Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 01-28-2016

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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12 OPINION JANUARY 28-FEBRUARY 3, 2016 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION Nobody is more aggravating than the educational mafia who wants to put the hit on Rhode Island's charter schools. Led by legislators like Patricia Serpa, D-West Warwick, a retired school teacher; Gregg Amore, D-East Providence, a union teacher and for- mer union honcho, Jeremiah O'Grady, D-Lincoln, who vacuumed up union campaign contributions after a bogus "study commission" which he ran, Bill O'Brien, D-North Providence, a union teacher at a failing high school, and the fair-haired lackey Daniel McKiernan, the charter schools are in the crosshairs. The Speaker of the House, Nicholas Mattiello, has also thrown a sop to his union buddies by stating, "I cannot jus- tify having two systems, fighting for the same resources." Like King Solomon of old, he opines that he will only "half the baby" by allowing existing charters to continue but not allow for further charters. So, if there is only to be one system, why is the successful one, i.e. charter schools, going to get its legs broken? The overwhelming fact is that these schools are doing much better than their counterparts. In order to mitigate their success, the school districts make up lies about the enrollment and success of the charter schools. A comprehensive report was issued in April 2014 and puts the lie to false claims. Here's some data from that report: In April 2014 some 22 public charter schools were up in running in Rhode Island. They served about 6,000 stu- dents representing about 4.2 percent of the total public school enrollment. Of the approximate $769 million in state funding in FY 2013 about 7 percent was used to fund charter schools. Of the approximate $1.2 billion in local fund- ing 2 percent was used to fund charter schools so there, in fact, is not a dispro- portionate amount earmarked. Charter school enrollment is strictly determined by lottery. Unlike the claim that the schools cherry-pick their stu- dents, the charter schools actually have a higher percentage of black students in attendance than the state as a whole. Ditto for Hispanic students and eco- nomically disadvantaged students and English learners. The number of chil- dren with disabilities was slightly lower (13 percent vs. 15 percent). While char- ter schools enroll children from around the state, 78 percent of charter students reside in Providence, Central Falls, Pawtucket and Woonsocket. When compared with the typical performance of Rhode Island public schools, notwithstanding these demo- graphics, all but one of the charter schools achieved typical and above typical average reading proficiency. Latino students achieved the higher average proficiency on the read- ing NECAP as well as did African American students(except for grade 4 which matched the proficiency rate across all schools). Low income students also achieved typical and above average proficiency than the counterpart in the school system. Math scores were also higher for Latino and African-American students. So with at least 11 applications for each seat in a charter school why would anyone kill this success story? The big- gest lie is that it drains money from the rest of the school district. It doesn't take a genius to realize that if there charter school pupils were in the school sys- tem remediation and special services now being offered to their counterparts would plump up the costs. Perhaps the exodus should be just the opposite with these students moving over to more charter schools. Time will tell if politics trumps student welfare. The public should be outraged by this special interest feint to stop what works. Violet is an attorney and former state attor- ney general. Charter schools work; Assembly unionists now out to hurt them With hundreds of thousands of dis- tinguished women in this country, the only plausible explanation for Hillary Clinton becoming this nation's first female president of the United States is an electorate that might as well come from the planet Jupiter. How is her candidacy not only still in place, but hidden behind weekend debates, which no one watches, and protected by the Democratic Party establish - ment? If she had even one-tenth the scrutiny that President Richard Nixon had during Watergate, or a molecule of dignity, she'd be long gone. What has happened to the once principled and unbiased media in our country? The fact that Hillary Clinton is still standing for the office floors me. Just days from voting in Iowa and New Hampshire, I ask myself: Are Democrats this dumb? I just don't think they are. So why is Mrs. Clinton the anointed Democrat, as opposed to somebody like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a woman with so much less bag - gage? Putting aside her false Native American heritage claims, Warren is the best of all worlds for liberals. Telegenic, smart and fiery, she is the "correct" gender and has the way-out- there