What is the cost of an education in White Oak?

The Value of Education

White Oak ISD

 

            Recently there have been several articles on the topic of the cost of Public Education. I wanted to take the time to write this entry in the White Oak Independent and give the taxpayers some information about the cost of an education at White Oak ISD. It is no secret that the faculty, staff and administration at White Oak feel that our students are receiving a quality education that will be beneficial in the work place or as they continue in their academic endeavors. White Oak ISD is the only TEA Recognized School District in Gregg County. Our high school students score above the state and national average on both the SAT and ACT college entrance exams. We have graduates the have excelled at colleges and universities of all sizes. One of our graduates just completed an internship with the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

            All of our extra-curricular programs are successful and give our students an opportunity to pursue interests outside the 7.5 hour school day. Fine Arts (Band, Choir and Drama), Athletics and UIL Academics give our students multiple choices to enhance the lessons taught in the classroom. Our students understand words like podcast, blogs, wikkis and can produce outstanding work at all grade levels.

            All of this information is important to consider when talking about the cost of the education provided by your public school system. Now, here are the numbers. White Oak has an annual operating budget of $10,478,499 and an enrollment of 1390 students.

 

$10,478,499  divided by 1390 students = $7,538.49 per student/per year

$7,538.49 divided by 180 Instructional Days = $41.88 per student/per day

$41.88 divided by a 7.5 hour school day = $5.58 per student/per hour

At $5.58 per hour, the taxpayers of White Oak ISD are getting a great deal of “bang for their buck”. Transportation, maintenance, food service, custodial service, administration and all the instructional costs are included in the $5.58 per hour price tag.

            There are those in the community that have expressed a concern about the amount of money spent on athletics at White Oak and other schools in the area. The athletic budget is $538,255, including all employee stipends and the salary of the Athletic Director. That amounts to 5.1% of the total budget. If you add Fine Arts and UIL Academics, the total is 8.7% of the total budget. To turn that figure around, 91.3% of the White Oak ISD Annual Budget is not related to extra-curricular activities. Once again, I would say that the return on our investment as taxpayers is very high. All of our teacher/coaches and sponsors teach, including our AD. White Oak ISD Athletic Director is the only teacher/coach or sponsor that receives a salary for extra-curricular duties. Everyone else is paid a stipend for their assignment. The best part is that these individuals are Master Teachers and they do an outstanding job in the classroom.

            I hope you have found this information informative and useful. The theme at the high school this year is “Be a Difference Maker”. That is the most rewarding thing about education. We have the opportunity to “Be a Difference Maker” in the lives of young people every day. White Oak ISD is an outstanding place to live and work. You can have the best facilities, the most money and the latest/greatest equipment, but if you don’t have great students and great teachers, you can not have a great school. The students, faculty and staff at White Oak ISD are the reason for our high level of success and outstanding reputation. Thank you for your support of all that we do and I hope that when you are asked about the cost of public education you can say, “We’re getting our monies worth in White Oak!”

Senate Bill 2033

Senate Bill 2033
Local Control,
Where Did You Go?

