Sunday, September 09, 2007

KC Meadows is painfully stupid

A colleague of mine brought an article to my attention from the Ukiah Daily Journal. It was from the Editor in Chief, and local education hate-monger, KC Meadows. On Thursday she wrote a welcome message to the new Superintendent of the district, Lois Nash. The letter was full of sarcastic, backhanded remarks that were meant to give off a completely negative image of the school system in Ukiah.
Before I tear this garbage to shreds, let me remind you that this is the same Meadows that came into my classroom and tried to trash the school while Rep. Mike Thompson was speaking to my students. This is the same Meadows that didn't want the school up to code for Title IX or the Americans With Disabilities Act because she felt it was too big to upgrade. Finally, this is the same Meadows that was advocating for a community marijuana garden in a plot of land across the street from the high school.
So KC made some rather rude remarks pointed at the district. Here are some of the ignorant brats shots, and the truth........

"We have test scores that......are far from something to crow about. We have several schools in the federal equivalent of detention for their lack of progress."

-The truth is, the high school made some of it's largest gains in the history of the school. Not only did the school meet its score goal, it jumped almost 45 points above it. All subgroups made target gains. We met all the goals of the AYP, but failed to pass the NCLB requirement because of the same reason many schools are failing. According to Federal Law, teachers must follow the conditions of the IEP, even if they require accommodations for the tests. We also have some of the highest populations of special education students in the state. If teachers make accommodations for students (like reading the test to the student), the test is invalidated. Guess what, we got a group of tests invalidated and didn't meet the 22 benchmarks for passage. It is the NCLB paradox. Follow federal mandate......or follow the other federal mandate. There is no way around it.

"We have a school district that is hostile to local charters."

-Please. You should see some of the proposals for the local charter schools they want to open in this town. Most have no long term projections, haven't a clue about the state standards, and have absolutely no plan for fiscal responsibility. Meadows, like the rest of the "charters are the answer" crowd, would rather have anyone with a pulse run a school instead of people that have a clue.

"We have gangs and drugs circulating on our middle and high school campuses"

-Is it me, or is it just plain funny that a staunch advocate for the protection of marijuana rights is complaining about drugs in our schools? Drugs circulating on our campuses???? How about the entire town. It's pretty difficult for the school, one of the last islands were drugs are actually illegal, to fight the entire community when the newspaper promotes it, the government won't prosecute it, and people readily accept it. As for the gangs, in the last three years the violence on campus has taken a huge drop off as the administration and teachers continue to work towards nailing the gang problem. But again, until the community actually decides to rise up and solve the problems of Laws and Observatory Avenues, gangs won't go away.

She then went on to rave about the community supporting the school, and then implied that the schools don't appreciate it. This is the crux of the issue that involves everything that needs to be fixed in Ukiah, California. Teachers are thankful for the community leaders and business people that take the time to work with kids. Hell, if I had a nickel for every time I saw Marty Lombardi of Mendocino Savings Bank helping kids, I'd be on a beach in Maui. Not to mention the support from local groups and business that help arts, music, sports and just plain support the goings on of the school. But here is the truth: the town is not an environment for learning, and it doesn't wish to become one. Take the front pages of the local paper. Often they are stories that are either about the legalization of drugs (whether it be the "mean police" or effort of government to rein it in) or problems with the school district. The town is losing population because the culture is not conducive to industry. People complain that businesses (other than Big Box retail) are not coming to the town, and in the same breath curse the police for raiding their pot garden that attracted thieves and enhanced the meth problem of the town. If the paper really had balls, they would work with the community in making a plan for the town that would promote smart growth in hopes of attracting good companies and making the atmosphere conducive to learning. This would include a campaign for "smart expansion" (don't simply grow, do it right), working with schools to help the local atmosphere of the town, working towards eliminating the drug culture of the community, and connecting with local economic councils to attract business to the area that will bring the community to a more prosperous level.

Of course, this is all a pipe dream. As long as the village idiot, KC Meadows, runs the paper, we will continue to see all the issues of the school that are actually problems with the town. More articles will come out that promote drug use, and slash and burn the school. One wonders what kind torture that Meadows went through at Ukiah High School that seems to bring out this resentment towards the hard working citizens and students that make the school function. Regardless of that answer, Meadows' crap will continue to show the community where her soul really lies; away from education, and at the bottom of the pool of bong water that she promotes.
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