Seeking a turnaround: Ute Tribe wants to partner with parents and school board to build success

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  • Shirley
    Jan. 9, 2008 9:42 a.m.

    These problems for school children are not so different than the students in our district. After many years of working in our school district, and thinking about solutions I have come up with this.
    The problem is not the teachers. Teachers work very hard to give our children a quality education. It's not the parents. Many parents are responsible, want the best for their children, and try to help. The problem is all of us together have failed to convince our children that learning is necessary. It starts at the cradle and continues all through life. The solution: Everybody care. Talk to children. Clerks, other teachers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunties, and so on. Listen. Encourage their curiosity. Learning new things is not always fun. Sometimes it's difficult but once you learn it, wow!!
    Four day weeks are not the solution. Legislate until you are blue in the face. Teachers and parents can communicate. School boards can talk about change. Until our children are convinced that 'learning is cool', they won't be 'doing great at school'.

  • Karen
    Jan. 8, 2008 10:02 p.m.

    A four day school week could be an excellent solution. Many rural districts used to do that. Fridays were then available for long bus rides to sporting events without taking time from classes. It also provided a day when other extra-curricular activites or special tutoring times could take place.

    It worked great -- then some pea-brained legislator decided that 990 hours of schooling by itself wasn't sufficient, it HAD to be 180 days and not one less. Now kids are missing classes all over the place in order to participate in sports.

    The legislature should let communities decide what educational structure works best for them. If the school community wants to try a 4 day week, more power to them.

  • Promises
    Jan. 8, 2008 9:29 p.m.

    Sonia says we should keep promises made to American Indian communities. Does that mean that Native American communities should keep their promises to educate their students? I think everyone should stop waiting for other people to keep their promises, get to work, and better themselves. If I waited on my wife to fix me breakfast before I went to work I wouldn't have a job very long. Whatever happened to being self sufficient?

  • Dear Sonia
    Jan. 8, 2008 9:06 p.m.

    I think you have watched Dances With Wolves a little too much. What do history books have to do with being a responsible parent? Good parenting is good parenting in any culture. Maybe we should stop giving people a pass for being bad parents just because of their culture. That to me is being racist. I see very little in history books that has to do with my culture. I think you are assuming a lot if you think Wasted Money is white. I don't see him/her claiming any race.

  • Sonia G
    Jan. 8, 2008 7:40 p.m.

    Esteemed Wasted Money,

    if it is fairness you are after, how about we accommodate all U.S. inhabitants equally?! Last I checked the system works for families in dominant categories (i.e. White) because it accommodates us. I see my history represented in textbooks(All white men), I see someone who looks like me in the media, I see someone who looks like me in every level of involvement... why? Because the system was constructed on White ideals.

    What would be fair is that we acknowledge American Indian communities as what they are, U.S. inhabitants with every right to be considered. What would be fair is if we kept the promises we have repreadedly made to those communities

  • Wasted Money
    Jan. 8, 2008 6:57 p.m.

    I will bet that there will be some short term improvement while they have the spotlight on them but after a year or so it will be business as usual for the community, which means that it will be money down the drain. Why not have them show they are serious about change first and then if they change in a sustaining manner build them the new school? Why are they rewarding poor performance and bad parenting? And what is this demand for sensitivity training? If the teachers have to go to that then the parents should be required to go to parenting classes. Let's be fair.

  • Byron Stout
    Jan. 8, 2008 6:00 p.m.

    Don't even think about it. These rules are the same for everyone. Don't bend the rules for somebody just because they are Indian. If they get Friday's off I want it too.

  • Jack Douglas
    Jan. 8, 2008 10:34 a.m.

    What about expanding the school days Mon - Thursday, or have only electives on the Fridays?