Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

Stop us if you have heard this before, but the Sunday, July 30, 2017 edition of the Naples Daily News included an Editorial (“Collaboration makes Collier ready for children’s future”) which described how wonderful it is that Collier County is home to an array of benevolent nonprofits and foundations working to collaborate with government and business to improve our children’s future, because apparently, we parents have no idea what is best for our children’s future.

Specifically, the Editorial lauded Champions For Learning as the nonprofit education foundation in Collier which is facilitating the teamwork of six initial partners that graciously agreed to work together on educational matters in June 2015. Others included the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Collier County and the Naples Children & Education Foundation, sponsors of the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

Does this “children’s future” roll-out sound eerily similar to the Blue Zones School Pledge roll-out where self-anointed “community leaders” like Naples Daily News Publisher, Bill Barker and Collier Schools Superintendent, Kamela Patton joined the Blue Zones Steering Committee, created by NCH CEO Allen Weiss, to force the authoritarian Blue Zones School Pledge on our children?

Surely you remember the Blue Zones School Pledge roll-out where our benevolent nonprofits, foundations and government officials told parents that Blue Zones was “all about choices”, when the actual school pledge stated the following:

“Ensure foods and beverages served outside of school hours meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, including after-school fundraisers, concession stands at sporting events, etc.”

“Prohibit the sale and consumption of soda and other sugar sweetened beverages on campus, including those brought from home.”

In other words, benevolent Blue Zones was really all about authoritarian control to force our children to only eat Michelle Obama’s government approved food, and eliminate individual choices, including those of parents.

Further, like the Friday The 13th movie series, this “children’s future” roll-out is being forced on parents and taxpayers by the same self-anointed “community leader” cast of characters which brought us the authoritarian Blue Zones School Pledge.

For starters, Bill Barker not only serves as Publisher of the Naples Daily News “children’s future” Editorial, he also serves as Board Member, and Past Chair of Champions for Learning, the nonprofit spearheading this “children’s future” initiative. Additionally, since Bill Barker is the Chair-Elect of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, a leading partner in this “children’s future” educational initiative, the fact that this “children’s future” initiative is being sold as a broad-based, community wide project is Very Fake News.  In reality, it represents the “collective decisions” of a select few elite members of our county who take it up on themselves to impose their will on our children.

And to eliminate all doubt that this “children’s future” educational roll-out is Very Fake News, as it will do nothing to help raise Collier School’s D-Level and F-Level Reading and Math Proficiency Scores (click here for link), is the fact that the current Board Chair of Champions for Learning is a retired Time Warner executive, parent company of CNN, the fakest-of-all fake news organizations!

A Billion Dollar Fiasco

“The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”

— Margaret Thatcher

If anyone needed more proof on why tax-and-spend Superintendent Kamela Patton partnered with tax-and-spend Collier Democrats, the Teachers Union, ACLU front groups like the Coalition for Quality Public Education, and of course, the Naples Daily News to get Stephanie Lucarelli and Erick Carter elected to the Collier County School Board, then look no further than Kamela Patton’s latest proposed School Budget to fund her severely bloated administration.

On the backdrop of last year’s budget, which increased your taxes by $90 Million, Patton’s current budget plans to increase your taxes by another $74 Million, or a breathtaking $164 Million of increased taxes over the last two years alone.

That’s right, Superintendent Patton’s new budget wants to confiscate over $1.05 Billion (with a B) of your hard earned money this year to produce D-level and F-level student achievement results.

No wonder Stephanie Lucarelli and Erick Carter parroted Superintendent Patton’s fake news line that she is positioning the District to be debt free in 10 years on the campaign trail. Should not be that hard when Patton’s puppet rubber stamp School Board of Terry, Lucarelli and Carter plan to raise your taxes by a projected $820 Million over the next 10 years to produce Reading and Math Proficiency results below the Mendoza Line.

 

Is the Blue Zones Project Really a Do-Nothing Scheme that Only Helps NCH Hospital?

It’s about time that the Southwest Florida community revisit the carpetbagging “Blue Zones Project” that was imposed upon all of us by Dr. Allen Weiss’ NCH Healthcare System.

Question #1:  Has anyone in Collier County ever asked Allen Weiss what’s in it for NCH?  For instance, does it help NCH qualify to get Medicare subsidies under Obamacare as part of a new revenue-generating business model ?   If so, Weiss and NCH were not forthcoming with this self-interest while they peddled their pet Blue Zones project around town for the better part of the 2014-15 year.  Why else would NCH’s President dedicate so much of his efforts for a year, if not for some benefit to NCH’s bottom line?  But that was not their narrative provided by NCH to We the People.

