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April 24, 2015
Lincoln Needs A School Board Leader Like Matt Schulte!
A Blog to the People of Lincoln to Support Matt Schulte (I apologize for the length but you need to know the opportunity we have with Matt)
I’m happy to endorse Matt Schulte for Lincoln School Board. Why? His long track record of success in improving the lives of children, his unparalleled compassion for kids, and his commitment to solid principles is why Lincoln needs to vote for Matt Schulte.
I have never met a more passionate individual working in non-profit for kids then Matt. If the 6th district of Lincoln elects Matt Schulte to the Board, he will build on his proven success to improve the lives of ALL Lincoln kids through building a stronger educational experience. His principles on matters of policy adhere to strong values many citizens of Lincoln admire. His demonstrated compassion for ALL kids coming from different walks of life is in full view for anyone willing to investigate his record. Most importantly, he will provide parents a stronger voice on how they want THEIR kids to be taught.
His efforts with our kids is worth more than our vote. His effort is worth our time to obtain additional votes in his district. This is truly a race where ONE vote can make the difference. The race can be won if we make the effort to gather additional votes beyond ourselves.
Matt and his team currently engage 2,400 kids every week of the school year to build better lives. Helping local children is not a future promise but an accomplished mission Matt has achieved.
With our help he can achieve more.
Despite Matt’s proven performance in assisting kids, he is facing unfounded attacks by political opponents.
I scoff and laugh at these attacks expressed in public debates. The questions on Matt’s ability to help lead a “tolerant” school system because he is a person of faith are absurd. The tactic to personally attack a person of faith by trying to attach labels of ‘a lack of compassion’ or ‘a lack of tolerance’ is one of the big lies being told about people of faith today. Enough is enough. Matt’s life is a living demonstration of compassion, caring, and mentoring for kids.
Have these individuals boldly implying Matt lacks the ability to build a tolerant system volunteered in the juvenile justice system with delinquent kids like Matt? Have these individuals ‘slinging mud’ worked with teenagers simultaneously journeying through school and pregnancy like Matt? Our world would be better off if people had 25% of his compassion AND ENGAGED the kids of Lincoln like Matt has.
Granted there are many people of weak faith who judge, comdemn, and speak–yet never demonstrate acts of compassion/service their professed faith urges them to do. These people are the antithesis of Matt. Those that label people of faith by a group perception… promulgated by propaganda based on the actions of a select few…just break their own self righteous proclamations of never judging and being the “Tolerant Ones”. In my opinion, Matt is the real deal who moves with action and compassion while not compromising on conviction and principle.
What I admire most about Matt during this campaign is that he has not responded to negative attacks with his own negative attacks. He has kept it clean and positive in trying to change the tone of political elections. He has 2,400 school kids in Lincoln involved with Matt’s employing organization watching his actions. Win or lose, he has the composure to understand 2,400 kids will observe his behavior. Many will follow his actions. How he treats others in this race and how others have treated him for having a belief set should show you who the tolerant people really are.
However, this race is not about popularity or who is the bigger person. This race is about student progress. Diversity, transparency, and ideas are topics perpetually asked by the attending citizens during the city debates (Republicans sparsely attend—where are you to back your candidate?) Let’s address these topics of concern.
First. Is there really diversity on this board because they say PC words in more quantity? Is there diversity when the board sits together with their favorite candidates, picks the candidates to replace their spots, and collectively endorse the same slate of candidates? There is little diversity of thought observing the current board on the major issues. The uniformity of candidate support, and the cross praise of each other are further examples of amazing similarty. I’m not privy to behind the door discussions and policy reviews to observe differences, but outwardly this group appears to be very homogeneous. I’m glad they are friends, but the differences are hard to find. That is not diversity.
Matt brings diversity to the board because he thinks differently, he approaches problems from a differing angle, and he desires goals like transparency that have not been achieved with recent administrations/boards. His approach, thought process, and goals are different. Different will help diversity. Different will make a stronger board. Different doesn’t have to mean combativeness. What different does mean is that Matt will be able to see new issues and have new beneficial angles of approach.
