The non-candidates mayoral forum

UPDATE

April 16, 2013, here is the video-  edited version with just the candidates who made it on the ballot

I just returned from the oddest candidates night of them all- 2 hours of people who may not be on the ballot, talking about what they won’t be able to do anything about if they got elected Mayor.

The meeting was at New Zion Missionary Baptist church at 3426 W. 2nd Street just a block from the Delphos split. The parking lot was rather full as I pulled up a few minutes after 6- with the customary parking lot guards in attendance. It’s one of the sad facts of life on the West Side of Dayton that churches have to pay guards to watch the parking lots. It’s a safety tax that goes along with the iron bar style screen door that you don’t see in East Dayton.

The church wasn’t listed on Foursquare yet- but it is now. I was taking notes and filming- so no tweets. I’m probably one of the few candidates who actually runs their own twitter account.

The line up on the program was long, those in red didn’t make it:

  • Lary E. Ealy
  • Derek O. Folley (aka Foley)
  • Eric L. Gregory
  • Gary Leitzell
  • Joseph C. Lutz
  • Marcus J Rech
  • Dashawn P. Romine
  • Diane B. Sloan
  • AJ Wagner
  • Nan L. Whaley

That’s 10. Lucky for us- only 6 showed up. Questions were first delivered by random draw from a basket, then from the InnerWest Priority Board, the Dayton Unit NAACP, then area pastors and then the audience. Questions weren’t answered by all- and the process of who got what and time limits were always awkward.

Derrick Foward of the NAACP made a point to identify Whaley, Wagner and Leitzell as lifetime members of the group and also that they don’t endorse, but will identify candidates they don’t feel are qualified. As a note, lifetime memberships start at $750, easy to pay if you are Nan or AJ and use your campaign funds which are huge. To me this reeked of “pay to play” politics. My standing answer on joining groups is to quote Groucho Marx “I wouldn’t be a member of any organization that would have me as a member.” I had to repeat that to Derrick twice before he got it and smiled.

The “candidates” got 5 minutes each to give a intro speech. There wasn’t anything remarkable said, except the left field idea from Derek Folley about building metro rail from Richmond to Dayton. The questions were mostly softball and pointless.

Note, the only two candidates in attendance were Nan Whaley and myself. The only other candidate that’s certified is Joey Williams.

The mayor and the city manager don’t create jobs. Neither does the Federal Government- at least not efficiently. Asking people how they’d create jobs in West Dayton is just opening the door for stupid to walk in. The one kind of jobs the Commission could create is hiring more police to make the city safer, but that question wasn’t asked- nor was how does buying 2 buildings for $450,000 each makes our city better.

The reality is our city isn’t even capable of hiring the best, brightest and most experienced police- because we have a policy of only hiring from our academy- a process that has failed us and cost us. This question never gets asked.

Then the questions of the murders and should we ban guns. We had a gun ordinance that Tony Capizzi tried to put on the books- it’s not something that can be done at a local level. It’s like asking the clerk at the checkout lane in Kroger to build a new store- you’re talking to the wrong people. The real issue is safety in the neighborhoods, and there are real answers to this- they just won’t come from your standard political stump speech- unless it’s given by me.

There was a lot of talk about jobs for felons. You’d think everyone on the West side had a rap sheet. The main problem here is the failed “war on drugs”- again not something local commissioners can do much about- except stop charging people for minor pot possession.

Nan Whaley even took credit for the Dayton Works Plus program for reentry, yet, when I’ve talked to people who’ve tried to get Nan’s help with downsizing bid packages, they got no where. When they called Mayor Leitzell, they got almost an instant response and help.

Then there was the question of why most of the retail businesses on the West side were being run by people that didn’t speak English. No one said you have a choice on what businesses to support, or that the issue again comes down to risk and safety, but Leitzell did talk about entreprenurial education in the schools and Gregory talked about the failures of the SBA to work with small businesses and that the demise of the Savings and Loan industry has hurt small business.

I asked the first question from the audience- and directed it to Nan. No, it wasn’t about the push poll, because it’s not good form to embarrass the young lady in front of a big audience, so I asked about why she hadn’t put changing the petition process on the ballot, since she’s been on for two charter revisions. She did admit that the notarization process could go- but that was as far as she went. Never mind that we can’t change the charter or recall commissioners as voters, thanks to obsolete language and fuzzy logic on voter rolls.

After, there was “fellowship and food” for all. Whaley didn’t stick around long. Folley didn’t engage much. I sat down and talked with people about substantive change, the kinds of things I talk about on this site, and even found a few readers. At the end, AJ, Leitzell and Gregory were still working the people who were still there.

I’m not going to post video of all the candidates- we’ll wait to see who gets on the ballot first, plus, I need to focus on getting my literature done and ready for the pancake breakfast this Sunday.

If I met you at the event, please, leave a comment- and ask me the questions that you wanted to hear answers from the candidates tonight- or how I’d answer them different.

This is my way of engaging- it’s open to all.

