Town Meetings in Town Square: Saint Paul Candidate Debates, Part 4 - School Board District 625

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St. Paul School Board District 625 debates, live from Town Square, sponsored by St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. Panelists for debate are Andrew Becker, attorney for Briggs and Morton; Catherine McNamee, president of the College of St. Catherine; and Ronald Clark, editorial page editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch. Wy Spano, of Wyman Spano Public Affairs, moderates.

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(00:00:00) This is the listener supported news and information service of Minnesota Public Radio. Ksjn Minneapolis. And st. Paul at 1330 on your AM radio dial. from Minnesota Public Radio Good afternoon, everyone. This is Li X tall welcoming you to the fourth in a series of six programs coming your way from Town Square in downtown st. Paul this debate series between candidates Fort st. Paul elected office is brought to you with the financial assistance of the McNeely Foundation. Today's broadcast will feature candidates for school board seats in district 6 25, all of these meetings are sponsored by the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and are being broadcast live here on ksjn am welcome to town meetings and Town Square sponsored by the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. I am Larry Cole a partner in the law firm of: McCoy and I have been serving as the town meetings in Town Square steering committee chairman. Today is the fourth in a series aimed at increasing the community's awareness in issues, which the st. Paul local government elections held on Tuesday, November 8th. Today we are featuring for of the school board candidates now, I'd like to introduce today's moderator Bill Faulkner who is vice president of American hoist and Derrick and incoming chairman of the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce bill. Thank you lady. It's a pleasure for me to serve as moderator for the town meeting today in which we have invited candidates for the school board to be with us to receive questions from our panelists regarding the Affairs of Education. I think it's a vital subject for All American Society at the federal level and indeed at our state of Minnesota and our community level. So it is something that we are all have a great interest in and are anxiously awaiting the program as it develops. First of all, I'd like to introduce to our radio audience and to the audience here a top Town Square Park. Our panelists who will be posing the questions for us today attorney for the st. Paul law firm of Briggs and Morgan. Mr. Andy Becker. President of the College of st. Catherine sister Catherine McNamee and editorial page editor of the st. Paul Pioneer Press and dispatch Ronald Clark. Thank you very much for being with us. It's a great pleasure to have you and we are anticipating your questions to our candidates. We have a very distinguished group of candidates. As you may know. There are eight candidates running in the district wide election that Larry told you about in our city upcoming. These candidates will be running for four-year terms in office and the top for vote-getters of the eight candidates will be successful in achieving those seats on the school board in st. Paul district number 6 to 5. There are a total of seven seats on the board. So you can see that with the addition of four additional seats at this time. It is an important election for them. And for all of us I'd like to introduce the candidates to you at this time, and we're very pleased ladies and gentlemen to have you with us today first. I'd like to introduce Rosalind Carol. She is currently serving on the district's 625 school board and is employed by the State Department of Education as an education specialist in the Equal Opportunity section. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Jamestown College in North Dakota and is currently working towards her PhD in education Administration Roslyn Carol. Margo Fox is chairperson of the st. Paul Community Education advisory Council and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Metro State University. She was president of the st. Paul Council of PTA and PT SAS from 1976 to 1978 Margo Fox. Wayne be spiked Hansen as another of our candidates the attendant Barren County Teachers College and Taylor County Teachers College. He has a general business degree from Rasmussen business school and has taught school in North Dakota Montana and Alberta, Canada. Mr. Hanson is employed as a Parkade and as a sales representative for a printing firm. Wayne Henson Nancy post is the parent of two children in the Saint Paul public schools, and she has attended Mankato State University studying education for two years. We welcome our candidates on our program today and just another moment, please if you will we'd like to outline a little of the ground rules for our program today of questions to our panel from our panelists to our candidates. Each candidate will be allowed two minutes to answer the question. And then at the end of the program candidates or towards the end, you will each have one and a half minutes for some closing statements. We have a staff member from the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce to keep time for us. She's here on my left and she has two signs one that says 15 seconds for you to begin to wind down your response and then a sign that says stop. So if you will abide by those requests will have an orderly transition from questions to question. We've decided in our programming today that we should have no rebuttal to questions or to closing statements from one candidate to another there I'd like to encourage those in our audience here at top Town Square Park to join us in our town meeting and participate with us. You will find that at the places near you. There is a white piece of paper and we'd like to invite you to put your questions on the paper. They will be collected and mr. Larry Cole will screen those for me and we will advance your questions to our candidates also as we find time during the program finally we are grateful to Minnesota Public Radio for carrying these Town meetings in Town Square live on their AM station and now into the program. The first questions that we are going to pose to our candidates are what we call survey questions. We will ask each one of our panelists to pose a question one at a time and then we will ask for a response to that question from each of our four