The Other Side of Collier County’s “A” School District Rating

This week, the State Department of Education reported that the Collier County School District has returned to an “A” district.  This, of course, is generally good news.  But as always, one must look under the statistical hood to see how this rise from “B” to “A” was achieved in one year’s time.  More on this to come soon in a B&B post…….

Meantime, on yesterday’s 6/29/2017 edition of the popular local “Bob Harden Show,” host Bob Harden referenced Bolduc & Bracci’s recent post as a news source in which we cited national journalist and author Alex Newman and exposed the problem of the School District’s terribly low third grade reading scores.  Mr. Harden concluded that despite the school district’s “A” score, this exposes the problem with the establishment and the School District.  Here is that segment, courtesy of “The Bob Harden Show.”

 

Bob Harden: “I think this exposes exactly what the problems are with the Establishment and what’s going on in Collier County Schools.  Again, we spend $22,000 a student to educate our kids here in Collier County, about almost double — maybe more than double — than what the average is across the country and yet we get pretty mediocre results.” 

Deirdre Clemons, a local parent who has extensively written and spoken publicly on issues of education, Common Core, and deficiencies in the way in which students are taught in our public schools, also responded to the District’s reported “A” rating as follows:

“Too bad we are still 45th in the nation in college ready scores. In other words, not college ready at all. All your good scores don’t mean a thing if a child is not educated well enough to get into a good college or well enough to support oneself independently with a job skill – one in which they can advance and earn enough to raise a family in a safe neighborhood.

 I would love to see the numbers on how many Collier kids go to college, how many get scholarships (the amounts and reasons why), how many remedial classes they have to take to get caught up, how many finish college and on what timetable, what grades they end up with, what debt they end up with, and if they can get jobs in their field at a decent living wage to be independent of their parents. And I would also ask them if they thought their education was worth it. 

While CCPS is busy trying to make itself look like Massachusetts in education, the joke is on the parents, and the tragedy is on the kids, and their future. “Future Ready Collier” is just a name. Smoke and mirrors is what Ms. Patton is best at, besides self-aggrandizement. Shame on the Collier County public school system for working so hard to make the administration look so great, great enough for all those folks in the admin building to make the big bucks, while these poor children are left behind the rest of the nation. You would think that spending more than twice as much as every other county, 22k per child, we would be a shining model.  You certainly are taking the taxpayers for a ride. It is absolutely shameful.”

Ms. Clemons’ response was a summarization of a more thorough guest commentary which the Naples Daily News refused to publish a year ago.  That guest commentary is linked here as part of B&B’s featured “Letters Not Published by the Editor.”

Thank you Bob Harden and Deirdre Clemons for your contributions to today’s post.

National Writer Recognizes Mason Classical’s Phonics Reading Success; Slams District and Naples Daily News for Interference

Alex Newman, author of “The Newman Project” education blog, international writer for The New American, and co-author of the book “Crimes of the Educators,” published a post today titled “Charter School Rejects Common Core and Ranks #1.”

Newman exposes how Mason Classical Academy has dramatically outperformed Collier County’s traditional public schools in third grade reading proficiency by utilizing phonics rather than the Common Core method of “whole word” reading.  Writes Newman:

“As if more evidence was needed of this, the recent Florida Standards Assessments results from Collier County, Florida, make it perfectly clear. One school, known as the Mason Classical Academy, shines bright in the district. It scored number one in English Language Arts (ELA) in the county, with 90 percent of its third graders scoring proficient.

By contrast, just 58 percent of third graders in the county were proficient, even using Common Core’s dumbed-down metrics.”

Newman also correctly noted what Bolduc & Bracci have touched on here locally in articles titled Master of Puppets and Daily News Propaganda Machine  – that Mason’s success is a threat to Superintendent Kamela Patton and her traditional public school system.   Thus, instead of looking to emulate Mason’s success, Patton’s administration seems more interested in placing road-blocks in the way of Mason’s success by requiring it to change its teaching structure to be more aligned with Patton’s pet globalist “AdvancEd” accreditation organization (Patton has an admitted conflict here as she also serves on AdvancEd’s Florida state committee).