Second. Transparency. Why would we not introduce change to a board that oversees a system that asked for 6 months and $32K to provide reports on expenditures? (Story on 6 months and 32k citation) Citizens deserve to know who, what, and where their tax dollars are being spent. It is time for financial books to be thorough, open, easily produced, and immediately available for examination. I want Matt to push this administration to achieve readily available transparency.
Furthermore, parents deserve to know what is being taught. Public school should still be accountable to the parents, the kids, and the citizens of this community. We elect a board to oversee and hold our school adminstrators accountable. Matt will improve on issues of accountability and transparency.
Third. Ideas. Matt has implemented many new ideas at his organization to create dramatic change. I don’t worry about Matt’s ingenuity to solve tough problems. However, I have an idea I would like to see. It is not a new idea. It is a proven idea.
Bring back an emphasis on the basics! How we teach children may change, but building a strong comprehension of the ‘basics’ should not. The ‘basics’ are the building blocks of education. They are being weaned of time to enhance focus on areas of cultural relevance as determined by a few with a political agenda. The ‘basics’ are the springboards to tackle more complicated topics in the future.
Why is extensive controversial curriculum emphasized in the classroom? Especially elementary education????
(See the LPS manual on controversial education as an elaborated topic of emphasis–focus on policies 6440 thru 6450)
Even if you do believe in controversial education, it is the job of the board to hold figures at LPS accountable to notify the parents of controversial curriculum as the policy manual states. Notification did not happen. Where is the clamp down on the administration for non adherence to policy? Policy manuals must be monitored by parents. Policy manuals must be followed by the administration. It is the job of The Board to enforce and hold the administration accountable to policy.
Does Lincoln want extensively emphasized controversial curriculum? Or does Lincoln want a solid rigor in the basics—especially for elementary kids? Will proponents of controversial education even see to it that proper notifications are given to parents? I don’t even know if they deem certain topics ‘controversial’ in the first place if they failed to notify the parents as called for by policy.
As a concerned parent of Lincoln, my position is rigorous basics need to be emphasized in policy over controversial education – especially in grade school. Let’s remove our efforts out of complying with the emphasis of main stream media. Let’s get back to focusing on the basics that benefit ALL kids.
The stats do not lie. We are falling behind to the world in key educational areas like math and science. Our kids need to be prepared for a competitive world. A lack of preparation of our children is dangerous and irresponsible. We can do better by demanding a stronger set of priorities from board members that dictate more time of ‘basics’ investment and less time on controversial curriculum.
Why are we comparing ourselves to inferior performing districts who meet coveted national praise status for their leadership in subset topics? There is a time and place for subset awareness but we have grown out of balance. The average citizen in the middle is paying the price for shifting priorities.
We should not trend the way of larger cities. The 50 percentile kid is suffering. They lack preparation because they suffer from increasingly divergence of focus from teachers and investment emphasis by boards to meet the astronomical growing demands of smaller and smaller subset populations. I’m glad we are better dealing with kids who are unique and on the 20% of the Bell Curve. However, we can not do this at the cost of the children in the middle 80% of the curve. I’m not here to define what proper balance is, but it is growing readily apparent that our investment focus on deploying tax payer funds is putting more and more emphasis on unique inviduals versus the common kid. One person is not more valuable then the other.
We should look locally to parents on what they desire for their children. Historically, Lincoln has achieved local goals in Public School. Unfortunately, our leaders are putting growing emphasis on what the national educational community is doing even though schools have always been a locally governed and directed entity! When we examine what the country has been doing in education we should realize it has been hurting the relative performance of American kids. They are falling behind kids around the world in key areas of educational measurement. We are trending in the wrong direction and should question the wisdom of following the herd. Herd mentality is hurting this nation. We should realize the herd is falling behind!
The International kids achieving and surpassing American students have systems rooted in the basics. We should observe the systems that are working in preparing kids for a global economy. More importantly, we ultimately should listen to the parents who have final responsibility of their children. Lastly, we need a greater subset of parents to step up and become more involved. Studies show involved parents create better results for kids in their schools. Studies show top tier teachers stay in schools when parents are active in their child’s school. Continuity and caring are big components to educational success.
