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New Policy On School Identification Is Bogus?

By Greg L | 29 November 2007 | Prince William County | 75 Comments

Just as soon as the Prince William County School system announces that it will implement a new security system that will verify identification documents and check for potentially dangerous criminals, we see that there’s a huge loophole for illegal aliens and persons presenting identification documents from foreign nations that cannot be checked for authenticity. That particular cave-in for the benefit of illegal aliens only took about 24 hours.

Here it is, According to the MJM:

Visitors can show any government-issued identification card, school division spokesperson Irene Cromer said. The ID card could be issued by the United States government or the government of another country, she said.

And just how is one to determine, even if the system is automated, whether the ID card issued by another country is valid, and whether that person does or does not have a criminal conviction in that country?  We can’t possibly determine that.  Foreign governments do not provide us with access to their criminal databases, or those used to support identification documents to determine whether they are legitimate or not.  Additionally, these documents are provided in a remarkably fast timeframe that suggests that little if any verification is done to determine whether the applicant for these documents is telling the truth when they apply for them.  Earlier, when a local university helpfully allowed the Mexican Government to provide their nationals in Virginia the opportunity to obtain identification documents if they lacked them, this process only took a couple of hours.  Have you ever gotten identification cards within this kind of timeframe?  I thought not.  That’s a huge red flag.

One of the potential identification documents that would be accepted, as this article suggests, is the notorious “Matricula Consular” card.    The FBI says this documement is untrustworthy.  It’s very easy to purchase fake identification documents of this sort, and fraud with these is legendary.  CIS notes that even hard-core criminals can easily obtain them.  We’ve seen these same weaknesses with the identity documents provided by other foreign nations, such as El Salvador, as well.  To allow foreign identification documents as identification is utter madness.

There is no defensible reason for schools to accept identification documents that cannot be validated and which are all too frequently fraudulent to gain access to the schools where our children spend so much of their day.  If we don’t have any way to accurately ascertain whether someone entering our schools is a potential threat, as is the case with identification documents provided by foreign nations, this new policy is utterly useless, and an ineffective inconvenience without any actual real purpose.

This new policy need some serious improvement.



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75 Comments

  1. Ducky said on 29 Nov 2007 at 2:22 am:
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    No wonder there’s a loophole. Here’s a very insightful article about PWC Chairman Stewart.

    Pr. William Chairman Charts Political Future Beyond Immigration

    By Kristen Mack
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, November 29, 2007; Page B06

    Fresh off his second election victory in consecutive years, Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart styles himself as a catalyst for change within the state Republican Party on a variety of issues. He says he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as a one-note politician.

    It might be hard for him to shake that impression.

    Stewart was on summer vacation in Canada when another supervisor introduced a resolution to deny certain public services to illegal immigrants. But he seized on the proposal, pushing it through the board in the weeks before his reelection. Stewart, 39, who speaks in sound bites and has a youthful appearance, became the public face of Prince William’s illegal immigration crackdown.

    “I don’t want to be known for only one thing,” Stewart said after the election. “I still don’t understand why [immigration] became such a huge issue. I’d like to figure that out, so I can replicate it.”

    Before immigration emerged as a major issue in Northern Virginia, the populist Stewart had developed a niche as a Republican in favor of containing suburban sprawl. Now, he has some political capital after the GOP’s lackluster statewide showing in the fall elections. He wants to use it to help shift his party’s priorities.

    “The state party is sclerotic, and atrophy has set in,” Stewart said. Rather than focusing on faith, family and freedom, he said, the GOP should address quality-of-life issues such as protecting the environment, easing traffic and preserving green space.

    Controlled growth was Stewart’s primary issue during the 2006 special election for the chairman’s seat. This fall, however, he hardly mentioned it in a rematch against Democrat Sharon E. Pandak. His campaign centered almost entirely on fighting illegal immigration. He won a four-year term with a comfortable 55 percent of the vote.

    Stewart was raised in a Democratic home, with a father who was a longshoreman and union man. His background suggests an interest in international affairs. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, a training ground for future diplomats. In his junior year, Stewart studied in Poland and was struck by the effects of Communist rule. That helped cement his conservatism. “I saw what a heavy-handed economy and government can lead to, which is poverty and misery,” Stewart said.

    Stewart failed the foreign service exam a couple of times, then decided to teach English in Japan. That’s where he met his wife, Maria, who was born in Sweden. They have been married 13 years. She is a permanent resident, working on her citizenship. He is an international trade lawyer for the K Street firm Foley & Lardner.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/28/AR2007112802252.html?hpid=topnews

    Your man’s a K Street Lawyer and a political opportunist - a hack.

  2. Anonymous said on 29 Nov 2007 at 7:09 am:
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    The system is not designed to look for illegal aliens. It is designed to look to sex offenders. No it is not perfect but it is a start. You guys seem to know all the answers. How would this group change public schools for the better?

  3. Ducky said on 29 Nov 2007 at 7:38 am:
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    Home school.

  4. starryflights said on 29 Nov 2007 at 8:28 am:
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    Aren’t we suppose to be worried about terrorists getting into our schools? What type of ID would they be carrying? We know that many OTMs are learning Spanish and changing their appearance to look Hispanic. Would these people also be able to get Mexican Metricula Cards? I thought the requirement for government ID’s to gain access to schools was to protect our children. If we allow foreign ID cards to allow illegal alien parents access to schools, we also open the door for people that might want to do harm to our children.