 

Pancake Breakfast this Sunday, Mar 3rd 2013

I learned this from Gary Leitzell. Open your home, serve pancakes, raise money.
However, I make way better pancakes than Gary. It’s one of my semi-secret skills- buttermilk pancakes from scratch- the secret is sifting the cake flour twice and not beating the batter too much.

This Sunday:

Pancake Breakfast

Come to the candidates house, watch him cook his famous buttermilk pancakes from scratch, eat as much as you can stand, make a donation- $5 suggested minimum.

When

March 3rd, 2013 9:00 AM through 1:00 PM

Location: 113 Bonner Street Dayton, OH 45410

Please click the link below to register- you don’t have to pay until you get here.

via Pancake Breakfast — Elect Esrati: Democrat for Dayton City Commission financed by “We the people”.

And, there is a Chicken Parmigiana dinner the following Saturday, March 9th at my house- for the first 12 donors who make reservations. Minimum donation is $125

I’ll be cooking, serving and then giving a short presentation of my plan for Dayton and sharing the new literature for the first time.

Register here: http://electesrati.com/events/chicken-parmigiana-dinner/

 

Dayton Daily shows bias and amateur journalistic skills

There is a reason Gary Leitzell has learned not to talk to the media in Dayton- they play favorites, misquote, fail to attribute and generally skew the news. The push poll story was a perfect example of why when he does, it’s a waste of time.

It’s always been known that Cox lives for fear. “If it bleeds, it leads” was the subject of a short documentary done by some WSU film students almost 30 years ago- and it continues today with “ScareCenter 7” and the DDn.

For example, in today’s article about Nan Whaley’s push poll, which Dayton first learned about on Esrati.com, there is no link or mention of this site. The story does have a link to Gary’s site (note it’s a general link- and not to the actual article so it will prove useless over time, unfortunately, the site is on the blogger platform and I can’t do any better the  correct link is http://www.daytonmayor.blogspot.com/2013/02/been-push-polled-lately.html)  and uses one of the poll questions which refers to something Gary said on my site (which I linked to in my article).

“I am disgusted,” Leitzell posted on garyleitzell.com. “Commissioner Whaley has disgraced herself and has proven that she can never be a role model for our children. She really needs to apologize to the citizens of Dayton for attempting to divide the community.”

One of the poll questions included the statement, “Leitzell recently commented on a blog that he wants to raise his pay as mayor to $90,000 a year.”Leitzell said Whaley should “probably resign her seat as City Commissioner because she is not acting in the best interests of the city and should be ashamed of what she is allowing to happen.”

One of the poll questions included the statement, “Leitzell recently commented on a blog that he wants to raise his pay as mayor to $90,000 a year.”

The mayor said he had jokingly posted a comment on a local blog that his aide had resigned and that he would love to get paid more to handle his own scheduling.

Leitzell wrote, “If the people want to pay me $90,000 so my wife can quit work and be a stay at home mom and full time educator I could handle it. Even if I had to print all those proclamations and type out the marriage certificates myself.

via Poll angers Dayton mayor candidates | www.daytondailynews.com.

I’m also leaving in the repeated content that still appeared on the DDn site this AM despite me telling their staff it was repeated last night.

At the end of this article is also makes reference to “Whaley and Wagner are both Democrats, who face-off in the May primary.”

To be perfectly correct, there is no May primary in the Dayton City Commission or Mayor’s race yet. So far only Nan has turned in enough signatures to appear on the ballot for Mayor and Joey Williams and David Esrati are the only candidates for Commission. It will take at least 2 more candidates certified for Mayor and 4 more certified for Commission to have a primary. Also note, despite David Esrati actually qualifying for the ballot, the only coverage has been a single tweet by “Ohio Politics” which belongs to the Dayton Daily. When Darryl Fairchild “announced” he was running for City Commission, he got a story, top front of the local section, with a photo– despite not having turned in petitions and eventually dropping out of the race when the Democratic Party told him it wasn’t his time- and endorsed Jeff Mims.

For a full list of POTENTIAL candidates for Mayor and Dayton City Commission in 2013, I’ve tried to keep a list here: http://electesrati.com/whos-running-2013/

In another article in today’s paper, about the senseless shooting of a 13 year old by an ex-con, the paper quotes North West Priority Board Chair, David Greer:

David Greer, longtime chairman of Dayton’s Northwest Priority Board, said the community is upset about the recent rash of shootings.

“The senselessness of it all is what one can’t put their finger on,” Greer said. “It’s unfortunate that so many feel that they have to use guns to settle differences.”

via Police seek ex-con in shootings of 2 teens.

No mention that Mr. Greer is also a candidate for Dayton City Commission, at least by the same standard that both AJ Wagner and Gary Leitzell are candidates for Mayor in that they’ve taken out petitions.

