 1 school left in New Bedford.

Think about the Issues of  New Bedford’s educational school administration’s policies and plans for higher educational achievements and needed progress, to be  competitive, talented and
a productive educational system for classes of skilled workers in a global economy, more than a modest improvement is required. 

Do you ever look at how children are educated today and roll your eyes in disbelief?

Diversity, sensitivity, multi-cultural this, ecology studies that, endless self-esteem exercises, etc.

All well and good, but when do children learn useful skills?

When do they learn to think and express themselves clearly (and hopefully courageously?)

Instead, “education” has devolved into a non-stop indoctrination program designed to create adults
who will parrot the party line on command (whatever it may be that day) instead of stand on their own two
feet and think for themselves.

None of this is an accident.

In fact, it’s part of a multi-generational plan organized by the think tanks of the same corporations that are
looting and destroying large parts of the world.

Behind the scenes of the plan to dumb down America, is a national education industry agenda, that is motivated by the economics of profits first and foremost, as the now education industry is a forever multi-trillion dollar business.

Every city and town in America will surely have a multimillion dollar budget, and big business, including those who are testing conglomerates are now controlling and influencing elected and appointed officials, on all state boards of education in all states, counties, cities and towns across America.

In the words of Nelson Mandel, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

50 thoughts on “"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." …. by Eddie Johnson

  1. So sad about Carlos Pacheco School. All the hard work from the previous principal and the teachers gone down the drain in one year. The only new element was a new principal; clearly not the right fit for that school. Wake up, Dr. Durkin.

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  2. Excellent article Eddie! We need to inform and involve our community as to what is really happening in our school system. We can't let our children's education be ruled by PARCC and Common Core. It's a shame what is actually happening with our schools. Dr Durkin is just covering-up or just making it sound as though everything is wonderful and she's not being held accountable! But…in the end…the city teachers will be!!

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  3. Durkin cracks me up! What extensive training did we receive in literacy instruction? 3 hours training in the new reading series and we got the books the first week of school! She is so full of it! The principal at Pacheco is weak and ineffective and should leave with her tail between her legs. The real principal must be just shaking her head in disbelief!

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  4. Same thing with kempton ,one year..and they fell….At least PACHECO they had a full time principal……KEMPTON THEY HAD A PART TIME principal.. With out a FULL TIME principle they went down the toilet .

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  5. Parker as well. They were making such strides the 2013 data was wonderful only to take a huge nose dive in 2014….new hand picked principal there too.

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  6. I encourage everyone to read this blog to go on the DESE website- eddie has listed just the two most devestating drops- all most across the board everything has plummeted. The mayor and dr durkin should be ashamed at how they have alienated staff and parents. At least shedidn't smear the former leadership of the highschool again…. YET

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  7. The overwhelming sentiment in most elementary schools is so sad. Teachers were mandated to use new reading materials without being given adequate training or time to familiarize themselves with a completely foreign system. Many special education teachers do not even have teacher manuals to support regular education staff. This lack of training and insufficient time to prep is the direct result of poor administrative decisions and has resulted in (if it is even possible) even lower teacher morale. Lost in the shuffle for improved teaching materials, mandated data collection and higher test scores is the human factor. This includes students and all staff from cafeteria workers to PRAB administrators. Staff in NBPS are exhausted and demoralized and it is only September. God help all of us to bring back empathy into our school system!

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  8. That's all bs the principal doesn't have hardly anything to do with the scores it's the students and the different kinds of populations you have.and all the other factors that happen on test days.

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  9. Eddie–we have no time to teach the touchy feely stuff you have mentioned. It is all rigorous test prep now. What we lack is an enriching learning environment that includes the ARTS taught by actual certified educators in the specific subject area. Our students have one true ally each day—the classroom teacher–we are STILL holding up this district. The scores would be so much worse if not for the dedicated teachers we have. Check out Fall River. Their scores are awful even though they provide much more support to students and staff.

