Home Forums Live Blog Forum TFA Board Meeting, 1/22/18

This topic contains 17 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  mlawton3 1 year, 9 months ago.

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    Patrice Benard

    Mr. Lawton, as a fellow parent of a student at TFA, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. This is my blog post. I do not pretend to be an un-biased reporter. I am a Mom who has been, and will continue to fight for the education that is right for my child. I am also a taxpayer and resident of NH, and I will continue to take a keen interest in how my taxpayer dollars are being spent at any public school. Let’s look at the definition of ‘blog’, from dictionary.com

    a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.

    So this blog is informal and written in my conversational style. I think people who know me know that I am pretty true to myself and how I speak when writing these blogs. These are my thoughts in the moment as I am covering a meeting.

    If I have called people names, it is because that is how I feel at the moment. I have that right, under the First Amendment of the Constitution. If you do not think that is ‘fair’, go start your own blog. Please note I did not delete your posts as I do not try to curtail free speech. I don’t have to be fair, I’m a private individual posting my personal thoughts on a meeting. As for any clarification the school seems to be giving me, that would be because I first had to file two right-to-know requests. They seem to forget the PUBLIC part of Public Charter School. So if they toss me a bone here and there, don’t expect me to bow down and kiss their feet. As for a Crossfire-type show – I have the face for blogging, not TV. But you are a dear to flatter me like that.

    As for your comment about parents who can choose to attend or not, please remember we have a Charter, which I am of the opinion, is not being followed, as well as a bill of goods we were promised when we first attended information sessions 3 1/2 years ago. Parents can, and should, fight for what was promised during information sessions, as well as in the Charter.

    Should parents still choose TFA? That is up to each individual parent. They should do what is right for their child. No one school can, nor should it try to, be all things to all people. TFA began as a school with a narrow mission and vision. Both have been eroded over the past three years. But is it better than other options? Each parent will decide that for their own family.

    I will be adding the link to the video as soon as it is uploaded. Good night and God speed!


    Patrice Benard

    Here’s the link to the video:



    This is actually the Live Blog Forum.

    noun: forum
    a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.

    an Internet site where users can post comments about a particular issue or topic and reply to other users’ postings.

    Thanks for the clarification and the only reason I came on this in the first place was because I tried to say hello to you before the meeting started. I figured we could chat electronically.

    Your anger and frustration is not with Ms Lavallee. We both attended that first Parent Information night at West Library and your anger is with the gentleman who promised mired than he could deliver. He was desperate to get kids in the door and you believed him. I knew immediately that his promises were untenable as he soon learned when the School first opened and he had teachers who were so grossly unqualified one had to
    leave for health reasons and another was ushered away because she was an experienced educator who called him to task. He is gone now and the school has grown so much! I wish you could see beyond your perceived anger and recognize that the same individuals you are criticizing drafted the very legislation that makes our school possible. You also tout that we are a public school, and that is technically both correct and incorrect. We only receive 1/3 or per pupil expenditures spent on other public schools and that is only after the very hard work performed again by the people you criticize working to get the funds increased to current levels.

    The other 2/3 comes from community outreach and the generosity of others. You have been given incredible access to all of the financial information and was also privy to a presentation by the auditing firm that explained to you that a charter school s NOT run like a regular public school. You made a comment that the IRS should be notified. We are a non- profit. We are tax exempt. You state that the decisions are illegal and yet the law you state only pertains to a small aspect of the school. The board is actually governed under rules that cover non-profits as well. I am not familiar with those laws in NH but I do know that it is not uncommon for boards to ask for monetary contributions in addition to f dang marchng funds. It’s called buy-in and it ensures that a board member is willing to literally stake a claim in the success of the organization.

    Now with regard to the role of the board members themselves. No matter what the job description says, you are absolutely correct in stating that they are a rubber stamp to the decisions made by the chief executive officer. Do you know who that is for TFA? Ms Mooney. We do not have a superintendent like other sau’s. A superintendents responsibility is to provide the school board with information AND a plan for the future. The board is there to approve those decisions. Do you know who hires the superintendent? That same board that rubber stamps their decisions. This is how every business with a board of directors works. We should be actively seeing parents who want to see the school succeed not for their own specific child but for the legacy created while their student attends.

    Do you know why a degree from an Ivy League looks better than from a public university? Legacy. I went to UMass Amherst which is part of the Five College System which includes Smith, Amherst, Mt. Holyoke and Hampshire College. All four of those institutions are private colleges with long histories if famous successful alumni. Do you know what they don’t have? Engineering schools. A student enrolled at Amherst can take classes at UMass as part of the Five College Program. I experienced the firsthand. I considered minoring in astronomy. I took classes sides by side with these students and performed better. Do you know the diffrrence? My diploma says University of Massachusetts and their’s say Amherst. Who do you think had more clout and pull in interviews?

    My long winded(typed) response is for you to look to the future. Do you want our children to be able to look back with pride knowing they were part of an amazing opportunity to be the first graduates of a school that hopefully 10-20 years from now is the benchmark in public charter schools? Or the graduates, god willing they don’t shut the doors, of a school that was so easily intimidated by a small group of individuals who’s only chief complaint as that they didn’t see the opportunity for what it was? Look at the success rate of charter schools in other states. All privately run! We are still a young sapling hoping to take root. We should be nurturing.

    I thank you for reading this and also pray for God’s grace for us all.

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