10/11/2006

Frederic, Wis.: School board appointment divides town

The choice of a home school dad for a vacant seat in Frederic, Wis., prompted some to question his motivations, and the board's.
FREDERIC, WIS. - As a local businessman, volunteer firefighter and dad of two, Lee Jensen seemed like an easy choice for this small Polk County town's school board. But he's also a dad who has home-schooled his kids for a decade.
Jensen's recent appointment to the board that oversees Frederic's public schools has upset many of the town's residents, who packed a Sept. 18 meeting to ask Jensen why he took the job, and ask school board members why they appointed him.

Read more @ Star Tribune.

14 comments:

Kalvyn Clean said...

What's the issue here? Should we only allow people who have kids in the local school system to run for school board?

Anonymous said...

It appears that the issue is about a dad who home schools his kids evidently isn't qualified to be a member of the school board. I seen arguments on this blog that say that only people in favor of public eudcation should be on the school board.

Thre Real Hudson observer said...

"I seen arguments on this blog that say that only people in favor of public eudcation should be on the school board."

Well anonymous, It seems you can make typos too, or are you really that stupid?

Let me get my RED PEN out.

I seen? Seen is past tense anon.

eudcation? Ever hear of spell check?

It's one thing to make mistakes like this, many people do, but when you criticize others for them you should make damn sure you don't make them yourself.

Do you need an eudcation? I think so!

The School Board is in charge of Public Schools. Not private schools, not homes schooling. Although I wouldn't deny home schoolers or Anti public education advocates the right to run in an election for school board, I think appointing someone who opposes public education to the public school board is asking for trouble.
Let the anti-education candidate run on a platform that is opposed to public education and see if they get elected. Or should they deny their real agenda like or anti-education crowd in Hudson and then try to do their damage from within?
Of course, trouble's exactly what the enemies of public education want because it diverts attention and resources from the board providing public education.

kalvyn clean said...

"I think appointing someone who opposes public education to the public school board is asking for trouble."

Bob, nowhere in the article that was cited does it say the Mr. Jensen opposes public education. The article does say that he is trying to build a bridge between the school district and the home-schoolers. Please explain your comment.

Anonymous said...

If you live in a school district and meet the qualifications for the school board position, you are eligible to be elected or appointed -- regardless of your stand on public education. What are you afraid of?

The real Hudson Observer said...

Anonymous said:

"If you live in a school district and meet the qualifications for the school board position, you are eligible to be elected or appointed -- regardless of your stand on public education. What are you afraid of?"

Appointed is not elected. Our local anti-public school candidate stated in a candidate forum that he was not against public education, yet all his actions say the opposite. You are right about who is eligile to "run" for school board. But if that candidate is against public education and campaigns honestly on that platform, I think their chances of being elected are nil.

Appointing an anti-public education advocate to the school board is like appointing Kim Jung Ill to head the Peace Corps.

P.S. I'll repeat again.I'm not BOB.

Anonymous said...

RHSO:

I've talked with numerous people who home school their kids and they are not anti-pulic education. Many say they want to control the education setting of their children and choose to do it this way. Some that I ask about using public tax dollars to fund private education say that would be nice but not necessary. They also point out that their kids often participate in sports and band and use the public school facilities for various activities.

Even though I strongly support public education, I'm not opposed to have people on the school board with different opinions about how the community educates its children. You seem to fear that different opinions make lead to different ideas in education. Obviously, our public education system has room for imprivement. Likewise, home shcooling and private schools are not perfect. All are forms for educating the public and should have a voice in the debate and discussion of how and why we educate our children.

cub said...

"They also point out that their kids often participate in sports and band and use the public school facilities for various activities."

ANON,

Home schoolers are not allowed to participate in WIAA activities!

Anonymous said...

Evidently Minnesota doesn't have the same high school athletic particiaption rules.

cub said...

anon,

Quite right...In Minnesota home schoolers are able to participate however Minnesota is much more intrusive into what home schoolers are teaching and how they are teaching (I believe they have to be tested and such), in Wisconsin home schoolers virtually have a "free ride", they sign a form and they are done!

Wisconsin is one of the few states remaining that have kept home schoolers out of athletic events and I believe it is due to the state staying out of the way of what home schoolers are doing.

I have to imagine this is going to be challenged very soon!

Anonymous said...

Cub:

2 questions:
1. Do you think home school students should be able to participate in public school sports? I do. Their parents are paying taxes and these extracirricular activies are usually a separate entity from education classes.

2. Do you think home school and private school students in the K-12 grades should be subject to the same standards tests taken by public school students? I do. If the state has certain educational standards that are required to graduate, they should be met be all. That is another reason why I don't have a problem with a home school parent being appointed or elected to the school board. Maybe I'm have a bigger picture of what qualifies as "public education" than some commenters on this post.

cub said...

anon,

1. We can argue this one till were blue in the face, my personal opinion is, no they should not, however that is how it stands now. Moving to #2...

2. I agree 110% with you on this, if this is the way it was, I would agree that they should be allowed to participate but again as it stands now I think Wisconsin is doing the right thing.

It's more of a "you don't bother us, we won't bother you."

Think about #1 again, we would home schoolers want their children to participate in athletics but not in academics. It's such a disconnect for me that you don't trust the teachers on one hand but trust them on the other to teach team sports. I know I could argue that a coach could do more damage than a teacher on many fronts. Yes it is a shorter amount of time but I know home schoolers and any time is critical no matter how long.

I struggle with this, I just don't get it.

The Real Hudson Observer said...

Cub,

I find it confusing that you would not want home schooled students to be able to participate in district sponsored athletics. At least give them the choice to particiapte in some sort of social interaction outside home school environment.
I can really understand why some parents want to home school their kids to instill their values in them. But at some point in life kids have to leave the sheltered cacoon of people surrounding the who only hold the same views are them and mingle with the population at large.
What bothers me is that this withdrawal from society is an extension of the relatively new "cowboy" mentality of the "your on your own" society.
This creates a real break in the sense of community and is a type of isolationism that I believe is unhealthy.
I believe it's tremendous sacrifice to home school your kids and also beyond the ability and means of most to undertake. That's why we need a sound Public Educational System or we will be sliding back to the days of Oliver Twist.

norseman said...

As much as I don't care for the OTBL and their distorted rhetoric(if that is where Anon. is from), in this incident I would have to agree with Anon. Any one that pays taxes, and is a resident of a given school district should be entitled to have their children participate in extra curricular activities. They are paying for that privlege, as am I.