Watson: TRN's opinion on the upcoming school bond vote

Our Opinion

Our Opinion

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Some of our most treasured tales originated in our schools, the landmark of first loves, academic accomplishments, inspirational teachers and embellished athletic feats.

The architecture speaks to us, each corridor enlists affection, even in their depreciating state, and links us to days of yore. These buildings stir a sense of loyalty worthy of a seat at the dinner table, as if human.

The tales, however, transcend the bricks and mortar. Our loyalties can survive change and much-needed progress.

The facilities within the Wichita Falls Independent School District need change, and the city craves progress.

The WFISD’s $125 million bond issue, which goes to the voters beginning with early voting Monday and on election day May 10, would make much-needed progress.

While discussions between the Times Record News editorial board perhaps resemble those within our community, we collectively endorse the May 10 bond issue.

The bond issue, as detailed, is not a perfect solution, but a solution just the same. The timing is crucial, as a considerable amount of bond debt rolls off the books soon, making the $125 million bond feel more like roughly $80 million. One financial expert suggested that if we do not pass this bond now, in May, the next time the city of Wichita Falls could see similar cost-neutral debt would be the year 2027.

The time is now. We cannot afford to keep the current configuration and have any hope of attracting and appropriately paying qualified teachers, much less attracting new businesses to town.

Current estimates put the cost of maintaining the existing buildings is about $1 million a month. That’s a million dollars better spent on teachers, programs, the latest technology and overall safety.

Rider High School is 55 years old; Wichita Falls High School is 89 years old. Old buildings require an almost hemorrhaging amount of maintenance. In an independent study conducted on the district’s facilities, both schools received a “poor” combined score, detailing buildings with a significant number of systems requiring major repair or renovation.

For those with treasured tales to tell, that’s a difficult concept to accept. That’s understandable. We do not always see the flaws through our nostalgia.

The bond would spend nearly $64 million to construct a new facility, replacing Rider and WFHS, in a single location. The location, it seems, draws ire — residing too far away from certain neighborhoods, benefiting one part of town over another.

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Location is not an insignificant consideration, however. The school district owns the land on which the new school would be built — another logical attempt at cost savings.

Another $4 million would address significant safety and security concerns. In light of the violence we’ve seen across the country, this issue is paramount. Whether the bond passes or fails, security should be addressed immediately.

Another $2.3 million would renovate McNiel Junior High School to become the ninth-grade campus, an appealing prospect that has proved successful in other districts.

Most appealing in the bond would be the $24.2 million career and technical education center aimed at preparing students for careers in such fields as culinary arts, machining, HVAC, pharmacy tech, emergency medical tech, information technology and industrial automation. This prospect invigorates the Wichita Falls business community, which craves a talented, skilled labor force.

The bond would also preserve the International Baccalaureate successes at Hirschi High School, a facility assessed as in relatively good shape. With $10 million allocated from the bond, Hirschi would become the smaller high school in the district, an attractive option for those wanting such an atmosphere, and would create a new faade at the front of the school, HVAC and building upgrades, handicap accessibility and improved athletic fields.

Memorial Stadium would also be improved. Who doesn’t want to see the parking lot finally fixed?

Barwise and Kirby Junior High schools would also see improvements.

Every aspect of our public school facilities, it seems, would be addressed, at a ticket price the city could handle with the least amount of financial pain. The bond would require an additional 12.1 cents to the current tax rate, increasing your taxes about $10 a month per $100,000 in home value. That’s two trips to Starbucks.

start

Deanna Watson is the editor of Times Record News and provides instant updates on Twitter. Follow her @DeannaatTRN

This issue is obviously contentious. Lifelong friends have opposing signs in their yards. This comes as no surprise, considering the fate of our schools is one of the most important issues of our time.

It’s difficult, but we’ve avoided the inevitable for far too long to save friendships and tradition.

We can no longer afford to vote no.

Another issue occupying our minds these days is water. We can, and have, addressed both issues at the same time.

That being said, what’s often mentioned in criticism of past city leaders is their not building Lake Ringgold when we had the chance.

This is our Lake Ringgold of 2014.

This is our chance. We don’t want to find ourselves down the road, perhaps 2027, saying we missed the chance to do something.

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Comments » 40

JimMiller writes:

Well said. Thank you.

WFFL writes:

Apples and oranges with Lake Ringold, and a stupid comparison that appeals to emotion.

People keep saying "this bond isn't perfect" Well, what is keeping us from making it better before we bring it to a vote?

Trapper writes:

in response to WFFL:

Apples and oranges with Lake Ringold, and a stupid comparison that appeals to emotion.

People keep saying "this bond isn't perfect" Well, what is keeping us from making it better before we bring it to a vote?

I'm with you on this one, seems that "progress" is all some are after. It does not seem to matter what the educational level of the students is, just built something new and call it "progress".

sunny writes:

“The facilities within the Wichita Falls Independent School District need change, and the city craves progress.”

“This is our Lake Ringgold of 2014.”

“This is our chance. We don’t want to find ourselves down the road, perhaps 2027, saying we missed the chance to do something.”

