SCHOOL: A lack of democracy - Coeur d'Alene Press: Letters To Editor

SCHOOL: A lack of democracy

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Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:00 am

The Coeur d’Alene school board is out of control. Populated almost entirely by appointees, apparently board members are confused about the concept of representative democracy… A prime example? They recently voted to disband PYP (a parent-funded program at one of our schools of choice) after refusing to do a community survey evaluating the program — despite a petition with more than 700 signatures begging them to get broad input first.

At the most recent meeting, they voted to sell Person Field, pushing for a vote despite the fact that city representatives (scheduled to meet with them) had not yet arrived.

As a citizen this scares me. It’s like something out of a bad movie.

It gets worse. Not content with dismantling school district programs, members have now set their sights on North Idaho College. At a recent meeting of the Reagan Republicans, appointed (NOT ELECTED) board member Jim Hightower announced that he will be doing advertising for NIC trustee candidates who share his agenda — an agenda he’s been willing to ignore his constituents to implement. He also called on members to write letters to the editor to support his undemocratic actions, because community response is so overwhelmingly against the board’s unilateral decision-making process.

This is an insult to intelligent conservatives everywhere.

True conservatives believe in less government and government control. How does eliminating parental choice within our district qualify? No child was forced to attend the PYP program, yet Hightower and company dismantled it anyway.

How is this democracy? What’s next?


Coeur d’Alene

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • rationaldiscussionplz posted at 11:53 pm on Sat, Oct 27, 2012.

    rationaldiscussionplz Posts: 266

    I think that if there was enough interest in PYP, its proponents would be out there working to start a PYP charter school, private school or home school group.

    Frankly, there are only two possibilities why they are not doing that, and instead are focused on slinging mud at the school board.

    1) There is simply not enough interest in PYP to make the options I listed viable
    2) The proponents of PYP are too lazy to even want to try these options

    It's probably a mix of both. The PYP supporters would rather try to take over the school board with people intent upon supporting their personal agenda, and simply decree PYP back into regular public schools, rather than put the effort into setting up a charter school, private school or home school group for the handful of people who wish to participate in PYP.

  • rationaldiscussionplz posted at 11:45 pm on Sat, Oct 27, 2012.

    rationaldiscussionplz Posts: 266

    You complain about the Reagan Republicans endorsing NIC Trustee candidates who share their views. Yet you fail to mention that the Kootenai County Democrats have endorsed candidates who share the Democrats views: Judy Meyer, Mic Armon and Dean Haagenson.

    So one set of endorsements in the Trustee race is from a random group of individuals who have "Republicans" in their name, but are in no way, shape or form connected to the Republican Party. And the other set of endorsements in this non-partisan race come from the Kootenai County Democrats, the official representation of the Democrat party here.

    I am incredibly intrigued by how this works.

    The official Kootenai County Democrats have been endorsing Trustee candidates since at least 2010, if not before. But there have never been cries of "partisanship" about that.

    In 2011, the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans (a group with zero official ties to the Republican Party) endorsed school board candidates and is now endorsing NIC Trustee candidates, and suddenly people became concerned over "partisanship" due to the Reagan Republicans' endorsements.

    It's not partisan when the official Kootenai County Democrat party endorses people in a non-partisan race, but it's unacceptably partisan when a random group that has "Republicans" in its name endorses people in a non-partisan race. The hypocrisy--the insanity--of this is baffling.

    Note: I don't believe that any political race is truly non-partisan, and I think endorsements should be made from all sides. I just have a problem with people who are so two-faced as to lambast a group that's not affiliated with the Republican party, but has simply chosen a name that has "Republicans" for making endorsements in non-partisan races, but ignore the fact that the official Kootenai County Democrats have been endorsing candidates in non-partisan elections for longer without anyone crying foul.

    Of course, you also make the mistake of thinking we live in a Democracy, when in fact we live in a constitutional Republic. But I don't need to go into that here. Jeffrey Wherley already explained it quite well.

  • Rationale posted at 7:02 pm on Fri, Oct 26, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1976

    Well, Barbara, it was a numbers game. PYP wasn't showing high enough performance to warrant its costs. It's as simple as that!

    What I can't understand is how people think a town this size needs, and can actually support, so many brick and mortar buildings.

    Here's a wake-up call: "Schools of choice" is a nice buzzword; a great flavor of the month. But perhaps someday people will finally comprehend that we have a limited tax base and can't create schools for everybody!

    We are trying to turn public education into private education...actually INDIVIDUAL education. Unfortunately, the private education model does not work in the public school system.

    So take your pick: you either want public school or private school. Stop trying to commingle them, because it doesn't work!

  • jimmyjayrocks posted at 3:49 pm on Fri, Oct 26, 2012.

    jimmyjayrocks Posts: 9

    I highly encourage you and all the IB/PYP supporters to form your own private school. You pay for the teachers. You pay for the curriculum. You pay for the building/maintenance/upkeep etc. Then you can teach whatever you want to teach - as long as it is on your dime. This is what the other side has been forced to do for about 100 years.

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