Question #2:  If Blue Zones is so great, why did the publicly traded Healthways company have to pay $25MM or more to get rid of that division in Summer 2016? 

See this link:  https://www.equities.com/news/dr-oz-sharecare-aquires-healthway-s-stock-hway-sends-shares-33-higher-as-today-s-daily-mover

Note this quote from the article:

“In addition, Nashville, Tennessee-based Healthways is paying ShareCare $25 million upfront to cover expected losses from the population health business. It also agreed, if need be, to forfeit up to $20 million of its ShareCare equity stake to offset negative cash flow not covered in the upfront payment.”

Question #3:  If Blue Zones is such an organic movement, why do they only really “expand” by latching onto a government board who then imposes it on its workers, students, or the community at large?  Consider Blue Zones’ strategy to date.  First they latched onto the Naples Chamber and its “Opportunity Naples” affiliate (which include Weiss and pals such as Dudley Goodlette who then helped push the initial effort).  Next they latched onto our government boards including the Naples City Council, the Collier County School Board (thanks to Superintendent’ Patton’s closed door efforts with her elite pals where she was instructed to conceal the Blue Zones public record until after it was signed and approved), the Board of County Commissioners, and now the Bonita Springs City Council and the Estero Town Council.

The Blue Zoners also latched onto various sympathetic HOA boards around town who then impose it on their residents.**

** Kudos to the Oakes Estates Advisory Board who, in 2015, told the Blue Zones minions to get lost and never come back when they tried to infiltrate the freedom-minded residents who live off of Oakes Boulevard who are not governed by an “official” HOA.  This is the difference between an ad hoc board such as Oakes Estates, and your typical HOA which has the strong-arm ability to impose new rules and regulations on its members.

Get the Blue Zones strategy here?  “Organic” growth by force.

Where is the proof that the people of Collier County organically endorse Blue Zones?  Three years in, B&B does not see that evidence.***

***Note:  The first “Blue Zones Certified” restaurant in Collier County — the “Cider Press Cafe” — has long since shuttered its doors.   Apparently the marketplace of Collier County residents rejected its Blue Zones fare.

Question #4:  What exactly has Blue Zones done for our community that was not already happening before they imposed themselves on us back in 2014-15? 

Is it marching around the neighborhood with friends and neighbors?  People have been doing that here for years.  And the rest of society has advanced far past “walking moias” in their exercise choices, into things like Cross-fit, paddle boarding, etc.

Is it riding bikes?  People have been doing that for years.  We could give  statistics on the dramatic rise in interest (and purchases) in road biking since Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France success starting around 1999.

Is it eating well?  People will either eat well, or they won’t.  Organic food consumptions was already on the rise through the 2000’s long before Blue Zones.  Go ask Alfie Oakes about the efforts of his father, Frank Oakes – who founded the popular “Food and Thought” store over a decade ago on U.S. 41 in Naples.

Is it pushing infrastructure such as new pathways that “we the taxpayer” have to pay for, with credit to “Blue Zones?”  The Naples Pathway Coalition has been working hard since the 1990s – long before Blue Zones – and they are much more responsible for the new pathways, bike lanes, etc., than Blue Zones ever has been.  Modern day planning principals endorsed by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) have long-since pushed pathways and neighborhood connectivity.  These concepts were not initiated by Blue Zones.

Question #5 – If BLue Zones is so helpful, why did they start in the healthiest part of Collier County — and avoided the impoverished town of ImmokaleeIf this isn’t about NCH and money, then why wouldn’t NCH start in Immokalee where good health is more in demand?  Instead, they have left that for last.  Even by Blue Zones’ own standards conducted by their own self-serving “Gallup-Sharecare Wellbeing Survey,” Naples was already #2 in the country in terms of health before Blue Zones arrived in town.  So why start in Naples, where the marginal increase in healthy living would be very small?  If they were sincere they would have started in Immokalee, where the marginal increase could have been much greater.

The same pattern occurs nationally with Blue Zones.  They don’t target impoverished areas such as Mississippi or inner-city Detroit.  Instead, they seem to target markets with an already existing and functioning health care/hospital system.  Thus, see Question #1 above.

So what, exactly, do we the people of Southwest Florida all get out of Blue Zones?  And why should they get the credit for all of these successes that started long before their carpetbagging arrival in our community?

