Sep 28, 2015

The Academy of Vindictive Arts

A rather ugly picture is emerging about the demonstration at the Allentown School Board meeting Thursday evening. From a report by Jacqueline Palochko of The Morning Call, we learn that protest leader, Michael Frassetto, was coaching kids for the protest during school time at the Medical Academy Charter High School, where he teaches. In trying to explain away distasteful videos on his facebook page, he clearly indulges in double talk. The article mentions that Jose Rosado is CAO of the that school, but omits Rosado's background. He was terminated by the Allentown School District as principal of it's alternative high school, and subsequently filed a lawsuit, claiming that minorities were unjustly sent to the alternative school. Minorities are the majority in the Allentown high schools,  so why not in the alternative school?  I have an issue with these discrimination type lawsuits.  Truth be told, minorities have a leg up getting hired, but never complain of discrimination on that end of the contract. If Rosado is the CAO, Abe Atiyeh might be the Provost, in that he apparently owns all the buildings housing the charter schools. Frassetto, rejected by employment by the Allentown School District, defends his coaching as a teachable moment, and Rosado claims that he wasn't aware of Frassetto's protest coaching. One would think that in a small charter school, that he should be aware of most everything.

Some have speculated that the demonstration and walkout scheduled this week are a concerted business effort to lure students away from the school district and into charter schools. My guess is that it's concerted vindictiveness,  against the Allentown School District. What is apparent is that the Medical Academy is a controversial place of learning. Some of the characters promoting the walkout actually have aliases, criminal records and pending charges.  This is what Frassetto also regards as a teachable moment? I was going to end this post by writing how ironic that parents looking for alternatives, end up sending their children to a place staffed by rejects from the public system, but there's a disclaimer necessary.  I heard that Rosado's trouble with the Allentown administration began because he complained about teacher's speaking despairingly about students.  Even more complicating to my narrative, I heard from a reliable source, that Frassetto is indeed an excellent, dedicated teacher. I conclude that Michael Frassetto has a problem separating his personal activism from his teaching. He's entitled to believe that the Allentown District has issues, but encouraging students to walkout for five days is not in any way educational.

photo of Michael Frassetto by Harry Fisher/The Morning Call


Anonymous said...

I still fail to understand what this is all about. What is actually being demanded here? Protesting the dropout rate? This is insanity.

There is one thing, however, that is clear. As a parent, if you want your children to have a decent education, move out of the Allentown City Limits and send them to one of the suburban schools.

michael molovinsky said...

@5:58, the protesters are demanding that Mayo resign as superintendent, the appointed student representative on the school board have a vote, and that the school district provide a summer employment program, paying $10.00 an hour. i don't believe that the students are informed enough to have an opinion on mayo's contract, which is the province of the school board. my understanding is that state law states that only elected officials get vote on the board. i don't believe that summer employment is a proper function of the district, which is funded by taxes. This seems to be activism gone wild by mr. frassetto. missing a week of their programmed classes cannot be good for the students, even though frassetto claims that the students will gather at an alternative location, and be taught alternative material. at the end of their school term they will be graded by their Allentown teachers, and they will have missed a week of instruction. there is an unjustified disconnect between their grievances and the walkout.

Anonymous said...

It is possible to have a really good education in the Allentown high schools if you can get your kids into the honors and AP classes without the disruptive students. That is why many parents send their kids to charter and religious schools - not because the teachers are any better (they are often worse), but because it is possible to teach in the other schools. This is because the parents of the disruptive students are often transient and won't make an effort to get them into other schools.

They are having at least one person with a significant criminal history lead the rally today, plus a Kutztown professor known for her radical politics.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
michael molovinsky said...

anon@9:54 was a disingenuous comment criticizing mayo for allen's football coach.

Anonymous said...

This could be the most educational experience that these young people have all year, regardless of the outcome.
However flawed (or not.), democracy in action.

michael molovinsky said...

@12:43, it's not at all democracy, it's simply being truant. they could just as easily demonstrate after school, that would be democracy. of course how many would bother then, is problematic to the organizers. comments such as yours, which i feel require a reply, may often not appear.

Anonymous said...

This is something I posted earlier on Candidate Mark Smith's campaign page:


Can we show some support for our dedicated, hard-working Education Professionals? Please?

They have been slurred with vile, blanket accusations -- most despicably racism -- when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Who speaks for our teachers? Will someone?

And where is the forced-membership union?

You know, if an education advocacy group demanded that we better compensate our best teachers with merit pay, the commissars of the forced-membership union would be *extremely* vocal in their opposition. We've seen numerous examples of this throughout the country. But call teachers ineffective, and, far worse, racist? Nothing but apologetics. All AEA President Tretter did was to criticize the district for limiting the number of School Board meeting attendees as required by law per the fire code.


Mark, can you help drum-up support for the hard-working Education Professionals striving so very hard for Allentown's next generation? If nothing else, will you express your own personal support for them to help mitigate their abandonment by the forced-membership NEA/AEA?

Anonymous said...

This town doesn't work, even the children get that much.

Anonymous said...


And don't you love the legalistic fig leaf, "It's not truancy if they first come to school in the morning."


Any school employee who supports this travesty should be fired. And, given that this little Frassetto character is a Charter School "teacher" and not a member of a union, it should be easier than usual to do the right thing...

Jeffrey Anthony

Monkey Momma said...

It seems reasonable to assume that Frasseto was acting on Rosado's behalf. Or at least, with his support.

I will say that the Medical Academy school is the last place on earth I would ever consider sending a child. Any child. And to address the point made by 9:10 AM, although it is POSSIBLE for a kid to get a "good" education in Allentown, it is not the norm in ASD. You have to swim against the current to do so. And never forget that social values are contagious, both good and bad.

Frasseto (and Rosado?) have filled these kids' heads with lies and impossible demands. I don't blame the innocent kids for falling victim to this scam artist - they don't know any better and are searching high and low for a leader they can follow. They have followed the wrong piper in this case.

Anonymous said...

Just let the ASD alone and stop bringing attention to it! It will sort itelf out.

Signed, Suburban School Parent.

Anonymous said...

"The Board of Trustees of the Medical Academy Charter School meets at 7 pm on the second Tuesday of the month and meetings are open to the public. Please see our calendar to confirm meeting dates.

Craig Haytmanek, MD
Joe Lennert, MD
Kerri Cheever, MSN, PhD
Tom Macarro
Barbara Schlegel
Rosalee Sabo
Humberto Ortiz"