Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why write a blog about education and the PCSD?

I have been asked by several individuals to explain my purpose in contributing to this blog.

To begin, I've been studying about educational issues since I was a senior in high school when I knew I wanted to become a teacher. One of the first books I read about education was Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Postman and Weingartner. This book, which focuses on student-centered education, is as valuable now as it ever was.

Additionally, I've spent

  • 12 teaching English to high schoolers and teaching reading and writing in grades 3-12.  
  • 13 years on the PCSD Board of Education.
  • 2 years as President of the Board and was the recipient of a prestigious award from the NewYork State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) for exceptional commitment to professional development.
  • decades as a PTSA member and headed up various committees like PARP and Membership.

The blog idea occurred to me because several years ago, while at the NYS Schools Boards Conference in NYC with Board colleague Mary Carroll, I attended a seminar on citizen reporters. We were told that citizen reporting was sweeping the state and that school districts should expect it soon. Basically, because computers permit widespread communication, citizens are reporting directly on issues in which they have expertise. The NYS School Boards Association Conferences I attended for ten years have kept me on top of current issues in education.

 I thought it was wise to partner with Sandra Morris because she is well-informed and has been active in the PTSA (a former president) and the Board of Education (a long-time member and former president). Over the last few years, I noticed that Sandra brought insight to the BOE when she spoke at Finance Committee meetings and Board meetings. It became obvious to me that Sandra was more knowledgeable about school finance and budgetary matters at the PCSD than any sitting Board member. Put simply, I am interested in her knowledge and perspective and know Potsdam community members will benefit from the facts and insights she offers.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said that people are entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts. Mrs. Morris and I hope to present facts, analyze those facts, offer experienced opinions on such, and direct the public to source documents. We bring forty years of institutional history to "this side of the table."

I enjoy writing; I am passionate about education; I am committed to the PCSD; and, so... citizen reporter it is.

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