Actual numbers on D-11 schools
The Gazette’s Feb. 10 editorial included: “D-11 ranks shamefully 159th in performance among the state’s 183 districts. Mass educational performance does not change overnight, it takes years, and it is faster to destroy than to build. The school board controls the scholarship and, as such, can provide or withhold funds necessary for teacher compensation and retention, classroom supplies, and interventions (multi-level and special education). It is educational equity. These three factors are necessary to increase academic performance.
The editorial also points to “declining graduation rates and tanking proficiency scores” under Michael Thomas, then cheekily notes that these scores are “disproportionately low among minorities.” All the while, new D-11 board members champion ignoring the fairness shortcomings found by D-11, firing more than half of our student body.
Let’s lay out the real numbers under the guidance of Thomas.
D-11 graduation rates are trending up with 71% graduating on time for the D-11 Class of 2020 and, in traditional schools, 79% of the Class of 2020 graduated their graduation on time. This is a higher on-time graduation rate than D-11 charter schools at 47%. Eastlake’s on-time graduation rates are trending downward with only 5% of the Class of 2020 graduating on time. Community Readiness is at 20%. It seems that if we want to improve D-11 graduation rates, we should close charter schools, not community schools.
Also, over the past two years of pandemic stress, there were fears that scores would drop, but these scores are bouncing back thanks to the tireless work of us teachers, with the support of Thomas. We are J-11.
Extend charity, compassion
So Kathleen Perry opposes the selection of the Center for Strategic Ministry to manage the Westside Community Center (Your Viewpoint, February 15) because the center is a “religious organization”? Who would she suggest? It can be said that any organization has a particular worldview that is different from other groups, whether Christian, non-Christian, secular, agnostic, humanist or otherwise.
I am in no way affiliated or associated with Woodmen Valley Chapel, but I believe churches like this are representative of all faith-based institutions that seek to extend charity and compassion to others, not just their own flock. . If the Center for Strategic Ministry stays true to the teachings of its model of 2,000 years ago, and not to personal or political agendas or biases, the Westside community will be well served.
The seasonal time change is modest
We are again hearing about “massive difficulties” in our population as a result of switching from winter time to summer time or vice versa. Making a time change of one hour or more is very common in our country. Entire families mindlessly submit to a one-hour time change when flying to Disney Land in California or, perhaps even worse, to Disney World in Florida, a two-hour time change ! Even the occasional commute to Kansas or Texas requires a one-hour time change. Businessmen and tourists regularly travel back and forth through time in several American areas. Many do this several times a month. I did it for 35 years. Airline staff do this daily.
Of course, hardly anyone really experiences serious physical or psychological effects from such occasional weather changes.
The seasonal time change has advantages and disadvantages, but there appears to be little evidence of widespread psychological difficulties in the general population. Psychologists must cite really fragile people, but they can complain with “professional authority”. Really, the seasonal time change is modest. Our culture likes to complain about change, but let’s not talk too much about it. Just fly over a time zone or two to Disney and enjoy the warm weather!
Arthur B. Cyphers
Unhappy but not in denial
Stephen Moore, you are correct. (Why are most liberals miserable?) I, a liberal, am miserable. I am unhappy because Republican-led anti-vaxxing, anti-masking, and anti-mandating have unnecessarily prolonged the pandemic. I resent the failure of the Build Back Better Act, which would provide financial and medical assistance to the less fortunate, unlike Republican tax cuts aimed at securing a bigger slice of the pie for the privileged few. I resent it when “Christians” who attend church and quote the Bible act very un-Christian, think Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, to name a few. I’m upset because our Supreme Court is acting like God wrote the Constitution. I resent when flag-waving “patriots” storm our nation’s Capitol and try to destroy our democracy and Republicans turn a blind eye.
You claim that I live my life in fear. I am not afraid of those who are not like me. I am not advocating for the banning of books by and about LGBTQ+ people and people of color. I do not fear the teaching of the true history of our nation. What I fear is the possibility that the future of our planet and of our democracy will be in the hands of a party that shows a serious lack of critical thinking, as evidenced by the fact that the great majority of Republicans believe the big lie, despite all the evidence to the contrary and despite a four-year litany of more than 3,500 lies and inaccuracies propagated by the author of the lie. I may be unhappy, but at least I’m not in denial.