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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Elm Grove business executive to explore evidence of a loving Creator, April 8, 2014

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Brookfield, Special events

Gerald Frye, President
of Benefit Services Group, Inc.    

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April 1, 2014 election picks: Ponto, Mellone, Liotta, Kratoska, & Vrana or Brunner?

City of Brookfield, Elections, Education, Elmbrook

Here are my spring election picks for Mayor, District 7 Alderman, and Elmbrook School Board with links to more in-depth postings, articles, websites and endorsements. (There are other races on my ballot, but they are uncontested.)  You may look up ward and preview your sample ballot at myvote.wi.gov  and find your Brookfield voting location here. Remember, the polls are open from 7am to 8pm. 

Mayor of Brookfield: Steve Ponto
It may feel like a moment of deja vu in Brookfield, but Steve Ponto and Jeff Speaker are again both on our April 2014 ballot. This time the tables are turned, however, with Ponto being the incumbent and Speaker the challenger.  Is Steve as conservative as I am? No, but I do believe he is the better choice. He brings an air of professionalism to the office, which is a welcome change from the Jeff Speaker aw shucks days of the past.
Ponto for Mayor
Ponto's campaign funding three times that of Speaker 

Alderman 7th District: Lisa Mellone
Lisa Mellone is a treasure. She has the perfect mix of brains, professionalism, grace, work ethic, and energy to do a top-notch job representing her district. Add Lisa's B.A. in Business Administration - Finance and post graduate Paralegal certificate and it is easy to see why she has a skill-set few possess. Her approach with development is particularly admirable. She meets with the neighborhoods and developers many times and manages to balance the wants and needs of each. This was not only true of the recent Underwood Crossing project (Target and Trader Joe's) but also the Moorland McDonald's, and Brookfield Marketplace (Pick 'n Save). 

Read through her endorsements from residents in our district and you will know why Lisa Mellone is the only choice. Here is mine: "Lisa Mellone has definitely raised the bar on what constituents expect from an alderman in District 7. She is dedicated to helping residents when they have  problems and to working with neighborhoods and developers to ensure optimal outcomes on new projects. Lisa works tirelessly for us all, and I am grateful she is willing to serve another term."
Better Brookfield: Lisa Mellone for Alderman 
7th District Aldermanic race: What a candidate doesn't say or do speaks volumes 
Come back, Lisa Mellone, District 7 needs you! 

Elmbrook School Board 
Elmbrook School Board election 2014: Liotta, Kratoska, and both Area I candidates-all against Common Core
Elmbrook candidates weigh 4K, Common Core programs 
Elmbrook candidates discuss board member roles, block scheduling at forum 
Common Core emerges as potent election issue for fed-up parents

Area III: Jeffrey Liotta
I really appreciate Jeff Liotta's strong opposition to Common Core, and I agree completely that teaching to the test is one outcome of adopting the standard. Standards do drive curriculum!  Jeff Liotta is a former Elmbrook graduate and School Board member, who served in the 1980s.
Elect Jeffrey J. Liotta Flyer
Endorsement letter for Jeffrey Liotta for Area III School Board 

At-Large: Write-in Jim Kratoska
Jim Kratoska states on his website, "We all have a stake in moderating or eliminating the effect of Common Core (CC) in the Elmbrook system. CC is as much about ideology as it is about education. Many of us have suffered through a variety of educational fads.  My first was ‘new math’, which like CC, taught an ambiguous, convoluted approach that could never be used on a tax form or purchase order; just like the cubes, squares, lines and dots of CC Math..." Please take the time to read through his webpage on Perspective on Education. Be sure to scroll down the entire page to the section of Here's why I am asking for your vote. It contains information on how Common Core standards are already being implemented in Elmbrook (without holding hearings.)

Jim has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Physics, MS in Business Administration, MA in Philosophy, and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the Electrical Engineering and Business Schools at UW-M. 

Jim Kratoska is a registered write-in candidate, which means in the uncontested Area I (correction) At-large race on your ballot, you must connect the arrow next to the write-in line and print in "Jim Kratoska" (Write his name down and take it to the polls or remember this acrostic one clever supporter sent me to help voters spell Kratoska: Kindly Remind All Taxpayers Of Spelling Kratoska At-Large 
Jim Kratoska Website  
Jim Kratoska Endorsement Letter 
Kratoska to run as write-in for Elmbrook at-large seat

Area I:  This still is a difficult choice for me. Young Zackary Vrana is running against incumbent Richard Brunner (senior citizen). Both are opposed to Common Core--Vrana adamantly so, which I like; Brunner it seems in general principle. But Vrana is also emphatically for 4K; Brunner again supports 4K in general principle. Vrana would offer a unique perspective on the board, in that he graduated from Brookfield East in 2012 and will graduate from Marquette in 2015.

Hope this was of some help to you. If I learn anything new, I will try to post it Monday night. 

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Elmbrook School Board election 2014: Liotta, Kratoska, and both Area 1 candidates--all against Common Core

Elections, Education, Elmbrook, Conservatives

When you vote on April 1 this election cycle, you have a choice in each of the Elmbrook School Board races. For the Area III and the At-Large race, whether you support Federal Common Core curriculum standards or not might be your deciding factor.

Common Core has been increasingly in the news. I believe it is not just the latest flavor of education reform but a new form of Federal government overreach.  Last month, the Germantown School District opposed adopting Common Core standards and instead, will set their own, higher ones.

Here in the Elmbrook School District, in the Area III race, Jeff Liotta is challenging incumbent Tom Gehl. This is what each stated at the Candidate Forum: (Emphasis mine)

           Liotta: "Quite frankly, I look at the big picture. I reject the philosophy that is behind the Common Core. I think local boards of education are better suited to determine the standard for their individual communities, and I disagree with the concept that curriculum is separate from standards. I guarantee you that if testing is involved (with Common Core standards), it's going to drive the curriculum and staff, despite what we say, will teach to the test. Elmbrook has a 50-year history of excellence in education. We've done it right. Why would we abdicate our right and authority to determine our destiny and to determine the standards that we want our students to achieve?"

          Gehl: " In Elmbrook, this community and this board has demonstrated our commitment to local control and will maintain that commitment. I believe there have been many good things happening the last two years with our curriculum and content than ever before in our district. The Common Core standards focus on skills...and can be used as a reference. They do not prescribe or demand particular content — that will be determined by the local board and administration — but in many areas, they represent a higher bar than what was in place before."

Area III seat: I am voting for Jeff Liotta.  I really appreciate Liotta's strong opposition to Common Core, and I agree completely that teaching to the test is one outcome of adopting the standard. Standards do drive curriculum!  Jeff Liotta is a former Elmbrook graduate and School Board member, who served in the 1980s. For more information, contact Jeff at jliotta3@wi.rr.com  View Flyer

In the At-Large race, Write-in Jim Kratoska will challenge incumbent Kathryn Wilson, who is unopposed on the ballot. Read through his webpage on Current Issues:

          Kratoska: "My principle objection is with the ‘common’ part of the core.  Synonyms for common include ordinary, commonplace, and regular.  Elmbrook district residents expect a much higher level of education.
"CC is as much about ideology as it is about education. Many of us have suffered through a variety of educational fads.  My first was ‘new math’, which like CC, taught an ambiguous, convoluted approach that could never be used on a tax form or purchase order; just like the cubes, squares, lines and dots of CC Math...

"...Two members of the original CC standards review board, stated before the Wisconsin legislature, that the CC standards would set the average student back 2 years by the time they finished high school."

          Wilson"I do support Common Core implementation. There's a lot of misinformation out there about the Common Core standards. The standards are very simple, high-level aspirations. They are plain, college preparatory, liberal arts, achievement-oriented goals. I really don't see how anyone could argue with these standards as they are. That said, school boards get to decide what is taught, how it is taught and what curriculum is used as part of that teaching. We're certainly not limited in anyway by the Common Core standards of what we do with those standards." (Quote from Forum)

While I realize Common Core is the standard, and it is the curriculum that is the bigger problem (often written with a humanist, liberal slant), I still do not believe any Federal program is benign.

Ask yourself, what Federal program has not grown in size and scope to exceed its original grasp? (As I am still working on my income taxes, I can't help but think how that has ballooned into something completely unmanageable! Social Security is another Federal program that initially had a more limited scope. Today, it has expanded to cover far more recipients than just retirees.) I want less Federal intrusion into my life, not more.  

At-Large choice: I will be writing in Jim Kratoska (Write his name down and take it to the polls.) He has an BS in Applied Mathematics and Physics, MS in Business Administration, MA in Philosophy, and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the Electrical Engineering and Business Schools at UW-M. Visit his website

The Area I seat is a difficult choice for me. Young Zackary Vrana is running against incumbent Richard Brunner (senior citizen). Both are opposed to Common Core--Vrana adamantly so, Brunner it seems in general principle. Again, look at the Forum answers:

          Vrana "I don't believe the Common Core was written for Elmbrook. We are not a district that strives to meet minimum standards. We should be leading and setting the bar for excellence in the state. My issues with the way we've implemented Common Core are the choices we made with the curriculum, such as taking Speech out of the required English curriculum. I think that's a great disservice to our students. Common Core is great to ensure districts meet the minimums, but we should be providing the best education for our students."

          Brunner:  "I've read a number of Common Core analyses in the last several weeks...and every time I read one, I think I change my mind. As far as Elmbrook is concerned, I do not believe we need to implement this program. I understand we do already have it, but I don't think it's necessary for the school district. I think we can (set standards) very well on our own."

I believe Vrana is spot-on here with Common Core; Brunner is less emphatic.

But their stance on 4K makes me lean to Brunner over Vrana, Vrana cheer-leading for 4K--even calling it day care, which it is; Brunner is just supportive.

          Vrana: "I absolutely support a 4K program. I believe district parents need day care for their 4-year-old children, and it is time for us to provide for that...."

          Brunner: "I think the district could benefit from a 4K program. We would, in effect, have a complete school system where the kids could start at four years old and go on through to high school. It's an incentive for people to move into the city ..."

So, Area I is a tossup for me... at least for now.

