According to anonymous sources, Donald Trump drafted this speech to deliver at the Republic National Convention in Cleveland in July. It’s incredible!
My fellow Americans, tonight is a special night indeed. Thank you for the honor of nominating me to be the Republican candidate for President of the United States. This is truly an historic occasion, but perhaps not in the way the most people think. I have faced huge obstacles in getting here today, yet due to the support of millions of Americans, I stand before you now as your nominee. When I first entered the race, I was mocked by the media and by the Republican establishment as just a reality star looking for publicity. But the voters took me seriously. When I mocked Mexicans and talked about building a big wall and having Mexico pay for it, every candidate on both sides of the aisle said I was xenophobic and unrealistic. But the voters took me seriously. When I mocked my fellow candidates on their looks, pundits said I went to far. But the voters took me seriously. When I talked about not letting Muslims in our country, the establishment said I was through. But the voters wanted more!
So what does this prove? It shows something amazing! Obviously, people are sick and tired of the politicians we have in this country – we have a bunch of losers! The people are looking for an outsider. Money rules in the U.S. political system, and I admitted to have taken advantage of that as much as I could. People have criticized me for donating to candidates of both parties, but of course I did. That’s how the system works. I have money – lots of money – and our system runs on money, and it would be stupid if I didn’t use my money to influence as many candidates as possible to benefit me and my companies. It would be bad for business if I didn’t.
The second lesson here is that – believe me – there are too many Americans that frankly aren’t very bright. No offense – I love you all, but you either can’t understand the issues, don’t take time to understand the issues, or are so emotionally driven by fear and hate that you will actually follow a demagogue. What I found most interesting is that the Republican establishment tried to stop me at every turn, yet they failed to realize the big irony – the fact that their politics of the last couple of decades – the politics of obstruction, exclusion, science denying, and fear – created the very conditions that allowed me to run and to win. Of course, they weren’t by themselves in doing this – they got a lot of help from our good friends at Fox News, who frankly doesn’t really care much about politics either. They just discovered that they can make money off the American people by being the mouthpiece of this fear. Trust me – they don’t put women like Megyn Kelly on the air because of their brains –she gets men to watch though! (By the way, the real reason I don’t like Megyn Kelly is not because she asked hard questions at the debate, but rather because she doesn’t take responsibility for being part of the problem. She stoked Americans’ fears for years, and then suddenly is shocked when someone runs for President embodying all of those ideas. And I do think she wants to sleep with me, so clearly she has some sexual tension issues).
It’s crazy that you all didn’t figure out that I got into this race as a bit of a stunt. I thought it would be fun to run my own little social experiment and at the same time mess with the Republicans, who have really become the party of stupid – and now a party that is in shambles – thanks to me! I will say that my experiment was an amazing success. I was constantly testing the limits of how far you would let me go. I mocked disabled people, and you clapped. I made up facts, and you clapped. I insulted and fear-baited. I even talked about dating my daughter, and that didn’t bother you! I bragged about the size of my penis, and you were impressed! I intentionally made up most of what I said –independent fact checkers said that over three-quarters of what I said was false – and the voters still supported me. I can say something like, “We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be sick of winning.” We laughed so hard when we came up with that line! And my favorite part of this experiment was how much money we raised! Even though I always talk about how much money I have – I am really rich, you know – people still go on my website and send me donations that I clearly don’t need.
My I.Q. is one of the highest – you know it, and I know it. So c’mon, don’t you think I know that we have airplanes that can fly over any border wall that can be built…I know you can’t torture family members of suspected terrorists…I know immigrants have been critical in making up the tapestry of American life…heck, I married two of them! Yet, you let me keep going, and it was fun, so I kept going! This goes to prove that the Republican Party (with the help of Fox News) bamboozled you all into being driven by fear and the politics of exclusion. Even with hundreds of pundits, current and former politicians, military leaders, and even comedians poking holes in most of what I said, fear and ignorance blinded you. I was huge – the biggest phenomenon in the American history of politics!
Now, I wasn’t lying about a lot of things I spoke about. We are being run by some very stupid people, but I mostly mean our Congress. It is also shocking that one of the two major political parties in this country can’t put up a candidate who has any sense. I was telling the truth when I said that Ted Cruz is a liar (and a complete nut job, by the way) and Marco Rubio is a lightweight. Jeb Bush and Ben Carson – seriously, guys? But perhaps they are just a reflection of the voters – the American people need to look in the mirror, because so many of them are frankly not that bright and a little nuts themselves.
