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Fair and Balanced Discussion from Southern Oregon
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
KDRV profiles and Commentary
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Candidate Forum #1
We had a candidate forum Last night at the Medford City Council Chambers. There are two more coming up - Sep 30 at the Ashland Council Chambers and Oct 5 again in Medford. All are being aired on RVTV.
Coverage for my particular race was the final grafs...
Doty, who is a teacher at Crossroads school, said he is running because decisions made in Salem affect his ability to educate. "For me as a teacher, it is very personal to close a school for 10 days," he said.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Oregon gets the Silver... in Absenteeism
Well, despite some really GOOD things in the State Dept of Education report card (like #2 in SAT scores among states with more than 50% of seniors taking the test...), Oregon comes in #2 in another area that isn't so good... students not coming to school. According to a a statewide survey conducted by the Chalkboard Project, Oregon trails only Kentucky in absentee rates, with a state wide avg of 88% attendance (based on enrollment numbers).
"Despite these startling numbers, absenteeism hasn't really broken to the surface in any of Oregon's recent school improvement efforts, said Sue Hildick, Chalkboard Project's president. "After nearly a year of exhaustive research, our studies show that even the strongest education program will struggle to improve achievement if students do not show up for class. There is a direct link between attendance and achievement. The key is getting parents engaged."
As an educator and former marginal student, let me toss MY thoughts into this one...
ONE: It isn't the academic offerings that get kids wanting to be in school. It's the other stuff - friends, music, sports, clubs, etc... except for the friends, we CUT all of that to various degrees.
TWO: Schools can only tackle attendance proactively if they are staffed with enough people to make the tracking and contact work happen. Oh, we CUT those people, too...
THREE: Schools are NOT responsible for the behavior of children, at least not as much as PARENTS... Oh wait, we have given them an economy that forces dual-income households for survival, leaving youth unsupervised, unregulated, and unconsequenced in many homes... apparently about 12% of homes...
It's time for a change.
THIS is why we need change...
So in today's MMT (attention drawn to it thanks to Keith Hinty at the Jefferson Exchange), we find a very distressing fact: Nearly half of the students attending schools in Medford meet the poverty standard to qualify for free or reduced lunches.
The number is on the rise, said Julie York, Medford schools’ special services supervisor. York oversees federal programs designed to help low-income students.This is a series of reinforcing events, folks... as school funding drops and employers can't recruit solid employees in Oregon (cuz who want's to work in a town where their kids don't have good schools?), the economy sags... which means the sole tax we depend on to fund education continues to drop... which means school funding continues to suffer... and round and round it goes.
It's been a decade and a half since the GOP took control of the Oregon Legislature. It's time for a change.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Kerry Sign theft, but more importantly...
In today's Trib, we see the petty little crap that can happen in a campaign... I am annoyed when I see opposing lawn signs, but taking them is simply lousy.
Now the other thing in the article that caught my eye is this:
Bryan Platt, chairman of the Jackson County Republican Central Committee, said he had heard of only one report of Bush/Cheney signs taken recently.
Now Platt is correct that coordinated deployment of signage has a great impacting effect, but is it me (it may be...), or is Sept. 11 a cynically interesting choice? (yeah, I know it's the first Saturday after Labor day, but...)