Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Parent asks the District to be part of the Solution.

The topic was raised that is a “one man show”. While I believe that this is patently false, I’ll raise the challenge to the District to “address the issue” as opposed to “point the finger”.

In these trying economic times, communication with the electorate is more important than ever when difficult issues need to be addressed. The cost of traditional mailings is very expensive and should be reserved for only the most significant issues. In order to save money and improve communication with parents and the community, the district should put a community forum in place that can put forward ideas and have the community participate in those ideas. There are a number of ways this can be done – the district can do something as simple as a moderated “google groups” page that can be moderated or host their own “blog” on wordpress or any one of a number of free services.

Now, here are a couple of objections that I’ll address up front

1. “We can’t do it because we are responsible for the content”. You have a moderated account that only puts up those items that meet your standards (and I hope your standards are about profanity, not the exchange of dissenting ideas).

2. “We can’t do it because it costs too much”. The hosting service is free. The cost is the manpower to moderate the exchange. Considering that the District spends $8000 for every mailing to communicate with parents, I would argue this is a cost savings.

3. “We can’t do it because not everyone is included because they don’t have internet access”. Aside from the fact that both Lynnwood and Edmonds have free internet terminals, this is not a reasonable argument. To view your student’s records, you go online to “Skyward”. Other services are online – why not this?

4. “We can’t do it because it allows anonymous comments”. We’ve been down this before. Ideas are the important part here – not the source.

5. “We can’t do it because government organizations can’t use computing resources we don’t control”. Please…. One word. “Skyward”.

I will be at the next board meeting and will raise this to the board for their comments. Are the leaders of our educational systems interested in a free exchange of ideas or is communication over the internet something we should ignore? Elections are coming up for 2 board members. Think about your answers carefully……..

Blog: I challenge those capable of free thought to question why this blog [] would openly advocate for the creation of such a forum. By posting this entry, we are actively endorsing this great idea. More open and free discussion is never a bad thing.


Anonymous said...

Couple more objections: We can't do it because: #6 We really don't want to hear ideas other than our own; and #7 We don't have anyone with enough time in their day to "moderate" the online site; and #8 If the idea came from we really don't want to do it!

Anonymous said...

One would hope that with the "new era" of honesty, openness, and inclusion in government that is being ushered in at the national level, shining light where it hasn't been for several years, that even the local entities of government-irrigation districts, school districts and city governments-would do the same. Government at all levels has a duty to their constituents, indeed a patriotic duty, to be accountable. If current government officials are afraid of the scrutiny, they should step aside and let other people, who are less driven by the need for power and secrecy, step forward.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nick
You are down in a hole, feeling so small and out of control. I don't know if you can be saved. You're losing your soul, you wish you could fly.You must be wishing for some warm sunshine, you're just a man in a box. You need help to make it through.

you are so far from being a leader.

Anonymous said...

Did I steal from the kids. I don't think so. I just clean things.

Anonymous said...

Solution: get rid of the stupid leaders running the district... Its not that hard people...Someone bought some land for way to much money and now she has to lay people off. good luck, maybe you should look in the mirror marla, thats right you don't look down on people.

Anonymous said...

Marla does not have a conscious!! She believes her LIES! And so does Nicky-Boy.

Anonymous said...

Parent ask the school district why are you building a new head quarters/ESC when you have Lynnwood high school,Evergreen Elem or Woodway Elem. We just what an anwser Nick or Marla, any time now.
I think they just want to spend money and give it to there friends/ contractors/Club of Edmonds Rotary/ my friend larry the cable fat guy next door to me/ the nice guy that put my LCD tv up for me last weekend at Nicks cabin in the woods.
Its called stealing people! wake up from the dream your bed is wet!

Rick Jorgensen said...

The response Nick/Marla gave was that "this money comes from different budgets". By law, there are different monies provided to the schools for "Capital Improvements" (buildings, physical assets) and operations (salaries, operating bills, etc).

The law prevents them from mixing or combining the two and Nick believes there are good reasons for this. It gets a bit complicated and more than can be answered in a blog entry. It makes sense if the new buildings reduce the cost to run them over the long term for a school (Like more efficient heating or repair)but given that the ESC is fairly new, there doesn't seem to be a very good, communicated reason. Are they losing a lease on the land? Is it more cost effective over the long run? These might be reasonable explanations but we just don't know because the information isn't available (nor will the District respond to these questions openly because they don't respond to or have a blog/forum of their own.

Wouldn't it be a good thing for the District to post a good explanation that helps the public understand the reasons for their decisions on their web site in simple, clear language for the public to understand? It seems to me that if you are going to spend millions of taxpayer dollars, you should be able to take the time to defend the position clearly to the people paying the bills.

Anonymous said...

Why is the ESC re-locating anyway?
The present building is well built, functional; I don't get it!!

Anonymous said...

You don't get it. Its called gifting money to friends. Thats what its called. If you are in the club you get it.

Anonymous said...

What happened to all of the previous Levy money that typically used to fund and protect support staff? How did this hit a point where support staff is now threatened, despite the fact the district passed all of their levies? Didn't M and O money used to fund certain groups? Are we just going to gloss right over that? Basically when the district mismanages funds, anything goes. When layoffs are looming so close, why also did the district just hire 7 fulltime classified employees to backfill previous budget vacated positions? I know... another stupid question!

Anonymous said...

To feel free: You hit it right on the money, M and O money was just passed. How can layoffs hit when most of the levies passed.

Anonymous said...

Remember those classified folks that help pass the levy by working phones, etc are now going to lose their jobs because of budget cuts. Just goes to show you that browning nosing won't save ya!