Thursday, August 31, 2006

The News-Sentinel ran my editorial today

I wrote an editorial on whether we should expand Carroll into a mega-sized high school or whether we should build a second high school.

Please read it:

Mike Sylvester


Jeff Pruitt said...


It's my understanding that the natatorium cost was only included in the new high school cost. If this is correct then one can only conclude that this was done to inflate the actual cost of building a new high school. In your analysis, why would you leave this cost in for one plan and not the other? You either need two natatoriums or you don't. I don't understand how you could only need a 2nd one if a new high school was built.

IMO the natatorium cost should be subtracted from the new high school cost making the choice even more obvious than it already is...

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I tend to agree; however, I could not get ANYONE to tell me how much a natatorium costs. I wanted an apples to apples comparison. I do not think we need another natatorium; however, many other people think we do need one.


jeff said...

I have often wondered if swimming pools, gyms, football fields, and giant parking lots, raise the SAT and ACT scores.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts dug deep on demographics, faculity ratio,
student enviroment, long term planning and economics of scale,
maintenace costs and community astmosphere; and Mike I agree and believe in a smaller close net school enviroment.

When there is a huge campus for our youth it is harder to fit
the needs of individuals at the high schoolo level.

Sat and Act scores will increase
with a smaller campus.

William Larsen said...

After looking at SAT and ISTEP scores I cannot honestly say there is a statistical difference between large and small schools. I can say that a larger school has the potential to pool that one genius and have them influence the highest score for the school, but the all important median stays pretty much flat no matter how large or small a school is.

As for costs concerning $2.9 million for additional staff, I can not even come close to this number. After looking at all staff (principals, teachers, food service, custodial, librarians, guidance counselors, nurse, aides and special education) I simply cannot find 13 additional teachers. I did find that you might have to have 7 to 8 additional teachers, but I think creative scheduling offering those few classes where you might have 20 taking it with 2,800 students, could be offered once every other semester or quarter. These classes do not tend to build on each other. Though I am pretty far into my analysis, I could still find something.

Custodial and food service are more dependent on the enrollment number. You certainly do not need as many people with a school of 1,500 as you do with a 2,800 enrollment. The principal of Carroll told me on Tuesday that staffing increased for custodial and food service. Is the staffing based on future capacity of on actual capacity? In the navy where it was not just a job, but an adventure I had the opportunity to buff floors and perform custodial work at night for seven months. Not hard work, but I did notice that when school was out, the workload certainly got a lot lighter. In other words custodial work is more dependent on traffic (enrollment) than size.

Since I have found obvious desrepencies in several critical reports, tables and statement, the school board has lost its credibility. Information should be given and out on their web site. One should not have to make a special appointment to discuss a topic. I would much rather read the report and then if I have questions, make an appointment.

But what really sets me off is when the present material in front of the public and expect us to accept it, but cannot answer questions concerning the methodology, data or results. In every presentation I have ever given, I have understood the data, methodology and results and can answer the questions. If you cannot answer the questions, then have the person who wrote the report present the material.

We do not need to move forward with renovation at this time. We need to take one year and look at all the options before we spend our tax dollars. We need to see a long term plan.

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