By Roz Rogoff
Measure CUploaded: Apr 28, 2009
I just received my Official Ballot in the mail. This is for the School District Parcel Tax that failed in the last election. This is the mail-in ballot, with only the one measure on it, Measure C. I've also been getting flyers in the mail telling me how important it is to vote for Measure C to keep the quality of our schools up.
I plan to vote for Measure C, but I don't have to pay for it because I'm over 65. Another senior citizen said she won't vote for it because she doesn't think it's fair she should vote for something that other people are paying for. That makes sense.
I don't have any children in school, so I shouldn't have to pay for something someone else is getting the benefit of. On the other hand I own a home and I believe one reason houses are still selling around here, even at reduced prices, is because of the good reputation of our schools. So this parcel tax benefits all homeowners.
I wonder about the educational benefits though. Too much education money is spent on the wrong things. Money is spent on facilities, but a building never educated anyone. Money is spent on administration to run all the schools and buildings, but I teach online and we don't have buildings or classrooms or schools. We use computers and networks and electronic media.
When I was growing up I was bored by school. I used to watch a lot of TV and read the encyclopedia. Everyone thought I was very smart. A lot of what I knew was self-taught because I was interested in it.
I've been teaching Instructional Design for University of Phoenix Online for seven years now. I teach teachers, most of whom have never heard of Instructional Design. They didn't know what it was until they took my course in the Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program. It shouldn't require an MA for a teacher to be able to perform Instructional Design. All teachers should be taught Instructional Design as part of their Undergraduate Teaching Degree.
I'm trying to get University of Phoenix to apply for a grant from the Obama Administration to provide a certificate program in Instructional Systems Design for all teachers in the USA. UOP has the infrastructure for it, not only online but all of the remote campuses. This should be a "blended" course, with part of it conducted online and part of it conducted locally on ground (as they call live classes).
I also teach entry-level classes for Axia College of the University of Phoenix. This is a new two-year college for working adults. It is open admission for anyone with the money or a student loan to pay for the first two classes. The level of reading and writing of some of these students is dreadful.
It's sad that in some parts of the country, in some school systems, students are able to graduate from High School or get a GED with writing abilities that wouldn't meet Fourth Grade standards in SRVUSD. Many of these incoming Axia students don't belong in college and need serious remedial help. But some get an opportunity to begin a college education that they would not otherwise be able to get, and some bloom in it.
SRVUSD has some innovative schools and programs, like the Venture School and Del Amigo High that help students who don't fit in anywhere else. Maybe the District should try to find more innovative ways of working within the financial crisis, but if the money from Measure C at least maintains the status quo, it's a win-win-win for everyone in the District.
(Reposted from SanRamonObserver.org)