  5. John Light said on 29 Nov 2007 at 8:38 am:
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    I saw a news clip of English Speaking Firefighter Supervisors being fired because they speak English only and the volunteers are mostly Spanish speakers. I will be sending Greg the video to post. I wonder if the rule here in Virginia is the same as Oregon’s, “Supervisors MUST speak the language of the Firefighters.”

  6. Rick Bentley said on 29 Nov 2007 at 8:43 am:
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    Okay, somebody here needs to obtain a consular card, under a name like “I.P. Nightly” so we can go around showing what a joke this is.

    I won’t do it myself

  7. Rick Bentley said on 29 Nov 2007 at 8:47 am:
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    sorry for the cutoff - I can’t do any stunts like that that would draw attention to myself at this point in life. Hence I try to exort others.

  8. Rick Bentley said on 29 Nov 2007 at 9:14 am:
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    Mohammad Atta Jr. would be another good name to get one in

  9. /\/\3|)iç 64 said on 29 Nov 2007 at 9:18 am:
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    Ducky, What does Stewart’s way to earn a living have to do with foreign ID’s being accepted at schools? Your side lost, get over it!!

    Moving on, I do not agree with foreign documents being accepted at the school. I am glad I do not have children in the PWC school system any longer. I would personally fear for their safety. From another post since it fits here as well.

    Just think of the havoc that terrorists could have with a multiple school take over. Who knows how many other jets were in the air that tragic Tuesday morning in Sept. If they can orchestrate an attack like that, who is to say they won’t do it to the school system as well??

    Imagine the huge and tragic loss of hundreds of thousands of school children. Mind numbing IMHO! Suicide bombers would have no problem walking into a school and blowing it up for the virgins!!! Imagine the devastation for an entire generation and the fear they would place into that generation.

    What I am talking about could be done with the right planning. The terrorist were caught getting ready to cross the border to do harm to a military base. It is a fortified position, how much easier would it be for a non fortified, non firearm bearing guarded building with people that have no way to defend themselves? I would hate to think of the loss if they decided to go that route.

    They could easily coordinate something like that and take more American lives than the number lost in the WTC.

    We have to secure the border today!!!

  10. Advocator said on 29 Nov 2007 at 9:41 am:
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    My comment yesterday, though somewhat “tongue in cheek,” was prescient.

    “Advocator said on 28 Nov 2007 at 2:20 pm:
    The real reason for the ID check is to place one more obstacle on parents going into a school to observe it. The administrators just don’t want them to know how bad it really its.

    If administrators were really interested in school security, they would obtain concealed carry permits, and carry guns, and require teachers to carry guns, also.”

    Someone characterized that comment as somewhat lacking in acumen, because it was her experience that administrators really “put on the dog” for parents coming into PWC schools. They may treat you well once you jump through the hoops and gain entry, but they’ll put out all the hoops they can, and offer up bogus reasons like “security,” just to keep their bastions of godless liberalism safe from the prying eyes of parents.

  11. Dolph said on 29 Nov 2007 at 9:49 am:
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    /\/\3|)iç 64,

    All the security systems in the world would not stop a terrorist such as you have described.

    Nothing is perfect. The new security system is just an added layer to what already exists. It sends a message that the general public will not have access to students and staff and that all visitors must go through a process. Those unwilling to go through the process will be removed from the building since a red flag will be immediately sent up, as it is now.

    I would like to see all classroom visits prearranged with administration.

  12. Anonymous said on 29 Nov 2007 at 9:52 am:
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    How’s that home school AP Physics class going.

  13. Advocator said on 29 Nov 2007 at 9:57 am:
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    Ducky: I’m shocked, shocked that a lawyer would be involved in local politics.

  14. monticup said on 29 Nov 2007 at 9:59 am:
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    Can home schooled kids opt into classes they might wish to take at the public schools? Like AP Physics, for example. After all, they are already paying for it. It seems that they should be able to pick and choose any course they want to take. Anonymous, home schooled still scores higher than government schooled.

  15. /\/\3|)iç 64 said on 29 Nov 2007 at 10:05 am:
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    I do not think we should pre-arrange anything in the classroom Dolph. I, as a parent, should be able to walk into the classroom at anytime to see the type of instruction going on. This is like the apartment complex announcing to my neighbors they are going to inspect their home. Of course there are only 3 people in the house, the other 8 know to stay away until after the inspection. Sheeesh!!!

    I agree nothing is perfect as far as the screening process, but we need to be able to scrutinize documents. If only US Gov’t issued documents are accepted, then it lessens the chances of fraudulent ones getting through wouldn’t you agree?

  16. Dolph said on 29 Nov 2007 at 10:13 am:
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    /\/\3|)iç 64,

    If it is you walking into a classroom, fine and dandy. However, what if it is Mr. Jones who wants to go punch Mrs. Smith in the face for giving little Johnny an F? What if Mrs. Jones wants to go scream at little Susie for some fight she had with little Janie Jones?

