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Last login: Saturday, November 1, 2008
The lack of diversity is disappointing. Baldwin and by extension the schools have a dramatically white, christian/catholic population. According to the United States Census our city is home to 94 percent white people and one percent or less of any other race. While this may not seem like a problem. Set foot in our schools and you will see the harsh truth. Many of these kids (significantly more then you expect I promise) still have racist views that just aren't logical in 2008. There are a number of students and even adults who have never in their lives met a person of Arab descent or Japanese or a Muslim, Buddhist or anything that may contradict the views and culture of the close-minded Baldwin City. It may not seem like a problem but the real world will offer a culture shock. The more diversity we surround ourselves with the more we give ourselves an opportunity to learn. To hear the views of other people and decide for ourselves where to go to church, what city to live in, who to fall in love with, where to work, what to eat and what dreams we may one day be allowed to dream without doing so in hushed tones for fear of persecution by close-minded, cold hearted fools. There is a whole world out there with incredible things to see and learn, let us not limit ourselves to believing that our boundaries and aspirations end just east of highway 59.
We may argue that it isn't our fault that diversity doesn't come to us. That is a valid argument. However, why should anyone wish to come here? With schools, resources, acceptance, religious possibilities and effort at a bare minimum, who in their right mind would come here when Lawrence is a few minutes away. However with Highway 59 expanding, soon many eyes will look upon Baldwin as potential place to live. I ask, what will we have to offer someone not of the same mold?
Again it comes down to how much we care about the children and what hopes we have for their futures. To say we don't have enough money to invest a couple hundred dollars tops to for a couple years to ensure that our children have the same opportunity as most kids do is a flat out lie. That means we simply do not care enough to find a way. That means that the lives of us as parents are far more important to us then the lives of our children. Find a way. Quit drinking, quit smoking. Its good for you and it will save you up to a thousand dollars a year. More then enough. I know I would do anything for my children I would die for them. Certainly I could break a ridiculous habit for them too.
To take words from Martin Luther King "We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation." Please, give our future some funds both literally and metaphorically. Vote yes when you are faced with this difficult piece of legislation. Be selfless. Do the thing that you wish that your parents would do for you. Find a way.
November 1, 2008 at 8:22 p.m.
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Educational standards have been in a downward spiral in America and it is now catching up. We are now dumber in Physics and Math then most developed nations. President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" act did a fine job of catching up the slower kids to the rest of the pack. Even though in many cases those kids will drop out and all they have accomplished is holding back the brighter students. The act basically penalizes schools for test score gaps. Therefore schools are forced to cut gifted programs for the most intelligent students because they can't allow their scores to be to high or they won't get funding. Our brightest minds are stuck in the same mundane setting as the ones who can't read and forced to be driven to insanity by lack of a challenge. Granted this has little to do with our current situation but I thought it was a valuable thing to note and to support my belief that because of things like this we aren't likely to catch up to the rest of the world soon.
One concern that is voiced by math teachers is the books. Having used them myself I can attest to the fact that I hypothesize that they were written by chimpanzees. They explain each process in terms that are difficult to follow with wording that is uncivilized at best and the problems they relate to have nothing to do with what they just explained. Mr. Curran who I fully believe is one of the best math teachers in the world actually resorts to coming up with study guides and worksheets of his own as opposed to let our children learn from the used toilet paper that are those books. He at least wants to prepare the students for what is to come.
When Ginny Honomichl was teaching Human Anatomy. That’s right. Human Anatomy an amazing predecessor to becoming a doctor of medicine. She was not even given the satisfaction of books to teach out of or give the students she resorted to making her own study guides and learning materials which I must say were incredible for preparation for college anatomy classes. While many of my KU classmates struggled with concepts beyond them I was simply reviewing what I had learned as a sophomore in High School. Imagine what she could have done with a few books. She was quite resourceful.
November 1, 2008 at 8:10 p.m.
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As a Baldwin High School graduate I must say that I am ashamed of the attitude of the herein represented voters. What it really boils down to is do you honestly care about your children and their future or when you look deep inside yourself do you even care about them at all?
There are numerous reasons why we must vote yes on this proposition. I will just start with the utter embarrassment that is Baldwin High School. No need to even touch on the fact that other schools come to our JUNIOR HIGH to play basketball games and laugh at us. Forget the fact that we have the worst baseball field in the state and certainly the worst I have ever set foot on. Don't bother taking a look at the inside of the Junior High auditorium. It has reached a state of disrepair that doesn't border on, it blows by the line of dangerous and it has been used by every child that has come through that school. There is no need to talk about any of that. Lets talk about the things that affect only the educational aspects. Four of the top 5 fastest growing careers involve computers. The other is various nursing careers. Therefore lets consider what directly pertains to those fields. Patty Lenning is one of the technology teachers and Baldwin High. She is a wonderful person and always willing to lend a hand to help any student that has any difficulty in all walks of life. Unfortunately the way our district repays her is a salary that competes for the lowest in the state and computers that are out of date. On top of the fact that they are out of date there is not nearly enough to go around. She has to resort to having people go two or perhaps three to a computer. That is no way to learn. The technological field evolves so quickly that to adequately teach a technology class it is important to have cutting edge equipment. Thankfully Baldwin High does have that cutting edge technological equipment. If we are living in 1986. As a final point on the technology aspect. Gayle Dempsey is the other wonderful technology and keyboarding teacher.... She is not even capable of teaching Computer Applications 1 and the college equivalent Computer App 2 because the computers she has are to old to run the programs. This is potentially a serious flaw in the children’s educational upbringing. (Continued)
November 1, 2008 at 8:08 p.m.
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