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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Education

Re: “Head of the Class: Did Lawmakers Politicize Vermont’s Education Chief?

The Dems just couldn't say no to their Gov Shumlin. Shumlin ran roughshod all over the legislature, and the goodwill of Vermonters in general, while he was in office and the partisan D's just sat back and let it happen, supporting his every whim. Had the Shumlin agenda been proposed by an R governor, the Democratically controlled legislature would have done their job and scrutinized and vetted every proposal, as they are now doing. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of bad public policy shoved through during the Shumlin Administration. I have always believed our democracy is at its healthiest when we have opposing parties controlling the legislature and governor's office. It will be a long time I fear before the damage done by Shumlin and his sycophant supporters is reversed. A first step toward repairing the damage is to fix the top down and very undemocratic process of forced consolidation of Vermont's schools, which will inevitably lead to the destruction of our rural communities and way of life. Our schools are our community centers.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John Brabant on 06/07/2018 at 9:43 AM

Re: “Head of the Class: Did Lawmakers Politicize Vermont’s Education Chief?

Re: The difference between education and nearly every other governmental service - education already has a governance structure made up of local school boards.

Are we to ignore the fact that Act 46 consolidation significantly decreases the number of school boards in the State by force, putting more power in the hands of the State Board of Education and the few large enrollment districts it controls?

What other government service is that monolithic, ubiquitous and restrictive?

7 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Jay Eshelman on 06/06/2018 at 2:09 PM

Re: “Head of the Class: Did Lawmakers Politicize Vermont’s Education Chief?

The Governor must be more actively involved in our states education process. If she/he isnt, then we are left with the NEA and individuals like Dave Sharpe to influence things at the statewide level. God help us all is that were to be our only option!

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bob Frazier on 06/06/2018 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Head of the Class: Did Lawmakers Politicize Vermont’s Education Chief?

We decided a long time ago that education wouldn't be left solely to the discretion of local towns. If they want to control it completely without outside interference, let them pay for it themselves. Except some would agree, and then vast inequities would be introduced.

So instead lets politicize education spending like everything else. Making it beholden to political decisions is not always a bad thing; it means that the voters have nearly direct control, rather than leaving decisions in the hands of technocrats who were not elected. If we don't like how Scott is managing the state's education spending, we can vote into office his next opponent.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Nate Awrich on 06/06/2018 at 1:42 PM
Posted by Townsend Peters on 06/06/2018 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Head of the Class: Did Lawmakers Politicize Vermont’s Education Chief?

Oh my. Does Sharpe now think that Shumlin was wrong? How much consideration did Sharpe give to the change before following Shumlin blindly down the path of the biggest loser in Vermont's history of governance?
All Vermonter's are still paying for this failed governor.

16 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Walter Moses on 06/06/2018 at 10:42 AM

Re: “Resilient David Wolk Champions Castleton University

Where is David Wolk now that his stepson, Jack Sawyer ,is the attempted school shooter? He fled to Florida

Posted by JC Sullivan on 06/04/2018 at 3:29 PM

Re: “Oh, the Humanities: UVM Budget Model Spurs a Fight for Survival

All of the politicians huffing and puffing about how we need 'fewer philosophers and more engineers' fail to understand the value of liberal arts (or perhaps are so ingrained in their ways that 'liberal' triggers a frothing rage regardless of context).

It used to be that you went to college to round out your education. It isn't supposed to be a rush to get a job-getting degree. We'll have a very sobering issue if we find the next generation bereft of creativity and nuance. Chasing after business degrees and engineering degrees may have the glory of potential big dollar earnings, but what good is it if we have no artists and writers? Who fills the ethics boards of hospitals? Who becomes our next politicians?

I understand that everyone's chasing money here, but it's a sign that something is deeply wrong with our college system that they're chasing money hard enough to cut off their own feet in order to keep limping forward.

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Matt Smela on 05/19/2018 at 10:54 AM

Re: “Oh, the Humanities: UVM Budget Model Spurs a Fight for Survival

Just what we need -- fewer students able to study Asian languages and culture.

5 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Marc Estrin on 05/16/2018 at 10:34 PM

Re: “Short Bus or Bust!

Did you removed the Windows? Or did I sell icecream from the door?

Posted by katherine flanagan on 05/12/2018 at 1:42 PM

Re: “Surprised by Plans to Build New Schools, Burlington Residents Call for a Halt

Parents claiming to be blindsided should have anticipated the board and Obeng but prefer to pretend that the spend-at-all-cost mentality fixes all that's wrong with their kids' poor classroom performances.

Elections have consequences.

Burlington's liberal elites have yet to realize it's time to take off their rose-colored glasses and sober up.

10 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Ted Cohen on 05/02/2018 at 6:33 PM

Re: “Principled Stand? Why Vermont's Former Ed Chief Split With Scott

If I had a kid in school and was paying no property tax and other people were paying for my kids $20k per year mediocre education I'd vote yes on the budget too.....but the fact is that only a minority of people actually vote at town meeting day, a very small minority and a great many people with children in the system do not own property so therefore the whole idea of this being a democratic system is a farce. Property owners need to stopped being soaked by the VTNEA, at least Phil Scott gets that even if he has no clue about the 2nd amendment.

