Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Thompson School District must stop whining

July 20, 2017 | Local News

By Evelyn King

The Surveyor

TSD must stop whining and feeling entitled about the “negative factor;” as recessions have consequences for everyone.TSD has no specific, measureable, goals; especially for the rather pathetic student achievement, as shown by the 2016 District Accreditation Designations by the State:

Guest Columnist Evelyn King

–Lincoln, Truscott, Namaqua, Winona, BF Kitchen, Monroe, Bill Reed, Con Ball, Turner, Thompson Valley and Ferguson all are on “Turnaround” or “Improvement Plans.”

— While the other 24 schools are shown on “Performance Plans,” 11 are below the 56 percent cutoff for targets met; which leaves only 13 out of 35 schools; or just 37 percent of our schools are meeting the 56 percent of targets met.

— TSD wants to close Van Buren and Stansberry, rated sixth and ninth best, respectively, out of 35 schools. Should TSD value operational savings over student education?

TSD must have a mindset goal that every student will graduate with a diploma.

TSD must place students in classes where tests show they can succeed. TSD must think about how failure impacts our students’ outlook on life, dignity and happiness.

TSD must go back to class differentiation so top students get the enrichment they need and lower students receive educational assistance.

TSD must move away from “college for all” and into continuing needs for workforce development training. Larimer County Workforce Development has provided 2016 jobs data showing 29 percent required no educational credential. A high school diploma or equivalency was required for 34 percent of jobs. Those two numbers add to 63 percent of Larimer County jobs needing a high school diploma, at most. Therefore, TSD must prepare our students to be highly educated in the basic core subjects and workforce responsibilities if our students are to be competitive.

TSD must seek State waivers so they can hire non-licensed teachers in order to provide flexibility in hiring specialty and/or hard-to-fill positions, as well as hire experts in a particular field for technical workforce development training.

TSD must reduce the number of high school classes offered. Too much fluff; too little core competency.

TSD must provide teacher-taught remedial classes for core subjects.

TSD must stop paying for college classes taken by students who are not on FRL (free or reduced lunch) programs, or with special circumstances. TSD should not subsidize higher-income students at the expense of lower-income students.

TSD must reduce the number of licensed teaches who aren’t teaching in classrooms.

TSD must eliminate block schedules so teachers teach more than a half day because of the union contract.

TSD must get rid of the salary schedule for teachers. The starting teacher salary is about half of what some experienced teachers make; however, we all expect teachers to be professionals and to equally educate our students. Teacher “seat time” is no more an indicator for quality of teacher performance than student “seat time” is for quality of student performance.

TSD should utilize surveys they pay for; i.e. the bond survey showed 60 percent of respondents did not want a $150 million dollar high school but was ignored; and, 57 percent of respondents do not believe TSD is preparing every student to be a successful citizen, and no improvement plans provided.

Except for building maintenance, much more is needed than taxpayer money.

I’ve tried over the past five years to ensure our students receive a superior education; however, the teachers’ union has a resist, distract, and obstruct organization that won’t be broken until the community really gets fed up; or administration and board policies are changed. My students have graduated, so I will quit being involved.

TSD – You all own it, so you fix it.







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