    There has to be a set of rules in place that protect everyone. Mr. Medic might be a welcome addition to the classroom setting. Mr. and Mrs. Jones disrupt the learning environment and present a danger to staff and students.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with making an appointment like the rest of the world. Appointments help avoid impulsive behavior. If you suspect nefarious behavior in the classroom, you should talk it over with the principal long before you feel the need to go sit down in the classroom.

  17. Anonymous said on 29 Nov 2007 at 10:29 am:
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    “Anonymous, home schooled still scores higher than government schooled” Want to compare my TJ kids
    Show me.

  18. Concerned said on 29 Nov 2007 at 10:32 am:
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    How much lower can the school system go? This is a clear choice between the safety of our children and pandering to the illegal alien/multicultural lobby. No one should have any doubts as to where the leadership of the Prince William County public education system stands.

    If someone is in this country legally, obtaining a driver’s license or other form of US government (federal or local) photo identification is easy and inexpensive. The only beneficiaries of this “security” policy are people here illegally, about whom we know nothing, and of whom our criminal and other records are devoid of information.

    This practice nullifies the value of the entire security system the school system wants to implement and thereby is an additional waste of our money.

    My family consists of middle class American taxpayers with kids who need education. I’m increasingly enraged at the government’s abject failure (at all levels) to serve our interests in favor of those who are criminals by virtue of the fact that they are even here.

  19. Dolph said on 29 Nov 2007 at 10:35 am:
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    /\/\3|)iç 64,

    I will answer your question about fraudulent documents under separate post. I believe the bloggers posting here are honing in on something that is important to them, rather than looking at over-all school safety. In a perfect world, I would agree with you. However, the practical side of me looks at the more probable dangers to any school community.

    Remember that schools are exempt from immigration rules, regardless of whether you or I like it or not. They have to offer a way for parents without US government IDs to move within a building to places like the guidance office for a conference or the principal’s office if it is not part of the front office complex. This is just part of conducting business.

    There are additional issues that can arise. What does one do if they lose their license, have their purse stolen, etc and have to attend a parent conference or otherwise go anywhere in a school outside the front office? There has to be a way to by pass these types of every day occurrences. How about sporting events? Are IDs checked at the door to the gym for all the various sports events that go on after school?

  20. ***DEMAND*** PWC Schools ONLY Accept U.S.-Issued I.D. « Virginia Virtucon said on 29 Nov 2007 at 10:41 am:
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    […] violent attacks and sexual predators.  Now we hear, via Greg L. over at BVBL, that there is a huge loophole in this system rendering the expensive equipment being installed essentially […]

  21. John Light said on 29 Nov 2007 at 10:41 am:
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    Anonymous: Just look at ANY study of home schooled/private school children compared to public school and you will see that up until the High School level, and many times up until Senior Year, Home school CONSISTENTLY outranks the public school children. For a good write-up, check out Education Week (http://www.edweek.org/rc/issues/home-schooling/)

    Yes, home schoolers CAN take classes at the public schools. For more information on this, you can contact your local school board representative and they will be happy to provide you that information.

  22. Patty said on 29 Nov 2007 at 10:59 am:
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    Monticup,

    Generally, homeschoolers opt for one of the many coops that provide specialized classes like physics. There are many outstanding science teachers that offer classes to homeschoolers. Also, the local colleges offer classes to homeschoolers which would give the student college credit. Parents tend to go this route instead of going through the public school system.

  23. /\/\3|)iç 64 said on 29 Nov 2007 at 11:02 am:
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    Dolph,

    In the instance stated above, I agree!! I guess not all parents are as understanding as I am. I do not expect the teacher to give my children a grade they didn’t deserve.

  24. /\/\3|)iç 64 said on 29 Nov 2007 at 11:07 am:
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    Seems to me that we all need to go to Canada, renounce our US citizenship, sneak back across the border to become illegal aliens and take advantage of programs we would otherwise not be entitled to. I have an Expedition that I can run between here and the border. It seats 7 additional besides myself (safely), how many want to sign up for the first trip? I can put a trailer on the back to haul extra if the requests are there.

  25. /\/\3|)iç 64 said on 29 Nov 2007 at 11:08 am:
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    Of course my previous post is intended to be tongue in cheek!!!

  26. monticup said on 29 Nov 2007 at 11:53 am:
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    Your kids are students at Thomas Jefferson School for Science and Technology?! I am truly impressed. Congratulations.

  27. One Voice said on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:02 pm:
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    Since the article in today’s Post on Honorable Mr. Stewart didn’t make today’s opening thread, thought I’d post one of the more beautiful quotes……

    “I don’t want to be known for only one thing,” Stewart said after the election. “I still don’t understand why [immigration] became such a huge issue. I’d like to figure that out, so I can replicate it.”

  28. MP Resident said on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:03 pm:
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    “renounce our US citizenship”

    Good luck with that. The IRS wants the tax revenue generated by US citizens no matter where on the globe they are.

  29. One Voice said on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:15 pm:
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    The Schools should use the list of Acceptable Documents provided by DMV and presented by Charlie Deane as the criteria for his folks deterimining status.

    Why each entity has to re-create the wheel is beyond me. It it time consuming, and resultingly expensive.

  30. /\/\3|)iç 64 said on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:17 pm:
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    MP Resident, if we renounce our citizenship, we won’t be US Citizens any longer, so the IRS will be powerless against us. (c:

  31. /\/\3|)iç 64 said on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:17 pm:
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    I agree One Voice!!! That is an excellent idea!! It is also easily implemented.