White Oak ISD recently received Texas Association of School Boards Policy Update 86. For the reader that is not familiar, this is school districts operating procedures and state law mandates prepared as a service of our membership in TASB. Many of the changes that are sent have to do with changes in the law that we can not change or choose to ignore. However, school policy does include “Local Policies” that are in place to allow each school district a certain level of discretion concerning the way a district (WOISD) operates.
I am concerned about one of the changes being required of the district in Update 86. In policy EIA (LOCAL), Grading/Progress reports to parents, our district no longer has the local option of assigning a failing grade of no lower than fifty (50) on a students six weeks report card. Senate Bill 2033 passed into law by the 81st Legislature removed this local option for educators across the state. On the surface one might say this is a good thing. If a student does not do any work, that student should get a zero (0) and if his/her average is a twelve (12) then so be it! Please allow me to express another point of view that is well understood by educators. A student with a twelve average will not receive credit for the six weeks, as will a student with a fifty. The student with the twelve will have to average 99 out of 100 for the next two six weeks in order to receive a passing grade of 70 for the semester. The student with the fifty will have to average 80 out of 100 over the next two six weeks in order to receive a passing grade of 70 for the semester.
The obvious purpose of giving a student the grade of fifty that he/she did not earn is to give the student a chance turn a bad six weeks into a successful semester. If the student does not change his/her ways and continues to do poor work, they fail the course with a fifty average. There is not difference between a fifty no credit and a twelve no credit except that we gave the student a chance to succeed. SB 2033 will succeed in increasing the number of dropouts at the secondary level and will result in more discipline problems in our classrooms. A student that might have considered making a change in behavior will not change when there is NO REASONABLE CHANCE of improving the poor grade from the past six weeks.
Senate Bill 2033 removes a very vital measure of local control that schools can use to save students from dropping out of school. More drop outs and more discipline problems at school translate into a more difficult learning environment for students that want to succeed. This places greater demands on our public school faculty and staff members while the legislature continues to pile on more restrictions that seem to be designed to hamper our efforts to provide a quality education to all students. It is obvious that there are legislators that would like to see public schools fail to make way for vouchers and privatization of education. It must be very frustrating for those legislators to watch the faculty and staff members of the Texas Public School System as they take what ever is put in front of them and turn it into success stories for public education. Productivity in Texas Public Schools is on the rise even when we are handcuffed by laws passed by lawmakers that do not have our student’s best interest at heart. I am proud to be a part of the faculty and staff at White Oak ISD and proud to be a part of the Texas Public School System for over 28 years.

Response to Dr. Thomas Sowell’s Column “A Letter from a Child”

Here is a link to the column referenced http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell100609.php3

Dr. Thomas Sowell
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Stanford University

Dr. Sowell,

I would like to respond to your column titled, “A Letter from a Child,” that was published in the Longview News-Journal in Longview, Texas. I have spent 28 years teaching, coaching, and working as an administrator in Texas Public Schools. I am troubled by the idea of painting Public School Education with such a broad stroke of your editorial pen. Your accusations that public school teachers indoctrinate students with trivia at the expense of competing with students on a global scale are disturbing at the least.
A great deal of time and energy could be spent on the topic of the United States school children’s performance on international testing standards. As an educator, you are well aware of the factors that go into such analysis, and the fact that US students are making significant improvement on tests that compare “apples to apples” so to speak. According to the United Nations Education Index, the US ranks 19th in the world and 13th in the Human Development Index worldwide. There is not one country ranked higher than the US with a population equal to or greater than ours. Given that that kind of information does not help you make your point, I understand why it is not included in this column.
More to the point, I would like to address a few of your comments. You state that we are “frittering away time on trivia.” Texas Public Schools are governed by the Texas Education Agency and are required to teach the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) to all students. Those TEKS are then assessed through the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. In the fifth grade we are responsible for 344 TEKS for English, Math, Science, and Social Studies to be covered in 180 school days. That is two new concepts to master each day we are in class. That does not include the required material covered in Fine Arts, Technology, and Life Fitness. We do not have time to “fritter.”
The main point of your column has to do with a letter received from a fifth grade student at Sayre Elementary School in Lyon, Michigan. You assail the teacher for giving this student an assignment to seek the advice of “stranger in the media.” It must have been your hope that most of your readers do not know who you are. A person with three degrees in economics, forty-eight years working in the field of economics, and the author of seven books on economics should be a viable source for advice concerning problems in the economy. If you do not want to be bothered by school age children, just say so. You would have been more truthful and honest to quote W.C. Fields and say”, “Get away from me kid, you bother me.” Just using the information from your column, you have no idea what the scope of that assignment included and therefore cannot accurately judge it’s integrity.
Finally, I am always amazed that those who work within the most elite setting in education can determine the faults of those that educate everyone in their community. Your institution has very strict entrance requirements and a process of eliminating those that may not succeed. My school district enrolls every student that can produce a current water bill or any other valid proof of residency within the district. Your work history indicates you have spent your entire career in some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United States. I challenge you to defend the idea that there is no indoctrination of students at Harvard, Columbia, The University of Chicago, and/or Stanford. There are good and bad teachers at every level of the education process. I firmly believe the public schools do more to weed out the weak than do our higher education constituents. I can assure you that when 60 to 70 percent of our students fail a course, we don’t blame it on the students. The men and women that get up every school day across this country and devote their time and energy to the education of our young people deserve better from you. It would be refreshing if we could wake up one morning and read the thoughts of an “Education Expert” that had taken the time to look at the big picture and decided to report on the good being done in public schools.

