The Puyallup School District is about to make a momentous decision – grade reconfiguration – without any advisory input from independent committees, students or parents. An “advisory” committee has been formed, but it is not independent. I was told by a member of the committee that they were informed in no uncertain terms that they were to support the grade reconfiguration, period.
The superintendent, Tony Apostle, is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Apostle is quoted (TNT, 11-18) as saying that the implementation “is expected to begin in September 2012.” But the same article quotes him saying that “nothing has been decided.” What’s the truth?
Apostle and the school board need to commit to the following:
• Explain why grade reconfiguration is necessary.
• Describe in detail the configuration of the school day at the three high schools, and how each problem raised by overcrowding will be addressed, before moving ahead with a decision.
• Explain to the voters why this move will not result in the need for a new high school.
• Abide by the wishes of the community.
There is a deep-seated suspicion that the soothing talk about going slow, wanting input and having patience is just a façade. The board and district employees need to do a better job of convincing us that this decision will be made on its merits, or not at all.