I am trying to figure out how passing the bond issue will make things better by comparing them to the non-action of building Lake Ringgold. You say the city craves progress. I agree. However, are you aware that Rider and Hirshi were both new schools in the early 60’s and from 1960 to 1980 our population lost 7% of the population. And from 1980 to present our population has grown less than 1%? So how is the new school going to change anything now if it didn’t then? We still don’t have Lake Ringgold and we are now in an extremely critical situation of going completely dry. Tell me, how is that going to improve things? Although I believe our school board has the best interest at heart for the existing students, I doubt it will bring new businesses (therefore no new students) based on prior history.
If you want to attract new business to this town, you first must address the water issue. Instead of passing a $125,000,000.00 school bond, how about we put a bond in front of the population and give us a choice as to what is our most immediate issue…..building Lake Ringgold and dredging our current lakes, or building a new school. I vote for water!!!!!

kingdad101 writes:

"If you want to attract new business to this town, you first must address the water issue. Instead of passing a $125,000,000.00 school bond, how about we put a bond in front of the population and give us a choice as to what is our most immediate issue…..building Lake Ringgold and dredging our current lakes, or building a new school. I vote for water!!!!!"

I agree..its OK to vote NO..............

amabo writes:

I wasn't aware that a no vote majority would be the end of efforts to improve the education of youngsters in WFISD. Was there a meeting or something the editor had with the board and administration where they said if this doesn't pass they said they were gathering up their marbles and going home?

Were there some charged with the responsibility of leading the WFISD that were kidnapped and put into such a position? I thought they were paid either fairly nice salaries or voluntarily agreed they wanted to serve and asked the citizens to allow them to do so.

Let me be the first to admit I don't have a plan and don't intend to formulate one. You see, I don't think I am qualified. But in my defense, I also have never earned a dime from the taxpayers funds to WFISD, nor did I ever claim if the citizens would elevate my ego and give me more votes than someone else, I would suddenly have the talents to save what is apparently now being claimed as a horrible education situation in our city.

I have yet to engage in a conversation with anyone that is opposed that did not like part of the plans a bond would support. However, there are two or three items that are very difficult for them to overcome. It simply hard to fathom that a new "twofer" high school would be one and a half times closer to Holliday than to our most distant students from the new location. Paying a consultant specialist a nice chunk of change and ignoring their recommendations makes very little sense. Fencing a circle around Hirsch and asking them to not get out of it in order to not disturb the new turf and state of the art scoreboard taxpayers recently bought at Memorial Stadium seemed a bit discriminatory whether intended or not. Eliminating 33.33% of UIL opportunities in both athletics and scholastics may be the cruelest inconsideration of all.

But please vote your convictions no matter what they may be.

freddyfender writes:

"Eliminating 33.33% of UIL opportunities in both athletics and scholastics may be the cruelest inconsideration of all."

----> Educate me on this? To my knowledge every student gets an opportunity to participate in the sport/activity of their choice. Right?

amabo writes:

in response to freddyfender:

"Eliminating 33.33% of UIL opportunities in both athletics and scholastics may be the cruelest inconsideration of all."

----> Educate me on this? To my knowledge every student gets an opportunity to participate in the sport/activity of their choice. Right?

In UIL scholastic competition, each high school may have an entry in every event, if wanted. The number may be one or several students depending on the activity. Using two as an example, the current three high schools could have a total of six attempting to win a state finalist spot. Two high schools can have only four. That is a drop off of 33.33%

I assume you can see that two high schools can only have 2/3 thirds as many suited up for sport teams as three high schools can. If I am not mistaken some of the larger schools may have as many two or three hundred go out for football. It doesn't make any difference if there are three different levels of competition - freshman, JV, and varsity. Only 22 positions exist for each with maybe a couple of specialist such as kicker. Considering the depth maybe 60-70 students may participate. If that were two high schools there would be twice as many students able to participate.
You may be confusing "trying without success" as opposed to "actually participating". There will be no less opportunity to raise one’s hand and say, "I want to do that". But going from three to two high schools is most definitely going to eliminate 33.33% from participating. In numbers, you can be assured that group could have participated at the third school. I am not speaking of abilities.

1strlcuckoo22 writes:

Did the "Paper" intentionally omit that it was said that RHS would only require a relatively small amount of improvement to convert it into a good Junior High? How can a school be Okay for junior high students but not for high school students? And no one has refuted what "wofum" has shown us, that the new school will be over crowded at opening so it won't be able to accept any "new" students that flock to the town with the industrial BOOM.

freddyfender writes:

in response to amabo:

In UIL scholastic competition, each high school may have an entry in every event, if wanted. The number may be one or several students depending on the activity. Using two as an example, the current three high schools could have a total of six attempting to win a state finalist spot. Two high schools can have only four. That is a drop off of 33.33%

I assume you can see that two high schools can only have 2/3 thirds as many suited up for sport teams as three high schools can. If I am not mistaken some of the larger schools may have as many two or three hundred go out for football. It doesn't make any difference if there are three different levels of competition - freshman, JV, and varsity. Only 22 positions exist for each with maybe a couple of specialist such as kicker. Considering the depth maybe 60-70 students may participate. If that were two high schools there would be twice as many students able to participate.
You may be confusing "trying without success" as opposed to "actually participating". There will be no less opportunity to raise one’s hand and say, "I want to do that". But going from three to two high schools is most definitely going to eliminate 33.33% from participating. In numbers, you can be assured that group could have participated at the third school. I am not speaking of abilities.

