Non-Partisan Candidates Speak out against Corporate Elitists Auctioning the SPPS

The following was copied from Anthony Lonetree’s Class Act Blog of the Star Tribune from October 27, 2015.  The content was not altered.  The fonts, and color were added for emphasis.  ~~ Publius Jr.

St. Paul school board hopefuls answer to youth

Eight St. Paul school board candidates took questions from students at a youth forum on Monday that for the most part focused on personal rather than political concerns.

First, though, there was the politics.

The event came a week after the St. Paul Federation of Teachers filed a campaign finance report showing that it had received $50,178 from Education Minnesota to assist with this year’s get-out-the-vote efforts.

That was in addition to an earlier $50,000 contribution from the American Federation of Teachers — all part of a union push to persuade DFL activists and now city voters to back four candidates running under a Caucus for Change banner critical of district leadership.

Most of the students at Monday’s event at Sun Ray Library were middle-school-aged, but that did not stop two candidates — Greg Copeland, a former Maplewood city manager and St. Paul city GOP leader, and Scott Raskiewicz, a former substitute teacher — from issuing sharp opening statements straight out of a rally or political science lecture hall.

Copeland, pointing to the infusion of national and state money in district-level races, thundered that the teachers union had turned the school board election into “an auction.” Raskiewicz railed against the “leadership class” and a Democratic party controlled by the “corporate elite.”

The students — many wearing orange Battle Creek Middle School Panthers T-shirts — responded to each of the board hopefuls with equally robust applause. But then, with the first question, they showed that this would be a different type of candidates forum. That question being: How would the candidates work to improve the quality of school lunches?

Rashad Turner, organizer of Black Lives Matter St. Paul, who is running a write-in campaign with Green Party support, said that the lunches should reflect the various cultures within the state’s second-largest district. “I don’t want soul food to be cooked only at the crib,” he said.

But there was time for weightier subjects, too. Students wondered why there were stereotypes based on “someone’s actions.” One student, identifying himself as D.J., asked why students should be expected to show respect to teachers but not always receive it in return.

“Adults don’t always do the smart thing,” said Zuki Ellis.

“It breaks my heart that you have to ask that question, D.J.,” added Mary Vanderwert.

Along with Steve Marchese and Jon Schumacher, Ellis and Vanderwert are running with DFL endorsement in heavily DFL St. Paul.

One incumbent, Keith Hardy, still is in the race, and he hinted at the potential of the crowd in a simple greeting: “Good afternoon, young leaders,” he said.

Monday’s forum was sponsored by groups that include St. Paul Youth Services, Youth Intervention Programs Association and Students for Education Reform – Minnesota.


Yes We Can Fire Silva: St Paul Public Schools Can Be On Track to Prevent another Rocori Shooting

This post was copied from MPRnews from October 27, 2015, by the Associated Press.  The content was not altered.  Links, and ads were dropped, fonts changed, and color added for emphasis.

The refusal to suspend and expel students for willful misbehavior enables bullies and disrupts learning.  Superintendent Valeria Silva will not be held accountable by the current school board nor American Federation of Teachers endorsed candidates for the St Paul Public School Board of Education this year.

They have said over and over again in candidate forums that they are against suspending students that misbehave, and that they are against zero tolerance policy that the board and the State of Minnesota has enacted.  They are further against the School Resource Officers who they assert are not properly trained with Racial Equity in mind because students of color are being suspended at a rate that alarms them.  They assert that it is due to Institutional Racism and not the behaviors of the individual students showing disrespect to elders, teachers, and other students in the school.  St Paul Schools have been fortunate so far, but it is only a matter of time that the institutional indifference and neglect that Superintendent Valeria Silva, other board members and perspective candidates endorsed by the Washington DC AFT Union Bosses that will lead to an incident like the Rocori High School Shooting that happened in Cold Spring, MN.

Let’s pray to God that this never happens in St Paul or anywhere else.  You can elect Greg Copeland who will be one of the votes to fire Superintendent Valeria Silva and begin the healing.

