Tag Archive | "Clay County School District"

“Clay Superintendent Did NOT Misuse School Funds for History Conference” CFO Copeland


Superintendent of Clay County Schools Charlie Van Zant

Superintendent of Clay County Schools Charlie Van Zant

 

 

by Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org

 

“Dare to Think” a conference on history and American Exceptionalism organized by this publication and Clay County Superintendent Van Zant was the topic of a contentious Clay County, FL School Board meeting last night. Board members Janice Kerekes and Carol Studdard accused Superintendent Charlie Van Zant and Board member Johnna McKinnon of using school district funds in the amount of $2037 to pay the rent on the Thrasher Horne Center without Board approval. Kerekes and Studdard used willing media to say that Van Zant and McKinnon used school funds “as if it was their own checkbook.” They repeated this assertion over and over until Dr. Copeland, The Clay County Superintendent for Business Affairs contradicted Kerekes and Studdard.’

 

Dr. Copeland said to Kerekes and Studdard that Board members should stop making accusations of financial impropriety against Van Zant and McKinnon. He said: “You know that the Superintendent never intended to use school funds to pay for the center. It was always planned the Mr. Korach, Publisher of The Report Card planned to pay for the center. The center was paid because our office screwed up.” Dr. Copeland’s remarks effectively quashed Kerekes call for a special investigation into the matter.

 

Kerekes also accused the Publisher of The Report Card and Superintendent Van Zant of a planning a conference with a “Tea Party” agenda. Harry Parrot, leader of the Clay County  Americans for the separation of church and state was put up by Kerekes to speak against the conference, saying “Dare to Think” has a religious and conservative political agenda.

Bill Korach, The Report Card’s publisher replied to the accusations saying:

 

“Second, I want to state unequivocally that “Dare to Think” is a non partisan conference on history and American exceptionalism. The conference is being held because the NAEP survey says that only 12% of high school students are proficient in American history, David McCullough Pulitzer Prize winning author of 1776 and John Adams said that American students are so ignorant of history that it’s a threat to national security. Will Fitzhugh, Publisher of the prestigious Concord Review, and a speaker at the conference  says history is disappearing from many high schools and The New York Times reported that most 4th graders could not identify Abraham Lincoln. Student cannot learn citizenship unless they know their history. “Dare to Think” speakers are respected nationally, for example:

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  • Paul Horton, speaking on textbooks, is a liberal democrat teaching at The University of Chicago Laboratory School, one of the finest secondary schools in the US

  • Dr. Peter Wood was a tenured professor at BU and a noted scholar on history and western civilization

  • Dr. Daniel Scoggin is CEO of Great Hearts one of the top performng Charters in America and a strong advocate of great books and study of western civilization

 

Kerekes and Teacher’s union representative Butler mocked the notion of Korach’s use of the term “American Exceptionalism.”

 

Korach replied:

 

“American Exceptionalism is treasured American point of pride, not some word I just made up. Here is a brief history of its use:

 

  • Coined by Alexis de Tocqueville in his book Democracy in America to describe what makes America unique and yes, the greatest country in the world

 

  • America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”
~Harry Truman
  • 28. “We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty.”
~Mark Twain
  • “Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS…”
~Thomas Paine

 

  • “I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.” Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood — the virtues that made America.” — Theodore Roosevelt
  • Abraham Lincoln on newcomers to America: “If they look back to trace their connection to the American revolution by blood, …they have none. But when they read that old Declaration of Independence, “That we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, then they feel related to those men, that it is the father of all moral principal, and they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that declaration…and so they are

21 spoke from the floor about “Dare to Think.” 16 spoke in support of the conference and 5 in opposition.

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Jacksonville “Times Union” Falsifies Facts About Clay School District History Conference


 

Conference on American History and Exceptionalism Nov 4 & 5

Conference on American History and Exceptionalism Nov 4 & 5

 

By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org

 

This morning the “Times Union” ran a lead story in the Metro section that stated “Clay Superintendent Authorized $2037 for conservative conference.” CBS Action News pretty much said the same thing on the news at 10:00 last night. Both of these media outlets refer to “Dare to Think” a conference on American history education co-sponsored by The Clay County School District and “The Report Card.” Both facts-that Clay Superintendent authorized $2037, and that the conference is conservative-are false. Although the “Times-Union” refers to “The Report Card “throughout the story, no one from the “Times Union” ever tried to contact me. The stories were promulgated by disgruntled board members Carole Studdard and Janice Kerekes who seem to be motivated by some sort of animus toward Superintendent van Zant. Neither Studdard nor Kerkes ever tried to contact me although Superintendent van Zant provided my contact information. As “Dare to Think”co-sponsor, I intend to set the distorted facts straight:

 

1. Clay Superintendent Charlie van Zant agreed to co-sponsor “Dare to Think” with The Report Card with the full understanding that I was responsible financially for all costs. He NEVER authorized any payment to the Thrasher Horne Center where we are holding the conference. He only approved the rental contract with the understanding that I would pay. Somehow some clerk wrote the check. I promptly reimbursed the District. Claims in the story that Superintendent van Zant ever agreed to pay any part of the conference costs are false.

