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Why? (03/04/2012)
By Frances Edstrom

I find myself having more questions than answers the older I get. It seems when I was in high school and college, I knew all the answers, or at least enough to get an A or a B. Then I had children, and I knew a lot until they got to about twelve years old, at which time I knew nothing. Then when they got old enough to have families of their own, I started to know a little bit more, but I still havenít caught up to my prowess in high school. With that in mind, I offer the following.


Iím not the only one who wonders why a school district that has three higher ed facilities and any number of high tech employers doesnít seem to be able to shake the fact that a higher than usual percentage of our students do not meet standards set up by the state to measure educational progress and student proficiency in reading and math. (We may not have to worry about this after we scrap NCLB.)

Why, I am asking, cannot the school board request (demand?) that our new superintendent establish a goal similar to the one set by one of the other candidates for the job of ďreaching a goal for more than 90 percent of secondary students to reach proficiency standards in reading and literacyĒ?

I understand that the school board deals with a great deal of minutiae and must slog through presentations from principals about how many box tops were collected to buy a new whatever for their school, or how many kids are going to go to Europe. But come on! How about education? Arenít we upset at our lackluster showing when it comes to proving we are graduating kids who actually know how to read and do math? Shouldnít the principals be coming to the school board to tell of educational planning and successes, not peripheral successes? Shouldnít the school board be more discriminating in what it spends its time doing? Canít they demand information in a timely manner (see bus story page 5A)? If the entire Jefferson school can take on STEM curriculum in the space of a couple years, why isnít the entire district doing it? Letís get going!


It is beyond my comprehension to understand why our County Attorney, Karin Sonneman, is telling the County Board of Commissioners they canít interact with their constituents by listening and talking about the frac sand issue.

We have a representative form of government. We elect these five county commissioners to act for us in determining the future of the county. How are they supposed to know how we feel if they canít listen to us, but only to the lawyers and the county administrator, who are not elected (except for the county attorney), and have absolutely no responsibility to listen to the people before making a decision that will affect us far into the future.

Iím for open dialogue and a lot of sun shining on government decision-making. Enough of this behind-the-scenes action happening in the smokeless back room. Letís open it up!

Now to all the city officials reading this, I didnít forget you, Iím just out of room for this week. So keep watching this space. 


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