I’m thankful for past boards and current boards for achieving a higher standard than systems of peer cities. However, I’m worried at the excessive citations of what ‘other communities around the country are doing’ in recent discussions by key educational decision makers. I’m not one inclined to do what every one else does and follow the herd. Politically that is what makes me stand out. I’m not in the 95% committed to only 1 of 2 political opinions. I’m not one that has the identical opinion on all 10 major issues so I fit in and am accepted by my peers to rise up the ladders of their organization commited to an agenda over their neighbors. We would be wise to question and not follow the direction they are on. We need more faith in our neighbors who treat us fair to carve out the direction of our local schools for OUR kids.
I have strong opinions on following the Constitution. I’m a believer in our founders who did not agree on everything but ultimately got the framework right to guide all citizens and government.
I’m extremely worried about shrinking citations by board members of what Lincoln, Nebraska parents desire for their kids in the classroom. Local citizen control, not national adherence, was the intention of our founders on schools. That was good guidance. Let’s keep it that way.
We should affirm our city, keep emphasizing parent involvement, shift investments from appearance oriented objectives and move funds to improve the knowledge of existing teachers who will enhance student learning IN THE CLASSROOM.
We can continually blaze a proven path that benefits anyone regardless of belief system. Investing in divisive programs and elaborate architecture is not the best use of resources. Preparing our kids with a strong foundation, and continually investing in improving and enhancing their instructors knowledge in rigorous academics is.
Want added comfort in voting for Matt? Matt comes from a long line of school board reps. Matt’s mother and grandparent both served on a School Board. Granted, linage does not always equate to success. However, linage in an education family does give you exposure on what it takes to do the job of ‘school board’.
When you are the son and grandson of a school board member you have pertinent discussions around crucial school system topics at the dinner table. You witnessed and learned from the efforts of family members. You witness what works and does not work for a school system. You observe the impact of policies on kids. You have witnessed the end result over 1 or 2 generations under the guidance of a grandparent or parent. They have spoken and will continue to speak into Matt on what works and does not work for kids. Listening to experienced elders is invaluable guidance in doing a great job.
I could label this school board as ‘doom and gloom’ as most politicians looking for change would do. However, that would be disrespectful and more importantly wrong. (I’ll save ‘doom and gloom’ for the Feds who yet again kicked the can down the road on securing the border as a top priority in change, discussing entitlements as promised, and yet again failed to balance a budget the next decade).
I appreciate anyone willing to serve the public. I have admired many of their achievements. I’m grateful for their service. Most citizens are too lazy or self focused to engage the hours needed to serve their neighbors. I want to make sure I praise and give thanks for the tireless hours they have contributed to our community on the school board. They answered the call. Action and dedication deserves an ovation. The challenge they faced and conquered with the arson of the administration building was outstanding (not perfect–a poor standard to expect). I’m truly am thankful for their dedicated service.
However, I do think it is time we add new flavor to the board. This request is not a condemnation of what has existed, but it is a statement that a change is needed to improve on the weaknesses that have developed the last several years. I think we have seen strong success in areas that naturally align with the strengths of the individuals on the current board. However, every strength has a weakness. The weaknesses are starting to show. It is time the pendulum swing in the other direction to correct these issues. The weaknesses are heightened and starting to glare in a board that I believe demonstrates a lot of “Group Think”. I see Matt as addressing some of these weaknesses and assisting a board in areas where existing natural strengths may not align.
Let’s face it–God did not make each person good at everything. You need different people to build a strong team with different strengths. I do not see significant differences, thoughts, or strengths in the current boart to be a great team.
I see the remaining members and Matt to be better compliments. They will be a stronger team if the remaining board members embrace Matt’s strengths he can bring to the team—and vice versa.
We would be wise to add a different skill set to the board to address areas of weakness like communication/notification of parents, budget transparency, having tougher conversations with administrators not adhering to the policy manual, and a better understanding of those students who come from different value sets. Matt has achieved this in his current position. I think Matt will make the board stronger with his skill set/perspective.