  32. Anonymous said on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:32 pm:
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    One Voice, did you realize that if you are illegal, you cannot obtain any of the documents that DMV accepts? You have struck me as someone who supports the illegal side.

  33. Julie Lucas said on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:37 pm:
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    I cannot speak to other school divisions, but to answer Monticup’s question, in Prince William County, we, the School Board changed our policy to allow home school and private school students to attend up to two credit bearing courses a year. This applies to middle school and high school students. We also provide transportation if there is space available and if within our normal busing schedule (before school pick up/after school drop off). We also recently expanded our new policy to allow home school and private school students to participate in after school/extra curricular activities that are not tied to the Virginia High School League. For more information please contact: Mrs. Clarice Torian, Director of Student Services, 703-791-7262.

  34. Anonymous said on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:38 pm:
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    JW
    “the students in Rudner’s study were predominantly white and Christian and, critics argue, did not accurately represent the overall population of home-schooled student”

    you are comparing Apples to Oranges here. And yes home school students can now take classes at the high school level.

    My experience as an educator is the ones I have worked with are usually a grade level or two behind.

    Bottom line the success comes from having parents involved
    public, private or home school

    Problem with public is parents think teachers should be doing all the work

  35. AWCheney said on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:44 pm:
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    When my kids were in school I spent quite a bit of time there keeping on top of things. Once I actually spent an entire day following my son around and nosing into everything (vested interest…it was also my alma mater).

    To explain, in trying to help my son find something I discovered that his backpack was FULL of homework that he had done, but never turned in to his teachers. Upon sitting him down to try to determine what was going on with him (after a sufficient cooling off period, of course), he told me he couldn’t seem to get organized since he had just started at a new level (middle school, 6th grade) and was having difficulty adjusting. NO PROBLEM…I told him I’d get him organized, so I made arrangements to spend the day at school with him following him around. During the course of that day I also looked into every aspect of the school (did a little investigating). You’d be amazed what you can learn out in the smoking area, chatting with the kitchen help and the school bus drivers. They know everything that’s going on and are very willing to talk about it…but, of course, that’s another story. Suffice it to say, I “organized” him, as well as setting up some processes with his teachers whereby he couldn’t get away with sloughing off any longer; thoroughly embarrassed him in the process and told him if it ever happened again he would once more have me as company at school, AND be put on restriction…for a start; and I came away with some fascinating intelligence which I put to use later, and which ultimately led to some changes…including the best principal that school ever had.

    The point of this narration is to address Advocator’s grossly unfair suggestion that the schools are merely attempting to keep the parents out, and/or in the dark as to what goes on there, so that they can do God only knows what to our children rather than attempting to protect them as best they can. I agree with that “someone [who] characterized that comment as somewhat lacking in acumen.”

  36. Just a matter of time said on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:44 pm:
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    We, Americans, are being led to slaughter through our ill-conceived politcal correctness. How those two words ever got put into the same sentence…

    I don’t think this school has ever heard the term political correctness

    http://switch5.castup.net/frames/20041020_MemriTV_Popup/video_480×360.asp?ai=214&ar=1468wmv&ak=null

  37. One Voice said on 29 Nov 2007 at 1:01 pm:
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    Anonymous— Yeah I’m all about supporting illegals. What would make you think that I support illegals pray tell.

  38. Anonymous said on 29 Nov 2007 at 1:02 pm:
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/28/education/28tests.html

    Here is some additional info private/public

    AWCheney

    Need more parents like you

  39. John Light said on 29 Nov 2007 at 1:41 pm:
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    Anonymous: According to the article on the New York Times link you provided, it states:

    “the new study used advanced statistical techniques to adjust for the effects of income, school and home circumstances.” Seems that they are doing some mathematical wordplay to get the study to show the results they desire.

    Even the Dept of Education doesn’t fully buy into it, “Officials at the federal Education Department, which has been a forceful proponent of vouchers and charter schools, said they did not see this study as decisive. ‘We’ve seen reports on both sides of this issue,’ said Holly Kuzmich, deputy assistant secretary for policy. ‘It just adds one more to the list.’”

    Also, to discredit English and favor math (The researchers said they compared math scores, not reading ones, because math was considered a clearer measure of a school’s overall effectiveness.)…come on, the ability to express oneself clearly through written and oral communication is what separates us from the beasts.

  40. Patty said on 29 Nov 2007 at 1:44 pm:
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    Monticup,

    Here is a study about homeschoolers: http://nche.hslda.org/docs/study/comp2001/HomeSchoolAchievement.pdf

  41. MP Resident said on 29 Nov 2007 at 2:57 pm:
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    “You’d be amazed what you can learn out in the smoking area, chatting with the kitchen help and the school bus drivers. They know everything that’s going on and are very willing to talk about it…but, of course, that’s another story.”

    In the words of the custodian on the movie “The Breakfast Club”:

    “I am the eyes and ears of this institution, my friends”.

