Priorities anyone?

It seems that all I seem to do on this bog so far has bellyache about how schools are in dire financial straits due to fiscal decisions that come from up on high. I’m pleased to note that I will not be doing any complaining in this entry about how political decisions affect schools. Instead this entry will be about how voters, certain school administrators and a school board can effectively and collectively screw the pooch.

At a local district I had the pleasure of serving in for one wonderful (note the sarcasm) day last spring I struck up a conversation with a teacher. She began telling me about how there would not be any jobs coming open within the district for the upcoming year because the teachers still had no contract and had been working without a contract for three years. While this isn’t so disheartening by itself, the real distressing issue came when we changed subjects to the multi-million dollar sports complex that was under construction as we spoke.

The farsighted voters of the district had seen fit to pass a bond issue to build a new track, football field, baseball and softball field, soccer field, stands and all the accompanying field houses. I can think of little more to say than, “What the hell were you thinking?” Teachers are the lifeblood of that school and so far they have been crapped upon for three, now four, years in a row, no new teachers are being hired and some were possibly laid off, but who gives a big fat donkey turd, they got a new, beautiful place to play ball!

Ed U. Cayshun

Education in schools over sports

The last this that I want to convey with these opinions of mine is that I am vehemently opposed to the way schools operate these days. Rather I want to convey the message that I feel schools could do better with the limited resources they have with less governmental red-tape and bureaucratic nonsense. In the case that I am about to mention I feel that schools could better allocate their fund where there is limited governmental hindrance and more popular hindrance; school sponsored organized sports teams.

If you look at the cost of a football uniform, the field, stands, upkeep of the field, etc., the costs can be staggering. All those costs are generally incurred by the school district at the expense of classroom education. Please don’t get me wrong, I love football and to me there is nothing purer than students who get nothing for their commitment (unlike college and professional teams) like high school football. I even played football, and wrestled and threw the shot put, but should so much be sacrificed for the enjoyment?

I look at education, not sports, as the only true stepping stone to a successful future. I also believe that education needs to be given every opportunity to be the biggest success. I don’t advocate the omission of organized sports altogether rather I feel that they should be treated as optional extra-curricular activities with a cost to the participants. Simply put, make those who play, pay.

Ed U. Cayshun

Free Appropriate Public Education?

On this entry I first want to address something a good friend said about my first entry. He commented that my first entry was opinionated which I concede is most certainly the case. Having said that I would most certainly like to encourage your comments of my opinions. Please see my second post and the disclaimer. Again, social intercourse is almost as good as that other kind of intercourse but a lot less sticky, sweaty and tiring! On to education.

I read an article in Time a few months ago that I haven’t been able to get out of my head, especially since I see evidence of it everyday in the schools that I have the pleasure of serving. That is the taking too far of the term “Free Appropriate Public Education” or FAPE as a college professor called it. The law that enacted FAPE, Public Law 102-119, known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), states that all children with disabilities are entitled to an appropriate education in public schools. (For further details see

In theory this is a great idea, all children deserve the same opportunities regardless of their abilities. Where I see this going wrong is when children who are profoundly mentally disabled are allowed to sit in a regular classroom, in some case, disrupting other students. In my opinion if a child needs a constant nurses attention, needs regular diaper changes and drool wipes and cannot contribute to their own education, let alone comprehend the lessons, maybe they don’t belong in a regular classroom.

The aforementioned Time (1) article was about a family in Colorado whose son is autistic. This son was not getting an education because of his behavior in the regular classroom so the family sued the school district citing the IDEA concept of FAPE. They asked the school district to pay for a special boarding school in Boston that caters specifically to autistic students. The article stated that this would cost the district upwards of $150,000 per year, not to mention the already accrued legal fees. To me this is NOT right. We taxpayers shouldn’t have to provide special buses, nurses and constant aides for students who will likely not benefit from being in the classroom, and certainly not send them off to renowned schools halfway across the country.

On the flip side, I have encountered students who are mentally entirely capable of benefiting and contributing to a regular classroom, they just have some physical limitations that require extra help. I am NOT opposed to this, they can help other students learn more that just math and reading, their peers can learn tolerance and acceptance which is as valuable lesson as any other.

Again, comments are strongly encouraged!

Ed U. Cayshun

Rawe, Julie. “Who Pays for Special Education.” Time 168.13 (Sept 25, 2006): p62. From InfoTrac OneFile.