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  10. Eddie–we have no time to teach the touchy feely stuff you have mentioned. It is all rigorous test prep now. What we lack is an enriching learning environment that includes the ARTS taught by actual certified educators in the specific subject area. Our students have one true ally each day—the classroom teacher–we are STILL holding up this district. The scores would be so much worse if not for the dedicated teachers we have. Check out Fall River. Their scores are awful even though they provide much more support to students and staff.

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  11. What the people of New Bedford don't yet see is that they have been duped. So many veteran teachers have been lost, so many programs at the High School no longer exist or are being taught by un-certified (unqualified) substitutes that student performance will suffer greatly, and all of this with the full support of the mayor and the school committee. The superintendents plan is a bust, the system is now a shadow of it's troubled former self; the rhetoric coming from the school committee, mayor and Durkin is pure whitewash. They have truly failed us all. In over thirty years in education and administration I have never seen worse than the performance of this; I regretfully call, leadership.

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  12. The building principal is the major factor in setting the school culture, building a productive team, setting and reaching goals and providing students and staff a safe place to learn. You can have a successful staff and a weak leader will sabotage productivity. Need proof? Look what happened at Pacheco School in one year.

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  13. Several speech therapists retired or left the system and we're never replaced. Caseloads for all therapists; speech, OT and PT are larger than ever with some therapists left to service more than 120 students. It is unclear if this is part of a systematic downsizing of the NBPS special education department. Whatever the plan, It is a dismal situation for students receiving therapeutic services.

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  14. No one wants to hear our concerns or cares. Special Ed teachers have taken on additional duties, also. This is the worst beginning of the year I have ever experienced.

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  15. Ask the staff at Roosevelt if the principal is or isn't a major factor. Abdallah inherited a mess and made Roosevelt a spotlight school only to see it border level 4 with the next two Principals. Seems like your the delusional one .

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  16. I agree that a building principal is vital to setting the overall tone of the building.Is it a safe environement where students feel they are free from bulling, or threatening behavior by their peers?Do teachers feel supported as professional?Does the Prinicpal/ Vice Principal welcome feed back? Are they accessable at all points during the day?This is how successful administrators support teachers and students.

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  17. Fairhaven High, level one- small town, smaller classes , supportive principals, decent superintendent.Fairhaven-most families work, middle class,non- English speaking students….? 3 maybe? Discipline in classes and discipline policy Gee, see the difference!New Bedford..huge classes, no principal support, poorer community, non English speaking population,,,big and getting bigger,lousy superintendent-doesn't take responsibility for her screw ups. .Consequences not allowed.

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  18. We've been set up to fail. New reading program: no training, kids that don't speak a word of English being placed in general Ed classes with 30 students, less sped support, speech therapists with caseloads of 100 plus, no paras in kindergarten classes of 30, new principals that don't have a clue, no discipline, no consequences for bad behavior, non-stop testing, unstructured and overcrowded schools and stressed out teachers. Yup, sounds like what we need for success.

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  19. I don't think the principal is the vital component of the school ,it's the teachers,actually they are the ones that do the principals job most of the time.This school year is worse than last year,everyone is disgusted and hates going to school everyday.

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  20. Promises, promises. Broken promises and a school committee that never questions what is being presented. We all need to ring their bells and let the know the truth! They won't believe us but we need to advocate for our kids. High school schedules are still in flux. Kids still have holes. No they weren't standing in line this summer. It just has taken almost half of a semester to get things straight. Oh by the way try finding a guidance counselor. There is no rhyme or reason to the set up. Administrators have classrooms as offices and can't be found when drama happens. It has NEVER been this bad!

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  21. Besides Campbell, did any other school improve last year? How many stayed at the same level? How many dropped levels? What was different at Campbell?

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  22. All the “energy” and $$ put in at the high school level–for what? The rest of us are left in horrible situations as well. So, perhaps by Christmas NBHS and the hot shots will get it together?The poor elementary kids will just keep hugging their Reading Street textbook. Other than the selected Friends Academy beneficiaries(Campbell and….) the rest of us have tech from the year 2001.