Despite this blog breaking major news on a regular basis (unpaid, uncompensated) it has never been referenced in the Dayton Daily news- and never had a link placed in an article. The Qbase political contribution scandal started here- the DDn got the story almost a year and a half later. In the last week, you would have read about these things first: Dayton Legal Blank closing its doors, Bank president and Dayton City Commissioner Joey Williams changing jobs, the First Four party being cancelled and the Nan Whaley push poll. Considering the Dayton Daily has the “iTeam” and a whole staff of “journalists” they fail miserably at basic journalistic practices.

If we want a better Dayton, not only do we need better candidates than slime buckets who engage in push-polls, but we need a newspaper that’s unbiased, has integrity and follows fundamental professional standards- you cite your sources.

If this blog didn’t cite via links or attribution the content it quotes from the Dayton Daily news- they’d sue me. I remember having a conversation with their “digital editor” Ray Marcano once where he tried to threaten me for using parts of their content in my posts. It’s one of the reasons I don’t accept advertising on this site to help compensate me for my time- because then they would use that my revenue to claim that I somehow benefited from their “labor.”

Dayton deserves a better newspaper. To the editors and publisher, who’s names don’t deserve to be connected with those terms, you run a rag. And, to top it all off, you were given a heads up on this Push Poll in advance because we like one of your editors. We’ll make sure not to do that in the future (We being, Gary Leitzell and myself). From now on, you can go back to trying to cover the news without help.

 

 

 

“Dreaming in Dayton” in National Geographic Magazine

Dayton got mentioned in National Geographic magazine- more specifically, UA Vision- a company part owned by Mark Herres (the guy the city kneecapped on the UPS/Emery deal).

If the FAA relaxes its rules, says Mark Brown, the civilian market for drones—and especially small, low-cost, tactical drones—could soon dwarf military sales, which in 2011 totaled more than three billion dollars. Brown, a former astronaut who is now an aerospace consultant in Dayton, Ohio, helps bring drone manufacturers and potential customers together. The success of military UAVs, he contends, has created “an appetite for more, more, more!” Brown’s PowerPoint presentation is called “On the Threshold of a Dream.”

Dreaming in Dayton

Drone fever is especially palpable in Dayton, cradle of American aviation, home of the Wright brothers and of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Even before the recent recession, Dayton was struggling. Over the past decade several large companies, including General Motors, have shut down operations here. But Dayton’s airport is lined with advertisements for aerospace companies; an ad for the Predator Mission Aircrew Training System shows two men in flight suits staring stoically at a battery of computer monitors. The city is dotted with drone entrepreneurs. “This is one of the few new industries with a chance to grow rapidly,” Brown says.

One of those entrepreneurs is Donald Smith, a bearish former Navy aircraft technician with ginger hair and a goatee. His firm, UA Vision, manufactures a delta-wing drone called the Spear. Made of polystyrene foam wrapped in woven carbon fiber or other fabrics, the Spear comes in several sizes; the smallest has a four-foot wingspan and weighs less than four pounds. It resembles a toy B-1 bomber. Smith sees it being used to keep track of pets, livestock, wildlife, even Alzheimer’s patients—anything or anyone equipped with radio-frequency identification tags that can be read remotely.

In the street outside the UA Vision factory a co-worker tosses the drone into the air, and Smith takes control of it with a handheld device. The drone swoops up and almost out of sight, plummets, corkscrews, loops the loop, skims a deserted lot across the street, arcs back up, and then slows down until it seems to hover, motionless, above us. Smith grins at me. “This plane is fully aerobatic,” he says.

A few miles away at Wright-Patterson stands the Air Force Institute of Technology, a center of military drone research. A bronze statue of a bedraggled winged man, Icarus, adorns the entrance—a symbol both of aviation daring and of catastrophic navigation error. In one of the labs John Raquet, a balding, bespectacled civilian, is designing new navigation systems for drones.

via Unmanned Flight: The Drones Come Home – Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine.

Like it or not, there will be drones watching us in our future. I’m not sure I like them as part of a surveillance society, but the use that Mark and Donald are doing with disaster relief is admirable and useful.

Whaley attacks from the gutter with push polling

Last week a citizen got a survey call from a Michigan number that rings back to Mountain West Research Center www.mwrcenter.com

At the end of the survey, the survey caller identified herself as calling from Survey Sampling International http://www.surveysampling.com

The survey began with questions about the local upcoming election- and began with reasons you might choose not to vote for Nan Whaley. The citizen played along and answered as he was asked about the fact that Nan has never had a real job and some other questions. Then as she started to ask about reasons not to vote for Gary Leitzell, he said “hold on” grabbed his tablet and started recording.

After giving reasons not to vote for Gary and asking the citizen to rate them, the survey went on to why not to vote for A.J. Wagner, then ended with reasons to vote for Nan. It’s a pretty good guess that Nan and her crack political brain trust came up with this plan, after all, most of them were also behind Rhine McLin’s last campaign for mayor.

Because the citizen doesn’t want to be identified, he cut his answers out of the recording- and then supplied it to me. I’ve attempted to transcribe it as best I can. It didn’t help that the survey taker can barely read at a 10th grade level, her stumbling over “canon fodder” is almost funny.

