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Monday, September 28, 2015

Student Walkout Helps Scott Armstrong's School Board Candidacy

As only he can, Allentown School Director Scott Armstrong has spoken out strongly against the student walkout planned for today. On Michael Molovinsky's blog, he called it a "lesson in anger and hate" put on by "an adult charlatan protest leader." He's one of the very few who has been willing to dip his toes into the pool, as most candidates have steered clear of the issue. I believe the backlash over this walkout might just get him re-elected.

Armstrong, a Republican in a heavily Democratic School District, is seeking one of five seats available on the Board. The other candidates include Ce-Ce Gerlach, Bob Smith, Charlie Thiel, Audrey Mathison, Elizabeth Martinez and Mark Smith. Gerlach, Thiel and Bob Smith won nominations in both primaries. Martinez and Mathison also won the Democratic primary, while Armstrong and Mark Smith won the Republican primary.

Ce Ce Gerlach, though a hard-core Democrat, has distanced herself from Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski and his wealthy friends. She has chosen instead to run a real grass roots campaign and should win easily. Bob Smith, the current school board president, is quite popular in Allentown and should eke out a victory as well.

Thiel, Mathison and Martinez are nothing more than Pawlowski puppets, but the money spigot has been turned off, thanks to the federal investigation.

Ordinarily, I'd say that Armstrong's brash style would work hard against him. But so far as I can tell, he is the only school director willing to stand up to the mob, which may very well be instigated by charter school proponents as well as by a few misguided demagogues. I think people will appreciate that, and perhaps enough to re-elect Armstrong.

By the way, this job pays nothing. I have no idea why anyone would want it.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've always believed people like Scott Armstrong are EXACTLY what taxpaying citizens need. A representative not afraid to get his/her hands dirty. Someone who is willing to confront issues head-on, not merely warm a seat.

American government today has far too many cozy, content, and quiet representatives. These 'go along to get along' types lose far too many conflicts and spend too much time making excuses for their weakness. No leadership.

Scott Armstrong is the enemy of the powerful PSEA and NEA. He is a thorn in their side, someone who is frequently called down by those who want nothing in their path.
Despite my opinion Scott is too focused on teacher pensions, after changes in the law already HAVE reduced such payouts, I fully support Scott. I remain impressed by the energy he puts forth on behalf of citizens. Allentown residents would be foolish not to give Scott their vote.

As for this misguided student walk-out, if the number of participants can be kept low it will remain a harmless stunt orchestrated by radical adults who are taking advantage of young people looking for fun. Unfortunately, as the crowd grows, the likelihood of a student doing unlawful damage under the protection of anonymity rises.

I'm hopeful school officials and law enforcement persons have plenty of video cameras recording the scene. If appropriate, prosecutions MUST occur, even for just disorderly conduct. At the same time, police and others need to exercise great care in dealing with malcontents. Cameras WILL be pointing in their direction, too!

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for Smith, Gerlach and Armstrong. I'm hoping voters will avoid the "black cloud" slate. Normally, I'm uninpired by Bob Smith, but I like how he stood up to Fed Ed during the Crossing Guard shakedown. I agree that the informed voter's best candidate is Armstrong, since he is beholden to no one and sincerely is looking out for property owners who pay the bills. Its nice is a Democratic Party Boss run City, to have at least one elected official looking out for the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

https://www.facebook.com/michael.frassetto.7/videos/871545362899604/

Here's some of the recent videos posted by the charter teacher who is leading the walkout.

https://www.facebook.com/michael.frassetto.7/videos/871515012902639/

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Thanks for the post. Very appreciated. When I got on the board and started drawing attention for speaking out and taking on the teachers' union I made the following statement; I didn't run for the office to make friends or build a political resume. I'm hear to speak my mind and vote my conscience.
I will be fine either way come election day.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

It will turn into a mob before long because Community Organizers need chaos and confusion to sustain themselves.

Anonymous said...

Is Sundiatta Brown the same "Sundiata" who is listed as a speaker today at the walkout rally???

http://www.truecrimereport.com/2011/01/sundiata_brown_moron_of_the_da.php

http://articles.mcall.com/2000-02-19/news/3293806_1_appellate-court-marijuana-charges

Here's the schedule for the first day. Do you think high school students who are skipping school are going to listen to lectures from activists from 11 am until 3 pm, for five straight days?

https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/12079712_871547359566071_7630039168790964652_n.jpg?oh=3a530a46fe3d3b3717f1665af45f41d6&oe=56983189





Anonymous said...

Here's the link to the previous discussion on this topic, including some info on the criminal records of at least 2 of the organizers.

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=9299655&postID=2286683048077044541&bpli=1

Anonymous said...

http://live.mcall.com/Event/Live_Updates_Allentown_school_walkout

Morning Call is live tweeting the walkout. Students were told by an organizer to not talk to the reporter.

Anonymous said...

https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/rsrc.php/v2/y4/r/-PAXP-deijE.gif

They seem to have a crowd at Allen.

Anonymous said...

Frassetto claimed there would be classes offered at the rally from professors from Kutztown, Lehigh and Muhlenberg. Only professor I see on the schedule is Dr. Saidi from Kutztown.