The truth is that I don’t really care about a lot of the political issues – abortion, immigration, gay rights, gun rights, etc. Of course, I care about taxes – lowering them generally helps me, so of course I favor that. But frankly, I don’t want the job as President of the United States. That would be way too stressful and frankly my life is pretty good without it. I can live anywhere I want in beautiful homes and resorts, and I have my beautiful wife – isn’t she terrific! I am my own boss – who would want to deal with Congress and putzes like Mitch McConnell who also don’t want to get anything done. It would be way too frustrating for me to be President – I’m the best at business, and I’m great on television. And it pays a hell of a lot more than being President!
I’m the only one who could have pulled this off and throw this entire process – and this party – into chaos. It deserved to be broken. And it’s not a terrible thing that I probably just handed the Presidency to Hillary Clinton. I disagree with Hillary on some issues, but as I have said in the past, she is smart, hard-working, and does truly care about the American people. You know and I know that with the exception of some social issues like gay marriage (which is of course a good thing), this county has drifted pretty far to the right over the last couple of decades, and Hillary Clinton is fairly close to what mainstream Republicans were in the era of Reagan. She will do fine as president, and hopefully our leaders can come together instead of creating the level of obstruction that they did for President Obama.
So, I will go down on history. Not as the first outsider President, but rather as the outsider who finally exposed our crazy system. I talked about making radical changes in Washington, and what I did will do that, just not in the way you thought I would. Thank you again for allowing me to have a ton of fun – I promised something huge, and historians will say this was huge! Don’t be offended by my experiment on you; you couldn’t help yourself. Just take the opportunity to take your heads out of your asses and stop being so stupid. If you do, we will make America great again! Thank you and good night.
As I have been winding up my tenure on the San Carlos School District board, I have been asked by a number of friends and colleagues what I have learned about governing a school district and about local governance in general. So, upon the eve of this election day where we will elect two new school board members (beginning a period of one month where I will officially be a lame duck), I thought it appropriate to share some thoughts on the big takeaways from my experience. Hopefully it will be interesting and instructive to others who choose to serve as well as all members of our community.
You can download the white paper here: http://rosenblatt.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/The-Big-Lessons.pdf
If you don’t feel like reading the whole thing, here’s a list of the lessons if you’re curious about a particular one:
1 – Avoid the Temptation of Reductionism
2 – Remember Whom You’re Representing
3 – You Don’t Need to Act Like a Politician
4 – Haters Gonna Hate…
5 – Understand the Value (and Limitation) of Data
6 – See Around Corners
7 – Nothing (and No One) is “Away from the Classroom”
8 – It’s All About That Bass (and Treble)
9 – Risk and Change Must be the New Normal!
10 – We Can Make a Larger Impact
11 – Celebrate!
During my lame duck period, I will have additional reflections on what the District has accomplished over these last eight years as well as send out some acknowledgements. I will also give some reflections at my last board meeting on December 3rd.
This week California released the 2015 CAASPP results — CAASPP is the newest acronym in CA public education. It stands for California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, and is based on the results of the new, computer-based, Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC) that accompanied the recently implemented Common Core Standards. Our students first took the SBAC assessments in Spring of 2014, but that was considered a “practice year” for the test, and the assessments given in Spring of 2015 were the first ones where the scores were reported. Although the CAASPP should be a bit more useful than the old API scores as it has a better statistical methodology, doesn’t focus on a single metric, and is based on the deeper, more-relevant, Common Core Standards, focusing on standardized test scores is still fraught with issues so we must look at these scores as just one tool in our toolbox to understand how our schools and students are performing. The other big caveat here is that CAASPP only covers Math and English Language Arts — obviously we care about a lot more than that, and judging any school district (or any student) in just these two areas would be wholly incomplete. That’s why one of the District’s key goals this year is to build the framework for a larger “dashboard” of multiple measures of the health and performance of the school district. (The district has already begun collecting much more data — see an overview of the status from a recent board meeting.) In any case, this year’s CAASPP results will be a good baseline by which the district can focus efforts and measure progress in the future. Also, the CAASPP data can be broken down into different “claims” — sub-areas within Math and English Language Arts where one can see how students performed.
The CAASPP results are reported based on the percentage of students who “met the standard” in either Math or English Language Arts for that particular grade. A student is categorized as “standard not met,” “standard nearly met,” “standard met,” or “standard exceeded.” Generally districts will focus on the total percentage of students in those last two categories. The results for San Carlos were not terribly surprising and in line with what the district administration expected. Similar to the earlier STAR results, SCSD performed quite a bit better than the average of either San Mateo County or the State of California. However, SCSD lagged a bit behind the Basic Aid districts (all of which have significantly more funding than SCSD) that feed into the Sequoia Union High School District, but performed better than the other Revenue Limit / LCFF districts.