Beware the Terms “Civility” and “Collaboration” — They Mean Disenfranchisement

On July 13, William “Bill” Barker and his fellow Naples Daily News editorial board members resumed their cowardly effort to destroy Collier school board member Kelly Lichter because they are afraid that she will expose the failures of Collier County’s local deep state.  You see, Lichter’s Mason Classical Academy is running circles around Superintendent Patton’s traditional public schools, and Patton and Barker are fellow Naples Chamber pals.

Local elitists such as Barker cannot tolerate their lack of control over a principled local public official like Lichter– and thus they are attempting to destroy her just like the national deep state is trying to destroy the non-conformist President Trump.

In an editorial describing the need for “civility” and “collaboration” among local elected officials, Barker’s editorial board concludes that Lichter is “boisterous” and thus a problem.  Citing no evidence whatsoever, the editorial board asserts that “while four of the five board members have demonstrated an ability to respectfully debate and disagree, member Kelly Lichter is the boisterous one.”

Bolduc & Bracci in recent weeks have exposed the Naples Daily News’ bogus attacks on Lichter,  leaving them only with yesterday’s pathetic attack on Lichter’s “civility.”

To back up their feeble claim, Barker and his editors dredged up a quote by the establishment-conformist school board member Stephanie Lucarelli saying “I’m sorry you need to be so disrespectful.” (The editors refer to Lucarelli as “affable,” perhaps due to Lucarelli’s propensity to laugh at herself while straining to complete a sentence while on the dais.)

The elitist NDN editors apparently think so little of their readers’ intelligence that they do not even provide the background for the exchange between Lichter and Lucarelli.  Did Lichter have a basis to be disrespectful  towards Lucarelli?   If Lichter felt that Lucarelli was once again attempting to undermine Mason Classical’s success, then Lichter had every right to defend that school’s students and families from Lucarelli’s institutional bullying from the dais.

A “real” news organization would inform the reader on that background.  But not the Naples Daily (Fake) News.

The attack on Lichter is unfounded. She is labeled “boisterous” and “uncivil” only because that is the narrative the NDN has painted.  If you listen to Lichter’s message repeated over-and-over at school board meetings, she wants to focus only on education, and get rid of the special interests of Superintendent Patton and her pals, such as Blue Zones and the outsourcing of other “community partnerships,” which take the School District’s eyes off the ball of reading, writing and arithmetic — those basic lessons that are driving Mason Classical’s success in the classroom.

Watch for yourself – Does Kelly Lichter sound “boisterous,” or does she simply want to keep the District out of the pet projects of Bill Barker’s pals such as NCH/Allen Weiss’ Blue Zones Project?

So beware the NDN’s use of the terms “civility” and “collaboration.” This is liberal deep state code for “conformity” to the establishment.  Barker and his high-ranking pals at the Naples Chamber have set their own self-serving agenda such as Blue Zones societal control for the benefit of NCH Hospital, tax increases that will mainly serve the county’s largest land owners, outsourcing school board governance to a nebulous Chamber-hatched organization called “Future Ready Collier,” and retaining a Superintendent who provides them with access to the School District, its students, and its $1BB budget.

Note to Readers:  Are you aware that NDN President Bill Barker is also the Chair-Elect of the Naples Chamber?  Does anyone think that is healthy for our community?

The local establishment cannot tolerate someone such as Lichter — who is a threat to their gravy train.

Government officials who do not conform to Collier County’s local deep state will be branded “uncivil” and even “boisterous.”  By contrast, those conformist politicians such as Lucarelli who mindlessly do the deep state’s bidding with their lock-step voting will be deemed “affable.”  Better terminology might be to refer to the likes of Lucarelli as our local establishment’s “useful idiots.”

We the People know that our elected public officials are not there to be “civil” or to “collaborate” if that means that they must set aside their own principles — those same principles our elected officials pledged to their constituents that they would follow once voted into office.  The establishment’s demand for “civility” and “collaboration” are really attempts to bully our local elected conservative officials into silence.  They are terms designed to disenfranchise We the People, in pursuit of the local establishment’s self-serving agenda.

So as we move into the 2018 election season, beware what you read in the Naples Daily (Fake) News, particularly when the article mentions “civility,” “collaboration,” or the “Naples Chamber.”

Those candidates who are “uncivil” just might be the best of the bunch.  And that which the Naples Chamber says is necessary should be doubted.

Stop Scapegoating Lower Income Students

Were Bolduc & Bracci ahead of the real news curve? You be the judge.

