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Wisdom from the Web

Compiled by Daily staff

On the Vail Daily Web site, you can comment on each story or editorial you read there.Here, we publish excerpts of those comments:Re: Flatlander: Reform? How about enforcement?Great article! Well stated! Your article reminded me of some research that I did last year. Have you ever looked into what it takes to become a Canadian citizen or buy Canadian property? Extremely well organized web Site and extremely restrictive! …Re: Height and bulk key to CrossroadsThis building will bring much activity to Vail. It will bring ice skating to the village, and movies shown in a modern theater. It will make Vail Village the place to be in Vail only months after Vail Resorts’ Arrabelle opens. Gee, could this be the reason why so many of these old geezers are against Crossroads be fixed? Also each of the people against it have all made tons of money and equity with the huge increase in village real estate values. Now it is impossible to build income-producing small buildings in the village. The rents just have to be too high to pay off the buildings loans. So you have two choices: Either build higher or go underground. Both choices have to include more square feet per acre. Easiest approach is to build multi-level underground parking, storage and delivery areas, along with building the building higher into the air to increase available square feet. This method allows more available square feet for sale and rent, which lowers the cost to both buyers and renters. …Re: Storm wreaks havoc on Vail PassYou guys should search your archives to see how many times storms “wreaked havoc” this winter, at least in headlines. Havoc: widespread and general destruction; devastation, great confusion and disorder. Maybe we should leave this word to Shakespeare, where it fits in Julius Caesar: “Cry ‘havoc,’ and let slips the dogs of war.”Editor’s note: Thanks, we did check. The word “havoc” appeared in five headlines in the past four years. Re: Wisdom from the WebAs a veteran teacher in the Eagle County School District, I believe that the current TAP (Teacher Advancement Program) is a waste of taxpayer money.It has crushed morale, increased class sizes and even reduced educator collaboration due to a bell-shaped compensation curve. Furthermore, it has eliminated monetary incentives for further education (?), reduced the availability of specials (art, physical education, music, library and counseling) in our primary schools in order to pay for the “required number” of master and mentor teachers, and taken our best educators out of the classroom so they can critique others. But what has it accomplished? Is student achievement (test scores) up? Is this current, acrid, smile-because-you-fear-retribution atmosphere amongst staff and administrators good for our kids?As one who loves teaching, is not planning on leaving the public school district, and is an eternal optimist, I entered this program which an open heart and mind, but have only witnessed incredible inefficiency, a lack of support and relevance by the Milken Foundation, and unwillingness by its proponents to acknowledge many, many problems. But hey, we’re the first district in the nation to unilaterally accept and implement this program in both our primary and secondary schools! Cutting edge equals bleeding edge?There are many other “performance pay” programs out there (like the one Denver Public Schools adopted last fall after EIGHT years of research). I wish that we would implement a more responsible program for holding teachers accountable. One that doesn’t have peers judging me, and one where there are both “step” and performance pay pieces making up my salary. A program where we can “cluster (grow professionally under guided instruction)” how, where, and when we want – and not be held hostage by ridiculous parameters set forth by a distant company which “gives us no support” (direct quote from both master and mentor teachers). Is there anything we can glean from the fact that a majority of master and mentor teachers, once their obligation is up, are not re-enlisting as instructional team members?How do you get a square peg through a round hole? You just keep banging on it with a hammer, then a mallet, till something breaks.Because I, like many of you, often dismiss anonymous rants as baseless, unaccountable diatribe, I wish I could identify myself. However, I am willing to live with the decreased merit an unrespondable letter contains, and hope that others will come forward, educate the public, and help exact change. …Vail, Colorado


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