Memories of MN school shooting lead NFL’s Decker to tackle bullying

Issues The Associated Press · · Oct 27, 2015
Eric Decker
New York Jets’ Eric Decker stood on the field as he warmed up before the NFL football game with the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. Matt Dunham | AP

One Disruptive Student Can Keep a Whole Class from Learning

The following was copied from Pioneer Press, October 30, 2015, Joe Soucheray.  The content was not altered, though fonts, and color were added for emphasis, and some links were dropped.  ~~ Publius Jr.

Soucheray: Powerless teachers make it easier for unruly students to rule

By Joe Soucheray

Posted:   10/30/2015 10:16:16 PM CDT | Updated:   54 min. ago

As an indication of the alarm concerning violence in the St. Paul schools, many of the letters I have received from former teachers have been delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, suggesting to me a degree of experience that predates instant technology. School marms and pas are weighing in.

Violence in the schools includes Minneapolis schools, by the way, where a handgun and ammunition were found in a locker belonging to a 16-year-old student at Patrick Henry High School last week. This, too, resulted in a torrent of beatific but meaningless drivel about needing more community involvement and such. It goes without saying that the administrators also pine for more money, there being no evidence that more money results in anything except the hiring of more bureaucrats who exacerbate the problem.

The problem is not complicated. A conscious decision has been made, with the help of expensive consultants, to reduce the suspensions of unruly students on the grounds that the students are unruly only due to systemic racism, which is a negative that cannot be proven.

Unruly students allowed to remain in school results in more fights, more incivility, more instability and an impossible learning environment for the students who only wish to wrestle with algorithms.

It is not hyperbole to say that often now teachers and students are in danger.

One of the best letters I received, from a veteran of 16 years in St. Paul schools, insisted that one disruptive student can keep a whole class from learning. One.

“I’m not talking about a day or a few days,” Brian Nichols wrote, meaning the disruption, “but the whole year. A teacher cannot let this happen. I repeat, a teacher cannot let this happen.”

Ah, but they must. It has been so ordered that suspensions have been too numerous and must be reduced. The corrective goal has been reversed. The misbehavior that causes what should be suspensions must be addressed.

The letter writer was not the first to suggest that disruptive students should be suspended and cannot come back to school without a responsible adult in tow, a parent, an aunt, an uncle, the television repairman, somebody. An adult.

“I had a student that disrupted my class too often,” Nichols wrote. “I had a conference with his mother. She understood my problem and said they also had trouble with him at home. I asked her if she could come to school the next day. She said she could. I told her to come to my class five minutes after class started and leave five minutes before it ended. She said she would. I told her I would have a seat in the back of the room for her to sit. She was not to talk to anyone, just sit there.

“The next day when she walked into class, I was watching her son. I thought his chin was going to hit the floor. When the class was over, I asked John if he wanted his mother to come to school tomorrow. Of course, he said no. I asked him if he knew what he had to do to keep that from happening. He said yes. The problem was solved.”

Why, legions, whole armies, of teachers will tell you that they are powerless under the thumb of administrative orders to back off. As a result of backing off, what was once disruption that might have been solved by a parent sitting in back of the classroom has now escalated to the point where police officers have been installed in schools! This is unfathomable to my generation. Some of us still have knots on the backs of our heads from when we got banged into a locker by a passing teacher.

I am not suggesting that teachers administer physical harm to a child. I am suggesting that the more powerless teachers are to enforce discipline, the easier it is for kids to get away with whatever it is they want to get away with.

It doesn’t work.

Joe Soucheray can be reached at or 651-228-5474. Soucheray is heard from 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays on 1500ESPN.

Greg Copeland: Public Education Needs to be as Important as Public Safety

The following is Candidate Greg Copeland’s response to St Paul Strong’s 6 Principles that was posted on their site.  The six principles are SAFETY, TRUST, RESPONSIBLE, OPEN, NEIGHBORHOODS, and GENERATIONS. Feel free to click on the links below. ~~ Publius Jr.


St Paul Strong 6 Principles

St Paul Strong List of Grievances

Greg Copeland:

This is good work you are doing! I am only too happy to endorse the Principles of Saint Paul Strong.

