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Monday, May 2, 2016

Tension flares at meeting

Friday, February 12, 2010

Even with construction well underway at all elementary buildings within the Clay Community School Corporation, board member Forrest Buell still believes the process should be called to a halt.

Almost two years after a unanimous vote, of which Buell was not part of, he continues to question the project and remonstrance process surrounding it.

Citing what he believes to be serious allegations addressed at Supt. Dan Schroeder, Buell accused him of using personal funds to pay for the yellow petitions and having a personal agenda.

"In October 2008 in a meeting of school board members (Schroeder) distributed a list of his accomplishments," Buell said. "One of the items was a statement that he had paid from his personal banking account towards closing the cost of the yellow petitions. He stated there was no other sources for these funds and it was urgent to salvage the yellow petition signatures."

Schroeder denied any such action and cited a letter from the Clerk of Clay Circuit Superior Court.

"Dr. Buell mentioned at the last meeting that I paid for the yellow petitions out of my own personal banking account and what I got out of it," Schroeder said. "I have a letter from the courthouse saying no employee had anything to do with the petitions, there was no charge to the school corporation or any other individuals with the school corporation."

Schroeder read the letter dated Jan. 22, "in 2008 when the school petition remonstrance process took place there was no charge to the school corporation or any individuals within the corporation. Clay County Election office, which is part of the Clay County Clerks Office, conducted the petition remonstrance process at no charge to either group."

"When you said I paid for yellow petitions you did not tell the truth," Schroeder said. "You have charged me with a lot of issues that are untrue."

He went on to comment that he did not contribute a single dime to the yellow petitions and signs, that his contributions were at five meetings, which took place at a church and it was to pay for copying, paper and markers for those meeting.

"I did not pay for any of the yellow petitions or the yellow signs," he said.

As the discussion continued the frustration of both individuals was noticeable.

In response to Buell's comments about the board not being aware of the meetings, Supt. Schroeder was very adamant.

"Board members were aware those meetings were being held and some were there. It was before you were on the board," Schroeder said. "I think you have a problem sometimes remembering what has been said. I think you have a problem sometimes of distorting what has been said."

"There are times where you don't tell the truth," Buell replied.

"I think I tell the truth and I don't try to distort it sir," Schroeder responded.

The next meeting of the Clay Community School Board of Trustees will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 11, in the Media Center at North Clay Middle School.

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Let it go, Doc, before it causes you to have a stroke. The point is moot at this point - done is done.

I had to leave this meeting before this "row" started, I couldn't gear to watch.

Dr. Schroeder stated in his "accomplishments" was that he "solicited funds to run the petition-remonstrance process and donated personal funds." That is, in fact, a misstatement on his part as the letter from the courthouse proves.

I will always have questions as to the legality of some of the actions that were taken by some of the employees, Dr. Schroeder included,and other proponents of the petition to proceed with the construction plan, but in the absence of a judicial opinion on the matter there can be no resolution. As the district Attorney did not proceed to bring the case before a court, there is no good reason to rehash it at any time or place. It is in the past and we need to move forward.

For crying out loud, let it go......LOL

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 8:46 PM

Missed a additional quote from Dr. Schroder's "achievement" that must be noted before someone says I left something out.

To wit, "Achievement of a successful petition/remonstrance process leading to a positive outcome of the process to continue the building process. Involvement including personally formulating plans to run a successful petition/remonstrance campaign, spending personal funds to do so, and supervising the entire process. Also presided over six planning meetings with various community committees to plan for a successful campaign. This action took most of my summer."

If Dr. Schroeder was a resident or taxpayer within the corporation, as is Tom Reberger or Frank Misner, among many other school corporation employees who signed the petition and actively sought signatures for it, one could say that he was acting as a taxpayer or voter. However, the fact is that his residence is listed in the employee booklet as being in Putnam County and he did not sign an affidavit to carry a petition sub-part to collect signatures. That leaves the unanswered legal question as to what capacity he was taking action in as IC 6-1.1 stated,at that time, that a school corporation could not use or allow an employee to promote a position on either a petition or remonstrance and several superintendents in other corporations were writing letters to newspapers chafing as they could not take the very actions that Dr. Schroeder was doing here at the time he was taking these actions.........lol.

But, as I said, done is done. Let's move on.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 9:29 PM

I think Buell has jumped the shark. Seriously. Wow.

-- Posted by karenmeister on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 1:12 AM

Now maybe more will realize why I haven't been at school board meetings recently. Burn out factor is high for both members and patrons. After 10 plus years, I realized that while in general the teachers are there to educate, but the central administration's focus really seems to have a different agenda entirely. THE ONLY reason we have this huge building project as board and administration knew that the time was coming where a project this pricey would have to go to the voter to decide. THAT was their deadline. THAT was why they kept saying it was their last chance to do something of this magnitude. It has nothing to do with what we can afford or need. It has and will continue to take away academic opportunities for students in favor of buildings and the extra staff outside the classroom it takes to run and maintain them.

If people think that buildings will attract investment to Clay County, they are wrong. Vigo county has seen the need to CLOSE a building or two in the past year due to a lowered birth/student rate so they can better manage the funds they bring in while we increase our maintenance and staffing costs while our numbers also decrease or are stagnant.

I hope all those who signed that petition for this project remember that each time they pay their taxes and see their children and grandchildren fall behind other corporations. The sad thing is that so many have not looked into other corporations OR states to see how it could be if we sucked it up, moved some school boundary lines and made better choices.

Now all we can do as parents and community members is help as many students as we can to navigate their school years and not just follow along like cattle thinking if they stay the average course they will get an average American education. To excel outside this county or even inside it now, one has to stretch for that uppermost challenge in order to have a chance at achieving the average American education. What we should be looking at is how many of our students go on to Purdue,MIT, or IU and then to lucrative careers. Not how many we can churn out. I will bet that our numbers there are dismal when you compare how few are really prepared for the world.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 9:29 AM

Wow Jenny! Do you really not see that smaller is better. Do you really think the experiment in consolidation we call North Clay Middle School has worked? Do you really believe that making an elementary school as big as North Clay or even close to that size would help the kids who you would force to attend it?

-- Posted by seventyx7 on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 11:10 AM

I love it when people debate using "facts" that have already proven wrong in practice.

You might want to check out the facts and figures in school corporations around the state before saying that "smaller is better" in elementary schools.