On July 8, 2017, Bolduc & Bracci posted “Why Johnny and Juan Can’t Read”, clearly demonstrating that Collier County Public Schools, based on Democrat and ACLU public education front groups like the Coalition for Quality Public Education (C4QPE), have created a massive decline in student reading readiness based on a belief in providing our students with incoherent, less challenging literature (often in the name of multiculturalism), rather than a literature rich, classical liberal arts education practiced by Jeb Bush’s private Phillips Andover Academy, John Kerry’s private St. Paul’s School and Collier County School Board member Kelly Lichter’s public, Mason Classical Academy.

Then on July 12, 2017, chief Education Fake News Reporter, Annika Hammershlag, of the Naples Daily News pens an article, “Report: Florida Students Face Higher Barriers To Learning Outside School Compared With Nation”, in a shameless effort to throw Florida and Collier County lower income students under the bus for performing well below lower income students of other states, like Massachusetts, where their High School students learned to read and develop critical thinking skills as Elementary students under Dr. Sandra Stotsky’s world class, classically-based, literature rich education standards. (Scrapped in 2010 for Common Core by Democrat Governor Deval Patrick, affectionately known as Obama “mini me”)

  1. US News & World Report of Barron Collier High School.
  2. US News & World Report of Chelsea, MA High School (Chelsea is ranked 347th in MA per capita income, and over 50% of residents were born outside the US).

Just look at the above links outlining the average US News & World Report English Readiness Score for Chelsea, MA vs. Barron Collier HS, and Florida vs. Massachusetts, which the Naples Daily News stated in 2015, can be compared across District and State lines.

Not only does Chelsea, MA outperform Barron Collier HS, Collier County’s top public high school in English Proficiency, but the average English Proficiency Percentage of 90% for Massachusetts absolutely crushes Florida’s Average English Proficiency of 50%.

Let’s stop using the bully pulpit of the Naples Daily News and Superintendent Kamela Patton’s bloated marketing budget, paid with your tax dollars, to throw Collier County low income students under the bus for poor scores, when the problem rests with the real perpetrators, Kamela Patton and her Democrat rubber-stamp board majority of Roy Terry, Eric Carter and Stephanie Lucarelli for denying all Collier County students with the literature rich, classical education model they crave, and proven to be the best in the world at breaking the cycle of poverty.

Does Annika Hammershlag create her own topics, or is she spoon fed her topics by the Patton Regime to cover for their billion dollar failures?

CNN & CCPS – A Match In Fake News Heaven

It appears CNN, the national Fake News Factory, has something in common with Collier County Public Schools (CCPS), the local Fake News Factory, and that is resorting to childish intimidation maneuvers by either releasing, or threatening to release, personal information of people who disagree with their highly propagandized inaccurate news, or in the case of CCPS, parents who disagree with their highly propagandized inaccurate textbooks.

Specifically, While CNN was rightfully denounced for “blackmail” when CNN threatened to out the guy who made the Trump vs. CNN wrestling parity video if he dares to defy their political perspective or offends them sufficiently in the future, all you heard from the local media, namely the Naples Daily News, was crickets when CCPS published all personal information of the seven parents who submitted formal objections to textbooks selected by Superintendent Kamela Patton’s Selection Committees stacked with Progressives and ACLU Saul Alinsky types pretending to advocate for quality public education.

Maybe Superintendent Patton’s Regime should spend less time messing with parents, constantly over-testing and data-mining teachers and students; and spend more time trying to raise 70% of CCPS Elementary Schools out of D-level and F-level percentages of 3rd grade students who test proficient in English.

And to eliminate any doubt that CCPS is an Education Fake News Factory, check out the attached two linked reports:

  1. Shadowlawn Elementary tested lowest in 3rd Grade English Proficiency at an abysmal 26%.
  2. Shadowlawn Elementary is rated an A School by the Florida Department of Education.

Apparently, a triple F minus is the new A?

Why Johnny And Juan Can’t Read

Notable books, including Noble Prize winning Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality, lay out in disheartening detail the growing inequality of income and opportunity in the United States, along with the decline of the middle class.

Early in the twentieth century, a democrat, liberal, progressive and socialist inadequate conception of education became dominant in the United States. It included a belief in the unimportance of factual knowledge, a decline in reading readiness based on an incoherent, less challenging literature (often in the name of multiculturalism) and a corresponding belief in the importance of training the mind through hands-on practical experience, much like CCPS Superintendent Patton’s corporate run “Pathways” goal to educate Collier schoolchildren via digital learning and tenuous “global responsibilities” and “21 Century Workforce Skills”.

