All of TPS' problems are solved, now they want to focus on how businesses do business

I can't believe I am reading this. The district has so many things challenging it (such as actually compiling with the law and working to fix the 54% of schools with a D or F ranking) and they want to collect diversity stats to check the diversity practices of the financial institutions? This type of ignoring the issues almost harkens back to trimming trees and other programs while the City sinks. I wonder who's harebrained idea this was? There are only so many hours in the day to deal with issues, TPS is still violating federal and state law by not doing what they are tasked to do and yet they have time to schedule meetings with financial institutions and review data to check "diversity practices"? I have an idea, how about parents withhold their kids from TPS while we check the educational practices of the district? TPS is tasked with education not becoming the Ebert and Roper of business practices. Stick to your day job!
Toledo Public Schools is checking into the diversity practices of the financial institutions with which it invests to look for ways to expand minorities' and women's participation in district business.

Administrators and members of the Board of Education are in the process of meeting with all seven of the financial institutions holding district dollars — about $214 million in active and interim funds — to discuss their minority employment practices and what they do in the community.
"While the district is attempting to include more minority participation in school business, it is still required by law to take the lowest bid for construction projects and the highest interest rate for investments."
If they are required by law to accept the lowest bid or highest interest rate, then why are they doing this?

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chris, i know this is a touchy subject for you, but man what the hell are they thinking!!!! i saw this earlier and shook my head. i'm sure the real facts will come out on this site, and i'm curious to hear more about it. then we can figure out what we can do to get their butts in gear. i really appreciate this site, it gives good honest info, unlike the blade.

I would feel the same way. What is TPS tasked to do? Educate. What do we pay them to do? Educate. This is not their mission. TPS' education performance is mediocre, that in and of itself is enough to say focus on what you are tasked to do and we pay you to do. I don't know is that unreasonable (I ask rhetorically)?

This was his big issue when he was mayor and now he's pulling the same shit on the school board.

Two quick questions:

1: What is the stated primary goal of the School Board?

2: What does this investigation of financial institutions have to do with question 1?

Remember, during Ford's administration, we stopped using local company The Andersons as a supplier because they weren't black enough for Jack. Instead he thought it would be better for the city to use an outside supplier.

Toledo voters deserve to get this, and they're getting it good and hard. The progressive fixing of the school board was set back a good 8 years by emplacing purely complacent politicians like Ford and Sobecki. We'll probably see the administrators paying themselves $2000 bonuses again in the next 2 years ... for outstanding performance, natch!

Toledo's degradation proceeds apace. The only thing that will stop it is PAIN. The pain's simply not great enough for the general populace yet. I can see this clearly from all the spending that still happens. Once the common man has his teenie-bopper credit card taken away by circumstances, he'll come to understand the absolute truth of FISCAL CONSERVATISM.

so, what can we do about it?


For about 2 years, nothing can be done. You're SUPPOSED to make the best choices for Board members when you vote. Tens of thousands of voting Toledoans failed to do that. So for 2 more years, we'll have to suffer ... much like my anticipation when Czarty hit office again, except that period was double.

And don't rely on the Blockade to help you. Their agenda is clear: Line up behind the most electable politicians. That's why they soft-pedal Ford. Reading the Blockade's archive on Ford was nauseating. You'd think Ford was a co-owner of the Blockade, given how fawning the paper was about him. There's just no investigative reporting there to be found.

"If they are required by law to accept the lowest bid or highest interest rate, then why are they doing this?"
They do so, because there has been no challenge to the practice.
Laws are useless with out enforcement or application to a problem.

anyone know of a nice house in maumee? it just keeps sounding better and better.

There are a LOT of nice houses in Maumee. Got cash? Got a big mortgage loan on tap? That's about the speed of it. Leaving Toledo for near environs means shouldering a much larger mortgage.

I advise those leaving Toledo to re-learn what MODESTY means. If you're rejecting the cheap houses in Toledo (and I well understand why), then AT LEAST find a tiny home (which is cheaper yet to heat and cool) in the exurbs. You've gotta move anyway, so that's a great time to get rid of all that crap filling your garage right now.