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  23. Wow, technology from 2001. You at least have technology. The high has been raped of resources since the building of those fabulous middle schools. Upgrades, what upgrades? Technology, chalk and blackboards. 5 copy machines for 175 teachers! We all have circumstances that need to be addressed by this administration. We have been neglected by previous administrations and now are battered and abused by this one. If the money and support had been there in the past those administrators that were let go could've done what they needed to do. We tried twice to implement a 7 period day but we didn't have enough bodies in the building. The living from our new administrators needs to stop!

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  24. I am so proud of Fairhaven High and Tara!!! I worked with Tara when she was with NBHS and she was an administrator. No one wanted to listen to her or any of her ideas!!! Clearly, her taking her high school to a level 1 is a wake up call for the idiot administrators of NBHS who didn't think she was important enough to listen to. You go Tara!!!!

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  25. The present administration stinks , we are going no where fast and it is not because lack of effort on the teacher's part. Let us teach, stop evaluating us at ever drop of the hat. Let us evaluate you….unsatisfactory! Rigor-mortis has reared it's ugly face and it's name is Durkin. So many good teachers are leaving the district because of the administration's bullying tactics , disrespect , just plain stupidity of what it takes to teach a classroom of 32 students! Where is all that extra money gone…the kids and the teacher's certainly have not see it!

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  26. Wonderful staff meeting at NBHS yesterday. Go here go there, another great PowerPoint. Evaluations and discipline! Could someone please tell me how this is improving the quality of learning. New discipline standards – approved by the school committee? A fight without serious injury gets in school suspension. Are you kidding me? A teacher injury gets 5 days and a possible hearing! Getting out of school at 4:15 is great!

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  27. I feel really bad for the kids who WANT a good education at NBHS. My oldest child went there several years ago and managed to do well despite the fact that her AP chemistry course was taught by a “brand new” teacher who did nothing but play movies for the class! That class didn't do ONE chem lab ALL year! You can bet that the rest of my kids DID NOT go to NBHS. And that was years ago…my youngest is 22 yrs. old

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  28. So correct me if I'm wrong but it seems like things are no better at the HS. I have yet to hear anything positive. A Harvard education and a suit does not make you qualified to be an administrator in NB. When will the public learn that the SC is where many of our issues begin. Very sad …..

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  29. Can't believe that students still don't have their locker after 4 weeks of school. When I was teaching there, they got the street locker the first day of school. Why the delay?Are they permitted to walk around with their coat and jacket all day? If so,is this good for security?When will the students get their locker?Seems like the high school continues to be heading in the wrong direction–schedule problems; classes without, from what has been posted, teachers; positions still posted to be filled; non-certified teachers. Wonder what the MCAS 15 scores will be!!!!

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  30. SENSE OF URGENCY That's the term for 2014-15. Scores must rise! All instruction must be Reading Street, oh yeah and did I mention missing items, classrooms still waiting for the alphabet! No bookmobile! Who needs to read ? If it's not Reading Street throw it away! Can't we just throw out Pia and Teach!

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  31. NBPS does not have the tech, infrastructure, or bandwidth to deal with a computer based PARCC–most of the children will be taking the paper and pencil version. It's all about $. The new testing style equals new profits. End of story. Pia is a deformer with a narrow understanding of learning and learners.

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  32. No lockers. Home room the beginning of 1st period. Announcements made during third period. Little if no supervision before school or at lunch. Fight with get you the behavioral room. It's all good!

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  33. This is such Bulls–t! Where did all the money go…to hire incompetent administrators? I am a parent and I am sick and tired of Durkin's smoke and mirrors! Get rid of her!

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  34. Pacheco should not be a surprise. Durkin, SC and mayor were warned about the mess at that school last year. They turned a blind eye to it and now they get what they get. From what I've heard, it is worse there this year. Teachers are worn down and miserable. Students do not behave and there is no learning with all day chaos.

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  35. Didn't the principal at Pacheco work at the Sister's school? You need someone who is tough , not afraid to stand up to the parents and the gestapo in Prab!Not someone who hides in her office like a mouse! Let's face it, that area is a dump! Come on Durkin, stop looking through your rose colored glasses and do something! After all, the TAXPAYERS pay your huge salary!

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