Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Trolls Have Arrived

To all those who actually read this blog - whether you agree with my conclusions or not - first, thank you. Second, it is clear that the trolls have descended. Urban Dictionary defines a troll as:
"One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of ad hominem attacks (i.e. 'you're nothing but a fanboy' is a popular phrase) with no substance or relevence to back them up as well as straw man arguments, which he uses to simply avoid addressing the essence of the issue."
With the Sitemeter function linked to this blog, I can get limited information about the visitors. anon 7:04 who commented on "Moving On", logged on from Indianapolis and was on for all of 49 seconds. They visited the main blog page and this entry's comment page only. Obviously, not enough time to even read that blog entry itself. Only enough time to type up his or her personal attack and leave. anon 7:04 is typical of the trolls that have begun in ernest here.

Since you actually read at least some of the information here, let me say this - education is the most important thing to our community, as it is to every other community in Indiana. Roughly half of our tax money goes to K-12 education in this state - local tax dollars as well as state tax dollars. Those tax dollars should be used for the purpose of education. Not to build palaces. Not to make Administrators millionaires.

The Indiana State budget for 2009 spent $6,169,000,000 (over $6 billion with a 'B') on K-12 education out of a total budget of $14,436,000,000 (over $14 billion with a 'B'). For 2010, the budget appropriates $7,579,000,000 for K-12 education out of a total budget of $14,331,000,000; actually increased spending on K-12 education with a decreasing overall budget.

It is also important to remember that school districts are governmental units overseen (or supposed to be overseen) by elected representatives of the people. The public deserves open meetings where they can 1) tell what is being discussed and 2) participate by offering their opinion on matters before the Board. The public elects these Board members to review, think, give input, think again, and then vote up or down on fiscal as well as personnel matters - policy matters - and a whole host of things. But, not to be a rubber stamp. A rubber stamp is as good as not having a Board Member at all. Maybe worse.

Education in Indiana is serious business. Each and every community should be taking a close look to see that the money is not being squandered in ways that enrich adults but do nothing to improve or deliver education to the children in the MOST EFFECTIVE WAYS FOR THE CHILDREN. I used all caps there, because it certainly is my opinion, having seen a district operate up close, that many of the expenditures are most effective for the adults and not for the education of the children.

Anyway - if the public does not become more engaged in education during this time of fiscal constraint in all districts and fiscal fiasco in Decatur's, then there may be no hope for really improving the quality of education and thereby providing today's children with more secure futures.

Trolls represent a segment of our population - those who want everything to run smoothly so they don't have to be pulled away from their everyday routine, and lacking that, they want everything to SEEM to run smoothly so they don't have to be pulled away from their everyday routine. In addition, all people want to be able to trust those who make decisions every day that will affect their children, their children's education, and thereby their children's future. To shake that confidence has its consequences.

But, if all the money we pour into education is allowed to be frittered away not to the benefit of education itself, and if we are not willing to call it out when we see such frittering, then we waste our money and the children's future.


Blog Admin said...

Trolls and hit-and-run commenters are just part of the blog business. Even on my blog, which is relatively new, "lightly" read, and few comments, have received some. However, through sitemeter, I'm able to find out and narrow down who it is leaving the comments.

I've been writing for a while now about how much of a horrible excuse for journalism the IUPUI Sagamore paper was. Apparently, some ex-Sagamore staff took issue to it and decided to comment. I haven't written about the Sagamore/IUPUI Student Media in a while, but I still get quite a few hits originating from the IUPUI area.

So I like anonymous commenters. They're some of my most loyal readers.

Anonymous said...

Mothers Day is an excellent reminder of the importance of the information that you have provided on this blog. It has not been about attacking anyone. Rather, it has been about standing up for what is right. It is not right to for the board and superintendent to continue the misspending of money and the mistreatment of employees who are paid less but provide dedicated, necessary services for the education of children. Please, please don't give up on leading what is right. The board meeting this week is important and everyone should attend because the board and administration need to "see" that the community will not give up on what is right.

Anonymous said...

I will agree with you about some of the money in the MSD Decatur has been wasted. I don't always agree with what this administration does but I also have a more balanced viewpoint than you do. You have not been balanced as far as I have been able to see, since I have been in the township. You were not when you were on the board and you definitely have not been balanced since the voters booted you from the board. You are constantly trying to act like a troll yourself. You try to instigate distrust and anger. Anyone that is not you or one of your hand-picked replacements that is on the school board is a yes-man or a rubber-stamper. As you probably know or would know if you had any real experience in the real world, it takes time for good things to happen. They don't just "miracle" themselves.

My children both graduated from Decatur, so I do understand what is going on there. They both have graduated from college and become viable members of society. You are right when you say that education is important.

I agree it is a big business, and I don't understand all of it but I do know when people care, they can make things happen. You don't really care about the children or Decatur township. We don't really need your "doctorship" to grace us with her "wisdom" and try to make us be just like the California that you came from.

I am not a "troll" but I do have other things to do in my life but stay logged on and read your blog or wait with anticipation for you to deem to answer something I said. If you had not been such an angry and bitter person, you would not have to depend upon others to tell you what is going on in the township. You would be there helping instead of hindering the progress that they are truly making.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:01

Your attack is inaccurate and not justifiable.

I am glad your children graduated from college. Too bad that during the past eight years fewer and fewer DCHS students have achieved the knowledge and skills to be admitted.

