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Where do they think this poverty COMES from? This district keeps blaming the poverty problem as it CONTRIBUTES to the poverty problem by refusing to do what is required to adequately teach students the academics they need to lift themselves up OUT of poverty.
After a few more years of this school district not providing enough academics to where most students can successfully complete college, pass the military entrance requirements, begin a trade, or take over a family business -- we should be at a near-100% eligibility rate. This will be great for the school district, because then it will get the money it wants. And it always does seem to want more.
But that money isn't free or magic, appearing out of nowhere. Local, state or federal, it's all taxpayer money, and we TAXPAYERS have to provide it. This is OK for taxpayer Shelley Redinger, who makes $260,000 per year. It's OK for the $100,000+ per year administrators. It's OK for the school district's legal team and its board of directors. But it isn't OK for many families in Spokane who are barely making it now and who are already being asked to cough up more and more money each year for schools that fail to adequately educate our children.
This district is scrabbling for more low-income families so that it might be able to use taxpayer dollars to feed everyone's child, including, one should presume, the children or grandchildren of Shelley Redinger, the board directors, the $100,000+ administrators, and all of the well-heeled folks in Spokane who haven't ducked out to a private school.
So lovely of all of the low-income families in Spokane to help pay to feed the children of the upper crust. Feeding everyone's child will mean fewer dollars for those who actually need it. Wonderful idea.
I have an idea. How about if the schools teach the students the mathematics and grammar and other academics that they actually need to know? Teach it directly and efficiently, and have the students practice the skills to mastery.
Let's try that and see what happens. I'll bet it wouldn't take millions of dollars, but it would take an enormous mental shift in those who seem hell bent on NOT teaching the students what they need to know -- and who seem to want to use our tax dollars to fund EVERY OTHER POSSIBLE THING but that.
By the way, the name I wrote in, rather than vote for Sue Chapin, is Paul Lecoq.
I encourage others to do likewise. Paul also is a truthteller.
From Laurie Rogers:
The Inlander, in its comments about Sally Fullmer, has failed once again to tell you what's really happening in Spokane Public Schools -- under Bob Douthitt and Sue Chapin's 6-year watch.
** An ongoing investigation by the Public Disclosure Commission over the District's election activity from 2006 through 2009.
** A lawsuit over violations of the Public Records Act, recently settled by the District.
** A multi-year school board effort to make a number of changes to the Public Records Act. Several of these changes would make it prohibitively difficult and expensive for citizens in Washington State to obtain public records from school districts.
** Burgeoning operating and capital budgets, in conjunction with rising administrative salaries and a struggling student enrollment.
** A failed mathematics program, which has led to most of the students graduating without most of the math skills they need to go to college, enter a STEM field, begin a trade, or join the military. This math program has not been fixed under the new, $250,000/year superintendent. Unbelievably, the District is still using two of the same awful math curricula it was using in 2006, when I first began looking into the math program: Investigations in Number, Data, and Space; and Connected Mathematics.
** A failed English program, which has led to students graduating not knowing sufficient grammar and not knowing how to capably write in cursive.
** Willful support for the unproved, obscenely expensive Common Core initiatives. Earlier this year, Bob Douthitt told citizens in a public meeting that he doesn't know much about the Common Core.
** Guns in the schools, in the hands of District employees. How much will that self-imposed, unfunded mandate cost taxpayers in guns, bullets, increased insurance, training, and personnel -- along with the citizen lawsuit that could easily come some day? Our print-media watchdogs either have refused to ask, or they have asked and have not told us of the District's answers.
** A District effort to seize some measure of control over any local charter schools.
** Pushing all kindergartners into all-day kindergarten, whether or not they're ready. After I pressed the superintendent on this, the District changed its Web site right before school began to say that an alternative choice can be made if parents don't want all-day kindergarten.
** An unwillingness to tell the public at large exactly how our tax dollars are being spent. Last year, I attempted to get detail on the District's budget. At a public meeting on the budget, Bob Douthitt told citizens that the district doesn’t have time for this kind of disclosure, that expenditure detail was just a “quirky little thing” that Laurie Rogers wanted, and that if I got it, it would only make four or five of my friends happy. “It isn’t going to happen,” he stated.