Sincerely,
Michael E. Gilbert, M. Ed.
Superintendent of Schools
White Oak ISD
White Oak, Texas

School Finance

The Checks in the Mail!

1. Q. Is it true that the formulas are designed in such a way that when the federal money goes away, state money will pick up the difference (in 2011 and beyond)?
A. Yes. The state’s Foundation School Program (FSP) formulas will not change after the state no longer has stimulus funding. The FSP formulas will continue to form the basis of school districts’ FSP entitlements.
This is the first question asked and answered on the TEA Stimulus FAQ document. If you are to read the question and then just look at the answer “Yes”, it appears that the financial problems for Texas Public School District are over. The State of Texas will step up to the plate and maintain the funding levels established with Federal Stimulus funds. For White Oak ISD, that would mean an increase of more than $600,000.00 per year in state funds. This would truly be a cause for celebration if you don’t take the time to read the rest of the answer. In short, if the formulas do not change, the amount of money a district receives from the state does not change. My interpretation of this is White Oak ISD is $600,000.00 short beginning in 2011 and beyond.
At the August Special Called Board meeting to adopt the 2009/2010 Budget and set the tax rate, we chose to adopt a budget without the stimulus money included. Our budget shortfall was $425,000.00. I then explained to the board that for the next two years we have a chance to balance the budget with Federal Stimulus dollars. I did not want the members of the board to think that everything was OK during the time when stimulus money was available and then think we tanked the budget “post stimulus”. Our deficit budget represents the district operating on Foundation School Program Formulas. I will not mislead the trustees and community members into a false since of confidence that we are financially sound. If you are thinking you have all this extra money coming to your district in 2011, the checks in the mail!
On September 23, 2009, Senator Kevin Eltife spoke to a regional meeting of Economic Development Corporation members. During the conversation, he gave his view on the Stimulus Funds at the state level. Senator Eltife expressed his concern that when the stimulus funds are gone, Texas will experience a 13 Billion Dollar shortfall that will create problems in the next Biennium. While he was speaking my thoughts went to the question of the money promised to White Oak ISD. If the state is going to be down 13 billion, there is a good chance WOISD will not receive extra funds in 2011 and beyond. I did get a chance to ask Senator Eltife about money for school districts post stimulus and he did not see how more could be done with less. If you still think the state will continue to fund your district at the higher level, the check is still in the mail!
Finally, my thoughts go back to the past legislative session. The fight for a system to fund education with dynamic driver based formulas died in the Senate Education Committee chaired by Senator Shapiro. One of the most powerful arguments against SB 982 was the extra 5 Billion Dollars it would cost the state. The powers that be could not support such a large sum of money for the betterment of Education Funding in the state. The decision was made to keep the system of Target Revenue in place and to mandate pay raises that would consume far more than half of any extra money allotted to districts. I had the opportunity to testify before the Senate Education Committee and to let them know White Oak ISD was a deficit budget district before HB 3646 and will be a deficit budget district after HB 3646 even with the passing of a Tax Rate Election to add 13 cents to the burden of our local tax payers. HB 3646 passed and I was right.
The Texas Legislature could not/would not come up with 5 billion dollars to make the necessary changes needed in school finance during the last legislative session. The Texas Legislature will not make the changes needed to come up with sufficient funds to keep school districts at stimulus funding levels in 2011 and beyond. For those of you that still believe the state will maintain your district at the higher funding level, I’m sorry to say there is no check in the mail. My final thought is simply this, don’t count until you see it and don’t spend it until it is in the bank.

