[Vision2020] School District Math

Saundra Lund sslund at roadrunner.com
Wed May 30 10:28:33 PDT 2007

Hi Sue & Other Visionaries:

Well, I hesitate to toss my opinions into the mix.  First, Donovan & I might
both keel over from the shock of publicly almost agreeing with each other

Second, and perhaps most importantly, I'm not particularly well-informed
about some of these things, and I don't have the answers.

OTOH, by tossing my opinions out there, I might get an education through the
feedback  :-)

I'm not happy with Dr. Weitz's & his GMA buddies' lawsuit.  I think it was a
destructive & divisive thing for them to do, and I would like to think that
there was some better way for Dr. Weitz to accomplish his purpose, whatever
it was.  However, I'm not privy to what other, if any, attempts he may or
may not have made prior to filing suit.

That said, I am *incredibly* disappointed with the school district.  There
is no excuse, IMHO, for having such an incredibly anemic pro-tech (or
whatever the current word is for what used to be vo-tech) ed program  :-(((
It's absolutely unconscionable, IMHO.

I've told these two anecdotes before, but for those who weren't here back
then . . . 

First, when my daughter was at MJHS, we were told that if we wanted her to
formally learn keyboarding (the modern equivalent to the typing I learned
back in the Dark Ages), she *had* to take it at the junior high because it
wasn't offered at the high school.  To me, that is one of the biggest loads
of you-know-what -- I don't care what the excuse is, telling kids they have
to take keyboarding before tenth grade or not at all is a huge disservice to
our students in this day & age.

Second, I was one of those disgusting highly motivated, high achieving
students who participated in lots of extracurricular activities back in the
Dark Ages and who couldn't wait to get through high school and move onto
college.  I went to summer school (another important thing this district is
lacking, IMHO) every summer so I could take more electives and graduate
early.  Which I did.

HOWEVER,  the vo-tech training I took is what enabled me to progress through
higher education -- the skill I learned put me above minimum wage and opened
lots of opportunities for me to be able to work while going to college.
Because my father didn't support my planned course of education, he withheld
my college funds.  Since I'd not applied for financial aid or scholarships
because I thought it better to leave those for young adults who wouldn't be
able to go to school without them, I wouldn't have been able to *afford* to
go to college were it not for the skills I got from vo-tech.

I think it's a HUGE mistake to think that the pro-tech education this
district is sorely lacking would only be of benefit to non-college bound
students.  Regardless of the actual stats of district college-bound students
vs non-college-bound students, it's inexcusable, IMHO, that our district
doesn't offer a real pro-tech program to *all* it's high school students.  I
don't know how we got to this point, but it's wrong, Wrong, WRONG.

So, while I strongly disagree with Dr. Weitz's course of action, I also
strongly support his efforts to get this district into the 21st century with
pro-tech education for *all* our high school students . . . and I strongly
disagree with the district's refusal to make progress in this area.

Oh, and as an aside to Donovan, while I'm not qualified to discuss the
nutritional status of our school breakfasts & lunches, I will say I'm not
happy with them.  Try being the parent of a vegetarian student, and no, my
daughter isn't the only vegetarian at the high school!  In our family, we
(well, maybe not my husband) used to really Friday nights as Pizza nights,
but since that's reportedly just about the *only* vegetarian choice at
lunch, the bloom is *definitely* off that rose for my daughter after eating
it day in & day out for just about two years now.

Saundra Lund
Moscow, ID

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do
- Edmund Burke

***** Original material contained herein is Copyright 2007 through life plus
70 years, Saundra Lund.  Do not copy, forward, excerpt, or reproduce outside
the Vision 2020 forum without the express written permission of the

-----Original Message-----
From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com [mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com]
On Behalf Of Sue Hovey
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 9:19 AM
To: vision2020 at moscow.com; Donovan Arnold
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] School District Math

    Donovan makes a comparison one hears only too often today regarding the
levy and its purpose.  That's the pull between vocational and other
education.  His figure of 80% non college bound and 20% college bound is
skewed for a number of reasons, but it isn't my purpose to mess with it.  I
would simply ask:
    What part of an academic education should those not college bound
forego?  A good grounding in math?  So many vocational-technical careers are
based in mathematic principals.  Being a good writer--one who uses literary
conventions (spelling, punctuation, grammar) correctly, in order to
communicate effectively in an increasingly interactive world?  An
introduction to good literature and the mental stimulation it provides?  A
sound knowledge of basic scientific principles, and the theories on which
they are based?  A knowledge of the history, not only of our country, but
the history and cultural underpinnings of current nations and the
governments which preceeded them?  Foreign language?  Art?  Music?  Are not
all these offerings equally important and vital to the proper education of
all our students, regardless of the career paths they choose, sometimes
after heading down one path only to find they really want to be somewhere
    It concerns me when people begin to make significant distinctions among
students and their intellectual needs, based on educational plans that could
tie them to lifetime career paths they may later find did not prepare them
for the life they really want to lead.  The best education for students is
one that gives them ample preparation to sieze the opportunities which
appeal to them in their 20s and 30s and not be limited by the choices they
made, or even worse, those that were made for them, when they were 15 or 16.

Sue Hovey       

	----- Original Message ----- 
	From: Donovan Arnold <mailto:donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com>  
	To: Glenn Schwaller <mailto:vpschwaller at gmail.com>  ;
vision2020 at moscow.com 
	Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 9:36 PM
	Subject: Re: [Vision2020] School District Math

	Dr. Weitz is not only correct about the lawsuit because it is
stealing from the public, but he is also correct in bring attention to the
notion that the School District doesn't want to spend money and resources on
the 80% of students that will not be college graduates and will be working a
vocational job. Is it fair to spend 80% of the pie on 20% of the kids? I
think not. MSD is practicing discrimination. 
	PS. The poor nutritional value of school lunches are another example
of poor decisions being made by the public school system to prepare children
for a quality life. 

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