You may well want to compare our numbers to Owen and Greene County, both of which match our demographics but run elementary schools that are double the size of most of ours while matching us in test scores and other education performance indicators. About half of the new elementary schools built in the last five or six years are double the size of ours with the ones that are smaller being built in smaller communities.

As a matter of fact, any elementary school that is under 800 students, according to the same document used to "sell" the elementary school project by the architect, is considered a "small" school when compared nationally. Of course, you would have to read the 2008 School Construction Report they used in its entirety as I did to find out that and other facts that they did not bring up as it would show that what was planned was not worth doing.

Smaller is more costly, but elementary education is classroom-based with one or two teachers heavily involved with each class. Our middle school is team-based with a core team of teachers working with a team of students. Northview and Clay City High School, not the Jr. High that I know of, are school based and the only provable building that is too large is Northview. That is because you have to move very quickly to get from class to class on time and there are too many students for the teachers and staff to get to know most of the students they work with. The students in that building have been reduced to mere numbers by their sheer number, despite the best efforts of the faculty.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 12:42 PM

Karen - I've known Forrest for decades. He was my family doctor when I was in high school...lol. He is a friend, but when he is aggravated, he is like a pit bull who has locked his jaws. He's not going to let go. He doesn't know how, whether he is locked onto a T-bone steak or a live tiger.

I don't know if he'll ever realize that even if something comes from his efforts and arguments, there is no going back. I fought tooth and nail to change the project before contracts were cut and construction began but it is time now to work with what we have instead of wishing for something better. As I've said done is done. We cannot move forward while fighting battles that have already been decided.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 12:53 PM

The Jr. High is also school based. They move around with the high school students.

-- Posted by cc225 on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 2:30 PM

Leo L. Southworth, since you end your posts with "lol", are we to take them as humorous?

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 2:32 PM

Does this apparently mean attending the meetings is a waste of time since the facts are turned into a spin that comes out in favor of one person regardless of the truth of the matter, what a suprise, sounds like every other city department in Brazil, spend time at a meeting, and you get an iced over, sugar coated presentation of events that has been spun till no one really knows truth from lies. Please everyone we need leadership in Brazil, not what we have now. VOTE THEM OUT

-- Posted by Ombudsman on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 3:11 PM

Lee Thrall - Ending a sentence with "lol" meaning "laughing out loud" as if in the script of a play would mean, to me, that the sentence is intended to be taken humorously or that the writer found it humorous. Most of what I put into a post concerning money, education and the law is too serious, therefore, I try to interject a bit of wit otherwise it would be very dry reading.

Ombudsman - one problem I have seen at the School Board meetings is a lack of debate, a distinct lack of discussion of options, issues, and possible effects of adopting recommendations that come up for a vote that determines the future of education. The January 2010 was the first meeting where I actually saw board members debate with administrators and each other as to the best way to proceed on an issue. It was inspiring and makes me hopeful if it keeps up. While I haven't attended every meeting since August of 2008, this is the first time I felt that board members actually took representing the people of the corporation to heart and did something other than rubberstamp the recommendation of the administration unless there was a crowd of people was there and obviously not in favor of the recommendation.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 4:02 PM

Two words........

school vouchers.

'nuff said.

-- Posted by GOPsweep2010 on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 4:58 PM

GOPsweep - How would having more choice in our area help? You can already cross corporation lines without tuition costs but you must provide your own transportation. That doesn't work well for most people.

Even with vouchers and several schools that could compete, vouchers would provide incentive to improve poor schools but, as the students have moved to the better schools and took the money with them, no funding! The taxpayer gets to pay twice, once to pay the voucher and once to revamp the education process in the poor school.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 7:02 PM


Smaller classes yes. Fewer students per teacher yes. Especially in lower grades where accomplishing reading skills is necessary in order to learn other subjects. The size of the building and number of class rooms in it is not the issue. Using financial assets towards the hiring of more teachers and less for building admin. and maintenance so those classes can be smaller. Leo is correct however. Water under the bridge. Now we just need to use what we have left to the best advantage of each student.

If North Clay was totally on the team system it would work much better but they adapted an amended team approach that still has the student going to ancillary courses outside the team where there is little or no continuity, joint planning, or consistency of student work load. When my kids went through there it was feast or famine. No homework for three days and then homework in about all the subjects. Impossible to plan or predict. No lesson plan for student to follow or to be able to look several days ahead so he could predict work load and divide it out. My kids come through it fine and a couple even took high school courses in 8th grade by walking to Northview and back. Just very difficult and stressful at times when all the teachers piled on the homework at once. The first child in each family gets the worst of it as parents not aware of the system. The team approach there still needs some tweaking IMHO...or some improved coaching.

If parents have their eyes open when their child starts at North Clay knowing that it has faults [like all schools]and what the faults are, their kids will do fine. They just have to realize that if their student has homework they should do it

THAT night even if it isn't due as they will never know when all the other teachers are going to pile it on at once. Especially those outside main core courses as they are not aware of what the "team" has assigned.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 8:14 PM

Dr.Buell is an obstructionist. He has been one since before Northview was built. He caused the school corporation to lose money and land that was purchased for the new school. It was only after he was no longer on the board that land was purchased and Northview was built. He has no children in the system...he just wants to be contrary. Give it up...move to Florida.

-- Posted by virginiagrace on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 10:53 PM

Wow, virginiagrace, I didn't realize that Forrest Buell was so powerful that he could single-handedly stop the school corporation, even on his best day. I suppose you must think pretty much the same of me as I tried to change the elementary school project into something that I feel would have benefited the students even more than what is being done. I didn't do it alone, Forrest and over 100 other people helped by signing a line on a petition.

Was Northview a good idea? Why does it have more problems than Clay City, if so? Nuff said.

No, Forrest is a bit old to have children in the system. His children's children and even their children, maybe, are in the system. Beyond that, he has other relatives who have children in the system, but he is not serving on the board for his relatives. He is serving for his community.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 11:43 PM

Dr. Buell did stop the building of a single county high school. Thank you Dr. Buell!

This is the way I see it, the school board can not win, the superintendent can not win, the teachers can not win, the children will not win and the tax payers will not win.

Why? the whole system is rigged. The schools will soon be privatized. Children will pay to go to school, pay to ride the bus, pay to play sports, pay more to eat lunch, pay to be in Extra Curricular Clubs, it is coming, mark these words!