Unlike all of the other township school superintendents, Stinson does not have a doctorate so don't know his feelings about one who does - just know he has achieved less education than the others. There are thinking skills developed when one earns a doctorate and many do respect Pat for her thinking skills - respect for her has been earned by her.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually amazed the trolls have been at a minimum. It's all about the $$$....If those in support of the status quo have a disregard for informative dissemination of pertinent info....I can reasonably deduce the premise of their concern isn't about the education of the township's students.......or of its residents. Hell,I doubt if they genuinely care about education,at all.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:01

You said and I quote: "I do know when people care, they can make things happen."

In a large part, due to the information provided by HEI things will happen in Decatur Township. It is just too bad that people are attacking HEI.

Glad you are not a troll. Commenters would be interested in your sources of information as well as your background? University of Indianapolis?? Confidante of the board and administration??? Please share when you have time to read the blog next time.

Anonymous said...

The union will present the proposed contract tomorrow afternoon. Teachers must vote just after seeing the proposals. Can hardly wait to see what the district has hood-winked this time.

Anonymous said...

Decatur Township power-brokers Mr. Stinson, Central Office Administration, School Board members:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton, 1887

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:38

In the past, have teachers voted without seeing the proposal prior to the voting??

Anonymous said...

Hope the superintendent does well in Alabama. The person who was hired by Baldwin County schools said "finalists were chosen on the following criteria: an educational leader with integrity, skilled instructional leader, problem solver, communicator, collaborative leader and effective manager of school finance." It must be very hard to find superintendents with these qualities. The school board might want to consider these qualities when Stinson leaves (may not be Alabama)?

Yoda said...

As far as I know, Mr. Stinson is not leaving and the position that has been discussed, came to him. He was not looking but I would not blame him considering all the "support" he gets from the township. As far as HEI making things get done, you are probably correct. A lot like the present administration in Washington, the sleeping giant, the silent majority is awakening and they do not like what they see and hear. The things that they hear that they do not like are much like the constant static or "schoom" that is coming from this blog. When I was in the army it was said that soldiers were not happy if they were not complaining, so there must be some very happy people here.

I don't work for a university or any of the such. If I did, I probably would not have as open a mind as I do.

HEI has not earned anyones respect just because she has a piece of paper with doctorate on it. Your actions are what earn respect. Her doctorate is a lot like an officer's rank in the military, you respect the rank but the person has to earn your respect. Just because someone has the time in the day to sit and sift through data and then present them in a manner that makes their point, no more makes these items fact that it does for a reporter in a paper or on TV. What is said or written is one person's viewpoint or slant on what is taking place.

She does not like Mr. Stinson and has had it in for the township administration ever since she was replaced. So, what do you do, you become an irritant in any way you can. If you really don't have a life you sit and sift through documents and listen to gossip and then you put it all together in manner that benefits you and puts the opposition in the poorest light that you can. That is her methods.

The lack of students graduating is not a problem that is only resident in Decatur township. It does not necessarily take a village as someone said but, it does take parents and family that care and will hold their children accountable for their actions. The school system is not the only problem here. This is a societal problem.

Let's look at the way we evaluate whether the children are learning anything. ISTEP and most of these other standardized tests are not very good either. We don't teach our children to think anymore. We teach them to the test.

The way money is authorized or unauthorized to schools is questionable. Not having a viable methodology to evaluate teachers so that you keep the best teachers in the classroom is also a problem.

This is a complex issue that can't be solved by constantly complaining about the local school administration and or school board. I know it makes some feel like they are making an important contribution but all that is really being done is tearing the community apart instead of trying to find a solution.

Anonymous said...

Yoda said: She does not like Mr. Stinson and has had it in for the township administration ever since she was replaced. So, what do you do, you become an irritant in any way you can. If you really don't have a life you sit and sift through documents and listen to gossip and then you put it all together in manner that benefits you and puts the opposition in the poorest light that you can. That is her methods.

I agree and wonder when the last time was that Ms. Andrews attended a school function or has stepped foot on Decatur property. Is she allowed?

I agree there are problems and we as a community need to find a way to come together and solve these issues.

Anonymous said...

LOL with a name like "Yoda" we should take you seriously? Sounds like you're sitting in mommies basement playing Star Wars LOL!

Anonymous said...

"Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try."

People will stand up for what is right.

Anonymous said...

Pat, keep up the good work. The anonymous people from CO are trying to discredit you for getting the facts out. They feel that anyone who reads this blog is a lowly employee who they can step on if they find their identity. How anyone feels about Don Stinson or anyone else, the information you have provided is proof positive that there is an immediate need for change. We need to start attending all meetings and make all of them look in our eyes when they sit up there lying about where all the funds are going. People who don't even read the blog are talking - at work, the parks, sporting events, etc. They can't shut us all up!

Anonymous said...

If people would do their homework they would find out its all true, O i forgot Decatur doesn't do homework.

Yoda said...

If they did all their homework they would find it all true. Talk about a LOL.

As I have stated before, the truth in this case is very fluid. You can make stats say anything you want them to.

I am glad you like the name. I am glad you find humor in it. At least I have a sense of humor and I will be at the school board meeting. I wonder how many of you will be there. I don't know how you cannot take me seriously since you are gullible enough to buy everything that is sold here. Give me a break. Get out of your basements and go out and see some sunshine once in a while. I could just hide behind the anonymous label if you would like.

Anonymous said...


Wish you would present your facts and your analysis of those facts.