Obviously, this was done soon after I posted about “How much is a Dayton City Commissioner overpaid” as Gary’s response is worked into the question. I’m pretty sure Gary had his tongue firmly in his cheek when he said: “If the people want to pay me $90,000 so my wife can quit work and be a stay at home mom and full time educator I could handle it! Even if I had to print all those proclamations and type out the marriage certificates myself!” (please see the rest of the comment where he compares his budget to our last “full-time mayor”)

This type of suggestive polling is called “push polling”– where the intent isn’t as much to do a real survey but to plant disinformation in the voter’s mind.

But, I’ll let you judge for yourself, here is the transcript as best as I can make it- and the mp3 file is below.

Ok Leitzell once said quote, “I am not racist, I am prejudiced”.

So Leitzell used the ethnic slur to refer to Asians and said black history was not real history and he also compared people living in government-subsidized housing to animals and said it was amazing that an African American would be able to set up a successful business in Dayton without government help.

Very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing, or not at all convincining.

Leitzell should be fighting to create new Dayton jobs but a committee Leitzell formed to help create new Dayton jobs dissolved after just one year because Leitzell skipped so many meetings.

We need a mayor working full time to move Dayton forward but Leitzell took an entire month off to renovate his home and even wrote about a project on his personal blog.

Leitzell Recently commented on a blog that he wants to raise his pay as mayor to $90,000 a year.

Leitzell is not fighting to improve Dayton’s Public Schools and says Leitzell has attacked some students calling them quote “too stupid for the military” unquote and saying they were even, not even good enough to be quote  cannon “fooder” (sic) fodder, or something, for the um, army.

And Leitzell said he would never send his own daughter to Dayton Public School because she would get bored.

Crime is a serious problem that Leitzell actually said not all murders should be treated equally and Leitzell said the only reason Dayton families are concerned with crime is because the media quote “hypes homicides.

And um we’re just about done thank you now

I’m going to read you some reasons people have given us to vote against A.J. Wagner for mayor. After each thing tell me whether you think it is very convincing, somewhat convincing, not, not too convincing or not at all convincing.

Um, Do you, as a reason to vote against A.J. Wagner. If you are not sure about a particular item just say something on the box.

The state bar association gave Wagner the worst rating of a judge rating, rated in Ohio in, um, 2006.

Wagner’s court was responsible for losing an evidence envelope containing 400 dollars collected during a drug raid and Wagner even sentenced a murdered, murderer convict, convicted of beating a man to death, to just ten years in prison, less than half the usual 25 years.

That Wagner approved $300,000 in bonuses for county sheriff and his staff even after the county commission passed the resolution for him to give up some of his Wagner even gave his own staff bonuses that same year.

Wagner is more interested in being a politician than a public servant, public servant, over the last 20 years Wagner has served as a paid political operative and campaigned for five different taxpayer funded jobs.

Wagner even retired with his government job so he could collect his taxpayer funded pension. Now he’s running for mayor so he can collect another 45,000 dollars of taxpayer money on top of his (?)

Just in the last few yeas.., uh, just in the last few weeks Wagner has been campaigning on raising salaries for the mayor and city commission.

Wagner put campaign donors with special interests first. As auditor Wagner gave a millia… multi million dollar government contract to a company that donated ?bucks? to his campaign and Wagner was the guest of honor at a private dinner at a private Dayton philharmonic pops concert paid for by a lobbyist seeking millions in government spending.

Eh, ah, got another one

And now I am going to give you some reasons people have given to vote for Nan Whaley for mayor. After each brief tell me whether you think it is very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not at all convincing.

Whaley led the fight against $3 million in cuts to Dayton’s already struggling schools. Preventing teachers from being fired, prospects from going up, stopping sports from being cut.

Whaley also wants to improve our schools, by holding them accountable for kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading proficiency and preparedness for college.

Nan Whaley has fought to keep jobs in Dayton. Whaley worked with city leaders and executives together to keep Caresource in Downtown Dayton and Whaley put efforts to bring GE Aviation and the NCAA tournament to Dayton, creating hundreds of jobs and generating millions of local businesses, for local business

Nan Whaley is the only candidate for mayor endorsed by the Democratic Party and Dayton Firefighters and other labor groups have also endorsed Whaley because she brings people together and fights for Dayton families.

Whaley is working to keep guns off the street and out of dangerous hands.

Whaley will fight to require background checks on every gun purchase to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from having access to guns.

Whaley says government needs to do more with less during tough economic times, that’s why Whaley voted to reduce her pay and hasn’t expected a pay raise in her, in the last 5 years as commissioner.

Survey Sampling International please answer these demographic questions for clarification purposes only, and do you think of yourself as a Democrat or a Republican or an independent

And what is the highest level of education that you have had the opportunity to complete?

In your home do you have cable television, satellite or direct TV just regular broadcast television or no television.

If this is the way Whaley plans to get elected, it doesn’t say much for her confidence in her own “ideas.” I’d been meaning to write a post about her campaign email from Jan 14 2013:

I am asking for your input.