I do not want my child in a class of 20+ to 30+ children. Mitch Danials told the schools to cut back $300,000,000.00 in Indiana. Look at wage freezes and benefit ruductions for the teachers. Your man Mitch said our teachers make more than the average worker in our state. Well Mitch I dont want our children to be tought by the average worker in Indiana. I want more.

What is the answer? It has not been found Yet. All Democrats and Republicans, at the state level and higher, are bought and paid for. We need something new. Property tax is a crime. Income tax hurts, tax abatements are criminal but they attract businesses and jobs. What happens to the Lottery money? We need a new deal. The system is rigged.

-- Posted by Kirk Smith on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 2:50 AM


First mistake.One has interest in education NOT only because of their own children but it reflects the wealth of the community. A good school entices people with children to move there and to open businesses there. The more people who value education, they more people to buy products and services. The more companies, the more people they bring into area. Property prices are maintained partially because of better quality schools. Partially because of other amenities in community like roads, water, fire protection etc. Think about it. Yes property taxes may be higher in Vigo/Owen/Putnam but some are willing to pay them in order to get the better schools etc. THAT is why ALL should support public schools. Good ones help businesses and property values for ALL. Any investment starts with INVESTING into it. Both with time and money. The ability for your neighbor's child to get good education will help you. It's time we realized that fact.

Have a good day.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 9:56 AM

'How would having more choice in our area help?'

Introducing competition in the marketplace will improve the quality. Lack of competition breeds complacency.

'You can already cross corporation lines without tuition costs but you must provide your own transportation.'

Correction. You "MAY" cross corporation lines. That doesn't mean that you "CAN". I've tried entering my two sons to Jackson Township, but the demand was high and classrooms small. That ended my so called "choices". Again, introducing choices in the market places will employ more teachers, provide more options for parents, and provide better education for students.

It's a win-win.

'The taxpayer gets to pay twice, once to pay the voucher and once to revamp the education process in the poor school.'

Wrong. In a free and fair marketplace, those who do not offer quality service that meets demand, close. That is as it should be.

-- Posted by GOPsweep2010 on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 11:31 AM

Kirk Smith, I love the truth you told, it says it all.

-- Posted by Ombudsman on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 12:07 PM

Leo L. Southworth, please spell my name correctly. And I am quite aware of what lol or LOL (the caps indicate shouting) mean, Leo L. Southworth.

Have a nice Valentines Day, Leo L. Southworth. I hope you treated Mrs. Leo L. Southworth to a nice dinner today. Just asking, but does she have to address you as Leo L. Southworth? lol

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 1:08 PM

BTW, QUOTE by Leo B. Southworth: "I try to interject a bit of wit otherwise it would be very dry reading."

Oh, an lol is supposed to be funny? Here's a clue, it's not Leo B. Southworth.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 1:12 PM

I think that it is important for everyone to have their own opinions. However, it is unnecessary to bicker back and forth. The point is to create a decent school system for the county. People can get their opinions across without insulting each other, and it strays away from the topic of this story.

-- Posted by cc225 on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 2:51 PM

I have had 2 kids go through Northview and I can honestly

say it was a great learning experience for both of them.

As I have sat here reading all of these postings, I have

asked myself, how did my kids make it through? There

are 2 primary posters when it comes to education. They

are so focused on pointing fingers for what is wrong,

that we forget the 1000's of students that have graduated have been

highly successful. My kids did not do early bird and

are very successful today. Education is highly critical,

and I feel that is everyones concern. Working together

instead of against each other is the key.

We all can basically understand that Dr. Buell

wants to see a separate corporation for CCHS and

NHS. We cannot compare one high school to another.

NHS has more students, different demographics,

and numerous other factors. The board, school

adminstrators, and teachers do a great job with

an impossible at times assignment. My kids talked

about how terrible some of their classmates acted

And treated everyone that they did not like.

So instead of bashing the system and it's

various components, how about saying thank you

for helping our kids. I would tell anyone looking

for a great school for their child to look no

further than NHS. Congrats to Mr. Rayle and his

Staff on doing great things to help our kids.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 5:06 PM


-- Posted by GO HOOSIERS on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 7:46 PM


-- Posted by GO HOOSIERS on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 7:47 PM

Sweep 2010 -- When I said "cross corporation lines) I was meaning to another school corporation. But, you are right, you cannot put more students in a school that is full. As Jackson Township School is not accepting students, should it be expanded to accommodate all that wish to attend? I have a great-niece that attends Jackson. She lives north of Brazil. How much should Jackson be expanded? You must remember that Jackson was used as the "base" for the renovation of the other elementary schools in the corporation. We have seven elementary schools in the corporation, how many do we need?

"In a free and fair marketplace, those who do not offer quality service that meets demand, close." Really? Public schools are not and never will be a fair and free marketplace, they are a requirement written into Indiana and Federal law. Even competition from the private sector will not eliminate them.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 8:02 PM

Lee Thall -- Sorry for the misspelling of your name, it was not intentional. We had a very nice Valentine's Day, a trip to the hospital. But you must take what comes in life if you have no way to change it.

My wife has many things that she calls me, dependant on her mood at the moment.

Humor, as with beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. While you may not see the humor, someone else may.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 8:10 PM

'But, you are right, you cannot put more students in a school that is full. As Jackson Township School is not accepting students, should it be expanded to accommodate all that wish to attend?'

Government expansion isn't the answer. Allowing the free market to flurish, is.

'Really? Public schools are not and never will be a fair and free marketplace'

That's because it is a government monopoly.

'they are a requirement written into Indiana and Federal law. Even competition from the private sector will not eliminate them.'

That's the problem.

-- Posted by GOPsweep2010 on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 8:22 PM

Electriceye -- There was much talk after the Elementary Project was announced in the Brazil Times about "equity" in the buildings. What about equity in educational opportunities between Northview and Clay City High Schools? Shouldn't a school corporation provide the same educational opportunities for every one of its students or should they be provided by the school that they attend? Shouldn't every one of our elementary schools provide the same education and preparation for high school? Shouldn't each of our high schools prepare our students equally for life, even in the separate schools? You say that we cannot compare our high schools. I think that any reasonable person can see that we must compare our high schools, against each other and against every other high school in the state, the nation, and the world. Right now, we have average schools in an average state system in an average national educational system. That puts us nowhere near the top on any scale.

