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home : opinion : editorials May 26, 2016

11/17/2013 6:00:00 AM
Editorial: On a PACE to PASS with PALS

Rich Thurlow

Funding for public schools is not a perpetually hot topic, and in fact it probably doesn't get enough attention.

However, it's hard to accept that education is underfunded after reading about the number of second and third chance programs there are in the Kingman Unified School District.

You've got I Care (I Choose Attitude, Responsibility, Effort), you've got PACE (Positive Actions Create Excellence), you've got PASS (Positive Alternatives for Student Success), you've got PALS (Positive Accountability Leads to Success), and of course you've got SPEND (Student Programs Energetically Noshing on Dollars).

Even with the one I just made up, that sounds like a whole lot of programs for the size of the KUSD community. And these programs are just for high school-age students, including 13 who have had serious brushes with the law. Can KWOOP (Kindergartners Who are Out On Parole) be far behind?

If you haven't already, I encourage you to read Wednesday's excellent report by Kim Steele on ICARE and the alternative campus with its 185 students. It's clear many of these kids deserve a second chance, and the success of capitalism means there won't be a shortage of third, fourth and fifth chances in some cases.

And a few of them will turn out to be losers anyway. That's not a reflection on KUSD and its many programs to catch these kids. It's a fact of life.

What I'd like to see is a similar effort expended on behalf of the 185 best students in the three high schools.

What's that? Oh, KUSD could do that except that public education is underfunded.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

“If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.” ¯ Eldridge Cleaver"

And after spending billion of dollars in school where that black panther party member ran his scams, what has been the result?

Nice to know you consider a convicted felon as a source for your opinion.

Children of today's society live in the streets when their NATURAL BIOLOGICAL parents kick them to the curb for a new love interest."

And if minors when they are arrested, they are given right back to their drug addled, no parenting skills present, parent. (there is rarely a father in sight). Gotta keep that welfare check (aka: drug money rolling in)


Posted: Friday, November 29, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Let me retract/correct/be clear...if a student is not "making the grade" (for whatever reason) in a class..then yes, they are lower or under achieving.

Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Article comment by: c s

My son goes to Pass because KHS couldn't find a way to help him learn certain subject's. He has excellent grade's and has exceeded there curriculum. Not all kid's have issue's because they go to this school we should be thankful there is such a school that will give another chance for our kid's to succeed in life..

Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Article comment by: Zelda Zilch

One of the factors involved in these second chance type programs is pressure to see an increasing graduation rate from year to year.

Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

[Comment exceeded word limit.]

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013
Article comment by: ICare Parent

".......but the point is, why so many other programs for lower achieving students."

So, V Stokes, are you implying that all kids that go to these programs are lower achieving? Well, my son, had to go to ICARE for a bad decision he made. My son is NOT a lower achieving student. As a matter of fact, my son completed that program WEEKS ahead of the schedule. So how is that lower achieving? That meant he was done with his senior year weeks BEFORE the rest of his class! AND he graduated with extra credits because he took night classes at MCC. To make that assumption, V Stokes, is wrong and uncalled for.

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens


The problem is, taxpayers do pay for public school. If your children didn't make it there, is there help at home that would have been beneficial for them in public school.

These special schools end up being liberal feel good schools. I know because of three of my children who work in school districts, two as teachers, one in the very kind of department we are speaking of here.

And then I know there are people who volunteer to tutor children here. Was that tried?

As far as respect? That has to be taught at home, not really a teachers responsibility and much easier for the teacher if the parents have already taught them how to respect.

I'm a real simpleton. I feel like if children are taught to read really well, they can do anything.

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013
Article comment by: Clearly you don't understand

Of all the baseless, waste-of-your-readers-time editorials you've written, this may actually be the worst.

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"didn't know how to read for various reasons often beyond their control..."

Dyslexia? Bad glasses? What exactly was beyond their control? I was reading HS level in 4th grade...was that beyond my control?

Yes, Rich forgot about Cambridge, but the point is, why so many other programs for lower achieving students.

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013
Article comment by: Nancy Jane

“If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.” ― Eldridge Cleaver

Children of today's society live in the streets when their NATURAL BIOLOGICAL parents kick them to the curb for a new love interest. Has this happened to you Mr. Editor? Our founding generations have created havoc in OUR CURRENT society, when will we all live without criticism and hate? Maybe you should comment on the grand facade created for our children rather than criticize others for trying to help other people's children who are without means or in this world all alone. FAIL ON THIS EDITORIAL!!