Brookfield and Elm Grove go to the polls on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.  You can find your ward and preview a sample ballot at myvote.wi.gov  All Elmbrook School District voters vote for all of the School Board candidates, regardless of what area of the district you live in.

I will be posting a final election pick post on Sunday or Monday.


In the news:  Elmbrook candidates weigh 4K, Common Core programs

Elmbrook candidates discuss board member roles, block scheduling at forum

Germantown School Board opposes adoption of Common Core standards 

Germantown sets higher standards than Common Core

Flyers, Websites, and Letters of Endorsement:  

Jim Kratoska Endorsement Letter

Jim Kratoska Website

Jeff Liotta Flyer 

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Dr. Jerry Bergman: Darwinism's Blunders, Frauds... and The Problem of Billions of Years, March 11, 2014

Brookfield, Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Religion, Special events

Dr. Bergman at last year's event
Did you know that many discoveries and theories promoted by proponents of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution were in error and have since been disproven?  
Or that there are problems with the theory that the earth is billions of years old?

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Jay Seegert: 'Faith is Not a 4-Letter Word', 7pm, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Special events

Jay Seegert, co-founder of the Creation Education Center, 
will explore the relationship between science and the Bible and 
how believing in origins via evolution or via creation both require faith.

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Eugene and Karl Sattler present Evolution: Incredible Hoax and Grand Canyon Evidence, Nov. 12, 2013

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, National Parks, Special events

Father and son team up on November 12, 2013 to present

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UW-Oshkosh Prof. Dr. Pesta to Discuss Moral Relativism and Common Core in Schools, Sept. 10, 2013

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Socialism / Marxism, Special events

Labor Day is past, which means it is back to school time for students enrolled in public and private schools in our state. However, the education most students receive today is very different from the 3 R's of the past.

In the last 120 years, the philosophies of humanism and Marxism have undermined the Judeo-Christian values our nation was founded upon, both in our schools and society.  University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh professor James Duke Pesta, Ph. D., will discuss this radical philosophical shift from absolute truth to moral relativism at his upcoming presentation at the Creation Science Society of Milwaukee meeting at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.

In a talk entitled “The Effects of Moral Relativism in our Schools,” Dr. Pesta will examine the abandonment of truth’s effect on our educational system and the threats to our culture at large.
 
Dr. Pesta will also present “The Dangers of Common Core Curriculum.”  In this second talk, he will provide a detailed and shocking look at the U.S. Department of Education’s coming Common Core standards and their plan to “fundamentally transform” American education. Contrary to our Founder’s intent, to keep decisions regarding educating America’s children under local control within each state, Common Core will include a uniform, national curriculum—emphasizing moral relativism, nationwide standardized testing, and a national database for every child.   
 
Parents opting to send their children to private and parochial schools should be aware that many of them will adopt Common Core curriculum and its standardized testing too.
 
Common Core has been in the news, yet few people understand just what it is. Since Wisconsin has accepted millions of dollars from the Federal government to implement the program, Dr. Pesta’s presentation should be of interest to parents and taxpayers alike.
 
The presentations are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church – west entrance, at W196 N9525 Cross View Way, Menomonee Falls, WI  53051.  The church is located on Hwy Q, also called County Line Road, about 1 mile west of Hwy 41-45 on the south side of Hwy Q.  The event is free and open to the public.  
 
Dr. Pesta is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, and the academic director of FreedomProject Education  www.freedomproject.com
 

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April 2, 2013 Election: Wisconsin needs Don Pridemore, a fresh, independent leader, for State Superintendent of Schools

Conservatives, Elections, Education, WISCONSIN

Want more local control over schools? What about increasing a parent's right to choose which school they send their children to? How about an independent leader for State Superintendent of Public Instruction instead of one tied to the teachers union?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, I urge you to vote for Don Pridemore on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

Add to these concerns the very disturbing news of the Wisconsin Department of Instruction "White Privilege" sensitivity courses that are being taught to our teachers, as part of a training  program called CREATE Wisconsin for public school teachers. I watched the following video, compiled by the Education Action Group, and was sickened by some of the ideas being promoted by our DPI and courtesy of our tax dollars!

At the 38 second mark, this quote caught my attention: "We must be aware of how power holders oppressed all people of color to shape the country as they wanted it. Racism is one of several systems of oppression. Others are class, sexism, hetero-sexism, the institutionalized primacy of Christianity, and able-bodiedism. These systems work toward a common goal: to maintain power and control in the hands of wealthy, white, heterosexual, Christian, able-bodied men." The quote came from Dr. Francis Kendall.

And Wisconsin teachers aren't the only ones subject to this type of indoctrination. "White Privilege" is creeping into some Wisconsin public schools as well. In January, the Delavan-Darien District made national news when it was learned students there were being taught similar white privilege ideas.

Interestingly, the DPI website used to include information on White Privilege on their public webpages. It has since been removed from public view!

Another area of curriculum concern is "Common Core." Wisconsin agreed to use that Federally mandated curriculum when Gov. Doyle signed us on to the the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top program. (In order to compete for Federal dollars, we had to agree to use their national "Common Core" curriculum.) The math program in Common Core is called "Just Math."

We all know a firm foundation in math is necessary for so many career choices, but unfortunately, the Federally mandated "Just Math" curriculum transforms mathematics into a vehicle for pushing social and ecological justice subject matter onto our students.

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Creation Science Seminar: 'Answers Conference', November 16, 17, 2012, Brookfield, WI

Brookfield, Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Free, Special events, Religion

Ever wonder if the book of Genesis is relevant today? What about dinosaurs, did they ever live with man? Is the earth really millions of years old or is it young? Does the rock and fossil record back up either claim? Have they ever found the remains of an apeman, or can we really believe there was an Adam as the Bible teaches?

If you do, you are not alone. These questions trouble many Christians today.


Dr. Terry Mortenson and Tim Chaffey, two well known Creation Science speakers from Answers in Genesis, will address these questions and more at the Using God's Word for the World's Questions ANSWERS CONFERENCE, this Friday evening, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17. They will teach a biblical and scientific defense for the Christian faith and give new insights into our past.

The two-day Answers Conference is sponsored by the Creation Science Society of Milwaukee and Brookside Baptist Church. It is designed to equip Christians with the facts necessary to defend the foundational truth of the Genesis account in the Bible. It will also show that the basis for evolution is not founded in rocks and fossils but rather in an anti-biblical worldview.

The conference is free and open to the public, but a free will offering will be taken. All sessions will take place at Brookside Baptist Church, 4470 N. Pilgrim Rd., Brookfield, Wisconsin. Get Directions
 
 
Schedule: 
Friday, November 16
5:00 PM           Registration
6:30 PM           Tim Chaffey – Is Genesis Relevant in Today’s World?
7:45 PM           Dr. Terry Mortenson – Dinosaurs: Have You Been Brainwashed?
 
Saturday, November 17
8:00 AM          Registration
9:30 AM          Dr. Terry Mortenson – Millions of Years: Where Did the Idea Come From?
10:45 AM        Dr. Terry Mortenson – Noah’s Flood: Washing Away Millions of Years
Break for lunch on your own
1:00 PM           Tim Chaffey – Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions
2:15 PM           Dr. Terry Mortenson – Ape-men , Adam & the Gospel (followed by Q&A) 
 
Dr. TerryMortenson is a theologian, historian of geology, and author for Answers in Genesis (AiG). With a PhD in history of geology from the University of Coventry in England, Dr. Mortenson has been studying and speaking on the creation-evolution controversy in 21 countries since the late 1970s. Many of his popular lectures have been produced as DVDs and TV programs. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. Like many creationists, Mortenson grew up in an education system that taught evolution as fact. He began to see the fallacy of the idea of millions of years of evolution in his early college years. 
 
Tim Chaffey holds a B.S. and two M.A. degrees in Biblical and Theological Studies. Chaffey is the founder and director of Midwest Apologetics, a ministry dedicated to defending the word of God from the beginning to the end. He is an apologist with a passion for training young people; he speaks regularly at AiG’s Creation Museum, camps, schools, and churches. Chaffey specializes in the Creation vs. Evolution controversy, which led him to write his first book, Old-Earth Creationism on Trial: The Verdict Is In (co-authored with Jason Lisle, Ph.D. in Astrophysics.)
 
For more information:
Creation Science Society of Milwaukee's website Genesis Matters
Call 1-800-242-7643

In addition to conducting about 250 conferences such as this one each year, Answers in Genesis founded the high-tech CreationMuseum in Kentucky, which opened to international acclaim in 2007.  Its outreaches also include an award-winning web site, Answers magazine and the Answers radio program.
 

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2012 Elmbrook School District election picks: Meg Wartman & Jean Lambert

2012, 4-K, Brookfield, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

Everyone in the Elmbrook School District votes for both school board races, regardless of where you live in the district. The School Board races are on the back side of your ballot!

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Creation Science Seminar at Camp Timber-lee, Sat. Oct 1, 2011

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Special events, Education

It's back to school time for the whole family on Saturday, Oct. 1st, when the Creation Science Society of Milwaukee hosts an all day Creation Science Seminar, 9:30am - 4pm, at Camp Timber-lee in East Troy, Wisconsin. All seminars and exhibits are in the Arbor Vitae Science Building.

There will be 4 seminars in all, presented by 2 Wisconsin Creation Science speakers: Keith Robinson, a public school educator, professional musician, and author of the sci-fi trilogy: Origins and Richard Marrano, a creation science speaker, who often speaks on the topics of fossils and astronomy. Here is the schedule:
 

  • 9:30 - 10:30 am, Countering Evolutionary "Proofs" in Biology Texts - Keith Robinson presents an analysis of the top 10 "proofs" for evolution and how "the evidence is either misinterpreted, misleading, or downright false".
  • 10:45 - 11:45 am, Implications of Evolution on Society - Richard Marrano shares how Evolution influences people's Worldview in Science, Medicine, and Social policy.