You may want to consult the census figures for Clay County on education. 2000 census has us at 82.3% for HS diploma or higher for adults over 25, which includes G.E.D's. 12.8% went on to get their B.A. or higher. That means that 17.7% do not have even a high school diploma. While that is not broken down to eliminate those who are over working age, it still scares me that there are probably as many people of working age that do not have a high school education as there is with higher education in the county.

You say that people should not criticize a system when they see problems with it? How would anything get changed for the better if we all "played the crowd" in the fable of "The Emperor's New Clothes" and no one took the part of the little boy who told the Emperor he was naked?

Do you realize how limited your perspective is concerning schools? 99% of people would swear that the school that they are familiar with is the best you can find.

Tim Rayle, Jeff Bell, Jeff Allen, and all of our building administrators, faculty, and staff do a great job with the students. Even at the corporation administration level, I find little to disagree with but what I disagree with I have and will put a voice to in an effort to make this corporation better than it is.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 8:48 PM


-- Posted by GO HOOSIERS on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 10:40 PM


-- Posted by GO HOOSIERS on Sun, Feb 14, 2010, at 10:44 PM

cat811, I see that you call people old as if it is bad, you call a 80 year old man ugly and another person a old man fool. So my question to you, cat811, is what elementary school are you a student of? How many third graders are in your class?

Oh my fault I now see that you are our judge telling Jenny she should have been in church at 9:56 instead of posting her comment.?

So enough of the childish name calling and back to the subject at hand. Thank you Dr. Buell for questioning authority and breaking the status quo. Even if Dr. Buell is wrong we know there is A network of checks and balances in the school system. People want lower taxes but better schools. How can we get both is the question we need to answer, if it is possible. Maybe a series of annual fish fries, a county lotto, a county owned utility or business, parking meters, no more tax abatements,etc..??????

-- Posted by Kirk Smith on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 1:20 AM

In response to the concern that we must compare all high schools. Don't you think that before comparisons are made, you must have similar situations. You are correct Mr. Southworth in that comparing them state and nationwide is needed. Demographics are needed to make a viable comparison. Shouldn't we then with what you are saying compare our high schools to the Carmels, Fishers, and Zionsvilles of the world. That is ridiculous to even think about. The corporation does the best it can with the resources available. I also love the quotes that you provided. Things can be done, but before complaining, how about providing possible ideas to fix it. That is the problem that this community seems to have, everyone wants to complain, even without a background to understand why they are being done. The board and the administrations have also provided like opportunities for both high schools. Unfortunately, CCHS with it's 330(?) students, compared to NHS with it's 1100 (?) students will not have some of the same things. My kids had some opportunities that some of their friends at CCHS did not have. The kids told me that it was because of the number of kids wanting the class wasn't high enough. Bottom line is comparing the 2 is impossible. Let's just agree to provide what we can for both schools and then go from there.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 1:57 AM


Are you the Taliban judging those who don't worship as you do? Maybe I am Jewish and go to temple on Friday evening? Maybe the church I attend starts at a different time? Last time I checked the laws of our country I had the choice of attending whatever worship service I liked. It has nothing to do with this topic. Christianity is about serving others, not judging them. God knew where I was at 9:56 yesterday. It is not your concern.

Supporting public school as far as paying for them via taxes is different than supporting each choice the school makes. I think you misunderstand that it is GOOD schools that bring in better investment. We must support education AND work to assure that the education offered is the best it can be.

On your comment about moving...No matter where one lives there will be things that need to be improved. If you reread my posts, I give a lot of credit to teachers and building administration but yes am critical of the poor policy decisions that have been made corporation wide. Maybe having lived in other locations I am guilty of comparing Clay County to other locations?? Is that wrong or shouldn't we all be striving to improve? Complacency brings only mediocrity. One lives where they can make a living. Do I wish that I had chosen to educate my children in a county with a more competitive education system? Of course, but one can't cry over past decisions. This now is my community and my duty as one of its citizens to try to make it the best it can be. While many of those who graduate from this corporation will look back with warm fuzzy feelings about their years in school, it does not change the fact that it can always use improvement.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 6:49 AM

After reading all this drival, I am sure we did the right thing in homeschooling our kids. Sure it's a sacrifice but the outcome was so worth it. I kept them safe. I taught them our Christian values. They received a good education. They learned what really matters in this life. They are grown, married with families and good jobs. Such a shame all this is going on. But that's what happens when liberals are in charge, you know what they say "it takes a village to raise a child" well no thanks, God gave me my children and I can raise them just fine! Maybe there are parents out there wanting to get their kids out of this, homeschooling is not that difficult.

-- Posted by Jolly on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 9:33 AM

Some of the comments above are right on target, such as electriceye. You cannot compare the two Clay County Schools and I believe that Forest Buell continues to TRY to do so. Others on here are always negative it doesn't matter the topic.

-- Posted by rekabk62 on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 10:01 AM

Amen, JollY!

-- Posted by clayoriginal on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 11:15 AM

kirk would just love to see the man smile just once.jenny i'm sorry about the church comment please forgive me.

-- Posted by GO HOOSIERS on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 11:26 AM

GOPsweep2010 -- There is good reason for the requirement for education to be required by government edict. The alternative, that of educating being provided by the free market, has been tried and failed for centuries, is still in place in many third world countries, and still prevails in American education above the high school level. The result was that the rich were educated and the poor were left illiterate. Should government not require education or require education without providing it?

Actually, our elementary schools should be absolutely "roomy" as they are because they should have space available for every student that is currently being homeschooled or attending Cornerstone Christian Academy. There over 100 students within the corporation being homeschooled and another 100 at Cornerstone.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 11:30 AM

As response to electric eye's comment, "Things can be done, but before complaining, how about providing possible ideas to fix it." How do you bring out suggestions of possible alternatives without "complaining" when bring forward facts about the situation is termed "complaining"? You must show the shortfalls to justify the need for change.

How do you teach the same courses in disparate high schools within the same school corporation. By making changes, that's how. We have one teacher, at least, that teaches at two of our elementary schools. Admittedly, she is not a classroom elementary teacher, she teaches physical education. She does teach in two buildings. So teacher availability is not an issue in most classes that are not full year.

Class size and student interest to make the class cost effective can be solved by technology and a person to monitor students within a classroom with no teacher present. We have the equipment within the corporation already, although we would need more of it. Business and colleges have been using video conferencing technology to bring people separated by distance together for years. Both schools have Internet connections right now. Right now, you can log on at either school and talk to people in Australia but a teacher cannot interact with students across twenty miles?