  • What rational and realistic ideas do you have to create jobs?
  • How can we leverage our current assets?
  • How can we support creative collaboration within our city?

Please send your thoughts and constructive criticism to me at [email protected] by January 25th.

This far into her well funded campaign and she’s more interested in how to take down her opposition than she is in how to solve our problems. Never mind that she has to ask for help on coming up with “rational” ideas.

If I was a labor organization that had endorsed someone who engages in this kind of political slander, I’d consider withdrawing my endorsement. If this is an example of why to vote for “Whaley because she brings people together and fights for Dayton families” I think I’ll pass.

 

Why our elementary education system is ineffective, inefficient and too damn expensive

Reading Time But...

Reading together. By Michael Comeau

I can read and write at a college level. I could do it in the eleventh grade, because of one teacher, David DiCarlo, at Cleveland Heights High School. He taught Political Science and Comparative Government like a college course. I don’t remember a text book- but I do remember high intensity lectures, every day, with writing assignments almost every night. He made us take a ton of notes, pay attention, and work our butts off. He was also the football coach. After him, college at Wright State was a walk in the park. Teachers that pushed students that hard were rare, but more on that later.

Legislators have come to the conclusion that if kids can’t read by third grade, at “level” they need to be held back. I laugh. I never heard of “chapter books” until a few years ago- I thought all books had chapters from as early as my parents started reading to me. When I was four, my father used to read “Gulliver’s Travels” to me- as I fell asleep. If I didn’t know a word, he explained it to me. If I fell asleep- that was OK too- we’d pick back up the next night. I think he also read “Robinson Crusoe” to me- what’s the pattern of a man alone on an island? Sure, there was Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak, but, for the most part- reading was something that happened in our house everyday- and to this day, my parents are voracious readers and the Dayton Public Libraries best customers.

Kids should be able to read before they get to the first grade. That’s the first fail- and it’s not the fault of the government, or the schools- it’s the fault of parents who think a TV is a good babysitter.

But- unfortunately, our legislators have a better solution- and it’s expensive:

Ohio lawmakers are considering tweaks to the coming third-grade reading guarantee to make sure enough teachers will have the required credentials to work with students who are struggling….

Even with the proposed change, a teacher working with students under the guarantee must have done one of the following:

  • Taken graduate courses and passed a test for a reading endorsement.
  • Completed a master’s degree with a major in reading.
  • Gotten high ratings for her students’ academic growth in reading for the last two years.
  • Earned a credential from a list of approved programs being drawn up by the Ohio Department of Education.

The department also will be taking bids from contractors for a test teachers could take to meet the requirements.

via Criteria to teach reading not set.

Yes, my parents both have masters degrees, but I’m pretty sure I can teach a kid how to read without a masters. In fact, when I was in the 7th grade, we were asked to go work with second graders to help tutor them in math and reading. This emphasis on graduate degrees as a qualification to teach is absurd, especially when the costs of our higher education system have skyrocketed over the last twenty years.

About a year and a half ago, I was in Paris visiting with friends. Her children were in schools that catered to international students- and the 2nd grader had at least an hour of homework every day, the high school junior had between 2 and 4 hours of homework every night. For the last three years, I’ve complained that my kids weren’t bringing home homework- and if they had any at all, it wasn’t challenging at all. My friend in Paris pointed out an article about the education her daughter is enrolled in- “International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme and Pre-U” (yep- the story is in British English):

The IB Diploma is a timeless classic, an icon of educational sense and high standards in a world where educational fashion shifts like hemlines, and much-needed clarity of thinking is elusive. The IB has never been more necessary. First, it believes in knowledge, and enables students to acquire it. It believes in the autonomy of subjects and academic disciplines, but also in their connectivity. It is global in its outlook, truly an education sans frontières. And it is grounded in fundamental values about culture and character. Visionary and inspiring, the IB can liberate and motivate the teacher and student. Practical, instructive and aspirational, it is the best possible preparation for university, for the workplace, and more importantly, for life.

Why do I believe this so strongly? The IB develops students that top universities want: students with expert subject knowledge; with the skills good students require – research, essay writing, footnoting; but above all, with the spirit of intellectual inquiry and critical thinking, the ability to challenge, argue and ask questions. Universities are clearly aware of this: the offer rate and acceptance rate for IB Diploma students is notably above other post-16 qualifications, including A levels, with an 87 per cent acceptance rate for UK-domiciled IB Diploma students last year. And in the US, the IB Diploma is a sought-after passport to top universities from Stanford to Yale.

The IB develops the future leaders the workplace needs – people who know how to collaborate and who know the value of teamwork, people with analytical ability, versatility, international understanding. The IB develops what a global society and a local community can’t survive without – individuals who want to make a difference, who have developed the compassion and sense of public duty to contribute.

How does the IB do this? By a mixture of the compulsory and the optional; the IB offers a combination of testing assignments. In addition to traditional written exams at the end of the two-year programme, students analyse world literature (not just their national literature), focus on world events, create mathematical models to investigate them, and show practical skill in the laboratory. An IB student is required to continue studying in all areas of the curriculum at either Higher or Standard Level. All study at least one language, their native literature, maths, the individual and society and at least one science. Within the six subject groups the choice is wide, from French to Japanese, from biology to computer science, from medieval history to ecosystems and the environment.

