At-large School Board candidates – 2011

I agree with the DNT Editors on their recommendations for Duluth’s at-large candidates for the School Board. Either Ryan Stauber or Mike Miernicki would be a good addition to the Board. Bill Kron, I presume the former long time County Commissioner, has nice things to say about Mike in today’s paper. Ryan has a very short and smart letter about the district in the paper as well. He’s crisp and precise something I’ve seen little of in most of the current batch of school board members.

The state of our district is becoming dire. We have brand new classrooms going unused due to teacher layoffs. Class sizes are growing at an astronomical rate. And, most disturbing, public perception and trust are at all-time lows. Other educational facilities in our area continue to grow, even generating waiting lists. While we watch others flourish, Duluth public schools are floundering. We’ve lost 50 percent of our students over the past 34 years, we’re not just bleeding students; we’re hemorrhaging them at an unprecedented rate.

The third candidate Doug Frisk, no friend of mine, has a lengthy applogia for the Red Plan and a call for a little Kumbayah.

As painful as changes have been for Duluth, we must move forward rather than look back and pick at that scab. Our community can only heal if we move forward together.

I was sort of impressed when he wrote about children who were “innumerate” (can’t count their fingers) but less so at his promise which is prefaced by call for “iterative” improvement: “My vision to move the district forward includes parent involvement, challenges for all students and iterative improvement.”

I promise to listen respectfully, but I won’t promise to always agree. I promise not to go down a path my conscience tells me is wrong for our children or schools. I refuse to promise everything and deliver nothing.

For a guy who says what we need is more parental involvement I guess his conscience has told him to make sure there is no public involvement is such trivial details as building the new schools the public will have to pay for.

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