LFC Comments by Brian Massie, Executive Director
We are pleased to give a platform to the Concerned Citizens of Olmsted Falls, Ohio. The downward spiral of public education in Ohio should concern everyone, and it should not be tolerated. We envision a radical change coming to Ohio’s public education, and it will be led by the parents.
The public schools preach equality of opportunity, but really only want equality of outcome. This is a purposeful dumbing down of the children so that “everyone can win a trophy”.
Letter to the Editor,
In many communities across the Cleveland metro area, the state of Ohio and the nation at large, there is growing concern about what is happening in our schools. Specifically, this letter addresses the concerns of a growing group of citizens in Olmsted Falls (OF), Ohio regarding the School Board’s actions to renew the contract of Superintendent Jim Lloyd. We do not think this was the right course of action. We are also unsatisfied with the performance of our school board members. Please consider the following regarding the state of Olmsted Falls City Schools:
- Common Core….implemented and promoted under Jim Lloyd. Reduced academic standards, achievement and readiness have resulted. Olmsted Falls City Schools (OFCS) had a state ranking of “53” in 2012-13. After Common Core aligned curriculum implemented, Olmsted Falls state ranking fell to “89” in 2018-19. Test scores have declined and Lloyd has publicly stated that he is ok with reducing test emphasis to “improve overall atmosphere at the school”, a position he publicly proclaimed as recently as the OFCS Board meeting on 3/24/22. This premise asserts that high academic achievement exemplified via test scores cannot co-exist with a positive school atmosphere….which is unfortunate and false. Parental and student input and concerns about the substantial changes implemented via Common Core were dismissed, rejected and even mocked. For example, in 2014 a student initiated and attained a 600 signature petition asking the school board to return to pre-Common Core, traditional math curriculum. The petition was ignored by the Olmsted Falls City Schools leadership.
- Jim Lloyd masked our children and implemented other unnecessary and harmful “Covid” policies to receive ESSER funds (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds via the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021). Lloyd knew he was required to mask our children, require invasive testing, and encourage students to participate in experimental “vaccines” at the outset of accepting this federal funding. Lloyd was deceitful in justifying his actions. The financial need and desire to receive this federal funding was the true impetus for subjecting our students to medical mayhem and tyranny for the past two years. The community needs to realize that the requirements for all of the “Covid” policies implemented in Olmsted Falls schools were ONLY because Lloyd agreed to do so as a required stipulation of receiving this money. Other school districts around the country chose not to receive ESSER funds and, thus, did not unnecessarily and harmfully mask, test, quarantine and “vaccinate” their students. In doing so, Olmsted Falls City Schools participated in the “practice of medicine” which is a violation of state law. Unfortunately, it can be surmised that Lloyd chose money and the propagation of a false narrative over the well-being of the student body. The deceit and wrongdoing surrounding this entire course of action cannot be overstated.
- Jim Lloyd agreed to implement SEL (Social Emotion Learning) criteria as part of the agreement to receive ESSER funding. It is a documented fact that 20% of ESSER funds are required to be allocated to SEL themed programs and materials. Thus, Jim Lloyd hired Jim Knight to facilitate SEL agenda training. No parental input or concerns were sought or considered regarding implementing SEL in our schools and many parents have since voiced concern and are rejecting SEL outright. Spirit Week’s “Transgender Day” is recent confirmation of SEL misaligned and inappropriate influences and is yet another concerning indication that Olmsted Falls schools have joined the herd of cultural “wokeness”. While ESSER funding requires SEL in the schools that receive it, Social Emotional Learning has been itemized on the Olmsted Falls Schools organization chart since 2013. Maybe that is why our students have been asked to fill out invasive and inappropriate personality tests in their classrooms for quite a few years now. It sure seems that Jim Lloyd embraced SEL to some extent when he became superintendent in 2013 and the momentum for SEL has been growing ever since.
- Jim Lloyd deceived parents and members of the community claiming that CRT (Critical Race Theory) is not active within OFCS. FOIA requests of email correspondence between Jim Lloyd and an OF parent prove that Jim Lloyd was notified and knew about CRT themed lessons and promotion taking place in classrooms. It is unfortunate that Jim Lloyd and the Olmsted Falls School Board are defensive when confronted about embracing the educational fads of CRT, Common Core and SEL that are sweeping our culture. Our students are on the losing end of these failing, fad experiments. A return to time-tested, beneficially proven educational instruction anchored in truth-based principles and values is much needed in Olmsted Falls.
