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Author Topic: Marva Collins doesn't want her good name ruined
Ben Ciriacks
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http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/dec04/281734.asp

The Afternoon Rush, WMCS-1290, with Eric Von talked about it all afternoon yesterday from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. Marva called in and expressed her concerns for about 40 minutes - immediately after entering her hotel room from the airport. The principal also called in.

I called to express my support for Ms. Collins and could understand her desire to not be associated with anything that was less than excellent - also expressing my concern that the school could be renamed "Potemkin School of Academic Excellence" and that everyone in the community, especially the activist parents (many of whom also called in and many who I know), need to always be on guard for those wanting to settle for less - that being entirely the opposite of what Marva Collins is all about.

They're meeting tonight at our main library downtown to hear from all sides.

One parent called in and said that her little girl couldn't read when entering first grade at her other school but learned at Marva Collins - I wished I could have called back and informed that parent that it wasn't the first school's fault her little girl couldn't read -- too many parents in Milwaukee are like that one --- they thinking the its someone else's responsibility to teach their children the basics.

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darnell
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quote:
Maybe this is why so many schools are named after dead people.
Personally I don't think anything should be named after anyone living. Not roads, schools, buildings, nothing. Not unless the person built it themselves and decided that since its their money they want their name on it.

quote:
Originally posted by Ben Ciriacks:
too many parents in Milwaukee are like that one --- they thinking the its someone else's responsibility to teach their children the basics.

You mean you've got this problem up there too [Big Grin] ?
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EMPERORATKINSON
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I know...its how many schools in Gwinnett County that have names after people that are still living and serving on the school board.
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Ben Ciriacks
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http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/dec04/282152.asp

Update: The local CBS affiliated channel (usually more friendly in its coverage of the Inner City) didn't emphasize the negatives in its coverage on the 10:00 pm news last night. The NBC affiliated channel on the other hand led with every negative snippet filmed - making it look like Marva Collins was hooted out of the room after disrupting everything.

The ending of my call to this afternoon's Afternoon Rush radio program had:

How can these people criticize the person whose name is on the building?! If Jesus Christ had been in that room last night would they have organized against Him for criticising them for not acting like Christians?!

The teachers and parents from the school were there to support and applaud the Principal - deriding and insulting Marva Collins under their breath and out loud at times. Those parents who still strive for excellence (those who understand the concept) were the ones outraged at the insults to Ms. Collins reputation and disrespect to her person. (This may be the catalyst for at least one group of highly intelligent and long activist/motivated parents to create some sort of organization supporting both the school and other progress is Milwaukee. The school doesn't even have a parental organization.)

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Ben Ciriacks
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http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/dec04/280701.asp

That's the earliest link regarding the renaming issue. I just received and read copies of the correspondence between Marva Collins and the Principal and/or owner. It's obvious there is antagonism between her and the Principal and her primary concern is that test scores of 7th and 8th graders in the near future will indicate that they're not "excellent" students, thereby proving that the "Marva Collins" method doesn't work - she wanting her name disassociated with the school before that occurs and creating a paper trail to indicate her concerns over how the school hasn't really used her methods over the past 7 years.

There also is no doubt that a lot of the new parents with children in the school don't know they are the greatest teacher in their children's lives but are extremely happy to have them in a school where they can learn something - they and their children, of course, bringing down the standards for the parents who do want excellence and have always been a part of their children's educational lives.

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darnell
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I always tell people, there is one perfect way to always know a good school from a bad one. It is a very simple method and I have never seen it fail yet. Just go to the school on a regularly scheduled PTA night. A time after school hours when a parent is offered the opportunity to speak to teachers about their child at a time setup for when most people are off work. The teachers stay late just for parents to stop in and talk.

At good schools all available parking will all be taken.

At bad schools there will be plenty of open parking and teachers leaving early because nobody shows up.

But you don't get votes or people cheering your name by saying the only problem in education is with parents that don't put in enough effort when it comes to their child's education. Statments like that are always rebutted with a lot of reaons why the parents can't do it. But parents that find a way to do it have the kids that do better, bottom line. And that is the only "educational plan" that will ever work.

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Ben Ciriacks
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Most of those parents I know have their kids participating in bussing programs to get their kids into suburban schools - one of whom is now a teacher at the local high school (I and my 5 siblings attended) her parents wouldn't send her to 17 years ago for their ability to get her into a more 'motivated' suburban school, one where the parents know about their roles in the educational process.