I'm going to address another comment from the same post, "That is the problem that this community seems to have, everyone wants to complain, even without a background to understand why they are being done.". I've seen or heard similar things many times from people. Sometimes the best ideas come by accident from someone who have no idea how the current system works, therefore, they "think outside the box" and state the obvious solution that everyone trying to work within the system has repeatedly overlooked. I have seen many times where that has happened. Laughingly, I've seen a young lady solve a mechanical problem on an automobile with no mechanical knowledge after three mechanics had wasted at least a man-hour on the problem. Her observation, "Shouldn't there be a belt on that?". The mechanics were so familiar with the "system" and the possible problems that they had started checking the voltage regulator and the alternator for electrical faults without noticing that the alternator belt was obviously gone. I've had to help people start far too many pieces of equipment that they are thoroughly familiar with and use on a daily basis simply by putting the gearshift in neutral to think that our education system is absolutely right in every decision because it is ran by people who are familiar with it.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 12:29 PM

I am not familiar with the technology part, but wouldn't a student want a teacher on hand to ask questions about. I am not certain Mr. Southworth, that you have a full grasp of how every little detail of schools work. I have a friend that is a teacher in another corportation and we have talked about education. He says that their high schools are completely different. They provide all of the same classes and then some of the schools classes do not make it, while at another school those same classes make. He said that it would be impossible, and a complete disservice to those students not in the same room with a teacher. Education cannot be compared fixing a car. There are laws in placed and standards that must be taught. Does anyone have better ideas on how to motivate the unmotivated? My friend, whom I would consider a highly educated person, says that is the biggest problem that he has to deal with. The "system" is designed to teach all students, not all students are willing to learn. My friend says that some kids just want drama and choose not to do any work. I hope that someone can come up with a magic wand to make all students want to learn.

The elementary schools are designed to be the same. At the high schools and at the middle school, this is not possible. Wouldn't the pefect solution for the elementary schools, be to build one elementary and use the Jackson Township School as the model of how things are to be accomplished. What does Jackson Township do that makes everyone want to send there child there? It would be interesting to see to look at the test scores of those students who have attended this school.

In closing, realistic goals are something that we need to get. Would CCSC like to see all children to attend college? Post-Secondary education may not be for all children. I would think that we want to provide all of the options available to the kids. Once they choose a path, let's do everything to help them achieve the most out of there. If they want college, put them on a college bound path. If they want to join the workforce after high school, put them in a wide variety of classes for that. Finally, for those not certain, perhaps a combination of the two. In the labor world that I live in, the people that we hire that have experience in the field perform at a higher level than those who have just left high school. Opportunities in whatever shape or size are just that, opportunities, kids have to take advantage of those opportunities.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 1:27 PM

Leo L. Southworth, I hope your trip to the hospital was just for a visit & nothing serious.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 2:47 PM


My husband has actually suggested that some of the courses available at Northview be taught via internet simultaneously at Clay City like the board meetings are broadcast. It would require a room monitor/chaperon in room where teacher isn't present and coordination of schedules between the two schools, just as we've wondered why the middle school and high school aren't on same schedules so students could go back and forth to get advanced courses OR remedial courses and not have to fail entire year if they failed a course or two in 8th grade. when a couple students walk to Northview to take Geometry they have to give up two class periods at the middle school in order to do so.

I truly believe that a live feed remote class situation where student and teacher could communicate in real time is much preferable than the Nova Net computer courses available presently that are supposed to take the place of the 7th period early bird class. Yes there would be some lag time for grading papers but other than that, would solve some of the course availability problems at the smaller school and maybe at the larger school as well if the amount of studetns at the combined school wanting to take advanced course would justify the course making it. A win win situation and this corporation could do it if they put their mind to it.

Always strive to be better. YES strive to be as good as Carmel! realistic to think we will achieve that much? Maybe but I'll bet we will be better than if we didn't make the attempt instead of patting each other on the back and saying we are good enough. Carmel is one of the best high schools in this country but still behind China and India in some areas. Future grads will be competing for jobs with graduates from china and India so unless you want your children and grandchildren among the lower educated people of this world, we need to strive to do a better job.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 3:00 PM


I have always appreciated your posts about education. You are one of the few that actually make sense. I feel as though sometimes, you are stuck strictly on the high level kids. I do agree that these kids need special education as well, with more challenging courses. My kids were able to take some of those courses, but my wife and I were able to understand the nature of the beast as it were.

What would be nice is if NCMS and NHS were on the same schedule. I would love to see credits given at the middle school level as well as the high school. This would open up more opportunities for our advanced kids. The concept of the kids linking up with NHS would work from NCMS. The teacher could go over there during their prep or link up again to help that student with a problem.

Would anyone agree though that the "social promotion" of our middle school students does not work and sets up the high school as to look like the bad guy. My friend tells me that social promotion has essentially put high schools in a no win situation. You can have a student do nothing for an entire year, yet they are promoted to the next grade. If I went one year without doing my job, trying to do it the next year would be very difficult.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 3:58 PM

I want my money back.

-- Posted by GOPsweep2010 on Mon, Feb 15, 2010, at 6:20 PM

Electriceye - As Jenny stated, you would need a staff member in the room with the students, but technology is such that you need two large monitors, two cameras, or television screens hooked to computers to do this. One set-up would be at the teacher's location and the other would be in the remote classroom. This is already done at the college level by IVY tech to teach courses on-line, I think. I know it is done in business. I rarely watch television, but I remember a commercial with two elementary classrooms interacting in this manner, one in America and one overseas.

It is not impossible to do this as it is already being done.

I think you left out a word or something in your post. Your statement "They provide all of the same classes and then some of the schools classes do not make it, while at another school those same classes make." left me stymied. This is not intended to be overly critical of you, I just need clarification of your idea as it was of interest to me but it appeared you left out a word as the thought did not seem complete.

I love this medium as people can communicate, but I would love to sit down with you and talk a couple of hours.

Motivation and the un-motivated student! Wow, that hit close to home for me. I've dealt with un-motivated students in my family. I would love to see a "grammar-school boot camp" to instill some self-discipline and teach some students at the middle-school age to read, write, and do arithmetic. I've sat in a couple of middle school classrooms during classes in the last two years and was appalled at the actions of the students and the lack of motivation I observed!

