Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Educating the public about referenda.

One of the keys to fighting referenda is educating the public a good way to do this is to write Letters to the Editor. This great example appeared online November 9th in the Daily Herald.

District 87 board doesn’t listen well
I hope the students of District 87 are better listeners than their administrators. After having experienced two failed referendums within a year, both aimed at raising our taxes, you’d think they’d get the message. Well, based on newspaper accounts, it appears the school board needs to work on their listening skills. The voters have communicated our frustration with a public school system that has an insatiable thirst for additional money while failing to improve the quality of education for our children.

It’s indisputable that year after year the cost of public education has gone up faster than the rate of inflation, while nationally, standardized test scores, along with other objective measures of success, have faced declines.

In an increasingly competitive world, we should demand that our children be given the tools they need to succeed. The current system has proven that it can’t meet this objective; no matter how much money we pour into it.

What’s required is fundamental reform. Merit-based pay for teachers to attract and retain the best and brightest, and more stringent graduation requirements are among the many changes necessary. In the absence of real reform, and therefore a continued decline in the quality of public education, parents should be given the option of sending their children to those schools which are delivering a quality education, and not be penalized financially.

One definition of insanity is to continue doing what you’ve always done and expect a different result. Let’s stop the insanity. To the District 87 board of education, I say, “no reform, no more money.”

Steven Keate


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