Lighthouse Letters: The Best From December
Each month, The Pilot reprints the letters judged to be the best from the previous month..
Decision on IB
Was Wrong One
FROM DEC. 12: The decision by the school board to change the International Baccalaureate program, against the recommendations of Dr. Purser, was wrong.
They did not discuss the facts. They did not consult with Purser. They did not talk to the principal, the students or the community. There was a motion, one question and a very hasty vote.
The process took less than five minutes. Here are some facts they should have considered.
The IB program, a combination of two programs (Certificate and Diploma), has served more than 1,000 students since 2002.
We invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to establish and maintain IB at Pinecrest since 2002.
Last year, IB cost only $28,237.95, less than 0.0002 of the total budget, and over 20 percent of the juniors and seniors took advantage of the program -- 29 in the Diploma Program and 222 in the Certificate Program.
IB students perform well compared to national standards. The 2007-08 IB Certificate pass rates were: Pinecrest, 75 percent; North Carolina, 68 percent; USA, 76 percent. IB Diploma: Pinecrest, 68 percent; North Carolina, 56 percent; USA, 70 percent.
AP students perform below state and national averages. The 2007-08 AP pass rates were: Pinecrest, 52 percent; North Carolina, 58 percent; USA, 60 percent.
The IB Program is popular with military families, an important consideration with base realignment, and it's one of the reasons the Lee County school system is considering IB.
The plan approved creates a school-within-a-school situation -- the same "divisive" situation that the board was so adamantly against at Southern Middle School last year.
The plan requires that 24 10th-graders sign up for the Diploma track this spring, or IB will cease to exist.
Let's hope they will be wiser than seven adults.
Enough About Martin
FROM DEC. 31: Enough is enough about ex-Coach Larry Martin. He is hardly front-page material. Either the editorial staff of The Pilot has some personal ax to grind, or there is so little newsworthy material in this county that pretty soon watching grass grow will become a competitive sport.
OK, Martin loses his coaching position, an internal decision by the administration of Pinecrest High School. I doubt that it was an arbitrary decision, and since he had a pretty decent win-loss record and there is no superior candidate for the job at hand, I would assume that there were serious issues involved.
It is quite obvious that The Pilot has no clue as to what those issues were. It is also obvious that you are being used by Martin and his advocates to present a biased, oversimplified view of the facts. I am being generous here. They are not facts, they are opinions.
Let it go! If Martin's lawyer takes it to court, you can have a field day, but at least you will have both sides of the story. As it is, you are just a mouthpiece, presenting a rather boring eulogy for an ex-high school soccer coach.
Anthony G. Hucks-Folliss, M.D.
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