Just last fall needing an answer to a question regarding a political candidate, I said, "Let's call Martin. He will know or he will find out." And an hour after asking him, I had the accurate answer from Martin. Throughout my 40 years in local politics Martin was a mainstay; a decent gentleman, and a solid support for his wife, family, and friends. We will not soon see his like again. RIP Martin.
I actually felt that David was moving closer to the reality base that those of us who wisely opposed 123 were occupying. Let's not beat him up for his past sins. He is realizing that the fox in the henhouse has been enjoying the chickens.
The history of magnets in TUSD has shown several things. In 1980 when we began the magnet process at Holladay Intermediate Magnet School, we, the teaching faculty who designed the actual instructional program that delivered the magnet focus, planned how to provide every child in the school with fine arts, performing arts, and physical education. The district didn't. What they provided was a 2 week paid inservice time to create the program. We did the work and created a working schedule for daily instruction. We expected a lot of high performing kids with interested parents would enroll. We got a few of that category. On the whole, what we enrolled from the magnet population was the lowest reader or behavioral problem from a lot of east side and central schools. We received students who were performing poorly in their home schools, or whose parents had conflicts with teachers/principals at the home school, or parents who were seeking free before and after school free child care programs and free transportation. We asked the district how they would evaluate the success of the program; there was no response. All they were interested in was student movement between schools. So we, the teaching faculty, designed a three part evaluation program in which we investigated parent, and student, attitudes and test scores, which we disaggregated by ethnic group, magnet status, and grade. We learned as a result that the majority of magnet parents came for child care, small class size, teacher aides, and finally the magnet focus. That trend remained true for the 10 years I worked there. We worked very hard to develop the academic learning of ALL students and had great success, as indicated by 2 stanine upward movement on standardized testing in the course of a single year. When you move from 2 to a 4, it's real progress. We also had movement from a 6 to an 8. This is major growth also. Now Holladay is no longer a magnet and no longer provides those opportunities, thanks to central administration neglect over years. The same is most likely true of the current soon to be lost magnets. What a pity!
Public schools are about opportunity for all. Private schools are about privilege for a few. Public schools are about inclusion and diversity. Private schools are about exclusion and homogeneity. Public schools are about public governance. Private schools are about money-based governance. Public schools are about choices. Private schools are about limiting choices. I vote for public schools. Yes, some fall through the cracks, unfortunately, in public schools. In private schools, those who do not succeed are either booted out, or covered up by influence. Anyone remember the "gentlemen's 'C' grade? Excellence not required but provided by network. Public schools are where excellence is determined by individual and/or group effort.
This is really getting out of hand! The lesson from all these charges and counter-charges is no one should ever endorse anyone! Early endorsements carry explosives and written statements will be parsed beyond belief.
David, here is a point made by many teachers who retired during that 4 year period, and there were a lot of them. If they were not paid the full amount possible of 301 funds for performance that THEY PERFORMED, then they were denied a substantial yearly sum which could have greatly impacted their retirement pensions after they retired. To save the funds they had earned to give to younger teachers in the future is just wrong. A simple point I make: I was able to buy back $2K of prior service before my retirement. By doing that, my pension (a fairly small one) increased $200 a month for the rest of my life. Now granted I am comparing apples and oranges as prior service is different from performance pay from 301, but the result is the same. It makes a huge difference to the retiree. A lot of hard feelings out there over this one.
In a few more years, Frogge may be ready to serve effectively in the Legislature. She has much energy and spirit, but in debate with Engle, Engle emerges as the more prepared if not more connected candidate. I believe Engle is ready now to move forward alongside Mach.
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