"But going from three to two high schools is most definitely going to eliminate 33.33% from participating."

Just for clarification do you have data to prove this?? Or is this your opinion. I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around this. There would be NO drop in UIL activities just more competitive right?

wofum1947 writes:

Let's take a UIL Activity like Journalism, Calculator, or Debate - something other than sports. In each of the UIL Academic events, each school is allowed three entries in each contest at the District level - 3 in Headline writing, 3 in Calculator Applications, and so on. With both RHS and WFHS, six students could participate in each of these contests; with only one high school that number is reduced to 3.

wow writes:

I stated this on another thread, so please excuse me if you have already seen this. I was pro-bond UNTIL I learned the new high school's (even after excluding all Freshmen)capacity will be 500 students short of current combined levels of WFHS and Rider. This makes no sense to me... Even Dr. Froussard was quoted as saying, if the current population of both schools (excluding Freshmen) wants to attend the new school, it would be problamatic.

amabo writes:

in response to freddyfender:

"But going from three to two high schools is most definitely going to eliminate 33.33% from participating."

Just for clarification do you have data to prove this?? Or is this your opinion. I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around this. There would be NO drop in UIL activities just more competitive right?

Try this: Each day 3 bones are set out for three dogs and they each grab one. Suddenly, only two bones are set out and the competition begins. Even though three dogs are competing, only two dogs end up with a bone. Three dogs still completed, but only two dogs got a bone. Three minus two equals one. One divided by three equals 0.3333 or 33.33%. Therefore, there as a reduction of 33.33% of dogs getting a bone. Now substitute dog for "student seeking a spot on a competitive team of any kind" and then substitute "spot on competitive team" for bone. You should end up with a reduction of 33.33% of students able to participate in seeking the prize.

Does this help? If not, please advise and I will keep trying. However, I do not have access to the state records on consolidation of schools in the past to furnish you the data, just as I do not have data on dogs and bones. Fortunately, I don't need it for myself.

Citizen1 writes:

in response to amabo:

Try this: Each day 3 bones are set out for three dogs and they each grab one. Suddenly, only two bones are set out and the competition begins. Even though three dogs are competing, only two dogs end up with a bone. Three dogs still completed, but only two dogs got a bone. Three minus two equals one. One divided by three equals 0.3333 or 33.33%. Therefore, there as a reduction of 33.33% of dogs getting a bone. Now substitute dog for "student seeking a spot on a competitive team of any kind" and then substitute "spot on competitive team" for bone. You should end up with a reduction of 33.33% of students able to participate in seeking the prize.

Does this help? If not, please advise and I will keep trying. However, I do not have access to the state records on consolidation of schools in the past to furnish you the data, just as I do not have data on dogs and bones. Fortunately, I don't need it for myself.

Classic Bobert

onlinerdr writes:

"The bond issue, as detailed, is not a perfect solution, but a solution just the same."

It's OK to Vote NO - Community for a BETTER BOND! They rushed to get something up for election. It needs to be a better thought out process. Me and my family will choose to VOTE NO!

Jerseyf00l writes:

There are no UIL rules that would force WFISD to drop the number of athletic and academic participation opportunities because of the loss of one high school. Participation numbers are determined by the school district authorities.

Also we are the only city in Texas that has 3 high schools for the number of students. It's time to consolidate.

I still haven't seen a plan from the "No" folks. Where is the plan?? You say you want a better bond. What is the better bond? The truth is there is no plan from these folks. It's all about voting no on EVERY school bond.

By the way it's almost time to pack up and move to the next town that is having a bond election.

amabo writes:

in response to Jerseyf00l:

There are no UIL rules that would force WFISD to drop the number of athletic and academic participation opportunities because of the loss of one high school. Participation numbers are determined by the school district authorities.

Also we are the only city in Texas that has 3 high schools for the number of students. It's time to consolidate.

I still haven't seen a plan from the "No" folks. Where is the plan?? You say you want a better bond. What is the better bond? The truth is there is no plan from these folks. It's all about voting no on EVERY school bond.

By the way it's almost time to pack up and move to the next town that is having a bond election.

Maybe the district authorities will authorize the new consolidated school to have 22 football starters in each game as opposed to the current 11, or 10 basketball starters instead of 5, or 18 baseball players instead of 9.

I apologize. I was not aware of such freedoms to solve school problems. I guess there is more local control than I thought.

As to my plan, here it is as posted yesterday at 5:15 pm:
Let me be the first to admit I don't have a plan and don't intend to formulate one. You see, I don't think I am qualified. But in my defense, I also have never earned a dime from the taxpayers funds to WFISD, nor did I ever claim if the citizens would elevate my ego and give me more votes than someone else, I would suddenly have the talents to save what is apparently now being claimed as a horrible education situation in our city.

