By the summer of 2005, the notion of writing a book had become all too real. During the scandal, after serving some twenty years as a civic leader, I had assumed the role of Town Cryer, Chronicler and Commentator. I was tagged as “the Fount” by the Newsday reporter Karla Schuster. I had developed quite a following and knew that my regularly sent emails were reaching an audience of thousands complemented by the emails from my friend Jeff Borowick (a past Roslyn School Board trustee).
Therefore, it was a natural progression from dispersing these writings to collating them, along with additional supporting documentation, into a book. Unfortunately, or perhaps propitiously life’s little interruptions blew me off course. My mother (of blessed memory) in her inimitable battle-axe style commanded me to complete this more than a decade long project. I intend to honor momma’s wishes.
By the summer of 2007, and so began my years of long summers, winters, falls and springs of discontent. I began to organize thousands of documents accumulated during the course and aftermath of the scandal in earnest. I was in full-blown research mode, drudging through newspaper articles, emails, court records, and revisited board minutes.
Throughout the process, I knew that Fish on a Leash had the potential to be a serialized television movie, a screenplay, or even the book I had envisioned on my village strolls.
Fifteen years after the fact, the movie, “Bad Education,” written by a 2009 Roslyn High School graduate, is scheduled for release Fall 2019. The overriding theme pits intrepid student reporters against the administration. The movie, like all Hollywoodized films based on actual events, is a loosely fictionalized reportage.
Other than the basic threads, the scriptwriter’s premise has no resemblance to my book, which takes a more erudite and documented approach to the theft and its aftermath. Fish on a Leash moves you backwards and forwards in time, from the origins of America’s educational systems to today’s Roslyn School Districts cutting-edge programs; once again placing us in the forefront of nationally ranked school systems.
President Thomas Jefferson
foresaw the future of American Democracy and proclaimed that it could only be
facilitated by an educated public, laying both the theoretical as well as the
practical foundation for a free public education in America.
The crime of embezzling from educational systems, like one-armed bandits, has become the gift that keeps on giving. Taxpayer dollars have been subject to conversion – not in the religious sense but the legal, for twelve to fourteen years. It is not the purely philosophical needs of Jefferson’s emerging democracy; an American Democracy where the theft of services from our children, has the potential to endanger the future of a nation.
Join me in an open dialogue, as I review the vulnerability of American educational institutions, both public and private, through the eyes of the Roslyn students, parents, teachers, administrators, board members, civic leaders and taxpayers.
But Buyer Beware! What I will not be doing is revealing the entire story in these blogs. I will post as frequently as my writing time allows. For that you will have to await the arrival of my book — Fish on a Leash.
And just a reminder for those of you who have not paid your taxes…Today is the day, support our schools and our democratic institutions.
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