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Pottsville High (PA) savings plans call for scrapping gym class next year
The Pottsville (PA) Republican and Herald ^ | 3/11/2005 | KIMM R. MONTONE

Posted on 03/12/2005 11:36:09 AM PST by Born Conservative

Some Pottsville Area High School students can forget about climbing the rope, dodging balls or getting sweaty altogether.

Gym class may be a thing of the past for students when the district eliminates the mandatory physical education requirement next school year.

The Pottsville Area School District is planning to scrap the four semesters of physical education required to graduate.

It's a move that will help save the school district money and it also stems from tougher academic standards for school districts.

Schools Superintendent James T. Gallagher said the district is trying to control costs.

And without a sizable increase in money from the state and federal governments, he said rising health care, special education, retirement and energy costs will force the district to scale back some programs.

With about 1,200 students enrolled in the high school, each student at some time was required to take a physical education class.

By changing physical education to an elective, fewer students will sign up.

"It's great. I hate gym," said Alex J. Bulino, 16, a high school junior. "I won't be signing up (next year). Definitely not. A lot of people take it, but I don't like it."

Gallagher said that if the department had a sizable decline in enrollment, then not as many instructors would be needed, but he said the teachers within the seven-member physical education department would not lose their jobs or positions.

"As we have teachers retire, they will not be replaced and it will be a financial savings to the district," Gallagher said.

Although the changes to the physical education department are the most drastic, the district will also cut the mandatory drivers education class.

Charles V. Wagner, high school principal, said the high school will no longer offer the mandated driver's education curriculum next year.

He did say a driver's education course will be offered in the summer for a fee, but it has not been set.

Cutting unpopular programs and adding new courses has been a familiar practice, but Shirley Black, health and physical education adviser with the state Department of Education, has noted a decline in physical education programs across the commonwealth.

"The districts must ensure that health, safety and physical education are provided at a sufficient level," she said. "Schools have to guarantee that the students can achieve a proficient level in these area."

At Blue Mountain High School, high school students must fulfill a two credit requirement prior to graduation, which breaks down to about four days of physical education a semester for five semesters.

"You are required to have some requirements for health and physical education," said William H. Hall, superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District.

At Pottsville, the high school will require students to take a health class.

With growing concerns about health and obesity in the nation, the chairman of Pottsville's physical education department worries about the lasting affects.

"Sound body, sound mind has been a given forever. I think there's some truism." said James K. Steidle, department chairman. "What can you do now that the decision is made? I think they should be taking physical education because of the society we're living in."

Regarding the obesity issue, Gallagher said people need to be accountable for their own decisions.

"There has to be personal responsibility. We've mandated physical education and you cannot force someone to lose weight," Gallagher said. "We teach students about proper nutrition in health. Students are required to take health."

Some students disagree with the policy change.

"I think it should be mandatory because teen obesity is a problem in the United States," 12th-grader Jess L. Paulo, 17, said.

More schools are also shifting attention to the standardized testing or the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests.

Students focusing on class rank and grade point average would be more likely to opt for another course that carries more academic credits.

Amber L. Welborn, 17, a senior, thinks underclassmen will have an advantage.

"Their GPA and class rank will be higher because the quality points for physical education are lower than other electives," she said. "Students will now have an advantage over what we did."

"Students could fill their schedule with an elective that will offer more quality points next year," she said.

Linda R. Dietrich, Pottsville, waited for her daughter outside of the school.

"I think it's a great idea. Gym is not an important part of the life unless you plan on becoming a gym teacher," she said. "I think it should be a choice cause it's not a major subject."

Junior Samantha A. Martz plans to sign up for physical education next year.

"I actually don't like it. I think it would be better if everyone was involved cause, not everyone is involved in sports," she said. "I plan on taking a semester and playing a sport. I don't like to be out of shape."

As students select their courses for next year, administrators and teachers will see how many students enroll.

"I'd like to think as many students as possible can fit it in, but it's a pie in the sky. I don't think it's possible," Steidle said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: education; fasttrack; pspl
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And without a sizable increase in money from the state and federal governments, he said rising health care, special education, retirement and energy costs will force the district to scale back some programs.
1 posted on 03/12/2005 11:36:10 AM PST by Born Conservative
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To: kenth; CatoRenasci; Marie; PureSolace; Congressman Billybob; P.O.E.; cupcakes; Amelia; Diana; ...

2 posted on 03/12/2005 11:37:08 AM PST by Born Conservative ("Mr. Chamberlain loves the working man, he loves to see him work" - Winston Churchill)
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To: Born Conservative

Something similar is happening to my old high school in Ohio, but not for the same reasons.