I have yet to engage in a conversation with anyone that is opposed that did not like part of the plans a bond would support. However, there are two or three items that are very difficult for them to overcome. It simply hard to fathom that a new "twofer" high school would be one and a half times closer to Holliday than to our most distant students from the new location. Paying a consultant specialist a nice chunk of change and ignoring their recommendations makes very little sense. Fencing a circle around Hirsch and asking them to not get out of it in order to not disturb the new turf and state of the art scoreboard taxpayers recently bought at Memorial Stadium seemed a bit discriminatory whether intended or not. Eliminating 33.33% of UIL opportunities in both athletics and scholastics may be the cruelest inconsideration of all.

wofum1947 writes:

I’ve had the time to get the information on the UIL Academic Contests in a more concrete form and numbers for comparison.

It is not the number of “Contests” that will be affected; it is the number of participants.

UIL lists 21 “Academic” contests. It is important to understand that these contests/events are not like most athletic contests in when they are held. Most athletic contests are held in “round-robin” style where each team in a district competes against every other team in the district on different days over a period of weeks/months and at the end of “District” competition the teams with the best records go on to the playoffs. Not so in UIL Academics, with two exceptions, these contests are held only once, normally during a one or two day time period. The two exceptions are: One-Act Play and Cross Examination Debate which are held at on different days than the District Academic Contest. These same two contests are also unique in the numbers of participants each can have; One-Act Play can have 15 cast members, 5 crew members and 4 alternates for a total of 24 students; Cross Examination Debate can have three teams of two debaters for a total of six individuals. All the other contests are limited to 3 contestants/participants per school.

Instead of competing over a period of weeks/months all district competition in these events happens only once during the season. All schools arrive, their participants compete and those that go on to regional competition are decided. Preliminaries, Semi-Finals, and Finals are concluded in one day of competition. Most contests do not go to the Semi-Final/Final rounds, winners are decided by high score on tests – one round of competition.

Using the maximum number of contestants allowed by UIL, the total number of contestants/participants per school is 87. That means that both RHS and WFHS can enter 87 contestants/participants in the Academic contests sponsored by UIL for a total of 174 students participating in those contests. If there is only one consolidated school, that number drops to 87.

wofum1947 writes:

amabo: I like the idea of a new CTE Center to teach ALL the courses included in the CTE section of the district's current course catalogue,including all "Ag", the Auto Tech course at HHS, all courses taught at Carrigan, and all CTE courses currently offered at only one or two of the high schools. I also am in favor of adding more courses to the list and in all probability deleting those with little enrollment - 6 or 8 students - or no enrollment. However, I would much prefer the CTE center also teach the academic subjects the students need to graduate rather than have the students be bused or travel at their expense between schools as is the situation now.

I also am in favor of improvements to the stadium and see the need for and am in favor of safety and security upgrades to all schools in the district. I also favor spending $1 million to repair the foundation at Kirby. I also see the logic and reasoning behind and am in favor of spending money to upgrade/renovate and expand the student capacities at the three junior high schools to allow for bringing the 6th grade students into them.

wofum1947 writes:

I see someone read and believed President of the School Board, uh, oh, excuse me, Mr. Goldstein’s letter, paid for advertisement in the Sunday TRN.

To all those who continually harp on seeing the opposition’s “Plan”: What use is there to put an alternative plan out at this time, would it be voted on in this election? Since the answer to that question is “No”, then let’s see if this one passes or not. If it does, then all of this discussion is over and done with. If it does not, then and only then should we look for alternative plans there are to address the issues we face with our school facilities.

What kind of bond proposal would I support? It’s kinda like the jurist who said that while he/she couldn’t define pornography, he/she knew it when he/she saw it. I’ll know it when I see it. And, I do have a general idea of it. But, nothing concrete.

Wishful writes:

in response to 1strlcuckoo22:

Did the "Paper" intentionally omit that it was said that RHS would only require a relatively small amount of improvement to convert it into a good Junior High? How can a school be Okay for junior high students but not for high school students? And no one has refuted what "wofum" has shown us, that the new school will be over crowded at opening so it won't be able to accept any "new" students that flock to the town with the industrial BOOM.

The same issue that Rider isn't as good as a High School but it is okay for a Junior High is only going to happen if the bond passes.

This is going to happen starting at the end of this school year bond or no bond.
Zundy Junior High isn't good enought to continue as a Junior High but it will be okay for both Alamo and Houston Elementary?
It still is unclear how much money WFISD will spend at Zundy to get it up to Elementary standards. Dr. Fossard first stated that it would be $100,000. He then stated that it was being looked at by an engineer and the cost could be more / less. How much will be spent at Zundy?
Now how much will be spent at Barwise? The MGT report states on page 461, 462 and 463 that Barwise:
"Suitability - JHS->General Classrooms-->Size
The general classrooms are approximately 700 square feet. They do not meet the standard of 900 square feet."

Standard is 900 square feet but we are going to put more children in this school?