candidates. So to begin the survey questions, I'd like to invite Andy Becker please to pose the first question Andy, thank you as indicated in a recent local TV show the public perceives that one main disadvantage of public is compared to private schools is discipline problems, which teachers either do not or cannot deal with as an example CBS TV on it shows sixty minutes used Ramsey Junior High School in st. Paul is an example of a classroom that was out of control teachers and administrators in that program, excuse the problem by saying that they do not do not have to take students at private schools. Do my survey question is twofold first. Have you as a candidate identified some of the causes of discipline problems and st. Paul schools and secondly as a member of the Board of Education, what would you suggest that schools do differently to remedy discipline problems and improve the community perception of discipline. Thank you Randy Becker. The first question as you've heard is one of discipline in our school systems. And what would you do? I wonder Nancy post would you respond first please (00:08:01) Force? as far as the discipline and the same Falls Public Schools as it was cited Ramsey Junior High School. I do not feel that all schools in st. Paul do have discipline problems. I do think some of the causes have to do with with the relationship that students have with the administration in the school and what the staff and I think one of the ways to remain remedy that is to make students feel more at home in the school so that they feel free to go to the teachers and there will not be a problem. (00:08:43) Thank you Nancy post moving down the line on the survey question regarding School discipline Margo (00:08:49) Fox The first part of your question. Mr. Becker was having to do with the causes of the discipline problems in the st. Paul Public Schools. I think that there are probably several causes some of them begin with the family and the lack of family support for the importance of education. And I think that's that's something that the schools have to deal with. Another thing that the school's can deal with more easily as the expectations within the schools. I think the expectations generally are too low in the st. Paul Public Schools. We should have high expectations about student Behavior there should be and there is a discipline code for the Saint Paul Public Schools. It was put together by a committee of community people and staff that if it's followed and in many schools as Nancy has said it is followed and the problems vary in severity from one school. To another the discipline problems are very minor in some of the schools. But I think if we had high expectations and staff training for those staff who have difficulty in controlling their classes, that would be go a long way toward improving discipline in Saint Paul. (00:10:08) Thank you Margo Fox moving on to Wayne Henson. (00:10:13) Yes, a hundred years ago. We didn't have much of a discipline problem because the parents and the family stood behind a teacher. I think that if we have more family involvement within the schools, there's a possibility that we will have less discipline problem. I would recommend that we have three parent-teacher conferences per year instead of two or one and I would recommend it. We it's mandatory that they have him also at night as well as during the day so that the father and mother can come to the parent-teacher conference many times only one parent is willing to come to a parent-teacher conference. And then there's only one parent that supportive of the education of the children and this is not the way it should be. We need a unified effort of both parents the teacher and of course the administration and the school board if I get a if I'm elected on the school board. This is the type of thing that I will be pushing for for more parent involvement when we have an open school. I'd like to see all the parents. They're a hundred percent turnout. (00:11:14) Rosalyn Carol, would you respond to the question regarding discipline in our schools, please? (00:11:19) First, I don't think that the public schools have a worse discipline problem than the private schools. I think the schools throughout the United States generally have a discipline problem. I think some of the causes of those discipline problems are low expectations of students low morale of staff and then students not aware of what are the expectations that they have. Some of the remedies would be on task work when students are doing things that if you're in a math class and your student is completed that or does not know what to do with the assignment that has been given then the student will go to behavior that is off task the more on task work that you have the less discipline problems that a teacher will have I think there has to be some retraining of staff to deal with Plan and the st. Paul schools has done that there's assertive discipline training. There's various models that have come in where the staff have gone through a series of Workshop. I don't think you can stress enough parent involvement without the support of a parent and follow through when something occurs at school. It has to be dealt with immediately and there has to be follow-up and to home today more than when I went to school if something happened to me at school and I got a reporter a call from a teacher. I knew I was in trouble today that parents love would come up and confront the teacher and that's just a whole difference of attitudes. I think about the relationship between a parent and a teacher and I think we have to move to more positive climates where parents will be supportive instead of adversaries with education. (00:13:10) Thank you, Roslin Carol. That is the way we handle survey question number one, and we will have two more from our panelists and I'd like to invite sister Catherine McNamee depose our second survey question, please (00:13:23) to elevate the teaching profession local school district should experiment with Merit pay to reward outstanding teachers a national panel recommended last week. A superior teacher should be able to receive a superior. Salary said the national task force on teacher Merit pay if Merit pay then is defined as additional remuneration for work exceptionally well done or extra work rendered over and above what is designated by the work contract. Would you favor introducing it in the st. Paul school system. (00:14:02) The question following on the heels of discipline is Merit pay. I think you will agree that we've picked some very