Sunday, January 6, 2013

2012 Goals in Review

It's time to review SP-EYE's goals for 2012.  Time to see how we fared.  What we very quickly learned is that this slate of board members (to be precise, 71.429% of them) gets it.  They understand the issues, and if they don't they request information or do their own research (and many times both).  They get it.  And that is what is changing the culture in this school district.

+ Forbid the Grid!
This one remains to be seen, but all signs point to this school board working to remove the grid.  Let's get real, people....what jobs do you know of that receive an automatic 3% increase just for being  year older (an another year with the district)?  PLUS they also would get any additional increase voted by the board.  We say: Two increases is too much.

"Dolts get paid the same as superior teachers, and PE teachers are paid the same as physics teachers," 
--- University of Idaho economics professor John T. Wenders

+ Raise the Floor; Lower the Ceiling.
This one remains in limbo until the "professional educators" come to agreement with the district/board.  But the school bard's message was clear in their offer:  we need to raise the salary floor to be competitive in recruiting the best and brightest young teachers.

+ Fix What Happened at the 2011 Annual Meeting.
Board president Tom Weber took this one to heart and made darn sure that no more shenanigans took place at the annual meeting.  The local SPARClers made  weak showing and effort to tax more, but it was soundly voted down.  And if they had won the vote, the board's message was abundantly clear:  the tax levy they had proposed was sufficient to operate and maintain schools.

+ Let Data Drive Elementary Space Decisions.
Funny how a little is all it takes to stop the speeding crazy train.  Board veep John Welke chaired a Task Force that dug deep into the issue of space.  It quickly became clear that the district plan to start working n elementary school #8 immediately was nothing but a case of premature  exhortation.

+ Improve Quality of District Information.
This is only area where the district still gets a failing grade.  The hockey fee fiasco was merely the latest example of a disease from which the district continues to suffer.  In addition, we have the continuing saga of the Ashley Field boondoggle, the latest episode of which now indicates that beyond what has been discussed previously, someone or someones wants to build a new frosh baseball field--to the tune of $350K-- because plans would involve raising the baseball portion of Ashley field.  Kinda like that oldie that talks about paving paradise to put up a parking lot.  For a little icing on the cake, we had the purchase of textbooks for 2013 using 2012 dollars without clarifying to the school bard that's what was being done.  And for good measure, let's toss in the district field facility use conflagration, and the mystery of the Sound of Sun Prairie.  Is it summer school...or an activity?  And does ANYONE (particularly DPI) exactly know how the SOSP money works?

+ Implement Health/Dental Equity for ALL staff.
It took quite some time, but we finally got there with the 2012-13 budget.   All staff NOW pay the same for health and dental.  The long running travesty still smarts, but the wounds will eventually heal.