I, like many other Payson High School students, agreed with the modified school schedule and disagreed with the decision to move a week of the fall break into the summer.
However, I am very disappointed in Jim Keyworth's coverage of the school board's decision to change the calendar in the Payson Roundup. It was a biased and one-sided report. It portrayed the board in a distorted image, and it made Mr. Heizer and the others look like they could do no wrong.
I am also very angry with the way Superintendent's Advisory Committee (SAC) handled the survey and everything else involved with the modified schedule.
When the issue was first presented two years ago, the committee told the school board that this change in the schedule was going to increase attendance, decrease student burnout, better test scores, and better the school. The school board approved the request to test this theory with the condition that the SAC bring back proof that this modified schedule did as planned.
The survey, as presented by the SAC, did not address these issues, it only addressed whether or not the parents liked the modified schedule. It did not provide any proof that their hypothesis was correct. Therefore, the survey had nothing to do with what the school board needed to make its decision.
The quote Mr. Weissenfels made to the Roundup, that he thought the retention of the students went up because of the shortened summer was not backed by any statistics. In order for the board to make a sound decision all pertinent information should be presented to the board and public to justify a decision. The information should be backed by solid statistics, not word of mouth. The newspaper should take this into consideration before hastily putting together an incorrect and one-sided story.
In addition, the SAC decided to give the survey to the teachers to hand out to their students, who then would give the survey to their parents. As a student of Payson High School, I did not receive a survey. The SAC should have sent these surveys directly to the households of each student's family. What was there to prevent a student from filling out the survey on their own, especially since some students received extra credit for turning in the survey?
The Roundup painted a very bad picture of the school board. It loves to stir up controversy and put the town against the board, when the fact is that the SAC did not give the board enough resources to make a proper decision. I didn't see any coverage of that in your paper. So, before you even think of putting a story in your paper, know the whole story.
Michael Daniels, Payson High School student
Editor's note: We stand by the story as it was written.