If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.
— Frank Herbert, The Dosadi Experiment
I N T H E N E W S
Orem is putting malls before
Orem City wants to divert $44 million dollars away from Alpine School District to fund a re-development project of the city's existing University Mall.
KNRS Rod Arquette-WATCH:Utah Bites Into Common Core
WATCH this great video about the important issues surrounding Common Core from Wendy Hart, a member of the Alpine School Board.
School board member: State must protect student data
Utah already collects too much data on students in public schools, and there are no protections in place to help parents keep this data private, said Alpine district board member Wendy Hart.
Parents opt their children out of new standardized tests
More than 400 students in the Alpine School District has been opted out of the standardized testing.
Residents discuss Common Core concerns at meeting
Wendy Hart noted she went to the National School Board Conference and found out the federal government was funding Common Core to the tune of $230 million.
Debt-free is unrealistic, says JoDee Sundberg
In August 2011, board member Wendy Hart was the first to ask the rest of the board to consider moving away from the debt model. She asked whether relying on debt is fiscally responsible.
Alpine board member tries to change way board OKs payments
Hart said the words of the board's traditional procedure should be changed. Instead of saying board members approve the bills, Hart said board members should simply approve the process of letting staff pay the bills.
WHERE DOES THE BUCK STOP?
How to bring financial accountability to Utah's public schools
Wendy Hart said, "The more local the decisions, the more customized they can be, and the easier they can be changed when mistakes are made. It is unreasonable to assume that the needs in one district match the needs in another.”
Alpine school board discusses class sizes, possible tax increase
Board members gave an initial favorable reaction. Wendy Hart differed.
"I am in favor of lowering class sizes, but our taxpayers are going to be hit," she said.
Alpine School District looks at new legislation
Wendy Hart suggested that the district hold a formal public hearing or open house for the public to comment on the district's upcoming proposed fiscal year budget. As it happens now, there is a public comment period and "five minutes later, we vote," she said. "It would be nice to give it to the community to comment beforehand.
ASD superintendent up for reappointment
"There is a lot of 'how do I feel about' statements," Hart said. "I prefer goals we can use over two years to measure. We need actual measurement. I would like to see it much more concrete, more objective than subjective."
Alpine district asks ‘What can parents do?’
Parent involvement is important, but parent training "might be regarded by parents as busy work," Hart said. "Parent training is beyond our scope and probably a concern."
Parents or Alpine district at fault over disconnect?
Hart suggested that district elected officials need to use more social media outreach, such as blogs and Twitter.
"Yes, parents aren't blameless in this, but if most people don't know what a school community council is, we need to do something about that," she said.
Investigating math programs
Wendy Hart and Paula Hill, said they'd like teachers to communicate which methods they use so parents could decide who should teach their children. But that suggestion fell on a majority of deaf ears.
Alpine district changes meeting notice policy after math debate
Wendy Hart and Paula Hill, had argued strongly that if teachers would just be up front with parents about which method they primarily used to teach math, then parents could simply choose which teacher they wanted for their child, and the math controversy would cease to be an issue. But this discussion was entirely absent from the chairwoman's summation of the meeting, and Hill took umbrage with this.
Big school plan — and big risks
Board member Wendy Hart has called for the district to try moving away from the debt model. This may be a tough time to do so; the budget is already strained. But at the very least the district can be cautious about putting more on its credit card.
Ever-changing Alpine school plans
Pertinent questions remain. Board member Wendy Hart raised the question of whether seismic repairs should be a higher priority. A major fault line runs through Utah Valley, and if we were prioritizing projects, seismic repairs or retrofits would be at the very top. On her Facebook page, Hart raised the question of whether rebuilding three older schools makes financial sense. There's a time when an old car just needs to be scrapped, and maybe that point has been reached with certain schools.
Ever-changing Alpine school plans
"I still have concerns," said board member Wendy Hart, noting that she thinks more work should be done on the long list of schools that need seismic improvements.
K-STAR 1400 AM
Discussion on Common Core, Transparency, Fiscal Responsibility.