The lies continue.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Thanx for the picture of one of Allentown's mayors henchmen ACTing for the circus locally selling snake oil to the children's education too¿!($ Now we have the ead snake oil salesman appointed to a city counsilchair too, by now other than the infamous Fed Ed as you call it¿¡($

When there is an administration as a Hole that has come into the pubic light of day, like a domestic animal children still have the inSTINKS to smell the good from the bad¿($ Although there hormons have them all over the spectrum inSTINKT still lets them know a snake when they snake when the see one¿!($

The false sack of goods sold to Allentown as a Hole has got to many Holes in the bottom that is falling out of this greasy sack of shit soldto the public as to there benifit¿!($

That said next picture of Allentown Hole adminstration should also dipict a formed toungue too or these subdivisional tools employeed by OZ¿!($

redd
patent pending

Anonymous said...

From mcall.com: "Crowd has really thinned out. Seems as soon as students were told to take a class, they left."

If they decide to do anything tomorrow, which I doubt, participation will be way down. With bad weather forecast by midweek I am sure Frassetto will deem this a resounding success and tell everyone that the message was heard.

Anonymous said...

The students left after they realized they had been marched into a Cultural Revolution re-education camp.

"Where's the Chinese food we were promised?"

Anonymous said...

@6:37

I certainly respectful of your opinions, and not in anyway quarreling with your choice of candidates.

I'd just like to point out that it's curious how studiously Candidate Smith has avoided addressing most of the major issues on his campaign page -- and how defensive he gets when pressed.

Worth a look...

Jeffrey Anthony

Anonymous said...

"I certainly respectful of your opinions, and not in anyway quarreling with your choice of candidates...."

Jeffrey: I know Bob well enough, I was just glad he didn't cave when the Chicago Political Boss demanded ASD money.


Bernie O'Hare said...

Yeah, Mark Smith is a textbook example of a profile in courage.

https://www.facebook.com/marksmithasd

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

So far I have yet to receive any call from the media on the protest. I don't believe they have contacted any other member of the board. As elected leaders wouldn't one think they/the media would want our opinions on this "protest"? Would the fact that five members of the board are very shortly standing for re-election make our commentary vital and serve to inform the readers?
All this just serves to prove the point already made so many times that people go to blogs because they can't find news/truth/insights... in the reporting that passes for journalism these days.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

The Morning Call shut down their live twitter feed of the rally at 11:45 after most of the students had left. The re-education was supposed to continue until 3 pm today.

Bernie O'Hare said...

One candidate, Mark Smith, actually seems as though he is trying to avoid the issues.

Anonymous said...

He must believe posting news reports on his campaign Facebook page with zero commentary is how wins elections.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

@12:59

Just to be clear, I was talking exclusively about Candidate *Mark* Smith.

I should have said this earlier, but *Bob* Smith is a gentleman and champion of education, and Allentownians should feel honored to have him on the board.

Long may he serve...

Jeffrey Anthony

Anonymous said...

Thiel is another phony Christian running as hard as he can for mayor.
Talk about Crony Capitalists!

Anonymous said...

@2:27

Any candidate who accepted contributions from the Chicago Eddy gang's "Citizens for a Better Allentown" should hang their heads in shame and withdraw from the race.

We don't need tainted Pawlowski leftovers in *any* elected office.

Jeffrey Anthony

Charlie Sch said...

That is very limiting to refuse to consider any candidate who received campaign contributions from Pawlowski. There are only about 8 candidates for 5 seats. Let the best persons win, considering all of their quals.

Anonymous said...

God forbid---the kids are engaged.
Will we whine, or will we utilize a teachable moment?

Anonymous said...

Tweet today from Sarah Cassi, the Express-Times report at the protest:

"One protestor telling kids if they leave the protest, they will get arrested. #ASDWalkout"

Anonymous said...

3:12 PM - Looking at the videos, photos, and listening to the student comments, it seems to me very few of the students were actually 'engaged.' They looked disinterested, for the most part, even confused. Hard to imagine this movement will grow over the coming days. We'll see.

All in all, I read this action more as the effort of a few unhappy, radical adults who are attempting to use the students to embarrass and bully school officials over personal grievances.

I believe many of the students had good intentions, and am happy there were (apparently) no behaviors that required arrests.

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

"All this just serves to prove the point already made so many times that people go to blogs because they can't find news/truth/insights... in the reporting that passes for journalism these days."

And you think blogs are where you find the truth? No wonder things are really going to Hell.

Lou Shupe said...

I stopped in earlier to this walkout around noonish and took about 36 pics which I posted to Facebook. The whole event reminds me about herding cats, and I noticed lots of students walking around town in mid-afternoon. Michael Frassetto claims he had 850 students walked out today. Two question pops in my head. Who is paying for all the food that was served Thursday night, and today, and throughout the week? And are the students actually learning the background story of why they walk out?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Lou, Thanks for taking all those pics. They say a picture is worth 1000 words. I will be reviewing them. That is a good question. It alos amazes me that Charter School students are being encouraged to ignore their own education so they can entice public school kids to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Frassetto claimed that UYP will donate 2500 dollars per day for food and drink.

