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October 23, 2013     The Sun Paper
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October 23, 2013

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2 The Sun, Wednesday, October 23, 2013 PINION In Other Words I New school report cards fall short Leave it to a government agency to spend coutless hours improving Something only to make it equally complicated. Re- cently the Oregon Department of Educa- tion released its redesigned report cards. According to Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton, the new report cards were rede- signed in part to to make them "nore vi- sual, user-fiiendly and relevant." In a lengthy press release-whiEl, by the way, was not sent to us, I had to domload it from the Oregon Department of Er.ation website-Saxton tells of the reviex prcr, x Marguerite Alexander that culminated in the new desigrL It included a 17-member Report Card Steering Commit- tee that gathered feedback from more than 130 parents, teachers and administrators and 2,000 online surveys. Sounds good on paper, but the bottom line is: did the state achieve that goal? I began covering schools in the fall of 2001, and have read many school report cards. So let me share my thoughts on the latest version. For ease of getting to the school reports online, I give ODE an A. Access to the reports has been greatly improve& School report card appearance: B-. The color graphics are nice but the informa- tion in some of the graphics is still difficult to follow. And who is going!to pay to print all these colored report cards to send home to the parents as required by law? To cut costs, I printed mine in black and white, which isn't nearly as easy to reacL Now lets go to the report card itself.. The letter from the super- intendent is a nice touch-at least when one is included. (Before you get angry at the school districts without the required letter, keep in mind that it had to be submitted in English and Spanish or the space was left blank.) Since not every school distrit includes a letter from the superintendent, I'd give this a B-. Next we get to the heart of the statistics. District profile (1.5 pages in'length.) B+ Progress and district performance (1 page): C. Outcomes (1 page) : C-. Curriculum and Learning invironment (1.75 pages): C- Federal Title I Designation (.25 pages): A- I did not find the new report card all that much easier to read and a lot of the information was not helpful at all. So Sheridan School District offers Positive Behavior Supports for school readfiness and RTI and AVID for academic support. What does that mean? Availability of additional information online to answer ques- tions. (I had a lot of them.): B (Great links!) District Detailed Report: D (This was harder to read.) List of priority, focus and model schools in Oregon: A- (They spelled Newberg wrong!) Comparison school districts: D (Very complicated. And are our local schools really comparable to schools in Hillsboro, North Clackamas, West Linn-Wilsonville, Portland and Canby?) Good luck to the local school districts as they try to ex- plain this year's report cards to parents. I don't envy you. From the Capitol Contact your lawmakers U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, 223 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510-3703. Phone (202) 224-5244. Local office: 911 NE 11th Ave, Suite 630, Portland, OR 97232. Phone (503) 326-7525. Website: U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, 313 Hart Senate Office Building Wash- ington, D.C., 20510. Phone (202) 224-3753. Salem Office: 495 State St., Suite 330 Salem, OR, 97301. Phone (503) 362-8102. Website: U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, Oregon-5th Dist., 314 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone (202) 225-5711. Salem District Office, 544 Ferry Street, S.E. Suite 2, Salem, OR 97301. Phone (503) 588-9100. Website: U.S. Rep. Suzanne Boeamii, Oregon-lst Dist., 439 Cannon HOB, Washington, DC 20515. Phone: (202) 225-0855. Fax: (202) 225-9497. Oregon Office: 12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 220, Beaverton, OR 97005. Phone 503469-6010. Website: Governor John Kitzhaber, 160 State Capitol, 900 Court Street, Salem, OR 97301-4047. Phone: Governor's Citizens' Represen- tative Message Line 503-378-4582. Sen. Brian Boquist - Dist. 12; 900 Court St NE, S-305, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1712. E-mail: Sen. Arnold Roblan - Dist. 5; 900 Court St NE, S-417, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1705. E-mall: Rep. David Gomberg - Dist. 10; 900 Court St NE, H-371, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1410. Ernall: rep.DavidGomberg@state. us Rep. Jim Thompson - Dist. 23; 900 Court St NE, H-388, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1423. Email: Oregon Legislative Information and Citizen Access: Phone 1-800-332-2313. Yamhill County Commiesioners: Kathy George, Mary Stern, Allan Springer, Yamhill County Courthouse, 535 NE Fifth Street, McMinnville, OR 97128. Phone 503-434-7501. Polk County Commissioners: Mike Ainsworth, Craig Pope, Jennifer Wheeler. Polk County Courthouse, 850 Main St., Dallas, OR 97338-3174. Phone 503-623-8173. City of Sheridan - City Council: Val Adamson (Mayor), Harry Cool?y (Council President), Roxie Acuff, Larry McCandless, Chris- topher Ehry, Rene Quinones, Sue Cain. 120 SW Mill Street, Sheri- dan, OR 97378. Phone 503-843-2347. City of Willamina - City Council: Corey Adams (Mayor), Rita Bailer, Allan Bramall, Ila Skyberg, Laurie Toney, Gary Hill. 411 N.E. C St., Willamina, OR 97396. Phone 503-876-2242. Fax 503-876-1121. Sheridan School Dletdct Board of Directors: Larry Deibel, Harvey Hall, Judy Breeden, Terry Chrisman, Michael Griffith. 