Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by shim, Jan 8, 2009.
so dumb everyone down. Brilliant!
'Our schools create the best average students in the country!'
You only need look at the source of the discussion to understand why they are proposing more academies. They ARE the Academy Committee. If they didn't keep proposing more Academies they wouldn't have a job. It's their rice bowl.
It's a great idea to have unique educational opportunities for students, and these Academy's sure seem impressive. Not just impressive for the kids who attend them but also impressive on the school district's profile or on a superintendent's resume. Money is found in the school budget because of this.
I agree that other educational programs should get higher or equal priority, not just those that will benefit a relatively small segment of selected kids. It does seem outrageous that LCPS will spend the resources to build and staff another Academy when they just had to make significant cuts in other areas of education.
There are some simple and relatively inexpensive ways for LCPS to boost educational opportunities for students - but they are not done. For example, students are required to take a studyhall period, even if the student asks to take another class. Apparently, this is to keep the number of electives down, because they cost money. Also, LCPS does not allow students to do any independent study for credit. Also, there is a Virginia Dept of Education program called Virtual Virginia which are online classes, and the high schools in Loudoun barely participate. There are missed opportunities for LCPS to provide educational excellence for many more students. It doesn't seem to be a priority.
those are GREAT ideas! have you attended any of the public meetings to get your input in front of decision makers?
IMO - the LCSB leadership continues to make poor fiscal decision, as it relates to land acquisitions for new schools. The "administrators" are paid handsomely, while it seems the actual educators are underpaid. If Dr. Hatrick can find money for the "white boards" I am sure he can shuffle around the budget for this endeavor.
The SB is the recipient of the majority of our tax revenue, but the Sheriff's Office & EMS get their budgets cut year after year while our population continues to grow. I know it's a balancing act, but public safety is just as important as public education.
Interesting fact: In the Ashburn there are about 77,000 residents, yet only 3 deputies budgeted for this area. That is a 22,000 to 1 ratio.
As a tax payer I would rather see more fiscal restraint used by our school system and more funds appropriated to our 1st responders.
I find that # a bit hard to swallow - have a cite for it? I thought I read there are something like 200 deputies in the LCSO.
The LCSO hiring page says they are authorized for up to 435 sworn positions. http://loudoun.vhost.vipnet.org/sheriff/apply.htm#Frequently
It is still a shocker that no matter how much we spend on education, almost half of the students are still below average.
Many people should find the 20,000 to 1 Sheriff's # in the Ashburn area hard to swallow.
No exact cite, but you may want to ask your other half about the validity of my #'s.
These are the factors I used for my #'s;
1) Estimated Pop in July 2008 for zip codes 20147 & 20148: 69,017
1a) Estimated Pop May 2009 for zip codes 20147 & 20148: 84,604
These #'s are straight from LCSO site (look under patrol ops): http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=1425
2) 2 Patrol Squads (2Sgt & 1 2nd LT to Svpr), 6 Patrol Shifts, 15 Patrol Sectors
I personally know several (8) employees within the LCSO and they have confirmed my #'s are spot on for the Ashburn area.
As I said before, Public safety is just as important as public education. It is about time the LCSO should be funded accordingly, maybe the SB could pay for the SRO's they have on-site at each MS & HS?
that's because so are half the parents.
That site does not call each shift only 3 people. The 2sgts and Lt are the supervisors of each shift. It does not describe the size of each shift (aka how many deputies per shift).
Given I can see more then 2 deputies driving around in a single 'outting', I find your stat misleading. Whatever 'assigned' means does not seem to equate to how many deputies are in the area.
If I felt they actually did something besides post 2-3 guys at a 4-Way stop intersection looking for inspection/county stickers I might agree. It amazes me everytime I see this and then everytime we (the community) talk to them about speeding on certain streets. Their excuse is always staffing. If they can stand around looking for a stupid sticker they could go write some tickets that would bring far more significant penalities (read that as $$$) and perhaps slow down some people before they kill someone. Just a thought.
I just wanted to chime in that this is not exactly accurate. I just registered my daughter for Briar Woods, (and am also an employee at BW) and she does not have a study hall. There is a FLEX period that is built in to the schedule every other day, and it rotates so that you are in a different one of your classes every time. This is used for remediation or to catch up on homework. This is not only in Loudoun County. The school system we moved from in WV did the same thing. The students do still have the option to put a study hall into their schedule if they feel like they need it.
I am referring to Flex, which is a glorified study hall. In theory the kids can have this rotating period opportunity to get extra help in the class they are Flexing to, but in practice it is hit or miss if they will actually need help in that class on that particular day. So the student must get a pass to see the teacher they need to see, same as any Resource period or Study Hall. Often the Flex period is used for assemblies or pep rallies, which wastes the kids' time if they were counting on doing work during that period. I, and others, think Flex is designed for the convenience of the teachers and administrators, and is of little benefit for the students. What I really object to is that it is mandatory. This would be an ideal period for some students to do an independent study, but this is not allowed. In addition, it is scheduled for 6th block - it should be scheduled for the last period of the day, not the middle of the day, so that kids with early release (to go to a job or another approved activity) can take an additional class each day if they need/want to. Lastly, in middle school all kids except those in Spectrum (gifted program) must take Resource (study hall) - certain kids get enrichment while the other kids are denied the opportunity to take an extra elective if they desire to.
Bird, I would agree that Flex could/should be changed to make it more beneficial to the students. Please however know that it is not a convenience for the teachers. We spend a lot of that time chasing down students who decide to use that time to "wander" around the school, and we would much rather use it in a more constructive way. It is not perfect, but the FLEX idea can work well, especially around test and exam time. As a parent however, I can see how an extra elective would be attractive.
I really like the idea of it being the last block of the B Day so that students could use that time for work or possibly dr. appointments so that they would not interfere with regular class time.
I agree with your points, Diana.
The idea for the Flex program is better than its reality. It sounds like it would be a practical use of time, but in the end students abuse it and teachers become baby-sitters.
However, it does serve the school administrators' need to keep the kids in school for the required amount of time and it is basically a freebie - no extra classes or electives, no extra teachers, no extra work!
I know some schools just got Promethean Boards in each classroom this past year. Imagine what else you could have done with that $75000 instead of using it on the boards.
while picking on technology spending is an easy target - most do it without actually looking at how it was paid for.
Many times these things are paid for with Grant Money (RUS Grants, eRate funds, etc) that don't take away from other spending by the schools.
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