White Oak H1N1 Report

White Oak Independent School District
H1N1 Influenza Report

In the past few weeks, and increasingly over the past few days, concerns about the H1N1 Flu have increased. It is my hope that the information included in this report will help many of you understand the nature of the problem and give you some piece of mind about the actions being taken by White Oak ISD.
First, let me say that we do have students that are ill with flu-like symptoms. There is little or no evidence to say that they have the H1N1 strain. Some local doctors are making a clinical diagnosis of H1N1 but there is no laboratory test data to use for confirmation. The doctors are most likely correct with the diagnosis and will be the first to tell you that the treatment is the same for H1N1 vs. Type A Influenza. If you or your student show symptoms of fever over 100 degrees and a cough or sore throat, it is recommended that you see your family doctor at once. Early diagnosis will allow you to recover and prevent the spread of the flu.
The faculty and staff at WOISD are monitoring the actions of our students to insure proper procedures are being followed to limit the spread of the flu. Antibacterial hand soap is available to all students and staff. The custodial staff is cleaning and disinfecting all common-use areas every night, including the use of industrial strength aerosol disinfecting “bombs” on a rotating basis throughout the district. Attendance at WOISD remains at 96% for the week of September 14, 2009. White Oak ISD has been approved to receive the H1N1 vaccine for all students and staff. There are no firm dates at this time as to when the vaccine will arrive. When we know for sure when the vaccine will be available, instructions on where and how the disbursement will take place will be provided to all involved.
There is no doubt that this flu strain is very contagious and that we must be diligent in our efforts to keep everyone healthy. I know that if all the stakeholders in White Oak will make themselves aware of the facts concerning this problem, we will be able to stay healthy and continue the education process for our students. You can find more information about the flu and the vaccination process on the following websites:

www.cdc.org
www.texasflu.org
http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/txflu/default.shtm

Thank you for your help in keeping facts separate from rumors. Everyone at White Oak ISD is concerned about the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community.

Local control of Public Schools

Loss of Local Control
Texas Public Education

When did the idea of “local control” become so distasteful to the Legislative Body in Austin? White Oak ISD is putting the finishing touches on the budget for the 2009/2010 school year. This process is always difficult and very time consuming but this year it has also become “baffling” for lack of a better word. It is very difficult for a district that is struggling financially to complain about any kind of financial help made available from any source. At the risk of seeming ungrateful, I am complaining just a little. It appears that we are going to receive about $670,000.00 in Stimulus Funds. Approximately $80,000 must be spent in Title I grades K-5. Another $260,000.00 must be spent in compliance with IDEA (Special Education) guidelines that apply to approximately 15% of the student population. Both of these fund sources are strictly to be used to supplement not supplant existing programs within the district. In other words, buy something new instead of pay for what is working. The remaining $400,000.00 can be used to offset some expenses if they meet predetermined approved Federal Standards. One of those approved and required items is a $974.00 per year raise for eligible faculty members. The raise will be funded by Stimulus Funds for two years and then picked up by the local district since the increase is permanent but the Stimulus Funds are not.
All of that information is in place to set the stage for this question, Why can’t the local school district Board of Trustees and Administration decide what would be the best way to spend $670,000.00? White Oak ISD will adopt a deficit budget for 2009/2010 in the amount of $435,000.00. By applying the $670,000.00 Stimulus Funds as required by the Federal Standards, WOISD will still have a deficit budget of over $40,000.00. That is my concern, complaint, gripe and/or burden if you will. My math skills are good enough to acknowledge the fact that $40K in debt is better than $435K in debt. Those same skills tell me that applying $670K to a $435K deficit should solve the problem.
Why can’t the local district decide what to do with the money? If you allow local control of the money, somebody somewhere will put in a new turf field, new gym, new field house or even a sauna for the administrators, that’s why. In other words there will be situations where the money is used inappropriately. It is my belief that the overwhelming majority of Texas school districts will use the funds to better the education and learning environment of their students. I believe that there should be a level of accountability for the use of any taxpayer funds. Require us to provide a plan on how the money will be used and hold us accountable for following the plan. Just don’t tell me from thousands of miles away that the money is coming and you will use 40% of it on less than 15% of your students, 15% has to be a pay raise that I will have to maintain after the funds are gone and 12% can only be used in grades K-5. I believe in the public school system in Texas. I believe Local School Boards want to do right by the students they are charged with leading. I hope that some day there will be a shift in the negative stigma placed on the idea of Local Control to make the best decisions to solve Local Issues.

