Saturday, September 18, 2010


Teachers, if you care about your job and your future may I suggest you get to the polls and VOTE:

FOR Alex Sink.

It's unlikely that enough of those legislators that tried SB6 will be thrown out. I believe if, actually I hear they
will try those shenanigans again. I am confident Ms. Sink will use her VETO power. Thank God Charlie stood up for us.

AGAINST Amendment 8.

The citizens of Florida approved the Class Size Amendment because of a basic distrust in those same legislators, mentioned above, to do what the public wanted. The schools have struggled to abide by the Class Size Amendment in the 8 years they were given. Remember the lost conference? Our politicians procrastinated and underfunded. NOW they are asking to change it - kind of like asking "Can we turn it in later?"
NO on Amendment 8! Talk to your friends and neighbors who have kids in school.


Without a doubt, teachers who have worked for Bartels actually WANT him on the board. Not because he was a push-over or anything but "respect" keeps coming up. I have to go with that.

Even though I can't get much on Terry Kemple I'm rooting for him. I'd love to find out how he feels about SB6 , the CSA, the Gates Grant, and our lost conference period.
Wonder how he would apply his business skills to specific district issues?

Friday, September 10, 2010


Got this email recently and decided to make it a posting. S.C.


Your endorsement of Richard Bartels is much appreciated. I worked for him, saw him in action and can vouch for his integrity, insight, and performance under pressure.

He is NO insider but knows the inner workings of the district. He was tapped to straighten out the bus mess at its peak and handled it in true Bartels fashion - effective and efficient. He will hit the ground running without the need for the "Board Member Manual" training.

As principal Bartel's ALWAYS respected our First Amendment rights. His door was always open and he wasn't afraid to listen no matter how thin his patience was with some of the issues (he is human).

Below is a collection of emails from teachers (all from personal email accounts) that may attest to what you already know: He is the best candidate - PERIOD.

We just need to put him in the District 4 seat.

Hi, there, C. Long time, no hear. What follows is part of an exchange of e-mails between K. M. and me. Richard brought yard signs to my house (I live close), I contributed to the campaign, and I saw him speak at the candidate forum at Bell Shoals Baptist. I am including their e-mail addresses in case you need them.

s h



Absolutely count me in.

When I heard White speak at the prayer meeting at Bell Shoals Baptist, several things occurred to me. (By the way, Richard wasted his two minutes with actual facts and plans and completely forgot to pander to the audience!)

White feels his qualification for running for school board is the fact that he has children of school age. I plan to ask him, when the opportunity presents itself, if I, as a consumer of blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medicine and vertigo medicine, would be similarly qualified to run for the pharmaceutical board.

Further, he wants to brand Richard as an "insider." That would be remarkably amusing if not for the fact that White can sell this tripe. I would venture to say that Richard is probably the MOST qualified person ever to run for school board and that he knows more about curriculum, budgets, and school management than most of the actual insiders. White's approach, apparently, is that a citizen's board of non-education people would be preferable to people who understand how the system works -- and doesn't work.

I admit I am floored that there are principals and teachers who would not support Richard. Just goes to show you how naive I am.

So count me in.

I am ready.

S. H.


Hello Friends and Supporters,

I send out this email because we are getting down to the time when we need to take some serious action if Richard is going to be elected in November @ the General elections.

As you all know, Rich came in second to his now run-off opponent, Stacy White, a pharmacist in district 4, our same district. He has been gathering up speed among his kids' school, PTA members at (we think) Buckhorn Elementary, and his church. His supporters are many of his clients as well as many teachers we know, and don't know. He has two former principals backing him. His knowledge of the issues at hand for our schools seems to be limited to the fact that his wife is a PTA member and his children are in school.

Anyone who knows Richard knows and sees that he is by far the better candidate with solid solutions to some of our districts major concerns. He does his homework and with his 38 years of educational livelihood and leadership roles, he knows what of he speaks. He has in fact hired some of you (and me as well), to whom I write today. We also know and have known him as "The Teachers' Principal" as he, a former HS Principal himself, has always supported good teachers and effective principals everywhere. A no nonsense administrator who garners respect from the district's teachers, parents, students, and administrators alike.

We need all of your help, and all of your friends and neighbors help in order to give back to the community of which he has served.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in having a small gathering, a sort of Meet-n-Greet fundraiser, for a couple hours on a weekday after work, let us know. Also, we need a group willing to gather forces to set up on busy intersections with signs, from about 4-6:30 pm. as the General Election moves closer. Kids are welcome, the more the better.

Please let me know, and remember, a vote for Richard is a vote for you, your community, the teachers the students, and the parents who want to make things better.

We need your help,

Thanks so much,


Hello fellow teachers! I hope all is well with the beginning of the new school year :-) I'm emailing you to ask for your support for Richard Bartels for SDHC school board. As you are well aware, Faliero has been booted out of District 4. There will be a November run off for the District 4 seat between Stacy White (a pharmacist) and Richard Bartels (retired teacher, assistant principle, and principle!) Clearly, there is no comparison in regards to the experience between the two!

Please support Richard in his quest to once again serve the teachers and students of SDHC as he has done in the past. I can with out a doubt vouch for his dedication and support for the teachers of SDHC. Richard was my principle at Freedom High School until his retirement. During the turbulent 6/7 plan protests, Richard always supported his teachers who were speaking out against the 6/7 plan at the school board meetings. Unlike other principles in the district, Richard not only supported but encouraged his teachers to be active in expressing their concerns. When the school board called Bartels and requested that he "discourage" his teachers from going against the board in a public forum he once against demonstrated his support by essentially telling the school board to kiss off! This is the type of man we need on the school board! Richard is willing to tell it like it is, has and will support teachers and students, and puts learning and academics as a priority.
If you live in District 4, VOTE! If you don't live in District 4 you can still help out. Please visit his web page at or you can follow his campaign facebook page "The Richard Bartels School Board District 4 Campaign". Spread the word to colleagues and friends. You can also volunteer to work with his campaign or send a small donation. WE NEED RICHARD BARTELS ON THE BOARD!

