I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, especially after a lovely Easter weekend, but we have some very serious problems to discuss.
You may not be aware of the terrible performance of our area grads, I certainly was not, so let me give you the facts:
I was shocked to learn that, for the students graduating from Lake City HS who apply to North Idaho College, more than 60% will have to take remedial math before they can start into regular community college classes. More than 60%…oh my! And these are new grads from high school. If they’ve been out longer than a year before starting back to school, the numbers are even worse.
Post Falls HS comes in almost as badly, with 52% of their recent grads going to NIC needing remedial math. Lakeland HS is at 48%, Sandpoint HS has 41% and CdA High has the “best of the worst” math scores with 37% needing remediation. That’s still over 1/3 of the new CHS grads going to NIC who are not prepared in math.
This information is for the 2011-2012 timeframe and was given to me by CdA School Board Trustee Ann Seddon, who had a heck of a time getting it from NIC. They said they don’t track these numbers anymore. Really? But when Ann asked new NIC Trustee Todd Banducci, who then asked NIC President Joe Dunlap for the information, it was delivered within a few days.
Good for Ann Seddon to push this issue and stick with it! All of our schools need to constantly evaluate their effectiveness. Ann is a retired Arizona teacher who has been tutoring kids in our area for many years. She looked at the entry requirements for math at NIC and said they are not tough; she compared it to 7th grade math. But many of our area high school grads apparently can’t master that level. Why are these kids allowed to graduate with a High School Diploma if they can’t do basic math? Why are they not held back until they can achieve a functional knowledge of basic skills?
English & Reading scores were equally disturbing. Post Falls High was the worst, with 56% of their new grads going to NIC needing remedial English / Reading. More than half! CdA High was next with 40% needing help, Lakeland had 37%, Lake City at 36% and Sandpoint was the “least awful” at 30%.
These kids coming out of our area high schools are unprepared for the local community college. And these are the kids who want to go on to more education. Just think of the 50% of high school grads who don’t even try to go on–they are starting out seriously unprepared for even the entry level job market.
So who was in charge while all of this was going on? Well, in the CdA School District, it was the long-term school board that was recently ousted or resigned. That former school board was very connected with the Teacher’s Union and was strongly in favor of alternate, shall I say “feel good” programs, that dumbed down the basics while focusing on broad, politically correct sociological themes.
Immediately after that former school board was forced out when a District Court judge ruled that Wanda Quinn was illegally appointed to that board as replacement Chairperson, a brand new citizen group was formed by one of Wanda’s close friends. (Their husbands work together.) The new group is called “Coeur d’Alene Education Partnership” and includes on its board, Wanda Quinn, former School Board Chair, Diane Zipperer, one of the former School Board members who quit after Wanda was removed, and Paula Marano, former long-time head of the local Teacher’s Union.
There are other members too and this group is working hard to get their people and ideas back into power. I wonder what they have to say about this new public information regarding the basic Math, English and Reading problems of our high school graduates?
The current School Board, which replaced the old one, is paying much more attention to the functional effectiveness of our schools. Ann Seddon is one of the new school board members. She was appointed to fill a seat left empty by someone who resigned, and now Ann must stand for election on May 21st. She has done a great job in her short time on this new board. Current School Board Chairman Tom Hamilton said this about Ann: “Ann – Best of luck in your upcoming election! You’ve been a true asset to the Board. Your education background, focus on education fundamentals and propensity for really digging into issues and analyzing the date have made us all better!”
Please help Ann Seddon with her School Board election.
Mark the date: May 21st.
You can check out her Facebook page at Ann Seddon 4 Trustee
Or email questions or comments to her at Seddon4Trustee@gmail.com
Or send a much-needed donation (remember the Teacher’s Union will be trying to get her out) to:
Ann Seddon 4 Trustee
2477 W Hull Loop
CDA, ID 83814
We have a great School Board in place right now. Let’s keep them in and help them change the direction of our school district. Your attention to this issue and your VOTE on May 21st will make all the difference. Thank You!
Have a great, even if it’s rainy, weekend. –Mary
PS—My good friend Brent Regan is a currently appointed School Board Trustee who will also be running for election on May 21st. He is an incredible resource for our district. I will write to you about him very soon.
PSS—It’s Spring Break for the schools so I couldn’t get the CdA Charter Academy’s response to this problem with graduates going to NIC. The Charter Academy is a public school but is not listed on any of the reports from NIC. I tried to email them but am not surprised they did not answer—they are on break! My very confident assumption is that either the number of their high school grads needing remedial classes at NIC is zero, or the number of their grads going to NIC is zero. (I believe they have a 100% rate of grads going on to advanced education. They are ranked #1Best High School in Idaho by US News. The parents of Charter School kids are very motivated and involved, which is a big advantage for any student.)