  42. Anonymous said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:10 pm:
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    Comparing affluent white private or home schooled kids to a diverse public school system means nothing. Bottom line parent involvement is what makes a difference, whether the kid is in a public, private or home school. The studies show little difference in achievement. Here is an idea, lets fully fund the schools, reduce class size and give teachers the materials and time they need. You want to compare, St Andrews is a private school (one of the best) which the tuition is $38,000 a year. Prince William costs are $ 10,551 per students so even if you take out $13,000 for room and board you are at twice the cost of PWCS. Private schools are not required to give services for the learning or physical disabled which is a huge expense to public schools. Most house holds can not afford to have a parent stay home while the other works so home schooling is not a option for most and not to mention many parents do not have the education themselves to even make it happen.
    You and your child’s education is what you make of it.

  43. Bob Sentz said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:19 pm:
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    How much is enough money for each student? Money is not the issue, but rather how that money is spent. How many administrators do we need? How many admin buildings do we need? How many…do we need? It’s not the money!! It’s the NEA!!!

    This is a rather lengthy video, but very enlightening. It’s a 20/20 special called ‘Stupid in America!’

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=DkUjRGnFUe8

  44. MP Resident said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:24 pm:
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    “lets fully fund the schools”

    Define what needs to be funded.

  45. MP Resident said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:35 pm:
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    “MP Resident, if we renounce our citizenship, we won’t be US Citizens any longer, so the IRS will be powerless against us. (c:”

    The courts have held attempts to renounce US citizenship to be ineffective, one such case is the following (from http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html )

    In the recent case of Colon v. U.S. Department of State , 2 F.Supp.2d 43 (1998), plaintiff was a United States citizen and resident of Puerto Rico, who executed an oath of renunciation before a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected Colon’s petition for a writ of mandamus directing the Secretary of State to approve a Certificate of Loss of Nationality in the case because the plaintiff wanted to retain one of the primary benefits of U.S. citizenship while claiming he was not a U.S. citizen. The Court described the plaintiff as a person, “claiming to renounce all rights and privileges of United States citizenship, [while] Plaintiff wants to continue to exercise one of the fundamental rights of citizenship, namely to travel freely throughout the world and when he wants to, return and reside in the United States.” See also Jose Fufi Santori v. United States of America , 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 16299 (1994) for a similar case.

  46. MP Resident said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:38 pm:
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    A court could decide that your continuing to live in the USA (even if done so “illegally”) is one of the “fundamental rights of citizenship” and declaring your renouncation of citizenship invalid for that reason alone.

  47. Dolph said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:39 pm:
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    Fully funded would start with the feds paying for ALL of their mandates rather than leaving part of the funding up to localities. If this were done, teachers wouldn’t have to teach 6 classes a day in addition to doing duties that anyone off the street could perform. They wouldn’t have to do remediation in addition to their regular teaching responsibilities. They wouldn’t have to buy their own teaching materials out of their own pockets when funds run low. Need more examples? I am sure the teacher chix on here can fill everyone in.

  48. John Light said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:46 pm:
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    Anonymous said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:10 pm:
    “Comparing affluent white private or home schooled kids to a diverse public school system means nothing. Bottom line parent involvement is what makes a difference, whether the kid is in a public, private or home school.”

    Are you trying to race bait??? Come on…I guess those blacks who live in South East Washington DC who support school choice are affluent?

    One of the top private schools in New York City is majority minority-students. This has NOTHING to do with race but I will agree with your next line that parent involvment plays a HUGE role. There were times one of my children would ask me a question about what they learned in school that day which was factually incorrect so I would give them the correct answer then provide the resources to back that answer up.

    I have also had teachers (of my children) provide reading lists that looked like something from the Black Panter movement or the DNC…I wrote an e-mail reminding the teacher it was her job not to influence a child what way to think, rather to present both sides and nurture the child’s reasoning skills. The teacher wrote back a very nice letter thanking me but stated that it was not her reading list, rather the County Approved list. I thanked her and forwarded to my school board rep.

    Teachers should not be raising our children, TVs should not be raising our children, neighbors should not be raising our children and it CERTAINLY does not take a village…it takes the parent, the single most influential person in ANY child’s life. Of course, next in line IS the teacher (who can’t remember at least one name of an elementary school teacher), which is why we hold them to such a high standard.

  49. MP Resident said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:49 pm:
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    I’d be happy if the feds didn’t make such unfunded mandates and stuck to things they’re actually supposed to be doing, like, oh, say, securing the borders…

  50. One Voice said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:50 pm:
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    “Anonymous said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:10 pm:
    Comparing affluent white private or home schooled kids to a diverse public school system means nothing. Bottom line parent involvement is what makes a difference, whether the kid is in a public, private or home school”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact parochial schools have for years reported no discernable difference in scores between black and white students. Even in E. St. Louis. So it absolutely is the parents.

    Of course, every parochial school states in their mission statement “While the parents are the primary educators of their child(ren) we strive to assure….. so the contract is there from the beginning with the parents and the school.

    Marva Collins studied the parochial system before opening her school in Chicago. She had borderline student who had been ‘negatively’ labeled in the public system. She removed the labels and just told them they were required to do their best. Some of those labeled students went on to achieve great things.

    You don’t have to be a parochial school to have that philosphy. No religion there in that. :)

  51. MP Resident said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:52 pm:
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    “(who can’t remember at least one name of an elementary school teacher)”

    Let’s see here, I remember all of my elementary school teachers. Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Janiga, Mrs. Salter (twice, 3rd and 4th grade..guess she liked me), and Mrs. Blackburn. I can’t remember who my kindergarten teacher was.