nice questions today. I'd like to reverse the rotation then of our panel and Kara Rosalyn Carol. How do you feel about Merit pay do you agree with introducing it into the school system? (00:14:22) No at this time. I do not I think before we can talk about. Additional renew murmuration for those teachers that Excel we have to talk about adequate renumeration for all the teachers that are competent Merit pay is something that would be fine. If we had an equalized a system where staff were paid for the job that they are currently doing then I think we can get into a system of renew murmuration for those who are superior or above and beyond the average. However, I think we do have to have rewards and recognitions for those staff that are superior and a support system that will say continue to do the work which we can do things for the class. We can do things for the teacher. We can have a student teacher of the year. We can have the building of the year and there are other ways of recognition, but I think to go into Merit pay I would not want my child in a class with a student teacher that did not receive the Merit pay and I think there are other ways that we have to Begin to deal with the system and figure out a way of paying teachers and adequate salary for the work that they are doing and then we can do it go into phase two, which would be a marriage system the other problem with marriage system at this point is how can you talk about Merit when we have yet to have an evaluation system for tenured teachers and so we have to first establish an evaluation system. That is fair and Equitable and how can you talk about Merit when we have teachers who are having second jobs, which could be one of the causes for not putting their hundred percent into the classroom. So, I think the first thing we have to deal with is Equitable pay for professionals and then move on to recognition and extra enumeration (00:16:19) the question Duane Hanson, I think can draw a little shorter response so we can move through our survey questions and Westerners, would you introduce Merit pay into the school system if you were a member of the school board? I respect my (00:16:35) colleagues remarks of Rosalind Carol. But as far as the views of Wayne Hanson, I would say yes, I was when I taught school. I felt that I put forth 100 percent and over a hundred percent of that's possible and I feel that the teachers who spend a lot of time in the school classroom who really are dedicated should get some kind of reward Beyond being just teacher of the year and I feel that Merit pay is one (00:17:02) answer. Thank you Wayne handsome Margo Fox. (00:17:06) No, I wouldn't Institute Merit pay now. I do feel it's important that we have higher starting pay for teachers that we offer career steps for teachers career steps do not exist. Now in order to advance in salary a teacher has to either go into Administration or opt out of public education, which is unfortunate. I think we should have incentives for excellence within the system and that doesn't have to be paid to teachers. Early, but it could be money for different projects for exciting things that can happen in the classroom that will add to the satisfaction that teachers receive out of their jobs. And I also agree with res that we certainly need to begin a staff evaluation program and along with that staff evaluation program that would point out evaluation is often thought of as something negative personally. I see it as positive. What it does is point out what we have. We have some very fine teachers who could get recognition from evaluation. We have teachers who need help and that help could be provided through staff evaluation and we have teachers who should be counseled out of teaching and that could be identified also. So I think those those things are very important and Merit pay is an interesting concept, but there are some problems with the fairness issue of how it would be determined who would be getting Merit pay. (00:18:27) Thank you Margo Fox Nancy post, (00:18:29) please. Okay, as as far as I can see Merit pay dollar-wise. No, but I would like to see a lot of recognition for teachers. principles everybody throughout the whole school system and I think once the people once the staff starts getting recognition that you're going to find a very positive attitude because the teachers are going to be more interested in teaching the students are going to be more interested in learning and they're going to find hey, this is a wonderful place to (00:19:08) be Thank you. Nancy post will now go to the third of our survey questions and we invite Ron Clark to pose that to our candidates run. This is not an essay question. So you can keep your answers short. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Detailed School budgets for each building should be set by a committee of parents administrators and teachers associated with that building rather than at the district level if an explanation is necessary. Please keep it short. Reversing our routine with the candidates would like to invite Nancy post to respond to that, please. (00:19:56) I understand the question correctly. It's should the money be decided by parents committee and students in each building. Each building currently does have a certain budget and that and that is decided with and the parents can put in put in it to it and the staff can put input input into how the money is being spent and I think the students can too and I think one of the questions right now is why do we have some schools that do have some money that is never spent. (00:20:34) The question about centralized versus non centralized Administration Margo Fox. (00:20:39) I don't believe that is going on now. And yes, I would like to see that happen. I'm very interested in School site management where we'd have School site councils that could get into looking at at budget and curriculum and perhaps in some cases even (00:20:54) Staffing. Laine Hanson, would you address that subject please (00:20:59) Ron? I think we went around about this once before I Believe In School site management, I believe in the in as many decisions that can be made at the school level as possible. But I do believe that we should have a school board (00:21:14) Roslin Carol. Would you address the question please? (00:21:17) I have a question. Did you say that they would detail the school budget? And that would be set for that school. That would be the final say (00:21:28) the question envisions the administration and board giving a lump sum figure to each building and then a group