The problem with many of the parents who don't know all this is that they don't trust (for legitimate reasons) White people and almost all the people in the education system they have been dealing with are White - telling them that they are supposed to spend time helping their kids become educated at home sounds like some conspiracy to allow the teachers to do nothing -- I've yet to understand why they don't hear it (or accept hearing it) from other Black people but suspect that may have to do with isolation within their own community.

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Ben Ciriacks
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This morning's right wing radio hosts (all Republican, all "afraid to venture into the Inner City" without an escort) spun the controversy as being all about money - they intimating that the $300,000 fee discussed was a jacking up of the $64,000 annual franchise fee -- a fee that started out at $6500. seven years ago --- proving that Marva Collins was never in it for the money ---- even $300,000 being very cheap for the history, acclaim and regard afforded her name.

Although nothing in writing has been seen by me showing any fee for any reason, I interpreted the $300,000 being an amount taken off the top of the head as what it would take to turn the school around and get it back on track to Marva Collins methods over a six month period - she and her organization not being in the turn around business and probably thinking of the monies it would take to suddenly hire a staff of teachers to come in during that six months, in addition to the lost fees Marva would suffer from not being on the road at speaking and siminar engagements -- she stating numerous times (and proving by the miniscule fees she's already been charging that's she's not in it for the money). The school principal was jerking her around about her desire to remove her name and asked her people how much it would take to be able to keep the name - they wanting an answer to use against her and her people not realizing that until too late.


[At the same time as all this, the Mayor announced that we were going to spend $30 million to renovate our historic old City Hall building - but since that involved almost exculsively all White people, no fuss was made about it -- especially any fuss pointing out that a brand new, larger building could probably be had for less than $30 million --- at least if the graft and corruption payments were eliminated.]

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darnell
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Anytime someone wants $300,000 to "grace" a building with her presence for a couple months money is certainly an issue. The name is up for ransom plain and simple.

Good they are telling her SHE CAN KEEP HER NAME!!!

Editorial: School will be just fine without the Collins name

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Ben Ciriacks
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The problem with that is that they've managed to raise millions of dollars, as have the other schools using her name (after only purchasing her instructional materials) to claim they are Marva Collins schools. Even you are believing her critics instead of her own words regarding the $300k. And, even if it was a fee, it would be less than $1k per student per year - probably the cheapest price any elite school in the USA gets off someone elses or its own reputation.

Tell me, how much per student per year does Harvard, Yale and other 'elite' schools get as 'free' money through fund raising?

Or, are you saying that only certain entrepreneurs get to be reimbursed for their efforts - especially those only in 'politically correct' agreement with ones own views?!

[ 12-13-2004, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: Ben Ciriacks ]

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darnell
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New York has some of the highest paid school execs in the nation. Most of them don't see 300K in a year to manage entire school districts. I fully understand a school saying $300K for 2 months and a name is not worth the investment.

I personally don't care how much they've raised using her name. I also don't care who sides with who or what their views are.

I think the school is making a good choice in telling Collins to take her name and run on with it else where. If she wants to find what the open market will bear for her name (by increasing the price) that is her choice. It is also the school's choice to say "see ya". Even if they used the name to increase funding.

She does not like what they are doing, the school does not want to pay, they are parting ways and I support their rights to do that.

If I were running the school I would do the same thing. The schools all put up with the price increases till they felt the price was too high. I think them having a limit is a good thing.

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Ben Ciriacks
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You and everyone else are only paying attention to the $300,000 - that seemingly a significant figure -- it isn't. I repeat, the $300,000 mentioned in a verbal conversation over the telephone was off the top of the head of someone asked, "how much would it take to get the school" in alignment with Marva Collins expectations so that they could keep her name on it (and on all the fund raising brochures, letters, etc.)

I repeat, the $300,000 was not a fee, especially not a fee for the rights to continue to have Marva Collins name on the building. That fee had been $6500 or so 7 years ago and was raised to $64000 or so when the 5 year contract was renewed - that fee is in writing and is the picayune amount paid for the rights to have Marva Collins name on the building (and litererature, etc.) and for her to visit and provide personal instruction regarding her methodology over a 10 day (or so) period each year.

Considering that a Harvard U. study of her methods discovering that students in schools that use some of her methods score 10% higher and that students in school that use all of her methods score 180% higher (that's hearsay information from this mornings radio discussion), a fee to even be in the same room with her should at least be as high, if not a lot higher, that any paid to Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Baker, Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton or any of the other highly paid for personal appearance fee'd individuals - unless, of course, educational expertise isn't really all that valued by our current leave no child behind mind set.