Perhaps most interesting are the results for 8th grade (as of course this is when we “hand off” the students to high school). Although Portola Valley is the clear (positive) outlier with more than double our per-student funding, SCSD performed fairly close to the other Basic Aid districts that feed into the Sequoia Union High School District and performed better than the other Revenue Limit / LCFF feeder districts as well as most other districts in the County.
Again, all of this data comes with a note of caution — it is very tricky (and to some degree, unfair) to compare our district against others, because as we know so many other factors are different — funding levels, demographics, etc. But perhaps where CAASPP will be useful is over time; 2015 becomes a baseline so that we can compare ourselves to ourselves and understand how are we making progress. Naturally, we’ll want to reduce the approximately 1/4 of students who are not meeting the standards while at the same time fulfilling the promise in our Strategic Plan of focusing on the Whole Child and creating personalized learning paths for all students to reach their potential and become problem solvers, critical thinkers, risk-takers, designers, collaborators, innovators, and contributing, empathic citizens and leaders. The District will have lots of data to help drive instruction, and CAASP results will only be one small part of the mix.
Over the next two weeks the District will be doing a deeper dive into the data and coming out with a summary analysis. Also by the end of next week, all parents should be sent an individual report as to how their student performed on the test. Lastly, the District will be holding at least one event at each school site to review what the CAASPP results mean (and what they don’t) as well as how the district will leverage them. Although I caution not to read too much into the results, if anyone has any concerns or sees trends in the information that they would like to learn more about, please attend one of these sessions or contact the principal at your school.
It took almost my full eight years on the school board to get really good financial news, but at last night’s board meeting we heard the almost unbelievable update that we will have enough money next year to restore most of the programs that were lost or cut since 2008, and even make some new investments. During my tenure, we had so many terrible financial years, and our district managed through the worst of them by cutting costs, reducing financial reserves, passing parcel taxes, and relying on ever-growing community support, such as that from the San Carlos Education Foundation.
Our financial good news stems from two major steps taken this Spring. The first was an increase in state funding — the acceleration of the full implementation of the new funding formula, as well as some increases in one-time funding related to Common Core implementation (all of this of course due to the more robust economy and surging State tax revenue). The second was the passage of Measure P by San Carlos voters. All of this means that we now have the ability for the first time in many years to pass a budget that is balanced, restores a healthy reserve level, and makes new investments in our students.
Essentially, the District is able to restore most of the programs cut since 2008, including reductions that were made to counseling programs, librarians, custodians, literacy, and electives. In addition, we can make a few new investments from items that were high on the priority list. Although some of the restorations will happen over time, we saw a budget proposal last night that included the following:
- A multi-year agreement with employees for salary increases
- Additional technology associatiates
- Greater investments in musical instruments
- Increased professional development
- Increased discretionary funds at each school site
- An additional position to support custodial, safety, and energy management
- Greater investment in district communications
- Increased number of counselors
- Increased facility maintenance
- Additional investment in literacy programs
- Additional custodial support
- Additional school secretarial support
- Adding middle school electives to allow students to have a second elective option
- Increased librarian time
The implementation details and timing of all of the above still need to be worked out. Although we have a few more meetings before we pass a budget, I suspect that the final one will be similar to what we saw yesterday. On a cautious note, it’s important to remember that our budget is currently based on the Governor’s state budget proposal, yet our revenue allocation will be based on the final budget passed by the legislature. So, there is still a risk that our revenue numbers could come in a little lower — we should have more clarity over the summer. But in general, our new financial picture allows us to see a much clearer path to executing upon most important initiatives in our Strategic Plan.
So, I don’t want to get too giddy, as we must recognize that California’s economy is cyclical and unfortunately school funding is dependent upon the State’s cyclical funding sources. That is why we will ensure that our near-term budgets have a very healthy reserve level (also, effectively back to the level it was before the 2008 recession). And we must recognize that although our financial picture has greatly improved relative to past years, SCSD is still one of the most underfunded school districts in a state that chronically underfunds education. Lastly, note that this is about our yearly operating budget — we will still face significant financial pressure in the short- to medium-term around our facilities projects, which are (ironically) negatively impacted by the good economy as the cost of construction rises rapidly in this region.
But for now, I will gladly take the good news, and it certainly gives me comfort that as I leave my school board service this year, I leave it with a renewed sense of excitement and possibilities!
Based on the County Elections Office updated return, the Measure P parcel tax for San Carlos schools increased its lead slightly to 68.3%, a material margin over the required two-thirds to pass. The election is not officially certified for a couple of weeks, but I think it’s a fair bet to assume the measure will pass.
This was absolutely critical for our the health of our schools and our community, so our deepest thanks to the campaign volunteers and the San Carlos voters. A very nice end to a great school year. I’ll give a fuller report on the year-end in a couple of weeks!