Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another nasty remonstrance in New Haven

Today's JG political column included comments from the president of the New Haven city council on the deplorable tactics used by opponents in the Jury Pool signature campaign. Well, what did they expect? The three recent remonstrances carried out in this area- the FWCS, Columbia City and Jury Pool bond issues all caused hard feelings in their respective communities. The amount of money was not the issue in any of the campaigns. The issue was an arrogant group of public officials who used what might have been a legitimate need as a vehicle to get their wish list funded. At the end he said if they don't get their project, close the pool! The remonstrators didn't want the pool closed, they just wanted to spend what was necessary to fix it and keep it open

Will they ever learn? No way. During last year's school board campaign FWCS board member Becky Hill cited the need for officials to know the difference between "needs" and "wants". This comes from someone who signed a yellow petition. Becky Hill doesn't know the difference any more than Steve Corona did. John Pierce led the yellow ribbon effort. The only saving grace is that the next proposal will end up as a ballot referendum. Thanks Mitch.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Can the Brits fix FWCS high schools ?

Because of the failure of the FWCS high schools to improve ISTEP passing rates for several years, the State of Indiana has contracted a group from Cambridge University (that's what I'm told, although Cambridge Mass. would make more sense) to assess the situation at North Side and South Side high schools (how did Wayne get left out?) and find out what's wrong. It's not really that complicated. The high schools are stuck with kids from our middle schools, half of whom are socially promoted through to the 9th grade every year. No significant improvement in the high schools is possible until the product of the middle schools improves, and that has to start in the elementary schools.

You might feel sorry for the high school principals, who are caught in the middle, knowing there is not much they can do. You might, except they will never tell the public or our clueless school board members what's really going on in their buildings. It's all happy talk and pablum for public consumption. Let's see if the Cambridge group catches on.

(The JG confirmed today that they're from Cambridge Mass.)