I have sent a few questions to the Board and Stephanie Stuart (separate emails):
These got me to thinking that I need to expand on my Plan B a bit more. In two different directions.
Plan B – first fork
Unit 4 is in a bit of a pickle when it comes to capital improvements and taxes. Even if/when the $150 million referendum passes (for brevity, I will hereafter call it $150 million even if it is $148,xxx,xxx or over $150 million next year), we are told that the district still has a bucket list of nearly $100 million in deferred maintenance. If you think about it, the $150 million is itself a bucket list – it addresses the issue of no A/C, lack of athletic fields and lack of parking at Central. But there are many other issues reported at various board meetings. Unfortunately, it is hard to find this bucket list in a central location, and even if you did find a list, it would not be ordered by importance or criticality. And be warned, they are not all equal. Just a recent letter to the editor reminds us that Dr. Howard seems to get shafted time and time again. How important are all these individual issues? This is my next task, and forms the basis of my email to Stephanie. It seems that the public needs to be educated on what the district truly needs, and if the community truly wishes to show support for their public schools, they will vote in favor of addressing those needs. This is what a Capital Improvement Plan is.
Plan B – second fork
Secondly, all this talk about doing education in new and different ways…. The saying “nothing is new under the sun” is definitely true here – we may wrap newly synthesized words around concepts, but the core concepts have been tried again and again. The focus, I think, should not be on finding that one silver bullet method of “doing” education that will solve all our problems, but rather, we should excel at being adaptive and be able to address the current issues in the most optimal way. To do this, you have to be intimately familiar with 1) the challenges and 2) the tools. Technology is a tool. Educating children with discipline issues is a challenge. Addressing the dysfunctional issues of society is a challenge. In my opinion, this is what the Strategic Plan should address.