The IB is assessed in varied and creative ways, including good old-fashioned terminal exams, proper essays, graphical calculator tasks, and the Group 4 Science project, in which students collaborate on a presentation of a broad scientific topic such as “Environment” or “Colour”, drawing on their knowledge across all four science subjects offered within the IB – physics, chemistry, biology, technology and sports health and exercise science. This year students are investigating “Water” and our students will be collaborating with students from around the world through email, Skype and other real-time communication technology to collect and analyse local water samples, explore local environmental issues and present comparative analyses.

But what makes the IB more than the sum of its parts are the three core elements – the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and CAS (Creativity, Action, Service). The extended essay is a 4,000-word piece of original research, tackling a specific question devised by the student and supported by a supervisor. Recent research includes the impact of invasive species on sub-Saharan food crops, or to what extent our brains can compensate for hearing loss. Other exam systems have imitated this, but the IB’s original model leads to truly outstanding pieces of work – some at Sevenoaks have led to publication or patents!

Theory of Knowledge remains unique to the IB. More than its imitator – so-called “critical thinking” – “ToK” requires students to think across their subjects, to connect them, and to take one step back from their own perspective. It requires students to unpick their own assumptions, to think with clarity about real and challenging questions, such as the extent to which disagreement sparks knowledge, or how economic and social circumstances prime us to think in certain ways about the world.

And then there is CAS – Creativity, Action, Service – which carries no points but gives students a structured opportunity to allow and reflect upon the flourishing of mind, body and spirit.

The impact of the IB on a school is liberating and motivating. It fosters a shared purpose and common ethos; it brings students and institutions around the world in touch; it validates the belief that there is no limit to intellectual endeavour. Our students prove this daily – they are getting into the world’s top universities, are moving onto employment with relative ease – to the delight of their parents. Employers worldwide know that IB students know a lot, and more, can do things.

via ‘The IB develops the students top universities want’ – Schools – Education – The Independent.

This doesn’t sound anything like what we’re doing in our schools does it?

A friend, who is a veteran teacher in Cincinnati commented on Facebook about his experiences compared to this:

I taught for four years at the largest IB school in the U.S. It’s an incredibly rigorous program that does truly prepare students for the future. We had many students who would return to us at the end of their first year or first semester of college and tell us that college was easy, compared to high school.

Always remember that education begins at home. The program was driven by parents who demanded much of their kids and much of their kids’ teachers.

I’ll never forget that the first TWO times I got into trouble with my administrator, it was for the same offense: I wasn’t assigning enough homework, and parents were complaining about it.

Compare that to where I teach now. I don’t really assign homework. Why? Students won’t do it. If they won’t do it, the teacher can’t simply give the student a zero on the assignment and move on. It’s expected that we give a second, third, fifth, and tenth opportunity to complete the work. We’re expected to accept work from students even if the work is WEEKS late. For, you see, failure to accept late work would cause a spike in the number of Ds and Fs for that teacher…which means that the teacher will be called into his/her administrator’s office for a lecture and browbeating…because an increase in the number Ds and Fs will threaten the school’s rating on the Ohio state report card.

Thanks for reading. Now, go find a kid, shut the TV off, and read to them. If we built a coordinated network of neighborhood after school programs, I’m pretty sure that my 84 year old mother, would walk down the street every day and spend an hour reading to kids. A few years ago, she had the Iranian kids who lived on the corner in almost every afternoon to help them with their English. If we build the framework, we can fix the problems- and it won’t take more masters degrees.

And, btw- we need more teachers like David DiCarlo- who weren’t afraid to push students way far outside of their comfort levels and make an A almost impossible to get. Thank you Mr. DiCarlo- again.

Petitions are GOOD! Esrati enters city commission race

Photo of David Esrati petition turn in, and reciept for Dayton City Commission

18 forms, 575 good signatures, 75 hours of walking door to door

I turned in 651 signatures on 18 forms on Wednesday to place my name on the ballot for Dayton City Commission. The Board of Elections has checked, rechecked and checked again and unfortunately, they were only able to knock out 12% of my signatures.

Of the 651, I had 575 “good signatures’, 7 duplicates, 5 lined out, 1 in pencil, 1 missing a date, 24 not registered, 10 out of jurisdiction and one by a circulator. 27 Signatures didn’t match what was on record (probably meaning they printed).

The only other petitions turned in so far have been Nan Whaley who turned in 1495 signatures with an 80% validity rate for Mayor, and Joey Williams with a 72% valid (meaning slightly more than 1 in 4 was was incorrect) for City Commission.

If more than 4 candidates turn in 500 valid signatures, there will be a primary in May. If not, the four (or less) will run for the seats held currently by Nan Whaley and Joey Williams.

