Connecticut's Education In Disarray - Top To Bottom

When Do The Kids Count?
When Do The Kids Count?

Milford's Supt., Dr. Elizabeth Feser, part of the cause of State Education's Disarray?



John Hanks January 07, 2014 at 01:04 PM
How can you say there is no such thing as a bad student? Of course there is. Especially in middle and high school. If a student is lazy or just simply not interested in the material being covered (hands on or not) and doesn't do their school work, participate or straight up skips class, you consider that bad teaching?
Concerned Parent January 07, 2014 at 06:46 PM
@Tim....sorry if it stings, but it is true...
Alice January 07, 2014 at 07:25 PM
Tim is right. He was a teacher for many years, and I'd far more take his word for it than from people who've never even tried to teach students. We should listen to people who care about public education, know about public education, and have years of experience than from "concerned parents" who just rant about the failures instead of recognizing the immense importance of public education in the U.S. People who teach our students, often for paltry wages but simply because they believe in public education as an essential element of democracy, should be praised. I admire them all, and yes, there are some wonderful ones and some not so wonderful ones, but how is that different from any other occupation in the U.S.?
Alice January 07, 2014 at 07:28 PM
I also dislike the attacks on our Superintendent of Schools that keep getting posted here. It seems to me she is doing a very good job after the utter failures of her immediate predecessors.
Hal DePino January 07, 2014 at 08:32 PM
Bravo Alice. It seems the Patch takes little interest in defamation of character.
Michael Brown January 08, 2014 at 07:25 AM
I am very impressed with Dr. Feser. She is very thoughtful and she demonstrates a high level of competence at the public meetings. Dr. Feser obviously cares deeply about children and their education. Her fellow school superintendents in CT have voted her president of their organization. We are lucky to have Dr. Feser here in Milford.
Michael Brown January 08, 2014 at 07:35 AM
On the other hand. Gary Tobin has a *personal* grudge against Dr. Feser and the administration. I have heard his animus toward Dr. Feser and the administration (and inexplicably toward the elected board) stems from an incident where Mr. Tobin was accused of damaging Education Department property.
tlkensington January 08, 2014 at 07:59 AM
Which property?
CHOICES CONSEQUENCES January 08, 2014 at 05:55 PM
Former Stratford Superintendent Irene Cornish and Dr. Feser each demostrate high levels of competence at public meetings. As a rerired educator and administrator you can be certain that most of what comes out of any Connecticut superintentent's mouth is nothing but a combination of political maneuvering and self-serving bullshit. They are so good at it that boards of education rubber stamp everything with no meaningful oversight. That's it, one oversight after another.
CHOICES CONSEQUENCES January 08, 2014 at 06:06 PM
Concerned Parent: I'll second Tim's comment; you are a fool who obviously knows nothing about dealing with today's middle and high school students. They don't want to be there except to see their friends and most could care less about learning or the benefits of a good education. Teaching today is a thankless job and the word is getting out, because the vast majority of colleges across our country are reporting 40% to 50& declines in applicants to their teaching degree programs.
Concerned Parent January 08, 2014 at 06:37 PM
@CHOICES CONSEQUENCES. My views are not foolish, but valid. Our school district is sub-standard and only teaches to the test. Forget if a student has straight "A"s, if they score poorly on a standardized test, they will be pigeon holed. I experienced it first hand with some school Administrators...Also, there was another incident that was not academic related that was handled poorly and when I engaged the administrators, I was quickly deferred to another party. This is the reality of our school. There are good teachers out there who are frustrated by the way the policies change, however, there are also teachers who simply go through the motions. There are a lot of thankless jobs out there, the difference being that if you do not perform well, you will lose that job. Again, I'm sorry if it stings, but again, it is true.
Gary Tobin January 09, 2014 at 05:30 AM
Mr. Brown, are you trying to divert the attention away from Dr. Feser, again? You are really loosing your touch. If you want to hear it again so be it, I did not damage a Education department property or vehicle. Mr. Brown this is the 3rd if not more you raise this accusation. It sound like there is a conspiracy or a cover up on this issue and it involves Mayor Blake and the Milford Dept. of Education, Dr. Feser . I would suggest you and the other here contact Mayor Blake and inquire about the damaged property/vehicle. Mayor Blake and or the Milford Dept. of Education can start an investigation, cover it up and put a spin on it as Mr. Brown is insinuating or maybe they will publicly clear this issue up .