  52. John Light said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:54 pm:
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    Dolph said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:39 pm:
    “Fully funded would start with the feds paying for ALL of their mandates rather than leaving part of the funding up to localities.”

    Can you say “Higher taxes???”

    Since you brought it up, now that it is nearing the Christmas Season (ok, if you DON’T celebrate Christmas I BETTER see you at work on 25 December unless you put in for annual leave ) might I recommend to you parents out there to get pens, colored pencils, paper, gift cards for your child’s teacher. You have NO IDEA how happy gifts like this make a teacher unless you have either done it in the past, or are/were a teacher.

  53. John Light said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:57 pm:
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    MP Resident - Congrats…you get lunch with the teacher…now if only we could find one - lol

  54. John Light said on 29 Nov 2007 at 3:59 pm:
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    “Anonymous” - I have just re-read what you wrote (after reading “One Voice” and I MAY have initially misinterpreted it. If I did, please accept my apologies.

  55. monticup said on 29 Nov 2007 at 4:57 pm:
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    Patty–when a home schooled kid wins the national spelling bee or the geography bee the mainstream media goes bonkers. The can’t stand it.

  56. Dolph said on 29 Nov 2007 at 7:05 pm:
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    JL,

    HIGHER TAXES

    Or, how about re-prioritizing spending? That works. How about the federal government getting out of the business of local education and tending to the job it is supposed to do, like securing our borders. That works much better for me than paying higher taxes.

    If the Christmas remark was made to me, I don’t recall bringing it up. You won’t see me at work on December 25. Christmas is a legal holiday and I don’t trumpet my religious beliefs so everyone except my friends will just have to guess if I celebrate Christmas or not.

  57. Homeschool Mom of 2 said on 29 Nov 2007 at 9:41 pm:
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    Well, this blog entry was directed towards the requirement of Identification for schools. In Texas, this has been going on for awhile. There are a couple of reasons behind this. One is the protection of children from criminals (whoever they may be for whatever crime) and another is for protection from children who are living under the sole custody of one parent but perhaps not to be seen under any circumstances by the other parent. It will take PWC a little while to figure out what it will accept as identification. What needs to be decided is, do the Public Schools have an obligation to report illegal immigrants when shown identification. If the parents are illegal, some sort of documentation has already been shown when the child was enrolled in the school system. So, does PWC want to police the schools for illegal immigrants or from criminals who endanger children in other ways?
    Onto the issue of homeschooling… for every homeschooler who can provide proof that homeschooling is better than public school, there will be a public schooler who will provide proof that public school is better. What needs to happen is that ALL Parents should take an active part in their child’s education no matter where that child is taught. There are many great teachers in the public school system. However, parents should not just assume that schools are “doing their job” but take an active part in researching what is being taught and even more important, what is NOT being taught. JMO.

  58. Dolph said on 29 Nov 2007 at 10:02 pm:
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    Homeschool Mom of 2,

    I agree with you on both points. Actually PWCS has had pretty tight security since fairly soon after 9/11. This software and procedure is just an added layer of protection.

    You asked….does PWC want to police the schools for illegal immigrants or from criminals who endanger children in other ways? The obvious answer is the later. I don’t want the school system involved in illegal indentification. It isn’t their job and alienates those they are supposed to be delivering a service too (whether we agree with illegals receiving the service or not). Schools have too much to do as it is, without getting involved in confirmation of immigration status. Thank you for bringing this point up.

  59. CJC said on 30 Nov 2007 at 12:35 am:
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    If I were an illegal alien it would make me feel very uneasy to have my ID scanned. If it seems like we are rolling up the welcome mat . . . . . . good.

  60. Dolph said on 30 Nov 2007 at 1:59 am:
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    CJC,

    For the past several years all IDs have been turned over and held by front office personnel while the person is in the building. I have never noticed anyone being particularly nervous about it. Perhaps I have never been there when illegals were, but given the neighborhood school, I find that hard to believe. *I* would be nervous, like you suggest.

  61. Dolph said on 30 Nov 2007 at 2:00 am:
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    correction: nervOus

  62. Line Breaker said on 30 Nov 2007 at 5:41 am:
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    Yesterday (Thursday) I went to my kids high school to drop something off. 11 AM and the doors were unlocked and no-one , repeat, no-one asked me for ID, stopped me to sign in or anything. There was just an empty table where someone was supposed to be to check id’s. So it just goes to show you that not all schools are secured at all times. It just takes a minute to get thru. I am so glad my kid is graduating this year and we are done with PWC schools.

  63. CJC said on 30 Nov 2007 at 7:13 am:
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    Dolph,
    I can hope, can’t I?

  64. Princess Billy-Bob said on 30 Nov 2007 at 10:31 am:
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    Linebreaker,

    The front doors are always open unless a school is on lockdown. There are also big huge signs at most doors saying you must report in to the office which is where most schools have you sign in. Additionally, there are security cameras all over the place. I don’t expect you would have gotten very far if you had gone some place other than the front office.

    Security from Central Office also does stealth security checks.

