“If at first you don’t succeed….


vintage-typewriter-glass-coat-750984533 Here are the notes from the Visions Committee Meeting #2, held on December 16th in PDF form.. My apologies to anyone who had trouble getting them before.



13 responses to ““If at first you don’t succeed….

  1. Fascinating. All I see reading the minutes is more of the same. Kids will be prepared to go out into the world by having a well rounded education, and the guidance of their families. If kids are to have a respect for different ideas and values, they have to be shown respect also. This is the same school system that is smoke and mirrors especially with the Middle and High School..Qualified teachers, and there are some great ones. Haven’t heard much on Science Fair, except I heard proposals are due anytime from now until the day before Science Fair? Excuse me?????
    Why does it always have to take a meeting, which seem to me to hit the same agenda every time. Wonder if home schooling will continue to be on the rise.


    • …a winning card for “Buzzword Bingo” perhaps, and as substantively meaningless. That said, words matter, as Orwell put it, “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength” …so what does it make these platitudes?

      Nothing is more important than respect for children, and while I’m in quote mode, my favorite is by Ralph Waldo Emerson “The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil.” I believe that with every inch of my being, and have never been more appalled than when I have seen dishonesty or condescension toward them.

      The “March of the Homeschoolers” will definitely continue — I’ve spoken with a number of homeschoolers, and those contemplating homeschooling. This administration and Board should do the same.
      Does Grade 7 do the Science Fair? Our son, the mad scientist, has already been thinking about it.
      Did you notice in the notes that the next meeting on Jan. 21st might possibly be a Community Forum if they can prepare?


  2. concernedparentalso

    Its working, the idea of all these committees and senseless meetings came rate from mr malone this is a way to make you guys
    think your doing something but its a way to keep you carm and
    involved. by the time you realize what is going on, your kids will
    be on a bus to crystal or sac. his life goal is to shut down SAD 25


    • Good morning! Love your energy! …but you’ll be happy to know it ISN’T “working”.

      That the Visions Committee IS a sham, and feeble attempt to cloak a foregone mission to close Katahdin in credibility… …is VERY well-understood.

      Do you seriously believe I am playing into his hands? The Superintendent himself would likely tell you that’s absurd.

      Do you want Katahdin to close? …or do you want to keep it open?

      This blog is in no way affiliated with the RSU — it’s entirely and deliberately independent, but it’s only part of what people are doing to maintain investment in the children of Katahdin.

      You seem to understand the reality we face, and we would love your input.

      How should people who want to keep Katahdin open, preferably with money in it, proceed?

      Will you help?


  3. You said it. His goal is definitely to head over to the SACS end of the district. They do not want parent or public involvement.
    If Mr. Malone really wanted input from the community, he wouldn’t have hired to Great Schools Partnership to further his agenda. He is a dishonest man who cares nothing for the students. What a waste of our resources these meetings are, we could have saved what was it around 20 grand by not hiring this organization.
    We have to gain back our local control, and give the teachers more say so in developing curriculum that is worthwhile and inspires kids to love learning. Consolidate administration would be the best bet.


    • The RSU Law DID “consolidate administration”! It just, predictably, didn’t save money.

      When districts consolidate, one town moves to liquidate the infrastructure of the other because, quite simply, they want the money. Anyone who studied the issue at the time could predict the subsequent fights over money and children between poor, rural communities, and how ugly that would be. The only winners are administrators, and purveyors of diesel …maybe bus companies. Worse, schools targeted for closure are starved, as we saw in the last budget cycle. Children live with austerity in one school while money flows to the other. Reasonable people believed that relatively equal Board representation would guard against the inevitable pillage, but we’re learning now that this is wrong. I always thought Superintendents were in charge of little more than underwater fire prevention — the real power lies with the Board. This Superintendent has shifted the Board dynamic considerably. Sherman’s own Board representative is perhaps the most sycophantic supporter of his polices, even as his constituency cries out for him to protect their interests!