- Mismanagement of funds. OF School budget was in a vulnerable state which most likely contributed to Lloyd accepting ESSER funds. More specifically, Lloyd was advised that a 6.9 mill levy should have gone on the November 2019 ballot. If passed, the district would have received new money in January 2020. Without the levy, the Olmsted Falls Treasurer warned that the district would be out of money sometime in 2020. Lloyd and four of the school board members disagreed and chose to wait and put an 8.9 mill levy on the March 2020 ballot instead. As a result, the 4 month delay cost the school district $5 million in lost revenue. Additionally, by not going on the ballot for 6.9 mills, it will cost all taxpayers in the district an additional 2.0 mills FOREVER. On a $250,000 home, that is $175 additional tax per year FOREVER. This irresponsible decision by the Board was a disservice to the community. In July 2020, the district had a $73,000 cash balance. In December 2020, the Olmsted Falls district took out a $2.5 million loan to make payroll. If not for the ESSER Covid money in 2021, the OF district likely would have gone into state receivership. Deficit spending and financial mismanagement have been on full display during Lloyd’s tenure. Funding priorities were given to support Common Core’s high cost data driven technologies. Funding has been gravely inadequate for the much needed acquisition of new buses and bus/bus facility maintenance…which has resulted in unsafe conditions for our students and drivers. ESSER funds were the carrot on the stick that relieved financial stress at OFCS. Unfortunately, the Covid policy strings attached have been disingenuously presented/justified and have been extremely detrimental to the student body and community of Olmsted Falls.
- Jim Lloyd has treated parents with whom he disagrees very poorly. Lloyd is condescending, combative, disrespectful, vindictive and retaliatory. Interesting that Lloyd’s performance appraisals from Westlake and Olmsted Falls reveal he has had issues with handling criticism and impulsivity. In his 2015 performance appraisal, it is noted that Lloyd labeled a group of citizens that had concerns as ”district detractors”. He then states that he needs to be less defensive in communications with these parents and taxpayers. Yet most recent emails to concerned parents in Olmsted Falls show a similar communication style that lacks professionalism. Perhaps Jim Lloyd should stop using derogatory terms like “Edu-hators” and “District detractors” when publicly referring to concerned parents and taxpayers.
- Jim Lloyd has established a group of “favored” people (so-to-speak) called “Key Communicators” which he utilizes to spread support for his actions and messages on social media and in the community. Many in this group have become and are currently school board members and seem very defensive and protective regarding Superintendent Lloyd.
- Jim Lloyd sure seems to intimidate the Olmsted Falls School Board….unless there is another reason that justifies Board members agreeing to vote in unison on each issue. School board members also agreed to waive all decision-making authority regarding Covid action plans to Jim Lloyd. One internal email reveals the school board president sought advice on how she should answer a concerned parent’s inquiry about masking. Jim Lloyd instructs her not to answer the concerned parent because of the upcoming election. Concerning behaviors for sure. Perhaps dereliction of their duties to the students and families of Olmsted Falls that they serve is an appropriate assessment.
Essentially, Jim Lloyd is no longer the right choice for superintendent of Olmsted Falls City Schools. The track record of Lloyd’s time as superintendent is adequate to show that it is time for fresh, new leadership in our schools….leadership that better aligns with the academic goals and principles and values of our Olmsted Falls community.
The Olmsted Falls School Board has been a disappointment as well. Their lack of initiative to research and scrutinize educational fads as well as the unscientific, unnecessary and unlawful medical protocols thrust upon our children has been disheartening to witness. As the body that has sole authority to hire and fire our superintendent, their unwavering support for Lloyd seems naive, biased and non-discretionary.
The issues and concerns summarized here were presented to the Olmsted Falls School Board in various emails and presentations at school board meetings. Regardless, the OF School Board voted to renew another 5 year contract for Jim Lloyd. If you would like to activate a change in our school leadership, please let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org so we can contact you regarding recall petitions for both Superintendent Lloyd and the OF School Board. The time is long past due for concerned parents and citizens to reclaim our sovereignty and authority to correct the misguided, iniquitous direction of education in our schools.
“It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”~ Samuel Adams
Concerned Citizens of Olmsted Falls, Ohio