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My Recent Comments
Krakow Dude states that vouchers are the solution, or at least part of it. So with a voucher, as a HS student you would have one other choice assuming you are a Washington resident. A basic assumption that seemed to work for a very long time was that all Americans had the right to a free and public education. A part of this tenet was that there was a value in Americans having a shared experience. That in fact creates a set of issues, if not problems that public schools contend with that private schools do not contend with. Public schools are constantly tasked with duties like making sure poor children whom do not get enough to eat are fed, students who are homeless are guaranteed the right to attend school in the school they attended before they were homeless, special needs students are guaranteed education in a "least restrictive environment," students who receive disciplinary consequences are required to receive due process, curriculum is essentially mandated by the state, etc. Representatives elected by the people and for the people wrote the laws that mandate these things. They were not dreamed up by public school bureaucrats or for the most part by local boards of education.
Additionally, school districts have the option of allowing or not allowing in-district transfers by students to schools not in their attendance area. When these transfers are allowed, they are allowed to meet the needs of students and/or their parents. For example, since some elementary schools do not have air conditioning, a student with asthma might be allowed to attend a school with air conditioning so that he/she can remain healthy and able to learn.
Larger school districts allow an economy of scale not possible in smaller districts. What would make more sense would be further consolidation of districts like Washington with New Haven and other small rural districts. Of course this is not popular in smaller districts as some local control is lost. The reality is, that the smaller the district, generally speaking, the larger the percentage of expenses will be that must be allocated to administrative costs like superintendent salaries, principals, etc.
I do not take issue with a perhaps inflated ego issue with some school board members, but these folks do actually serve our community and they do not do so for the financial rewards. With the exceptions of some whom have taken these positions to damage public schools for the benefit of private schools, I believe that their hearts are in the right place. What they could use is more members of the public offering sane and rational solutions to the problems that exist. Vouchers and downsizing are not the answers to the real problems that do exist.Nov 14, 2012
These are not extravagances. The district is bursting at the seams in many facilities. Tiny storage rooms never designed for kids are being used to handle the overflow. Comparing what Washington is trying to do to what happens in Normandy is silly. There could not be two more greatly different situations that you could compare.
A more logical and honest rationale for those opposed to use would be along these lines..."Like Grover Norquist, we oppose any and all tax increases for any reason. We do not care that it has been shown empirically time, and time again that wise investments in a community's public education system pays for itself many times over. "
If this were a tax increase for a new pool or additional seating at the football stadium, that would be one thing. This is trying to avoid 35 kids in classrooms that do not exist. Some of us are ready to begin speaking up against those who want to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. Is it not possible for the "fiscal responsibility crowd" to recognize that being good stewards of the public's money does not mean saying no to everything?
Here's a question...what solution do you who oppose this propose for handling overcrowding?Nov 6, 2012
The School District of Washington suffers a decided lack of oversight from the community. Not all problems are attributable to the tenure of our current Superintendent it should be noted, and there is a lack of details about this current issue making it impossible to know whether something was mishandled. It may truly be impossible for the district to disclose details of the matter for legal reasons.
What is certain, is that this incident should not be viewed in isolation. A long history of poor decisions continue to plague the district, and many of these have never been called to account by the public. Land purchased for a high school that is currently not even in the planning stages, a church bought without due diligence that had to be re-purposed because it did not meet necessary codes, not to mention many questionable personnel decisions at the administrative level, etc., must be considered along with this incident.
The district will respond when the public demands their attention. Visit their website and then make a phone call to them voicing your concerns. Take a look at the staffing of district office. When you talk to administrators, ask them about the use of "Instructional Coaches" as well as the cycle for curricular development. One of the other main issues you will hear from long time educators in the district is the lack of consistency and forethought regarding curriculum. Many complain that "instructional coaches" and other personnel are more hindrance than help. (Yes, there are a number of instructional coaches in addition to administrators)
Nov 6, 2012
While I disagree with your assessment here, the Missourian does an honorable job making its best assessment in endorsing political candidates. Your endorsements are clearly nonpartisan and a reflection of the values you deem important.
In assessing whether we are in fact better off, clearly this is a subjective decision. It could certainly be argued that not teetering on the precipice of economic devastation is an improvement. It could be argued, at least by those who think it's important, having further environmental safeguards in place is an improvement. It could be argued that finding a method to insure millions of the uninsured was an improvement (and oh, all the better that the tenets were those proposed by the Heritage Foundation and shown to work by Gov. Romney). Perhaps the unemployment rate has not improved (nor worsened), but the trend is right. We have, or are in the process of ending our decade long involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. That is likely an improvement to those soldiers who will come home, not to mention their parents.
It could also be argued that given the stated aim of Mitch McConnell and other congressional leaders that their number one goal was to make President Obama a one term President, that rewarding the authors of obstruction is an undeserved prize. Nevertheless, if I thought Romney would be the better choice, I would agree with the Missourian's assessment. Having voted for each and every Republican President back to Reagan, this will be a first for me should Romney be elected.
I suggest to the readers of the Missourian that compromise will be the one and only path to putting America back on solid footing. Our fiscal woes will be solved by a President who realizes that a budget without modest tax increases along with aggressive spending cuts will never be acceptable to the broader electorate. It is certain that Romney would not be that President. It remains to be seen whether Obama can ever have the backbone that Reagan had to show Tip O'Neill he'd better play ball. Better to bet on a possibility with Obama than to accept almost certain failure with Romney.
Nov 4, 2012
Using cliches like "Lame Stream Media" do not enhance Comrade's argument...he just heard that on Hannity, Rush, or any number of biased news sources on the right-leaning side of the biased media. Mr. Miller was correct in his assessment that there was bias in "Big Media." He just forgot that media does not get much bigger than Fox "News." As someone capable of deciphering bias when I hear it or see it, I can deal with it. However, in my opinion, when you feed yourself a steady diet of one side's bias, say Fox News, or the other side's, say MSNBC, you really are doing yourself no favors.
Romulus oversimplifies the issue when he states we are a Republic and not a Democracy. He is not wrong, but it is also not incorrect to say we are a representative democracy. I was curious about your assertion that MSNBC is government funded...can you cite any source besides Alex Jones for this? If that is it, I dismiss the claim completely. Jones is so out there that though Glenn Beck occasionally uses his schtick as a starting point, even he filters most of it. Anything Beck filters as too crazy is really crazy.
Romulus does not need a nutjob's assertion about MSNBC to make the claim they have liberal bias. But, if you watch Fox, it is simply a different flavor of the same basic recipe. Just try to be honest with yourself - it'll make your life better. Much of the bias comes in story selection...if a big majority shed negative light on one side or the other, there is likely bias.Sep 24, 2012