Paid for by SREE, Toni Brennan, Treasurer
SREE Congratulates Rauh, Pia, and Olson On Their Convincing Stamford BOE Victory!
November 7, 2012
The people continue to vote with SREE for education excellence without agendas! Dr. Rauh, Mr. Pia, and Ms. Olson have our gratitude for their service and commitment to Stamford's children. They have our congratulations and good-will on a successful campaign. They have our expectations for the continued no-nonsense pursuit of success in Stamford's public schools.
SREE Endorses RAUH, OLSON and PIA for
Stamford Board of Education
October 28, 2012
The Stamford Residents for Excellence in Education have led the way in the past three Board of Education elections. We focused on education, not politics. We pursued results, not agendas. The people of Stamford responded with overwhelming support, electing SREE endorsed candidates time and time again. Once more, we ask you to vote and support the best interests of Stamford, its children and our future.
On November 6th, vote Polly Rauh (D), Lorraine Olson (R), and Jerry Pia (R).
Important: In this year's election, only ONE Democratic candidate can be elected. If you vote for more than one Democrat, you are wasting your 2nd vote and are reducing the ability of your first choice Democrat to be elected.
Regardless of your party affiliation, vote for the one Democrat that SREE strongly endorses: Polly Rauh
POLLY RAUH. Dr. Polly Rauh receives the SREE's strongest recommendation and endorsement. We believe it is critical that she be returned to office. She is currently BOE President and has successfully steered the Board through one of its most challenging periods ever. She is an incredible advocate for the children of this city and believes that excellence isn't about rhetoric but is a genuine goal we need to pursue together. Polly's experience in Stamford schools and within the school system is extensive. She is an accomplished educator. She is a leader whose broad capabilities derive from practical, real-life, in-the-trenches work. There is no substitute for that!
We appreciate that Dr. Rauh understands the complex nature of our city and its education needs. She knows that achievement and opportunity must be maximized for all children. She also understands that these goals should not be bent to meet social or political agendas.
We like the common sense, effective approach that Dr. Rauh took with respect to Middle School Reform. We anticipate that her steady, knowledgeable hand will be invaluable as changes to the High School Curriculum are contemplated.
If there is one thing you do on Election Day to ensure that good reason and intelligence prevail in Stamford Public Schools, VOTE FOR POLLY RAUH!
Lorraine Olson & Jerry Pia. SREE truly values the service, commitment, experience and perspective of these two current Stamford BOE members. As with Dr. Rauh, Ms. Olson and Mr. Pia have been critical elements of balance, effectiveness and common sense during one of the Stamford BOE's most challenging periods. They have helped the Board steer our schools to improvement while ensuring that changes did not take "two steps back and one step forward". We strongly believe that it would be a significant mistake to lose the irreplaceable experience and top-notch abilities of these two dedicated public servants. The Stamford BOE needs Ms. Olson and Mr. Pia to help ensure that the Stamford BOE does NOT return to chasing agendas and politics that were so divisive under the previous superintendent.
Final Note - We found the Stamford Advocate's 10/28/2012 BOE endorsements to be simplistic, off-base, and lacking substance. The Advocate recommended changing Board members based on "baggage" related to Dr. Starr. The implication of the endorsement was that some current board members were not elected on merits or ability, but because citizens were "voting against" Dr. Starr. (So we guess that it's ok now to come out and vote for your real choices!) The Advocate believes it's ok to lose the balance and experience that current Board members represent. Instead, they'd like to seat two brand new, untested members, one of whom has a very narrow and clearly-focused political agenda. That would be a significant mistake and we strongly recommend that you do not fall for the Advocate's political manipulation.
On November 6th, vote Polly Rauh, Lorraine Olson, and Jerry Pia
Help Choose Stamford's Next School Superintendent.
November 10, 2011
Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard!
GARY KLEIN Wins Resounding Victory!
November 9, 2011
Congratulations to Gary Klein on his impressive Election-Day Board of Education Ballot-Box-Blowout!
The people of Stamford have spoken:
- An SREE - endorsed candidate has taken the top spot in the Board of Education election for the third consecutive year. You draw your own conclusions.
- Mr. Klein captured 8,227 votes; over a thousand votes more than the next closest candidate.
- Mr. Klein received the most votes of any candidate running in this election, for any office. That’s incredible.
- Karen Murphy, an SREE-endorsed independent candidate without a “machine” behind her garnered nearly 6,000 votes in a predominantly Democratic city. Republican Mike Bayonne received more than 4,000 votes. Your voice is being heard. You are making an impact.
The SREE would like to thank everyone who helped make this election a success. We continue on a path of actually helping every child in this city to reach his or her potential. SREE doesn't believe in just feeling good about broad generalizations and “words”; we believe in figuring out what truly works for all of our children.
SREE Endorses KLEIN, MURPHY and BAYONNE
for Stamford Board of Education.
November 1, 2011
Q: What do a Democrat with two children in Stamford Public Schools, an actuary running as an Independent, and a Republican labor lawyer have in common?
A: They’re intelligent, flexible, thinkers who are committed to the successful education of Stamford’s children. They are not given to easy, sweeping answers; they seek to define solutions based on facts, common sense, and wisdom. They know that complex issues require intellectual agility and the ability to see information from different angles. They believe that the way we engage each other in the education dialogue is as important as the dialogue itself. On November 8th, vote Gary Klein, Karen Murphy, and Michel Bayonne.
Gary Klein is a unique combination of intellectual horsepower, highly-relevant experience and sensibility. This home-grown attorney has consistently played an active and positive role in Stamford’s civic life. He has two children in the Stamford Public Schools, and his wife, Allison is an elementary school teacher here. Mr. Klein, himself, is a product of the Stamford Public Schools and he is the only candidate running this year with children in our school system. Gary Klein “gets it”. He is a supporter of middle school reform, and he is an advocate for getting it right. He realizes that education success is a thoughtful journey that requires evaluation and adjustment.
