Monday March 2, 2015
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Mr. Wyman's comments are accurate. The concern in regard to the teacher shortage is legitimate and disconcerting. Students benefit a great deal when they learn another language. The lack of language program punctuates a decline in the overall quality of education available to our Payson students. I would like to see them find a quality Spanish teacher and eventually offer Spanish 1, 2, 3 and Advanced Placement Spanish. All would fit into a plan to raise the overall rigor, thus providing greater opportunity for Payson students.
Students might even learn some accurate linguistic/historical/factual information...like Shiite and Sunni are religious not linguistic in nature, hence they are not "dialects". Certainly this would assist our students in not embarrassing themselves and others when writing in a public arena.
Thanks Pete! Such a gift with words!
Great Story! Keep at it. You go girl! You do this place proud!
Steady as she goes. Keep chipping away. Make vision into reality. Kudos to their efforts. I look forward to seeing the results of their sustained effort and the impact it will have on our community and students, both young and old.
I am in total agreement that strong arts programs in schools (as with all extra-curricular programs and clubs) make an enormous difference in student's sense of competency and achievement. However, they must be of high quality. They also give students a sense of belonging and ownership in the school, hence enhancing the school climate and culture. This in turn has shown to be a very strong lever for improving student academic achievement. My caveat is, they must be high quality programs. I credit Mike's spouse Daria Mason with revitalizing music education at the high school and raising the standard to a high level. Additionally, she had direct input into the current high school music instructor/director who has taken the band to new levels. Levels never before reached in Payson. A look at their performance last weekend will leave a distinct impression as to the high level of quality. My understanding is they work extremely hard to achieve such quality. In fact, subsequent to watching their performance online and hearing about their work ethic, Sylvia and I decided to donate half ($200) of our Credit for Kids (Arizona Tax credit for donations to public schools) to the Payson High School Marching Band program. They work so hard and produce such quality work, they deserve it. I am going to recommend that other folks think it over and support this quality program.
This is just information. District Maintenance and Operation budget override is for a seven year cycle. If they are not renewed in the 5th year, the override money is phased out over year 6 and 7 Source: Arizona Association of School Business Officials and Arizona Tax Research Association. The override Payson Unified School District is currently operating with, was passed on March 9, 2010 by a margin of 67% voting YES. Prior to that, the override failed in November of 2008 by a margin of 53% NO. While it is accurate to say the district has run on overrides for 15 years, it should be noted that 2008 to 2010 were "phase out" years. The original Payson Unified School District M&O override was approved by voters in 2004. Prior to that time Payson Unified had passed special capital fund bond elections for facilities. However, I believe the first Maintenance and Operations override was 2004.
I really wrestled with it. It is true, over the last four years the Board and certain board members have made some egregious decisions. Certainly in the financial realm. Certainly, they (board members) have been huckstered by a couple of different Superintendents. It is also true that the district has suffered academically. The statistics are irrefragable. I do wish the Board would have made a greater public commitment to raising academic achievement through rigorous classes, particularly at the high school level. However, I feel like I personally, cannot justify $12.00 a month (or so) savings on my mortgage considering the negative impact on the kids, many dedicated educators and the community. I am going to put some faith in Dr. Wyman whom I have known and observed for a number of years, along with (hopefully) a fresh and malleable Board.
I was looking back at a journal the other day. The last override was passed on a vote in March 2010 (it was on spring break). Tim Fruth and I had created a promotional power-point and given nine presentations in the community. Drs. Offices, PT offices, clubs, homes, Realty offices etc. Sometimes we took personal leave to do it in the morning or at lunch. Others we did at night. The Tuesday, after the override passed, I was called in by the Superintendent and told I was being RIF'd. I suppose if anyone has a reason to have sour grapes and not vote to extend this override, it may be me. But..I just can't do it to the kids. My three kids received a great education here. They received scholarships, were well prepared and did very well in college. If my little contribution gives someone else's kids a shot to have the same opportunities (assuming the rigor picks up) that my kids had, I want to commit to it. Notwithstanding, I fully respect people's decision to apply their voting rights in another fashion. In any case, this is where Sylvia and I stand for November vote.
I am voting for the override.
There are two positions open. Replacements for Rory Huff and Devin Wala.
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