435 South Bridge St., Sheridan, OR 97378. Phone 971-261-6959. Willamina School Dietdct Board of Directors: Daniel Heidt, Clinton Coblentz, Craig Johnson, Laurie Toney, Linda O'Neil. 324 SE Adams St., Willamina, OR 97396. Phone 503-876-4525. Letters to The Sun The Sun -TII 493-940 Obituaries Clinton Vining, PUBLISHER Marguerite Alexander, EDITOR POSTAL NOTICE: Published weekly byThe Sun, 136 E. Main Street, Sheridan, OR 97378. Periodicals postage paid at Sheridan, OR 97378. SUBSCRIPTION RATE (one year): $32 in Yamhill/Polk County. $50 out of area. Payment must be received by noon Friday for subscription to start with the following Wednesday's edition. DEADLINES: Letters to the editor, society and church news, press releases, general - Noon Friday. Legal notices, display - 5 p.m. Friday. Classified display - Noon Monday. Classified ads-5 p.m. Monday. Phone: (503) 843-2312. Fax: (503) 843- 3830. E-maih POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sun, RO. Box 68, Sheridan, OR. 97378. Merkley wants ,Congress to get back to rebuilding middle class Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after an agreement was reached to reopen the gov- ernment and prevent a default on U.S. debt: "After two and a half long weeks, common sense has fi- nally prevailed in Washington. Although it is a good thing for our economy that Congress has reached an agreement to reopen the government and prevent a default on our debt, Congress fulfilling its most basic duties is not cause for celebration. "While this bill addresses the immediate situation, it does not begin to resolve the dysfunction and paralysis that have caused our govemment to careen from crisis to crisis. This cycle of brinksmanship must end. "These manufactured crises have caused great harm to our families and businesses across Oregon and across our nation. It is time to fix our broken sys- tem to end these self-inflicted wounds. We need to focus on what really matters: rebuilding an economy in which middle class families can find good jobs, pay for college, and plan for a secure retirement." State redesigns school report cards This month Deputy Super- intendent Rob Saxton released the newly redesigned report cards for Oregon's K-12 pub- lic schools and districts. "Our education system is changing, our schools are chang- ing, and we needed these report cards to change as well to better tell our schools' stories and to provide parents and community members with critical informa- tion on student and school per- formance," said Saxton. YCCC thanks Sheridan Fire District volunteers To the Editor: On behalf of the Yamhill County Cultural Coalition I would like to thank the volun- teers from the Sheridan Fire Department who came on two separate occasions to load and then unload display panels at the Art Conspiracy storage unit. Their help was invaluable and enabled YCCC to beautifully display the wonderful photos selected to be shown in our an- nual Photography Contest Ex- hibit at Chemeketa Commtmity College Yamhill Valley Card- pus. Thanks guys, you were great. We really appreciated your help. Monica Setziol-Phillips, President Yamhill County Cultural Coalition Chickens should be allowed in Sheridan To the Editor: Haven't written for a while, so I figured I'd put my two cents in on the chicken issue. I got the chickens on the council agenda after numerous people contacted me to do so. There was a packed house when the meeting was held. It just so hap- pened it was overwhelming in support to allow chickens, with only one nay sayer in the bunch. This is a farming com- munity and should never have been shut down to animals. There are a lot of 4-H and FFA kids that deserve to be able to experience what most of us did when we were kids. That is to learn responsibility, by feeding and caring for their animals. It builds character and teaches them a lot. The other night I went to the planning meeting when the chickens were to be discussed. I didn't much agree with their ideas or suggestions they had. They were less than welcom- ing to the idea of even discuss- ing chickens even though I let them know there was a packed house in favor of chickens at council. Their ideas included charging for permits" to have them, like $40; requiring set backs from side yards of 15 feet and minimum lot size of 5,000 feet; inspections of hen houses. My opinion on all of this is to just let people have chickens and stop with all 0fthe require- ments for this, that and the other thing. Let people live their lives and be happy. Remember life, liberty and the pursuit of hap- Theodore "Pete" William Musgrave, Jr. Jan. 6, 1936- Oct. 18, 2013 Theodore "Pete" William Musgrave, Jr., 77 of Salem, Ore. died Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, of