"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Evansville School Board Business Meeting May 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Click on the post to view the agenda for the May 9th school board meeting in the board and training center. NOTE THE CHANGE IN START TIME TO 6:30 p.m.!!! I might even have time to cook and eat supper before the meetings now. The change in meeting time was one of many tweaks the board introduced to the new face of the school board at their re org. meeting on May 2. See my byline in the Review for the new slate of officers and other changes that may interest you.

Discussion items of note to the general public include school calendars for the next two years and the annual meeting date at which the entire public may vote on the mill rate. Something called a "reality check presentation" will be made, which seems intriguing.

Business that is planned is voting on the co-curricular contracts (contracts for coaches, club advisers, etc.), high school low enrollment courses, approval of 2012 and 2013 graduation dates and times and, my personal favorite and likely a contributing factor to my demise on the school board, is approval of the High School and Middle School handbooks. I fought them tooth and nail on those handbooks repeatedly and without quarter over two items. The first is that their wording in the HS handbook does not match policy on absences AND policy is more stringent than statute. The second item we continuously fought over and over which I still take issue is the completely unacceptably low GPA required at EHS for co-curricular participation. 1.50. A whopping 1.50 GPA. Between a C- and a D+ AVERAGE. People! If that's the average, half of the grades are BELOW that. That's sort of the working definition of an average. But do NOT try and explain that to certain hard heads in the school district. I am waiting for the result of the grading committee because the only sensible thing ever uttered in this debate was by Mr. Everson: "Until there is a consistent standard by which students are graded, GPA is meaningless anyway." Amen brother.

The two bogus excuses were : "Our block schedule forces this low average. Three Cs and an F calculates out to a 1.50 GPA." Really? Thanks buddy, I don't need a primer on calculation of GPAs. It's sorta what I do. Here's an idea. If they insist on flunking a class, maybe they need to get a B in something else to off set the F. Hmmm!!!!!

Then there's "you know, not every kid is an Einstein (with the pointedly inferred glare meaning "like yours"), and some of them only remain engaged in school and graduate because of their connection through co-curriculars." What a sad statement on your own inadequacies in the classroom. Maybe you should take all that co-curricular contract money (nearly $100,000 the last time I signed the contracts 2 years ago) and take classes on how to teach at every level, not just to the middle, and every student would finally get the challenge they need and deserve. I realize that co-curriculars are very meaningful to many kids, but most of them are not going to make a living through them. The kids still need to learn math and grammar and how to write a cogent sentence before anyone will hire them.

Even worse than the HS policy is the MS policy. There is no standard at all. Once the kid gets an F, he must go on probation until the grade is improved. She could have 6 D-'s and a D and still play ball or go to solo and ensemble. There's a great message for our youth. Screw around in school and you can still play (fill in the blank). There may be one or two kids who need a lot of leeway due to learning disabilities. But the vast majority of kids will simply play you at this age. I'm going through my second kid at the middle school and this age group is full of master manipulators combined with the attractive trait of self-absorption. Not pretty sometimes and more than happy to let you molly-coddle them. Ugh. The monster of indignation in me is unleashed every time I consider the ridiculously low standard to which our district holds students to participate in EXTRA curricular activities. That combined with grade inflation makes it pretty dang hard to swallow. So I bide my time. Waiting for the results of the grading committee and wondering if the board has lost their collective mind in allowing this to continue...

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