The Dayton Daily News gave a large story about Darryl Fairchild running for Dayton City Commission- despite his not having turned in valid petitions or being placed on a ballot. I doubt they will do the same for me. We will see if the Dayton City Paper gives me a front page story like they have for A.J. Wagner or Nan Whaley. I’ve posted the “racing form” of candidates and potential candidates at this time. The Board of Elections will meet on 26 Feb to certify petitions turned in so far.

Ask Nan or Joey if they support doing away with this ridiculous process or fixing the charter’s rules about % of registered voters instead of % of actual voters to change the charter or to remove elected officials? They’ve both put 2 sets of charter changes on the ballot and ignored this exclusionary process from reform.

The only jurisdiction that required a notary public to “Certify” the petitions was Oakwood, and they did away with it last year.

I’ll be announcing 2 fundraisers later today for Elect Esrati. And, like the Mayor, I’m limiting my campaign to $10,000.

My main issues are listed on www.electesrati.com

MCOFuture: Groundhog day groupthink for the last generation

I walked out. Couldn’t take it any more. Sitting in a room with 300+ people rehashing the dreams of a future that will never come, thanks to their inability to see what’s right in front of them.

MCOFuture was the brainshild of our County Commission- a grand plan to follow to make everything successful- by copying others, by doing what others did and without admitting that structurally we’re built to fail.

The first “brilliant” idea is a “Council/Congress of Governments” or CoG. I almost lost it when they cited an example in Northern Alabama that encompasses 5 counties with 45 jurisdictions. We’ve got 1 county and 28 or 29 (does it matter- it’s too many). The goal they are pursuing on this is to create yet ANOTHER layer of quasi-governmental bureaucracy to make the many march as one. Of course, we saw how well that worked with the 911 project. The key, according to Jack Dustin of Wright State is to make sure the organization is crafted to last. What we really need is to construct an organization to start eliminating other organizations. We can start with eliminating urban villages and townships in the county, we can follow up with unified schools, and finish with eliminating city governments and moving to a true Countywide unified government- but alas, that would put all the politicians and their patronage job lackeys out of work, and that was almost the entire room.

Next up was Sinclair touting “work force development” and training for jobs of the future- so we can lure employers here with our abundant, well trained labor force. Of course, the problem is figuring out what exactly the “jobs of the future” will be and what we’ll concentrate on. County Administrator Joe Tuss talked about advanced manufacturing as one, and logistics and distribution. I almost have to laugh when one friend on Facebook (RD- I’m talking about you) reminded me that at one time we were going to be a center for composites, and lately it’s been RFID and drones- excuse me- UAVs.

Here’s the problem- the speed of change right now is faster than you can prepare for. Who predicted the Internet 20 years ago having the effects it does now? Who trained for it? Exactly.

The reality is we’ve been pouring money into Sinclair Community College for a long time. It’s a leader in inexpensive education and training and still, you don’t see companies flocking to Dayton to do their thing.

The final straw was listening to Dr. Learn To Earn, Tom Lasley, talking about how everyone else is already ahead of us. We have to catch up with others and invest in pre-K education and create graduates ready to earn. It’s really funny that he’s saying this today as the New York Times has a story about having a bachelor’s degree to be a file clerk. I think the people in the room are on the right track to increase employment- keep making more bureaucracy so we can hire more dolts who believe that government can solve these problems at this level.

Let me explain why “Learn to Earn” isn’t just a lame slogan, but a total turd.

  • Not everyone is college material. Lasley talked about the lack of the GM job for life working in a factory without a degree being a thing of the past. If everyone has a college degree, or a master’s or even a Ph.D. it doesn’t make a bit of a difference, we still have an economy that isn’t designed to be fair. Our country is allowing the economy to be run like a game of Monopoly- where the goal is to own everything and bankrupt the other players. That’s our definition of winning- and as long as that’s the goal, there is no hope for the low skilled or even the middle class. Until we move to a system that rewards those who create the most jobs- instead of creating the most value in a stock market that’s run like a casino- we’re toast.
  • The other thing about learning that seems to have been lost in both “Learn to Earn” and “No Child Left Behind” is that learning isn’t something you do up to a certain level and stop. Either you’re a person who learns and loves to learn- because you value the gifts we’ve all been granted, or you don’t. Education isn’t everything- and especially the institutionalized educational factory model we’ve built and accepted as the standard. Someone smart in the audience asked what happened to apprentice programs? There used to be a day when you could become an architect that way- but, we legislated that away. Our idea of education as a product of a process has to go away. We have to become a community that values smart individuals, that rewards those who think for themselves. This meeting was a case study in follow the herd. #FAIL
  • Lasley did point out that India has more honor students than we have students. This is why we have to look at local economies as local ecosystems and find ways to reach maximum employment utilizing local labor, capital, resources. I look to my friend James Kent who is “deconstructing homes” using ex-offenders to create value- both in employing those whom others won’t and by the creative recycling of what others consider a nuisance. He calls his business a “social enterprise.” We need to look to create our own value with what we have. And- it’s got to be for all, not just those who read and write well.