Also note that building a sizable garage for yourself is cheap and easy. Sure, some company can come in and build one for you for $10000, but the point of the coming Depression is to save money and decrease your expenses (to hoard cash). Learn to build a garage yourself and you can save $5000 from that ... then you can put in all the tools and supplies you'll need to live a better life "off grid" (which primarily means "out of the consumer lifestyle").

companies that discriminate.
TPS is not a law enforcement agency. They are not the EEO. TPS should get their head back in their game, which is solving their own problems , which are many.

I have heard certain Toledo citizens at BOE monthly meetings discuss "minority" issues of TPS. All I can say is it seems to be a positive step on their behalf. Any type of positive change in our district is good.

I do hope that they look more seriously at how to involve the disabled students, in our schools and community more. If they are going to make changes for the women and minorities, I want to see how to make positive changes on behalf of the large number of students with disabilities. I understand that this review is more of a collaborate effort into our community, in all areas, but TPS has 17 % of students with disablities. Therefore, TPS and our community are or will be responsible for a large number of individuals either now or in the future. This can only benefit a large number of our students to help prepare them for the future, in our community................

When the schools are so severely failing to INSTRUCT, which is their primary goal, then all other matters pale in comparison.

Paying the electric bill and painting the house are not going to help when you can't make the mortgage payment. Necessities before luxuries. Why do I even have to tell people this?

Necessities before luxuries. Why do I even have to tell people this?

Because GuestZero, you are the smartest man alive and should be President..................Where have you been all my life?????????????

I've been avoiding the people who divert scarce resources to foolish or unsustainable enterprises. This probably explains why we haven't met.


Could this be a simple attempt to misdirect our attention? Instead of focusing on their diversity failings: poorer achievement among minority schools, lack of minority teachers, and not meeting minority contracting goals in the buildings program; it is easier to question the diversity practices of others. Especially when it comes to lining up support for levys, nothing shakes those not offering support than a veiled threat to effect their wallets by changing the money flow among their banks.

We need to make it clear that no levys will pass until they focus on their primary mission!

...who are you who is so wise in the ways of the TPS board misdirection????

I think you've hit the nail on the head - my blog post talks about the not-so-veiled threat, but I didn't link it to the levy. Good call on that one!

dmullen, good call! :) now to get the voters to see it that way..... including the idiots who elected ford and the other board member. where do these people come from?

Here is the link to Maggie's blog:

It is worth the visit.

I cannot believe the district has time to do this. I am still shaking my head. I believe the district has officially jumped the shark.

Dear Pickett students,

I want to apologize for how your school district is failing you. Your school has immense needs, yet the district leadership feels it is important instead of marshalling help for you, to waste time talking about things they have no control over. I apologize they did not even know that while schools are crumbling they are distracted. While they fail to meet so many of their obligations, they want others to meet TPS's obligations.

Yet no one speaks up. No one.

While you try to do your best, the leadership is doing its worst. For this I want to apologize. I wish you had an advocate, but that won't happen until those who can realize what their first task is.


Since I believe I am the a "certain Toledo citizen" at BOE meetings who "discusses" minority issues at TPS, let me offer my opinion.

IF or WHEN TPS cleans up it's own "minority issues" in its own house then maybe, just maybe they can oversee other business and their lack of diversity in their ranks. TPS has no business in diverting attention, energy and money to what happens at Fifth Third Bank. I smell a rat. Maybe Mr. Sykes is pulling some power in his last days as TPS board member to get back at 5/3 for canning his behind.

How much longer is Sykes in power? I am counting the hours down. When the New Years Eve Ball strikes twelve I will be thinking, "No more Sykes" to hold us down. 25 hours and 7 minutes to go.

Sykes got fired from 5/3?


After reading your post again, I am appalled that you think critiquing 5/3's minority hiring practices is a positive step on my behalf or anyone else who has discussed minority issues to the TPS administration at board meetings. You are an amazing women!

Chris, I join you in apologizing to Pickett students and to all of the students in failing schools in the TPS system.