This is just one of many issues that Barwise faced with the student population when the MGT study was done a couple of years ago. How is it going to be effected with the propossed 825 students?

http://www.wfisd.net/cms/lib/TX010005...

wofum1947 writes:

Let’s play pretend for a little while.

Suppose there was a school district that started from scratch, and built elementary and junior high schools for their student population. Now it is the time to build 9th thru 12th grade facilities. They decide to build separate facilities: one for ninth grade students that will accommodate 750 students, and a facility for grades 10 thru 12 that will accommodate 1,900 students. Construction is completed and the 750 ninth graders enter the brand new building. At the end of that school year, the 10th thru 12th grade facility is ready and the 750 students enter the 10 thru 12 facility as 10th grade students. There are now 750 new ninth graders in the ninth grade facility and 750 10th graders in the 10 thru 12 facility.

At the end of the second year, all 750 students from the 9th grade facility move to the 10 thru 12 facility as 10th graders and a new group of 750 students enter the ninth grade facility. There are now 750 9th graders in the 9th grade facility and 1,500 students, 10th and 11th graders, in the 10 thru 12 facility.

Again at the end of the third year, all 750 9th graders are ready to move up to the 10th grade and into the 10 thru 12 facility. All of a sudden, a realization comes to the school district. If these 750 students move to the 10 thru 12 facility, there will be 2,250 students in a facility that was build for 1,900. The 10 thru 12 facility will be overcrowded by 350 students or at a capacity of 118.4%. And this at the end of only the third year these facilities have been in use.

What was the problem? Was the 10 thru 12 facility under built for the student population; or was the 9th grade center over built? The answer lies in perspective. Either the 10 thru 12 facility should have been built for 2,250 students, or more to allow for growth; or the ninth grade center should have only been constructed for 633 students or less. The answer to the problem lies with those who planned the two facilities.

I will cede the point that the above scenario is not really real world. All students in one grade do not always pass into the next grade and there is no mention of students coming into the district from other areas.

DJ021205 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Jerseyf00l:

There are no UIL rules that would force WFISD to drop the number of athletic and academic participation opportunities because of the loss of one high school. Participation numbers are determined by the school district authorities.

Also we are the only city in Texas that has 3 high schools for the number of students. It's time to consolidate.

I still haven't seen a plan from the "No" folks. Where is the plan?? You say you want a better bond. What is the better bond? The truth is there is no plan from these folks. It's all about voting no on EVERY school bond.

By the way it's almost time to pack up and move to the next town that is having a bond election.

This must be the first message board you have read.. PLENTY of NO's have given other options, myself included. Stop being lazy and if you want to comment look at all the other LTE and check out some of the ideas. Some were brought to the counsel and just shewed away!

I can't stand people who just to a conclusion without doing their homework first!!!!

Jerseyf00l writes:

I have looked at the comments. I have seen lot's of opinions. You know what they say about opinions... I have not seen one plan yet. Nothing from the other side. It's even in their name... Better Bond. What is the better bond? They have nothing on their FB page. No plan!! When you go around telling voters to vote no and you have better bond in your name.. you should at least have a plan. There is no plan because it will always be vote no. "It's ok to vote no" is all over this state telling voters to vote no for school bonds. So why take to the time to come up with a plan when all you have to tell folks is to vote no.

BU1986 writes:

in response to Jerseyf00l:

I have looked at the comments. I have seen lot's of opinions. You know what they say about opinions... I have not seen one plan yet. Nothing from the other side. It's even in their name... Better Bond. What is the better bond? They have nothing on their FB page. No plan!! When you go around telling voters to vote no and you have better bond in your name.. you should at least have a plan. There is no plan because it will always be vote no. "It's ok to vote no" is all over this state telling voters to vote no for school bonds. So why take to the time to come up with a plan when all you have to tell folks is to vote no.

Point out to me one person on here who has said they won't vote for any bond. I agree there are some voters who won't vote for anything-be it school, city or county bonds. That's the way it is everywhere. The people that I know that oppose this bond are well-educated, well-informed professionals who are as passionate about the quality of education as the bond supporters are. I think there is some basic agreement on what needs to be in a bond. Do all the "no" supporters agree on a specific plan? No, but neither do the "yes" supporters. I support two new high schools and placing the CTE center at Hirschi. I don't support a ninth grade center. I support an overhaul at Memorial stadium, but the amount allocated is in the current bond is not enough-even according to Mr. Catney. I think the proposed high school will not accommodate the student population. I think the proposed school is not located in an appropriate place given the population disbursement and socio-economic make-up of Wichita Falls. I could go on about what some "no" supporters want in a bond, but like Wofum said, why present an absolute, detailed plan now until we know whether this one passes? I think if it fails, the sides need to come together and put together a bond that addresses the problems ALREADY publically stated by those voting "no." As for your statement about the "no" supporters being part of a statewide group, that is untrue and totally unfounded. No shred of proof whatsoever. This group is made up of all kinds of people, but they are WF people. But, keep on drumming on the party line without actually researching the facts yourself.

wofum1947 writes:

Hey guys!! Guess what I just got in the mail today??? A nice 2014 Notice Of Appraised Value from the Wichita Appraisal District.

