Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Who knows what if anything?

I went to the meeting at Convenient United Methodist Church to listen to information on renovation Vs a new high school. I did this because those supporting the renovation would be there and I truly wanted data so that I could truly understand the situation. I assumed they would be putting fourth information in support of renovation. However, what I heard in the short time there was more fuzzy feally good words, but nothing quantified.

The NACS school board states they have done studies on a new high school saying the cost would be $118 million. They did a cost impact as well on staffing two high schools versus one renovated school and it was determined that it would cost $2.9 million more per year to staff two high schools.

The demographic study done in 2004 showed that renovation might be exceeded in 2016 and then later in the July 2006 study showed the high school enrollment had dropped.

My expertise is analyzing data. I do not need nor want emotional, fuzzy, unsubstantiated numbers, but the assumptions and analysis. You would think that would be fairly easy to come by. Tonight I asked the principal of Carroll how many unique classes were offered by Carroll and how many teachers there were. She could not tell me. I am not sure about you, but I would certainly expect the principal of any school be able to identify the number of teachers reporting to them. I would also expect them to know precisely how many different courses the school offered.

The entire reason why there is a remonstrative is that a large group of people will not accept numbers on face value, but need to read and understand how these numbers were arrived at. It does not mean the numbers are wrong. However, because there have been so many conflicting numbers bantered about, which ones if any are correct.

Credibility can be lost very easily when simple out right errors of discrepancies are found. Because of the lack of data and information the school board has lost credibility in my eyes. We may not need a new high school, but what I do know is we do not need to renovate now. We have several years. We should take one year to look at the data and discuss all options.

I would rather error on the side of waiting another year then spending $63.75 million only to find that with a little more time other options might prove cheaper and better.


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