Here Comes The New Year

7-30-09

The new school year is on its way and White Oak ISD is gearing up to welcome students, faculty and staff back for another year of outstanding accomplishments. I am going to make an effort to be more active on this Blog site and give some of the activities and achievements of the district the recognition they deserve. With that in mind, I want to share three things that will make WOISD a better place in 2009/2010.
Pam Cranford is moving to a position in the Intermediate School that will allow her to touch the lives of many of our students and also help our teaching staff become even more proficient in educational technology. After accepting the Texas Computer Educators Teacher of the Year Award, Mrs. Cranford now serves on a state level technology committee in Austin. In July, she was able to share many of the best practices being applied at WOISD and learn from other outstanding educators across the state. The meeting was attended by Commissioner Robert Scott and I know that Mrs. Cranford’s position on this committee will bring valuable new information to White Oak. You can keep up with Pam Cranford’s efforts to improve the quality of education at http://testing123.wonecks.net/2009/07/30/help-you-need-somebody/.
During our in-service training the week of August 17th, many of our teachers will receive training on the use of electronic student portfolios. This is an emerging technology that will allow our students to display and store samples of their work and demonstrate their mastery of required technology TEKS. As this process grows, our student will have a portfolio that will be a valuable tool when they apply for college and/or enter the work world after school. The use of portfolios will also allow our faculty and staff to identify and meet the technology training needs of our students on a more individual basis.
The last thing I want to share is an ongoing success story starring a White Oak Graduate. Emanuel Gawrieh is currently a student at Baylor University. Mr. Gawrieh shared some of his experiences with me in an email earlier this summer and I was very proud to read that he felt his education at White Oak provided him with the tools necessary to succeed at the university level. We hope to schedule time for Emanuel to share his experiences with our current student body and to allow our students to see there is no limit to where you can go from White Oak High School. Emanuel’s story is not just a tale of going from White Oak to Waco. During his time at Baylor, he has successfully completed internships at the State Capital in Austin where he worked with our legislators and gained valuable insight in the inner workings of government. Most recently, Mr. Gawrieh successfully completed an internship in Washington D.C. Our White Oak High School Grad worked in the Supreme Court of the United States of America! I look forward to hearing what he has to share with our students.
White Oak ISD is a great place to live, work and study. I can assure you that no one here thinks it is a place that can not be better. We know that the best things to happen in White Oak are yet to come. I hope to share those successes through this media.

Band and Choir Trip

May 5, 2009

To the Parents of White Oak High School Band and Choir Students,

After a great deal of consideration and investigation, a decision was made to allow the students to take the trip to Orlando. There has been a great deal of conflicting information about H1N1 Flu Virus and the administration at WOISD took a very close look at all the factors connected with the decision to proceed with our plans for the end of this week. WOISD sought the advice of nurses, physicians, CDC officials and other school administrators in this process.
We have found no record of any school closings in the Central Florida area or in the state for that matter. Information released in the paper today indicates that school closings and attempts to keep students isolated are not affective and that the H1N1 strain is much closer to that of the more common types of flu than earlier believed. With these considerations and the knowledge that a great deal of planning went into this trip, the decision was made to allow the students to go to Florida. WOISD will take the following precautions to help insure the safety of our students;

1. There will be a school vehicle going with the buses to allow us to transport students to the doctor, if necessary.
2. Two nurses will be present at all times to monitor any questionable health issues that may arise.
3. School officials will have all necessary contact information and medical release forms for our students.

In the event that a student is ill and requires more than a doctor’s visit, the school vehicle can be used to make an early trip home. WOISD is very concerned about the safety of our students and wanted you to know that this decision was not taken lightly. I want to wish everyone involved with this trip safe travels and a pleasant, educational, time away from White Oak.

Sincerely,

Michael E. Gilbert

Swine Flu Information

This is a transcript of the information sent to parents by our Schoolmessenger automated phone system.

Swine Flu Precautions at White Oak ISD

White Oak ISD is monitoring all available information concerning the Swine Flu Cases. The district has taken several precautions to insure the health and safety of our students. Let me share the information and actions taken as of today;

1. There are no confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Gregg County or the counties that boarder Gregg County.
2. WOISD has increased cleaning and disinfecting efforts in all area of the school.
3. White Oak ISD faculty and staff are monitoring personal hygiene practices, especially hand washing for all students.
4. In compliance with yesterday’s UIL ruling, all interscholastic events have been postponed until May 11, 2009.
5. All WOISD district trips have been postponed or canceled at this time. As more information is available, trips will be looked at on an individual basis. Any trip that puts our students in close contact with students and/or adults from areas outside White Oak ISD will most likely be canceled.
6. Parents and Guardians are strongly encouraged not to bring students to school with a fever. Any student that has a fever should be taken to the doctor and examined immediately.

The administration at White Oak ISD is taking this situation very seriously. We want to thank our community in advance for your help and cooperation in this matter.