It is being driven mainly by the same wackos that want to disband the town's police and fire department. Why? Because they would profit from it as they run security firms. They also want everything in the town to revert back to a more rural setting. Too bad they live in one of the fastest growing communities East of Columbus, Ohio and pretty much just make themselves look like idiots. Oops.

I guess short sightedness happens to us all eventually.


3 posted on 03/12/2005 11:40:33 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Silly Hippies, Bush Won!!!!)
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To: MikeinIraq

What city by Columbus is that? I know that Delaware County is growing phenominally.


4 posted on 03/12/2005 11:45:58 AM PST by Pure Country
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To: Born Conservative; EdReform

To whim it May corncern:

I thinks this be good idear. aNd they shuld not mek us reed eithr, cuz books is espensive. If we culd al jest rap about hip-hop and condoms, we wodnt Have no homework and the techrs culd have there evenings to have fun too. That wood be too cool, dog.

Signed,
Joe Mama
Planned Presidenthood of the NEA



/ sarcasm not that far OFF


5 posted on 03/12/2005 11:47:04 AM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (ATTN. MARXIST RED MSM: I RESENT your "RED STATE" switcheroo using our ELECTORAL MAP as PROPAGANDA!)
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To: Pure Country

Pataskala


6 posted on 03/12/2005 11:47:27 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Silly Hippies, Bush Won!!!!)
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To: Born Conservative
This smacks more of payback for a defeated bond vote to me. The tactic is to eliminate the most prominent services and in effect punish the voters for their arrogance. Of course, the significant overheads and non-line education expenditures will remain untouched.

IMO Some of these bureaucrats will stop at nothing to maintain the size nd power of their fiefdoms.

7 posted on 03/12/2005 11:55:29 AM PST by drt1
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To: Born Conservative

Chill out with a cool Yuengling!


8 posted on 03/12/2005 11:58:49 AM PST by Dedbone
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To: drt1

You are correct, sir. That's exactly what this is.


9 posted on 03/12/2005 12:06:03 PM PST by SoDak (hoist that rag!)
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To: Blurblogger

Joe Mama, indeed. Sarcasm, what sarcasm? More like, "Oh, No, Toto! Maybe we ARE in Kansas!"


10 posted on 03/12/2005 12:07:36 PM PST by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: drt1

"This smacks more of payback for a defeated bond vote to me"

Absolutely. It's a passive-aggressive "fiscal gun to the head" strategy. Hope the local voters put these extortionists out on the street.

Ronald Reagan, please come back and FIRE them like you fired the air traffic controllers....


11 posted on 03/12/2005 12:11:56 PM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (ATTN. MARXIST RED MSM: I RESENT your "RED STATE" switcheroo using our ELECTORAL MAP as PROPAGANDA!)
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To: Blurblogger

Shucks, I forgot to plug my thread. We have been discussing inexpensive ways to fast track kids through high school to avoid the liberal agenda and other idiocies:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1315730/posts?page=84#84

Unfortunately my thread title was not well thought out, because some parents might instinctively skip over it due to attached stigma, whether real or imagined.


12 posted on 03/12/2005 12:18:33 PM PST by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: Blurblogger; SoDak
It's amazing and frustrating. They ALWAYS select the Gov't Services that actually accomplish something and provide real service to the public when it comes time to scale down and trim costs. The real waste remains hidden.

A good example is Police Services - The vehicles are replaced every year (Or even less in some cases) and are auctioned off to Cab Co's when they are perfectly serviceable for many years forward. BTW - Ever seen an older SUV in our Gov't Fleets? I haven't.

Another example are these 'Training' Boondoggles that are often Taxpayer funded and paid time vacations for our Elected Elites. Virtually every Local, State and Federal Entity engages in this type of waste. /rant

13 posted on 03/12/2005 12:20:53 PM PST by drt1
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To: Born Conservative

At least this school is using some sense in making these cuts. In our area the first programs cut are the academic enrichment classes followed by music and the arts. The sacred cow is the athletic program which serves only a relatively few students and is very expensive.


14 posted on 03/12/2005 12:31:41 PM PST by The Great RJ
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To: Blurblogger
I thinks this be good idear. aNd they shuld not mek us reed eithr, cuz books is espensive. If we culd al jest rap about hip-hop and condoms, we wodnt Have no homework and the techrs culd have there evenings to have fun too. That wood be too cool, dog.

You must not have read the article. The only change is that Gym Class is no longer required. It is an elective.

I truly don't understand your point.