S. P. :-)

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Dear Jack, Tedd, Allison et al.,

I weary of the ADHD, ADD, AH, etc. characteristics so prevalent in local talk shows. The latest calendar dust-up tipped the scales for me.

1) We have purposefully and willingly given up control over our schools.
* We send our tax money to DC or Tallahassee and never get it back dollar for dollar.
* We allow "Big Gov", "Big Ed", "Big Pub", "Big Test" and now "Big Bill" to dictate our every move and enforce the dictates by threatening to withhold monies. Most often our own money!
* Remember "the lottery will SUPPLEMENT education" lie?

2) Our parents got so fed up with the districts loading up the classroom with kids that a Constitutional Amendment was passed (by majority) limiting class size.
* Have our representatives responded in a mature fashion? Nope. They have whined like high school freshman who just heard about the tardy policy enforcement and are asking the public "Please take it away, take it away."
* All districts had the same amount of time to comply: build, hire, and anticipate. This too costs money. Did YOUR representatives respond or participate in a "whine and jeez fest"? Did you bother to ask any of them?

3) This blog was born when Superintendent Elia's approach to the CSA was to strip the teachers of their second conference period.
* Review the past posts on this blog and those under "Link Floyd-Linka Wray". Check your past email for my email asking for your support to block this action and review the numerous shortcuts the classroom teachers would have to take in order to survive.
* The "early release" days are an attempt to provide teachers with the time they lost. Sorry if this conflicts with the parents work schedule but this is a consequence of the CSA, the lost conference period, parental complaints about parent-teacher communications, slow test grading turnaround and EdLine updates. I heard NO parental solutions to this issues. It's really all about day care and vacations. If it weren't we would hear workable solutions.
* If the public votes to change the CSA then they have rewarded the passive-aggressive political behavior with NO viable positive replacement for their children. (see lottery lie)
* For the umpteenth time: We are NOT represented by a UNION - it is an ASSOCIATION! There is a fundamental difference that you refuse to recognize and as such do a disservice to the public who are equally in the dark. Once again - review previous posts on this and other blogs. A real union would have "walked". We got "throated".

4) Do you realize how much time is spend "evaluating adequate student progress" as dictated by "Big Gov"?
* This means "testing". The students are pulled out of class THREE times this year for FAIR testing - a computer based reading assessment (test) requiring at least a full period to complete. Last year some students where out FIVE times.
* FCAT or the looming End of Year Testing. That's 3 to 5 days out of class - more if you are a "special needs" student (by the way the definition is getting ridiculously broad) since their time can be unlimited.
* "Big Gov" tells us when we must administer the FCAT and FAIR test and what percentage of students must be tested - or else. Ostensibly so we can have the results in time (cue: sarcastic laughing after this year's debacle)
* We are also required to test those speakers of languages other than English out of class settings.
* No matter what you call it - No Child Left Behind, Race To The Top, The Gates Grant - until you can "flunk" a student and require that student to repeat a grade or subject until mastery is displayed, until you can remove the thugs and felons preying on campus - it don't mean diddly!

5) Is it any reason our Calendar Committee and school board botched this year's calendar?
* Those citizens had to try and shoot a moving target. "Big Gov" made a mistake and had to move the FCAT dates.
* There was the "tolerance and diversity" dance.
* Parents had issues with proposed everything.
* Board members were trying to win political races, deal with personal problems and are really out of touch with the classroom - preferring elementary school photo-ops to down and dirty middle/high school visits.
* Just because you attended a school does not qualify you to run one. Got a thoughtful idea? Experience the fire and join the committee.
* These are "early release" days. TWO HOURS shorter. Some creative principals are using these days as "club days" - something required for accreditation. It encourages students to form and join clubs and then attend meetings on days where ALL classes are equally shortened. Its really win/win. Oh, and clubs are sponsored by teachers who assume the responsibility without additional pay. Its also a good time for tutoring and make-up work for other students. It does happen: I do it and so do others. Are there teachers who may be "slackers"? Sure, but no administrator I ever worked for put up with it. They fixed it - often with multiple classroom clubday observations.

6) Scatter thoughts:
* Teachers must prepare and perform in greater time spans than the 15 minute radio rating segments. If we don't hit our demo we are immediately toast.
* Even though we can recycle our lesson plans from period to period we must sometimes prepare for 3 different audiences in a day. Somebody needs to preread her segues, intros, and spots. We do share peers who speak in monotone and the results are the same. "click"
* We do not have the ability to pretape and replay anything.
* We are only as good as our last encounter with our "audience".
* We have an association (NOT a UNION!) that must negotiate with the School Board and it is not always the association who drives the issues but they must respond to them.
* Teachers do not teach to get rich but we also do not like having the collective target on our back. BTW: Anyone try to take out the Clear Channel DJ's like that LETO kid? You guys got security and swipe cards right? We got - lucky.
* Barring a major political uprising we will never get back our local control over schools. (I'd hope to see a school board member get taken out in cuffs for standing up on this issue.)

Sincerely and without malice,

Suzie Creamcheese

Apologies to my regulars - there is so much more but I'm afraid I'd lose a lot of first timers if I got to long-winded.