Wednesday, April 27, 2005

It's turning into one of "those kind of weeks".

As I stated before, three students died earlier in the week from a car accident. The shock was yesterday, the grief was more evident today as students wandered in from mourning to continue living. Lots of long faces were evident and students clutched articles of clothing, little pillows, and each other. Funerals are supposed to be today and later this week. But some sort of closure will take awhile. Prom is this weekend, that might help.
Then there was a small fire in a garbage can outside of our building. It put out a lot of smoke, but no damage. Still, everyone is a little on edge and that didn't help.
Then there was the problem with the clocks. The bell rang 4 minutes early in every class today, according to the school clocks. This threw off a decent rhythm we had today.
My Intro classes viewed the Newshour piece on Latino dropouts. I had the question on the board before class started and immediately many of the Latinos question the validity of topic and called it a racist question. This is an ongoing problem at our school, that everything brought up about Latinos must have a racist slant to it. However, after we viewed the video and discussed the problem, many Latinos were more than happy to write down input. White students also chimed in with different thoughts. Some felt that Latinos are stereotyped, while others feel that Latinos have even more opportunity than many white students (using Mecha and Mayo as examples). It was a productive day.
Finally, here is the letter from the editor of the Ukiah Daily Journal. Today I'll publish the letter from the Journal. Tomorrow, I'll publish my response. The editor is a one K.C. Meadows.
The Ukiah Unified School District is floating the idea of extending the current 11 cent per parcel tax for school improvements to 2034 or even asking voters to raise it to 12 cents. The idea is aimed at raising upwards of $50 million for improvements to Ukiah High School, especially its sports facilities. Roofing and handicapped access are also part of the expensive overhaul the high school apparently needs. Over the years, observing the overcrowded Ukiah High School, it has become apparent to us that what the campus needs more than anything is downsizing. If the district wants to spend $50 million- and even today that's a lot of money- we suggest that the first thing to do is to study the needs of the community and what is best for the education of our high school age students. Rebuilding a school that is already too large and unwieldy, where it is difficult to keep tract of students, where students feel threatened in bathrooms and other areas outside of the classroom, seems pure folly to us. The school district ought to be considering downsizing Ukiah High School and building another small high school elsewhere in the Valley. By all means build a premiere sports facility somewhere that all UUSD high school kids can use- including charter school students- but before we spend a huge new pot of money, let's step back and look at the future and what we as a community want for our kids.

The school is in declining enrollment, there are at least two charter and one Christian high schools in the area, the student population is less now than 5 years ago, and this idiot wants to spend MORE money to build a new school. I found out over the last 2 days that Ms. Meadows is a classic school agenda journalist. In fact, on Sunday she printed a column attacking district Science textbooks as being inaccurate. Apparently she found this Textbook Trust book watchdog that points out every typo and vague statement, and makes it a point to prove schools wrong.

Nice to know we have another local fishwrap ally.
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