By: Peter Larocque – July, 2012
In case you didn’t know, In God We Trust is the motto of the United States of America and it has been on our coins beginning as far back as 1864. At first it was just printed on the new two cent coin, but by 1909 it was included on most other coins. Then on July 11, 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 140 making it mandatory that all coinage and paper currency display the motto. Thank God this took place back then because I do not believe our current President would have allowed himself to sign such a law. I say this not to personally attacked him, I’m basing my comment on his record of polices he has signed into law since his inauguration in 2008. He most definitely is of the belief that Big Government is to be trusted in by the citizens of the United States of American.
Of course as an example I am thinking of what has been affectionately called Obama Care. Here we have Big Government taking over the United States Health Care System.
On Thursday June 28, 2012 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this Unconstitutional according to the interstate commerce clause. But surprisingly in a huge act of overreaching, they also decided to call Obama Care a tax which allows Obama Care to go forward!
This decision means that the Government can do anything it wants to you as long as it is called a tax! This is a major loss for Individual Sovereignty and with that comes the largest Tax Increase in the history of the entire world! Unfortunately, this is what the Democratic Party stands for; it assumes Big Government will take care of everybody from cradle to grave. After all, fairness and the re-distribution of wealth are their core issues? If the Democrats had it their way, fairness would be the motto and not, In God we trust!
Closer to home here in Lawrence, the unveiling of the Turnaround Plan for Lawrence’s Public Schools! What did we get? The Plan in a nut shell, “Plan on having better Schools”! Wow, Millions of Dollars, Thousands of man hours and this is what we got. A Plan with lots of worthy goals but little details! Receiver Riley punted to the Principals and to the Charters Schools assigned to oversee the Underperforming schools to come up with the details to turn them around. He said that he is here with his administrators to offer assistance where needed.
Are you seeing what I am seeing? The Similarities between Obama Care and Lawrence’s Public Schools Turnaround Plan are remarkable! Both produced by a Democrat Administration, both filled with Unelected Bureaucrats, both costing Americans a lot of money! I am reminded of the comments made by Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Then we have comments made in 2010 by Governor Patrick justifying the amount of money coming to the city of Lawrence, “a lot of that money is education money, educating children is not a waste of money or time. What we are looking at in Lawrence is not an infusion of capital it’s getting at some reforms to make sure they get on sounder fiscal footing and management.” This coming from the same guy who cut local aid across the State year after year!
I realize that what I’m about to say may really upset some of you, especially those of you who still hate former Lawrence Superintendent Dr. Laboy and believe that he is evil personified and he alone is responsible for every failure in the Lawrence Public School System. So to those of you who are still full of hate and choose to hold on to it, you are the ones who must live with yourselves.
Now having said that, I am not excusing Dr. Laboy’s criminal activity, he has been charged, found guilty and is now paying for his crimes. I am now speaking to a long time before his wrong doing began. I am talking about 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, when the vision for the New Lawrence High School Campus was being put together.
This unique vision for 6 individual small High Schools on one Campus with a Campus Headmaster and each School having their own Principal, Assistant Principal and their own budget, a vision which was unheard of before in the United States of America. This vision gave each individual High School autonomy and a sense of smallness where everybody had the chance to know everybody and class sizes were at an all time low, which by the way resulted in test scores going in the right direction.
The reason for even mentioning this is because that’s what is in the Lawrence Public Schools Turnaround Plan! So the plan in 2012 is the same as Dr. Laboy’s Vision for Lawrence’s Public Schools back in the early 2000’s! What happened then in the years following 2007 after the New Lawrence High School Campus opened?
Well, we had a change in Governors; we went from a Republican Governor, Mitt Romney to a Democrat Governor Deval Patrick. Under Governor Romney, Lawrence received the funds to build and support a unique vision of a Lawrence High School Campus with 6 Individual High Schools. Under Governor Deval Patrick Lawrence received multiple years of cuts in local aid resulting in restructuring of the Campus Administration, teachers and class sizes resulting in test scores going in the wrong direction.
Now we are told that Governor Patrick and his administration are serious about turning around Lawrence’s Underperforming Public Schools.
Through the years of his administration, millions of federal dollars have come to Lawrence from his friend, President Obama in the form of the Re-Investment Act of 2009, Race to the Top Fund of 2011. These monies prevented major layoffs for teachers in the Lawrence School District. Round two of the R.T.T.T. F. will be used to aid as the Lawrence Turnaround Plan goes forward.
In conclusion, let me say that I very much like the idea of the Principals of our Neighborhood Schools and their staff having the responsibility of coming up with the plan for their schools. Trying to implement what works at the Robert Frost School in the Arlington School is not a plan for success! The one plan fits all plan has failed our children!
Different children with different needs in different neighborhoods, so it makes sense that their plans will be different! I compliment Receiver Riley for acknowledging this!
Finally, what has all this information shown us? Have we learned anything? In the end when it comes to fixing Lawrence’s Public Schools, I believe the answer is in our country’s motto, which is what I began this column with, In God We Trust! To think that one man is going to ride into Lawrence on a white horse and have all the answers to Lawrence’s problems is foolish thinking! Unless his name is Jesus Christ, it’s not going to happen!
In closing I would like to pay tribute to my good friend Mr. Walter Pomerleau, the Mayor of Mount Vernon. He stood by me during some very difficult times when I was a member of the Lawrence School Committee. He told me not to listen to those in Lawrence’s District E who were calling for me to step down from the School Committee. He even made sure I put a campaign sign on his front lawn! I will never forget the support and encouragement he gave me. He also was a big fan of my column in the Valley Patriot every month and repeatedly told me to keep writing. So goodbye my friend, God Bless you, I will miss you.