In other words, rather than competing against Mason Classical by improving third grade reading scores in the traditional public schools, Patton seems more interested in diminishing the competition.  And the Naples Daily News has been played right along.  This did not escape Newman’s notice:

“Anyone who follows government schools and the education establishment will probably not be surprised to learn that, of all the schools in Collier County, MCA alone is being targeted for attack. From the district superintendent and racist kooks on the left-wing fringe to the local establishment propaganda organ known as the Naples Daily News, owned by “fake-news” publishing giant Gannett, it seems like everybody is after MCA.

Why would the local establishment target the one school that is at the top of the charts? Well, probably because MCA’s proven success exposes the educational establishment and its true agenda. MCA shows that children can, indeed, be properly educated. And it shows yet again that the national illiteracy crisis is the result of quack pedagogy in the government schools.

“Kudos” to Mr. Newman for recognizing Mason’s success here locally, and “Kicks” to the Naples Daily News and the District for attempting to undermine Mason’s success.

Collier Schools and Eugenics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Bolduc and Bracci first reported on June 16 as part of the “Daily News Propaganda Machine” post, the paper of record in Naples touted Ed Morton as a “respected educational and civic leader” as a means to justify a contract extension from 2020 to 2021 for Superintendent Kamela Patton.

And on the heels of Ed Morton’s recent self-destructive comment where he feels:

Colleges should teach women how to negotiate better salaries, because there may be a “genetic” explanation for why female graduates of the state’s public universities make less money than their male peers.

Bolduc and Bracci are reporting that new School Board members Erick Carter and Stephanie Luccarelli had their campaigns significantly funded by the Collier County Education Association (CCEA), another group which promotes and seeks School Board campaign guidance from Planned Parenthood, the largest promoter of Eugenics in the world today.

Eugenics, as a refresher, is the debunked pseudo-science of supposedly improving the human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Developed largely by Francis Galton (Charles Darwin’s cousin, and Darwin practiced Eugenics by marrying his first cousin because he thought his bloodline was superior to most others) as a method of improving the human race, it fell into public disfavor only after the public realized United States Eugenics was the central basis of Nazi Germany’s deadly racial purity laws.

You see, as pictured above, Margret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, was a deep and unapologetic racist, who bragged about speaking at so many KKK rallies, that Planned Parenthood should rightfully change their name to Klanned Parenthood. Also, notice the 45 degree salute well before the Nazi’s came to power in Germany. Should the Nazi salute be renamed the Klanned Parenthood salute too?

So how does the Collier County Education Association fit in? As documented in the attached link, the Collier County Education Association invited John Levy, Vice Chair Planned Parenthood Collier County, to address their membership in the summer of 2015 about the importance of the 2016 School Board election.

Now that it has been established the Collier County Teachers Union relies on Planned Parenthood for School Board election advice and strategy, here are a few of Margret Sanger’s wonderful quotes:

“Organized charity itself is a symptom of a malignant social disease.”

“Segregation of men, women and children who never should have been born.”

“Making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble minded.”

“The Negro problem is one of the most complicated and important confronting America. Whatever the ultimate answer may be, such an attitude brings to light the function of birth control as a necessary agency in its solution. The present submerged condition of the Negro is due in large part to the high fertility of the race under disastrously advice. Thus, the question arises to what extent birth control has had a Eugenic effect upon the Negro race.”

If any question should remain about Sanger’s racist agenda, a 1939 letter she wrote to Dr. Clarence Gamble should remove all doubt:

“We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

No wonder local Democrats formed a PAC to fund Stephanie Lucarelli and Erick Carter’s campaign to the tune of $250,000, beholding them to the CCEA, Collier Democrats and Planned Parenthood’s racist Eugenics agenda.

Notice how all parties come together in the attached link…..Collier Democrats host Planned Parenthood at their monthly meeting held at Collier County Education Association’s Headquarters before funding Erick Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli by over a quarter million dollars.

Lastly, if Carter and Lucarelli supporting Democrats and CCEA leaders try and tell you Planned Parenthood and abortion currently has nothing to due with Eugenics, in March 1973, two months after Roe v Wade was handed down, Frederick Osborn, a former head of the American Eugenics Society and the president of the Rockefeller funded Population Council, changed its name to the “Society for the Study of Social Biology.” The announcement said: “The change of name of the Society does not coincide with any change of its interests or policies.”  Indeed, already in 1968 they had changed the name of their journal, Eugenics Journal, to Social Biology… which, by the way, still exists, and is housed at Duke University.