Mr. Klein is an individual who always takes the high-road and we particularly respect that about him. He has consistently extended his hand to those in the Democratic Party who hold different views than he does; he has reached out to others in the community with whom he differs to establish connection. His exemplary character is not just election-oriented artifice. It’s simply who he is. We believe that Gary Klein is one of the finest Board of Education candidates Stamford has ever seen. Of note, Mr. Klein also has the endorsement of the Stamford Education Association, and he has received very favorable support from a broad range of other Stamford organizations and individuals.
Karen Murphy is sharp, fearless, and intelligent. She approaches issues based on fact and believes that good solutions to Stamford’s education challenges should be driven by applied common sense. She speaks her mind and does so in an independent fashion. Ms. Murphy is an actuary with extensive financial expertise and we believe she will add significant substance to the Board’s ability to navigate through the varied challenges that face our Schools. Ms. Murphy’s focus on student achievement, best practices and financial responsibility is a platform that resonates well with the SREE. We like that Ms. Murphy doesn’t just talk about cutting education spending; she discusses how to spend smarter, more effectively and efficiently to achieve goals. That makes sense to us.
Michel (Mike) Bayonne
We met Mike Bayonne during the course of last year’s Board of Education election. We liked him, his forthright, intelligent manner, as well as what he stood for. The SREE felt that Mr. Bayonne was a candidate of great substance in 2010. We remain impressed and endorse him in 2011. Mr. Bayonne refuses to be “played” or positioned by special interests. He is a successful attorney who deals daily with issues involving public education. Mr. Bayonne is a straight-shooter who believes in accountability, responsibility and giving every child in Stamford the opportunity for success. We respect his no-excuses attitude and support him in his quest to improve Stamford’s education system.
On November 8th, vote Gary Klein, Karen Murphy, and Michel Bayonne for Stamford Board of Education
Flexible Ability Grouping – Much Ado About Something!
October 26, 2011
An internet news article discussed the attempted development of an ideal airline seat, one that would be most comfortable for the “average” flier in coach class. Interestingly, in pursuing this theoretical mean, the result was a seat that was, in fact, comfortable for virtually no one. Why? Because, there is no “average” flier; we are all individually wide or thin, short or tall, 95 pounds or 295 pounds.
So, what does an airline seat have to do with education? Plenty!
SREE believes that we can effectively nurture our children’s strengths, shore up their weaknesses, and at the same time engender community and connection. We believe that flexible ability grouping delivers the ideal “education airline seat”. It allows each child’s education needs to be served while taking them on a journey toward success - together.
Opponents of flexible ability grouping say “all” children will blossom with heterogeneous groups - no ability grouping. Teachers will be able to effectively support both enrichment and remediation in the same classroom, even where there are extremely broad ability differences.
We strongly disagree.
Mr. Frederick Stichnoth said it powerfully in an analysis of a community forum in Montgomery County Maryland held by Dr. Joshua Starr this past September 12th: “MCPS (Montgomery County Public Schools) must Challenge Every Child… It is not managing to do so. Every teacher differentiates to some degree. As the breadth of student abilities within the classroom expands, the difficulty of differentiation expands. Superstar teachers can manage this difficulty; average teachers cannot; MCPS cannot base its strategy on the fantasy of a superstar teacher in every classroom. Ability grouping has been proven to work for high- and low-achievers, and to improve self-esteem for both high- and low-achievers. (Kulik, Slavin). The position against ability grouping is very heavily influenced by ideology (visionary theorizing), as distinguished from pedagogy (the art, the science of teaching).”
Flexible ability grouping works and does so regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic stratum. It has a longstanding record of success in Stamford. It is not tracking and those who use the terms interchangeably do so out of ignorance or to mislead. (By the way, we do not suggest that a magnet school model directly translates to the total Stamford population; that would be incorrect. We do believe that there is learning, process, structure, practice, and principle that can be taken into any environment and work.)
The SREE membership will issue its endorsement of specific Stamford Board of Education Candidates on October 31st. We want to ensure that we have feedback from all community forums as well as from candidate surveys.
Please stay tuned to stamfordree.org for updates.
Looking Ahead. Moving Forward.
October 20, 2011
The 2011 Stamford Board of Education election is approaching quickly. This November 8th, three seats will be determined. Steve Polo decided not to run for re-election. Jackie Heftman and Julia Wade are seeking to return to the Board. It is essential that the most qualified, most capable, most intellectually able individuals be elected. The real success of this city’s children depends so much on this body. It is OUR responsibility, individually and collectively, to have a strong voice and help determine Stamford’s education destiny when we go to the polls. Simply, it is time to speak and be heard.
Right now, SREE leadership and members are attending Stamford Board of Education debates and community forums. We have also asked each of the candidates for their detailed thoughts and feedback on a range of relevant issues. We will be posting updates and information on this site regularly as we proceed toward the election. Next week (the week of 10/24), after analysis of available information, SREE will endorse those candidates who will best serve this city’s children.
A closing thought for this update: Be wary of those who are “RIGHT”, who are so wed to an ideology that they don’t have to engage in dialogue or listen to alternative points-of-view. Be skeptical of those with one and only one answer, and who speak declaratively that “research shows X”, with no allowance for variation or circumstance. The science of people and their behavior is uniquely ambiguous. That’s a fact. We really don’t fit into neat little boxes….until, of course, it’s too late!
Be well, fellow citizens and let’s be nice to each other.
Contact us with questions or comments or if you would like to become more involved at: admin AT StamfordREE.org