Then again he makes lots of ckaims

Bernie O'Hare said...

But where did UYP get its dough?

Anonymous said...

CeeCee Gerlach is a big liberal just like FedEd. However, she lives in the NIZ and is being walked over by the mayor's bigger-moneyed interests.

Anonymous said...

Update; I was interviewed by 69NEWS for the 10pm news broadcast. feel the excitement.

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

I think it is important that school board members and candidates speak out on this topic. I was unaware this was planned to last a week, and something like that can really damage a student whose grades are marginal.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Honestly the district was aware of the rumblings and kept us informed. The consensus was it would not amount to much, and in the final analysis I think that will be the outcome. In the short term it has provided easy fodder for sensational headlines, but just a little media digging(all they can muster) exposed the shallowness of the effort.

Scott Armsrong

Anonymous said...

The students who fell for the charlatan Falsetto's insane rantings were simply looking for a reason to cut class. Pure and simple. None of them were serious students, just like their Pied Piper was a lousy teacher and got dismissed from a charter school position where even the worst teachers survive. A nice sunny day to skip school. One kid who was interviewed was clueless about the cause, just saying that students should get paid. For what? Not sleeping in class. Actually, having these deadbeats skip school makes the learning environment much better for kids that really want to learn. They do not have the distractions of classmates with their heads on the desk or trying to text under them. The students who walked out should be disciplined to the maximum allowed by school policy and state law. Detentions followed by suspension. It was good to see at least one parent who grabbed her kid out of the mob and took him back to school. Other parents who support or tolerate this nonsense should be ashamed of themselves. If they even give a shit about their child's education.

Chris Casey said...

I agree with Scott Armstrong, and that is a rare thing. But this is a staged play by Rosado and Frassetto to get back at those who fired them. This isn't helping the students in any way shape or form. It is a personal ego game and exposes the two instigators for the true frauds they are. They are not educators, they are little boys in a pissing contest they should never have started. They are hurting the true educators in the ASD.

Anonymous said...

Nate Whips speaks tha truth yawl some hateful upper crust hating azz crackers going to the country club and sending yer lily white clones to Moravian academy whle the canaries and huskies suffer, nate whips got the hot rides at great pieces he's a rags to riches story haters gonna hate!

Anonymous said...

Chris you have nailed it. This petty demagogue Frassato is using minor children to settle a score with the ASD. He lost his job at Clemente, most likely due to his incompetence and behavior. The Medical Charter School should be his final stop in the local field of education. Should not be long before they can him as well. He is inciting truancy and should be arrested or sued by the district. This is a personal vendetta for him, pure and simple. The smart kids will see through his charade. The dumb ones will follow him like lemmings.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Whips,

I have entirely too much money to send my lily white clones, quote, unquote, to Moravian Academy. Please think more along the lines of a Choate or a Groton. Because if you are going to stereotype, you should have the common courtesy and moral decency to do so more accurately.

Most Appreciative,

Obscenely Rich White Guy Living Large In West End

Lou Shupe said...

Earlier today, I posed the question "are the students actually learning the background story of why they walked out?" and I believe I may have an answer below.

Design and distribute a flyer to the walkers containing the more shapeful events such
as the histories of bad decision making, bad management, and
misguided priorities of the Allentown School board. In particular, write about the negative effects of various tea parties against the educational interests at all levels of government. There view including saving tax dollars and fighting teacher unions. Compare that view with the ills of an education system the kids view first hand. On the back, print out a bibliography of links for further research. Imply there will be a quiz. Hopefully, the end result may soon turn into an educated voter with a cooler head. Thoughts?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Lou, They need to be in school.

Anonymous said...

Tell us why saving tax dollars is such a terrible thing.

Tell us exactly how many more tax dollars you would like to spend that you are not already spending now.

Tell us exactly what percentage of our income would be a fair sum to have to pay to the government.

Tell us what our national debt is at the moment.

Lou Shupe said...

Where else can you give them all a pop quiz at once? Roughly half the walkers wandered off. They need to be in school. 12:15; After you do the math ask yourself if screwing the future was worth it?

Anonymous said...

Cogent and coherent much, Lou?

Tell us what the national debt is at the moment first and then please, by all means, lecture us about screwing the future a little more.

Anonymous said...

The board of ASD is divided and remains balanced at a 4 /5 split with the current consensus supporting Mayo. Mundane self absorbed political aspirations are more of a driving force than the dire state of education in Allentown. Administrative and teacher morale are at low points. The problems of the ASD are complex. The environment in which the school district exists is complex. There are no real solutions forth coming other than maintaining the status quo. That is what Allentown will get with this slate of school board directors. The ASD needs transformative leadership more than it ever has before. I fear after the election we will be left with the same old same old led by a group of elected officals who are nothing more than pawns of the superintendent. Too bad the current media moment has distracted us from the reality of the issues that confront the students and taxpayers of Allentown

Anonymous said...

Ed Pawlowski was billed as transformative.

How did THAT guy work out?