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Elmbrook School closing options include Swanson: Speak up! Tuesday, Aug. 23, 6pm

Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

While the weather and calendar may still say it is summer, Elmbrook's Board of Education Meeting Agenda says it is also time for some serious discussion at Tuesday's, Aug. 23rd meeting regarding our district's excess school capacity. The meeting starts at 6pm at the Central Administration Office at 13780 Hope Street--just east of Hope St. and Lilly Rd.

At present, there are 8 scenarios on the table that include closing Hillside, Tonawanda, Burleigh, Swanson outright and/or include incorporating the administrative offices into a smaller sectioned Burleigh or Swanson.

Because Swanson School is mentioned for 2 of the options, the Concerned Calhoun Community is asking for concerned citizens to attend the meeting. Residents may comment prior to an agenda item.

The following is from an email sent by Barbara Roncke, leader of the C.C.C.

CONCERNED CALHOUN COMMUNITY
 
ATTENTION!!!
 
SWANSON SCHOOL MAY ONCE AGAIN BE AT RISK

 
The Elmbrook School Board has come up with eight (8) school closing options. At this meeting they hope to pare down the options to two (2) or three (3). One option calls for the closing of Swanson School. Another is the reduction of Swanson coupled with the closing of Tonawanda.
 
The Swanson community needs to have a presence at this meeting. The Brookfield Now, August 18th issue has the article with complete information on pages 7 & 8. The article also lays out a timetable: August-pare down options; September-hold listening sessions: October/early November- make decision.
 
Some information to keep in mind:
1. Swanson was closed in 1982 and re-opened bigger and better in 1995.
2. This District has closed and sold six (6) schools-repurposed Fairview South.
3. Swanson is a five (5) section school with an enrollment of about 620 students making it
the second largest Elementary school in Elmbrook. Burleigh has 680 students.
4. Swanson has enough open classrooms to have 4 year old kindergarten or to absorb
some students from another closing school.
5. Closing Swanson or Burleigh would result in a district-wide re-districting plan.
6. Hillside is oldest and smallest of our schools.
7. Brookfield Elementary and Dixon are both under-utilized.
8. The Administration property is For Sale and plans for Administration relocation
should be dovetailed with any closing plan. This property has been on the market
for a year and its underlined zoning is residential.
9. No more school property should be sold. Outside of Maryknoll, Elmbrook has no property
to meet any future needs. Swanson maybe the most saleable but the economy probably
puts off any large scale development in that area 10-15 years.
10. Swanson is the only school south of Bluemound road and services a student population
from 124th St. to Barker Road. This is roughly equivalent to the population of Elm
Grove which has two schools, Tonawanda and Pilgrim Park.
 

Thank you for your past support. Barbara Roncke
 

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Encouraged to hear he "already voted for Kormanik"

4-K, Elmbrook, Education

I passed out a few fliers for Nancy Kormanik to Brookfield residents at church today. They were all well received.

But as I approached a couple from Elm Grove, I did wonder how they would react to Nancy's candidacy--after all, closing schools is definitely on the table. The wife set my mind at ease when she looked at the flier and said, Oh, my husband already voted [absentee] for this Kormanik. He read about her in the paper and thought she was the best choice. I am going to vote for her on Tuesday. We think we should close some of our schools.

So they had come to that conclusion entirely on their own.

Another person I correspond with via email from time to time originally said they were voting for Wilson because they didn't think a write-in would win. Yesterday, they emailed again to tell me they changed their minds...they were voting for Kormanik.

I spoke with a few neighbors; they reacted very positively too. One man said he was going to take a few fliers to the gym to share with his buddies.

That is how grassroots efforts work, so I am encouraged.

Make a few calls. Send out some emails. Print a few fliers to give out. Talk to your friends and neighbors, and be sure to VOTE on Tuesday!

How to Write-In candidate Nancy Kormanik
April 5, 2011 Elmbrook School Board Ballot Picks: Brunner & Kormanik
Guest Posting 2: Nancy Kormanik on ENROLLMENT
Guest Posting: Nancy Kormanik Fiscal Conservative
Conservatives, you now have a real choice:Write-In Nancy Kormanik
What? Families who HAVE 4K petition to join Elmbrook WITHOUT 4K?
 

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Guest Posting 2: Nancy Kormanik on ENROLLMENT

4-K, Elections, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

This is the second and last guest posting by Nancy Kormanik

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April 5, 2011 Elmbrook School Board Ballot Picks: Brunner & Write-In Kormanik (Yes, that was Brunner! UPDATE)

4-K, Education, Elections, Elmbrook

UPDATES: See brown text sections below.

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Guest Posting: Nancy Kormanik Fiscal Conservative

4-K, Elmbrook, Elections, Education, Conservatives

Recently, I asked Nancy Kormanik if she would write a guest posting for my blog. After all, who better to speak for Nancy Kormanik than Nancy Kormanik!
 

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What? Families who HAVE 4K petition to join Elmbrook WITHOUT 4K?

4-K, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

How often do we hear that the Elmbrook School District NEEDS to implement 4K to protect our property values? I have even heard it from a school board member, but I don't believe it is true.

No, I don't believe providing 4K is a necessary expenditure for Elmbrook to make in order to attract home buyers to our district. It was obviously not considered a necessity for the 3 subdivisions petitioning Elmbrook last night, which is why I felt compelled to speak up at the School Board meeting.(Agenda items 3 D,E,F,G)

There I sat in an audience of about 20, listening to each women representing their subdivision pitch their plea to attach their homes to the Elmbrook School District. Naomi, the first speaker, representing the Black Forest, Summit Lawn, and southern edge of the Shire subdivisions, explained that others from their group were at the Waukesha School Board meeting petitioning for detachment.

She went on to say that of the 74 school age children in their area, the majority go to private school or to Elmbrook through open enrollment. I did remember that same statement being made at their last attempt to join the Elmbrook School District in 2009. She mentioned that they had petitioned Elmbrook before but were denied. Now their year cooling off period was over and they were trying again. Another woman named Jane then addressed the board; Maurene spoke for residents of Emerald Ridge. One of them mentioned they had been trying to get into Elmbrook for over 10 years.

Wow--10 years of trying to get into Elmbrook? It would have been simpler to just buy in Elmbrook, wouldn't it?

Then I noticed the pages of school districts with 4K in the packet of papers given to attendees. I was pretty sure Waukesha HAD 4K, but checked to verify. Sure enough, there on page 4A-8 Waukesha was listed as providing 4K.

So these 3 areas HAD 4K, but the parents chose to send the majority of their children either to private school or to Elmbrook that doesn't have 4K. Doesn't that say it all? I quickly filled out a request to speak. (FYI, the board unanimously approved these requests to join Elmbrook. This request must be approved by the state, however.)

There were 2 other speakers who chose to address the board before the 4K discussion began.

Nancy Kormanik, spoke against 4K, saying that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for a program that isn't mandatory. Kormanik, I found out, was a teacher at MATC.

Betsy, the 2nd speaker, talked about 4K not being a new program, that her children had 4K in Wauwatosa, then moved into Elmbrook the following year and had a repeat in our 5K. Here parting words were If you are going to compete, you have to have 4 year old kindergarten. (She wasn't exactly an example of no 4K lowering property values, since she did move into our district the next year.) I couldn't ask for a better set up to speak.

Stating the obvious that isn't so obvious

This was very off the cuff; my address went something like this: I agreed 4K wasn't new; I had 4K! But I didn't choose to move to Shorewood (where I had 4K) but chose Brookfield instead. I also mentioned that we are told--even by a school board member--that 4K is necessary to protect our property values, yet we have 3 living examples of people living in subdivisions, in a district that HAS 4K, petitioning to join a district that DOES NOT HAVE 4K! What matters is the quality of an Elmbrook education.

Incidentally, Mequon-Thiensville School District outscored us with its 25.9 composite score, as did West High in the Madison School District, also with 25.9. Why do I mention them? Because neither of them have 4K.

Later in the discussion, Tom Gehl cautioned about increasing the number of non-resident students just to fill our vacant elementary space. He hinted that there was a correlation between Elmbrook slipping from its #1 status in (ACT) test scores and the number of non-residents.

Jean "Lambert said she believes money would be better spent bolstering outcomes at the higher grades in preparation for post-graduation than at the elementary school level."

I couldn't agree more. So, please Elmbrook, concentrate on the things that matter, the quality of your product which is education, and leave day care where it belongs, in the private sector.

Contact the board:
Elmbrook School Board:
President Tom Gehl gehlt@elmbrookschools.org
Meg Wartman wartmanm@elmbrookschools.org
Glen Allgaier allgaieg@elmbrookschools.org
Gary Jones jonesg@elmbrookschools.org
Jean Lambert lambertj@elmbrookschools.org
Kathryn Wilson wilsonk@elmbrookschools.org
Robert Ziegler zieglerr@elmbrookschools.org

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4K: $222 million a year and growing! Call Elmbrook School Board & Gov. Walker

4-K, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES, WISCONSIN

That is right. In Wisconsin, 4K costs taxpayers $222,000,000 a year. And if the D.P.I. has its way, that number will be increasing after their 4K recruitment effort.

I just got off the phone with Senator Glenn Grothman's office. His assistant urged concerned Wisconsinites to CALL the Governor to defund 4K in his budget.* Governor Scott Walker (608) 266-1212 govgeneral@wisconsin.gov

Taking state funding for 4K out of Wisconsin's budget would mean local districts would fund the entire cost of their 4K programs--no more state aid.

At the local level, presently, our Elmbrook School District does not have a 4K program. But our school board may vote on whether or not to begin a 4K program for the 2011-2012 school year at their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22nd, at the Central Administration Office, 13780 Hope Street, at 6pm. Please contact the board about this issue. (Info below)

According to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, the Governor's next budget will reduce the shared revenue the state pays out and cut the per pupil dollar amount given to local districts for each student enrolled. Hardly an incentive for adding new students to a new, unnecessary and ineffective program such as 4K.

Why do I say unnecessary and ineffective? Because like many other studies, Elmbrook's own internal study showed no difference in the achievement levels of 2nd grade students between children who went to Elmbrook's own pilot program 4K, those who attended private 4K, and those who had no 4K at all!