      Sadly, the Superintendent has no interest in community involvement outside the communities he serves; the ones that want him to dismantle Katahdin and bring home the bacon.

      I agree that the $20,000 for Great Schools Partnership would have been better spent elsewhere. That expenditure would have gone a long way in restoring teaching positions.

      When your child’s school is governed by those who want to close it, please understand: every decision, be it scheduling, staffing, programs — everything either promotes closure or undermines it. Decisions popular with parents and the community at large, actually make the school harder to close and there are hundreds of these. …a terrible conflict of interest.

      You have touched on an issue we are just beginning to explore here on Timbered Classrooms, at the behest of our readers: “…giving teachers more say in developing curriculum…”
      Common Core implementation is highly profitable for Bill Gates, the Waltons et. al. — who would never let it near their own children. Profit for them? Cost for you. There is money to be made for Wall Street supplanting the expertise of teachers with programs, scripted lessons etc. ..but what a disaster for children. I encourage you to look into that, and share it with us.

      What can we do? Plenty! More than you might imagine, but progress can be slow and hard to quantify.

      Do want to keep Katahdin open? …or do you want to let it go? Will you help?


  4. concernedparentalso

    Tried To Help, but when i spoke the truth at one of the meetings
    heads turned, and family members paid the price. And when it
    got heated, the first thing was talked about was we should start
    these senseless groups. Thats when MALONE said thats a great
    idea. HE is the one that said you will need a board member in the
    groups. Thats when the ball went in his court. We did have them on the run, with alot of people going to the school meetings and speaking the TRUTH no matter if it hurt or not. These meetings with
    him not hearing what he doesnt want to hear is not working.


    • Oh my goodness! I think I’ve misunderstood you!

      Are you talking about the RSU Visions Committee? …the expensive yet asinine idea from the Superintendent’s office? …or “Timbered Classrooms”? ..the association of parents that not only has absolutely nothing to do with him, but about whom he has expressed concerns? They are two very different things.

      “Timbered Classrooms” did not start at a school board meeting, but independently at an RSU Withdrawal Committee Meeting — Mr. Malone was not present, and not involved in any way. I can count on one hand the number of people who were there, as it was just the steering committee, not the whole withdrawal group. Timbered Classrooms started as a PTA, of sorts, and was designed to bring people together to address issues arising from this administration. I do post notes from RSU 50 group meetings so that people can stay abreast of what is going on and weigh in, just as you and others are doing here. I even post opposing views, as they appear in the newspaper to spur discussion, but do not necessarily endorse them. Board members are among our readers, but we do not need them.

      We all know the Visions Committee lacks credibility, to put it mildly, but the same, regular School Board meetings take place on the same schedule; I’ve stood up and spoken the truth, and intend to continue to do so. I hope you will as well.

      Please feel free to contact me with any questions, or post them here. Looking forward to it.



  5. Sometimes it is hard to want to go out to meetings, when you feel like they hear what you are saying, but are not listening. Yes you are right, the board is actually in charge, how and why they gave Malone all the power is above and beyond me. Maybe they ought to look at how boards normally function.
    I want Katahdin to stay Katahdin, and Southern Aroostook should be allowed to stay as their own district. It is very frustrating that Malone has heard people say that, but he continues with his deceitful agenda.
    The Common Core Curriculum and Standards based grading is another issue, which continues to undermine teachers and students alike and dumbs down a system that already has problems. The curriculum should inspire kids in their pursuit of learning. Standards based grading is the dumbest thing I have seen yet rolled out at Katahdin. You can take tests over and you don’t get to work for a grade, there might not even be a valedictorian. What kind of world are we living in, when we don’t try to promote hard work and achievement? Inspire and expect kids to be the best they can be and to work hard, and guess what they will rise to meet the occasion. Kids are wonderfully unique, smart, independent, creative, etc. The best teachers I had high expectations and were good disciplinarians. I can only imagine they would think the Common Core Standards Based is ridiculous.
    Ok enough of the soap box. I want change for our students, and I know it can happen. We live in a great community .