within that building and associated with that building spelling out the details of how that lump sum would be (00:21:41) spent. It's hard for me to agree or disagree because you don't say what the lump sum if you're talking about Staffing I would say no if you're talking about what sort of books to buy what kinds of programs to enhance I would say. Yes, and we currently do have that going on. But the problem is is the principle that is making a decision at the building level. And I don't know how much input I suspect very little from parents and staff and so I would agree that we do need more input for a detailed school budget at the building level. In fact, I would go so far as to say that that could be a processor could be recommended so that we could deal with Staffing with programs and with all that entails in the budget and in recommend those back to a centralized group of people which would have representatives from each building on so Have to modify miners a yes or no. (00:22:48) Thank you Roslin Carol. I'd like to address our audience again here at Town Square Park to send us your question so that you can become part of the town meeting by posing your questions on a paper at your places where you're sitting you let us have those questions and the staff person. Is there ready to bring them down to Larry Cole? We're going to change the format now just briefly into from the survey questions motive to one in which we will ask our panelists to direct a specific question to a specific candidate and I think I would like to start off an invite Margo Fox to receive this first question from Sister McNamee. (00:23:31) There is a great deal of attention being given these days to the matter of quality of Education throughout the nation. Do you have a plan to reverse the declining Scholastic aptitude test scores of students in the st. Paul schools? I'm in my looking at the test scores. I believe the decline has stopped and and they're currently rising. They're no longer declining student achievement is going up. I believe we certainly can and must do better. The needs of many students aren't being met and students aren't being sufficiently prepared for their roles in our complex changing Society. I'd like to see more alternative education. I'd like to see us assess the needs of students and offer programs in response to those student needs and that means looking at their learning styles offering Alternatives in response to those learning styles and helping each child really reach his or her full (00:24:33) potential. Thank you Margo Fox Duane Hanson would like to have you accept a question now from Andy Becker Andy when many of us have read the book of written by Joe Nathan the local teacher entitled free to teach in his book. Mr. Nathan suggest a number of methods which have been adopted by communities around the country to have local businesses either raise funds or provide Personnel to enhance teacher and student technical education. My question is twofold first. How important do you think it is to have the business Community involved in local schools. And why do you think the st. Paul Business Community has been not not been more involved and secondly what distinguishes you as a candidate in your ability to get the business Community involved in providing technical advice and seeing that the programs are carried out. (00:25:26) It's a pretty involved question. First of all, I do believe that the businesses should get involved in the st. Paul schools so that the st. Paul school is can integrate with the businesses in the business kids can learn teach what the the in school what's going on in the business community and the business Community can learn what's going on in the schools. So we have more involvement and I feel that my background in that printing firm. I'm also adventures and attitudes teacher this I have to have my own business this way. I feel at this in this business. I'm also working with other people who are in different types of business and I will be able to bring those people along with me. Hopefully when I am elected to the st. Paul School (00:26:14) Board Thank you. Dwayne Hanson Rosalyn Carol. May we ask you to respond to a question now from Ron Clark? Rosalind we hear a lot of talk these days about accountability in education if you were re-elected to the school board for what would you say? You should be held accountable by the (00:26:35) voters. I should be held accountable on whether or not the students of st. Paul are receiving the education that I was put on the board to see that they do whether or not that I introduce policies initiate and monitor the leadership of the superintendent whether or not I followed through on some of the statements that I have made during the election whether or not I support Community involvement and input into the decision-making of policies whether or not I have shown the leadership and the skills necessary to balance a budget and to stay within the laws that the state of Minnesota have set up for school boards. I think those are the things that that I have to rather not I have been in attendance at school. Meetings and put forth the effort that is necessary to make those kinds of policies and have I followed through on those things that have occurred in the district. How have I responded to emergency situations? Have I been a what I call a rubber stamp person or a person who asked the kinds of questions necessary to ferret out information to make an intelligent decision. I believe those are the things that I'm accountable for. (00:28:09) Thank you Roslyn, Carol true to our request and commitment. We have a question from the audience here at Town Square Park would like to pose in survey form to our candidates and let's just give a quick 30 second answer to this. So we won't impact too much on our panelists who have more fine questions for you starting with Wayne Hanson. What do you think? The dress code for teachers should be what is your opinion on that? (00:28:37) My opinion is that we should the men should wear suits and the women should wear a dress has a dress dress dress not in his slacks or anything like this teachers are to set apart from the students and they shouldn't come to school. So they're not they're dressed poorly. You see a teacher that comes to school with a sweater and a pair of slacks. You think that maybe she's one of the teachers or the same thing with a man that comes to school and doesn't have a white shirt or a tie on I think that they should have a dress code (00:29:09) Margo Fox. How do you feel about the dress code and