You and I know John, as those who have actually fought many public battles at Saint Paul City Hall/Ramsey County Courthouse, that foreclosing public participation in public policy making is not a new problem in River City !

In February 2011 as an individual Citizen I stood up at the Ramsey County Commission’s to meeting to demand that Public Comment be heard in opposition the Ortega/Bennett proposed Viking’s Stadium 1/2 Cent Sales Tax after County Commissioners listened to the Viking’s Lester Bagley Billion Dollar Stadium Pitch just before they voted, ultimately, without taking any Public Testimony to spend hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars to sell the Public the Stadium and the Sales Taxes to pay for the Billion Dollar Bond Issue. Discarding for almost nine months any opportunity for public participation for their “We know Better Than You Do” sales campaign for more taxes; Governor Dayton ended the Ramsey County Commissioner’s stadium quest on  November 1, 2011 after the Viking’s rejected a public outcry demanding a public referendum on the tax under the Ramsey County Home Rule Charter.

Next I had to sue Mayor Chris Coleman, who was in such a hurry to build the millionaire owners of the Saint Paul Saint’s a new $63 Million Stadium financed with Millions in unprecedented taxpayer subsidies, that Coleman decided to issue the city construction contract to his pals at his favorite construction company without any public bids! Coleman’s City Attorney defended his Boss in the press, but before the first court hearing could be held, Governor Dayton told Coleman if he did not put the city construction project out for Public Bid as the law requires, the State of Minnesota would withdraw their $24 Million stadium grant to the City of  Saint Paul. Coleman finally relented agreeing to publicly bid the job; and his buddies still amazingly got the contract by bidding for it the old fashioned way.

I would like to suggest that Saint Paul Strong  amend it’s statement of Principles to include Public Education as important as Public Safety.  No doubt you are aware of the Saint Paul School Board decided on August 18, 2015 to no longer broadcast on the city’s Cable TV Public Channel,  Public Comment offered by the Public at the Regular Monthly Meeting. This ill advised policy was, the School Board Members and Staff declared done to: “treat members of the Public more Equitably” and “reconnect with the Public”; really? I think the policy is absurd, and unfortunately is emblematic of the School Board’s numerous public policy failings, such as the 44 point GAP in the 2015 MCA’s  in Math and Reading proficiency between white and black students in Saint Paul Public Schools .

I am here to tell you as a Candidate for the Saint Paul School Board,  New Leadership is on the way, and a New Superintendent is needed to hire a staff  that has the common sense to know that Government does the People it is supposed to serve, no favor by turning off their television cameras, so Citizens who used to watch the school board meetings at home, now can not see or hear what the People are saying at Public Comment

Amazingly the  Board Members attempt to defend this because Public Comment  has been taken off the official School Board’s Regular Meeting Agenda; really, I can’t make this stuff up, and they passed it on a 6 to 1 vote with only John Brodrick opposed, as he was to giving Superintendent Silva a three year contract extension in March 2015 with only minimal public comment. On November 3, 2015 Voters can return common sense and transparency so we can begin to reform the Public Policy work of the Saint Paul School Board!



