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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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 Post subject: Improvement, change ...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:02 pm 
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A letter in the June 12 Tomahawk Leader:

Dear Editor:

Is the world today the same as it was in 1997? And as the world changes, its people need to adapt. Charter schools are a means whereby a community can offer classes that differ from the traditional. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have expulsion hearings because the child is positive and motivated in his/her charter classroom? (Those classrooms are not better, but they are different, and after all, our children are not all the same either.)
The Gleason Area Public Charter School group does not want to save the “Midway School.” Many acknowledge it has been a dying school for years. The GAPCS group asked the school board on Jan. 24, 200 7, for permission to set up a K-5 charter school in the Midway building. At that time 93 students were already enrolled.

On Jan. 24, 2007, Dr. Sally Sarnstrom, our superintendent since the summer of 2003, stated that, in her opinion, there was more financial risk in granting the Gleason request than in granting the charter for the Merrill Adult Diploma Academy, which as of April 18, 2007, had 26 eligible students who had applied.
I would still like to know how 26 students, some of whom will go to school less than a semester, are going to bring in more money than 93 students, some of whom will attend for six years.
Then again, this is the same superintendent that has reduced teaching staff and increased class sizes for the last four years, just as former superintendent Frank Harrington predicted. Isn’t there a better way? By listening to the Gleason Area Public Charter School group’s revised proposal, the school board could lower class sizes, improve learning, offer new electives while maintaining current electives, bring in more money, and utilize a building built for the children of the Merrill Area School District (the current Midway building). Isn’t this better than MAPS losing 10 percent of its current tax base when the towns of Russell and Schley leave MAPS and join a neighboring school district?
Let’s add some improvement and change to MAPS declining status quo. Let’s talk. Dialogue is usually productive.

Wolfgang Cahn
Merrill


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