Going Forward

As the Kenai Peninsula School District moves forward with the Soldotna schools reconfiguration — from the existing school system into one of six elementary schools, a middle school, a ninth-grade house and a single tenth through twelfth-grade high school — it’s paramount that the work be done with the current student body in mind and in a manner that is wide open to the public.

Next comes the touchy stuff of staffing, school colors, athletics and activities; and it’s there that the community must know how and why the eventual conclusion is reached.

The nature of administering education from the district level down, nearly always, leads to vision being focused five-to-ten-years down the road. The danger is that those children in the system during the changeover face an education and school experience that is less than what the community would desire for them. Undoubtedly, school culture, athletics and activities are an important part of the total public school experience for students, families and the entire community. That importance is well represented in the responses by some from within the community that feel a loss over the combining of what were once competitors.

Regardless, love of school colors, sports teams or their mascots should never trump the nuts and bolts of a child’s education. The Soldotna and the Kenai Borough’s social welfare and workforce as a whole will benefit more from the investment in this transition by not sacrificing today’s education for a guess — no matter how educated — about tomorrow’s unknown.

While much of the initial action to arrive at consolidation has been accepted, no measure of how the district arrived at their decision through data or academic research has ever been released.

Transparency of this process means more than posting the conclusion on a website. The administration should be held to the same standards as the student body. They should thoroughly show thier work and explaine how they arrived at their conclusion.

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Thu, 01/19/2017 - 22:53

What others say: Obama’s legacy a mixed one

President Barack Obama leaves office Friday after eight years as the most consequential Democrat to occupy the White House since Lyndon Johnson. And unlike that Texan, whose presidency was born in tragedy and ended in failure, Obama will not have the ghost of the Vietnam War haunting his days and eating his conscience as LBJ did all the remaining days of his life.

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Op-ed: Trump won the news conference

Donald Trump should do press conferences more often. Not for the country’s sake, certainly not for the media’s sake, but for his. He really shouldn’t have waited 167-plus days to hold one, because the man gives great sound bite. Although I’ve participated in probably thousands of these staged encounters as a reporter, they’re not my favorite way of getting news — you almost never get any. The guy at the podium controls the proceeding. He can get his message out with little challenge from the assembled journalists who are limited to a question and a follow-up, maybe. Politicians can bob and weave through that without any of us landing a blow. And that’s our job: to penetrate the canned responses to their version of the controversy du jour and get at whatever truth they are hiding. Besides, Trump — who uses contempt for the media as a weapon, his preferred way to discredit reporting that displeases him —has a wonderful forum to do that. At the very least he should hold these confrontations as a supplement to his Twitter tirades. And frequently. It’s his opportunity to hold the media hostage as they cover live his rain of abuse on them.

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Good luck in Juneau

The 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in on Tuesday, and we’d like to take a moment to wish our Kenai Peninsula legislators good luck over the coming months in Juneau.

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Ready to weather the storm

If there’s a bright spot in the recent headlines regarding Alaska’s economy, it’s this: on the Kenai Peninsula, the bad news isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

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