  65. Turn PW Blue said on 30 Nov 2007 at 11:29 am:
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    Bob Sentz:

    You do know that PWCS has administrative costs that are 66% of the national average, right? You also realize that while the Kelly Building looks expensive on paper, PWCS is now the second largest school district in Virginia (behind Fairfax) and that right now a large portion of the school’s annual budget goes towards renting office space around the county because the facilities at Independent Hill are inadequate. You have been to Independent Hill to see the decrepit trailers that pass for professional office space, right? You do know that some of the best and most promising PWCS teachers are leaving the county when they are just hitting their prime as teachers because surrounding jurisdictions offer better pay and working conditions, right?

    It’s really easy to say money isn’t the answer, we should force belt tightening and cutting administrative expenses. Well, that’s already happened. We have a growing school system that is on the crux of some really big problems if our School Board and BOCS don’t get their heads out of their, well, posteriors, and realize that talk and rhetoric don’t prepare our children for the future. Declining school infrastructure, overcrowding, teacher recruitment, and overall neglect in the name of “fiscal responsibility” is a crock. Do you really think we’ll be able to attract new businesses to the area if our schools suck (here’s a hint, good schools are among the top reasons companies locate their businesses in a certain community–they want to be able to attract the best workforce). While I will be the last to argue that money will fix everything, there certainly needs to be a recognition that smart spending is an investment, not a sunk cost. Prince William ranks LAST in the Washington Metro area in per pupil spending (and we’re last by a pretty big margin). That should not be an issue of pride.

  66. Anon said on 30 Nov 2007 at 12:51 pm:
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    You think security checks are an issue to be concerned about. Have you seen what has happened in California? Are you paying attention to what may come to Virginia schools, in particular, textbooks next year? Are you ready for the words MOM and DAD to be banned from schools? Are you ready for locker rooms and bathrooms to be open to anyone?

    The following was Bill was PASSED and is now IN FORCE in California and other states are following suit. Parents, are you paying attention?

    2007 Senate Bill 777 which prohibits all classes, school activities, textbooks, and teachers from instruction that “reflects or promotes bias against homosexuals, transgenders, and bisexuals in public schools (including Kindergarten).
    Sentate Bill 777 (already passed) also bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as negative toward homosexuals and bisexuality.
    This bill also “bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as negative toward homosexuality and bisexuality. This bill bans “any text, reference or interpretation portraying marriage as only between man and a woman.”
    Books removing the words Mom and Dad will apparently go to press in January. Boys who feel they are girls, or girls who feel they are boys, will be allowed to use any restroom or locker rooms they choose. (Do you see any potential problems with this?)
    Homecoming queens may be male and homecoming kings can be female, because it is hate speech to say that a King must be a guy and a Queen must be a girl. It is a bias against homosexuality and therefore hate speech.
    This Bill is supported by the NEA (National Education Association).
    So while this bill has been passed in California (and I believe some other states have or are following suit), it may soon be passed Nationwide.
    This bill also bans ALL MATERIAL declaring that people are born male or female. (YES! This bill passed!)
    Assembly Bill 394 was passed stating that teachers and parents with conservative, traditional lifestyles and beliefs who voice their opinions on these issues will be candidates for “Anti-harrassment” training. You cannot tell your child’s teacher that you prefer your child to be taught that a mother and father are what constitutes parents. You may be reported and required to attend Anti-harrassment training.
    Assembly Bill 14 Prohibits funding for any program not supporting a range of sexual practices, including state funded social services operated by churches, daycare, preschool, food and housing programs, job programs, senior services and hospitals. So the programs MUST state that they support homosexuality or their funding from the state of California will be pulled. Any textbooks stating the words MOM and DAD must be pulled out of schools because it is biased against the gay lifestyle and shows gender. This is a done deal in California. Not proposed. Done. Passed. Think it won’t come to this state? Think again. Beginning in the fall of 2008 school text books will NOT reflect the words MOM and DAD even in grades as low as Kindergarten. California is the largest purchaser of textbooks, so the companies who publish these text books is taking the words out of ALL the textbooks… even YOUR child’s textbooks. No longer will history books state something along the lines of “The men of Valley Forge…” but instead “The people of Valley Forge…” You cannot say “He rode his bike to school,” but instead “It rode its bike to school.”
    Sports, locker rooms and bathrooms must now be all gender neutral.
    The point is this…. if your child goes to Public School, you NEED to stay on top of what is going on in this country and don’t just ASSUME that your values and beliefs are going to be supported. You need to know not only WHAT is being taught, but what is NOT being taught.
    While we may not hate alternate lifestyles, we may not want to support these types of changes in our eduational system. Yet, it has happened already in California and some other states are following suit. Do you really want to be referred to as “it”? There will be no more Mr. and Mrs. titles.
    This bill cannot be over ruled by the President because it was a state bill. It could have been over ruled by the Governor (Schwartzenneger) but he signed it into law.
    If parents are not paying attention to these bills being passed, eventually it will hit enough states to be passed into Federal law and then it will be next to impossible to overturn.
    So… heads up. Pay attention. Know what is headed to our public schools. Because even if you homeshool, your taxes are paying for these changes.

  67. Bob Sentz said on 30 Nov 2007 at 1:47 pm:
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    Turn PW Blue says: Prince William ranks LAST in the Washington Metro area in per pupil spending (and we’re last by a pretty big margin). That should not be an issue of pride.
    —————————————————————
    If we rank LAST in per pupil spending, where do we rank interms of student achievement/graduation rates? I’ll wager it’s not LAST!