On top of all that, as one board member stated, the increase to Elmbrook's budget by starting a 4K program does not "make a significant impact" on the "overall budget shortfall". Remember Elmbrook School's budget increase is at Elmbrook TAXPAYER expense: "According to the district, taxes for the owner of a $300,000 home would increase by $34 for 2011-12, $66 for 2012-13, $97 for 2013-14 and $104 for 2014-15 if K4 is implemented." This would be at current state aid levels. If those levels are reduced, the cost for Elmbrook taxpayers would increase even more.

Combining the ineffectiveness of a 4K program, with that small financial gain to their budget , with the very real threat of decreasing state aids per pupil, makes voting against starting 4K in Elmbrook the only reasonable position. Contact the board.

*If defunding 4K doesn't make it into the Governor's February 22nd budget proposal, Senator Grothman will introduce defunding 4K in a stand alone bill.


Elmbrook School Board:
President Tom Gehl gehlt@elmbrookschools.org
Meg Wartman wartmanm@elmbrookschools.org
Glen Allgaier allgaieg@elmbrookschools.org
Gary Jones jonesg@elmbrookschools.org
Jean Lambert lambertj@elmbrookschools.org
Kathryn Wilson wilsonk@elmbrookschools.org
Robert Ziegler zieglerr@elmbrookschools.org

Residents split on K4.

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Here we go again, Elmbrook board discussing 4K tonight, topic at 7pm

Elmbrook, TAXES, Education, 4-K

That's right. At tonight's Elmbrook school board meeting, they will be discussing adding 4K...again. The meeting starts at 6pm with the 4K agenda item at 7pm: Four Year Old Kindergarten - February 8, 2011 Discussion. It is imperative the board hear from you if you are against adding 4K to our district, because you can be sure those in favor of 4K will be there tonight. Please come if you are able, or you may email your comments to the board. The board is to decide on 4K at their Feb. 22nd meeting.

A pro-4K email has crossed my path. To quote: "It is crucial for the Board to hear our voices in support of 4K before the decision is made at February 22nd meeting. 4K has a real possibility of passing this time, but the Board members need to see a packed room and hear our comments..."

The email then gives a number of statistics that I question. One being the survey taken at polling places on November 2nd, where Voters were asked to state their position on closing a school, more non resident students, and adding 4K to close the budget gap. There was no explanation given that 4K would be increasing the Elmbrook budget by increasing our taxes!

The general public doesn't always understand that when the district talks about increasing revenue, it really means higher taxes*. "According to the district, taxes for the owner of a $300,000 home would increase by $34 for 2011-12, $66 for 2012-13, $97 for 2013-14 and $104 for 2014-15 if K4 is implemented."

From the district's own Dec. 7, 2010 work session minutes: "...staffing costs will rise if 4K is added--therefore address salary/benefit concerns before adding 4K."

The Elmbrook School Board voted against 4K in 2007. So what is different with the board we have today vs. the board we had in 2007 when they voted 4K down? We still have Tom Gehl, Meg Wartman, Gary Jones, Glen Allgaier who were NO 4K votes. Bob Ziegler is the only surviving Yes vote. Jean Lambert and Kathryn Wilson have replaced Dave Marcello, a No vote, and Cherry Sylla, a Yes vote.

Has the information on academic achievement changed since 2007? At the time, Meg Wartman even wondered if Elmbrook ever assessed the difference all day 5K made in achievement in Elmbrook.

Well, now we do have our own "data" as Eileen Depka refers to it on how our pilot 4K-ers, now in 2nd grade, do compared to Elmbrook students who did not attend 4K. From what I have heard, on average, they have not done as well as students who only attended 5K. (If they did do better, do you really think you wouldn't have heard more about it by now?) All I could find was this sentence from the Dec. 14, 2010 board meeting minutes, "Eileen Depka presented non standardized assessment data from the current second grade class, many of whom participated in the District’s 4K pilot."

The board meeting starts tonight at 6pm with the 4K discussion at 7pm. As I understand it, people may comment at the Citizen's Forum early in the meeting. Or submit your comments via email.

Contact the Elmbrook School Board:
President Tom Gehl gehlt@elmbrookschools.org
Meg Wartman wartmanm@elmbrookschools.org
Glen Allgaier allgaieg@elmbrookschools.org
Gary Jones jonesg@elmbrookschools.org
Jean Lambert lambertj@elmbrookschools.org
Kathryn Wilson wilsonk@elmbrookschools.org
Robert Ziegler zieglerr@elmbrookschools.org

More reading: *School closing decision put off til fall, Feb 1, 2011

Past Posts: 4-K: The Dog Chasing its Tail Oct. 8, 2007 (Revised) Revenues collected "...would, however, cost the taxpayers more money, because it would be funded primarily from increased property taxes. The district would be allowed to collect more taxes due to its increased enrollment."
Does 4K Deserve Tax Dollars? Nov. 10, 2007
Uncle Matt Wants You--if you are 4 years old Nov. 14, 2007
4K--It's About the Money Nov. 21, 2007
Public Schools: Safety Net or Drift Net? Nov. 23, 2007
4K Solving Budget Woes = Lucy Ricardo Math Nov. 26, 2007
Bet Room Will Be Packed With Pro 4K Tonight Nov. 27, 2007
4K Yellow Hands and Green Trees Nov. 27, 2007
4K Discontinued Despite Emotions & Irregularities Nov. 28, 2007

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It's National School Choice Week - Register for Jan. 27th and/or Jan. 31st events

Education, Elmbrook, Free, Special events, TAXES

Americans for Prosperity and National School Choice team up this week to bring you 2 National School Choice events in our area.

On Thursday, January 27th, from 6pm - 8pm, there will be a showing of "The Cartel", a movie that deals with the failure of public education--especially for minority students. It is free, but you must register. Wisconsin branch of the AFP, Fight Back Wisconsin website, states there will be a Town Hall Q&A connected with this movie showing too. Held at 1126 S. 70th Street, Suite S211, Milwaukee. (North of Greenfield Ave.) Call 414-476-7900 for more information.

The 2nd event is probably of more interest to those of us in the Elmbrook School District, since in general, parents are satisfied with our school system. This one is titled, The Education Revolution Tour: Restoring America's Exceptionalism. This Town Hall will be held from 7 - 8:30 pm on January 31st, at the Country Springs Hotel (2810 Golf Road) in Pewaukee. Call 414-476-7900 for more information. The meeting is FREE, but you need to register. (There is also a pre-Town Hall reception and photo op with Dick Morris and Vicki McKenna at 6pm, for a $59 registration fee.)

Why are they doing this? Because, as their literature and ads state, "American 15-year-olds rank 35th out of 57 countries in math and literacy, behind almost all industrialized nations!"

Never heard of National School Choice week? Don't feel badly. This is a new grassroots movement in our nation and this is the first of hopefully many more nationwide events of this kind.

The Heritage Foundation informs us that over 150 organizations nationwide are hosting events this week. "It’s a grassroots movement of national proportions to highlight the benefits of school choice and demand access to quality educational options. Speaker John Boehner, Newt Gingrich, Sens. Joe Lieberman and John McCain and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush – among many others – are all “in” for National School Choice Week.

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Did you attend Elmbrook's Annual meeting?

Education, Elmbrook, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Last night was the Elmbrook School District's Annual Meeting. I was unable to attend.

I contacted someone who did go and they reported that attendance was light, maybe 40 or so in the audience, with some stragglers as the evening progressed.


Paraphrasing the attendee's take on the evening...
 

  • The meeting proceeded along Agenda lines without a hitch.
  • Based on questions asked, the crowd seemed equally divided between "pro-program supporters and fiscal conservatives".
  • Treasurer Glen Allgaier did "a masterful job of presenting the budget and answering questions".
     
  • Most questions were "soft" but some "really went after the Board and Administration" on "total compensation of faculty members".
  • Some attendees agreed we need to control spending, yet advocated "non-core pet programs", didn't want to see class sizes increase, etc.

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Weigh in on Elmbrook's budget, 4K & school closings this week & next - Clarification

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

Clarification: Additional thoughts are noted in *blue with asterisks* .

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Can't believe Elmbrook is entertaining 4K as budget fix

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Education

Last week, Elmbrook's Enrollment Management Study Team presented 2 of their 10 scenarios that would help fill the $16 Million dollar budget short fall over the next 5 years. The 2 recommendations they advanced each included adding 4K.

All I have to say to them is, Dorothy, we aren't in Kansas anymore! or more accurately, Elmbrook, the heyday of expanding the Empire by sending the bill to the taxpayers is over.

If you care about this issue, please note that the board will continue discussion of 4K and closings, etc. at their next meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 24th, 6pm.

But what happened to recommendation #3: Reduce to 5 elementary schools (assume closing of three section school in 2011-12), and recommendation 4: Reduce to 4 elementary schools (assume closing of 2 three section school in 2011-12)? Instead, the EMS Team settled on 2 options that both ADD 4K.

The introduction of the EMS Team's 2 4K recommendations opened discussion at the Board level last Tuesday. Now, just because the EMS Team brought these 2 recommendations to the Board does not mean the Board will go for them. Meg Wartman, Tom Gehl, Glen Allgaier, and Patrick Murphy voted against 4K in the last go round in 2007. Our board has changed since then. Murphy has retired; we have added Gary Jones, Jean Lambert, Kathryn Wilson since then. Wilson and Allgaier both indicated they were willing to look at school closings and were not enthusiastic about 4K during the 2010 pre-election forums.

The economic climate of our nation has drastically changed since November of 2007. For one, On January 1, 2011, the Bush tax cuts will expire. That means income tax rates will increase from 35 to 39.6% for top income tax payers. ("Two-thirds of all small business profits are taxed" at this rate.) Even the lowest bracket of 10% will rise to 15%. Don't forget the "return of the Death Tax" and the "higher tax rates on savers and investors" too--capitol gains and dividends taxes will increase dramatically.

These increases will affect all Elmbrook taxpayers in a negative way, and our school district EMS Team is suggesting we pay more, in order to add students so their budget numbers look better?