Jackson Township appears to be one of the most desirable schools in the corporation, but I'm not sure as to what factor makes it so. I know it is not the building, it should not be the education process as, with the exception of the Shirley reading method, the teaching process and curriculum should be standard throughout the corporation. My thought is that it is the people, either one or two inspiring teachers or just the right mix of people who inspire students. But, as you say, it would be revealing to look at performance indicators and other factors of Jackson compared to our other elementary schools in more detail than we have available. You can take a look at what has been tracked if you are familiar with extracting data from databases at the Indiana DOE website. It isn't detailed to the point where it reveals the significant factor to me.

While I would love to clone Jackson Township, I do not think we would get the same results. As a matter of fact, that was why I tried to stop the elementary school project, to build a better school instead of carrying on as the corporation is.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 6:52 AM

Leo....Perhaps Jackson Township appears to be one of the most desirable schools in this corporation due to its district pull. Have you checked out the poverty rate there? I would venture to say the participation in the free lunch program is the lowest in the county.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 7:39 AM


My friend is in a corporation with 3 high schools in it. The corporation offers the identical curriculum to all 3 schools. Of those classes in the curriculum, some of the classes due to occur because of low enrollment numbers for the particular class. At one of the other high schools, that same class that did not happen at the first, happens at the second. He said that is the way all of the classes are "made" or not. Which with the enconomy, makes perfect sense to me.

I am not real familiar with the structure of Jackson Township, but from talking with other people who have had children there. They say that the students are expected to perform at a high level, but also taught important character education. The others that I have talked to also say that the staff, from the principal to the custodians, are expected to perform at high levels and model the behaviors that are expected. To me, if I had small children, after hearing all of that, I would have wanted to children to go there.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 7:50 AM

BigPappy - Jackson runs 31% free lunch / Staunton reports 23% this year. Good to hear from you, again.

Electriceye - I'm still not getting the picture that you are trying to paint for me. Are you trying to tell me that if a class is scheduled but has low enrollment it is rescheduled in another semester when there is higher student demand for it as are some classes at Ivy tech?

"The others that I have talked to also say that the staff, from the principal to the custodians, are expected to perform at high levels and model the behaviors that are expected." I have to agree. The staff of the school must lead by example. I think that that is some of our problem, people look at the demographics and say that this school or that school cannot be expected to meet the performance indicators or benchmarks due to them. I believe that if you challenge a student they will perform at a much higher level than if you make excuses for poor performance. I was told when my son started school that it was non-competitive. I chuckled and let that pass without debate. When you grade performance or anything else, you will always have the best, then everything else. When my son was in second grade and couldn't seem to get finished with the timed math excersises for a couple of weeks in a row, I sat down with him and explained that it was sort of a race but only correct answers counted. His performance went to 100% and stayed there. The teacher graphed the class average and two weeks after I told him this, the graph showed a 15% improvement in the scores for the entire class as a group. It seems that my son had taken what I told him and challenged his peers in Cub Scouts to the "race" and it spread throught the class.I don't know if the teacher ever realized how the scores jumped or why. I did talk with the teacher without revealing what had transpired and the teacher did not understand the improvement.

I think that you are absolutely correct that if you expect and demand high standards of performance, people will rise to the occasion. Of course, that may well be because I'm a former Marine and expect a high standard to be met.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 10:12 AM

I think all the schools most likely have good and bad aspects but none of them have no work left to do. All four of my kids went to Jackson Twp. I cannot fairly compare it with other elementaries in the corporation as none of my kids attended other ones but having moved here when one child was going into 4th grade and another going into 1st grade I can compare it to where we lived previously. This is dated information however as this was in 1995.

AT THAT TIME, Jackson Twp was behind rural Virginia elementary schools in that there was only 1/2 day kindergarten and there was a low ceiling for those students compelled to excel higher than the bulk of the group.

There was also a false sense of success due to the over use of extra credit, making it appear that Jackson students were like those at "Lake Wobegon" and "all above average". In addition to non course related points added to one's grade for bringing tissues, mushrooms, or other "perks" for the teacher [clearly grade purchasing], extra credit could be added for each night's homework or work sheet and the lowest test grade was dropped. I actually complained about this as when I removed the extra credit and dropped test score, the marking period grade would actually drop as much as a full letter. At that time the only thing my complaining did was to have the computer print out no longer come home with the report card. I HOPE that the extra credit policy has changed as it not only teaches that grades could be purchased [teachers bribed], but gives a false illusion of how that student is really doing.

That said, Jackson has some wonderful teachers who really made a difference in my childrens' lives, but it is/was flawed and still had a lot of room for improvement.

As to the Shirley method, I would think that if this has had partial credit for Jackson's success/popularity over the other elementaries, it should be demanded that ALL of them use this method. IF it is no better and not the reason for Jackson's success, we should demand that it be discontinued as it costs the student more in book rental if they attend there over the other schools.

As I said,I'd like to hear from those who currently have kids at Jackson or had them there more recently than 2004 and my last one attended there to hear that it has gotten better about some of these things. When we compare Jackson in our little pool of schools it may be a big fish but in the ocean, maybe just a minnow.

Now before you get on me saying that I was just looking at the top end...some of the top end programs at other schools allow teachers to more accurately teach to the group instead of having to teach down the middle when some are bored as they catch on more quickly and others are lost because teacher is moving at the speed of the middle section of the class, not waiting for those who can't keep up. This is not the fault of the teacher but the way in which they have to get certain things accomplished.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 11:18 AM

I used to use Shirley Method and I really like it.

-- Posted by cc225 on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 4:01 PM

I had some free time to attempt to interpret all of the postings made by everyone else. Please understand that I do not claim no everything about education. This is just one person's opinion on how I see things.

Jenny, you had made an early comment "What we should be looking at is how many of our students go on to Purdue,MIT, or IU and then to lucrative careers. Not how many we can churn out. I will bet that our numbers there are dismal when you compare how few are really prepared for the world." Is this the true measure of success of every school in Indiana? We have had numerous graduates attend other schools and be successful. Why are we only looking at success through these 3 schools? Who are we to measure success of our graduates? I understand that was not your intention, but by reading that post, I was left to feel that anyone who has gone to ISU, IUPUI, USI, Ivy Tech, or any other school, first off is not successful. Success is found in many forms. What about the student who has to help raise their little brothers and sisters. What about the student that has to deal with parents that are in trouble with the law. Are they successful only if they go into lucrative careers?