teachers apparel? (00:29:15) Clothes should be clean and and neat. I'm not tied into women having to wear dresses any longer or men having to wear ties and and and white shirts, but I think that there there is a decorum and teachers should be expected to dress neatly and in clean clothes. (00:29:38) Thank you Margo Fox Nancy post. Would you respond (00:29:42) please? I know if I would go into it the school when I when I would look at the faculty. I would like to see the teachers with clean clothes need clothes. their total appearance appearance something that that I would like to see including need hair. (00:30:09) Thank you Nancy post Rosalind Carol. How do you feel about teacher dress (00:30:13) code? I think it should be dressy. I don't think that women have to however wear skirts because sometimes what you're doing is not conducive to you having a skirt on and that could cause as many problems. I don't think that however, there should be jeans cut-offs t-shirts excetera Warren. I think you're dressed sets a tone and one of the reasons the discipline has to do with the tone that is set. So I think a nice suit for either male or female think nice slacks a nice top is appropriate and that is of course be neat and clean, but I think it should not be in formal dress. (00:30:54) Thank you. It's approximately halfway through our program now on public radio and I'd like for the benefit of the radio audience who may not have joined us at the outset to advise those that you are listening to a town meeting in Town Square Park and downtown st. Paul Minnesota. The event is sponsored by the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and we have a distinguished panel of questioners who are posing questions to four of the eight School Board candidates who are running for election in the upcoming City elections on November the eighth our panelists of questioners our sister Catherine McNamee Andrew Becker and Ronald Clark the candidates who are with us today, and incidentally there will be the other four candidates in the race with us at this same 12 noon. Time tomorrow the candidates today are Rosalyn Carol Wayne Hanson Margo Fox and Nancy post and indeed. We welcome all of you candidates and our panelists and appreciate your participation today. We have invited our audience to pose questions to us. And I think I'll take the moderators prerogative here. Just a minute here is a question that is kind of intriguing me and perhaps our panelists will address it in 30 seconds again in a survey form and we'll start with Rosalyn Carol. The question is should the school district and st. Paul weed out poor teachers and replace them with new teachers. If so how Rosalyn (00:32:41) Carol. Yes. Should we tout pour teachers and replace them with new teachers and I think by establishing a valuation system, that's an ongoing. That's fair. And that's Equitable and that the criteria that is to be evaluated has input from teachers parents and administrators. (00:33:04) Thank you Roslyn, Carol Wayne Hanson. (00:33:08) Yes, I think they should one way that I've recommended so far is that we lower the retirement age in case you have an old teacher who is not up to par. He can retire early at the age 58 and we can get some new teachers that are coming in who have new ideas in there will be hired earlier. This way the people that are coming out of college will have a job. (00:33:32) Thank you, Ryan Hansen Margot Fox. Would you address the matter of weeding out poor teachers? (00:33:38) Yes, as I said earlier. I think it should be done through staff evaluation. (00:33:43) Thank you Nancy post. (00:33:47) Yes, I think that we should weed out for teachers. But first of all, I think that when we when we look at teachers, I think we need teachers to be evaluated by their peers by other staff people and we may find out that we didn't may not have as poor teachers of what me think but with the little communication to the teachers may solve the problems. (00:34:09) Well, I think that's one question so far today that has a unanimous answer of yes. We should we doubt for teachers. Thank you candidates. I'd like to now revert back to the questions addressed to a particular candidate by our panelists and I'd like to ask Margo Fox if she would receive this question from Ron Clark. Margo School administrators and parents are now looking at additional ways to desegregate the Saint Paul public school system. What priorities would you bring to a desegregation plan? And what do you believe are the most successful ways of (00:34:47) desegregating? The priorities that I would bring to a desegregation plan would be that it fulfills the state law. That it integrates because a desegregation plan is different from an integration plan. I'd like to see a desegregation plan that brings students together on a voluntary basis if that's possible too strong educational Alternatives. We've done that before and Saint Paul and I believe we can do that again. (00:35:25) Thank you Margo Fox up, Ron. You had a further comment. This is the second part of that question is what do you believe are the most successful ways of desegregating (00:35:34) schools. Can I do fox? I do believe the most successful ways of desegregating schools are voluntary plans that have community support and that integrates students. I'd like to see plans where we have educational Alternatives that meet the needs of the students that are involved and and are based on the interests and talents of students involved so that when we bring them together, they have some things in common, they work together. They learn to get along together and that to me would be the goal of any desegregation integration (00:36:11) plan. Thank you Margo Fox and he Becker. Would you direct a question please to Nancy post Nancy property taxes have increased dramatically in st. Paul and the last several years and increase which for some households means the taxes are higher than in Minneapolis despite the fact that the state sets the school of a the school budget is also increased substantially in the face of declining enrollments, even with the increases Cuts have had had to be made and services which would have included things like summer school and field trips, which many parents view as basic education. My questions are first do you think that the rate of increase in st. Paul property taxes is unfair to the community and a possible hindrance to the city and being able to attract new residents and secondly what two major areas of cost saving do you think the board should review to ensure that the budget does not