According to the July 13th Agenda Item 3A report, page 3, we get between $1,500-$2,000 per Open Enrollment student and $1,700 per 4K student. Keep in mind the actual cost per student in Elmbrook is around $12,000-$13,000 a year. (Half that amount for half day kindergarten student.)

A reader alerted me to the fact that the district would NOT conduct a 'baseline analysis' which would consist of sizing our schools to serve only resident students.

And speaking of resident students, one thing I have wondered for years is why do we still have New Berlin students included in the Elmbrook system when Lindfield, the Elmbrook neighborhood school they used to attend, was closed years ago? Students from south of Greenfield Ave. in New Berlin are still in Elmbrook's system even though their own New Berlin elementary school on Sunnyslope Rd. is far closer than sending them to Elmbrook's Swanson School. Maybe this is the time to finally size Elmbrook's schools to Elmbrook residents?

Can we please start looking at public education in the right light? The school district constantly talks about increasing their enrollment numbers like they were a business. During the last referendum discussion, they were asking how they could draw in that 25% or so of students who were either homeschooled or in private school. Why?

Oh, I know the reason, they are trying to increase THEIR budget, BUT their budget boost is at the literal expense of the taxpayers!

Their desire to increase their budget reminds me of the proverbial welfare mom who has more children to get more benefits but doesn't factor in that each child adds to her total expenses and demands more of her time. From an other government supplied service perspective, isn't it like our police looking at increasing the number of people they serve?

Providing "free" education for students is a costly SERVICE, not a money maker. Businesses don't look at ways to increase their work load; they look at ways to increase their efficiency and profit.

Unlike the private sector, each dollar the district receives is out of the pockets of the taxpayers, be it from residents in the nation, state, or school district.

In case you haven't noticed news articles on our economy, the R-word, for Recession, is gradually changing to the D-word, for Depression. We could be in for a long stretch of economic hardship. The nation is broke.

We are also in trouble at the state level. Wisconsin's budget will probably fall $2.5 Billion short by the end of its cycle. Add to that BadgerCare's "shortfall could reach $850 million". Just today we learn that Doyle's $200 Million Patient's Compensation Fund raid must be repaid. In other words, Wisconsin is broke.

And at the local level, the "proposed change to how schools are funded in the state could have a big - and negative - impact on the Elmbrook School District."

There are Elmbrook residents who are facing prolonged unemployment (over 18 months) and foreclosure.

So please, Elmbrook School District, could you look at CUTTING the size of your empire instead of EXPANDING it on the backs of your serfs?

Sorry for this long post, but this is an important issue we must speak up about. Let the board know your thoughts on adding an expensive 4K program--remember to be polite. The next board meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 24th, 6pm


Past Posts: 4-K: The Dog Chasing its Tail (Revised) Revenues collected "...would, however, cost the taxpayers more money, because it would be funded primarily from increased property taxes. The district would be allowed to collect more taxes due to its increased enrollment."
Does 4K Deserve Tax Dollars? Nov. 10, 2007
Uncle Matt Wants You--if you are 4 years old Nov. 14, 2007
4K--It's About the Money Nov. 21, 2007
Public Schools: Safety Net or Drift Net? Nov. 23, 2007
4K Solving Budget Woes = Lucy Ricardo Math Nov. 26, 2007
Bet Room Will Be Packed With Pro 4K Tonight Nov. 27, 2007
4K Yellow Hands and Green Trees Nov. 27, 2007
4K Discontinued Despite Emotions & Irregularities Nov. 28, 2007

Elmbrook Agenda Notes: May 11, 2010 Enrollment Management Study Team Update included 2 school closing/no 4K options
July 13, 2010 Enrollment Management Study Team Report on Team Recommendations and Findings includes tax credits per student

Articles: Elmbrook Urged to Close School, Bring Back 4K Moves would save district millions July 14, 2010
School Closure Called 'Last Resort' But candidates won't rule it out as a money-saving move March 17, 2010 pre-election article.
School Funding Plan Could Hurt July 7, 2010, "And since Elmbrook does not receive a great deal of state aid to begin with, putting the $900 million from the tax levy credit into funds distributed statewide likely would not have a significant impact in the district, Brightman said. "You'll be paying that much more in school taxes, but the district will receive zero revenue," he said."
 

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Target Store at Plan Commission tonight, 4K Tuesday, Bike Race Friday

Education, City of Brookfield, Elmbrook, 4-K, Development, Special events, TAXES, Just for fun!

Alderman Lisa Mellone sent me the notice on the Target Store and Bike Race. A reader alerted me to the discussion of 4K at Elmbrook's School Board meeting.

Quebecor Target Store Project, Brookfield Plan Commission, 6pm tonight

"A concept review of the proposed Target Store development on the old Quebecor site is scheduled for this Monday, July 12th, 6pm in Council Chambers at City Hall. At this point the applicant is seeking feedback from the Plan Commission on the proposal at their meeting. "

This project has changed considerably from the former mixed use project, of housing and smaller retail, that fell through for the Quebecor site in 2007.

Even the original Ryan Cos proposal had a senior housing possibility, but that has changed too--at least from Ryan's perspective. JSOnline: Plan for new Brookfield Target on Blue Mound Road advance: "Ryan executives considered including senior apartments as part of the development. But that was dropped in favor of doing just retail, along with some expanded green space along the portions of the site that border N. Columbia Blvd. and Krueger Park... ...The green space would likely be donated to the city, the plan said."

Since Ryan Cos'. plan calls for a Target Store with grocery and a few other retail stores-- no housing--the City will have to revisit the plan to approve of the site being solely retail to move it forward.


Elmbrook School Board Meeting
, Tuesday, July 13, 6pm at Central Administrative Offices

The Enrollment Management Study Team will give a report on their findings. (Item 3A on Agenda) Suggestions include ADDING 4K, closing a school and ADDING 4K, and more. With the new school funding changes (not favorable to Elmbrook), I am sure we want to keep an eye on these suggestions!

School Funding Plan Could Hurt

State Schools Chief Proposes Revamp of Funding System



Cycling Classic Bike Race, July 16th, City of Brookfield Civic Center

This looks like fun. On Friday, July 16th, Brookfield's Civic Center roads will be closed to serve as the track for several bike races during the day! Events start at 9:30am and the last race begins at 5:45pm.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau was looking for volunteers to serve as race marshals. If you are interested in helping, contact Nancy Justman at 262-789-0220 or nancy@visitbrookfield.com

Additional information can be found at International Cycling Classic

Well, it is back to the grindstone for me, or more specifically, sanding Spackle in my kitchen.

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Elmbrook School Board At-Large Candidate Forum: Tuesday, Feb. 2

Education, Elmbrook, Elections, Special events

Just a reminder that tomorrow, Tuesday, February 2nd, is the only chance to compare all 6 candidates running for the 2 At-Large positions on the School Board.

The At-Large Candidate Forum will be held in the Elmbrook Administrative Office Board Room at the Central Offices from 7 - 9 pm, 13780 Hope Street, in Brookfield. (Hope Street is a few blocks north of Capitol Drive.)

Funding and increasing the school budget will be an important topic at the forum. Keep in mind that increasing funding often goes hand in hand with raising taxes. Example: adding 4K does increase the money coming into Elmbrook but as an additional expense to the taxpayers of Elmbrook and Wisconsin.

The top 4 candidates that make it through the primary on Feb. 16th will advance to the April 6th ballot.

After the primary, there will be another School Board Candidate Forum that will include the top 4 At-Large candidates and the Area II candidates: Board member Glen Allgaier and challenger Ilse Frayer. This one will also be at Elmbrook's Administrative Offices on March 16th, 7-9pm.
Both forums are sponsored by the Elmbrook Parent Leadership Council.

All Elmbrook residents vote for ALL of the school board candidates.

Hope you can make it to both events. If not, if you have cable TV, they will be broadcast on the district's channel after the 2nd and 16th.

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UPDATE on Elmbrook's HG&D (Sex Ed) curriculum

Education, Elmbrook, HG&D (sex-ed)

Monday I went to the district offices to look at the proposed Holt packaged curriculum for middle school students. Elmbrook School District residents may go to look over materials at these times:

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It's Elmbrook's Human Growth & Development (Sex Ed) public review time again

Education, Elmbrook, Family, HG&D (sex-ed)

Elmbrook School District residents may look over the Human Growth & Development materials at the district offices at 13780 Hope Street, just a few blocks north of Capitol Drive.

Daytime Sessions: Jan. 11 - 15, Jan. 18 - 22 and Jan. 25: 9 a.m. - Noon and 1 - 4 p.m.
Evening Sessions: Thursday, Jan. 14 and Monday, Jan. 18: 5 - 7 p.m.

New for this year is the proposed packaged curriculum by Holt for the middle school students. I believe this is the first pre-fab curriculum our district has ever had for health instruction, which is the broader term for sex ed.

I like the idea of a packaged curriculum because it is easier to see exactly what will be taught. The Outcomes, I have heard, are tied to specific chapters and pages, which should help parents see what subjects are emphasized and taught.

One of the challenges in reviewing the HG&D materials is to match the Outcomes with the actual instructional materials. Another would be to look at how much time is devoted to a subject. For example, the curriculum may include teaching abstinence and birth control, but how much time is devoted to each? Hypothetically, if there is one mention of abstinence and then 10 lessons on contraception, are we really covering both subjects? Is instruction glossing over the importance of abstinence in preventing sexually transmitted diseases, many of which are incurable?

As you review the material, keep in mind the state graduation requirement for sex ed is 1/2 credit in the subject of health. Period. Every classroom hour devoted to HG&D takes one hour away from some other subject such as science, math, English, or history.

If you have children in the Elmbrook School District, I urge you to go take a look at what materials are there for your child's present and future grade levels.

Past Posts: Still time to review Elmbrookd's HG&D (Sex-Ed) materials:

 

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UPDATE: Call State Representative & Senator: VOTE NO on AB458 State Mandated Sex Ed

HG&D (sex-ed), Education, Elmbrook, Legislation, WISCONSIN

Wisconsin's State Assembly will vote on bill AB 458 today, Thursday, Nov. 5th. This bill would seriously alter Wisconsin's current human growth and development (sex education) statutes. If passed, AB458 would remove local school board's control over how sex ed is taught in each district.