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: Stop Public Tax Money Going to Charter Schools

Well, the fine editor fails to examine the difference between the 2 public high schools and the 3rd which is funded totally by tax money but operates far from in the public eye.

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: Bethann Kjellberg

OK I Don't know where to began on this article. For one, I have a child who went to pass and even graduated early. I currently have a child in the program and he's doing awesome. The comment of KWOOP is insulting. And you never give up on any child. You need to go back to school. And learn how to respect others. And to say they will grow up any way and be losers is insulting. Everyone are welcome to an education. You don't understand how much kids have going on with certain issues. When you see how kids are blossoming into such great citizens maybe you will understand. I am grateful for programs such as these. And very happy with what KUSD # 20 are offering,

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: Anonymous Kingman resident

You obviously haven't heard of the Cambridge program which houses the best and the brightest in the district and is exactly what you are talking about. As a teacher that has only worked with at risk students, I feel you are extremely uninformed and short sighted. I had students approaching 16 who didn't know how to read for various reasons often beyond their control. I taught them to read and brought up their basic skill levels. Yes, some continued to make bad choices, but many did better. Whether it's a high school diploma, GED, or college graduate, or even a dropout, more education at a higher level leads to a more functional, independent, adult. Do you really think it benefits anyone to turn a person out into society with no high school education at all? It might also interest you to know that these programs have a high rate of success/graduation of students that would otherwise quit.

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: mr. parker

The problem is that the teachers' unions and their lackeys in government have correlated more money with better education in the public's eye.

Which usually ends up somehow benefitting the teachers.

Any real teacher will tell you that first, the kids have to go to school, second, the kids have to pay attention and third, parents have to be involved in their kids education.

What that means is, you punish truants-fine the parents if they allow their children to skip school, make students wear a uniform(I know some schools do this now) but they all should, it provides the kids with some identity and it saves parents money if they don't have to buy the newest styles every year. Parental involvement, all parents need to meet with their teachers and ask them what they can do to help.
Then we might be able to drop some of these unnecessary, overlapping programs.

My son went to Catholic grade and high schools, I found it funny that many of his classmates were children of public school administrators, teachers and employees. Even they didn't believe in the product they were selling.


Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

It kinda sounds like our federal government, we have to help the underachievers, the lazy, the ones that make bad decisions like having a child or children before a career or degree was achieved. We must create program after program to help them because they are just too stupid and incapable of making good decisions to help themselves and they need welfare, WIC, ObamaCare etc., while unemployment, food assistance, medicare, social security etc. are pushed aside, cut or underfunded, of course in my opinion the government is over-funded to start with.

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

Your paper recently ran an article on the Cambridge program at the middle school and Lee Willians HS. Seems to me that is a program for the best academic students.

I also recall several commenters complaining about the program because not all students were included and it wasn't fair to spend the money on a program for excellence when there aren't any programs for at risk students.

Can't please everyone I guess.

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: Sherryl Arnold

HERE, HERE Mr. Thurlow! I don't know if you own a home in this area but if you do, you should check out your property tax bill. The largest portion of the taxes go to these schools and the college. The more money they take the more they NEED to fund these "programs" which of course means job security for all involved. Government at it's finest!

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: just a fact

Excellent article. I agree 100%. The students who will be paying the bills in the future are ignored. Of course, if they dress them in shirts & ties and pinafores, they may get a "better" education. Yep, right.

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Great article. What I'd like to see is, those who get kicked out be allowed back when they can follow the rules. You know, like the good old days.

Don't get me wrong. I want every kid to reach their maximum potential. I want them to be happy. I am so sorry some come from very problematic home lives. I know this very personally. But life IS problematic and second, third, fourth chances at taxpayers expense is not necessarily the answer.

Church and Bible studies bring a sense of belonging and being accepted. There are always church people called for this very purpose but these days we dare not mention church as an alternative for help with troubled youth.

I had trouble understanding a whole new campus when Lee Williams High School stood empty 500 yards away. They couldn't have used a couple of rooms there for these special programs? And all these buses for 185 kids?

And then my own pet peeve. Pristine campus but the neighbors left with hundreds of butts/bags/cups from SOME of the I Care (attitude, responsibility, effort) students on their breaks. Same mess even with a garbage can provided.

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