In the 1920s and 1930s, these ideas began spreading to teacher-training institutions. It took two or three decades for the new teachers and administrators to take over from the old and for the new ideas to revolutionize schoolbooks and classroom practices. The first students to undergo this new schooling therefore began kindergarten in the 1950s and arrived in 12th grade in the 1960s.

Unfortunately, their Test scores showed the impact of socialist led education ideas. From 1945 to 1967, 12th-graders’ verbal scores on the SAT and other tests had risen. But then those scores plummeted. Cornell economist John Bishop wrote:

“the historically unprecedented nature of the test score decline that began around 1967. Prior to that year test scores had been rising steadily for 50 years.”

Some scholars thought that the precipitous fall of verbal SAT scores simply reflected an increase in the percentage of low-income students taking the SAT. But since it was observed that the same downhill pattern had occurred in verbal scores on the Iowa Test of Educational Development—a test given to all Iowa high school students, who were 98 percent white and mostly middle-class, many argued that the declining effectiveness of American schools was a leading indicator for the shrinking income of the American middle class. The evidence today suggests that people who spoke out against democrat-run education programs were right. The decline in the educational productivity of our schools tracks our decline in income equality.

Later, several scholars showed that the decline of the verbal SAT scores was indeed correlated with a dumbing-down of American schoolbooks and literature books. These scholars found that publishers, under the influence of progressive educational theories, had begun to use simplified language and smaller vocabularies which demonstrated that the dilution of knowledge and vocabulary, rather than poverty, explained most of the test-score drop.

In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) became the educational vehicle for the civil rights movement and Great Society with the aim of narrowing achievement gaps by providing every child with a fair and equal opportunity to achieve an exceptional education. The federal government sought to realize that aim primarily by throwing money and regulations at the public school system. In other words, it created a government monstrosity which contributed Dewey-style progressive education and “critical pedagogical theory,” a Marxian approach to social justice that

“identifies economic inequities caused by capitalism as the primary reason for the existence of achievement gaps.”

Interesting, since 1965, trillions of your tax dollars have been spent in the name of progressive social justice education, yet The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Long-Term Trend Assessments in 2012 found that achievement gaps for 17-year-old black and Hispanic students have not improved since the early 1970s.

Chicago economist James Heckman argued that the skill gaps of disadvantaged children from poor family environments at the end of high school

“are basically the same gaps that were there when they entered Kindergarten.”

Even the New York Times commented that:

“Children of mothers who had graduated from college scored much higher at age 3 than those whose mothers had dropped out of high school, proof of the advantage for young children of living in rich, stimulating environments.”

More surprising is that the difference in cognitive performance was just as big at age 18 as it had been at age 3.

“School neither increases nor reduces it.”

E.D. Hirsch Jr. has argued for 30 years that the key to building students’ vocabularies, and thus their ability to read, learn, and hold a well paying job in life, is content knowledge.

Far from being an elitist East or West Coast Democrat, he insists, a high level of literacy is the path to educational equality and full citizenship for the nation’s minority groups.

“Cultural literacy constitutes the only sure avenue of opportunity for disadvantaged children,” Hirsch writes, and “the only reliable way of combating the social determinism that now condemns them to remain in the same social and educational condition as their parents. That children from poor and illiterate homes tend to remain poor and illiterate is an unacceptable failure of our schools, one which has occurred not because our teachers are inept but chiefly because they are compelled to teach a fragmented curriculum based on faulty educational theories.”

“The best schools and teachers have already taken some of the steps that I’ve advocated.”

Indeed, which brings us to the central theme of our post, and that is, isn’t it interesting the Naples Daily News failed to report on the recently released 3rd Grade Reading Proficiency Scores for Collier County Public Schools, where roughly 70% of Collier County Elementary Schools suffering under Superintendent Patton’s progressive dumbed-down curriculum scored D-level or F-Level in percentage of 3rd graders scoring Proficient in English?

But even more interesting, the Naples Daily News failed to report that Mason Classical Academy, a Charter School which utilizes E.D. Hirsh’s Core Knowledge Curriculum, scored 90% in 3rd Grade Proficiency, the highest of any Elementary School in Collier County.

Superintendent Patton’s soul crushing curriculum based on failed progressive education quackery, is crushing the future of the vast majority of Collier County schoolchildren, and worst of all, her curriculum is hurting less fortunate minority students the most, the very group she pretends to care for while flushing $976 million of your tax dollars down the toilet on an annual basis.