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Post Messenger Recorder PMR New Glarus Monticello Belleville News Publishing

New Glarus Parent Concerned About Decreasing Performance

 

October 12, 2017



Dear Editor,

I noticed on the NG school website that a survey is being conducting regarding the 5 year vision. Although I have no problem with these surveys being conducted, I do have a problem with how they are interpreted and how they are used. Anyone would be viewed a fool to rank any of the items listed (Character/ Critical Thinking Skills/College Readiness /etc.) at anything less than very important. So then, what exactly is the purpose of the survey? Last time a survey like this was conducted, parents indicated that critical thinking skills were needed. Somehow the school board interpreted this as a need for CPM math in the high school. Instead of sending out pointless surveys to which they already know the answers, the school board should be addressing the rapid decline of our high school. In the 4/27/17 Post Messenger Recorder, I had a letter detailing several concerns regarding the school. If you missed it, please go back and read it. As a follow up please note:

The school board approved the implementation of CPM in the middle school, despite the fact that there is no objective data supporting this curriculum and despite the fact that our middle school has ranked first in math competitions for years using Saxon. At the curriculum meeting (which we have recorded), a middle school teacher explained how her feelings were hurt when other schools asked what curriculum we used and looked down on her when she said Saxon (even though we beat the other schools in competition using Saxon). She said we don’t want to be the lone island. Don’t we teach our kids NOT to give in to peer pressure? How about “be a leader, not a follower”? The teacher went on to say that even if the kids don’t acquire the math skills, as long as they learn how to solve a problem, that’s huge. I don’t agree. Learning math skills is essential.

As far as the high school is concerned, national rankings were released 4/25/17 from U.S. News and World Report. Sadly, New Glarus did not even qualify to rank this year. Nationally, 6,041 public high schools qualified with 144 of them being Wisconsin schools. So, we don’t even fit into the top 6,041! Very alarming! A few years ago we ranked 324 in Newsweek. In 2016 we ranked in the top 1,000 for U.S. News and World Report. It is quite disconcerting that we are now facing our third consecutive year of decreasing performance.

I feel that information regarding school performance is selectively released, and sometimes skewed and even misrepresented as I showed in my 4/27/17 letter. Instead of working on a 5 year vision, we should be working diligently on a performance improvement plan. I have 3 children currently in the school, and one child who graduated in 2013 when the school was thriving. It’s sad to see how far we have fallen. These surveys are due 10/16/17. There is space to write in your thoughts and concerns. If you are as concerned as I am, please let the school board know. This is your school. Please make your voice heard.

Sincerely,

Linda Sheridan,

Very concerned New Glarus Parent

 
 

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