Monthly Archives: January 2019

FBI v KGB: Can you tell the difference?

President Trump’s longtime political ally, Roger Stone, was arrested at his home by a dozen heavily armed FBI agents in a pre-dawn raid captured on CNN.

If you did not know that this was a politically motivated arrest, you would think Mr. Stone was a dangerous drug lord from the show of force, the pre-dawn swarming of his home and the complete disregard for his dignity or presumption of innocence.

President Trump has been accused of many things, but militarizing the FBI and turning them into thugs is not among them.  Mr. Stone did not resist arrest.  Mr. Stone did nothing to warrant this insulting show of force and pre-dawn intimidation that is characteristic of Communist states. Mr. Stone’s offense, until he is proven guilty, is primarily his closeness to a president despised by Washington insiders.

That government forces can be co-opted to emulate KGB tactics in our country is a state of affairs we should all fear.  It is also something to which we should demand an end.

 

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Edelblut to Speak about Future of Schooling: public invited

Preparing for the Future of Schooling

In this seminar, we will discuss the future of schools – what school board members need to know about the changes (technological, demographic, economic, and political) that they will be facing, and ways to view potential problems as opportunities.

Join us to hear the visions of our two speakers, to think about the future, and to ask questions and share your visions.

This event is designed to benefit elected school district officials, but the public is also welcome, subject to space availability.

Register here via email.
SPEAKER: 
Frank Edelblut

Commissioner
NH Department of Education
SPEAKER: 
Ian Underwood

Former Director
Ask Dr. Math

Flyer attached – please share with your friends!

Saturday, January 19, 2018
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Nackey Loeb School of Communications
749 East Industrial Park Drive, Manchester, NH

Continental Breakfast will be available.
Open to the public.
Pre-registration requested at SDGAofNH@gmail.com
Cash and credit card payment at the door: Members $10, Non-members $15
Space is limited.

SDGA Upcoming Events

  • February 16 – Achieving Transparency: How the Best Districts do it. Panel includes: Bill Foote (Bedford SB), Tom Murray (former Windham SB), and Rich Girard (Manchester SB)
  • March 16 – Relationship between Money and Results
  • April 20 – Nuts and Bolts of Budgets. Speaker: Jorge Mesa-Tejada
  • May 18 – Annual General Meeting
Save the dates!

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Timberlane: doing less with more

Guest Contribution by Arthur Green*

The Cost Per Pupil (CPP) report for the 2017/18 school year has been posted by the NH Department of Education.

Timberlane’s cost per pupil is up a very substantial $500 from the prior year at a flubbery $17,280 for every student from kindergarten to 12th grade. You might not think this so bad until you know better districts do more with much less.

Let’s see how Timberlane compares to the other 9 NH districts with a similar student population, program structure, and number of schools.

CPP Comparable Districts 2018

Timberlane is highest, 8.9% above the state average.  The comparable districts are 7.4% below state average.  Timberlane’s CPP is more than $2,500 higher than the average of comparable school districts.

A few weeks ago, I commented on the spring 2018 SAT results here.  Three of Timberlane’s peer districts achieved higher SATs than Timberlane in both Math and ELA (English Language Arts), those being Bedford, Londonderry and Salem.  If we look at the next-highest CPP amongst those 3, we see that Londonderry spent $16,177 per pupil to achieve better academic results than Timberlane – $1,100 less.  Apply that to a student population of 3,500, and it shows an opportunity to save over $3.5 million, with no sacrifice to educational outcomes.

Finally, let’s have a quick look at rising spending per pupil over the past 5 years:

Chart CPP Growth

Spending per pupil increased across the state by 13% over the past 5 years, which seems to me quite substantial during non-inflationary times, and quite at variance with the perennial complaints from some quarters that education is systematically underfunded.

The spending in the comparable districts has increased by a similar 13%.

Timberlane stands out with an increase of 19% over the period.  If Timberlane’s spending had increased by only the same percentage as its 9 peer districts, the total budget would be lower by $2.7 million. Time to do some fat shaming at Timberlane.  Management needs to be put on a diet by elected officials.

Note: CPP as defined by the state excludes certain items, such as transportation and tuition to outside institutions, in order to arrive at a number which is meant to be comparable across districts.  Timberlane’s budget per pupil in 2018 was $20,000, which is a clearer measure of the overall taxpayer burden.  But the state CPP is a convenient figure for comparison across different districts.

*All fat references added by Donna Green.

 

 

 

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