My letter from 4/18/02 was misunderstood. For one, I wasn't arguing that those of us taking classes at CLC should get grade bumps. I wouldn't want such a thing if it were offered to me. Second, I wasn't by any means saying Advanced Placement students have it easy. It would be ignorant for anyone to say they did. My point was simply this: AP students take AP classes because they want the challenge. If the AP grade bump is based on challenge then it should be given to all or none. This is because challenge is relative and by that definition it is equal at all levels of education whether you are a student taking AP, Post-Secondary, regular, or basic classes.
In today's Brainerd Dispatch I read with interest the article about Potlatch's closing and possible ramifications to employees and the local economy. The potential impact for the Brainerd/Baxter area could be quite devastating, let alone each family directly affected. The article discussed the potential for people leaving the area or being forced to accept lower paying jobs. Local businesses, real estate, and most of the local economy could take a hit.
I turned the page, I read that the school board may start building the new school as early as August to the tune of $48,000. What a contrast. Has the school board even considered the district's ability to pay off this debt? Very soon after the announcement of the plant's closing, a board member quoted on a radio newscast that the board intended to proceed as soon as possible with bond sales as soon as May. Circumstances have changed significantly since the referendum passed and the board doesn't seem to care much. In fact, it almost appears they are in a hurry. Any prudent borrower would re-evaluate its intentions when the ability to pay potential borrowing is compromised. Please make certain of what you are obligating us for.
One more point. One of the reasons given by the board to proceed was that the construction would benefit the local economy. Yet, the very first contract goes to a Twin Cities construction management firm. How much of that $1.6 million will the local economy see? How many local contractors will a Twin Cities construction manager hire? An excellent local firm was one of the contenders for this contract and was passed over. Hopefully, the board will insist that local construction and building supply companies get the nod from here on in.
Before the recent Brainerd School District bond election, voters were informed, by the school board and some of the school staff, that the Franklin school building was unfit for student occupation and conditions there were not conducive for quality educational opportunities for the students.
The school officials likened the proposed new Baxter Middle School to the present "state of the art" Mississippi Horizons building with large classrooms, computers, etc.
The Franklin JHS building was heavily criticized and was sentenced to be vacated because of poor physical conditions, namely - poor lighting, bad smell, bad colored water, small classrooms, leaky roof and not enough room for computers.
Now, recent publicized test score data, for ninth grade students for both schools, indicates that the ninth graders in Franklin had higher test scores in math and reading than were the ninth grade scores in the newly equipped Mississippi Horizons building.
It is unfortunate that, in a recent Dispatch interview, Brainerd School Assistant Superintendent, Gary Phillips, attempted to rationalize this comparison on the fact that Mississippi Horizons had some "special needs" students. Actually, the reality is that there are "fewer" special needs students enrolled at Mississippi Horizons than are enrolled at Franklin!
This proves that the age of a school building has no bearing on student achievement.
It now appears that the voters of School District #181 got some kind of a "bogus March snow job" about the Franklin building conditions from the Brainerd School Board and its administration.
Think about it
Dear Land Owners of Big Water,
As most of you know the Lake Placid Blvd. was closed last fall. The road was closed due to some erosion around the edges. Sylvan Township has said that it will cost about $92,000 to repair and straighten the road. The question is are the people really happy that the road is closed? As of now the people are very happy. Less traffic, less noise and soon lest dust!
But are the people ready to let Sylvan Township do whatever they want to do?
Let's just say the township does have complete control. This is a well used area for fishing and boating. So the township decided what a perfect area for development. Development meaning a beautiful fishing pier, a large parking lot and a maybe a boat landing.
What will that do for the people at Lake Placid? This is something the people need to think about!
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