Saint Paul School Board Candidate


Making St Paul a Manufacturing Center again starts with K-12 Education

St Paul once boasted of being a Manufacturing Center with 3M, Hamms, Whirlpool, and Ford. Now after the departure of the last ones 3M and Ford, St Paul is a shell of its former self. The local government still taxes residents as if they still work in a growing manufacturing center. The entrenched one party elected officials are not dealing with reality.
Those elected officials have no idea how to attract a new industrial/ commercial base. You can’t grow jobs by government fiat. This is evident from all the new food and business chains that start up just outside of the city limits.
How does one attract manufacturers back to St Paul? Lower property and income taxes and getting rid of other fees like wheelage taxes, or parking meters make living here easier for skilled workers but is it the key? No. It starts with K-12 Education.
Good schools are attractive to young professionals looking to plant
roots here. Unfortunately Strong Schools Strong Communities approach by Superintendent Valeria Silva is an utter failure.
Valeria Silva is championed by the SPPS School Board incumbent Keith Hardy as being innovative and progressive. The latter we agree with, innovation comes from several years of experience which Silva does not possess.
Silva has been learning on the job since she got the job in 2009. A brilliant teacher as some people claim may be debatable; she clearly does not have administrative skills. Why did the SPPS Board hire her, then retain her with a new contract?  They do not have great administrative skills either. They spend taxpayer money per student at rates comparable to and exceed private schools around the Metro and yet MCA scores are consistently at or near the bottom of all sorts of categories.
Industrial countries like Germany and Japan, students are tested in the middle school grades to see where their skills and interests lie. If the students are orientated toward industrial arts and the trades they are sent to vocational high schools and book smart students are sent to college prep high schools. While they normally do not get a well rounded education they don’t steer students toward college that don’t belong there.
Apprenticeships in high school in Japan and Germany are not uncommon as they are here in the US, it certainly is a direction that a potential manufacturing center must have.
Though you don’t have to look overseas for inspiration, you can look to the White Bear Lake Area Schools.  They have a new program called Manufacturing Pathways.
“to improve workforce readiness for our students and to address industry needs. This initiative is very important to the local business community as a strong, skilled workforce is an essential component to ensuring economic vitality of our industries.”–White Bear Lake Area Schools Community e-Newsletter 9/20/15
Greg Copeland and other Conservatives have mentioned this before the SPPS Board in the past, but it falls on deaf ears. It was suggested that there should be Industrial Arts High Schools in St Paul and AP courses that would allow students to attend Dunwoody or other Vocational Colleges in the Metro.
This idea of teaching vocational classes in school isn’t new.  Yet it has to be must for anchoring manufacturers who want to relocate to St Paul.  Philadelphia, PA has a similar program at the Randolph Technical High School.
“The goal is to graduate kids who have options. They can go on to a community college or a four-year degree program. They can also start a career with a marketable skill and three years of training behind them, making them more likely to secure a job and higher wages, instead of floundering out in the job market, where more than 10 percent of young adults with only a high school diploma are unemployed and more than 20 percent live in poverty, according to Pew Research Center.”–“Today’s High School Students Need more Vocational Training,” by Annie Holmquist writing for Better-Ed, 9/25/15
Sounds familiar?  The biggest problem in St Paul Public Schools is poverty.  Which is from parents who can’t afford to find proper paying jobs in a city that was a former great manufacturing center.
Now St Paul is a poverty collection center.
Let’s change this and make St Paul a manufacturing center again by bringing back vocational training and the industrial arts.

SPPS Policy: No Punishment for “Continual Willful Disobedience”

This post was copied from the The Star Tribune, written by Anthony Lonetree on October 21, 2015.  The content has not been altered.  Some links have been dropped, color and fonts changed for emphasis. ~~ Publius Jr.

Loaded gun found in backpack at St. Paul’s Harding High

Incident adds to safety concerns after fights at Como and Humboldt Highs. Also. police at Central High had to use a Taser on a disruptive student.


St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva said “safety is a priority,” after the gun incident at Harding and fights at other high schools.


Concerns around safety in the St. Paul Public Schools flared anew Wednesday when it was discovered that a student brought a loaded handgun into a Harding Senior High School classroom.

The gun never left the student’s backpack, and was recovered by staff during a search for marijuana, which also was found, Principal Doug Revsbeck said. He added: “As far as we know, there was no intent to use the weapon in the building.”

But while no threats were made to students or staff, Superintendent Valeria Silva summoned reporters to district headquarters to speak about the handgun’s discovery — saying the incident was “alarming” — and to answer questions about recent fights at Como Park and Humboldt high schools.

“It’s a pretty sad day for me as a superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools to be standing here and talking about issues of violence,” Silva said.

She wanted to assure students, families and district employees, she said, that “safety is a priority,” and she called on the community to unite behind efforts to help children and families dealing with outside pressures that they may carry with them into the schools.