BU1986: You've gotta remember, Mr. Goldstein said it was so in his letter/paid advertisement in yesterday's TRN, so it must be so.

freddyfender writes:

in response to amabo:

Try this: Each day 3 bones are set out for three dogs and they each grab one. Suddenly, only two bones are set out and the competition begins. Even though three dogs are competing, only two dogs end up with a bone. Three dogs still completed, but only two dogs got a bone. Three minus two equals one. One divided by three equals 0.3333 or 33.33%. Therefore, there as a reduction of 33.33% of dogs getting a bone. Now substitute dog for "student seeking a spot on a competitive team of any kind" and then substitute "spot on competitive team" for bone. You should end up with a reduction of 33.33% of students able to participate in seeking the prize.

Does this help? If not, please advise and I will keep trying. However, I do not have access to the state records on consolidation of schools in the past to furnish you the data, just as I do not have data on dogs and bones. Fortunately, I don't need it for myself.

Like the dog analogy....Can I bring as many dogs as I want? If I have a certain number of dogs that don't fit into the slotted spots can I rotate my dogs through the competition and they still compete and be involved? When I go compete with against others I'll have better dogs than yours, you settle for being mediocre. Can I have different teams too? Competition creates excellence, you want to be mediocre. Kids will compete their whole life, why not teach them through competition. I cant stand for mediocrity, I guess you'll accept it. Look at one of the most competitive high school in the state - Allen, They dont have problems with their kids competing or winning state championships.. Not saying we are Allen, making reference to kids competing in the classroom.

StillStanding writes:

"One financial expert suggested that if we do not pass this bond now, in May, the next time the city of Wichita Falls could see similar cost-neutral debt would be the year 2027." When you have to resort to deception you lose more than credibility. A bond will be just as "cost neutral" a year from now as it is now. The difference is that taxpayers may save a little for a year. And does maintenance really go from an "estimated" $1 million a year to $0?

StillStanding writes:

There is a recent list of the best high schools in the Us and the best high schools in each state based primarily on student testing. Of the top 25 schools in the nation and in Texas, almost 90% had student populations of less than 1000.

iwojima writes:

in response to Jerseyf00l:

There are no UIL rules that would force WFISD to drop the number of athletic and academic participation opportunities because of the loss of one high school. Participation numbers are determined by the school district authorities.

Also we are the only city in Texas that has 3 high schools for the number of students. It's time to consolidate.

I still haven't seen a plan from the "No" folks. Where is the plan?? You say you want a better bond. What is the better bond? The truth is there is no plan from these folks. It's all about voting no on EVERY school bond.

By the way it's almost time to pack up and move to the next town that is having a bond election.

I get so tired of hearing "where is the plan??" Guess what, there doesn't have to be a plan. All that's needed is a no vote and the plan makers go back to the drawing board and maybe think a little harder and bring another plan. I would like this whole situation a lot more if we would at least have had to options, and let the people use their own head and decide which one they felt was better.

freddyfender writes:

in response to StillStanding:

There is a recent list of the best high schools in the Us and the best high schools in each state based primarily on student testing. Of the top 25 schools in the nation and in Texas, almost 90% had student populations of less than 1000.

Less than 1000???

Here is the link.
HP Starts at #14
Austin Westwood
Austin Westlake
Lovejoy
Collyville Heritage
Houstoun Memorial
Austin Vandergrift
Katy Seven Lakes
Sugar Land Clements
Mckinney
Richardson JJ Pearce #48

All of these are no lower than 5a classification schools..Lovejoy has the lowest enrollment of all of these

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-...

wofum1947 writes:

Freddy: I looked at the US News and World Reports article and rankings when they came out last week. I appreciate the link to look at all schools in Texas rather than have to look for them individually.

I used the link, didn’t want to include Charter or Magnet schools in my search, so I unchecked those boxes on the left side of the page and then told the search engine to “Go”. I was presented with the first page of 64 pages ranking the high schools in Texas. Very good resource, thanks for the link.

I did notice something on that first page. Of the twenty schools listed there, 10 of them, if my math is still good that’s one-half, 50% of them had student populations below 1,400 students. That’s a little smaller than the current enrollment of WFHS.

From that data, perhaps bigger is not always better. Take a look at the 2013 TAPR data from the TEA’s website. Hirschi High School, enrollment 702, met the accountability standards and had Academic Achievement in the areas of Reading/ELA and Mathematics. Wichita Falls High School, enrollment 1,473, met the accountability standards and had Academic Achievement in the areas of Reading/ELA and Mathematics. Rider High School, enrollment 1,696, met the accountability standards, no areas of Academic Achievement.

Using the data given on the two mentioned reports, it seems to me that bigger is not always better and does not always positively influence academic achievement. In all probability it is not the size nor age of the school building but the students and teachers that have the most influence on learning and academic achievement.

freddyfender writes:

in response to wofum1947:

Freddy: I looked at the US News and World Reports article and rankings when they came out last week. I appreciate the link to look at all schools in Texas rather than have to look for them individually.

