Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tuesday's Election Day, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti

Let's start with the tech bond in the Ann Arbor schools. I started out ambivalent about supporting it. After all, philosophically I think most of the technology should be funded through operating funds. I expressed this feeling (and got some good discussion) in this previous post, How Should Schools Pay For Technology? (Read the comments, too, I think they are helpful.)

I still believe that--but I've also become convinced that in this current "climate"--by which I mean the state's continued cutting of funding to our public schools--that it is simply not feasible to expect technology funding to come from operating funds and not seriously affect our schools by taking money away from other things.

I've gotten seriously annoyed at our new Superintendent because every time we've raised the issue of the NWEA MAP test, she has responded that the "problems" are due to our old technology. Well, that's only true if you accept that the test itself is a good thing. If you think the test itself is a bad thing, then technology is not the problem, and it's not the solution either. Nonetheless--I'm not voting against the bond even though I'm unhappy with the testing, and unhappy with the pay increases for administration. I'm voting for the bond because I think it's a way to limit the destructiveness of current state policies around education. I'm voting for the bond because I think our students and teachers will benefit.

I wish that this bond was to support a county-wide operating millage for all school districts--but it's not. If that's put on the ballot in November, I'll support it then--in addition to this bond.

I also want to mention the Ypsilanti votes. I'd encourage you to check out Mark Maynard's virtual cyber debate, which he set up because the anti-income tax people didn't want to debate publicly. If you are a regular reader, you know that I don't live in Ypsilanti. But I'm pretty sure that based on where I work, I will be taxed through the new income tax, if it passes. Nonetheless, I hope if you live in Ypsilanti that you will vote for the income tax and the Water St. millage. I believe that a healthy city is necessary for healthy schools, and I also want people to have access to police and fire departments that are properly staffed!

Roses are red
Money is green
This May please vote yes
On the voting scene.

Apologies to all for awful poetry.

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