    I assume you did not watch the video ‘Stupid in America’. Without the NEA, we may have a chance!

  68. Bob Sentz said on 30 Nov 2007 at 1:50 pm:
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    Also, if PW county schools ONLY spend 66% of the national average on administrative costs, then I suggest the national average is way too high!

  69. Dolph said on 30 Nov 2007 at 2:08 pm:
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    Anon at 12:51 pm,

    What are you smoking? Why would you post something like that?

    IGNORE BUTTON ACITVATED.

  70. Anonymous said on 30 Nov 2007 at 2:41 pm:
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    @Turn PW Blue

    “”"Prince William ranks LAST in the Washington Metro area in per pupil spending (and we’re last by a pretty big margin). That should not be an issue of pride.”"”

    And Washington DC ranks FIRST in the Washington Metro area in per pupil spending.

    More money spent doesn’t necessarily correlate to better education.

  71. One Voice said on 30 Nov 2007 at 2:46 pm:
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    Anonymous –

    Tell that to a teacher. Also, forget DC - we just lost to PG County as well. Money correlates to the quality of the education in the public system it does not correlate in a private system.

  72. Mando said on 30 Nov 2007 at 3:01 pm:
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    @ One Voice

    I’m confused. My point was DC throws more money at their school system per student then just about any other school system in the nation yet they have one of the WORST school systems in the nation.

    Also, I’m engaged to teacher. ;)

    So I do hear the other side of it. I know they need more money. But for every $1 I spend in taxes for education, I wonder how much of that trickles down to actually educate. I hear of some pretty assinine spending and of some pretty assinine policies.

  73. Dolph said on 30 Nov 2007 at 3:54 pm:
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    We need to sort out ateacher and teacher (no ‘a’ in front of the name).

    Mando,

    Look at DC. I don’t think it should ever be used as an example of what money does or does not do in a school system. That entire government is so screwed up. I can’t even talk about it. It leaves me speechless.

  74. One Voice said on 30 Nov 2007 at 4:32 pm:
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    Mando - I agree with Dolph, DC is not really comparable due to the long history of gross mismanagement of their overall budget. Generally speaking you are correct. Utah and Wisconsin have the overall highest SAT’s scores if I recall correctly - they are in the middle of overall spending per pupil.

    I understand your point, and think there are more measurements to be used than spending per pupil. If you’ve read my blogs you’ll know that I am a product of parochial schools k-college so I know that spending does not corrolate to sucess. (or the ability to spell :) ) However, in the public system I believe more funding contributes greatly to a better run system considering the obstacles placed in their way that are not found at the private schools.

    Congratulations on your engagement - being a teacher these days is a heck of a committement. I wish your fiance well.

    Then there is the financial piece. If you read that article would you consider moving your family or your business to PWC? This is one of those situation that you can’t spin. Facts are facts.

  75. ateacher said on 1 Dec 2007 at 4:01 pm:
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    I’ve just read this entire thread and realize many issues have been spoken about here. On parental visits to classrooms: I have no prob with parents coming in and participating or observing me while I teach. I simply ask that they do not bring younger siblings with them b/c a crying baby or crazed 2 year old can be a disruption to the routine in the classroom. On homeschooling: I have many friends who do a fantastic job of homeschooling their children. Homeschooling, when done right can be very positive for children and parents, and in this area there are many co-ops that do a good job educating students. I also know of some families that claim to homeschool, yet the parents actually engage in little instruction. My children attend public school in PWC, and I have chosen to place them in the traditional program located at Pennington. My daughter will graduate from there this year after spending grades 1-8 at the school. I feel that she has received a STELLAR education in a public school environment that is diverse but not heavily ESOL. She has always made honor roll, has won 3 science fair awards, and is in the NJHS. Since Pennington is a “choice school”, students that exhibit serious behavior issues are NOT allowed to remain and disrupt the education of the others. In a nut shell, they are kicked back to their base school. There is mandatory parent volunteer requirements, and mandatory student community service requirements. And ahhhhh, a mandatory uniform policy. Pennington is so full of parent involvement, we nearly trip over each other. My son had serious reading issues last year and went thru the Reading Recovery program…a program not avail at private schools, and one that can not be duplicated at home. As a result, this year he is on grade level for reading, and now in the pre-gifted program.
    As far as per pupil spending, I’m not sure where the money goes. All I know is that I was given 100.00 to buy supplies for this year’s group. Not per pupil, but for the entire class. I had to purchase paint, chart paper, sentence strips, primary writing paper, sharpies, construction paper etc. Like 100.00 goes far…not! So yes I’m about 1000.00 in the hole as far as my own money is concerned. Where does the per pupil money go? Parents give supplies, the school buys supplies, I buy supplies… the school gives me 100.00, and I spend 1000.00, the PTA reimburses me 95.00. We did get a grade level smart board (ka ching), and a leap pad, but that does not equal what is supposedly spent per pupil. My students do not receive ESOL services, and PALS services are paid thru title 1 funds. I also buy my own scotch tape, and only received 5 reams of paper FOR THE YEAR. I am also only allowed a certain amount of copies for the entire year. If I want more, I have to go to kinkos and pay out of my pocket. So where does the per pupil money go?

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