Osborn explained the reason for the new name of the journal:

“The name was changed because it became evident that changes of a eugenic nature would be made for reasons other than eugenics, and that tying a eugenic label on them would more often hinder than help their adoption. Birth control and abortion are turning out to be great eugenic advances of our time. If they had been advanced for eugenic reasons it would have retarded or stopped their acceptance.”

Our children’s education should not be controlled and influenced by supporters of racist Eugenics.

Local “Respected Educational Leader” Ed Morton Says Women Make Less Money Due to Genetics

Ed Morton, who just last week was touted by the Naples Daily News editorial board as a “respected educational and civic leader” as a means to justify a contract extension for Superintendent Kamela Patton by his endorsement, has been exposed by the national media for his assertion that women make less money than men due to “genetics.”

As reported by Politico on June 20:

A state higher education official said colleges should teach women how to negotiate better salaries, saying there may be a “genetic” explanation for why female graduates of the state’s public universities make less money than their male peers.

Board member Ed Morton, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, made the remark during the State University System’s board of governors meeting on Tuesday when members were discussing ways to close the pay gap between men and women graduates of Florida schools.

The Politico article went on to quote Morton:

“Something that we’re doing in Naples [with] some of our high school students, we’re actually talking about incorporating negotiating and negotiating skill into curriculum so that the women are given — maybe some of it is genetic, I don’t know, I’m not smart enough to know the difference — but I do know that negotiating skills can be something that can be honed, and they can improve,” said Morton, a retired investment manager who chairs the board’s strategic planning committee.

“Perhaps we can address that in all of our various curriculums through the introduction of negotiating skill, and maybe that would have a bearing on these things,” he said.

As usual, Bolduc & Bracci was well ahead of the curve, prophetically calling “foul” on Morton as a “respected educational leader” in a June 16 post.  You can count on B&B to “level the tilted playing field” against the biased and oftentimes false reporting of Collier County’s’ worn-out traditional “paper of record.”

B&B agrees with Morton that his comment demonstrates that he is likely “not smart enough.”   B&B also believes that just as negotiation skills can be “honed,” so too can one’s ability to think on one’s feet without putting one’s foot in one’s mouth.  Perhaps Morton needs some continuing education of his own.

Morton’s comment slamming women for their “genetic” weakness was so toxic that Governor Rick Scott, who appointed Morton to the state university board, ran for cover:

Asked for a response, Scott’s office sought to distance the governor from his appointee’s comment.

“As a father of two daughters, the Governor absolutely does not agree with this statement,” his spokeswoman, Lauren Schenone, said in an email to POLITICO Florida.

In his comments above, Morton refers to a new high school program in Naples.  It seems he is referring to a very sketchy school district program called “Future Ready Collier,” which most of us know nothing about and was implemented by Patton into the school district strategic plan in May 2016.  It was first hatched by Patton and her pals at the Naples Chamber and its affiliate organization, “Opportunity Naples.”  “Future Ready Collier” is some type of creepy “mentor” program where  local business men and women team up with students in an effort to teach them about business and life.  B&B has not seen any process by which the school district vets these mentors.  What could possibly go wrong?

Morton’s mysogenist comments about women’s “genetic” business inadequacies should greatly trouble us all.  If Governor Scott chose to distance himself from Morton, should not Superintendent Patton and the School District do the same?  Of concern to Bolduc & Bracci is that the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce is a partner in “Future Ready Collier.”  This includes Ed Morton as an honorary director.  Parents and the public should be assured that Collier County’s students are not subjected to Morton’s mysogenist views about women’s “genetic” predisposition to underachieve in the business world.

This is not the first friend of Patton who has run into trouble this year.  In a strangely parallel fact pattern reported in the Fort Myers News-Press on April 13, 2017 titled “Why Didn’t the FDLE Investigate Two FGCU Trustees?”, fellow local elite Chamber member and university board of trustee member Dudley Goodlette was very curiously given a free pass by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for alleged violations of the Sunshine Law.

Dudley Goodlette himself said he did not realize he was violating the Sunshine when he was meeting directly with a fellow board member to discuss official business behind closed doors.  Said Goodlette:

“I just wasn’t thinking of this being a conversation that had anything to do with our relationship as board members,” Goodlette said. “It was sorting out the issues that we were dealing with on the strategic plan.”

*  *  *

“There was nothing secretive,” he said. “It was an honest error on my part not to have realized that (it should have been a public meeting).”