Questions about safety and the district’s perceived leniency toward students who misbehave have lingered in the state’s second-largest school system.

At Como Park High, Roy Magnuson, a social studies teacher who witnessed a Sept. 24 brawl outside the school that was described by police as a “riot,” noted that the fights have continued. Principal Theresa Neal acknowledged another six this week.

Said Magnuson, “We have a segment of kids who consider themselves untouchable.”

Silva denied that district policies have contributed to the troubles. District spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey, asked later if the superintendent created a culture in which some students believed they could get away with anything, also rejected the premise. She pointed to penalties outlined in the student behavior handbook as evidence.

Three years ago, the district removed “continual willful disobedience” from the list of suspendable violations in that document. But on the subject of possession or use of a firearm, it states clearly that there is to be “zero tolerance,” and it requires the principal to notify police and refer the student for expulsion.

Revsbeck, in a letter to families Wednesday, wrote that police were investigating the incident at Harding.

Also Wednesday, a Como Park teacher was hurt when responding to a fight that started between two students and ultimately involved six more, and police had to use a Taser on a disruptive student at Central High School.

Central Principal Mary Mackbee, who has been with the district for 47 years, said it was not unusual for students to act out at the start of a year, and to settle down as it progresses.

The district has no plans to deploy additional personnel in response to ongoing fights, Stewart Downey said. But it does plan to train staff members on how to de-escalate a situation so it doesn’t involve more students, said Jackie Turner, the district’s chief engagement officer.

To those who may call for students to be kicked out of school, Turner added: “You’re not going to hear that from me.”

Anthony Lonetree

St Paul Taxpayers taking it in the shorts Again for Silva’s White Privilege Conference

The following post was copied from  We have not altered the content of the article.  We have changed the font, added color for emphasis, dropped some links, and posted the Benner YouTube video and the opulent 2014 PEG promo video from New Orleans. One of the disturbing things that is missing from the PEG promo video is who are representing the Asians, Latinos, and American Indians. ~~ Publius Jr.

Minnesota well-represented at White Privilege conference

PEG questionnaire via their 2014 Courageous Conversations promo video

Pacific Educational Group (PEG) a for-profit company headquartered in San Francisco, CA, has been bilking Minnesota taxpayers out of millions of dollars for nearly a decade.  The company makes promises to erase racial disparities when school districts agree to engage their staff in conversations about white privilege and white culture. PEG’s annual “Summit for Courageous Conversations on Race” kicked off in Baltimore on Saturday, and over one-fourth of the “equity leaders” from schools presenting at the conference are from Minnesota.

The 5-day summit is being held at the $300+ per night Marriott Renaissance Harborplace Hotel [Baltimore, MD] and features dining and entertainment along with work sessions such as:

  • Leading While White:  Courageous Conversation for Activism, for Application to Interruption 
  • Trust me, Gay is not the new Black– or Brown, Yellow, or Red for that Matter!
  • #Systems of Mass Destruction Are Unapologetically Oppressing BlacklivesthatMatter!  (being presented by the West Metro Education Program in Minneapolis)
  • One-man play performance:  “Cops and Robbers” to “analyze officer involved shooting from various perspectives”

PEG hosted a regional summit in the Twin Cities last spring, so why spend taxpayer money to send Minnesota educators across the country? Because PEG is deeply entrenched in the gopher state.  Many Minnesota teachers and administrators have received recognition awards from the company including Valeria Silva, Superintendent of St. Paul Schools and Daniel Jett, current Superintendent of St. Cloud Schools.  St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has been a booster and has provided testimonials of support for PEG.

