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Ed Taber is Write-in Candidate for Oswego School Board

My name is Ed Taber and I am a candidate for the Oswego School Board.
I was born and raised in Oswego and educated in Oswego schools, graduated from SUNY Oswego with a BS in Education and a concentration in Transportation, and taught High School for one year.

I served in the US Navy and am a Vietnam combat veteran. I was trained in conventional and nuclear steam propulsion, served aboard the USS Hugh Purvis DD709 and the USS Springfield CLG7, and was honorably discharged as a First Class Petty Officer.

I am a Licensed Merchant Marine Officer and serve as captain on a government research vessel.

I am married to Therese Kon of Oswego and have two adult children. One child works in sales in Oswego and the other works in family support at Fort Drum. My wife is a retired machine stenographer.

I am: a member of a federal employee union; a registered Independent; practiced in financial discipline; a listener; a researcher.

I would like to see an education system that prepares our children for the economic realities of a new national and global economy. That education should be paid for within the local economic reality. I want to preserve our Constitutional Republic, and Capitalism. We should strive to build solid moral and ethical foundations for our children within the traditions of our diverse spiritual community. Each child should exemplify a spirit that is God-like as recommended by George Washington in his Farewell Address and each child should develop in mind, body and spirit. Less than sixty miles from us the Manlius Pebble Hill School prepares their students so well that they have 100% acceptance at the college level. That is the model that I would use to educate our children.

At the end of their public education experience there is no reason why a student should not be prepared to either enter an institution of higher learning if that was their goal or enter the work force with a marketable skill if that was the path of their choice – each treated with equal respect.
I will not participate in what has become the Oswego system for filling school board seats. It is an antique from the Industrial Age. It is a system for those practiced in the art of deception as well as those serving self-interests. A campaign for change cannot begin by surrendering to this “system”. If we want change then we are going to have to do something to prove it. A majority of board members without community support is not enough. It will be defeated by legal challenges from the entrenched establishment. To begin real and substantive change – would you please write in my name on the ballot? If you cannot do that then I know that you are not interested in being functionally supportive of the school board and this election will be just another exercise in futility. There is a purpose for this. I am doing a write-in candidacy because it will make a critical statement with profound and immediate consequences for good. This will be your “tea party” moment. It is time for you to be respected and recognized by our elected officials. It is time for you to have a voice. It is time for that voice to join in a public outcry.
On the internet I have previously posted 41 planks of my platform. These were posted on “oswegonylion” under my handle “Old Scout”. I post there for my convenience –I am not married to any particular philosophy of any other participant on that site. Like Crispin’s Crispian *– I am my own dog.
* Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself, Margaret Wise Brown

Edwin Taber
316 West Third St.
Oswego, NY 13126
Home – 343 0107
Work – 343 3951 ext. 13

Ed Taber’s School Board Platform

1. Go to a county school district. This will reduce the number of districts and the administrative cost.

2. Get rid of “traditional” school boards and replace them with a board that accumulates and publishes community financial data to be used in school budgeting. The budget and salaries would be voted on by the public with full knowledge of the economic status of business and families in the community. This would actually be more in line with the original concept of school boards.

3. After the new school districts are created, all teachers, administrators and staff will be hired as independent contractors with one year contracts. They will not be employees of the district and will be responsible for their own benefits. They will receive bonuses for performance significantly above state statistics. Until independent contracts are implemented the employee contribution for their “Rolls Royce” health care will be 35%. I have yet to find any significant difference between district owned or private bus service except cost.

4. All borrowing above $250,000 will have a cost/benefit analysis showing impact on families and business. No borrowing beyond the district ability to pay debt back in 20 years.

5. Clearly define conflict of interest, nepotism and cronyism and establish effective penalties.

6. Use strict and narrow interpretations of executive sessions.

7. Eliminate text books, curricula and programs that promote political, religious or philosophical agendas.

8. Full support for home school and private school children.

9. Move away from programs and practices that have resulted in our student being addicted to electronic technologies that cause them to have the ability to write only in paragraphs that they cannot link together. We need citizens functioning in a real world, not Avatars. (See PBS program titled Digital Nation) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/

10. Students preparing for careers that do not require college will have equal status with those preparing for college.

11. Follow the recommendations of the “2007 Report of the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce”.
http://www.skillscommission.org/request_copy.htm

12. Diplomas will be supplemented by portfolios of academic and personal achievements that are board reviewed and certified. These portfolios will supplement their job resume.

13. Focus on Constitutional based civics, citizenship and patriotism.

14. Eliminate the Federal Department of Education.

15. Formation of “dropout teams” to offer kids alternative training or apprenticeships using a percent of the per pupil expenditures of the district. Allow time for kids to work out their problems. Set aside money that they can use for adult education when they regain the will and ability to learn. No more than five years.

16. Adopt uniforms, strict dress code, and prohibition of perfumes or fragrances that affect the concentration of others.

17. Eliminate school assigned homework where possible to allow more outside development through organizations, clubs, lessons, private learning. Document and certify this in their portfolios. Parents are encouraged to use evening time for supplemental learning to the daily school lessons.