 

2. The Times Union says the conference is “conservative.” “Dare to Think” is a conference about American History and American Exceptionalism. The conference is being held because the US Department of Education’s own survey, the NAEP, says that only 12% of American High School students are proficient in American history. Joel Klein, J.D. former Commissioner of NYC Public Schools said: “Our kids are clueless about global history. And foreigners know more about de Tocqueville and the Constitution than Americans. Our kid’s ignorance of civics is a serious problem.”  The NAEP says that only 12% of high school students are proficient in American History. David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize winning author of “John Adams” and “1776” says U.S. students are so ignorant about American history, they are a threat to national security

 

If American students do not understand their history and form of government, they cannot be good citizens. It is a sad day, when a conscientious and patriotic school superintendent like Charlie van Zant is smeared for wanting to raise the bar on history. I would ask those board members who have manufactured all of this misinformation and spoon fed it to a willing media: “Are you opposed to solid instruction in American history? Do you deny that America is an exceptional country? Do you oppose bringing some of the Nations most respected scholars to Clay County to discuss how the knowledge of history might be improved?

 

If you agree with me that we must instruct the next generation in our wonderful heritage of liberty, and if you support Superintendent van Zant, please order your tickets today if you have not done so. Just go to www.thereportcard.org and sign up. Interested parties are encouraged to attend the Tuesday, October 15, Clay School Board Conference and voice their opinion.

 

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Florida School Superintendent Attacked for Hosting Conference on American Exceptionalism.


 

 

Superintendent van Zant, Clay County School District

Superintendent van Zant, Clay County School District

 

By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org

 

Mr. Charles van Zant, Superintendent of Clay County School District, is co-sponsoring “Dare to Think” a conference on American History and American Exceptionalism on November 4th and 5th  in Orange Park. Superintendent van Zant believes an understanding of our history and the things that make America exceptional are important to good citizenship. He says:

 

“It is vital that we teach our children a true account of American history, and to share with them the elements that made this nation exceptional.  We need to encourage an interest in American history and the founding principles.”

 

Most citizens would agree that Superintendent van Zant goal is an admirable educational standard. However, some people take issue with the teaching of American Exceptionalism. Harry Parrot of Citizens United for Separation of Church and State says he disapproves of instruction in American Exceptionalism and that a conference on the subject should not be sponsored by The Clay County School District.

 

James Hughes resorts to classic smear tactics attacking Superintendent van Zant and The Report Card Publisher, with misinformation:

 

“A parent approached me early this afternoon questioning me about the CCSD’s sponsorship of this event. She wanted to approach the TV media feeling that it was not an appropriate and proper expenditure of district dollars, effort and time and believes it to be a “religious based” event. I asked her to wait until I can get an answer or explanation.

 

I went online to investigate this myself to get a better understanding and I have to agree with her. Why is the district co-sponsoring an event that shows signs of a biased agenda, religious based and politically motivated? Why is it being publicized on the CCSD’s web page? It also looks like the other co-sponsor is the vice chairman of the republican committee in St. Johns County and referring to his web site, a very involved Tea Party member. I have no objection with his sponsorship or him running the event. My objection is with CCSD’s promotion, participation and sponsorship of an event being promoted as “Restoring America’s Heritage.”

 

May I please get an explanation on why CCSD is co-sponsoring this event? Do I just not understand why CCSD needs to be involved in an event that is clearly a “Tea Party” event?

 

I eagerly await your answer.”

 

“Dare to Think” is not “a religious based event” as Mr. Hughes opines, nor is it a “Tea Party Event.” “Dare to Think” is a conference on America’s Heritage and American Exceptionalism where attendees can hear ideas and solutions from first class scholars. In fact, Mr. Hughs might appreciate this short lesson on the history and origin of American Exceptionalism. The term was coined as an expression of what is good and unique about America, her liberty, hope and opportunity. Alex de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat visited America in the early 19th century and was so impressed that he wrote: “Democracy in America.” The root of the term “American Exceptionalism” comes from this sentence in “Democracy in America:”

 

“The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one.”

 

Readers interested in The “Dare to Think” Conference on American Heritage and American Exceptionalism can click on the banner at the top of the home page to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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School Superintendent van Zant: “It is vital that we teach…a true account of American history, and what made this nation exceptional.”


 

Superintendent van Zant

Superintendent van Zant

By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org

 

Clay County School Superintendent Charlie van Zant is sponsoring an educational summit called “Dare to Think” on November 4th and 5th in support of more thorough and balanced instruction in American history and civics. In Superintendent van Zant’s words: “It is vital that we teach our children a true account of American history, and to share with them the elements that made this nation exceptional.  We need to encourage an interest in American history and the founding principles.”