That’s funny, Dudley — we thought you were an expert in the Sunshine Law, considering how you were specially appointed as “neutral mediator” in the case of Bracci vs. Patton regarding alleged Blue Zones Sunshine Law violations.  Dudley — an attorney himself — apparently had no problem serving as a “neutral” despite having served on the Blue Zones Committee, as well as several other committees alongside Superintendent Patton.

Patton even awarded Dudley with “Principal of the Day” honors about a month after his service as the “neutral” mediator in the Blue Zones case.

Dudley Goodlette with Superintendent Patton – a Neutral Mediator??

Ed Morton and Dudley Goodlette – two peas in an elite pod.

The only remaining question we have is whether Morton will again make his once-annual pilgrimage to the Admin Building in June 2018 to pander for another contract extension for his pal Kam Patton…….or whether Patton will instead banish Morton to a principal assignment in Immokalee for bad behavior.

Note:  Ed Morton is now Managing Director at Wasmer, Schroeder & Company, Investment Advisors

If Allen Weiss is So Influential, Why is He Pandering For Votes?

Last week, NCH President/Naples Chamber board member Dr. Allen Weiss circulated an email shamelessly begging people to vote for him as one of the “100 Most Influential People In Healthcare.”

[Click here for Weiss’ email]

Perhaps we are missing something here, but if Weiss is so influential in healthcare, why does he need to pander for votes?

Amongst Weiss’ justifications is his advocacy for the Blue Zones Project which he and other elites including Superintendent Kamela Patton and NDN Publisher William “Bill” Barker, orchestrated behind closed doors under instructions to conceal their public record work product until after they had signed it, as reported by B&B on  April 7, 2017.

The Blue Zones Project and Weiss’ “most influential” campaign have one thing in common:   both strive to appear as if they are organic movements, when really they are just smoke-and-mirrors being imposed upon the public by the Collier County elite deep state.

What better way to strengthen their imperial power than to have one of their own gain nationwide status.

Master of Puppets

By Bolduc and Bracci

It has been 31 years since the band Genesis released their classic “Land of Confusion” video starring puppets, and with the printing of two Naples Daily News hit pieces on Kelly Lichter and Mason Classical Academy this week, perhaps an updated video should be created starring School Board members Roy Terry, Eric Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli, along with Daily News reporter Annika Hammershlag, as puppets of Superintendent Kamela Patton and her billion dollar failing regime.

Overall, within the last two months, U.S. News and World Report has reported the average English Readiness Score for Collier County High Schools is 55%. Couple this with the recent release by the State of Florida of 3rd grade English scores which demonstrated over two thirds of CCPS run Elementary Schools are either D-Level or F-Level in English proficiency, and the Patton regime is in need of some serious damage control.

Given this academic horror show, and the fact Mason Classical Academy scored the highest in Collier County in 3rd grade English proficiency at 90% by not following Patton and AdvancED’s destructive Digital Learning curriculum, it appears Patton has cranked up her Mighty Wurlitzer Propaganda Machine with the Naples Daily News; all scripted and acted by her puppets Terry, Carter, Lucarelli and Hammershlag, to create a fake news controversy at Mason Classical Academy in order to deflect the public’s attention away from her academic disaster zone.

To be more specific, Naples Daily News reporter Annika Hammershlag ran two hit pieces this week claiming Kelly Lichter was financially damaging Mason Classical Academy by resisting clear financial extortion by former Mason board member, Matt Mathias, for not accepting a $1.38 million loan at 9 percent interest over five years if Lichter would resign from Mason’s board.

The Naples Daily News and Annika Hammershlag owe an apology to Kelly Lichter and Mason Classical Academy for the following deceptive reporting practices:

  1. Hammershalg never revealed it was Matt Mathias who triggered Mason’s special board meeting in the first place to consider a $1.38 million emergency loan because Mathias sent a demand letter that $1.0 million of existing loans were being called in due to undocumented and unsubstantiated claims that his clients were unhappy with Kelly Lichter’s leadership.
  2. Hammershlag greatly exaggerated the potential financial damage to Mason. Relying on then-board member, Byron Donalds, who is now a state legislator, stating that the higher interest loan – 14 percent compared to the 9 percent offered by Mathias – would cost the school nearly $120,000 more a year. That is ludicrous, the annual difference between 14 percent and 9 percent on a $1.38 million loan is closer to $60,000, not the exaggerated $120,000 claimed by Byron Donalds, and parroted by the Naples Daily News.
  3. What happened to Ethics and standing up to financial extortion? Do Mason’s Bylaws state their board will be selected by whoever comes up with million dollar loans at the lowest interest rate?
  4. Since the Daily News disclosed this financial debate occurred in May 2016, why did they sit on the story until June 2017, and publish the first story on the morning of the CCPS Board Meeting where Mason’s Charter Contract was under consideration for extension?
  5. Oh that’s right, so Roy Terry, Eric Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli could express their “concerns” with extending Mason’s contract later in the evening.
  6. Then, to put icing on the Daily News’ cake of gutter journalism, no loan for $1.38 million was ever taken out by Mason in May of 2016. Not at 14 percent, not a 9 percent, never. That’s right, Annika Hammershlag and the Daily News ran two hit pieces claiming Lichter’s management style could potentially cost Mason over $1.0 million, when the loan in question never materialized or existed.

If not for Kelly Lichter’s insistence on standing for principles in the face of treachery, Mason Classical may not have had the fortitude to withstand the strong-arm tactics of Superintendent Patton and District General Counsel Jon Fishbane who attempted to force Mason to agree to accreditation review by the globalist AdvancEd organization, which would have thrown Mason’s classical-Constitutionalist Hillsdale College education model out the window.

Led by Lichter who has repeatedly shown a Thatcher-like steely spine, Mason stood up to the Patton-Fishbane onslaught, and correctly told them to stuff it.

The District should focus on improving its own disastrous educational performance – not meddling with Mason’s success.

Such a shame Superintendent Patton does not embrace Mason Classical Academy’s outstanding curriculum, teacher freedom and near zero reliance on standardized tests in order to find ways to improve her 22 D-Level and F-Level CCPS Elementary Schools. Instead, she appears to spend more time and energy orchestrating hit pieces with the Daily News; all acted out by her puppets Roy Terry, Eric Carter, Stephanie Lucarelli and Annika Hammerschlag.

Daily News Propaganda Machine

By David Bolduc

If you want to track a local fake news story this weekend, then go read the recent Naples Daily News Editorial titled, “Missed opportunity to avoid election conflict”.

In it, the Daily News Editorial staff opined that since the Collier County School Board did not extend Superintendent Kamela Patton’s contract from June 2020 to a least June 2022, it will somehow create School Board election conflict in 2018 and 2020.

Bolduc and Bracci find the Daily News’ reasoning on why Superintendent Patton’s contract should be extended to be symptomatic of their relentless propaganda campaign to praise Superintendent Patton for useless, undefined accomplishments, yet never measure Patton on academic results.

Just look at the cast of “respected educational and civic leaders” the Daily News quoted to back-up their argument.

First, it was Ed Morton, who serves on the university board of governors in Florida, stating,

“We cannot allow someone of this talent and ability to slip through our fingers”.

Really, Ed? Take a look at the attached 3rd Grade English Language Arts Scores, and the percentage which scored 3 or above. Shockingly, two thirds of Collier County Elementary Schools scored D-level or F-level in 3rd Grade English.

Worse yet, since the 3rd Grade average scoring 3 or above was 57%, the students never recover from Superintendent Patton’s horrible Digital Learning and AdvancED elimination of teachers programs; as evidenced by the attached US News and World Report High School Ranking, where 45% of Collier County High School students graduate not knowing how to read and write at a 12th grade level.

Maybe Ed Morton likes this? More remedial classes, and more money for the Florida university system.

Then the Daily News rolls out former board member Kathleen Curatolo; who was such an authoritarian, the District got sued, and lost, because of Curatolo’s embarrassing quest to silence the First Amendment Rights of Public Speakers.

This propaganda machine needs to be exposed. Maybe we should refer to the newspaper of record in this town as the “Naples Daily Propaganda News on Superintendent Patton”.

Patton Staffer Admits “District” Meddling in 2016 School Board Election

By Steve Bracci:

This post follows up on my June 7 post about whether Superintendent Kamela Patton’s staff interfered in the 2016 School Board election.

In my June 7 e-mail to the School Board, I had asked who the “we” was in a June 2016 e-mail where Patton’s communications department was requesting corrections to articles to more favorably report coverage toward the campaigns of now-school board members Erick Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli.  It appeared that the “we” was the Collier County School District.  Last night, communications official Leanne Zinser confirmed my belief.