18. More physical education, exercise, health training. Club based competitive sports funded by boosters.

19. Language classes will be changed to “speaking” language. Students will become fluent in the language.

20. More focus on student alertness issues due to illness, disease, fatigue, hunger, or distress.

21. The only way I know to get all the stakeholders to the table is to go to an improved school board – two options achieved through referendum:
a. All citizens in the district 18 years and older will legally constitute the school board.
b. All citizens 18 years and older will hold a permanent seat with the controlling vote on an elected board.

22. School discipline will not be used to indoctrinate children. Teachers or administrators will be terminated immediately for violation of contract that will contain prohibitive clauses.

23. Students will enjoy all rights and privileges guaranteed them under the Constitution of the United States as it is written – not what some people think it says or should say.

24. Assaults (physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, or racial) against pupils, teachers or staff will be prosecuted under the law.

25. Eliminate vending machines. Permit student-run stores with healthy snacks and typical school supplies.

26. Parents will feed their children before they come to school. Persistent offenders will face charges. Families in difficulty will be assisted in obtaining program funds to feed their kids. I will make sure that kids are fed in the morning but we are enabling people to be uninvolved with their children by offering to feed them in school. Kids that get up too late to eat will be adults who are tardy the rest of their lives and think nothing of it.

27. Bus all students K – 4 and all special needs; all kids beyond ½ mile in grades 5 – 8; all kids beyond 1 ½ mile grades 9 – 12. Pick-up points rather than door–to-door service with the same walking distances previously described. Reduce bus maintenance and replacement costs. Reduce emissions from busses.

28. Make the system adaptive and flexible enough to remove school as a problem requiring kids to be medicated.

29. Focus on making students lifetime learners. They must be skilled at research and gleaning information from personal contacts and resources.

30.  We have moved out of a manufacturing based economy for which our education system is designed. The modern work environment requires more independent behavior. The schools must be less regimented. There must be more personal responsibility and independent thinking. We cannot reinvent our economy without reinventing the education system.

31. I am not convinced that the Masters Degree requirements for teachers have had any significant benefit. I am open to utilizing teachers who do not have a degree in education but who are supervised by those who have education degrees.

32. Eliminate 100 signature requirements for School Board candidates.

33. Focus on building construction and maintenance to reduce or eliminate what is known as “sick building syndrome”. I have been following this concern for years and believe that there are a significant number of kids who are affected by this problem.

34. One of the greatest risks to our children are automobiles. We need required driver education that is more advanced than the current programs.

35. The data shows that Pre-K programs are not taking us
where we need to go. It does seem to have an advantage at elementary levels but does not improve performance beyond that. We seem to do fairly well up to the 8th grade but struggle to teach beyond that level.
36. The data for earnings of entry level and experienced
workers shows that high school graduate earning is increasing while college graduate earnings are decreasing. They are coming together. College graduates seem to have an advantage in head-to head competition for entry level jobs but that advantage disappears when employers have actual work history and productivity records to evaluate. The few jobs that are still available requiring college degrees are showing increased earnings but decreased
availability.
37. Rewrite school board rules that prevent independent
investigations by members.
38. Stronger instructional focus on personal finance, home management and economics.
39. Include programs for personal and commercial
agriculture.
40. Strong emphasis on innovation, invention, resource utilization and adaptation.
41. The largest job market is in health services. Why does
the Oswego system treat the profession with casualness and often disdain?
42. All major district meetings will be real time on the internet with email and phone text interaction with the community.
43. All district personnel will swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. They will swear an oath that they are not part of any enterprise engaged in subverting the Constitution of the United States or misrepresenting the rights of citizens contained therein.
44. Public issues may be voiced at meetings but will not be formally considered until the issue is presented in writing with full documentation, witnesses, references, etc.
45. I cannot comment on the Leighton issue since I have not been privy to all the input. I would have to defer to Sam Tripp on that issue until I was up to speed on all the parameters. Of all the sitting board members, Sam has the longest institutional memory and the broadest perspective on this matter.
46. After watching the PBS show Digital Nation, I believe it may be possible to eliminate all the school district offices except one staffed by an administrative assistant. IBM has done this with the new technology that is available.
47. It is the parents’ responsibility to address the individual needs of the students – the district must confine their attention to what affects the whole student body.
48. Under federal law all 18 year old males must register for the draft. Under New York State Law all 18 year old males are enrolled in the state unorganized militia. We have been remiss in preparing our children for this service.
49. I would advocate for cyber learning programs that are being used in several states.
50. I would encourage “learning clubs” where children can experience learning outside of the curriculum or supplemental to it.
Conclusion:
We can only hope to produce citizens with talents and abilities that will pull this community out of its difficulties. To improve our economy it would be my recommendation that we create wealth in the county by planting trees – many, many trees. It will take a number of years to market the trees but the wealth created by the marketing potential can be sold and traded by investment instruments creating enough borrowing capability to legitimately sustain a viable economy – even great wealth. This is also a “green” project since the additional trees will reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen in the air. The schools would need to adjust to educating those who would husband the trees.
“He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;”
Henry the Fifth, William Shake-Spear(e) (Sir Francis Bacon?)