With the election of the new board members and the way that the voters "spoke" in the recent elections, Toledo taxpayers deserve to have their money, attention and energy diverted away from academic achievement and towards 5/3 and their hiring practices.

What are you and TPS thinking? Drunk with the "overwhelming" victory of Ford and Sobecki, this train is staggering with insanity.

I believe this involves 12 community businesses, not just 5\3. I do think TPS is trying to tackle many obstacles and challenges right now and start on a positive path. Not just with this particular issue, but in general. I personally have faith in John Foley's leadership and he will work very hard to make sure all schools are providing acedemic enrichment to all students in the district. TPS is "cleaning up" a big mess from the past. Give the administrators and BOE members some time for positive change. Change does not occur overnight.

As far as the renewal levy, this is a renewal levy. They are asking for a renewal of tax dollars already being provided. Yes it may effect some homeowner who's taxes have been recently increased, but it is for the security of public education for our children. Who would not vote to help our children? I will vote for a renewal. A new tax is another story.

Purnhrt, I have heard you address the "minority " issue many times. You have addressed it with Larry and Mr. Ellis sitting there, oooo and Dr. Adams in the line up. This is when I had lost respect for your issues. At any rate, they are now looking into this for you. Of anyone, you should be happy!!!!

Foley was involved in this mythical past you speak of. I call it mythical since it's not in the past at all. It's still here. Foley was left in that position to safeguard the actions taken during the still-enduring Sanders era. He's standing guard at the skeleton closet. Why do you think the Board majority played Harner like a sucker? They only made it look good since they had no intention in removing Foley from that guard position. (BTW, that's another $50K of YOUR MONEY they blatantly mis-spent. Why aren't you angry about that?)

The TPS has had more than enough time to sort out its problems. But it hasn't. It would rather demand more money, tear down perfectly good schools just to make the Construction Mafia happy, and concentrate on automatically approving whatever labor contract passes over the desk. Well, NCLB is currently kicking the TPS in the ass, as designed. If the district doesn't educate the children, they will eventually be stripped of their teachers, students and schools, which I for one entirely approve of. People who are incompetent SHOULD lose their jobs, regardless if they have peach institutional positions.

Anyway, you're just making excuses. I mean, "give the members some time"? "Change does not occur overnight"? You're regurgitating old quotes from 7 years ago. What has the Board been doing for 7 years? Oh, yeah, that's right: Trying to enact the Sanders Plan (basically: make it look good, while enriching administrators, contractors, and teachers, in that order), then trying to stop the Three For Change faction. They've unfortunately succeeded with both, and now the voter has implicitly given the Board permission to make a final rejection of this change you so emptily laud, and return to the Sanders Plan. It won't be long now before administrators try to pay themselves $2000 bonuses again, and this time, the Blockade newspaper will be complicit and probably won't report it at all.

AND FINALLY, throwing money at irresponsible or corrupt administrators and officials is not a slap at children at all. You district cheerleaders continue to push that myth -- that money is related to the children's education, and denying it only hurts them -- but any quick survey of cost-per-student shows that's not true. The TPS has a much bigger cost per student capita. What's it now, $11000 per student? That's an outrage, and a rational people in full charge of their school district should have outsourced it all by now, for such an amount.

Given the examples of other districts, there's no RATIONAL reason to think that the TPS must continue to spend (i.e. WASTE) so much money. They'll have to tone it back, one way or another. One way is fairly peaceful. The other way is quite nasty. For one, I stand well prepared to enact the nasty way -- state takeover, layoffs, and summary reassignment of buildings and students to private companies who are willing to actually WORK for their money. Want to try me on this? Just keep denying reality like you're doing, and you'll get it.

You may have heard me address minority issues concerning TPS and the Toledo Plan, not 5/3. Also, trust me, no one at TPS is looking into anything for me. This is also not a personal issue with me, it is a community issue, the failing school issue.

Clue me into the Dr. Adams comment, when you lost respect for my issues? HUH? Did I read that she is no longer head of the Junior High schools? GOOD!!