    • It is, indeed, VERY hard for people to go out to meetings, for various reasons. That’s why we need more soapboxes, and more people like yourself to stand on them! Thank you for this:)

      The consolidation train has left the station, surely; but you absolutely can throw the switch onto more child-centered tracks.

      The sycophantic deference of some Board members to the Superintendent is sickening, to say the least, especially where their own constituents are demanding relief. …as though they see “falling in line” as their role? I read the Maine School Management Association Handbook, and didn’t come away with that at all, but have been advised that some members adopted a rather simplistic interpretation of it. Board members who rely solely on the Superintendent himself for expertise have not been well served. That said, I have been encouraged lately, as the Board appears more quick to question; even to challenge. This is a very healthy development for themselves, as well.

      The Common Core is bigger than RSU 50, but, fortunately, so is the backlash against it. This is a profiteering at its worst. Bill Gates, the Waltons, et. al. profit handsomely by supplanting the expertise of teachers with asinine scripted lessons, and mediocre curriculum materials. I have no more interest in Bill Gates educating my children than I do in letting him take out their tonsils! I want our children educated to have more sense than to let billionaires with no expertise run our education system for their own purposes. That these people would not let the CC within miles of their own children is as telling as it is repugnant. Whew! NOW who is “on the soapbox”? ….feels good!
      I’ve spoken to people on the coast, and have been struck by the similarities in what parents and communities want and value — good teachers. NOT Testing companies, CC-aligned crap… all of this costs a fortune — money that would be better invested in faculty and staff. We do live in a great community, and can have better schools for less money, if people stand up a demand it.


  6. concernedparentalso

    sorry you miss understood, didnt mean to up set you. i only say what i believe, i see all and hear all. these children are our future
    and its our job to let them hear us tell the truth no matter who it
    up sets. when people were going to the school meetings there
    were alot of children there, we were on a roll. The reason im sounding off is i heard another great move by our SAD 25 middle
    school prince-able. She said to a young man in the lunch room
    you are STUPID out load in front of every body.
    This is what is really going on. I dont need a P.T.A. meeting to
    tell me that this is WRONG.


    • I’m not upset in the least, but we’re clear, right? ….on what the association of people that comprises “Timbered Classrooms” is?

      What I’m hearing from you, I think, is that the formation of the RSU Visions Committee somehow hurt what people standing up at meetings were trying to accomplish? When things get “heated” at these meetings, there are any number of techniques Administrators and Board members use to cool things off, and that doesn’t mean you’ve lost — far from it! Standing up and speaking out at meetings is extrememly important — without people willing to do that, you get nowhere.
      I’m very glad you wrote this. So many people walk away from the sort of meeting you describe; where people stand up and speak out, thinking they’ve “lost” — nothing could be farther from the truth! Don’t give up! You’ve done more good than you know, but mustn’t stop there. This isn’t my first rodeo, and these things are not resolved on the spot. What you have done, when you stand up at meetings, is put into motion a process — often a long one, toward a goal; a process that doesn’t stop when the meeting is over.
      I maintain that “Timbered Classrooms” is a good addition to speaking out at meetings. It was never intended as a substitute for it. I will continue to do both.
      Respect for children is what drives me, and my greatest concerns about the RSU adminisstration are in that area. So how should the matter you describe be handled, and by whom? No, no one needs a pta, or group to tell you right from wrong — that isn’t what we’re about. We’re a place to gather; for communication and for learning. For example, when you post something, 66 followers will get a notification, read it and maybe tell others. That’s a powerful thing.
      Please continue to air your views at meetings, and here as well. You CAN keep your school, and take control of your tax money, if that is what you want to.


  7. Seriously. That is so wrong! No wonder they show her no respect.


We want to know what YOU think! Post a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s