A reflection on the comments on my first blog

I rarely, if ever, show things that I have written to anyone but on this, my first ever venture into the world of blogging, I thought my first reader should be someone that I trust, my Mother. I called her and told her the address of my blog and had her read it. Her comments on my first post were simple; this bit of writing is pretty inflammatory. As I stewed on that, missed some sleep and woke up angry I got to thinking more about my blog. Yeah, I changed somethings after it was published, but one thing stuck with me. All I really want to accomplish with this blog is have a creative outlet and possibly vent a little bit. With that said I want to add this disclaimer so that there can be no further confusion as to any further posts.

Disclaimer: This blog is about nothing more than my thoughts and emotions or stories that I feel like telling. I know that my opinions are strong ones and often inflammatory or abrasive, but they are my thoughts and feelings. I don't want to change the world with this foray into the murky world of online blogging, merely write and get somethings off my chest. If I offend you, I'm sorry. If you disagree with me, please comment. Through social discourse a better understanding can be built, and I admit even my own ideas have been modified in the past through talking with someone. Please don't read more into this than what it is.

Ed U. Cayshun

I actually met a sociopath today

I actually met a sociopath today! What a way to start out a blog, huh? Before I go any farther though, I feel that I should take my first entry to do a brief introduction. My name is Ed U. Cayshun (a corny pen name I know but I always wanted a corny pen name) and I am the lowest form of life on the planet, at least as far as the population I encounter every day thinks. I am a Substitute school teacher.

Bear with me, I’ll get to the sociopath in a moment. The finding of a job in my chosen area of the U.S. is actually quite hard for several reasons. First, baby boomer teachers can’t afford to pay out of pocket for health insurance so choose to stay in their classrooms. Second, making college degrees available to everyone floods the market with people who can lay claim to the same job openings that I want. Third, the economy sucks so every teacher looks at their position with relief that they actually have someplace to work. I can’t blame them there. There are other factors as well, which I’m sure that my inane blathering will cover at another time, but those are the few I choose to hit on now.

On to the sociopath . . . I was called by the sub caller to fill in for a middle school special education teacher who specializes in E.I., or emotionally impaired, students. Bad sign already, right? But a day’s work does still equal a day’s dollar. To boil it down, E.I. students have no sense of social graces, think only of themselves and act upon whatever impulse they currently have. I know you are thinking that this sounds like every other junior high school student but these are like the typical junior high-sters on high gear with a hefty dose of speed added to the mix.

This person was special. I could tell by the way the teacher’s aid rolled her eyes at the student entering the classroom three hours late. I could further tell by the story that the teacher’s aid told about having suspended this student yesterday, like so many other days. Even more, I could tell by the way this student said to me, “get the hell out of my face!” as I handed over the period’s work.

Another question that comes to mind I’m sure is; what makes you say this person is a sociopath? Great question and one that is easily answered. Al Gore’s invention, the internet, and the fact that the aforementioned politician single handedly put a computer in every classroom afforded me the opportunity to look up her condition on possibly the single greatest websites ever, Wikipedia. (I acknowledge that Wikipedia is not very well respected in the academic world, but it is pretty cool if you just want quick information not for use in academia) Let us look at the definition of Sociopath according to Wikipedia.

"Antisocial personality disorder (abbreviated APD or ASPD) is a psychiatric diagnosis in the DSM-IV-TR recognozable by the disordered individual's disregard for social rules and norms, impulsive behavior, and indifference to the rights and feelings of others. . . Sociopathy is sometimes claimed to be a less formal synonym for this disorder based on terminology from an older edition of the DSM." (

Furthermore, the diagnostic criteria. According to Wikipedia, include the following:
-callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
-gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations;
-incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;
-very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;
-incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment;
-marked proneness to blame others, or to offer plausible rationalizations, for the behavior that has brought the patient into conflict with society (

Upon discussion with the aid again we surmised that this student meets all of these criteria!

The next thing to think about is what to do to help this person. My opinion stems from minutes of experience dealing with these types of students and my answer is; How the HELL do I know? What I do know is that these types of students are a massive drain on the system that is trying to educate our “normal” students on a shoestring budget taxed by politicians trying to balance a budget of our tax money by milking us for more and this all really rubs me the wrong way! Perhaps an intellectual reading this can come up with a great idea that can be completely ignored by everyone everywhere.

As a future warning, my topics will include further rhetoric on, in no particular order, special education, school transportation, politics and the infamous No Teacher Caught Up (aka No Child Left Behind).

Thanks for reading my first post ever,

Ed U. Cayshun