There's no doubt that the school has the right to remove her name, but that's not what they want - they want to remove the fee and continue not using her strict methodolgies but continue using her name for fund raising purposes. There would be no controversy otherwise. And, the school started it all by sending a letter to all the parents of children within the school - one I've not seen and which hasn't been published anywhere, but which supposedly references the $300,000 figure that was never in print anywhere before that. [To anyone familiar with these types of games people play confrontations, it's obvious the school, in the form of its princial, has assumed the role of heavy in all this.]

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darnell
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I have no doubt that Ms. Collins could make more than $300K in 2 months going around speaking and doing one-off type workshops. And still I say the school was in the right to say "SEE YA, DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU AND YOUR NAME ON THE WAY OUT".

If she wants schools to never do anything different from "her method" if they have "her name" than schools that ever stray can feel free to pony up the money and have her around as long as they wish or can afford.

It is good her method has been found to work. That does not mean it is the only method a school has to use. If they fail, than that's another reason why Marva Collins can say she's got the best method.

They run THEIR SCHOOL not Marva Collins'. Just because they disagree does not mean anyone does not care about the kids.

[ 12-13-2004, 05:29 PM: Message edited by: darnell ]

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darnell
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Just to offer some info about her (below). Personally I think she's got a good thing going and I wish she had taken the Secretary of Education post when Reagan offered it to her.

PRESIDENT BUSH AWARDS 2004 NATIONAL HUMANITIES MEDALS
quote:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 17, 2004) -- President George W. Bush awarded the 2004 National Humanities Medal today to seven distinguished Americans and one historical society for their contributions to the humanities. At a White House ceremony, the President presented National Humanities Medals to Marva Collins, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Hilton Kramer, Madeleine L'Engle, Harvey Mansfield, John Searle, Shelby Steele, and the United States Capitol Historical Society.

The National Humanities Medal, first awarded in 1989 as the Charles Frankel Prize, honors individuals and organizations whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand America's access to important humanities resources.

The following individuals received the National Humanities Medal for 2004:

Marva Collins (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) was cited "for her success in demonstrating the potential of every child to learn. Her work has influenced educators across our country and helped enable more Americans to realize the great promise of our Nation." Collins graduated from Clark College in Atlanta and taught school in Alabama for two years. She moved to Chicago, where she taught in the public school system for fourteen years. In 1975 Mrs. Collins founded Westside Preparatory School in Chicago's Garfield Park neighborhood. Mrs. Collins' success with students labeled by others as "unteachable" led to profiles in Time and Newsweek magazines and television appearances on 60 Minutes and Good Morning America. Her life was the basis for a CBS Special Movie. During his presidential term, Ronald Reagan offered her the post of Secretary of Education, but she declined. She has received more than 42 honorary doctoral degrees from universities including Amherst College, Dartmouth, and Notre Dame. She is the recipient of the prestigious Jefferson Award for the Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged. Mrs. Collins received the Lincoln Award of Illinois for service in the state, and she has served on the board of directors of President George H.W. Bush's Points of Light Foundation. She has trained Fortune 500 executives and over 100,000 teachers, principals, and administrators.
...


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Ben Ciriacks
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quote:
They run THEIR SCHOOL not Marva Collins'. Just because they disagree does not mean anyone does not care about the kids.

On the contrary, there is a written contract between them that does give control of the school (or at least the way it's run) to Marva collins - that's the biggest part of the problem -- the school is not living up to the written contract.
One has to remember that there were only 2 schools allowed to have the Marva Collins name on them: the first in Chicago now run by her daughter (and not doing as well as when Ms. Collins ran it - you are right, she's probably the only one who can run them her way); the second in Milwaukee - it only authorized after Marva Collins was dragged kicking and screaming to the final agreement -- the proof in why she never wanted to allow it is now being evidenced. All the other, so called, Marva Collins schools are using her name after having merely bought the instructional materials - they've never been authorized by her to do so - this all according to her verbal responses over a half-hour period on the radio last week.

(The school is 4 blocks from my home - many of the high achievement students are from middle class Black families whose parents are both involved in numerous other community activities - I graduated 8th grade from the building when it was St. Anne's parochial school back in 1957, it being a brand new structure in early 1956.)

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darnell
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Hmmm. So if she is allowed to run the school by contract then I guess the details make all the difference. If the details allow her to control the use of funds she's got a totally legit gripe. If they don't than that defaults to the school. She can tell them how to run the school and that does not mean she gets extra money unless that is mentioned in the contract.

And since she has a level of control (how much we would have to see the contract) and wants them to change their methods she does have some level of legitimate gripe regardless of the money issue.