7 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Paul Lorenzini on 04/19/2018 at 12:34 PM

Re: “Principled Stand? Why Vermont's Former Ed Chief Split With Scott

"She felt it was undemocratic to try to go and change budgets when the voters had already approved them," Huling said. "That was the disagreement that I think led to her resignation.

It is good to hear Secretary Holcombe respected the democratic process and the expressed wishes of voters. The State Board of Education would do well to emulate this value when reviewing the Alternative Governance proposals submitted by districts proposing an alternative to merger under Act 46.. A number of these proposals have been approved by voters at town meetings and in many other places merger proposals were rejected by voters at the ballot box.

This respect for the wishes of voters should guide the State Board, which is appointed not elected, in their decision making.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by mm 1 on 04/19/2018 at 12:07 PM

Re: “Principled Stand? Why Vermont's Former Ed Chief Split With Scott

Cost containment was not her passion according to Huling, well no kidding. I hope the door didnt hit her on the way out! Lets find someone that can bring efficiency and financial accountability to our education system. Governor Scott, if there was a tiff between the two of you about this, I stand with you!

22 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Bob Frazier on 04/18/2018 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Principled Stand? Why Vermont's Former Ed Chief Split With Scott

I very much appreciate Governor Scott's stand against powerful and entrenched interests, gun lobbyists and the teacher's union. Both of these well-financed groups have browbeaten politicians for too long.

Vermont cannot afford it and we have had enough. The majority strongly support Governor Scott's efforts to contain costs. If you don't want to consolidate schools or lay off teachers or control spending, then step away from the table and others will do it for you.

Taxpayers are not going to continue funding your party, time to face the music. This democrat will be proudly voting for Governor Scott and thousands are grateful for his courage in fighting the status quo.

22 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Penelope on 04/18/2018 at 4:21 PM

Re: “Principled Stand? Why Vermont's Former Ed Chief Split With Scott

It is truly a disappointment that Secretary Holcomb did not see fit to explain herself why she left . This could have been done in a professional respectful way that would have been a benefit to the citizens she served in this public position. Instead we are left with no more than speculation, a lack of clarity and people filling in the blanks according to their own perceptions and prejudices.
What is known about Secretary Holcomb's tenure is that she was a strong advocate and prime implementer of Act 46. Unfortunately Act 46 has not achieved its goals. Test scores are falling for Vermont students, consolidation has resulted in the loss of community support and involvement in schools and there have been no tangible cost savings.
School who for geographic and other reasons have had a difficult time with consolidation are facing a time deadline this June. With Secretary Holcomb's abrupt departure it would be well for either the DOE to approve the Alternative Plans developed by these Districts or postpone any decisions until a later date when a new Secretary will be able to get up to speed.

25 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by John Freitag on 04/18/2018 at 4:18 PM

Re: “Principled Stand? Why Vermont's Former Ed Chief Split With Scott

Phil Scott is acting like a tinpot dictator. Nobody knew, when he ran for governor that he intended to trash our time-honored local control of education and micromanage from Montpelier. If only he cared so much about water quality.....

17 likes, 26 dislikes
Posted by Barbara Alsop on 04/18/2018 at 2:51 PM

Re: “Principled Stand? Why Vermont's Former Ed Chief Split With Scott

Phil Scott is bad for VT.

20 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by clamjam22 on 04/18/2018 at 12:34 PM

Re: “Vermont Schools Implement 'Best Practices' for Transgender Equity

Thank you for your courage to speak Melisa. The hatred projected at anyone who dare to question the transgender movement is astonishing. There are -significant- changes taking place in our world which impact everyone yet only one side seems to be allowed to speak. It seems like people are being encouraged to blindly accept a pretty radical belief system and treat it as a fundamental truth. We want our kids to tell us what makes them comfortable but since when is "being comfortable" the noblest goal to strive twoards? And we as parents are now expected to blindly accept that our children know what's best for themselves no matter what? These are young children with very little experience or knowledge of life. As parents it's our responsibility, out of love for our kids, to help guide them and teach them about the often harsh realities of life. We are doing these kids a great disservice by catering so eagerly to their needs. I don't believe this is good for our children in fact I think it could be extremely damaging to our children and not the least damaging to the trans kids this movement is supposedly trying to protect. There needs to be room for dialogue. We must be able to talk about this, to shed light on what's really going on here and if we can't do that the consequences will undoubtedly be tragic.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by ilovermont802 on 04/11/2018 at 3:04 AM

Re: “Banking on the Future: Winooski Teacher Primes Students for Financial Success

What a great article . Congratulations to Courtney Poquette and her inspiration Mike Campbell . They are teaching teens what will really matter in their loves , personal finance . The lessons learnt will last longer and be more important then pretty much anything else they are taught . Information which will actually improve their lives .

Posted by Rich ard on 04/05/2018 at 3:11 PM

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