 

Clay County, should attend to learn about how these history programs will be implemented. Non-residents can learn how to implement these kinds of programs in their home counties, and how to conduct textbook reviews that eliminate biased or misleading textbooks.

 

These columns have more often than not, covered stories of textbooks and class programs that seem to always “blame American first” as Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick used to say. It is a man bites dog story when a school Superintendent van Zant actually calls for a better understanding and appreciation of what makes America such a wonderful country and why so many citizens of other countries still see America as the land of opportunity.

 

Event Details

 

The Clay County School District and The Report Card are proud to present a Dare to Think conference on restoring history and civics to its proper place in education. From November 4 – 5 attendees will learn how American Exceptionalism and pride in America’s heritage of liberty are being restored in our public and charter schools. Buy your tickets before October 18th and save 21%. Click on the banner or the button on the right of the page to register.

 

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni in their report entitled “Losing Our National Memory” offered this research of American Universities: “100% do not require American History, and 78% require no history at all.” It is scarcely better in high schools. Joel Klein, J.D. former Commissioner of NYC Public Schools said: “Our kids are clueless about global history. And foreigners know more about de Tocqueville and the Constitution than Americans. Our kid’s ignorance of civics is a serious problem.” The NAEP says that only 12% of high school students are proficient in American History.

 

Outstanding Speakers and Topics

 

Clay County School District Superintendent Charlie van Zant shares plans to reinforce American history instruction, and the concept of “American Exceptionalism as first discussed by Alexis de Tocqueville.

 

Dr. Daniel Scoggin CEO of Great Hearts Charter Management Organization, operator of 16 top performing Charter Schools in Arizona. 95% of Great Hearts students attend a four-year college; Average SAT score is 1833, highest in the state of Arizona “The Role of a Classical Education for morality and citizenship.”

 

Dr. Peter Wood, President National Association of Scholars. NAS mission is to promote academic freedom at America’s colleges and universities topic:Fuhgeddaboudit:  How Schools and Colleges Foster Historical Amnesia

Mr. Paul Horton History Department, University of Chicago Laboratory School; Topic: Challenging the Tyranny of History Textbooks. Use great history books and avoid “blame America first” textbooks!

 

Rev. Marty McCarthy, President Cornerstone Educational Foundation, former President of Regent Schools of the Carolinas, Inc., and rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charelotte, NC will chair a panel discussion on moral concerns:

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” Theodore Roosevelt

 

Mr. Will Fitzhugh, President of the Concord Review, publishing the best High School papers in America. Topic: “Reading maketh a Full man, Conference a Ready man, and Writing an exact man.” Francis Bacon, 1625. Fitzhugh says: “We are not asking our students to read history books, to discuss them or to write serious papers of their own. And their education is seriously diminished as a result.”

 

Armand Alacby, JD. Director of Trustee Programs American Conference of Trustees and Alumni. ACTA is committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America’s colleges and universities. Topic: “We are loosing our National Memory, and the free markets are under attack”

 

President James Monroe will speak on the importance of understanding the historical importance of the Monroe Doctrine. President Monroe will provide an after dinner speech sure to delight. Nationally recognized actor Dennis Bigelow plays President Monroe.

 

Attendees will learn from six nationally recognized speakers how public and charter schools will:

 

  • Instill an appreciation of American Exceptionalism and heritage
  • Engender an appreciation of historical benefits of the Free Markets in America
  • Drive an understanding of America’s place in the world
  • Develop excellent reading and writing skills
  • Offers business attendees an opportunity to participate in promoting history and learn about proven charter schools, Great Hearts Academies
  • Offer a clear timetable and methodology for implementation

 

Great Hearts Charter Schools CEO Dr. Dan Scoggin will demonstrate how his schools perform in the top 5% of all Arizona schools though a classical education and a respect for Western Values.

 

The event tickets are $125 each, but purchase before October 18th, save 21% and pay just $99.00. Price includes full conference access, Five meals catered by Anthony’s and the Founding Fathers dinner theater performance.

 

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Dare To Think: An Educational Conference about Restoring American History


 

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By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org

 

The Clay County School District and The Report Card are proud to present “Dare to Think” Conference on November 4th and 5th on restoring history and civics to its proper place in education. Learn how American exceptionalism and pride in America’s heritage of liberty are being returned to the classroom. The conference will take place at the Thrasher-Horne Center in Orange Park, FL.

