+ Flagler budget mirrors feds
Our county leaders’ political antics demonstrate that they are almost ready for Washington.
Even though they increased our tax millage rate last year, we now have another financial “fork in the road” to take. This year, we have a $3 million budget gap.
Washington always immediately threatens to cut our Department of Defense, Social Security or Medicare instead of the wasteful programs and useless agencies. Likewise, our county immediately threatens to cut emergency services, the FireFlight helicopter and libraries. They think the taxpayers will beg for another tax millage rate increase to keep the things we need.
Our county won’t consider stopping the constant tax money being spent on sidewalks to nowhere, parks, etc.
They also do not mention getting rid of the Mobile Benefits Program, and they don’t want to stop funding outside agencies like the United Way.
When did the taxpayers give the county permission to donate any of our tax dollars to outside agencies? I stopped donating to the United Way years ago when I learned it supported groups I found objectionable. Donating our taxes to anyone should be the first thing they cut.
Our federal and county officials are elected to protect and preserve the rights of their constituents. Everything is paid for by the taxpayers. Both the federal and county governments continue to spend and waste our taxes. They then threaten to cut things we really need, so we will quietly accept another tax hike; and they can continue to spend more. We have to stop this cycle. Don’t let them get away with it.
STATE OF HIGH-STAKES TESTING
+ School Board opposition to high-stakes testing is all wrong
By a vote of 4-1 (Trevor Tucker voting nay), a resolution on High-Stakes Testing was passed June 5 by the Flagler County School Board, requesting that our governor and the U.S. Congress and administration “reduce the testing mandates ... and not mandate any fixed role for the use of student test scores in evaluating educators.”
In the Palm Coast Observer Saturday, June 9, Trevor Tucker is quoted as saying: “I don’t know how you compare people without (standardized testing).”
I agree. In the real world, students will be tested constantly whether in getting into college, getting and keeping a job, etc. Let’s not pretend that this is a fantasy world without competition.
The teacher’s union president is quoted as concerned about the stress of FCATs. Perhaps FCATs should be end-of-course exams only, but there is more stress in not measuring up later in life. Another School Board member agreed, saying that “creating stress does not motivate people. It’s like life — everything in moderation.”
Have these people seen the drop in scores published everywhere for the Flagler County School District? Do they really think that asking less of our students and not measuring their performance is going to help create an atmosphere to “strive for excellence”? Is the teachers’ pay issue going to be uppermost in their minds so that the teachers need not be accountable for the student performance?
We are headed in the wrong direction. We need to lengthen the school day, not shorten it. We need teachers to be more accountable, not less. The School Board needs to be working on ways to help the students raise their scores, not lowering the bar. And the School Board needs to be held accountable to students, parents and citizens.
+ School Board is failing to take responsibility for testing
It seems the Florida Board of Education decided to lower the passing grades for the FCAT testing; then, three members of our School Board went a step further and voted against further high-stakes testing.
Brilliant move; Dance, Fisher and Conklin solved the problem. If everyone is beating you and you don’t have the ability or will to win, then quit playing! It’s not the teachers’ fault that these little dunderheads can’t learn; it’s those cheap taxpayers who have taken 3% of teachers’ salaries to pay for their retirement and then wouldn’t give them a decent raise. Next thing you know, we’ll stop collecting union dues from their paycheck or do away with tenure. Will the harassment never end?
Unions serves three purposes: They keep incompetents from being fired; they get raises for people who don’t deserve them, and they raise millions of dollars for the Democratic National Committee.
There are now 1,700-plus school employees, and they can carry an election. Watch what happens to the half-cent sales tax increase when they vote for it in August.
Douglas R. Glover
— Email [email protected].