Weekly Math Updates

August 9, 2006


  • Our Non-Math Origin
  • Orem School District Update
  • Stating the Obvious (off-math topic)
  • Other Media
  • Weekly Comic

Our Non-Math Origin

Hi all,

I realized this week that most of you have never known the story of how I got involved trying to turn ASD's math program on its head, so I thought I would explain briefly what happened to cause me to do something I never intended to do. I will try to shorten my story considerably so I don't bore you to death (which I live in constant fear of termites for).

Click for "the rest of the story" if you want to see what non-math topic got me into this math war

Orem School District Update

I have to admit in the beginning of the Orem split proposal I wasn't necessarily in favor of an actual split but more just in favor of scaring the Alpine District into finally listening to parental concerns. Over time I have changed and have now become a firm believer that it is almost a necessity to split to save our educational system.

There's a few major reasons I support splitting the district.

First, more local control for everyone involved. I have been informed that in 5-6 years when the next redistricting takes place for legislators, the territory of representation they will represent would be smaller than the territory our school board members represent. That means we will be BETTER represented at the STATE level than the LOCAL SCHOOL level.

Second, financially there are fewer politics played with smaller districts because you don't have to waste money on appeasement favors to ensure everyone signs on to your agenda. The following article is a MUST READ by the LA Times on Milton Friedman's view of education and the need to privatize the institution. I had a local teacher ask me at one time if I was in favor of privatization of schools and I said no, but I think I've changed my tune a little to where I think we should at least investigate it. Certainly if schools were treated like a business they would be run far differently than they are currently run.


I think it's time to debate the consequences of more extreme measures such as completely eliminating school districts as we know them and privatizing schools which have guidance by local community councils composed of mostly parents who are intimately concerned with their children's education and will respond faster than a district bureaucracy when changes need made. District personnel can teach like everyone else and by eliminating districts, teacher pay would increase significantly and attract people to the profession that otherwise avoid it for the lower pay.

Lastly, if you can help the people in the Orem School District in some way, please visit this page on their website and volunteer to help make some phone calls or something else they have listed they need help for.


Stating the Obvious (off-math topic)

OK, is this really a surprise to anyone? A RAND corporation study just released results of a study that says kids that listen to music with degrading sexual lyrics have sex sooner. If 4 million youth are contracting STD's each year it seems the lawyers ought to get busy and treat the music industry like the tobacco industry and get them to clean up their "toxic" act.

Other Media

Alpine to decide on bond
ASD is putting their colossal bond on the ballot in light of Orem's delays in putting a split on the ballot.

Weekly Comic

Archive: http://www.oaknorton.com/weaponsofmathdestruction.cfm

Till next week,

Oak Norton


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