have to increase dramatically in the future? (00:37:13) I do think that the rate of the property tax does hinder hinder the people. I think it also does hinder the students and I think a cost-saving major would be number one. I would like I would like the board to be accountable why they make raises for themselves because number one the board just got through raising their salary and it was all salaries that were raised were only administrative salaries and one of the concerns I've heard from a lot of the parents in the community is a did not include the teachers and I think the teachers feel that they should have come before the administration. (00:38:01) You have my own do you have though any idea of the magnitude of the kind of saving you're talking about my impression would be that the saving that you could get from salaries would not be significant enough to have a large impact on the budget and I was wondering if there was another area you thought of saving which might have a significant impact on the amount of expenditure and a Becker asks Nancy post to expand on that question a bit, please. (00:38:30) I think something that we do have in st. Paul which a lot of people don't know about is a lot of our schools which you talk about magnet schools. A lot of our schools are specialized schools. And I think what would help is if everybody knew where these schools were what they contained and I think then I don't think that you look at we need more money in order to implement programs the programs are (00:38:56) there. Thank you Nancy post another question. We'd like to direct to Rosalind Carol and invites sister Katherine McNamara posed the question, please (00:39:10) Roslin St. Paul is rather unique in the high percentage of children attending private schools nearly 30% in 1982-83 is our school board taking this into account in planning for the future. And what implications does this have for the future of Education in the city of st. Paul? Yes. I think the school board is taking that into account. Of course every student we lose. We lose potential resources to add onto the program that we currently have. I think some of the things that board is trying to do to deal with that are to deal with some of the concerns or reasons why parents take their children out of public schools discipline has been won and inability to To deal with the staff in the in the building feeling that no one cares about rather the child is receiving the quality education that that child would be able to receive in a private school. And so one of the things we're working on Literacy for all students to try to address the issue of students graduating knowing how to read compute and do some of the basic things necessary dealing with positive climate in the building's reducing credit deficiencies of students working on that trying to Institute programs that would attract parents from the private schools back to the public schools and some of those are gifted programs the open school Etc and if we did not have these off Turn it gives I believe that these parents would send their kids to a private school. So yes, we are concerned about it. And I keep that foremost and in my mind, I think the other thing is that we may never eliminate students going to or parents having an option and and not sure we ought to I think 30% is high though. (00:41:22) Thank you, Roslin, Carol. We're getting some fine questions from our audience and I'd like to interrupt the panelists questions for one at this time. Perhaps again, we can hold the answer to 30 seconds and cause it to go to the survey question format. And I'd like to invite Wayne Hansen to be able to start off the answers. The question from our audience is what funding sources other than federal grants and increased mill rate levees have you or would you explore to fund The increased cost of Education Wayne (00:41:59) handsome? Well, one of them has been touched on already I think is the we can encourage the business Community to contribute funds toward the schools. And whether the Chamber of Commerce ask me about this once and I said that hopefully we can get somebody to teach the stock market to people in high school and things like this and banking to people in high. School so that they when they get out they know what's going on. They don't have to learn all this stuff but just living outside of school. So I would hope that we can encourage the business community and we can hurt get encouraged possibly individual contributions. (00:42:39) Margo Fox would you describe for us some Innovative funding sources that you might explore on the school (00:42:45) board. I think very often when we think of resources. We only think of money and I think st. Paul's rich and untapped resources that we could be used for public education the people in the community, we could we have a volunteer program that's good, but it should be expanded business involvement in the community. We could certainly do more with that than what we have done. We have some things going like the 3M program for tutoring and enrichment but much more could be done with that inter-governmental and interagency cooperation where we could make use of things that are happening within the community and bring them into the school with without duplicating what's happening services that are offering offered in the community the use of the community as a classroom by students and inviting the community into the classroom to share their expertise also, Could could do something to improve education and also utilize the resources of the community and perhaps have some cost-saving effect. (00:43:50) Thank you Margo Fox Nancy post. Would you respond to innovative ways of raising additional funds for Education (00:43:57) expenses? I think awaited that I think a very positive way that could be used is to bring parents into the school's not only parents but different businesses into the schools and show them. Hey, you know The students really do enjoy hearing from you. They do learn from you and you're going to get a positive response from the business and I think therefore I do know that there are there that there are some programs where there are some with the business does that there are some that the business does (00:44:33) communicate. Thank you Rosalyn Carol. Would you respond please (00:44:38) I would say Grant from private sources cooperatives with the city Colony services so that we could minimize the amount that all three would have to put in which would have a reduction in the mill Levy. I think other than business has been