WE ARE IN TROUBLE
New York State has a quality control program for schools. If a school fails miserably in educating the students, a step-by-step program kicks in. The first step is for the state to declare the school a School In Need of Improvement The next step is to give the students an opportunity to leave for a better schools. The last step is to close the school.
VERY FEW SCHOOL ARE BAD ENOUGH TO BE DECLARED SINI
The school has to be very bad to be declared a School in need of Improvement Of 4000 schools in the state only 166 non New York City schools were declared SINI in 2003. Our Middle school was declared SINI with the letter below.
The reason for the state to step in was, that 62-63% of the students received such inadequate instruction that they outright failed the state MINIMUM standards year after year. The problem is, that even in the last 2004 tests more than half of the students still fail the state minimums.
The administration and the teacher dependent board members have ignored the facts and to this day one hears them make claims about an alleged quality education which is not supported by any test results that you can check up on the NY-State website www. nysed.gov
THE PRESENT BOARD MEMBERS ARE NOT GOING TO IMPROVE EDUCATION
I have done what I can to push for better education in our district. The problem is that the majority of the board members have connections to the teachers and have opposed every effort to require the teachers and administration to do a better job. Instead of doing their job right they make excuses.
They seem to be totally at ease with half of the students failing 8th grade English year after year. When this had happened six years in a row, I suggested that we should sort the thing out. Riker, Vanderburgh, Loomis, Price, Van DeMark and Mistler refused to support my motion.
. I represented the district with board members Loomis and Price in teacher negotiations in the spring of 2003. When I made an effort to improve the teacher pool by suggesting to paying teachers for merit and not length of tenure, the people supposed to represent the school district booted me out from the negotiations. That was not the teachers, but the people who ran the district.
The problem is not only that the majority of the board goes along with bad education. They actively vote to lower educational standards. One such vote took place in the February 24, 2004 meeting. Riker, Vanderburgh, Price, Mistler and Loomis voted to lower local diploma graduation standards below state requirements. Langstedt urged to rise the standards. If the school cannot meet state minimums then we are wasting our childrens time and our taxpayers money, and the state could step in and close the schools.
Loomis has been open about his priorities. When I suggested at a board meeting that the students should be protected from the clearly incompetent teachers, Loomis made it clear that he would not vote to fire even one incompetent teacher.