15 posted on 03/12/2005 12:35:59 PM PST by SolidSupplySide
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To: drt1
This smacks more of payback for a defeated bond vote to me.

It smacks of the district giving more autonomy to parents and students to me. They simply got rid of the gym requirement. If kids still want to take gym, they still can. If the kids and parents think another elective is more valuable, they may now choose the elective of greater value.

16 posted on 03/12/2005 12:39:11 PM PST by SolidSupplySide
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To: SolidSupplySide

My sarcastic "open letter" was more a broad screed of the textbook juggernaut/NEA/Planned Parenthood/Leftist Agenda than strictly a focused comment on this situation. If it doesn't float your boat, no problem. I made another comment or two that are more directed to the original post.

FReegards.


17 posted on 03/12/2005 12:45:47 PM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (ATTN. MARXIST RED MSM: I RESENT your "RED STATE" switcheroo using our ELECTORAL MAP as PROPAGANDA!)
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To: SolidSupplySide

Problem is, this is one organized activity that probably should be a requirement. When faced with the election to be active and in shape in their non-school lives, many kids are already electing out. I expect much the same decision will be made for in-school programs. If not in school, where will most kids ever be exposed to organized fitness and sports programs?


18 posted on 03/12/2005 12:47:57 PM PST by drt1
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To: Born Conservative

Wonder whose pocket the existing money is going into to. There is NO reason to sut this course.


19 posted on 03/12/2005 12:48:15 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: nmh

sut=cut


20 posted on 03/12/2005 12:49:24 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: The Great RJ
At least this school is using some sense in making these cuts. In our area the first programs cut are the academic enrichment classes followed by music and the arts. The sacred cow is the athletic program which serves only a relatively few students and is very expensive

i doubt this is really the plan. The idea is to hurt the public until the school gets something they want. Academic enrichment programs, music, band, art are likely already cut back or will soon be.

I don't mind cutting PE all that much as I believe every kid should be out for some form of athletics. They will get more exercise and have more fun doing this. Of course if the budget crisis continues then the school can cut out sports programs too. (Foolish school, parents have options).

21 posted on 03/12/2005 12:56:44 PM PST by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: Born Conservative
And if they would just scrap one (or two) of the school psychologist instead, they could have the gym class - and books!

The problem is not lack of money. The problem is the schools are getting top heavy with unnecessary administrative personnel and salaries that are gobbling up all the funds for actual education.
22 posted on 03/12/2005 1:09:11 PM PST by BJungNan (Have a look at GoGov.com)
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To: Born Conservative

"Charles V. Wagner, high school principal, said the high school will no longer offer the mandated driver's education curriculum next year."

Mandated driver's education? Back in the old days you took driver's ed in the summer and it was not school sponsored. Shoot, when I took driver's education we drove in an Air Force surplus '61 Chevy, three speed on the column without A/C. Just think about those nice warm Texas summer days with no a/c and vinyl seats.


23 posted on 03/12/2005 1:52:06 PM PST by politicalwit (Republican and Democrats are across the aisle but sleep in the same bed.)
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To: Born Conservative
"I think it should be mandatory because teen obesity is a problem in the United States," 12th-grader Jess L. Paulo, 17, said.

Phys-ED hasnt helped the obiesity problem in the rest of the country.
24 posted on 03/12/2005 2:43:45 PM PST by Husker24
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To: drt1

...This smacks more of payback for a defeated bond vote to me.,,

If you're wrong about that, I'll eat my hat.

One time our district made changes to the bus schedules to inflict pain upon us, even though, the money was in place for the schedules to run that year as planned.


25 posted on 03/12/2005 5:08:16 PM PST by planekT
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To: Born Conservative

No more flippen' tetherball?

Danggggg!

Idiots!


26 posted on 03/12/2005 5:14:29 PM PST by Guillermo (Vote for Pedro)
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To: Owl_Eagle; brityank; Physicist; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA; GOPJ; abner; baseballmom; Willie Green; Mo1; ..

ping


27 posted on 03/12/2005 5:15:13 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7

It was my best subject!


28 posted on 03/12/2005 5:19:20 PM PST by Temple Owl (19064)
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To: Husker24

If they want to do something about obesity give every boy who can do 10 pullups and every girl who can do five, a free period in lieu of gym. You'll have kids working out at home to get the privilage.


29 posted on 03/12/2005 5:30:35 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Born Conservative

"More schools are also shifting attention to the standardized testing or the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests."

I think this is the real reason. Gotta study for those high-stakes tests, and the more academic courses you take, the better you'll do.