Unfortunately, she is in charge of the middle schools still. My meaning was that she is of dark skin too.... Believe me, I know many things need to change. However, I have faith that John Foley and our BOE will do what is best for our students, families and community. I am frustrated on many issues in TPS, mostly special education. However, I continue to advocate for these students and more than not, the issues are resolved. I am very active in TPS Special Olympics, approximately 400 parents talk to me about issues and I address them to the appropriate persons. When that does not work, I work up the chain of command. Mr. Foley has always had the best interest of the students and will advocate for changes as neccessary.

How did we get on the same page? :=)

what does she is of dark skin too, mean? Are you playing the "color card?"

I don't know why I get into these "conversations" with you anyway.

Foley does not need to advocate for change, it is his job. Who is he advocating to? The TFT?

1. Don - Good call on the comment about a "diversion" of our attention and the veiled threat to those who do business with the district. I believe you have a real "gem" of wisdom in your comments.

2. IMO, Sykes is without a doubt driving the effort (although Torres is very interested in diversity issues and is likely a willing participant even if his motivations may be well intended) and 5/3 is a target of a vengeful person. Of course, 5/3 gave him the platform by failing to be responsive to requests. What Sykes does not want to tell you is that in his role as a board member he helped direct millions of dollars in deposits to 5/3. Interestingly, Huntington Bank saw a large increase in deposits and business with TPS during the time that Barnett was on the board. Now why does it not surprise me that two VP’s of Community Relations for two banks ran and were elected to the Toledo Board of Education?

Any guesses to why TPS does business with every bank having a local presence? And it’s not about getting the best cost structure and saving taxpayer dollars!

3. There have been people in this community that have raised the issues again and again. But unfortunately the Urban Coalition does not have the resources to "leverage" such as TPS. TPS uses its money to reward those who keep their silence and punish all who stand up and suggest the emperor has no clothes. Pay to play is alive and well in TPS. More on that as the New Year begins.

4. IMO John Foley is in over his head, doesn't care or a combination of both. He does not communicate with the board, the organization or this community. I am about ready to conclude that this is but a temporary assignment for Foley to get his pension payout to max out! He has not developed any solutions to the problems plaguing the system. His 8 page Framework for Student Success is but a regurgitation of a document produced in the Sanders’ era and slightly modified by Foley. It was put out by Foley shortly after he was appointed interim superintendent. The document lacks substance and any detail. It has not been fleshed out into a detailed plan with specifics, benchmarks and measurement metrics!

His “organizational leadership skills" can obviously be questioned - look at how the TFT leader went right around him on the GEM academy. Both Foley and the treasurer did not see the proposal before its introduction at a board meeting. At this meeting, there was a resolution in the hands of Board President Steel written by the TFT for adoption of the GEM academy without the Superintendent’s review or recommendation – simply amazing!!

Some will reference pacing guides and “win with 10” as examples of his leadership - the pacing guides were an attempt to look proactive and to respond to Coalition recommendations to implement such guides to aid with the issue of student mobility. The guides were hurriedly put together and again lack substance and I won't even get into the professional development and implementation of these guides (We'll post some of the guides and provide comparisons of best practice in this area in the near future). Parent involvement at TPS is just more lip service - ask for the evidence that these programs have been implemented and are effective. The board recently passed goals for the superintendent for the FIRST time - how long has he been on the job?

5. Toledo needs to take their collective head out of the sand and really look at what is happening.

Since I started speaking out a dozen years ago, I have watched a whole generation of students struggle and many fail. I am profoundly sorry that our efforts were not successful in accelerating change and viewed in a more positive manner. We've identified the problems, provided solutions and ideas. Unfortunately, a $400 million dollar budget can be excellent "leverage" to keep community members, staff and vendors in line. I find it interesting that taxpayer dollars, public servants and institutions established for the public benefit are allowed to act in their best interests and to hell with the public.

Money is a powerful motivation for silence!

Well said!

and counting...............................
It's almost over Larry Sykes, thanks for the memories!!!!!!!!!!

and counting...............................
It's almost over Larry Sykes, thanks for the memories!!!!!!!!!!

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