Ultimately I guess this is solved by them parting ways. The school can do what they feel is best and Marva Collins has her name where she feels its best to be placed (on the school in Chicago).

I'm going to write a book one day called The Perfect Educational Solution. Inside my book it will have just 12 pages. Each page will contain one word that will fill the entire page:
Page 1 - PARENT
Page 2 - YOU
Page 3 - ARE
Page 4 - RESPONSIBLE
Page 5 - FOR
Page 6 - YOUR
Page 7 - CHILD'S
Page 8 - EDUCATION
Page 9 - AND
Page 10 - NOBODY
Page 11 - ELSE
Page 12 - (REPEAT)


Hey it works for shampoo bottles [Big Grin] .

[ 12-14-2004, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: darnell ]

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Ben Ciriacks
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I agree wholeheartedly, they are parting ways -- with the school attempting to assassinate Marva Collins' reputation in the process --- she responding in a manner proving she's not CEO material in the dog eat dog corporate world.

Your book would be a best seller but would still be too much to read for some parents. [Wink]

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Ben Ciriacks
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Interesting bunch of bedfellows:

Opposed to Marva Collins -
teachers union and their supporters;
right wing talk-shock jocks;
parents satisfied with letting their kids speak ebonics as a matter of course;

Supporting Marva Collins -
parents who want their kids to be qualified enough to get into Oxford;

It's amazing that the same right wing jocks (Charlie Sykes WTMJ, Jeff Wagner WTMJ and Mark Belling WISN, locally) who support the billions of dollars Halliburton is making in Iraq off its no bid contract oppose Marva Collins for charging a fee for her services. They're the only ones who don't fit this picture in the above, but I suppose the shock value of their contradictory opinions (based upon misinformation, of course) is worth more than consistency.

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darnell
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She was going for too much money. That's probably why she never took a cabinet position. She's about running her business. $300K from a school for a couple month's work should get criticized. Teachers Unions are against seeing cost skyrocket for these services. The talkers are simply talking about what everyone else is talking about. It's big expense and so they will of course talk about it. They should. Everyone else is.

If parents want their kid to go to Oxford than they will need a whole lot more than Marva Collins. Those parents will actually need to spend a lot of time with the kids themselves.

Nobody else has been able to duplicate Marva's success with her method and she's not running any schools herself. (I mean her actually starting and running things from the ground up.) You really have to wonder if "her method" really is so "great" if its not repeatable. The only proven repeatable method involves parents working with their own kids to ensure they gain the skills they need.

(And here we go with the cries over Halliburton again...)
In a war no bid contracts are the norm. There is no time to carry out the bidding process when facilites must be set up fast AND nobody cried about the NO BID Contracts Bill Clinton gave Halliburton in Kosovo. The Halliburton talk is old news. Let it go, the nation has spoken!

[ 12-17-2004, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: darnell ]

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Ben Ciriacks
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quote:
There is no time to carry out the bidding process when facilites must be set up fast
9/11/2001 October November December 2002 January February March April May June July August September October November December 2003 January February March

Yeah, I guess Republican administrations are kinda slow - even the first Gulf War took a lot of setup time before we actually began what we announced we were going to do well ahead of time

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darnell
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Ben the vote is over. Your guy lost. Let it go. You can beat the same drum, but you won't change a thing.

There was a war in Afganistan prior to Iraq. A war that went far better than efforts by other nations that have fought in that country. Sorry, but Iraq was not the first country a war was held in just after 9/11. The LOGCAP program was made so that the time, expense and effort of picking would be removed. Halliburton had already won via LOGCAP's bidding process in 2001 for any need that might arise. (But some want to act like there never was never any bidding at all ever, THAT IS A LIE!!! Learn about LOGCAP!)

Now where were you when Clinton did the same thing with Halliburton in Kosovo? (In 1997 Halliburton LOST the LOGCAP bid, BUT CLINTON STILL USED THEM.) Are Democrats slow too? Can you name another US corporation that had the capabilities and experience to do the job in Iraq? Halliburton had worked in the Iraq/Saudi region before. (Who do you think was doing the same work during Gulf War I?) There was no better choice regardless!

I didn't complain when Clinton did it and I'm amazed by folks that suddenly have complaints when Republicans do the same thing [Roll Eyes] .

This is nothing more than partisan mud slinging which does not stand up to a review of history and the facts!

[ 12-18-2004, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: darnell ]

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Ben Ciriacks
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http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/dec04/285361.asp

Probably not the final word from Marva Collins - it may eventually go to litigation.

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