Assembly Republicans were able to temporarily block the vote on Tuesday, but it will come to the floor today, the last day the Assembly meets for the year.

Considering the countless hours Elmbrook's Human Growth & Development curriculum committee spent on evaluating our proposed HG&D program, the state usurping our and other school board's local control, disregards the sacrifice of time and talent these committees invested in their programs. The bill disregards the right of local boards to make decisions for their districts.

I urge you to call your State Representative and tell them to vote NO on AB 458. My Rep. is Leah Vukmir 608-266-9180. Rep. Rich Zipperer 608-266-5120 represents the west side of Brookfield. (Even though the Republicans are against this legislation, I still call to voice my support for their position.)

What is so bad about the bill? Senator Glenn Grothman explained on Jay Weber's radio program Wed. morning how AB 458 would change HG&D instruction in Wisconsin (should it pass) Here are my notes:

  • We would have to do [teach] it in a way that doesn't create any bias against those sexually active.
  • It would ban abstinence centered and abstinence only teaching like Thiensville['s program.]
  • This would force districts to allow Planned Parenthood into the classroom for condom demonstrations, starting at age 12.
  • It would normalize teen sex, which is illegal according to state law for children under age 16.

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Tuesday: Elmbrook School Board to discuss Non-resident students

Elmbrook: nonresident students, Education

Board member Glen Allgaier informed me that the Elmbrook School Board will discuss the results of his and 3 community member's analysis of Chapter 220 and Open Enrollment students in our schools at Tuesday's board meeting. This is a subject that interests me, but unfortunately, I have another commitment that night. If this subject interests you, you may wish to attend.

Along with discussing the costs, financial and otherwise, the board is also to discuss "plans for opening seats for 220 students in the fall of 2010." (Approx 7:30pm ) Agenda

The October 13th meeting begins at 6pm at the Central Administrative Offices

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Parents knew nothing of Obama-adoration songs at school

Education, President Obama

Do you know what your kids are learning at school? Parents in New Jersey were surprised to learn that a few of their children were (reportedly) taught some very pro-Obama songs about "all [his] great accomplishments" as part of Black History month. Keep in mind, Black History month is in February. President Obama only took office toward the end of January! What accomplishments?

Video of 18 grade school kids singing a pro Obama song to the Battle Hymn of the Republic tune was bad enough. It could be worse, I suppose; at least they didn't include the line, "His truth is marching on." The chant that was styled on the spiritual, "Jesus Loves the Little Children" that included the line, "red, yellow, black or white, All are equal in his sight. Barack Hussein Obama," was over the top. (The real song lyrics are Red and Yellow, Black and White, All are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.) "Click here to see the full lyrics to both songs."

Funny how we can use the president's middle name now, isn't it?

FOXNews reported parents' reaction to the songs:

"The video has set off some families in Burlington, who said they were horrified that their children at the being 'indoctrinated' to view the president like a cult figure."

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Obama pitches Health Care at Wakefield High School

Education, Health care, President Obama

Yesterday I questioned why this section was included in Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's email to the nation's principals: "Educated people are more active civically [sic] and better informed on issues affecting their lives, their families and their futures. Issues like living wage, health care, increasing militarism? torture?" (That's not even a sentence. What action did Arne intend be taken on those topics?)

Today I learned* that prior to the president's very conservative national broadcast address to America's school children, he met with 40 freshmen at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. (Same school he made his broadcast address from)

Let's just say I don't think that meeting made the national news, but CNS reported it: Obama Pitched Universal Health Care to Students in Meeting Prior to His Speech on Education. It was a face to face Q&A session with innocuous questions like how has your life changed, how would your life be different if you father were involved, who would you like to have dinner with, and what were your main goals when you were in college, etc. The session was filmed, but not broadcast as far as I know.

Transcript It seemed Obama could not resist steering the question, "How [do] you motivate yourself to do all the work that goes along with your job?", toward discussing his health care reforms. He replied, "... I'm just going to be honest with you -- some of it is just you don't want to fail. Right? A lot of people are counting on me," and went on to talk about the 40,000 letters he receives a day on all different subjects. He reads 10 a day -- some inspiring, some depressing.

He elaborated on both. The inspiring being about someone who was the first to go to college. The depressing, "You hear about people who are sick but don't have health care, and suddenly they get a bill for $100,000, and there's no way they can pay for it, and they're about to lose their house."

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Fox News at Brookfield Central?

Education, Elmbrook, President Obama

I just heard on WISN's Jay Weber show this morning that Fox News (national) is at Brookfield Central to do a news story about Elmbrook's decision not to show Obama's speech. Granted, Brookfield is RED suburb in a BLUE state, but Wauwatosa isn't showing the President's speech either. I would have thought that was more newsworthy.

I don't have cable TV, but you might want to watch for the piece if you do.

These 2 communities are not alone; all across the country school districts are opting out of showing the speech and doing the lesson plans.

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No need to opt out at Elmbrook, our district will NOT show Obama broadcast

Education, Elmbrook, President Obama

Guess I wasn't the only one who felt watching and discussing the Obama broadcast next Tuesday was an inappropriate use of class time. Dr. Matt Gibson informed Elmbrook district parents via recorded phone call late this afternoon that they will NOT be participating in Tuesday's national address.

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Will parents opt kids out of Pres. Obama's national school address?

Culture, Education, President Obama

What goes on inside the walls of public schools used to be considered a local responsibility. Like almost everything else in our society, the creep towards Federal interference is becoming more like a leap.

Next week Tuesday, the president will address all public school students in a video address. He is to urge students to work hard, set goals, and be responsible for their education, something the teacher no doubt already told them on the first day, in the first 5 minutes of class.

The pep talk seems harmless enough. It's the other activities scheduled that day that are more troubling: Editorial: Beaming Obama into your kid's head, The president expands his cult into the classroom:

"But there is more to this noontime event than simply interrupting lunch. The Obama administration has recommended a series of activities before, during and after the speech intended to drill home the president's messages. Given that the teachers' unions are some of Mr. Obama's most ardent supporters, we expect that the supporting activities will have the feel of pro-Obama pep rallies".
 

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4K spending high: 4th grade reading scores low

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

I stumbled on this interesting bit from the Heritage Foundation: Oklahoma: High Marks for Pre-K Spending, Low Marks for Reading Achievement: (My emphasis throughout)

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And the winner is....

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, TAXES, WISCONSIN

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More info from candidates

Education, Elections, Elmbrook

 http://www.brookfieldnow.com/news/41764022.html candidates responses

Elmbrook School Board candidates weigh in on 4K

4-K, Education, Elections, Elmbrook

Last week, the article K4 back on the table in Elmbrook on Brookfieldnow caused quite a stir. The way it was written, it led people to believe that 2 board members who previously voted against 4K were now thinking about it. The article was heavy on the positive effects of 4K on the school budget without much detail regarding the negatives to the taxpayer.

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Existing HG&D materials a failure? I agree. Pre-fab better? We'll see

Education, Elmbrook, HG&D (sex-ed)

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4K will continue to rear it's ugly head until spending is curtailed

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

 http://www.brookfieldnow.com/news/41855257.html

K4 back on the table in Elmbrook

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Busy week: meetings, state budget hearing & Tea Party, candidate forums, Town Hall

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Elmbrook, Special events, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Yes, this week is a busy one. Tonight, Tuesday night, the Elmbrook School board decides on Pilgrim Park Middle School's HVAC replacement. Will they opt to include air conditioning?

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"Teach the Controversy Creation & Evolution" Tuesday, March 24, 7:30pm

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Religion

The Creation Science Society of Milwaukee is featuring a presentation by Dr. Gary Locklair, Ph.D. of Concordia University, Wisconsin on Tuesday night from 7:30 - 9:00pm, entitled "Teach the Controversy, Creation and Evolution".

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Who chooses your child's education? N.C. children forced into public school

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Family, Homeschooling, Slipping fast!

We may be heading to the left, but last time I checked, it was a parent's right to decide how their child was educated.

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Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Education, United States

 Thanks for the heads up, Kathryn. I missed that one.

Kyle

On Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 11:40 AM, <klwf@wi.rr.com> wrote:
Hi Kyle,

I saw a few minutes of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Charlie Rose this week.  I don't know much about him, was pleased in general when he was appointed, being that he was seen as outside the educational establishment and in favor of the charter school movement.  I think having lots of choices in education is good for families.

However, this man has some alarming ideas.  Duncan wants to restructure community life around the schools; perhaps a great idea when communities are broken and disfunctional, but hardly a good choice for healthy families and communities.  He spoke of keeping schools open 12-13 hours a day (actually our high schools are open at least that long most days), holding school year round, 6 or 7 days a week, and having potlucks!  The President's agenda for education seems more conservative than Mr. Duncan's, but Mr. Duncan bears watching.

Regards,
Kathryn

HG&D sex-ed success, failures & New Berlin's shocking photo scandal

Education, Elmbrook, HG&amp;D (sex-ed)

People are still talking about that New Berlin young man at Eisenhower High School, who passed himself off as a teen girl on the internet and then blackmailed his fellow male student respondents for homosexual "favors". It is shocking indeed for many adults--especially if they are older.

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HG&D (sex-ed) success, failures & New Berlin's shocking photo scandal

Culture, Education, Elmbrook, HG&amp;D (sex-ed)

People are still talking about that New Berlin young man at Eisenhower High School, who passed himself off as a teen girl on the internet and then blackmailed his fellow male student respondents for homosexual "favors". It is shocking indeed for many adults--especially if they are older.

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Obama against School Choice, we choose April 7th

Education, President Obama

 http://blog.heritage.org/2009/02/24/voices-of-school-choice/

Voices of School Choice

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65 from Waukesha petition to join Elmbrook schools: Why now?

Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

Tonight the Elmbrook School Board will hear a presentation on the petition from 65 households "FOR DETACHMENT FROM SCHOOL DISTRICT OF WAUKESHA TO ELMBROOK SCHOOL DISTRICT"

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Primary results

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, WISCONSIN

Election results: I am pleased my 2 Elmbrook picks topped the primary totals and Rose Fernandez made it to the April election. 

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Elmbrook School Board: Who I'm NOT voting for on Tuesday

Education, Elections, Elmbrook

OK, I am going to whine a little here. And yes, I know it is all my fault. I just spent a few hours writing about the reasons I was NOT going to vote for Katie Lemcke for the At Large seat or Barry Wightman for Area 4.

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I'm voting Rose Fernandez for State Superintendent on Tuesday

Education, WISCONSIN

Wisconsin has a primary election this coming Tuesday, Feb. 17th. On that day, Wisconsinites will narrow the field on the State Superintendent of Public Instruction race. (Elmbrook School District residents will also choose which 2 candidates for the At Large and Area 4 School Board positions will face off in April. More about that later.)

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Elmbrook School Board candidate forum: first impressions

Education, Elections, Elmbrook

I did make it to the Elmbrook School Board candidate forum last night, but I was about 3 minutes late.  There were about 30 people in the audience, 2 of which were board members Bob Zieggler and Tom Gehl. (There may have been others present, but I did not see them.)

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Superintendent of Public Instruction race

Conservatives, Education, Elections

 Remember to Vote February 17th

Help Choose the Next Superintendent of Public Instruction 

 
There are five candidates running to be our next State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Your vote on February 17th could make a big difference.
 
Let's Change DPI
My choice is Rose Fernandez. She is a former pediatric trauma nurse and former senior administrator at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, a world-renowned academic medical center.
 
The former president of the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families, Fernandez helped lead a group of parents, teachers and administrators to ensure passage of a bipartisan compromise through a split legislature, which enabled online public charter schools to continue to operate in the state, thus rescuing dozens of schools for thousands of students.
 
Rose is a proven leader with the right balance of passion, courage and judgment to bring about real education reform in Wisconsin, and she has already demonstrated her ability to take on the establishment and do what is right for our children.
 
She is a strong supporter of School Choice and she is not afraid to call for higher standards throughout our public schools and of course I admire and respect her desire to focus on improving Wisconsin schools without pushing for increased sales or property taxes.
 
 

Don't forget Thursday's Elmbrook School Board candidate forum, 7pm

Education, Elections, Elmbrook

A reader forwarded me the following announcement from the Elmbrook School District regarding the coming candidate forum. (Parents of Elmbrook School students receive these monthly events notices, but residents without children in the district do not.)

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School board choices

Education, Elmbrook

Biography

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Elmbrook: Handwriting's been on wall for school closings for years

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, TAXES

It must have been quite the meeting last Tuesday. At least two difficult subjects were discussed by the Elmbrook School Board: scaling back benefits and closing schools. (Wish I had cable TV.)

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Oops. Elmbrook made the news: Pot found at high schools

Education, Elmbrook, HG&amp;D (sex-ed)

School districts probably like free publicity but not in this way.  Last night I saw footage of Brookfield East's parking lot on the evening news. Reason? Pot found in student cars at East, Central. The search was actually done on Monday. The 2 students involved were given a 5 day suspension for their "first-time possession on school grounds" offense. (Don't know if that means they had other offenses, just not connected with school?)

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Elmbrook's HG&D (sex-ed) materials need more review time

Culture, Education, Elmbrook, Family, HG&amp;D (sex-ed)

Wednesday, Jan. 14th, 8:30am to 4pm, is the last official day for interested Elmbrook residents to review the Human Growth & Development sex-ed materials. The HGD committee meets this Thursday to discuss the review comment forms. If you have looked at the sex ed materials, make sure your comments are submitted to Elmbrook's school offices by noon, Thursday, Jan. 15.

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This little piggy went to the bond market...this little Elmbrook piggy stayed home

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

What if you went to the bond market and no one wanted to buy yours? What would you do? Well, not wanting to face that dilemma, the Elmbrook School district stayed home. They are "postponing $31 million worth of borrowing for construction [referendum] projects, citing an unfavorable bond market."

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Parental rights.org

Education, Ethics, Government / Bureaucracy, Health care, Pro Life / Pro Abortion, Slipping fast!

 http://www.parentalrights.org/blog/courts-the-law/un3

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Home schooling movement growing, so is "unschooling"

Education, Homeschooling

http://www.hslda.org/docs/media/2009/200901060.asp Homeschooling Grows Rapidly, HSLDA Jan. 6, 2009

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Exodus from public education?

Conservatives, Culture, Education, Religion

poll, 69.99% said it was easier and less expensive than private or homeschooling http://www.onenewsnow.com/Poll.aspx?ekfrm=371710

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Still time to review Elmbrook's HG&D (sex -ed) materials: Jan. 5th-9th, 12th & 14th

Education, Elmbrook, HG&amp;D (sex-ed)

Between preparing for Christmas and the snowy weather, I did not make it over to Elmbrook School's Administrative Offices to look at the newest version of the Human Growth and Development curriculum materials. I wasn't alone though. Because of "additional interest", Elmbrook extends sex-ed review sessions.

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Nomination papers for judge and superintendent

Conservatives, Education, Elections

changedpi.com 

QEO repeal

Education, TAXES, WISCONSIN

http://blogs.waukeshanow.com/conserv_speaking/archive/2008/12/12/if-the-qeo-is-repealed-where-will-the-money-come-from-unfortunately-that-s-easy.aspx

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Expanded Elmbrook Human Growth & Development review hours

Culture, Education, Elmbrook

Subject: expanded HGD review hours

A recent change in school board policy, combined with the dedicated efforts of several active members of the Human Growth and Development Parent Advisory Committee provides a unique opportunity : 
 
Parents and community members are welcome to preview all Human Growth and Development videos, DVDs, books, materials, lessons, handouts, worksheets - everything - under consideration for presentation to our children, before it is approved by the board and implemented.  Your input is welcome on every aspect. This is the time to act - while the lessons are in the formative stage.
 
Because more time is needed to thoroughly review the HGD materials K-12 than the three, 2-hour sessions originally scheduled, I understand the district was flexible in creating open review this week (Mon Dec15 - Fri Dec19, during regular CAO hours). Unfortunately this open review is unadvertised. Please spread the word. People may call Dr. Stewart (262-781-3030 ext  1112) or Dr. Stewart's secretary Mary Tagliavia  (262-781-3030 ext  1117) for details.
 
Due to being in the midst of the busy Christmas and holiday season, several have requested open review of the HGD materials to be extended throughout January.  We will keep you posted.  If you would like to have evening hours or a Saturday scheduled for open review, please feel free to contact Dr. Stewart or Mary Tagliavia with that request. 
 
Why review HGD lessons and materials? 
  • Quite simply, the district does not have the personnel. A thorough in-depth review requires many eyes and viewpoints. 
  • Providing valuable input to the district at this stage is an important opportunity to partner with the district, while lessons & materials selection is in progress.
  • It is important for parents to understand what their children are being taught, and evaluate whether these lessons are what is desired for their children's education in this area.
  • Even if your child(ren) is/are "opted out" of the district's HGD program:
    • Other students may share the info with your student(s) over lunch, at extracurricular events, parties, sleepovers, etc.
    • There are portions of the program which are considered "mandatory" and from which your requested exemption will not apply.  We are working with the district to have these lessons & materials plainly identified, for transparency.
  • Once approved, lessons/materials are in play for three years before an HGD advisory committee is reconvened.  The work of the committee can take 2 years.  Lessons/materials approved from this session may be used for 5 years.  Even if your child is in First Grade, s/he may be in middle school before lessons & materials are reviewed in their entirety again.  If your child is in 4th grade, s/he may be in high school before lessons & materials are reviewed in their entirety again. 
Some examples of things you may notice and think about when reviewing lessons & materials include:
  • Would you want your child asked, or have them watch a video in which male students are asked, whether they have had erections?  wet dreams?  Does this set a positive precedent or work against empowering students to maintain their modesty and not discuss sexual matters with others who may inquire about them?
  • Would your child named Chad or Jenny feel comfortable watching a video with their classmates depicting drawings of male genitals on a rendering named "Chad"?  on a female rendering named "Jenny"? 
  • Would you want your child to have the understanding that penis and breast size do not matter in being able to give and receive sexual satisfaction?  (Should sexual satisfaction be discussed with children?) 
  • IF we are educating children regarding the penis, should they learn the correct vocabulary (flaccid) as opposed to common terms ("in a relaxed state", "just handing there")?
  • IF we are education children regarding the vagina, should they learn there is a hymen, not just a "vaginal opening"?
  • The above examples are from one grade level and resource.  
  • If we are teaching our children about what the materials refer to as the sex act, do we want them to know that condoms do not cover the entire area and prevent safe contact, but may still pass STI's?  That viruses and bacteria producing STI's may wreak havoc internally but not produce obvious outward symptoms until it is too late?  That many STI's are "treatable" but not "curable"... students will have them for life?  That virus/bacteria are many times smaller than a sperm cell and can easily pass through a condom?  That oral sex can lead to oral cancer?  That kissing a person who has participated in oral sex can transmit the virus for oral cancer?  That there are negative emotional consequences to premature sexual behavior?  
We are working diligently to create a transparent process and provide HGD content which serves the best interests of our kids.  We encourage reviewers to list specific strengths and deficits they may find so that the committee, the board, and any future lesson developers / package screeners will have these observations as tools to work with.  (A general thumbs up or thumbs down statement doesn't provide these tools.)
 


 

End to school QEO and Revenue Caps?

Education, TAXES

Jay Weber 8:10 hour tuesday, Cap Times 

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You don't miss as much what you never had: Air Conditioning school

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, Energy, Going Green

Obama promises even more stringent green pacts than Kyoto

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Homeschool kids called "demented?"

Conservatives, Education, Homeschooling

The right to homeschool in the United States has been a long, hard fought battle. In many countries, it is still illegal. The public perception of homschooling is rather two-faced: People know homeschoolers on average outscore private and government school children on standardized testing*, but they still view the parents and students with skepticism.

