See ‘Interested’s’ comment after the article “The Defeat of Reason…” and other like comments that he (almost certainly not a she) has left.
“Have you read any books on educational theory?”
‘Interested’ I’d like to answer your question and ask you a few in return. You ask why parents of school children did not support the Amendment. I’m sure parents did support the amendment- the question really is, why does it appear as if some parents voted “no” at the polls? Part of the answer to that question is that parents have limited information. The only newspaper in town is littered with inaccuracies. Both sides of an issue are never explored in any depth. Parents can’t get accurate Minutes to town meetings because they are not posted on web sites or easily obtainable. All the parents I know work for a living and can’t attend meetings that run to midnight. They hear (or hear about) uninformed ranting citizens at Town Meetings who have a questionable level of understanding of what Prop 46 actually says. This is about communication; this is not about parents sharing your opinions and questioning accountability.
You appear to be uninformed about public education in general, but specifically the Woodstock education system. You are not to be blamed for this. The lack of accurate communication is an issue. Your comments suggest to me that you are a business person- with perhaps a finance backround. In my experience, an average citizen with a business backround often assumes that education is a “business”. Likening an educational system to a factory and a child as a product, as you have done, is an inappropirate analogy. Lets stop that. There is no ‘product’ as a result of education and no monetary value in a child. There is no balance sheet at the end of the term that shows profit or loss or cost of goods sold. There is merely a human being who hopefully learned to think, reason, and communicate well enough to perpetuate a responsible society that can best govern its needs. If that was easy to evaluate, there wouldn’t be as many ways to measure how well or how poorly schools live up to their primary task. Quite simply, success is measured differently for each child and schools succeed in some way every day. Some children and some schools may be ‘average’ on one scale and extraordinary on another scale. Success, however measured costs money. Please stop trying to simplify the inherent uniqueness of education.
You believe the Board of Education is not accountable. I think the Board is highly accountable by design. As one entity, the Board puts its best effort forward to deliver a quality education for each child within the scope of its limitations and constraints. Prop 46 is a huge constraint. I think the Board could do a more effective job of spending money on education, dollar for dollar, if they did not have an arbitrary spending percentage dictated to them by a Board of Finance every year and for only that year, or an antiquated and artificial spending cap. To suggest that the Board is purposely trying to hurt students and parents with program cuts is blasphemy! There is very little left in the budget to cut. Because a school is not a factory, the Board can not just simply cut 50% of the “workers”, force them to take a pay cut, or do away with busses. There are mandates and regulations in place to insure we educate our children. The suggested cuts are the few items in the budget that are not regulated or mandated.
Now let me ask you a few questions: Do you have an advanced degree is school managagement or adminsitration? Have you ever earned a teachers certification and know what the requirements are to be a member of the profession? Do you know anything about CT State or federal law as it pertains to educational mandates that must be funded? Do you understand that CT law requires schools to be heated and lights to be turned on and thus, utility bills to be paid? Have you read any books on educational theory? Do you know what a curriculum coordinator does? Do you know what PBL is? Do you know the difference between an authentic assessment and a formidable assessment? If the answers are “no” to these questions, then you would better serve the community by trying to broaden your knowledge base before you make uneducated blanket statements about funding education in Woodstock. You might also take the position, along with many others, that you may never fully understand the entire educational system in our country, and in our town particularly. That is fine because no one can be an expert on everything. This is why we hire qualified, certified, and highly educated administrators full time to guide the educational system so it can be appropriately managed and accountable to its supporters.