Sep 29, 2015

Today's Take Away From Yesterday's Walkout

As I revealed on this blog yesterday, and picked up today by Bernie O'Hare in his posting, Michael Frassetto has a reputation of being an excellent teacher. Never the less, a comment from Bernie's post yesterday states;
The students who fell for the charlatan Falsetto's insane rantings were simply looking for a reason to cut class. Pure and simple. None of them were serious students, just like their Pied Piper was a lousy teacher and got dismissed from a charter school position where even the worst teachers survive.
Frassetto was not a lousy teacher, and taught at Roberto Clemente several years, where he started United Youth Party. Until yesterday, that organization was only associated with positive work, involving youth participation in several notable projects. Many teachers at the charter schools are excellent educators. Likewise, I'd bet that some of the kids partaking in the walkout are indeed good students. It's easy to generalize and spout off like Bernie's anonymous commentator, but in addition to being misinformed, it can be counter productive. Frassetto certainly does has a flaw, he's too much an activist for the comfort of the administrators above him. However, to totally dismiss an action involving so many students, can only further alienate them. Although I totally reject the protester's formal demands, and many of them may indeed be underachievers, it is therefore even more incumbent upon Allentown to somehow make this experience more than just another negative for the district.

UPDATE:  I've been informed that the 3th walkout, for today Wednesday Sept. 30th, has been cancelled.


Anonymous said...

Do wonderful teachers deliver such misinformed and self serving lessons? Con men often come off as caring and sincere. That's what makes them con men.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

scott@7:42, as i mentioned in yesterday's post, learning that fressetto was considered an excellent and dedicated teacher in the classroom, by his fellow teachers, doesn't mesh with my overall impression of the walkout situation. however, i will not repress information, just because it was confusing to my commentary. his outspokenness, and activism probably cost him his job at clemente, but that's a trait that both you and i also share.

it certainly doesn't mean that i consider him correct on this issue. we also should remember that you and i were leaders on opposite sides on two major issues in allentown's past.

Anonymous said...

The "underachievers" may well be the kids who, over time, get the most out of their experience with political activities.
At the end of the day, this is a rare positive and encouraging turn of events in an otherwise sad town, regardless of the details or outcomes.

LVCI said...

Frassetto Ups The Ante
Today (Tuesday) he told the kids not to enter their school buildings at 8:30 AM. This will now make them truant. I imagine a lot of parents may misplace blame on the district when the fines start rolling in. I suspect this is part of his strategy? I also imagine this will make it tough on the district trying to collect on what I expect a lot of parents will ignore paying. It's not the schools' fault if their kids skip. They cannot legally lock them in.

This has gotten out of hand. So far the news media mostly has been giving these pied pipers a public platform w/o confronting these rebel rousers asking them the hard questions. Media needs to start doing their job of "informing" not just reporting.

I question if there's not some legal options available.
(1) If I or anyone chaperones a field trip or works around kids the state requires on paper a background check. Almost for certain few of these perps would qualify (except Frassetto).

(2) Have the police questioned whether the Limos are licensed & insured? Are the drivers? Even if they are, is it even legal to transport underage children without parents permission?

(3) Can parents themselves pursue charges against these false leaders in some way?

(4) It's time for the city of Allentown to get involved. If they ever expect to attract families to relocate here in the future with their children this is a major setback. I'm sure as crafty as city hall has been creating all this downtown development they should be able to find a few ways in dealing with this. This affects the city's future plans as much as it affects the ASD.

michael molovinsky said...

@anon 9:58, this is in NO way a positive event, but i'm hoping that the district can somehow make something positive out of it.

Anonymous said...

I had hoped teachers could work around one day of walkouts, and then everyone would lose interest. However, they have been able to get large numbers of kids to skip a second day of school. If this continues to for a whole week, it could be extremely disruptive to education. Also, it is also a matter of time until unsupervised kids get hurt or get in trouble, especially considering some of the ex-cons who are helping with this event.

doug_b said...

Being a 66 year old conservative, I have experienced much of the same from public education: A boring / low energy / make work / inexplicable course content - and that was 50 years ago.

I doubt students in middle school or high school have any idea of what they need, but they know something is missing. Clearly the students are being manipulated.

However, the steam roller of Government Schools is just another bloated bureaucracy. Surely there will be no reform until the century old "production line" of education dies.

Google John Holt. If the Allentown School Board read some of his writings, they may see the light.

michael molovinsky said...

@11:14, here's a little known fact about me, i was actually an education minor, who read john holt in college, Teaching as a subversive Activity, and then taught in a jr. high school. 46 years later, i know that allentown has many dedicated teachers, imposing state requirements, and widespread issues associated with poverty. i support the school district in this controversy, but after learning something about mr. frassetto, while i do not support the walkout, i choose not to demonize him. it is my hope that the district can make something positive out of this difficult week.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't consider any person who encourages thousands of schoolchildren to abandon classes for a week to be an "excellent" teacher. I consider him a criminal who is promoting truancy and corrupting the morals of minors. Whatever you heard, actions speak louder than words.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it's easy enough to convince adolescents to skip school and "strike" if they don't want to be in class in the first place. I am sure that most of the "strikers" fall into that category

Frassetto should be teaching students; not being a community organizer.

Anonymous said...

The PA. Dept. of Education has reported that the students of the Medical Academy Charter School have only performed at a level of 42.2 out of 100 on standardized tests. Meanwhile, students at Dieruff performed at a level of 54.5 out of 100.

I think the Dieruff students should travel to Catasauqua this week and convince the Medical Academy students that they should quit their school because their school is failing them and doesn't care about them.

Then, ASD can take the millions of dollars they are required to pay to the Medical Academy School and use it to hire back those teachers who were laid off over the past few years.


Anonymous said...

So I've been banned by Mark Smith's campaign page for asking him the specifics of his platform as a candidate for School Board in general and his views on the walkout in particular. He defines that as "a lack of social skills."

No problem there, it's his site to do with as he likes.

The problem is that my comments to which he refers have been removed from his campaign page in their entirety, making it impossible for readers to make up their own minds about me -- *and* about him.

That just feels like dirty pool, doesn't it? Does that sort of thing speak well of a candidate for an important office?

Would anyone interested ask him on his campaign page to restore my comments?

I'll be very appreciative if you would, and I think it would shine a light on where candidate (Mark) Smith stands.

Jeffrey Anthony

michael molovinsky said...

bernie@12:00pm, i understand your position, it was also my first reaction, and over 100 comments on your post indicate that it is red meat indeed. and although you might continue to beat the drum tomorrow, if not all week, it brings nothing new to the table. the nate guy story is a total distraction, how many kids out of hundreds, can he really drive? the real issue is what will result, if anything, out of this unfortunate incident?

as for michael frassetto, if he was a college professor, they would now give him tenure, or maybe even a department chair. i'll leave his future to the medical academy, and i'll leave it's future to the catasauqua school system

Anonymous said...

Update, The number of students who walked out today was way down from yesterday, around 70% less.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...


Hard, specific numbers from Scott Armstrong on topics that matter.

You're not going to get that level of on-the-ground, inside reporting from just about anybody else in the overall ASD organization.

And the guy is doing it for free. That says something even more.

Jeffrey Anthony

Charlie Sch said...

Voice of reason from an Allen Student.

Anonymous said...

All in all a non-event in the scheme of things. Another reason to continue to avoid the real issues at ASD.