complications from a stroke. Pete was born January 6, 1936 in Sweet Home to The- odore Sr. and Barbara Mus- grave. He graduated from Or- egon State University with a Pharmacy Degree in 1961, and he was a Pharmacist for over 50 years, as well as being quite an entrepreneur. He had the Western Deer Park and an ar- boretum in Sheridan, as well as the Sherdian Drug Store, Pete's Pea Nachos, and his current One of the goals of the rede- sign was to make the report cards more visual, user-friendly, and relevant. For the first time, the reports are in color and in- clude a number of new features designed to better describe each school or district. As part of its federal waiver application, Oregon developed a new accountability system with a much greater focus on student learning and growth. Schools receive an overall rating of Level 1 through 5 Level 1 schools represent the bottom 5 percent of schools. Level 2 schools represent the next lowest 10 percent. Level 3 makes up approximately the next 30 percent of schools. Level 4 represents the largest share of schools, those that fall between 44 percent and 90 per- cent of schools. Level 5 repre- sents the top 10 percent. For the report cards, schools also receive a rating that com- pares them to "like" schools - other schools with similar stu- dent demographics including percent poverty, mobility, stu- dents of color, and English learn- ers. Schools are rated as below average, about average, or above average as compared to similar schools. In addition to the main re- port cards which are distributed to parents by local school dis- tricts, further information is available online. The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) creates a detail report, and the Chalkboard Project is hosting an interactive online version of the report cards which will be available on the Open Books Project website starting in November. In order to provide support to the schools that need it most, last year ODE identified a list of Fo- cus and Priority schools. These schools were the lowest perform- ing, high poverty (Tide I) schools in the state last year and have been receiving additional sup- ports, interventions and funding, to increase student success. These schools will receive sarptrts for a total of four years. piness? One of the commis- sioners wanted to charge $40 but was told that fees would have to be put to a vote of the people. Really? It doesn't have to be put to a vote if there are no frivolous fees. It also doesn't have to take up code enforcement time. The code enforcement officer seems to be way behind all of the time already with what's already on her plate. It also won't take up staff's time if there aren't a bunch of frivo- lous requirements. Remember planning commissioners, you also represent the people just as councilors are supposed to sup- port and represent the people. So are we going to listen to the people or what? The people have spoken. I would surliest a dozen laying hens wouled a family of six. T[o eggth, unless you have teersgelat eat 3-5 at one sitting. 1' Chris Ehry Sheridan For education, not for bond To the Editor: Don't take me wrong. I'm for education 100% and I'm for the students that attend our school. Now that I've said that, I will add - I'm NOT for the bond measure. I don't think it will go to education. I think it will go to the athletic fields and grand- stand. IF the board was so pro-edu- cation, why did they build a "multi-purpose" building, which, from what I understand is more for wrestling, before replacing those temporary classrooms? I heard there was a lot of volunteer labor and do- nations involved, but still that money could have been put to a better educational use. At this point I'm wondering what became of the monies from the sales of the Grand Ronde campus and the "old high school" campus. Why wasn't that money put towards the replacement of those tem- porary classrooms? I I don't want to give this school board more of my money to waste. Just take a good look at the "old high school." With a minimal amount of dollars - compared to the almost $5,000,000 they're presently asking from us tax payers - they could still be using that building. Right along with all those great ath- letic fields, grandstand and ad- ditional shop buildings. I rest my case. Mary .lane Hollinger Willamina business, Morgan's Lysine Lip Balm, which will be run by his daughter Katherine. Pete is survived by six chil- dren: David, Linda, Sandra, Ri- chard, Michelle and Katherine; nephew, Matthew; 10 grand- children. He was preceded in death by one son Steven, and his parents. Memorial service will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Ser- vices, 605 Commercial St. S.E., Salem. He would've said this was dam well spoken. Obituary policy The Sun will publish free of charge a basic death/funeral no- tice for persons who are (or have been) a resident of the West Val- ley. The notice will include the name, age, birth date, death date, city of residence, and time, date and location of the funeral ser- vice. A photo may be added for a $5 fee. The charge for a more de- tailed obituary is $25 per 10-inch increment. A photo may be added for an additional $5. Submit by email to: or fax to 503-843-3830.