Opinion Piece By Donna Westfall – November 17, 2019
Last year I made a public comment to the School Board voicing my concerns about the dreadful education our children are getting in our local public schools.
Nothing, to my knowledge, has changed in the last year except that one program airing on KFUG radio is now beating the same drum.
Today, Sunday, November 17th from 4 – 5 pm; join hosts Joan Miles and Wes Nunn with co-host Jaime Yarbrough. The discussion: Is Common Core Bad? Also joining them will be a parent and his children that attend the local public schools.
If you feel strongly either pro or con, your opinion is welcome. Call Wes Nunn at 707 464 9993. Let him know if you’d like to be on a future program. You can also try to call in at 707460 6100, but that line works peiodically. KFUG has a few seats, so you are invited to attend as long as you’re not disruptive.
Some of the more common questions:
What is Common Core and how did it get into our public educaton system?
How many states signed up for Common Core and how many have subsequently stopped it?
Are organizations popping up protesting Common Core?
Here’s one excellent website to check out listing out their mission statement of Truth In American Education along with the rights of parents and taxpayers…… https://truthinamericaneducation.com/
- ‘Truth in American Education defines parents’ rights as the right and responsibility to make determinations regarding their child’s upbringing and education, including decisions about: academic training, transfer of religious and moral values, and the child’s physical health and mental wellbeing.
- We believe regaining local control will require parents, taxpayers, voters, and local officials to stand strong in demanding this constitutionally protected right. We reject the undue influence of corporations, foundations, public/private partnerships, private financial investors, and special interest groups in our public education system.”
Below is the public comment I made to the Del Norte County School Board on December 20, 2018:
FROM: Donna Westfall, representing the Crescent City-Del Norte County Taxpayers Association
In the 11 years that I have lived in this County, I’ve only spoken to the School Board two or three times that I can recall. Once or twice to educate the board about the harmfulness of fluoride in the municipal water. The results of those public comment by me and others along with picket lines outside this building was the success of Measure A to ban fluoride which was turned off in early 2013.
The second time I spoke before this board was last month when I realized how dreadful this public education system is currently. It’s churning out too many stupid children. Or would you rather I used the word underperformers? At any rate, I protest because my tax dollars are not being spent effectively enough.
Here’s bottom line: Stupid/dumb/underperforming children inevitably become stupid adults. They are not productive, they don’t know how to work. They go on welfare, and/or drugs and alcohol, bilk the system, become homeless, turn to crime and end up in prison at the taxpayer’s expense. 80% of the inmates in Calif prisons are high school drop outs.
You cannot afford to perpetuate this system. It is of paramount importance that the system change. That learning and achieving become the norm and that expectations increase.
Last month I researched some of the reasons why this is happening. A short recap is that:
1.) the teachers union is too powerful.
2.) Teachers get tenure after 2 years. Now tell me what other jobs in this country give lifelong employment?
3.) It’s difficult to fire bad teachers.
4.) Teachers are not allowed to discipline.
Then, I made some recommendations. I have yet to get any feedback from you.
I forgot to ask that my public comments from last month be made part of the public records so I’m handing them in now so this can happen.
Today’s comments center around expectations, questions and wondering why things are the way they are. I know very little about Common Core. Research shows that a number of states are bowing out of Common Core. I read that more students are graduating high school, but only after the bar was lowered from C grades to D grades. This, in my mind, is cheating. I heard that most teachers are Democrats. So, I’d like to know what percentage of teachers in this system are Democrats, Republicans and other political parties. It’s been a painful surprise to me to learn that the Democrats have worked so closely with the teachers union and pushed agenda’s that frankly, looks to me almost un-American.
I don’t know exactly why parents aren’t demanding more from you and for their children. When my kids were growing up anything under a B grade was unacceptable. We now have 12 grandchildren, most of which are extremely bright and well adjusted. Several on the Dean’s list and outperforming most public school students. And by the way, those 8 out of 12 are or were home schooled. One’s in the Navy and one’s a model plus going to college to become a court reporter.
I urge you to make this a priority to bring up the academic level of your students because if this is not done, and the school boards and the legislature don’t take this seriously, I predict that the taxpayers will.
Just a few moments of research brought up these statistics: High School’s in Calif. Of the 1,339 regular public high schools, Del Norte County ranks 578th. 67% reading proficiency with 39% math proficiency and 16.7% College Readiness Index. Of the 2,480 Middle Schools in Calif, Crecent Elk ranks 1,998th.
Listen to me. Taxpayers are going to get fed up. I’m fed up. You work for me and the other taxpayers. School closures can take place and along with that firing teachers en mass …..those teachers who are content to let their students underperform should be shuffled off to other jobs.
Please make this public comment a part of the permanent record.
To Conclude: Please put this issue on next month’s agenda. A discussion on what steps you plan to enact to turn around your students and head on a path of excellence.