I apologize for being unclear on the class issue. I am not completely confident in my explanations. My friend told me that only if the class has the minimum required number of students wanting the class, then it will "make" for the school year. If there is not enough signed up, then he said that the class is not offered. Again, not having experience in education, I cannot completely answer these questions.

As I was able to look at the other concepts that have been discussed. Let me give you some topics to think about.

1. What are the different demographics with NHS

and CCHS in terms of number of students, free

lunch kids, special education, and other


2. If success is measured soley on where a

student goes to school. Then what level of

success have those of us who post achieved?

3. Everyone that feels that there is a problem

with education, step in a sub for a few days.

I would not want a part of that job, given

the prior knowledge that I now have.

4. What is the most bang for our buck in terms

of education in Clay County? My friend said

that his corporation has a group of parents

that see the importance of education. Then

there is a group that do not see the

importance of education. This is where the

biggest problem would be I would think. Don't

our children see the importance of what we

see as important.

Comments on these will be interesting to see

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 4:25 PM

1. What are the different demographics with NHS

and CCHS in terms of number of students, free

lunch kids, special education, and other


I'm going to give you a link to the school "snapshot" so you can consider what is reported to the DOE on these factors.

Clay City - http://mustang.doe.state.in.us/SEARCH/sn...

Northview - http://mustang.doe.state.in.us/SEARCH/sn...

I do not see much difference in the ones that most people consider as bearing the most weight on education, that of free and reduced lunches. Clay City reports 36% free plus reduced and Northview reports 37% this year. You must remember that a change of one student at Clay City will affect their percentage far greater than a one-student change at Northview due to the disparity in size.

I think that Northview's performance when compared to Clay City's is tied to the education system that is used in the different education systems we have working in the corporation and the sheer size of the school. I would like for the school corporation to start tracking the drop-outs back to their elementary schools to see if we can improve them. Clay City High school is "fed" from Clay City Elementary with a minority from Jackson Township, Northview is "fed" from six elementary schools through the middle school. Clay City Elementary students are in the elementary setting until they reach 7th grade and go into the Jr.-Sr. High building. Northview students go into the middle school a year earlier. Two of our elementary schools have a higher migration rate of students then the rest that basically move across Highway 59 between like neighborhoods. There are many things that need to be looked at in more depth to provide the best solution.

2. If success is measured soley on where a

student goes to school. Then what level of

success have those of us who post achieved?

Frankly, I had to laugh at this as I do not judge success by how much money a person has or makes and I certainly do not by how much education they have or where they got it. I've known a Japanese millionaire who couldn't write beyond his own name who regularly imported American automobiles into Japan for his driving pleasure. He made more than a million, dollars not yen, shining boots for American servicemen. On the flip side, I don't know how much money this man made or makes but I do know that he was a Rhodes Scholar and MENSA member and that I had to take the door off of his office after he broke his nose the third time in a month because he didn't have the sense to open the door before attempting to pass through the doorway. It seems that "grab, turn, push, then step" was too involved of a procedure for him.

My saying for success is "it is not the education that you have, it's what you do with that education". Higher education is not a guarantee of success, although it can be the key to greater success than otherwise available.

4. What is the most bang for our buck in terms

of education in Clay County? My friend said

that his corporation has a group of parents

that see the importance of education. Then

there is a group that do not see the

importance of education. This is where the

biggest problem would be I would think. Don't

our children see the importance of what we

see as important.

Laughingly, this is what the entire debate is over, a difference of opinion as to what is most important to education and what is not.

I would venture to say that every school corporation in the world has parents who are concerned and those who are not. We are not alone in that and I don't think that there is a way to make every parent care. You are right, it is the biggest problem.

I've got to address your last comment separately as I laughed so hard I fell out of my chair. I have to say that it appears that you do not, yet, deal with teenagers or you trained yours very well. Of course, our children do not see the importance of what we see as important. If yours do not tell you that they know everything and you know nothing, approach the next five teenagers you see on the street, they will. Why take advanced courses if you do not have to, it involves having to work to make a grade when you can take the regular course and not have to study? Why study to make the highest grade you can if you can pass with a "C" and not have to study at all. Not only have I heard this from my children and grandchildren, I actually remember thinking it as a high-school student.

Let me add something on success. Success is a matter of personal opinion. You may think that I am not successful. I've never been featured on the front of any magazine, I'm not rich, I'm not outstandingly smart or educated, and I'm not famous. I consider myself successful. I have enough to get by and I'm happy. What else could a person want unless it is to put on a show for other people?

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 6:14 PM


I appreciate the links that you have provided. You do not need just to look at Free Lunch as a comparison. There are the students that so many forget about. Those students with Special Needs. According to the links that you provided, NHS has listed 34 students with Special Needs, 9 of them passing for at total of 26% passing. CCHS on the other hand only shows 20 students with Special Needs, 3 of them passing for at total of 15%. Does NHS have the majority of the students with Special Needs? It appears by the numbers that you have referenced that NHS does a better job in preparing these students for the ISTEP testing. Do you agree or disagree?

In terms of success, you and I agree completely. I was simply referencing a quote from Mrs. Moore that she mentioned how many of the kids that graduate go to Purdue, IU, or MIT. Anyone that has done work in the military will always have my utmost respect. The opportunities to have these types of forums are because of people like my father, you and everyone else who has served.

I hope that you did not hurt yourself falling out of the chair. You have mentioned that you have been to NCMS and observed the kids and how poorly some of the behaved. Do you know any of the parents of these students? Do they share your passion for education? I would guess not. My children were taught from an early age about communication, education, and determination. What would Clay County be like if some people did not fight against education, and support those taking on the challenge that is faced ith education. I truly admire teachers and everyone else who works in the schools. They are in a no win situation, but yet push forward to make an impact on the lives of our children. My kids have become who they are today because of parents that cared about education and pushed it as very important, all school personnel, and many other influences to be the best at what they want to do.

Clay County is great community, can't everyone strive to work together to make it that way instead of tearing education down. I have sat quietly for a long time and just listened and felt the time was now to start back in. I have been off of these types of posts since the problems NHS had with basketball several years ago. I guess you can go back. Enjoying the conversation with something that is critical to our community.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 7:18 PM

I'm going to check with Tim Rayle on the Special Needs Students to make sure, but I do believe that although they are listed as Clay City they are all transported to Northview on a daily basis and taught there. They were when I went to Clay City. I also believe that these students have verified learning problems of a higher nature than "At Risk" children who have been allowed to slip into that catagory by their parents.