According to the conference program, at least 33 Minnesota teachers, staff, and administrators are attending the conference this week:

  • Osseo Schools sent at least six staff members who are presenting, total attendees and cost are not yet known
  • Robbinsdale Schools sent four staff members at a cost of $8,235
  • St. Louis Park Schools sent at least five staff members, total attendees and cost are not yet known
  • West Metro Education program in Minneapolis sent at least two staff members, total attendees and cost are not yet known
  • St. Paul Schools confirmed registration expenses for 11 staff members attending the conference, including Superintendent Valeria Silva and CEO of the district, Michelle Walker
  • Minneapolis Schools and did not respond to our request for total cost and number of attendees, Emily Palmer, Principal at Sanford Middle School is presenting at the conference
  • Bemidji State University sent at least one staff member to the conference
  • Mankato State University sent three attendees, including Jean Haar, Dean for the College of Education

One of the four featured speakers in Baltimore is also from Minnesota, former Eden Prairie Superintendent Melissa Krull, who became the co-founder of the Institute in Arts & Sciences for Courageous Principal Leadershipat Mankato State University. Krull has received past leadership awards from PEG and is now their “Distinguished National Educator.”  The former Superintendent left Eden Prairie Schools shortly after forcing through a controversial busing boundary change which remains in effect today.

PEGOriginally founded by Glenn Singleton as a consulting company to help kids of all races get into Ivy League colleges, PEG morphed into a critical race theory-fueled training company for schools looking for answers to solving the “achievement gap” revealed after implementation of the federal “No Child Left Behind” law.  Singleton authored “Courageous Conversations” in 2005 and the book is sold to schools as a training guide to accompany PEG’s consulting services.  “Racial predictability” and “white culture” are the primary reasons for poor student achievement among “black and brown” students, according to PEG.

St. Paul schools uses the “Courageous Conversation Protocol” throughout the district. Singleton told the Pioneer Press in 2013 “St. Paul Public Schools and schools across the Twin Cities are doing a dreadful job of educating all students, we have partnered with the district to make sure race matters.”

So how are they doing?  None of the 70+ schools in the St. Paul district received “reward school” designation from the state Department of Education this year according to the Star Tribune, who did a story on closing the achievement gaps in September.  According to EAG News. who did a data request to the St. Paul district, $3 million has been spent with PEG since 2010.

One African-American teacher in the district, Aaron Anthony Benner, questioned the training and said he was almost fired for complaining about discipline measures based on PEG concepts. Back in 2011, a student in his classroom punched him, yet was immediately returned into his classroom.  Benner believes things have gotten worse in St. Paul schools, and is no longer a teacher in the district.

Other Minnesota districts that have used taxpayer funds to pay PEG for consulting include: Edina, Anoka-Hennepin, Eden Prairie, Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley, Bloomington, Duluth, Farmington, Inver Grove Heights, Hopkins, Lakeville, Rochester, Roseville, Richfield, North St. Paul-Maplewood Oakdale, South Washington County, St. Cloud, Spring Lake Park, and Wayzata.

SPPS Board’s Answer to The Gap: Take a White Privilege Survey

The following was copied from the website.  This is the kind of survey Pacific Educational Group gives to School Districts that want to address the achievement gap.  They believe that The Gap exists because of “institutional racism.”  Keith Hardy, an unendorsed DFL incumbent seeking reelection, champions this initiative to achieve “Racial Equity.”  Let’s be honest, the SPPS Board of Education gave up trying to educate children decades ago.  Their real aim is to indoctrinate children to their belief system or faith in the state.  Please remember this when you vote…remember Benner, and Copeland two candidates for real change.  ~~ Publius Jr.

Take a White Privilege Survey

Below is a white privilege survey that has been administered to teachers and students across the nation by Pacific Educational Group—a consultant for many public school districts. Do you feel that materials such as these help improve America’s education system?



Soucheray: SPPS Cover Up of Riots and Teacher Beaten by Kids

The following post was copied from the Pioneer Press and posted. No content was altered, but fonts, content was indented and color were added for effect. A link to the Pacific Educational Group (PEG) was added. It has audio of their webinars where they talk in gobbledygook that no one understands, or is willing to admit.  No one stands up to these bullies (except Benner, and Copeland).  This is what St Paul Property Owners are paying for. ~~ Publius Jr

Soucheray: St. Paul schools’ cover-up of bad behavior only harms the kids

POSTED:   10/12/2015 11:49:56 AM CDT | UPDATED:   A DAY AGO

Joe Soucheray

Joe Soucheray

According to a report in the Pioneer Press the other day, fights have recently broken out at a couple of St. Paul high schools, Como Park and Humboldt.