edge of Sen. Bernie Sanders, but without the old white hair and skin. (That is, after all, how progressives measure a person's value to the cause.) If Hillary Clinton and Republican Jeb Bush are the "same old, same old," and voters have moved on to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders to shake things up, why hasn't Clinton been dumped? How much power can the Clintons still yield? I'm convinced that if you put Warren in the race, Sanders' staff moves back to her, his candidacy collapses, and Hillary fades fast. As in instantly. The conventional wisdom thinks Donald Trump can't win the general election, and I understand that. But Clinton vs. Trump? Sorry, Dems, but not only will there be a race – but you'll probably lose. People are fed up with the entire Washington, D.C., cabal, and Hillary is fully marinated in the sewage. Victims of former President Bill Clinton's sexual assaults are grate - ful to Trump for telling it like it is. His famous tweet recently knocked the Clinton camp for a loop when he wrote: "If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband, with his terrible record of women abuse, while play - ing the women's card on me, she's wrong!" While Democrats prefer to claim that all of this is "old news," they might have to accept the fact that somebody is going to buy TV spots this fall with the tearful Patricia Smith, mother of slain Benghazi foreign service diplomat Sean Smith, screaming in a Fox News interview last week "Hillary is a liar!" Even when Mrs. Smith was pushed back on, she angrily claimed there is no doubt that then-Secretary of State Clinton, along with the president, vice president, and others in the adminis - tration, told her that an anti-Muslim video was responsible for the uprising that killed her only child. Today, any damned fool knows the "video" narra - tive for Benghazi was a lie concocted to protect President Obama's re-elec- tion only seven weeks later. Lying to a mother about why her murdered son was left unprotected is another matter. But back to the impeached and dis - barred former president and his pre- dilection for making sexual advances on any woman who can fog a mirror. In the past few weeks, both Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick have been back on the air with conserva - tive talker Aaron Klein, telling their stories about not only Bill Clinton's misbehavior (if that's what you want to call rape, in the case of Broaddrick, as told on "60 Minutes" in 1999) and team Hillary's efforts to shut them up. "Bimbo eruptions," they used to call them back in the day. And Hillary, Broaddrick claims publicly, led the effort with her personally. So much for her being a victim. Now, Democrats are starting to more fully understand President Clinton's association with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who served 18 months in prison after being convicted of solicit - ing an underage girl for prostitution. Do Democrats really think this will be kept quiet? Said Willey on the air to Trump: "I think the next question he (Trump) should ask Hillary is: 'Mrs. Clinton, is it okay with you that your husband flies around in private jets with a con - victed pedophile to a private island called 'Orgy Island' and be entertained by underage girls? The real word for that is pedophilia and human traffick- ing. Is that okay with you?' " C'mon, good Democrats. I under- stand the pathetic and biased press corps will keep fawning over Hillary, but really ... you can do better than this! Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze newspapers Isn't Sen. Warren a smarter choice as Dems' candidate? From the Publisher TOM WARD Poli-Ticks ARLENE VIOLET Volume XVII, Number 22 January 28, 2016 Thomas V. Ward, Publisher tward@valleybreeze.com James Quinn, Deputy Publisher jquinn@valleybreeze.com Marcia Green, Editor-in-Chief mgreen@valleybreeze.com Karen Buckley, Advertising Director kbuckley@valleybreeze.com Barbara Phinney, Controller accounting@valleybreeze.com Breeze THE VALLEY @ valleybreeze.com ABOUT US The Valley Breeze Newspapers are a locally owned and operated group of free weekly news - papers serving the people of Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Woonsocket, Smithfield, Scituate, Foster, Glocester, North Providence, Pawtucket, R.I., and Blackstone, Mass. Each Thursday, 62,300 copies are distributed to retailers, banks, offices, and restaurants and other busy spots. Circulation is audited by the Circulation Verification Council of St. Louis, Mo. and has earned its "Gold Standard Award." OUR MISSION It is the Mission of The Valley Breeze to facilitate a positive sense of community among the resi - dents of Northern Rhode Island by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas, and to provide information of local events and neighbors. It is our further Mission to provide the highest quality advertising at the lowest possible cost to retailers, professionals, tradespersons, and other service providers in order to enhance the economi c well-being of our community.

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