Thursday, August 14, 2008

School board meeting notes and commentary for August 13, 2008

Jim presented the results of the Croydon Survey at the August school board meeting. Out of 269 surveys sent out 70 were returned. This is an outstanding response rate of 26%. Typically you can expect a 2% return rate on surveys. If anyone would like a copy of the results we can attempt to email them. Contact us at, fax them or call us 863-7613. The high percentage of return means two things; people are very passionate about the results, and they hold faith that the school board will listen and follow through. A discussion of the results produced some interesting suggestions. Parents sending their children to Newport could use the Croydon bus. Parents sending their children elsewhere would have to provide transportation themselves. Newport would serve as a costing baseline. If a parent sent their children to a school other than Newport they would have to pay the difference out of pocket. It was also suggested that no contract with a single district would be made and that parents would be responsible to follow through and register their children at the district of choice. This is done in a number of other districts and there is no reason why it can not be done in Croydon as well. Again this was only a discussion no final plans have been made I personally hope that the board will see fit to follow through with the wishes of Croydon residents.

Second was a discussion of ACT results and college readiness. The results showed that only 25% of the test takers were college ready in all four subjects tested. Those subjects were English composition, algebra, social science and biology. Why isn't everybody ready for college? Okay everybody may not be a possibility, but 25% was considered "failing" when I went to school. We would like to see 90%+ of students college ready. Newport school board, teachers and administrators should not be happy with a measly 25% rate especially in light of the fact that we are paying well over $10,000 per year to educate our children.

Newport "Goals" were passed at the school board meeting. Goal one is to have warrant articles that have no tax impact. Bravo to the Newport School Board for being fiscally responsible.

Bad news is they are proposing full-day kindergarten. Prior posts explain why kindergarten is not necessary and is an unnecessary educational expense.

It was also reported that Newport was looking for a Calculus teacher. Why on earth is any high school math teacher teaching and not able to teach Calculus? Any math teacher who can not teach calculus should be fired and replaced with a teacher who can teach Calculus. Since it is a difficult position to fill a bonus should be paid to hire said teacher. Unfortunately teachers are in unions and unions exist for teachers and to protect bad teachers not to do what is best for the students.

Cathy Peschke

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