** A refusal to tell the public at large exactly how students are doing in mathematics and in English/language arts.
Academic outcomes aren't about manipulated state tests; academic outcomes are about what the students actually know in academics and can do. On that score, the truth is grim. The superintendent has told me repeatedly that she knows the situation in math isn't good. She promised to fix the math program. Recently, she was quoted in The Spokesman-Review saying that outcomes in math are "average" and that the District is focusing on improving English/language arts. Average means nothing when so few districts in the state are doing well in math. What does it mean to your children and grandchildren? It means they aren't learning enough math, and it means that the future of most will be forever compromised. This District could easily fix that critical problem with a good math curriculum. Good math curricula are available now; the District refuses to buy one.
How much of our money should we give these people before we hold them to doing what they're there to do? It isn't widgets they're in charge of; it's children. Meanwhile, some in District leadership have quietly gotten help in academics for their own children.
I don't blame citizens for endorsing Bob Douthitt, not when they lack the information they need to make an informed choice. Sure, graduation rates can easily go up when the state and the District allow students to graduate without the skills they need for postsecondary life. The last time I checked into AP scores, there were dramatically more students in AP classes, but the overall grades on the AP tests also had fallen below a "3." More students were passing, but vastly more students also were failing. And the focus in SPS should ALWAYS have been on postsecondary education -- that isn't some new brilliant idea Bob Douthitt and his colleagues had. It's where their focus should ALWAYS have been.
Honestly, why do they think they're there??
If you want more of this, then sure, vote for Bob Douthitt. I have voted for Sally Fullmer. I also wrote in a name rather than vote for Sue Chapin. Sally Fullmer believes in District accountability and transparency, and she will stand up for truth, for the children and for the taxpayer.
"Friends and enemies"? Wow. I've never heard a newspaper call citizens "enemies." I'm shocked at that.
Daniel, does the Inlander consider the school district to be a friend or an enemy? I guess if the Inlander considers the school district to be a "friend," then does that make me the enemy?
It is the school district that did not abide by the requirements of the Public Records Act, and that continues to employ people who did not abide by the requirements of the Public Records Act.
It is the school district that has failed to properly educate 27,000-28,000 children each year for the last few decades.
It is the school district that wants ever more taxpayer dollars for its failed system, and it's the school district that refuses to give citizens an accurate representation of how our tax dollars are being spent.
It is the school district that is under investigation by the Public Disclosure Commission for its election activities.
And it's the school district that used taxpayer dollars to help support a lawsuit against taxpayers to wrestle more taxpayer dollars from taxpayers (the McCleary lawsuit).
Meanwhile, I am the messenger, Daniel. Every second of what I've tried to do over the last seven years, in an effort to help 27,000-28,000 children who aren't mine, has been volunteered.
I don't see the school district as the enemy, but it has certainly lost its way. That school district HAS to get its act together, or the children and this community are lost. A little more help from the Inlander, Daniel, would be very nice. I would love it if I could stop doing what I'm doing; you're the one who is supposed to be doing it.
When you vote, please consider changing the faces on the Spokane Public Schools school board. We can´t change them all, but we can change one - to Sally Fullmer.Most people don’t realize what RCW 42.17.130 is about. I didn’t either, before this fall. Please Google it — the basic law is short and won’t take much time to read.Public agencies are prohibited from using public agencies, facilities, or resources to campaign, directly or indirectly, for a candidate for elective office (such as a board candidate) or to promote a ballot proposition (such as bonds and levies).Spokane Public Schools distributed the KIDS Newspapers - with its full-page union endorsements of three political candidates (including board candidate Deana Brower) - to every elementary school in the district — twice. It used district resources to stuff the newspaper in children’s backpacks, it handed them out in district offices, and it left them available for parents to pick up in the schools.For more on this issue, and on the PDC complaint I filed Sept. 28, noting other concerns with the school district, Deana Brower and RCW 42.17.130, please see my blog Betrayed: http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com/2011/10/district-distributes-campaign-material.html Laurie Rogers[email protected]
Interesting article. How about the dirty business of making a school board candidate?Most people don’t realize what RCW 42.17.130 is about. I didn’t either, before this fall. Please Google it — the basic law is short and won’t take much time to read.Public agencies are prohibited from using public agencies, facilities, or resources to campaign, directly or indirectly, for a candidate for elective office (such as a board candidate) or to promote a ballot proposition (such as bonds and levies).Spokane Public Schools distributed the KIDS Newspapers - with its full-page endorsements of three political candidates - to every elementary school in the district — twice. It used district resources to stuff the newspaper in children’s backpacks, it handed them out in district offices, and it left them available for parents to pick up in the schools.For more on this issue, and on the PDC complaint I filed Sept. 28, noting other concerns with the school district and RCW 42.17.130, please see my blog Betrayed: http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com/2011/10/district-distributes-campaign-material.html Laurie Rogers[email protected]
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