I used the link, didn’t want to include Charter or Magnet schools in my search, so I unchecked those boxes on the left side of the page and then told the search engine to “Go”. I was presented with the first page of 64 pages ranking the high schools in Texas. Very good resource, thanks for the link.

I did notice something on that first page. Of the twenty schools listed there, 10 of them, if my math is still good that’s one-half, 50% of them had student populations below 1,400 students. That’s a little smaller than the current enrollment of WFHS.

From that data, perhaps bigger is not always better. Take a look at the 2013 TAPR data from the TEA’s website. Hirschi High School, enrollment 702, met the accountability standards and had Academic Achievement in the areas of Reading/ELA and Mathematics. Wichita Falls High School, enrollment 1,473, met the accountability standards and had Academic Achievement in the areas of Reading/ELA and Mathematics. Rider High School, enrollment 1,696, met the accountability standards, no areas of Academic Achievement.

Using the data given on the two mentioned reports, it seems to me that bigger is not always better and does not always positively influence academic achievement. In all probability it is not the size nor age of the school building but the students and teachers that have the most influence on learning and academic achievement.

Ok Hal, here we go: "I did notice something on that first page. Of the twenty schools listed there, 10 of them, if my math is still good that’s one-half, 50% of them had student populations below 1,400 students."
#1 Liberal Arts and Science Academy - Austin ISD (No UIL Activities)
#2 The Science Academy of South Texas - South Tx ISD (No UIL Activities)
#3 Highland Park High School 2028 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#4 South Texas Business Education & Technology Academy (No UIL Activities)
#5 South Texas High School for Health Professions (No UIL Activities)
#6 Westwood High School 2515 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#7 Westlake High School 2569 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#8 Victory Early College High School (No UIL Activities)
#9 Brownsville Early College High School (No UIL Activities)
#10 Lovejoy High School 1104 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#11 Colleyville Heritage High School 2290.5 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#12 Memorial High School 2465 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#13 Vandegrift High School 1458.5 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#14 Seven Lakes High School 3684 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#15 Clements High School 2659 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#16 McKinney High School 2121 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#17 Pearce High School 2130 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#18 Boerne-​Samuel V. Champion High School 1282 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#19 Dripping Springs High School 1306.5 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#20 McKinney Boyd High School 2900 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities

freddyfender writes:

Hal my friend, these are the facts: 14/20 you spoke of have UIL athletics. Only 3 schools out of 14 are below the 1400 number that you stated.
#3 Highland Park High School 2028 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#6 Westwood High School 2515 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#7 Westlake High School 2569 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#10 Lovejoy High School 1104 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#11 Colleyville Heritage High School 2290.5 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#12 Memorial High School 2465 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#13 Vandegrift High School 1458.5 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#14 Seven Lakes High School 3684 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#15 Clements High School 2659 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#16 McKinney High School 2121 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#17 Pearce High School 2130 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#18 Boerne-​Samuel V. Champion High School 1282 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#19 Dripping Springs High School 1306.5 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#20 McKinney Boyd High School 2900 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities

StillStanding writes:

Ok 90% was just little high. It is more like 88% fo the top public schools in Texas had student populations of less than 1000. Of course you can filter and sort to get any desired result.

freddyfender writes:

in response to freddyfender:

Ok Hal, here we go: "I did notice something on that first page. Of the twenty schools listed there, 10 of them, if my math is still good that’s one-half, 50% of them had student populations below 1,400 students."
#1 Liberal Arts and Science Academy - Austin ISD (No UIL Activities)
#2 The Science Academy of South Texas - South Tx ISD (No UIL Activities)
#3 Highland Park High School 2028 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#4 South Texas Business Education & Technology Academy (No UIL Activities)
#5 South Texas High School for Health Professions (No UIL Activities)
#6 Westwood High School 2515 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#7 Westlake High School 2569 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#8 Victory Early College High School (No UIL Activities)
#9 Brownsville Early College High School (No UIL Activities)
#10 Lovejoy High School 1104 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#11 Colleyville Heritage High School 2290.5 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#12 Memorial High School 2465 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#13 Vandegrift High School 1458.5 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#14 Seven Lakes High School 3684 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#15 Clements High School 2659 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#16 McKinney High School 2121 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#17 Pearce High School 2130 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#18 Boerne-​Samuel V. Champion High School 1282 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#19 Dripping Springs High School 1306.5 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities
#20 McKinney Boyd High School 2900 Student Enrollment with UIL Activities

"Take a look at the 2013 TAPR data from the TEA’s website. Hirschi High School, enrollment 702, met the accountability standards and had Academic Achievement in the areas of Reading/ELA and Mathematics. Wichita Falls High School, enrollment 1,473, met the accountability standards and had Academic Achievement in the areas of Reading/ELA and Mathematics. Rider High School, enrollment 1,696, met the accountability standards, no areas of Academic Achievement."
---->Look further back beyond 2013 at both WFHS & HHS. WFHS WAS IN STAGE III AYP & HHS was in STAGE I (MAYBE STAGE II). Now, since WFHS has played the game and moved some sub populations around there scores have increased (kudos to admin). Hirschi has done the same and you've seen improvement as well. It wasnt too long ago that rumors were floating around that WFHS was going to get shut down because of this???? How is this possible with a lower population and better teacher to student ratio? If you say smaller enrollments are better.

freddyfender writes:

Oh, by the way this is a good article. Toyota didnt move to Dallas because of DISD... http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2...