I, too, have the utmost respect for our education professionals. They do a job that I do not want to have to do, dealing with some of these problems. I would like to reducae class sizes so that they could help more students succeed, however there is a limit to funding.

What you see as "tearing down education", I do believe, is the attempt to change things so that the funding actually gets back into the classroom. We just spent over $100,000 on changing the front entrances of most of our schools. If you keep up with the news elsewhere, in the last two weeks there was a school shooting in Knoxville and on a college campus by employees who would have been authorized access to the buildings. Our security project was nothing more than a costly "feel-good" project that would have built at least a couple of classrooms. Then you have our budget. The governor announced that we will not get what we were told to expect, yet we have to change nothing? That means that no one planned to expend that money for the education of the students.

Why does North Clay have a window that costs as much as an entire classroom? Because there are people within our community that put the trappings of prosperity before education and it is precisely those people that I fight against. There are a lot of good people in this community and some of them have lost sight of what is important. Our school corporation is the educational tool of the taxpayer. It is to educate future generations of which the majority of citizens will live right here. It is not to play "show and tell" so that passersby will be impressed when driving by.

We need to get the money back into the classroom, to the teachers and the students.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 9:29 AM

Electriceye - you must remember that in 2007, the school corporation recommended approval of a $56 million dollar construction project that included more than $4 million dollars for a bus garage and $2.8 million dollars for a new Central Office. It was only by public outcry "tearing down" education that that idea was scrapped even though several board members wished to proceed.

Everyone who is involved is working for education, however, there are differing opinions as to how to best do that.

Getting back to the original article, my friend, Forrest Buell, has a problem letting things go that can no longer be changed. He is a good man, but he, as we all do, has his faults and one of them is that when he feels something isn't right or that someone cheated he cannot "let it do".

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 9:44 AM


I sit here laughing as if I meant that those three schools were literally the only measure of success I would most likely be divorced by now due to being supported by a husband who works at another school.. Not at you but at the situation that you took me listing those three schools as the only measure of success. Those were only examples of many after high school endeavors such as military training, technical courses, seminary, etc etc.

Have a good day

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 3:25 PM


It will be interesting to see what you find out in terms of the special needs kids. From what I have been told, NHS has a large number of special needs students. Given some of the disabilities that these children have, are those numbers counted into graduation rates. It would also be interesting to see how many each school has listed as "high risk" as you said.

Looking further into the links that you provided for each school. I went to the NCLB Report Card. Northview had an overall pass rate of 71% in English and Math. Clay City on the other hand had a pass rate of 61% in English and 71% in Math. Northview tested 266 students while Clay City tested 128. What does that say about the staff at Northview and those numbers? Bigger numbers, better results????? It would be important for all of us to remember that every year that there are going to be different kids testing. My childrens classes were very different in the sense that one of them were in a academically strong class, the other was not. The statistics would definitely be skewed. It is not always the teachers and everyone involved that all of a sudden became less effective, perhaps the students were not as strong.


I thought that is what you meant, it just seemed strange that you only mentioned college and lucrative careers as successes. In my business, everything is pretty black and white, so I apologize for possibly taking it out of context. I would hope that our teachers are trying to churn out as many as possible, regardless of their chosen life paths. We cannot expect every student that walks through the halls of the schools to go on to a path that everyone else will take. Abilities, home situations, motivation, and parental influence would have to play major roles. I was just concerned that we were trying to put a definition to "Success".

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 6:54 PM

Electriceye - that the numbers can be skewed easily is one reason I dislike using statistics to base decisions on. I would rather have the whole facts. While the NCLB Report Card uses a random sample, other tests such as the NWEA tests the student body in amost its entirity. What it does not do is consolidate the individual student reports into one report for the school. If it did, it would be a more accurate picture of the student body. However, if that report exists in a database, and I'm sure it does, the data can be extracted and formed into one report. Why has this not been done? First, it is easier not to do it and people are afraid of what the report may show.

There is another thing to consider. Dated data is a "snapshot". You need data from several dates, in this case, school years, to compare to show you the trendline.

LOL.........they tested my grandson for the NCLB this year. I'll watch for a shift in the numbers. Last year, he and another student held a race during the NWEA reading testing to see who could complete the test the fastest. They both entered selection "A" for every question. Both were done in under three minutes. Their scores were definitely skewed....LOL

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 9:04 PM


I have always been under the impression that numbers do not lie. Statistics are in everything that is evaluated and numbers tell the story. Test scores provide a foundation by which these students are placed. I find it interesting that you thought it was funny that your grandson hurried through the NWEA test. I am certain that is another measurement tool that the schools use for determining what students need. That goes right back to what I spoke of prior of taking education seriously. I have read alot on No Child Left Behind. It is a critical part of the grading of a school and how effective it is.

Graduation rates are also misleading. How does the school count kid that move to another school, or are home schooled? During the time of my youngest child's time at NHS, they started with over 300 in their class. Over the course of the 4 years, nearly 60 of the kids either moved, transfered to homeschooling, or some other means of leaving school. When considering the numbers that Northview deals with and the programs that Mr. Rayle and his staff have in place, the graduation numbers have significantly risen during Mr. Rayle's time. That is what I would call an major impact.

What exactly are you hoping to accomplish if you are elected to the School Board? I would hope that the Northview programs would be left alone. Why fix something if it is not broken? I will be excited to hear what the graduation numbers are this year. I would confidently guess those numbers to approach between 85-90%. Any wagers!!!

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 8:40 PM


Northview has improved in some areas as far as staff accountability and continuing education [in service programs]. Partially I think because of being under Mr Rayle's leadership and partially because of their accreditation process and the task they were given to improve in certain areas. HOWEVER there are areas still in need of improvement that depend directly on how much support the school gets from central administration in both monetary for academic delivery and policy support for enforcing those same policies.

No one should EVER say if it isn't broken don't fix it. There are ALWAYS ways to improve. More education is always out there to gain and always new ways to get it to the student being developed.

If we didn't always strive to be better we would be in one room school houses with no computers, no new text books and WAY behind in the learning curve compared to other locations. we are still behind as education is moving forward at such a fast pace. We cannot be complacent enough to think that we don't have to stay in the race so our graduates are competitive with the rest of the world when they leave. In academics we are still making do and cutting back which is just the opposite of what we should be doing. Have a good day.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 7:54 AM