stated. There's not much else but I think we have to keep in mind public schools are exactly that and we as a public benefit from the students that go through a system that come out as well prepared citizens, and I think we ought to have that as a top priority. So most of Your money funding sources are going to come from federal state and taxes. (00:45:20) Thank you, Rosslyn Carol. We'd like to revert back now to the panelists and their questions and would like to pose this question to Nancy post from sister Catherine McNamee (00:45:32) Nancy. How would you as an employer go about attracting qualified Personnel into the st. Paul educational system in order to ensure that our young people will be well prepared to face the challenges of the year 2000 and Beyond. What I would do is I would try to make it positive. Positive attitude with the teachers and I have found that there are a lot of qualified teachers and when they get the positive response from the students that they are very much encouraged in staying where they are. (00:46:11) Thank you, Nancy post Roslin Carol. Would you accept this question, please from Andrew Becker Roslyn my question relates to the proper role of a board of education as you may know in a business. The board of directors is appointed to bring perspective to the operation of the company and to assist the chief operating personnel and operating the company and giving it what we call policy Direction assuming for the moment that the board of education is similar to a board of directors. What are the two most critical policy issues that you as a member of the school board of directors would raise and propose solutions for in the first six months of the next four (00:46:52) years. I guess the first policy would be what are the expectations of the students? What kind of education should they receive? K12? And that's the number one? Secondly, how are we going to finance that? And then what I would do to work toward implementing those policies would be to have staff and I think one of the problems, you know, the whole reason we there's a real confusion on a mission of education and we have a mission statement and we asked a number of people out there what it was I don't think many could tell and so I think that has to start there we have to have staff involved in establishing that mission statement establishing what kindergarteners ought to know in the st. Paul system and taking into consideration those mandates that we also have and then we have to talk about how are we going to finance that at the level that it ought to be financed at and I'm of the opinion that we are not financing education at the level that we ought to. So to me that's a very important policy decision. (00:48:03) Thank you, Roslyn, Carol Ron Clark. Would you direct a question please to Wayne Hansen? Wayne should teachers in st. Paul and in Minnesota continue to have the right to strike. (00:48:17) Yes, I believe they should we live in a society today when everyone belongs to Union practically and the only way that the teachers are going to have a voice in their benefits and in their salary, it seems as though through striking. We haven't had any long drawn-out strikes and st. Paul and I think that's a credit to our st. Paul school board. I hope that that continues (00:48:45) Thank you, Dwayne Hanson sister McNamee. Would you direct a question please to Margo (00:48:50) Fox Margo most people today including the members of this panel seem to agree that there is a need to get parents more involved in school decision making one way to do this that is getting a lot of discussion now is the site based or a school based management and we've discussed that a little bit here today. But is this really a way of getting parent involvement in the school or are there other ways of encouraging that type of involvement? Well, yes, I believe School site management is really a way of getting meaningful parent involvement in the schools. According to my understanding of School site management at the district level the school board set standards and expectations. And that's the what of what we want taught in st. Paul and then at the school level they can determine the how and I think parents could really get involved and making some meaningful decisions based on the needs of their own children and be responsive as a school Community. I think that's an excellent way to have really meaningful involvement. Certainly. There are other ways in the st. Paul School District does have a number of committees that allow for Community participation but as a lifelong volunteer and I've been involved in the system for a number of years as a volunteer, I know that the things that I choose to do are the things where I feel that my participation will make a difference. And I think School site management would offer that kind of opportunity. (00:50:22) Thank you Marco Fox. Candidates. We've kind of steered you're thinking here for the last some 50 minutes with rather pointed questions. I think compared to me that the questions have been all very germane to this vital subject of Education in our community. We're now ready for you to tell us in 1 and 1/2 minutes what your closing remarks are regarding the school board seat that you're seeking and what you would bring to that office and I'd like to start with Rosalind Carol, (00:50:51) please. I guess some of the major concerns that I have and reasons for continuing on the board is to work on the issue of literacy for all students. I can't stress that this is very important to ensure that it's for all students and not some that we have to be about the business of starting an evaluation process that is fair and Equitable for all staff primarily though that we have to talk about valuation of tenured teachers that we retrain of staff that meet the current needs of the students of the 80s because the students of the 80s are far different than the students of the 50s and 60s of which I was a product that we have to develop a process whereby principles will become the instructional leaders in the school resulting in a positive working and educational climate for students staff and parents. The results will show up in increased achievement. Of students. I think we have to change the 15% desegregation rule to 20% allowing districts more flexibility and opportunities to stabilize desegregated programs. I think we have to continue to Citizens budget Review Committee and other citizen review and advisory committees along with implementing and creating some other ways. We have to raise and learning expectations of