Thursday March 26, 2015
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The usual " do it for the students" campaign is gearing up. While I would like to help the students , I have been forced to ask myself several questions. One is : why should I feel guilty for holding the School Board and administration accountable for poor decision making and poor management? Over the past years I have observed the Board making decisions which were both stupid and unethical. I point to the riffing of staff and the firing of PHS administration, the promotion of friends of Board members to teaching and administration jobs, the spending of about 1 million dollars over budget by a Superintendent who was supposedly supervised by the Board, and so on. Two is: if the public does not boldly proclaim that the "bosses" are accountable, when will the second-class leadership stop? Truly will feel sorry for the results of non-passage of the override. The point is that Payson has tolerated inferior leadership for too long and it has to stop. Some short-term negatives might just lead to some long-term improvements. A sad corollary is that the people that made the poor decisions and approved of horrid decisions are gone or are still hanging around pretending that all has been "for the good of the kids".
Tom, Not exactly the same but...: I was teaching a required-to-graduate course in American Government. One or two days into the course I distributed a multiple choice test to the students and told them that they would take the same test later in the course. I gave the test during the last week of the course. The results were amazing in that rate of improvement was close to 60%. The students (who would never remember the questions after 17 weeks) had shown what improvement could be made and I felt wonderfully validated. No, the test did not decide the grade to be given and the students knew that. I had another, longer Final Exam and also counted effort such as quizzes, tests and extra credit assignments. To answer your last question, questions on tests can not measure critical thinking, application of philosophies, or other more esoteric topics that should be important to all but robots.
Tom, I also read the letter that you quote. Totally Hogwash by a person who does not know of what they write! As an aside, I recently read an article which stated that a person's study concluded that the idea that wolves kill mostly the young, old and sick was wrong. Since I am now among the "old" I don't know if I should feel pleased or not :)
Tom Some of the remarks bring to my mind the concept of "community policing". If I understand the definition correctly, a large part of community policing refers to officers making many more positive contacts with members of the community that they serve, thus building trust and good will. As applied to Payson, one might imagine officers attending more meetings of various types and not having an agenda except to make positive contacts. Another method is contacting residents and giving them positive strokes for things done well. Another is to sponsor organizations or groups that are not particularly associated with law enforcement such as athletic clubs, philanthropic groups and so on. It might be difficult for the officers in a "small" town, but would it be worth it ?
Tom, No question that most if not all political advertisements are garbage, no matter what the group or party. If most of us would throw the political mail away and delete the internet mail, perhaps it would be one clue that we are not as stupid as before. Besides, I like my Spam in a tin can :)
Tom, You could have won a lot of money had you bet. Indeed I agree with you. The judge noted that there are "... a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers Currently active in California classrooms" ??? How in blazes would he know !! Is that judge now an educational expert who spends countless hours in classrooms across the state of California?
Where is a statement of proof? I too have some difficulties with the manner in which incompetent or criminal teachers are managed . I have even more difficulties with the manner in which teacher bargaining units (unions) in Cal. too often make it difficult to dismiss certain teachers by using "Due Process" nit-picking to build roadblocks. Then again, a Union has to show members what powers they have or the teachers might stop paying dues. Right? A synonym for Tenure is Due Process and one way to handle it is to cancel it as has been done in Arizona. Another is to lengthen the probationary period to 4 or 5 years in order to give more time for administrators to "make book". Yes, proper procedures have to be followed even without Tenure. Back to the judge in this case: what a nincompoop !
Tom, A year or two ago there were a number of debates/discussions about Obama and the Democrat's agenda and actions. A significant number of participants in the discussions defended Obama's stated positions and actions. Events over the last two years have led to outcomes that surely must have enlightened Obama's supporters or at least we can hope so. I will not attempt to list the horrific consequences of the current Administration's actions or lack of actions - the news is full of them. I will state that I find it ironic that the last Republican candidate for President has been shown to have been mostly correct. Mr. Romney has shown himself to be a honorable and insightful man who has a proven record of accomplishments. Obama has proven himself to be what he started out as - a extreme liberal with narrow viewpoints and a lack of abilities when it comes to making critical decisions in a real world environment where consequences are real. As an aside, his "signature accomplishment", Obamacare, might have had a different outcome if it had been attempted in better economic times and not been dictated to the American people. Dogmatism breeds backlash. In any case, I agree that he is the worst!
Tom Based upon reading your posts over a period of time, I trust you to do a very good job of staying within the borders of reality. I am so very tired of posts that wander like a madman's mind. As Ms. Randall said, we can ignore or dispute what we wish, but "reality" is a common denominator. Some posts are simply so far out that they are not arguable. Might just as well have a discussion with a Hershey Bar.
Robbin, For a few days after Tom G. attempted to explain how your posts demonstrated a lack of focus, were generally unsubstantiated by factual references, often strayed from the topic at hand into the area of great plots, used generalities that betrayed you biases and prejudices, and often made readers angry, I had a little hope. You resisted for a few days. Now you again are returning to your ways. I enjoy opinions that are thought provoking and opinions that demonstrate true thinking about alternatives. Unlike Tom, who is a true gentleman, I will be blunt and state that your opinions irritate me because you are not a seeker of truth or a learner or a communicator. I will protect myself by not reading anything you write from here onward.
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