Gary Tobin January 09, 2014 at 05:40 AM
Alice – We chatted in the past about Dr. Feser and your keenness of her and her credential. I reply to your post that day and you disappeared. Take a little time an read the above links and come back. The group of superintendents who voted her to be president are the same who authored a document addressed to the state secretary of education and you can read the rest of the story Hal DePino, defamation of character? If you read the links above your see Dr. Feser defames her own character.
Concerned Parent January 09, 2014 at 08:55 AM
If you take a poll of parents whose children have been in the school system or even students, during the last 10 years and ask them about what they think about the quality of education in our town, they will most likely say there has been a sharp "decline".
Gary Tobin January 09, 2014 at 10:26 PM
Concerned Parent – I don’t see a parent poll or parent survey being taken any time soon. The back lash and results from last year’s Parent Survey didn’t return favorable results for the administration.
Gary Tobin January 10, 2014 at 07:54 AM
Do K-12 students need to be prepared to work in the global market? Should Corporate America and the global market be train K-12 students for their super markets? How many parents say when they bring their child to kindergarten that their child will be ready to work in China, Finland and Slovakia in 12-13 years or say if we decide to move to Missouri, California or Georgia my child’s education level will be spot on? So the questions and issues to answer and consider remain for every resident in the Milford’s communities, are Dr. Feser and the Milford school administration representing Milford’s Communities in their best interest? or Are they acting in the best interest of the state’s political agenda, the federal seizure of our children’s minds or even their self-interests?
Concerned Parent January 10, 2014 at 09:19 AM
I find it incredibly ironic how "educators" can be so myopic. Any professional will tell you that you learn by doing and mistakes (depending on their severity) are not viewed as negative. Learning should be fun and NOT painful as our educators would propose by letting students suffer more while allowing teachers to back off to sit in observance. That is simply sadistic. For a moment, think about every nation you visit in Europe, Asia, or and other parts of the world. What do they have in common? They know a second language, that being English. America's arrogance has set them back because our society believes other countries should cater to us. Even when Americans vacation in these countries, they do not even take the effort to speak the language. I know this may be off topic, but it does reflect how other countries view education vs. the US. We've regressed and not evolved as a nation. Our only hope is to instill in our youth the passion to learn and you cannot do this in the manner our district, state, and even our nation is doing right now. We were once the greatest nation that was envied for their ability to be innovative, that has since changed. I'm reminded of H.G Wells "The Time Machine" because Americans have evolved to the "Eloi" and it's only a matter of time before the "Morlocks" come out of the darkness to eat us all up or even "WALL-E" where humans solely rely on machines for every aspect of the lives and become fat, lazy, and useless beings and takes the most surprising entity to get them off their butts and back on track. At the end of the day, an individual makes what they want from the education they receive. At the very least, provide them the education needed to be more than just a good tester.
Gary Tobin January 10, 2014 at 10:24 AM
Do you remember when 3rd graders were being taught by teachers and not test prepped leaders? How about when 5rd graders were responsible to learn age appropriate curriculum? Another remembers when, remember when 8rd graders were being educated and prepare for their 1st year in high school? Well the new National, Corporate lead education system, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are now preparing K-12 for College, Career Prepared, Military Primed, Global Ready and if that’s not enough they are responsible for our National Security. http://www.cfr.org/united-states/us-education-reform-national-security/p27618
Gary Tobin January 10, 2014 at 10:34 AM
Again I ask, are Dr. Feser, Milford's School Superintendent, Dr. Feser, President, The Connecticut Association of School Superintendents (CAPSS) and Milford's school administration acting in the best interest of Milford’s Communities, the Parents and THE KIDS? http://jonathanpelto.com/2014/01/10/capss-story-local-taxpayer-funds-used-work-interests-parents-children/
Concerned Parent January 10, 2014 at 11:20 AM
One other thing that people fail to realize is a child's educational "EXPERIENCE". Think of your time in school and try to remember your fondest memory. Most likely it's not about a test or a particular subject. It's about an event or special teacher or principal who went above and beyond to help and inspire you. Our kids are tragically deprived of this today. It's all been taken away due to all the CYA BS today. I fear for our kids future after all these self-serving educators have finished in doing more damage than development.
