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Marshall voters nix referendum

Safety/technology referendum fails 836-814

November 6, 2013

MARSHALL — The special election held by the Marshall Public Schools Tuesday failed by 22 votes. Independent School District No....

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Nov-06-13 10:38 AM

I find it appalling that the focus is the loss of money for technology, not the loss of money to make our schools safe for the children and the educators. Priorities are very skewed in our school district.

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Nov-06-13 10:59 AM

When was the last time Marshall school's were attacked? Why spend money we don't have on a problem that doesn't exist? You are not going to stop a determined individual intent on raining havoc on the school. Technology is a bigger issue with our kids, but at the same time, I think we push technology way too much instead of teaching kids how to do the work, instead of having software do it for them. Kids need less stimulants. I have no problem with this vote.

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Nov-06-13 11:43 AM

I suppose it is better to wait until something does happen before we act. That way the media can have a hay day with "should have" "could have" dialogue. We are not immune. While I agree that we cannot stop an intent individual, we can certainly put every effort in place to try our very best to at least slow him or her down! Also, if you don't think technology is important, ask the farmers who shell out big bucks to have companies come in an program their precision ag equipment. Our kids are going to be employed in jobs that haven't even been invented yet. Are we going to lag behind or are we going to keep up? We are already falling behind area school districts in what we have available technology wise. Yes, it needs to be implemented correctly and isn't the "answer" to a good education and our students get a good education despite our deficits in technology, but there is no denying that it is not going to become less important.

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Nov-06-13 1:32 PM

Once again, that money will be spent, if the need truly is there. Other cuts will be made.

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Nov-06-13 1:45 PM

SWMinnesota,that is a good question, you should look into when the last time was. Maybe you don't have to worry about your kids being in a setting that could potentially be dangerous, but some of us do. I would guess those schools that have been in the news the last few years didn't think it could happen to them either. I would rather safety measures be taken and not needed rather then wish they *had* been taken

As far as technology, if the district feels it is so important, then they need to put it in their budget. Quit trying to bully tax payers by threatening to cut other areas. Anything they purchase now would be obsolete in a year or so. They need a better plan.One that takes care of the here and now, but also takes future needs into account.

Asking tax payers for more money to improve the buildings and make our kids safer is one thing, asking for money for something that changes yearly, and that they have no real plan how to stay on top of it, is another.

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Nov-06-13 1:48 PM

Willert said he was hoping for a stronger turnout. That could easily be accomplishsed by changing it back to even years. Perhaps he really doesn't want that many people to show up to vote.

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Nov-06-13 1:51 PM

How can the school district advertise (electronic billboard by Perkins) to vote yes with money from taxpayers, most of which don't agree with their position?

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Nov-06-13 2:30 PM

Isn't it possibile that low voter turnout, and the result was out of our hands? I wanted to vote except the weather prevented that. It is likely that only those closest to the polling centers, and those voting before going home from work were the bulk of those voting. On a nice day, the turnout and the results could have been much different.

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Nov-06-13 3:04 PM

Well put MinnesotaBorn. Agree with your thought whole-heartedly.

If the school is concerned about safety, then that should have been the only issue. The technology part is what caused this to fail. If they want it, budget for it, but don't come at us with cuts will be made. That is just childish. Have a plan in place, not give us this money and trust us. Technology changes so rapidly that one to one initiatives makes no sense unless you have provisions in place to upgrade teach every two to three years.

BTW When was the last time our school was attacked? Why this year actually. We had people trying to get into our schools where they had no business being and it was lucky they were stopped.

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Nov-06-13 5:41 PM

1). "Support an upgrade to computer labs in the buildings. For example, the computers in the high school labs are original equipment from 2005 and are not keeping pace with current needs including meeting State testing requirements."

2) "Support a 4 year plan to implement one-to-one computing for students in the school district. Many textbooks companies are moving to digital content."

This information appeared on the MPS web site. So what part of the plan to upgrade the technology used at the school is vague? They also proposed upgrading door security and locking systems.

NBHH raises an excellent point. How many were unable to vote, either for or against due to weather conditions?

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Nov-06-13 7:01 PM

MnBorn, LA airport spent 1.5 BILLION dollars since 9/11, to make their airport safe. Look what happened last week. So much for throwing dollars at a problem.

I read an interesting blog over the weekend about "remember when gun safety was taught in schools?" It sure brought back memories (I graduated in 1970 from a Minnesota high school).

Most farm boys road hunted on the way to and from school. The basement of my high school had a gun range. At the age of 14 a right of passage was to take school sponsored gun training, and earn the patch. We kept our case enclosed .22's in our lockers, so we could go immediately down to the basement when the final bell rang. And we rode on the school buses with them.

Nowadays, kids can be suspended for having a g*d**m pen knife on their key chain. They'd probably be arrested if someone knew they had their pheasant shotgun in the trunk of their car.

I voted no on this referendum. I was happy to see it fail.