Looking further into the substance of the June 2016 Naples Daily News article in question, it appears that Patton’s staff was attempting to clarify the public reporting about which candidates would be in favor of extending Superintendent Patton’s employment contract.  In other words, it appears that Patton’s staff wanted the public to know who to vote for if you wanted to ensure Patton’s contract extension, and made requests for corrections to the article with a sense of urgency.

Here is a link to the June 20, 2016, Naples Daily News article:  [Click here for article link:]

The following is an e-mail I sent to the School Board today, in follow-up:

Board – last night you all agreed that preferential treatment of school board candidates is inappropriate.  Your suggested solution was to fix it moving forward.  This does not address what happened during the 2016 school board election campaign, the result of which is that we have two then-candidates now sitting on the school board dais.  Last night, Ms. Zinser also admitted that the “we” in her article is the District itself.  Since the school board never made a policy decision to meddle in the 2016 school board election by tracking coverage to ensure accuracy of reporting for candidates, the “District” as described by Ms. Zinser can only mean Superintendent Patton and her staff.  Ms. Lichter correctly stated last night that “the buck stops with the Superintendent.”

The vague answer by Ms. Zinser last night does not sufficiently explain why she meddled in the election coverage.  The rescue interjection by Mr. Turchetta – who then foolishly proceeded to say “I cannot speak to an e-mail I did not write” despite no one ever asking for his opinion – further makes one ponder what the Communications Department of the Patton Administration was up to last summer.

The June 2016 NDN article in question is attached. The article reported on which school board candidates would support an extension of Superintendent Kamela Patton’s contract.  It would thus appear that Patton’s staff tracked election coverage and demanded that the Naples Daily News correct the story so that the voting public would know who to vote for if they wanted to ensure the extension of Superintendent Patton’s contract.  This was so important to the Patton Administration that Ms. Zinser requested three times and with a sense of urgency that the article be changed.  Ms. Zinser made these requests during regular business hours, from her District e-mail address, under color of District authority.

Ms. Lichter – you indicated that Mr. Fishbane put this matter back upon you to look into as a board member- so can you please ask Ms. Zinser and Mr. Turchetta for:  (i) all other requests for corrections to election news coverage made by the Patton Administration during the 2016 school board campaign; (ii) all other communications with the Naples Daily News or other news organizations pertaining to the 2016 school board election; (iii) all documents evidencing staff meetings and communications with Mr. Carter and/or Ms. Lucarelli during the 2016 election; and (iv) all documents evidencing staff meetings and communications with other school board candidates during the 2016 election; (v) all agendas and minutes for the Superintendent’s cabinet meetings for the year 2016; (vi) all agendas for District staff meetings with the Naples Daily News from the start of 2016 through present; and (vii) all information regarding possible coordination between the Patton administration staff and Roy Terry during the 2014 school board candidacy.  As to the last item, if I recall correctly, was there was some discussion about the Patton administration conducting opposition research on behalf of Roy Terry?  Please share these documents with me once you receive them.

Please also ask Ms. Zinser why she has not responded to my public records request below.  I asked for the Outlook invitations and responses to the Erick Carter meeting that occurred in April 2016.

There should be no objection from staff to your request, and you should demand that they deliver the documents promptly.  As you know, Jon Fishbane typically conducts investigations.  But you indicated that he threw this responsibility back on to you, and it would seem that Jon Fishbane is conflicted in this anyway given that he serves at the will of the Superintendent.  You should insist that staff complies, so you can do your job as the people’s elected representative and get to the bottom of this.

This whole campaign issue might also be relevant to other recent concerns about possible orchestration regarding the Mason Classical Academy contract extension and the timing of the attempted NDN/Hammerschlag hit piece that came out, followed closely by the apparent desires of Roy Terry, Erick Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli to re-open discussion on a ministerial item for the signing of a contract extension which the board had already unanimously approved in March. If not for the efforts of Mason’s administration, its legal counsel, and other concerned citizens, this Mason episode might have turned out much worse.

Ms. Zinser – do you intend to acknowledge and respond to the public records request I sent you a  week ago?  Or has Mr. Fishbane instructed you once again to withhold public records from me, similar to the sworn testimony you gave back in December 2015?