Why the future has to begin in the present

I’ve been to too many of these visioning meetings. I have a huge binder of the 20/20 vision that was done around 1999 (I think)- and nothing became of it. So here’s the suggestion of how we really deal with these issues:

We stop expecting government to solve problems government wasn’t supposed to deal with. Do you see any mention of economic development in the Constitution?

Why do we have to do all these things to make this a great place to live, work and play? It’s already a great place to do all that- we just have way too many “leaders” wasting our time and money on overhead- instead of on delivering best-in-class services to our citizens. There were 300 people in that room- that we waste money on electing, where we could probably elect 15 to run the entire shooting match- and put all the rest of the money into making sure our roads are paved, our parks are beautiful, the police and fire are best in class, that we have great schools (that focus on learning for learning’s sake- instilling the values of integrity, rigor of thought and a higher purpose for mankind than to just win at Monopoly).

If we did the fundamentals right, with lower overhead, don’t you think companies would want to move here, invest here, raise a family here? It’s as if the people we elect thrive on pointing out what we don’t have, instead of improving on what we do have.

The fastest way to success is to build on strengths, not to spend all your efforts on fixing the deficiencies. Unfortunately, we’ve elected a crew of people who don’t know how to think for themselves and lead us to excellence.

That’s the first thing we need to change if we want a future in Dayton, OH.

(And one other note- it’s sad that in that huge crowd, talking about the future- I was the only one tweeting it. You can’t invent your future if you can’t use the tools we have today.)

 

 

First Four Festival canceled for 2013

Logo for the First Four Festival in Dayton for 2012 for the NCAA March Madness

Logo for the First Four 2012 festival

A cryptic email came out today about the cancellation of the big party in the Oregon District for the NCAA first four that kicks off March Madness.

Oregon business owners / property owners and interested parties of the Oregon District:
Regarding the First Four Festival:
The Local Organizing Committee has been working with the NCAA to produce events in the region surrounding First Four and Selection Sunday.  The NCAA is not allowing local sponsorships for public events (like the First Four Festival) which has impacted the LOC’s plans for the First Four Festival this year.   The Local Organizing Committee has reached an agreement with the NCAA to not have a First Four Festival this year.The NCAA team is primarily an all-new group, different from the folks that were involved from NCAA last year; however, the LOC is committed to working with them for next year’s Festival.
Just a reminder however…Dayton has an entire week of basketball for First Four, 2nd and 3rd rounds this year.  And, the arena has been sold out for the First Four which strengthens Dayton’s ability to secure the games beyond 2015 (we have them through 2014).  This year, there will be 4 days of games, 16 teams, 10 nationally televised games from UD Arena and an entire week to showcase Dayton to visitors.
I know that you, like the rest of us, are disappointed there won’t be a First Four Festival this year, but we are working on some other events in Oregon that will promote our businesses to visitors and Dayton citizens alike. Stay tuned for more information on these activities!  If you have any additional questions, please contact JP Nauseef, First Four LOC Chairman.
Mike Martin, President
Oregon District Business Association
JP Nauseef, was the former CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition before being eased out after the public found out they had hired Congressman Turner’s wife to do a campaign on a no-bid contract. Since then, he’s been busy working in his own consulting firm that seems to have the backing of the Mathile Family.
While it’s unclear exactly how much was spent on this party last year- and by whom, the same cast of characters were involved, with the graphics and advertising handled by Real Art (they were subcontracted for much of Ms. Turner’s “Get Midwest” campaign). I did have the opportunity to meet with some graduating UD seniors around May- and they said that that this party was the first time they’d ever been to the Oregon District.
Was there a bid package published for the job of “Local Organizing Committee” last year? It might be interesting to do a little digging on this.
The good news is that the basketball tournament is still coming to town, and that tickets are already sold out.

Better basketball- better price. UD Women tonight at 9pm

For the record- I play hockey, where goals are few and far between, and teamwork is everything. But, when it comes to hoops, I much prefer to watch women’s ball than mens, where they actually pass, run plays and move the ball.

Tonight you can sit in the same seats that others pay thousands to watch the mens team play- and see a better game- for $1.

The nationally-ranked University of Dayton women’s basketball team hosts Duquesne Monday, Feb. 18 at UD Arena in a Red Out. Two of the top teams in the Atlantic 10 conference will square off in this CBS Sports Network nationally-televised game with John Sadak (play-by-play) and Julianne Viani (analyst) on the call. Tip is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. Game audio is also available on DaytonFlyers.com with Shane White and Angie Russell. The Flyers are first in the A-10 standings at 9-0, while Duquesne is 8-2 in the conference.

PROMOTIONS

– The game is Heart Health Awareness Game and fans are asked to wear red to Go Red for women’s heart health and for a Red Out effect. Fans who wear red get in for $1.

via daytonflyers.com: News.

Parking is free too. Seating is General Admission- so court side is possible if you get there early.

Normally tickets are only $5 and $3 for students with ID. If you’re looking for something fun tonight- Go Flyers!