I did spend some time researching his opponent. Unfortunately, the coverage on our school board is light by the media (shocker). However, when controversy exists, the media will be there!
I apologize in advance for not being able to find good positive articles. The board not being widely covered is the culprit. I’m sure Katie has done some excellent things for the board given her background. I don’t want to be naive and pretend good things do not exist. She has a track record of loving kids too.
However, I did find an article by a journalist who tries to keep the media and government honest. Her story has thorough documented citations that bothered me and should bother you.
Here is the article from Dena Winter and Nebraska Watchdog last year. http://watchdog.org/183423/gender-training-3/
Katie used an irrelevant legal case and cited it as precedent to require teachers to engage on gender teaching issues. When board members make statements of a legal requirement to teach a social agenda by citing an irrelevant case—that is improper use of the law. Board members cannot be ignorant of the law. Nor should they intimidate the public to action they do not agree with by clinging to the citation of a law that is irrelevant to the case/situation at hand. That is dangerous from a legal standpoint regardless of personal social beliefs. That is the wrong way to push for an agenda.
Teachers must have assurance that board members are not going to improperly cite laws to force them to take personal actions of conduct. Our school system must have assurance that board members will properly use citations of the law to guide the school system.
As a person who believes in liberty, I have a big problem when someone in authority demands another individual to act in opposition to one’s conscious when the law and more importantly the Constitution does not compel one to do so. Intimidation of these people to adopt/adhere to observing/teaching a social agenda by proclaiming inapplicable case law is wrong on so many levels.
So where are the citizens to help these kids be more prepared for the 21st Century?
I will be the negative one and highlight the failure of so many citizens instead of kissing up to gain popularity. As my preacher would say, if the devil can’t make you bad he will make you busy.
Citizens, you are way too busy. You need to step up, get educated by doing YOUR OWN research, and vote. Claims of “I don’t follow politics.. I don’t have time..I’m too busy…” don’t fly in a Democracy. It is down right selfish in a school board election when kids who can’t speak for themselves need your voice.
It is anticipated that under 25% of eligible voters will show up to the polls in May. That is unacceptable. You can yell at Obama or the GOP on what they are or are not doing. However, what are you doing?
Many can preach a good game but are often too busy making that next buck, kept busy with Jr’s schedule, and other ‘self’ reasons that keep them from civic involvement. Your civic involvement in our local schools will determine the future outcome of our most valuable resource–our kids. It is time for action–no excuses.
Put ‘me’ down for two hours the next two weeks. Help Matt. Do not let your conscious live with doing nothing.
Matt was a few hundred votes short of Katie in April. With your help we can turn the tables in the general election. I hope my followers will help make a difference for Matt. A special thanks to many of you who already have.
Can you give $100 to support an ad? Can you put a sign in your yard? Will you talk to 10, 20, 50 neighbors in the 6th district? (6th District Map) Can you be compassionate and drive a neighbor to the polls? Can you advocate early voting for Matt? This is all about moving people in Matt’s district to vote for Matt Schulte. Call Matt’s campaign team and help!
Make the difference this election. Drop the training of partisanship and try not to make this election about opposing the other person. Let’s be thankful and encouraging to the generous service we have received from Katie and the rest of the board regardless of the actions/accusations/incorrect implied positions made by Matt’s opponent and their supporters. Two wrongs don’t make a right. We need to be bigger people like Matt has demonstrated to us this election. We need to return the public square to a debate on ideas. We need to rebuke strategies of personal attacks taught to us by national parties. Let’s keep the focus on facts, actions, and ideas. We are Lincolnites. We care for each other despite our differences.
With that said, let’s exercise our rights to improve a situation and push FOR something. Compassion, service, a different perspective/skill set, and action will make a solid board an incredible school board.
The exact same values will make the difference in the lives of our kids.
I’m thrilled to endorse Matt Schulte for School Board. He needs your help. He needs your vote. Make the difference.
All The Best!
Disclaimer: Many of these opinions reflect my opinions and my opinions alone. They may or may not reflect the views of Matt Schulte (although I hope they do!).