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Nov-06-13 8:48 PM

Just about everybody in this forum is inferring one specific point. That if these issues were separate referendums, both could very well have passed. That is, with a well thought out dispensation of the facts in each case. Each issue became a distraction for the other.

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Nov-06-13 8:59 PM

hartmann, high school students have repeatedly cited your 1st point about "ancient" computers. As tech savvy as these kids are, it has to be like working with an abacus.

Your 2nd point is well taken. The students could even facilitate the program to some degree, which means lower cost.

Entry security, indeed, is a prerequisite to safe schools. That should be part of the budget whether a referendum passes or not.

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Nov-06-13 10:22 PM

I would say just about every student is running around with a iPhone or what ever is the in thing today. What do they need to find out on a computer that they don't have right in gadget they now posses be it a phone or computer.

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Nov-07-13 5:07 AM

Have a little patience. We'll read about the upgrades in the spring, along with cuts to offset these expenditures.

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Nov-07-13 8:28 AM

"Updating a computer lab and a 4 year plan to initiate 1:1 computing" does not convince. What are the academic needs? If classes need a computer lab, why, how often and how realistically can it be kept updated so that it works for longer than one year? Students know it's outdated because they have their own technology that works. Use that.

1:1 is not a panacea. Lots of conflicting results re: 1:1. No hard data says that a teacher presentation of this digital info and pencil/paper is less effective than 1:1. When the 4 years are up, how much will it cost the taxpayers then? Repairs? Loss? This is buying the con job from the computer companies about the glories of buying their machines en masse. Really, are adults' habits of being glued to a screen admirable and worthy of passing on to kids? District: focus on instilling self-discipline, encourage independent work (homework, thinking), support true collaboration, healthy diet and exercise habits. Sharpen you

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Nov-07-13 8:29 AM

Sharpen your pencil.

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Nov-07-13 8:46 AM

allenlyon, hey, that last comment sounds an awful lot like Stepnen Covey's 7th habit "Sharpen the Saw".

The 7 Habits should definitely be a core value enabling success in each and every student. Compared to 7 Habits, NCLB looks like a boat anchor.

When I said that students could facilate the program, some of your comments were exactly on point. Students have all the computer power they need already at their disposal, on their phones and tablets. Plus some of them could tutor others who have the need to use a lower inventory of up-to-date computers.

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Nov-07-13 9:28 AM

IMO the reference to testing is a moot point. Testing should NOT be a part of the equation...It should be dropped. PERIOD. As for upgrading computer labs, you KNOW that this is going to happen and when it is going to happen. Put it in the budget for crying out loud.

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Nov-07-13 12:05 PM

After reading your criticisms allenlyon, it would seem even the cost of buying text books for each individual student is suspect. Should we require students to share texts or buy one their own to use in school?

Students take a more active role when using technology to learn compared to passively receiving information from texts or instructors. It also allows students to collaborate on projects outside of class. Whether you like it or not, technology is changing the world. Students lacking access to current technology will find it harder to compete both academically and in the work force.

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Nov-07-13 12:56 PM

Believe it or not, young people are going to need MORE technology training as more and more "non-skilled" jobs become skilled. Those factory jobs that used to be jobs that anyone can do aren't out there anymore. Skills in the most common computer applications like Microsoft Office's Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Publisher are just the starting point. A computer lab that was last updated in 2005 is ancient by tech standards. Smartphones, not usually allowed in classrooms, aren't the answer. Technology isn't just used for looking things up on Google. It's used in science, math,and chemistry labs. Saying that it was "good enough for me, so it's good enough for them" isn't the answer. Shouldn't we all want a better, brighter future for our next generation? By limiting their access to technology that would expand their learning experience is just as good as handicapping them in the real world. You either keep up on changing tech, or you get lef

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Nov-07-13 12:56 PM

...left in the dust.

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Nov-07-13 3:02 PM

Yeah, look at what facebook and others have done for the average work day. Kids can now look at area under a curve instantaneously by punching a few buttons, but those same kids can't combine simple numbers without their calculator. Just look at all the good spellcheck has done for our population as a whole.

In all honesty, applications of technology can be a good thing, but for the most part, its just an endless source of revenue for manufacturers. The applications should be more thought out, and when a district purchases some, the staff needs to be trained on how to use them. For the most part, all I see kids doing is playing review games with their new toys.

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Nov-07-13 3:13 PM

bystander, Android and Apple phones and tablets are often, not always, as powerful as the traditional desktop computer. My children's phones are essentially one with most classroom assignments; document, spreadsheet, graphics, and yes research are all accessible w/ the phone. Complex operations similar to AutoCad or database applications are always complemented by the home computer. Strict monitoring and guidelines should allow the phones and tablets to be routinely used in the classroom, and as such, that is also changing among some teachers.

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Nov-07-13 3:59 PM

NBHH, Ever been in a classroom with thirty or more kids and try to strictly monitor their cell phone use? Good luck with that.

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