4024 Virginia AV

Shoreview, MN 55126

September 3, 2003

 

Shoreview Press

 

Editor:

 

Change comes slowly to schools.Over the past 14 years my children, and most children in the Mounds View District have slowly had curriculum and academic options diminish.Very bluntly, the Mounds View District is not the showplace it once was.Customer service has never seemed to be a priority.Teacher accountability has changed little.The Districtís 1960ís era buildings are, well, 1960ís buildings even after a commitment of$80,000,000.

 

How does change occur?I was once told by a long-time board member of another metro district that schools donít change because parents with high expectations eventually give up.Over the years Iíve spoken at the Boardís public forum, attended numerous planning meetings, all of my childrenís conference, and communicated with administrators, legislators, teachers and parents.What I am certain of is that labor negotiations between a statewide union and a local school board will not center on student outcomes, schools will continue to cut programs, children will continue to be held up as pawns, and fundamental change (starting at the big white building in St. Paul) will continue to be a hope in the distant future.New parents will arrive with optimism and leave with less.

 

If you like what you see and are comfortable with change at a snailís pace, and if you think $16 a month added to your local taxes will really result in better academic outcomes, improved accountability for spending, and will somehow be a lasting and corrective action, go for it and vote yes on the levy ballot.If you believe that things should be better now than fourteen years ago, that good teachers should make more, that poor teachers should leave sooner, that greater outcome-based accountability is important, that children should not lose options, and that slow change is not good enough, spend your $16 a month (or $6.3 million annually) on postage and phone calls to the legislators in St. Paul (thatís a language that all legislators understand) to help all children.

 

Respectfully,

 

John Leeper

 

612.492.4316    W

651.490.0236H