Gary Tobin January 10, 2014 at 07:56 PM
State DOE says NO child can opt out of testing... http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-assessments/connecticut-department-of-education-says-no-to-opting-out-of-assessments/
CHOICES CONSEQUENCES January 15, 2014 at 12:44 AM
Concerned Parent: The responsibility for the problems with public education today lies with policymakers at the federal and state levels of government. These people are so concerned about finding creative ways to control the kids that cause problems, they have forgotten about the great parents and students who deserve an educational environment free of disruptive losers and the administrators who cover for them so the schools don't get bad reputations. This cover up form of management started under Irene Cornish and her clone, former SHS principal Margaret Lasek, and has been going on at Stratford High and other schools in town for years. Many parents thought that once we got rid of Irene Cornish that Stratford schools would once again be managed properly. Well, guess again. We have a new superintendent and that is great, except former SHS principal Margaret Lasek is now the Personnel Director and Consultant to the Superintendent. The Board of Ed. just keeps doing whatever it's told to do. How shameful, not to mention ignorant and embarrassing. Therefore, Dr. Robinson is starting out double handicapped, unless she quickly realizes that Lasek in long past normal retirement age and years of service, and that it is time to pull her head out of the town feedbag and send her out to pasture for the good of all.
Tim Chaucer January 15, 2014 at 08:57 AM
I have never talked directly with Dr. Feser. I hope she is sincere and honest. I question, however, her integrity if she could allow a long range planning committee guided by Cheshire consultants who seem to be in a hurry to dismantle Milford's tried and tested, geographically balanced, Law and Foran High Schools. Any Supt. worth her salary would have put an end to these unnecessary and costly and irritating types of reconfigurations. As Joseph Foran, Milford's highly respected former Superintendent said, "A high school should never be more than 950 students". Does Supt. Feser know the evils of Mega schools? If not, why not? Are her strings being pulled by others? Is she strong, wise, and knowledgeable or simply another politician leading a school system in the wrong direction?
Concerned Parent January 15, 2014 at 09:48 AM
@Tim, I had an unfortunate issue arise involving one of my children and spoke with Dr. Feser directly about it after getting no head way with the school administrator. She is no different than any bureaucrat and simply deferred my to the state, who I engaged afterward. I found her response surprising since she had just started with the district. There was no concern exhibited because it was NOT a "politically-sensitive" incident, but was significant. The days of openness and inclusiveness with the student community and public have long since ended and replaced by communications which are designed to pacify and patronize.
Concerned Parent January 15, 2014 at 10:04 AM
@CHOICES, I partially agree with your statement. Case in point, the CT Mastery Tests. On the website it clearly states that the results of these tests should NOT be used to make academic decisions. Unfortunately Milford does just that with all their students. I know first hand, as it was told to me by a teacher in a group meeting that even if a student gets straight "A"s, they can still be moved to a lower level class if they score low, classes which have children with behavioral issues. I also have a child who during the prep testing was at the cusp of making goal and was actually taken out of class to be given one on one instruction on how to bring that score higher. Our district has made very POOR policy decisions, decisions which are NOT mandated by the state, but only made to make life easier for themselves. If you also take Common Core for example, no where does it state that students need to "SUFFER". It's philosophy is to move away from this ridiculous "Teach to the Test" approach, but as expected, our lackluster administrators continue to do the same thing. We will find down the line that our children will have learned one single skill coming out of the school system, that being how to succeed at taking tests.
Gary Tobin January 15, 2014 at 10:53 AM
@Tim Chaucer - I would give you my opinion but I don't trust the administration or their intentions. The BOE have new members so I can't say I don't trust all of them, at this time.
Tim Chaucer January 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Could it be that Milford is part of a national trend which is to dis-mantle the public school system? In Milford, people with ties to private schools could be behind the movement to constantly reconfigure the public schools. Parents remove their children from the public schools and now declining enrollment becomes the mantra for additional reconfiguring of the public schools. Dr. Feser may simply be a front for those who have dubious and underhanded agendas. In Milford, as ion some parts of the nation, do we have the fox watching after the education of our once great public school system?
tlkensington January 15, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Gary Tobin January 18, 2014 at 10:05 AM
@TC- Yes it could very well be. Follow Bridgeport's case. The Superintendent Vallas I'm assuming, was a member of the state superintendent's club. A good article, a bit long but very insightful. How Wall Street Power Brokers Are Designing the Future of Public Education as a Money-Making Machine http://www.alternet.org/education/how-wall-street-power-brokers-are-designing-future-public-education-money-making-machine
Gary Tobin March 08, 2014 at 11:19 AM
Alice - Have you altered your opinion of Dr. Feser, yet?


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