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The Civics test: How do you compare?

Common sense, Constitution, Education, Elections, Government / Bureaucracy, Truth

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Elmbrook Human Growth & Development Parent Review: Dec. 9, 12, and Jan. 6

Common sense, Culture, Education, Elmbrook, Family

File this under: Plan ahead. Human Growth and Development team member Cheri Mastel left a comment reminding us of these upcoming HGD meetings. Since I don't want any interested parents or residents to miss this opportunity, I am posting portions of her comments here:

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Teaching to the test takes its toll

Education, Elmbrook

Link act scores. that is how we measure intelligence these days.

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Homeschool kids "demented?"

Conservatives, Education, Homeschooling

The right to homeschool in the United States has been a long, hard fought battle. In many countries, it is still illegal. The public perception of homschooling is rather two-faced: People know homeschoolers on average outscore private and government school children on standardized testing*, but they still view the parents and students with skepticism.

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Class sizes then and now

Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

Tuesday, about 20 Elmbrook residents gathered at Brookfield El. to discuss state funding and its affect on class sizes. Board member Glen Allgaier attended as well.

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Elmbrook's revenue pie and future

Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

Tuesday, about 20 Elmbrook residents gathered at Brookfield El. to discuss state funding and its affect on class sizes. Board member Glen Allgaier attended as well. We all introduced ourselves and stated the ages and grade level of our children in the Elmbrook school system. I think I was the only person in attendance who never had a child in Elmbrook schools. (I homeschooled my son.) I would say most of the attendees were mothers of grade school aged children. 

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State funding & Elmbrook class size discussion Tuesday, Nov. 18, 1:30 - 3pm

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook: nonresident students, TAXES

I almost missed this little notice, it was tucked away on page 27 of Thursday's Brookfield NOW:

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Elmbrook's $62.5 mil referendum over budget: That was then, this is now

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

http://www.brookfieldnow.com/watch/?watch=14&date=11/14/2008&id=48452 Board considers cuts on high school plans Nov. 14, 2008

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Don't they already have your children enough? Manditory Civil Defense Training

Education, Obama 2008

Obamas universal 4k and mandatory 50 hrs community civil defense service at camp for 3 mo.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Culture, Education, Movies &amp; Books, Politics, War

http://www.boyinthestripedpajamas.com/#/trailer Trailer

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Free baking demos at Brookfield Suites Friday, Nov. 14

Education, Free, Good food / recipes, Just for fun!

This Friday at Brookfield Suites Hotel on 1200 S. Moorland Road , The King Arthur Flour company will offer 2 baking classes. Did I mention it was FREE?

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Elmbrook enrollment shrinks, tax levy grows

Education, Elmbrook, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Spread the Wealth already at Elmbrook and other schools

Culture, Education, Socialism / Marxism

Everytime your child works on a cooperative learning project, they are the victim of spread the wealth around ideology

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I repeat: who is teaching our kids? Ayers & other terrorists

Education, Obama 2008, Politics, Truth

http://www.anncoulter.com/cgi-local/printer_friendly.cgi?article=279 AYERS: Radical Loon When Obama Was Only 47

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Elmbrook to discuss Chapter 220 enrollment, Tues. Oct. 28, 6pm & 7pm

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook: nonresident students

The Elmbrook School Board will be discussing future Chapter 220 enrollment at their work session on Tuesday, Oct. 28th from 6:00 to 6:55pm at the District Offices.

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Most of my employment came from rich people

Education, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Parents, what is your child learning at school?

Conservatives, Culture, Education, Obama 2008, Truth

We value education in the United States. Parents often make sacrifices to send their children to good colleges. But do you know who is teaching your child? Do do you know what your young adult is learning at their school?

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R and PG-13 movies in Elmbrook Schools

Culture, Education, Elmbrook

 've recently become aware by parents in our community, as well as by School Board members, that "R" rated movies are being shown in classrooms within our Elmbrook Schools (as part of "curriculum") and are also kept within the school libraries. Please consider contacting Elmbrook School Board members as this item will be up for discussion very soon. Board Members need to hear from the community in order to make changes to this policy (or lack thereof). Board Member email addresses can be found in the email address section below.

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Chicago Annenberg Challenge: The Obama and Bill Ayers connection: Stanly Kurtz on

Education, Elections, Obama 2008

http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=190453 Conservative columnist breaks down his research on Obama-Ayers Ties

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Why bother getting a good education?

Education, Elections, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES

We are told time and time again that we need to spend more on public education. Why? So that our children can be competitive in a world market.

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4K out of the picture...for now

4-K, Education, Elmbrook

Lisa Sink reported that 4 year old kindergarten lacks support in Elmbrook. Am I breathing a little easier? 

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I went to say, thank you, to Elmbrook School Board

4-K, Education, Elmbrook

Last night I stopped in at the Elmbrook School Board meeting to say, thank you, to the board. I had heard there might be a group of impassioned pro-4K parents making their pleas during the public forum time and thought a different point of view might be in order.

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Say "No way 4K" at Elmbrook school board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 23, 7pm

4-K, Alert, City of Brookfield, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

I almost missed this, but thanks to a reader, here it is: A group of pro 4K residents will be making an appeal to the school board this Tuesday during the Citizen's Forum time--first on the agenda.

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Elmbrook 5K enrollement requirements + reading ideas

4-K, 5K, Education, Elmbrook, Family

My posting on Dr. Gibson flirts with 4K again to cure Elmbrook budget woes sparked a bit of a controversy regarding Elmbrook's 5K enrollment requirements in the comment section.

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2 H.R. Bills: bad idea and co$tly- Education Begins at Home Act & Pre-K Act

4-K, Education, Family, Legislation

 http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/200809080.asp

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ ”
President Ronald Reagan

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Dr. Gibson flirts with 4K again to cure Elmbrook's budget woes

4-K, Education, Elections, Elmbrook, H. Clinton 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES

Last night I caught a bit of the July school board meeting on cable TV*. The board was discussing Elmbrook's coming budget woes and the difficult decisions our district needs to make to keep our schools operating within budget. (Unfortunately, I missed at least the first half of the meeting, but I will watch again and take better notes.)

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Taxpayers Need a Referendum Reprieve

2007 Referendum, Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

I admit it. I was surprised when Elmbrook's $62 million dollar referendum passed last April 1st. Usually, it takes 3 referendum tries before one will pass.

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HG&D Work Session Report: Keep Parent & Board Approval

Culture, Education, Elmbrook

I attended the Human Growth and Development (Sex Ed.) work session Tuesday night. Several of the HG&D parent committee members were in the audience along with some interested parents. 

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Come to HG&D Work Session Tuesday, May 13, 6-7 PM

Education, Elmbrook, Family

(Be sure to contact our state legislators today about budget!)

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5K parents still have a half-day choice

5K, Education, Elmbrook

Thank you Elmbrook board for accommodating the few parents who still want a half-day kindergarten experience for their children.

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Expelled is excellent! A+++

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Ethics, Truth

After weeks of anticipation, I went to see the movie Expelled today. It is a documentary by Ben Stein on how the scientific community routinely suppresses legitimate scientists and doctors from expressing any point of view other than that of evolution.

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Half day kindergarten extinct? Show me the benefit

Education, Elmbrook

Elmbrook just ended half-day kindergarten for 5 year olds. Why? Because there was lack of interest in half day kindergarten. The public only wanted full day.

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UPDATED: So what happened with HG&D and school board?

Education, Elmbrook

There were about 40 residents attending last Tuesday's School Board meeting--most of them because of the HG&D topic.

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HG&D (Sex Ed.) "Outcomes" on School Board agenda Tuesday, 8pm, BE THERE!

Education, Elmbrook, Ethics

Hard to believe there could be an issue I am as equally passionate about as preventing wasting taxpayers' dollars in our schools, but Human Growth and Development (Sex Ed.) definitely qualifies.

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Unloved, but now thriving

Education, Elmbrook

Lindfield now Heritage 

Belling talking about Elmbrook and Wisconsin taxes now

Education, Elections, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, TAXES, WISCONSIN

FYI, Mark Belling, is talking about our referendum and Wisconsin taxes right now on his radio show at 4:35pm. 

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What did you think about the Link?

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools

Yesterday I received my copy of the Elmbrook Link. What did you think about the information they chose to include?

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Elmbrook: We agree, nix the office cubes

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools, TAXES

Although I am not in favor of the present $62.2+ million dollar referendum, I was pleased to see this practical solution for creating larger classrooms while on the Central High School Tour this week. They are proposing removing the approx. 8' x 9' office cubes from some of the classrooms.

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On tour at Central High School and forum

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, High Schools

Last night I took the tour of Brookfield Central High School before the Elmbrook Candidate Forum. It did not seem there was much interest in either event.  

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And then there were 3, Elmbrook Candidate Forum and tour tonight

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, High Schools

So much for any choice in School Board candidates: Brooks Fleming now dropped out of the school board race. But there is still the School Board Candidate Forum tonight at Central High School's library, 7:30 - 9:30pm.

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Virtually there: church, geysers, and classroom

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, High Schools, National Parks, TAXES

Technology can be a wonderful thing. Two weeks ago, we had that snowstorm warning on Sunday and the weatherman cautioned people to stay home. We were rather torn as to what to do, but since we just had 2 weather related fender benders that week, we chickened out and stayed home. The great thing was though, we did not need to miss our church service.

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Virtual Schools, Ethanol back in committee, Photo ID languishing in Senate

Education, Elections, Ethanol, Legislation, WISCONSIN

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Please Elmbrook, fewer open enrollement students, not more

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook: nonresident students, High Schools, TAXES

When I read the Community Watch posting, Board considers change in Open Enrollment* headline, I thought, at last they are starting to "get it".  (*Sorry, this is not a perm. link)

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4K discussion reveals disturbing trend

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, Family, Homeschooling

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Public schools: safety net or drift net?

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, History, TAXES

Recently at a neighborhood party, a few of the moms were talking about school and the high cost of private school tuition. Two of them had their children enrolled in parochial elementary and high schools.

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