What did I learn in San Antonio?

The Lamar Superintendent’s Academy School Board Conference was held in san Antonio and here are a few of my thoughts about the information shared on Saturday. Ian Jukes was the speaker and is well know world wide as an advocate for educational reform. You can learn more ablut Mr. Jukes at http://web.mac.com/iajukes/thecommittedsardine/Home.html the Committed Sardine Website.

 

What did I learn in San Antonio?

Lamar Superintendent’s Academy 2009

 

 

            This entry is just a few notes about the information I received at the Lamar Academy Convention in San Antonio, Texas. What did I learn?

            I learned that Ian Jukes is from British Columbia, Canada and played professional football in the Canadian League (that did not count due to it not being the NFL).

            I learned the TTWWADI’s are a formidable resistance to change in the process of educational reform. That’s The Way We’ve Always Done It = TTWWADI.

            I learned that the Solid Rocket Boosters on the Space Shuttle were limited in size by the width of the tunnels along the railroad system that delivered them to Florida. The railroad with was determined by the width of wagons being built in the early 1800’s and the wagon widths were determined by the ruts in the existing roads in Europe before America was settled. The width of the ruts in the roads in Europe were determined by the wheels of Roman War Chariots some 2300 years ago and the Roman Chariot was designed to be the width of two horses rear ends. THEREFORE, the size of the Solid Booster Rockets on what is arguably the most sophisticated peace of technology on this planet was determined by the width of two horses’ rear ends 2300 years ago!!

            On a more serious note, I learned that we are on the very edge of an Exponential Growth Explosion. This is one of the factors that must be considered when planning for the education of future generations. Changes will happen faster than ever before and we need young people that are comfortable in this climate of change. The statement was made that our young people live in The World of Fundamental Uncertainty. This will only become more common in the future. Change is the constant that our students will have to embrace and use to their advantage.  

            I learned that there are Several Exponential Global Trends that are driving the decisions about change in the education process. Here they are;

1. Moore’s Law was first introduced in the mid 1960’s and stated that technology will be twice as powerful and half the price every two years. Since then the theory holds true with the exception of what was once every two years is down the every twelve months. As Bio-technology and Nano-technology begin to advance, the time line will be cut to every six months.

2. Photonics or Fiber-optics have almost unlimited potential to increase the speed at which information is delivered. The amount of bandwidth being purchased per one dollar is tripling every four months. It is possible that we can see speeds one trillion times faster than today in twenty years.

3. The Internet had 20 users in 1990. Today there are 113 new users added every minute. Do you know about MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia, Ebay, Skype, Second Life, Twitter, Podcasting, Blogs and Web 2.0? These represent a new form of communication and information delivery system that the Digital Native considers essential to existence on earth! You might also note that you have not seen any of these advertised on TV and yet hundreds of millions of people use them every day.

4. The term Infowhelm describes the situation where we have access to more information than we will ever use. Much of this information is “Disposable” due to the accelerated rate of change we have been discussing. By the time you here about it, it’s obsolete. Imagine, information that is as perisable as fresh fruit.

5. Biotechnology is on the rise and is the sum total of all the trends we have previously discussed. Invetro “no kill” meats, grown body parts and genetic mapping. The statement was made at the session that “The difference between Science Fiction and Reality is that you have to make Science Fiction somewhat believable.” Remember Exponential Times!

6. The things discussed in trends One through Five have already taken place. Now for number six. Nano-technology. This is described as “technological fusion” or the combination of all the trend we have been talking about. Technology that gets smaller and more efficient is not a stretch of the imagination. Think about stereo equipment. Start with wall components then boom boxes then IPhones and tell yourself that little programmable nanobots are not possible.

            These six things are part of the exponential explosion that our students must be prepared to participate in and be successful. It is our job as Digital Immigrants to insure that our Digital Natives have the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to be a part of this ‘new world’.

            I will end with a ray of hope for the good old teachers of my generation. None of this calls for the abandonment of the core curriculum that is basic to all successful learners. There will always be a place to practice the core subject areas and instill core beliefs in our students. We need to insist that our young people respect the values that make us who we are. There is no substitute for honesty, work ethic and self discipline. However, we need to look at the world around us and change the delivery systems to meet the needs of our students. There is no place for a school system that is training 21st Century Learners to succeed in a 1950’s world.