30 posted on 03/12/2005 5:47:26 PM PST by ladylib
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To: Kevin OMalley

Homeschool them and let them go to college when they're 14.

http://hslda.org/docs/link.asp?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Emlive%2Ecom%2Fnews%2Fbctimes%2Findex%2Essf%3F%2Fbase%2Fnews%2D4%2F1110473112242230%2Exml


31 posted on 03/12/2005 5:51:07 PM PST by ladylib
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To: Born Conservative

I agree with this plan 100%. Gym class has served only one useful purpose over the years and that is it was used by the football/ basketball/ track coach to attract star atheletes for the hometown teams. IMHO, all sports should be cut from the school day, moved to after hours, and funded by booster clubs as it is done in many other countries. This should also be done with high school 'marching bands' which also seems to serve no useful academic purpose. Bottom line - schools should compete on their academic and vocational educational achievements, not on their ability to produce one or two star atheletes.


32 posted on 03/12/2005 5:53:07 PM PST by eeriegeno
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To: Born Conservative

Right now we have physical education,, (homo)sexual education, social(ist) studies, bolshevik revisionist history, Spanish, liberal arts, performing arts etc..

After all that there isn't much time left for English, math, and the sciences.


33 posted on 03/12/2005 5:55:07 PM PST by ran15
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To: eeriegeno; Tribune7
I totally agree -sports are fun, but literally take precedent over many things in Texas - coaches make more money than some principals - it is really pathetic -

Texas schools only require a couple of credits of PE, while Pennsylvania schools required a credit each year -

34 posted on 03/12/2005 6:19:29 PM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (I gave my soul to Jesus, but my heart belongs to Texas)
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA

Gym teachers here are often among the highest paid members of the bargaining unit -- earning up to $70,000 (not incl benefits or coaching fees) for 190 days a year of pretty soft work.


35 posted on 03/12/2005 6:29:21 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
I don't see the need for gym class in High School - elementary yes, the kids need to burn off some excess energy and need the fun in the day - but by High School, they should be using that time better.

The district we were in while in PA had a scale that paid $85,000 for any teacher with 10 years service and a Master's Degree....... I think almost any teacher in Texas would choke to see that figure - I've never compared to see if the salary was actually showing any results for PA students -

36 posted on 03/12/2005 6:33:50 PM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (I gave my soul to Jesus, but my heart belongs to Texas)
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To: Tribune7
Gym teachers here are often among the highest paid members of the bargaining unit -- earning up to $70,000 (not incl benefits or coaching fees) for 190 days a year of pretty soft work.

Interesting!!!! On the coaching fees, any idea what they might be? Do they get paid any more (or less) for winning (or losing)?????

37 posted on 03/12/2005 6:50:34 PM PST by eeriegeno
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To: Born Conservative

There's alot of overweight kids feeling like they just won the lottery (I was one of 'em)


38 posted on 03/12/2005 6:53:58 PM PST by 11th_VA (Stop the Illegal Invasion - Secure the Borders)
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To: eeriegeno
On the coaching fees, any idea what they might be?

A few thousand dollars per sport, IIRC.

Do they get paid any more (or less) for winning (or losing)?????

No.

39 posted on 03/12/2005 7:34:23 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: eeriegeno; Tribune7
Eerie - I can compare Texas public schools to those in Pennsylvania - Where Texas has 4 or 5 full time staff members for the football team, PA had a couple of teachers who were paid a little extra to be the football coaches - they hired outside people in some cases - I know for a fact the Baseball coach was not a school employee, nor was the volleyball coach. I thought that was not a good practice because you had no real control over someone hired for one season. The pay was minimal though -

To the best of my knowledge, Texas does not allow anyone to coach if they are not a district employee/teacher -

40 posted on 03/12/2005 8:17:15 PM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (I gave my soul to Jesus, but my heart belongs to Texas)
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To: Tribune7

Good idea, but lawsuit city.


41 posted on 03/12/2005 10:46:03 PM PST by Husker24
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
To the best of my knowledge, Texas does not allow anyone to coach if they are not a district employee/teacher -

That's shocking, especially for an area with such HS football tradition.

I was a volunteer coach part/time(during 2 a days, off season liftings, games) for the freshmen at a fairly bigtime HS program(we got 8000+ at a varsity game, and one, maybe two NFL'ers one our team) for 4 years while I was in college. I wasn't an employee. We had other part timers, usually ex-players as I was. At the freshman level, only our head coach (and one assistant during two of the years) was a teacher.