Fights have probably been breaking out in schools since the days of bringing a polished apple to the marm in the one-room shack.

But it is too charitable to call what happened at Como and Humboldt a fight. According to the police reports, they more accurately bordered on riots, with officers describing the scenes as chaotic, tense and dangerous. The kids are rushing at each other in unruly gang-like behavior, not even having the decency to take the trouble outside. No matter how you read it, you are left with the sinking feeling that these are not only poorly parented youth, but that school administrators are trying to cover up the behavior.

The fight at Humboldt apparently started in the lunchroom and might have been hormonal in nature, something about a girl. The initial fight was broken up, only to flare into more heated action minutes later. A school officer saw staffers trying to hold a door closed as students attempted to force their way through it to get to the fight.

According to Steve Linders, St. Paul police spokesman, “an officer reported seeing a female teacher on the ground and students stomping on her during the fight.”

Administrators trying to cover up the behavior? Toya Stewart Downey, St. Paul Public Schools spokeswoman, said “a staff member fell while trying to break up the fight and was not stomped on.”

Who are you going to believe, an officer who was in the middle of this crap or the mouthpiece for a bureaucracy so bloated in acronyms that they don’t know if they are on foot or horseback?

I’m going with the cop. You’ve got kids in a St. Paul high school who were beating up a teacher.

One problem: The school administrators are enamored of one of their newest acronyms, PBIS, or Positive Behavior Intervention Support.

Or, we have the impressive-sounding School Climate Improvement Team.

That’s why the schools cost so much. They are top-heavy in consultants, assistants to assistants, behavior specialists, administrators and factotums with clipboards who follow the Super around.

The administrators are counterproductive. The teachers say that. Because there is a school board mandate to reduce out-of-school suspensions, students are being punished less severely for misbehavior.

In other words, kids not to be trusted to learn are kept in school — the numbers must look good! — at the expense of the kids who are trying to get an education.

Make yourself aware of the writings of or the stories about Aaron Anthony Benner, who most recently wrote an editorial for this newspaper Oct. 4. Benner taught for years at St. Paul elementary schools and dealt with such poor behavior that he routinely addressed the school board, only to be ignored. I have spoken with Benner. He believes kids should be thrown out of school. But the schools have paid millions of dollars to a San Francisco-based consultant group, PEG, or Pacific Education Group, which has planted the idea that if a minority kid acts up, it is not the kid’s fault but the fault of systemic racism.

Benner, who is black, does not buy it. He dropped out of the race for school board, which is a loss to us all, to focus on his new job as the African-American liaison/behavior coach at Community of Peace Academy, a public charter school in St. Paul.

Benner concluded his Oct. 4 editorial by pointing out that PEG and SPPS are harming the very people whose interests they claim to represent.

Follow the money,” Benner wrote. “The taxpayers of St. Paul should demand to know who exactly is benefiting from PEG. Students definitely aren’t.”

Joe Soucheray can be reached at or 651-228-5474. Soucheray is heard from 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays on 1500ESPN.

MN Achievement Gap 2015 Forum Shows Only 1 Candidate for Change

On September 17, 2015, the Minnesota Achievement Gap Candidate Forum only had one candidate that was for change in the way the St Paul Public Schools (SPPS) operates.  That candidate was Greg Copeland.  One of only two candidates from the East Side of St Paul.  Of those two candidates, only Greg Copeland is for Firing Superintendent Valeria Silva.  Her “Strong Schools, Strong Communities,” approach has been a failure.  The other East Side Candidate, Keith Hardy, an unendorsed 27 year DFLer, has championed Superintendent Silva’s policies during his 8 year reign on the SPPS.  He has championed the Racial Equity program that is now brainwashing teachers, students, and parents to believe that the cause of the “Achievement Gap,” is Racism.  Instead of sending money to the Pacific Educational Group (PEG), Greg believes that money could be better spent in the classroom on the students.

The following video runs almost 1.5 hours.

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