ISD 709 should be scared s***less

This story will probably appear in tomorrow’s paper. I thought it might be a few years off. The District will be crippled if it loses as many high school students to Edison as it has lost K-8 students to other schools.

If this happens then it will lose another 600 students – 600 of the students that bring in the most state money for the Duluth School District! No Edison parents want their kids in the Duluth Schools! EXCLAMATION POINT!!!!!!!!

But overwhelming parental support of a high school — 90 percent of parents with children in Duluth Public Schools Academy say they would like to see a high school option for their grade-schoolers — helped keep it a possibility.

And why do all the Edison parents want to steer clear of our new Duluth High Schools?

I offered condolences to Loren Martell this morning. I’m sorry to see him out of the competition. He’s been all through the Piedmont and West Duluth area and heard so many horrer stories about the beautiful new middle school up on the hill. He doesn’t know if its true but he’s been told gangs of middle school students walk the hallways with impunity. Even if this is not true the old saying holds true, “perception is reality.”

I can believe this because our teaching ranks have become threadbare since we are spending our operational money on the Red Plan building bonds. If this is not true the District needs to hustle a television news crew over to the school to debunk this cancerous rumor.

I had hoped I would have a year on the Board to help straighten this out with the help of passed referendum levies. Even if I’m on the board it will be damn near impossible to avert a new stampede of lost students without the levy passing. Edison sounds pretty sure about their new school being set up. It probably will be threadbare too in many respects but at least it will be composed of students who have been in Edison and presumably know how to behave – including my grandchildren. They will show once again that fancy-schmancy buildings do not a good education make. That could alter the composition of the student body in the Duluth High Schools and possibly not for the better.

Loren tells me that people on the hillside who have buses coming in to take our students away to other districts are so mad its unlikely many will vote for a referendum. He told me of one neighborhood where all the neighbors pointed out the Duluth teacher who sent her middle school students to Proctor’s Schools.

From Edison’s inception the Duluth Federation of Teachers has made one blunder after another until Edison has become a massive threat to the DFT.

First our teachers rated Edision the best of five possible charter schools. Then they intimidated Duluth teachers so that none would dare signing up to teach in the Edison schools because of some covenants which allowed Edison to avoid some hamstringing Duluth contract language.

Then the DFT got four new school members elected, one short of a majority on the school board, committed to killing Edison before a fair assessment of the new school could be completed. This forced the existing majority (which I belonged to) to rush some protections for the school and keep it safe from the new School Board. Then, these Board members, presumably, with the DFT’s OK, let Edison spin off into an entirely new independent school district and thus free from the clutches of the DFT.

Then the DFT went along with Dr. Dixon’s hair brained plan to bleed Duluth taxpayer’s dry on the theory that buildings not teachers made for a good education. What an endorsement of their membership! It will be a God-damned shame if our half billion dollar schools become new blackboard jungles.

I must be a fool to want to try to save our schools from this fate. At times it sounds impossible..

Just wait. If the referendum fails then Statutory Operating Debt (bankruptcy) will be just around the corner and the State of Minnesota will step in and tell us how to manage our schools. Martell says the State can order the School Board to raise taxes to do the job. It would be better if we voters did this ourselves ahead of time by passing a levy referendum before anymore s*** hits the fan.

This may very well be a little black cloud that blows over but my forecasts of the Duluth School’s future have had an uncanny accuracy for six years now. I took it off my new website so as not to irritate visitors but I meant it. “I’m pissed.” And NO, that’s not sour grapes. We need school board members who will take their blinders off.

Maybe the DFT could use such leaders as well.

Loren is bringing me some literature he says is a nasty attack of Tom Kasper from four years ago from one of this year’s candidates. I told him I’d like to see it just in case similar stuff appears about me. I don’t want to suffer another Dotycide Attack like the one I suffered in 2006. I’ve always suspected that Dr. Dixon was the person who instigated it. People in Faribault told me he did the same kind of stuff when he was down there.

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