staff and the learning outcomes of students and that we have to begin to deal with parent-teacher conferences at the Junior and senior high level and expand the gifted talented and special needs programs throughout the district. (00:52:31) Thank you Roslyn Carol for your wrap up statements Duane Hanson. (00:52:36) There's been some question as to my leadership and my qualifications I would like to expand on that a little bit at this at this time. I feel that I'm qualified. I've attended Barren County Teachers College in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Taylor County Teachers College and Medford, Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin River Falls and the University of Minnesota and I've taught school in three different states and have been certified to teach there. I also I feel that I can bring Insight from the inside of the school and also from the outside because I've lived in st. Paul for nine years now and I've talked to many parents and teachers and students and I know what st. Paul school is all about. I've been a leader. I've been the president the pain many ha Community console which the large community in st. Paul and we're going to have a candidates forum and over that particular Community. I've also been the president of the capital City Toastmasters and presently on the educational vice president of the King Boris Toastmasters and Associate area governor of area 15 which is 260 people are six different clubs and we had our area speech contest. We had a real good one. I think I feel that I can be more responsive than the present School Board. I think that you should elect me instead of the rest of the people because I think that I can be closer to you. I will publish a newsletter and I will try to get more people in the new school. (00:54:10) Thank you Dwayne Hanson for her closing remarks Margo (00:54:13) Fox. Thank you. I first of all I'd like to thank the chamber for giving us this opportunity high quality public education is essential to maintain a Democratic Society and to have a healthy economy and to have people who are fulfilled in their lives. St. Paul, we have all the makings all the ingredients to really have a fine educational system. We have high quality very high quality of Staff by and large. We have some exciting programs. We have a fantastic physical plant St.Paul citizens have a lot to be proud of for what we have. I'd like to see my goals as a school board member and I said things can be better and I'd like to see them be better my goals include developing an education system where decision-making is decentralized where creativity is encouraged and expectations are high A system that responds to each student's educational needs through a variety of teaching techniques and alternative programs that ensures each student to a strong Foundation of basic skills and a well-rounded curriculum and that offers lifelong learning opportunities and also a system that recognizes and effectively utilizes Community Resources for Education the major goals that I would have as a school board member would be to have a system that teaches children how to learn and instills in them a love of learning because I think what we are creating and are attempting to create through public education are people who are capable of functioning in a society that requires lifelong learning. (00:55:55) Thank you Margo Fox and finally for her closing statements Nancy post. (00:56:02) I would like as a member of the school board. I would like to bring my experience of working on the Franklin magnet program. That program was a program that was developed by a school by the community. It does include number one quality education for every student. The reading program is something that is very very well structured also so is the math program very well structured. In fact, all the students all the students in the school know that if they do their classwork and their assignments that they will be rewarded by extra science and music courses and I think this is what our students need and I have seen this work in st. Paul and I think it can work in any every school in st. Paul and I would like to bring my experience of this to the board. (00:57:01) Thank That's a post and very quickly. I'd like to thank our distinguished panelists Ron Clark Andy Becker sister Catherine McNamee for your participation today and to our candidates for really being find candidates in addressing the questions. Those are Nancy posts Margo Fox Wayne Hansen and Roslyn Carol. My thanks to you it's been a pleasure to be your moderator today. Do not forget to vote ladies and gentlemen and the radio audience and here at Town Square Park on Tuesday, November the 8th for the candidates of your choice. And at this time, I'd like to turn the podium back to Larry Cole for his remarks. Thank you, Bill. This concludes the fourth in our series of town meetings in Town Square. These meetings are scheduled each weekday noon hour here in downtown st. Paul through Monday, October 24th. Tomorrow will be the second of two meetings featuring candidates for the school board. We like to again express our gratitude to the Fine cooperation of the management and staff of Town Square Park, and we would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Radisson Plaza Hotel. Please consider attending the third Forum sponsored by the citizens for excellence in education, which will be held on October 27th at the Central High School 275 North Lexington from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be Charlotte retail price speaking on current issues facing the st. Paul schools. Thank you for coming. This is Larry Cole speaking from Town Square. You've been listening to a live broadcast of the st. Paul candidate debate series sponsored by the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce coming to you from Town Square in downtown st. Paul. This broadcast was made possible with the financial assistance of the McNeely Foundation. Join us again tomorrow at noon Central Time to hear from the final four candidates for school board seats in district 6 25, and on Monday mayoral candidates Russell bovie and incumbent George Latimer discussed the issues remote engineer for the show was Conrad Lindbergh Studio controls handled by Roger Kamal midday production by Bob Potter and Bill Wareham. Midday was made possible today by Dorn Communications Incorporated with funds provided by Minnesota Business Journal magazine. I'm Li X tall. Thanks for joining us from Town Square.


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