 

Attendees will learn how public and charter schools will

  • Instill an appreciation of American Exceptionalism and the American dream
  • Learn how the study of history and writing skills enhance overall school performance
  • Drive an understanding of America’s place in the world
  • Develops excellent reading and writing skills
  • Offers business attendees an opportunity to participate in promoting an appreciation of the free markets and learn about proven charter schools, Great Hearts Academies
  • Offer a clear timetable and methodology for implementation
  • Demonstrate that knowledge of history and civics is essential to our common future

Speakers are Nationally Renown

 

Dr. Peter Wood, President National Association of Scholars

 

Paul Horton History Department, University of Chicago Laboratory School

 

Mr. Will Fitzhugh, Publisher of the Concord Review

 

Dr. Armand Alacby, Director of Trustee Programs, American Conference of Trustees and Alumni

 

Dr. Daniel Scoggin, Chief Executive Officer, Great Hearts Schools, Phoenix, AZ

 

Rev. Marty McCarthy, President of Cornerstone Educational Foundation will conduct a panel discussion on America’s Founding Values: “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” Theodore Roosevelt

 

We are pleased to present our special dinner speaker former President James Monroe who will address the audience and take questions.

 

If you care about America’s Heritage in school, don’t miss this conference. Tickets are $125 and include 5 meals and dinner entertainment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clay County School District and The Report Card Announce November Conference on America’s Historical Heritage


Charlie van Zant Clay County Florida Superintendent of Schools

Charlie van Zant Clay County Florida Superintendent of Schools

 

By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org

 

 

Charlie van Zant, Superintendent of The Clay County Florida School District and Bill Korach, Publisher of The Report Card, announce Dare to Think a Conference on restoring history and civics to its proper place in education. If you are concerned that educational standards in our schools and textbooks have neglected America’s heritage, or perhaps even denigrated that heritage, then this conference is for you. Business owners concerned about the quality of the workforce will learn how American education can be world class again. Learn how American exceptionalism and pride in America’s heritage of liberty have been MIA from many classrooms, and learn about plans restore that heritage in our public and charter schools. Dare to Think will take place on November 4th, and 5th at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts in Orange Park, FL. Save the date and look for where to purchase tickets and other conference detail later this week.

 

Dare to Think is named for an essay John Adams wrote in 1765 contrasting the old feudal form of rule with growth of liberty in England and in her American colonies. He states that knowledge is the key to liberty: Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” Adams words about liberty are timely for today

 

Attendees will learn how public and charter schools will

  • Instill an appreciation of American Exceptionalism and the American dream
  • Engender an appreciation of historical benefits of the Free Markets in America
  • Drive an understanding of America’s place in the world
  • Develops excellent reading and writing skills
  • Offers business attendees an opportunity to participate in promoting history and learn about proven charter schools, Great Hearts Academies
  • Demonstrate the role of a liberal arts education in encouraging good citizenship and creates the knowledge of history and civics essential to our common future as by The Great Hearts Schools

 

Attendees will also get a clear perspective of the influence of radical leftist thinking and political correctness on textbooks and educational theory.

 

An outstanding roster of speakers have been selected for this special event:

 

8:00-9:00 A.M. Breakfast

 

9:00-10:00: History and The Free Markets: Why the Trend must be reversed

 

Dr. Peter Wood, National Association of Scholars

 

10:00-11:00

 

History with Great History Books Not Textbooks

 

Paul Horton History Department, University of Chicago Laboratory School

 

12:00-1:00 Lunch

 

1:00-2:00 Panel:  “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” Theodore Roosevelt

 

America’s Judeo-Christian influence on law and ethics and it’s role in the classroom

Moderator: Marty McCarthy Cornerstone Educational Foundation

Will Fitzhugh Publisher of the Concord Review, Dr. William Saxton, Scott Dixon esq        .

 

2:00-2:30 Break

 

2:30-3:30 Do History and Writing Still Matter?

 

Mr. Will Fitzhugh, Publisher of the Concord Review

 

3:30-4:00 Panel Discussion, Raising the Bar and Rigor

Paul Horton, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Dr. Peter Wood, NAS, Will Fitzhugh, Publisher: The Concord Review

 

4:00-5:00 Losing our Collective Memory, Disappearing History in higher education and K-12

 

Dr. Armand Alacby, American Conference of Trustees and Alumni

 

Conclude Day One

 

5:00-5:30 Cocktails, Networking

 

5:30-7:00 Dinner

Special Dinner Entertainment: President James Monroe, Discusses History lessons and Liberty. Dennis Bigelow, the foremost interpreter of James Monroe in American presents a special one-act play and then takes audience questions.

 

 

Day 2 The Great Hearts Schools and Western Civilization

 

 

8:00 AM-9:00 AM Breakfast

 

9:00 AM-10:00 AM: Dr. Dan Scoggin CEO of Great Hearts Schools “The Role of a Classical Liberal Arts Education, Western Thought and Citizenship”

 

10-11:30 Breakout Groups and Next Steps

 

 

11:30-12:30: Lunch and Depart

 

 

 

 

 

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