42 posted on 03/12/2005 10:55:57 PM PST by Dan from Michigan (Mark Sanford for President in 2008)
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To: BJungNan

>>The problem is not lack of money. The problem is the schools are getting top heavy with unnecessary administrative personnel and salaries that are gobbling up all the funds for actual education.

The reason school districts keep hiring more administrators is because of the ever-increasing STATE & FEDERAL REGULATIONS that require so much bureaucratic TIME for district compliance. If we could cut the head of the snake i.e. Federal Dept of Education, that would be an effective start to reducing the number of needed administrative educrats.
Right-Wing Librarian


43 posted on 03/13/2005 5:24:29 AM PST by Right-wing Librarian
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To: Dan from Michigan
Dan, you find it shocking because you were in a good program with people who brought skills to the kids - but looking at it from a different side, what if you were cussing the kids, or slapped a kid? The ONLY recourse the school would have is to fire you and not let you back the next year. However, if you were a school employee and did something like that, you could lose your teaching cert and the ramifications would haunt you to other districts.

However, the point I was making was that Texas spends way too much money on sports programs - having full time coaches for the major sports (football/basketball/baseball) who "might" handle a class or two of History during the day, but otherwise do coach stuff all day -

Your program, as well as the one where my daughter graduated, used a full time teacher who wanted a bit of extra money on the side - did the coaching after school - it isn't like that in Texas - it is a full time, high paid position, where a couple of winning seasons means you are recruited to move to a bigger school district with a bigger salary and you take your "assistant" coaches with you - Football coaches in Texas, who are winners, are treated like Kings -

44 posted on 03/13/2005 7:12:59 AM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (I gave my soul to Jesus, but my heart belongs to Texas)
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To: Right-wing Librarian
The reason school districts keep hiring more administrators is because of the ever-increasing STATE & FEDERAL REGULATIONS that require so much bureaucratic TIME for district compliance. If we could cut the head of the snake i.e. Federal Dept of Education, that would be an effective start to reducing the number of needed administrative educrats.

So far we don't have any politicians out there willing to dismantle the Federal Dept. of Ed so Ed keeps getting bigger.

And if a politician came along that wanted to give it a serious try, the childish MSM would start printing those stupid "They want to starve children" stories again.

45 posted on 03/13/2005 7:51:28 AM PST by BJungNan (Have a look at GoGov.com)
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To: Born Conservative
When I was in High School, Gym was a joke. The kids ran a few laps, did jumping jacks, etc.. The girls would turn in slips from the office saying that they were excused because of their.."period." With about half the girls never participating on any given day, their cycles back then must have last 15 day a month. I say good riddance. You know the old saying, "If you can't do, teach. If you can't teach, teach gym."
46 posted on 03/13/2005 7:56:25 AM PST by ExtremeUnction
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
However, the point I was making was that Texas spends way too much money on sports programs - having full time coaches for the major sports (football/basketball/baseball) who "might" handle a class or two of History during the day, but otherwise do coach stuff all day

I oughta get a teaching certificate, move to Texas, and become a Dbacks and strength/conditioning coach there.

I have a winning record.....:)

47 posted on 03/13/2005 9:28:03 AM PST by Dan from Michigan (Mark Sanford for President in 2008)
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To: Husker24

And kill all the lawyers.


48 posted on 03/13/2005 10:03:09 AM PST by Tribune7
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
Texas schools only require a couple of credits of PE, while Pennsylvania schools required a credit each year -

Michigan, where I went to high school for three years, required no PE. I arrived to Texas, and the school told me I couldn't graduate on time because I didn't have enough PE and I couldn't take two PE classes at the same time.

I was taking calculus, advanced chemistry, Latin, etc my senior year, but I couldn't graduate due to PE. I took my case to KPRC's answer to Marvin Zindler. Ron Stone said that we had all heard of no pass-no play, well, Channel 2 had discovered a case of no play-no pass. The local school district was shamed into allowing me to graduate. I graduated on time in the top 10% with a full ride to A&M.

49 posted on 03/13/2005 10:23:33 AM PST by SolidSupplySide
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To: Dan from Michigan
I oughta get a teaching certificate, move to Texas, and become a Dbacks and strength/conditioning coach there.

That would get you an extra $2,500 over the teacher salary schedule and one extra conference period in a nearby district with five 5A (biggest) high schools.

Only the head football coaches are overpaid. Usually by granting them the title of "Athletic Director". I think the Athletic Director is responsible for scheduling all teams, but what else that job entails is beyond me.

50 posted on 03/13/2005 10:29:21 AM PST by SolidSupplySide
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