What do you think about this HAL???

wofum1947 writes:

Didn't now we were talking about UIL activities, thought we were talking about school enrollments.

As far as Toyota relocating to Plano is concerned, one can read into the article anything one wishes. Plano is close to other school districts, Frisco to name just one, that may in Toyota's opinion have offered more schools than just those in the DISD. It depends on the reasoning and rationale behind the article, if it is/was to support DISD going to "home-rule" as part of a plan for the district that is one thing, which it appears to me to be.

Give me proof that WFHS or HHS "moved some sub populations around" - proof, not rumor or innuendo.

I guess the word "much" has different meanings to different people. How much is much? In 2012, HHS had a student/teacher ratio of 13.2; in 2013 it was 12.1; RHS in 2012 was at 16.7 and in 2013 was 15.9; WFHS in 2012 was 15.9 and in 2013 was 14.2. All info from AEIS and TAPR data. So, I guess is 1.2 less students "much" lower?

freddyfender writes:

in response to wofum1947:

Didn't now we were talking about UIL activities, thought we were talking about school enrollments.

As far as Toyota relocating to Plano is concerned, one can read into the article anything one wishes. Plano is close to other school districts, Frisco to name just one, that may in Toyota's opinion have offered more schools than just those in the DISD. It depends on the reasoning and rationale behind the article, if it is/was to support DISD going to "home-rule" as part of a plan for the district that is one thing, which it appears to me to be.

Give me proof that WFHS or HHS "moved some sub populations around" - proof, not rumor or innuendo.

I guess the word "much" has different meanings to different people. How much is much? In 2012, HHS had a student/teacher ratio of 13.2; in 2013 it was 12.1; RHS in 2012 was at 16.7 and in 2013 was 15.9; WFHS in 2012 was 15.9 and in 2013 was 14.2. All info from AEIS and TAPR data. So, I guess is 1.2 less students "much" lower?

"Didn't now we were talking about UIL activities, thought we were talking about school enrollments."- Compare Apples to Apples not Oranges to Apples.... You know exactly what you are doing. You want to present a part of the truth but not the whole truth. Your deception is a creative way to gain followers on here. Your data at times are spot on but more than any it's partial data that doesn't tell all the truth. By trying to compare our schools to schools that doesn't have UIL athletics is ludicrous and is deceitful. Hal you taught your students better than this......

In regards to Toyota-FACTS->"They looked at a lot of things — the location, cost of real estate,” Rawlings said about Toyota. “But they want a school … The 7-Eleven CEO said, ‘I need to be where our families are sending their kids to school,’ and they are not sending them to DISD.” -Says it all! This is really a simple answer and understanding, you will tarnish it and make it grey.

Give me proof that WFHS or HHS "moved some sub populations around" - proof, not rumor or innuendo. -> My proof is the principal at each campus (classroom teachers don't know administrator business): FACT!

The number 1400 has a factual meaning that can be measured, in your case your data was wrong. higher is higher: FACT!

Please address the issue of AYP... Is my statement about the stages correct?

WFFL writes:

in response to freddyfender:

"Take a look at the 2013 TAPR data from the TEA’s website. Hirschi High School, enrollment 702, met the accountability standards and had Academic Achievement in the areas of Reading/ELA and Mathematics. Wichita Falls High School, enrollment 1,473, met the accountability standards and had Academic Achievement in the areas of Reading/ELA and Mathematics. Rider High School, enrollment 1,696, met the accountability standards, no areas of Academic Achievement."
---->Look further back beyond 2013 at both WFHS & HHS. WFHS WAS IN STAGE III AYP & HHS was in STAGE I (MAYBE STAGE II). Now, since WFHS has played the game and moved some sub populations around there scores have increased (kudos to admin). Hirschi has done the same and you've seen improvement as well. It wasnt too long ago that rumors were floating around that WFHS was going to get shut down because of this???? How is this possible with a lower population and better teacher to student ratio? If you say smaller enrollments are better.

AYP is a garbage indicator of student success.

Those numbers only matter to people who care about state and federal money and that is it. Real educators know that the two biggest indicators of student success are socio-economic status, and the education of the student's parents. When schools with high populations of these demographics struggle to meet arbitrary standards like AYP, it is due to systemic problems prevalent in the very ideology of our public education system.

What's more, any sanctions placed on such a school failing to meet AYP has all the effect of throwing a drowning man a cinder block.

The fact that WFHS and HHS have made such great progress (in spite of the issues ingrained in our educational system) is truly inspiring. Those teachers have worked tirelessly to provide their students the support necessary for their success. Too bad people like you refuse to give them credit for their dedication and hard work.

Administrators can keep all the secrets they want, but if large groups of students were being shuffled through campuses, believe me, this town would know about it. How would that even be possible with our choice program? Nice conspiracy theory though.

All I need to know to vote against this bond is that it is being supported by such dishonest people.

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