Sincerely,

Steve Bracci

Folks, this really stinks.  And I believe it goes beyond the Communications Department.  I suspect it lies at the feet of Superintendent Kamela Patton.

 

Did the School District Administration Interfere in the 2016 School Board Campaign?

By Steve Bracci:

6/7/2017  – Today I sent an e-mail to the Collier County School Board, noting similarities between a recent modification of a Naples Daily News article to soften a very concerning statement by School Board member Erick Carter whereby he suggested that the United States should not call itself a “republic” because of the “immediate connotation” to the People’s Republic of China.!!

This episode harkened back to Summer 2016 when the Collier County School District’s communications department was tracking campaign news coverage and coordinating with the Naples Daily News for then-candidates Erick Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli.

Here’s my e-mail:

Board– do you know why the Naples Daily News softened the wording of the article about Mr. Carter’s comments describing why we cannot call our nation a republic because of its “immediate connotation” with the People’s Republic of China?

See attached highlights, comparing the two forms of the article, including the change to the article in the middle of the night at 3:27 a.m.  Did someone get the infamous 3 a.m. call?

[original article linked here]

[revised article linked here]

Is this the result of more orchestration between the District and the Naples Daily News – similar to last summer’s orchestration between the District’s Communications Department and NDN Editor Allen Bartlett during the course of the campaign for school board — with the intended purpose of changing the paper’s coverage to read more favorably for then-candidates Carter and Lucarelli?

See attached e-mail from June 2016, showing the District’s orchestration with NDN/Bartlett.  When Leanne Zinser asked Allen Bartlett to change the Carter/Lucarelli coverage, Bartlett responded “I’m on it.”When Zinser made the requested change, she said:  “If you could please have someone fix it, we’d very much appreciate it!”Who is the “we” in that sentence?  Logically, it can only mean the Patton Administration who seems to be interfering in the school board election, using District resources.

[Zinser – Bartlett June 20, 2016 email linked here]

By contrast, in August 2016 when David Bolduc asked Bartlett to balance out the negative reporting about candidate Lee Dixon with some similar important reporting about candidate Stephanie Lucarelli’s $1.4 MM home foreclosure, Bartlett refused to assist by responding:  “I am independent of and have absolutely nothing to do with the news operation.  Newsrooms are designed that way to create a separation.”See attached e-mail.

[Bolduc – Bartlett August 20, 2016 email linked here]

Ms. Donalds– as the champion for increased School District audits, will the next “best practices” audit look at the propriety of the Patton Administration’s communications department tracking election news coverage and orchestrating with the Naples Daily News to gain favorable coverage for certain school board candidates during the 2016 election?

Also with respect to “best practices” and coordination with school board candidates, the Patton Administration’s finance department orchestrated heavily with then-candidate Mr. Carter to bring him up to speed on budget issues, utilizing District resources.  Look up the dozens of e-mails between Mr. Carter and Siobhan Fox between April and July 2016.  School District budget issues were discussed quite heavily during the election debates, and I am sure that the information and assistance provided by the District’s finance department to Mr. Carter was quite helpful to him.

I brought this issue up at the Organizational meeting in November 2016.  Did Jon Fishbane or anyone else do anything about it, or did Jon and others just ignore it?

Ms. Donalds – If an audit finds that the actions of the Patton Administration were improper or even illegal, what happens next?

Finally, by copy to Leanne Zinser, this is a public records request for all original format Outlook invitations and replies for the District’s meeting with Erick Carter that took place in April 2016; also any other document that memorializes who attended the meeting with Carter, and what was discussed or anticipated to be discussed.

Sincerely,

Steve Bracci

I then followed up with a second e-mail to the School Board as follows:

Board – attached is a video of Mr. Carter from the July 14, 2016, school board candidate debate sponsored by the Florida Citizens Alliance, Inc.  Note Carter’s nuanced understanding of the School District’s budget.  This follows the material support Mr. Carter received from the Patton Administration’s finance department from April through early July, 2016.

The video is courtesy of the Florida Citizens’ Alliance, Inc.  The link to the complete video is as follows:

http://floridacitizensalliance.com/liberty/video-july-14-2016-collier-school-board-candidate-forum/

Ms. Donalds and Ms. Lichter – did you have this level of understanding of the District’s budget prior to being seated as a board member?

Sincerely,

Steve Bracci