Letters to the Editor

Public attitudes toward public schools

Our nation’s  children attend public schools, private schools , charter schools, parochial schools, juvenile court schools, and others prefer to home school.

Ninety percent of our nation’s k-12 children  are in public schools. The majority of parents support their particular public school.

The Gallup Poll of Public Attitudes toward the public schools shows that Americans have a number of conflicting viewpoints in their appraisal of public schools.

Our country is divided on:

1.Whether teachers should be evaluated based on student standardized tests.

2.Whether parents should receive vouchers to help pay for their children to attend private schools.

3.Whether the children of immigrants who entered this country illegally should have free public education.

4.Whether high school students are prepared for college.

We are also divided in how we perceive our schools, assigning the schools our children attend the higher grades, while showing less confidence in the nation’s schools as a whole. Most of us did not vote in an election that affected our local schools. Most of us have trust and confidence in public school teachers and most of us believe we know at least one public school teacher “very well.”

We as a nation agree:

1.Teachers should be rigorously screened and prepared, at least to the level of other professions such as engineering, business, law, and medicine.

2.That we have trust and confidence in our teachers.

3.That the “Common Core Standards” can have a positive affect on public education.

4.That neither high school dropouts nor high school graduates are ready for the world of work.

5.That we must close the “achievement gap” and can do this without lowering standards. Most of us are willing to pay more taxes to achieve this goal. Many believe that balancing the federal budget is more important than improving education.

6.That we must support urban schools.

7.That lack of financialsupport (43%) is a bigger problem than discipline, overcrowding, fighting , gang violence, and drugs.

The importance of quality, cost-effective, educational programs can not be overstressed in our complex, rapidly changing, competitive world.

When you are through learning, you are through.

John Rajcic

Ramona

John Rajcic is a candidate for Ramona school board.

Re-elect Lopez, Perfect to school board

We endorse Dan Lopez and Dawn Perfect for Ramona Unified School District Board of Education in the November election.

In the last four years, Lopez and Perfect have been fiscal watchdogs and conservatives on the board helping to create a fiscally unified board. With the apparent financial state and federal woes, they have continually chosen to manage the district conservatively as dollars have been stretched to increase the quality of education for all students. Their leadership has proved stability and sound management with every dollar. Instead of spending they have continually voted to decrease spending to a sum of approximately $8 million or 15% of the general budget to keep the district fiscally solvent while supporting teachers and students in the classroom.

They are exactly what we need during the present California and United States recession. Their goals are to increase learning across the district for all students while being prudent with your tax dollars.

They set out to enhance the culture of Ramona’s schools where universal achievement for every student is the norm.  Both have a focus on student achievement in both core academics and vocational areas, including athletics and fine arts. When we look at the results, students are reading and writing more, choosing to take more advanced placement classes than before. Through their leadership, there is greater access to advanced academics, while maintaining the vocational arts. There is no surprise of this change as student desire for learning has increased across the school district. Some of these results are students for the first time speaking about going to college and how they are going to pursue their career. The focus has shifted from getting through school to what they need to do and learn to pursue their future careers, with college or post-secondary training as part of that plan.  Lopez and Perfect are well aware that students graduating college will make on average $35,000 more than students who do not, so encouraging teachers to create a pathway for all to attend college as career preparation is on track for every Ramona student.

Along with the board of education, Lopez and Perfect helped champion greater communication to the community at large.  On a regular basis, communication has gone out to every employee and the community about our schools and financial situation. The goal is to provide a greater level of transparency and communication as our schools are an integral part of the Ramona community.

Along with keeping the district financial solvent it is important to Lopez and Perfect that everyone is aware of our financial status and the great things are schools and students are doing. Our schools are one of the great unifying establishments that one can rally around, having a sense of Ramona pride as seen through our Ramona Bulldog sports, NJROTC and turnaround of the agriculture program.

If you’re not aware, both are married and have children attending Ramona schools. They both hold a Masters in Governance from the California School Boards Association and serve in the community through a variety of capacities and committees.  As we look forward to the next four years we admire their examples of leadership by being willing to make the tough choices and do what is right for students. When we add it all up, Dan Lopez and Dawn Perfect are exactly what we need to lead Ramona schools.

Bob Stoody

Rodger Dohm

RUSD trustees

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Short URL: http://www.ramonasentinel.com/?p=18156

Posted by Karen Brainard on Oct 9 2012. Filed under Editorial, Letters to the Editor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Letters to the Editor”

  1. Dynamic school districts much like sucessful buinesses ,in a market economy ,require growth and cash flow… Declining enrollment districts have a difficult time down sizing in that people lose their jobs…..businesses that do not grow have the same problem..No growth hurts school district more because there is a 2% salary creep in school district salaries that automatically occurs if enrollment stays constant from year to year or declines. . When we lose the students we lose funding but salaries keep creeping. the loss of 1100 students translates to a los sof 8 million…I does not take courage to cut the budget in a decling enrollment disitricts …what other choice is there?? as an aside if a school has a 920 API , property values would dramatically increase in that school's attendance area. john rajcic school board candidate

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