[Vision2020] School District Math

Donovan Arnold donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com
Wed May 30 19:24:16 PDT 2007

  I don't think that students should forgo any portion of the academic curriculum that they can accomplish. I also don't think that non-voc-tech bound students should forgo getting training in a vocational skill because they INTEND to go and complete college. 
  Vocational jobs give students skills beyond that of just the occupation. It teaches them how to be goal oriented, how to work, and how to make a living and make money so they can afford to go to college. 
  I have a problem with an education system that condemns those to failure that don't understand one particular subject in academics. If a student can make a living with a vocational skill, why fail them if they cannot read at the 10 th grade level? It is as silly as failing a straight A student because he cannot weld or cook. 
  There is heavy discrimination against those that have skills that require non-academic training to develop those skills to their fullest potential. 
  People at the age of 14 or even 18 certainly don't always know what they want to do for the remaining 60-90 years of their life. However, we have an obligation to those children to provide two things; the general knowledge of how to live, develop, and learn on their own, and second, a skill to earn a livable wage in the society we are placing them in. 
  I don't believe that most people are strictly academic or vocational. I don't see it as students A and students B. I see it at as all people are A and B students. Some will have a harder time with A stuff and others with the B stuff. But it is the job of the school district to ensure students are employable and can survive out in the world the day after graduation not just by being able to read To Kill a Mocking Bird in Latin, but with a real applicable skill to bring home a paycheck and be a productive member of society. 
  I say again, the school district discriminates against the majority of the students by not providing vocational training. 
  PS. Some of you have suggested that you disagree with the method in which Dr. Wietz is using to motivate the MSD to induct vocational skills into their education programs, I would like to hear your other methods that you think he should try. What suggestions do you have that get them to change the curriculum?
  Sue Hovey <suehovey at moscow.com> wrote:
  But I don't disagree with you. Those classes should be offered for 
everyone. My disagreement is with those who would stratify the high school 
population into the college bound and the non college bound and lock step 
them through any program. I apologize if I didn't make myself clear. And 
as for keyboarding skills, it seems to me they need to be taught in 
elementary school. It used to be argued that elementary student motor 
skills weren't developed enough for keyboarding, but I think from looking at 
the fine motor skills of young people, that's probably a crock...

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Saundra Lund" 
To: "'Sue Hovey'" ; ; "'Donovan 
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 10:28 AM
Subject: RE: [Vision2020] School District Math

> 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
> nothing.
> - 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
> author.*****
> -----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
> else?
> 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 
> To: Glenn Schwaller ;
> 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.
> Best,
> Donovan
> 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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> 1:01 PM

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