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Weatherly’s PSSA policy sparks public comment

Published February 11. 2019 02:21PM

Public comment dominated the Weatherly Area School Board workshop last week.

Weatherly resident Michelle Gower spoke in protest of the district’s new policy prohibiting any student who opts out of the PSSA tests from being awarded principal’s honors. She said the policy is unfair to those students who achieved the academic requirements for the honor.

Tony DiSpirito, Pre-K-12 principal, defended the policy, citing the increase in students opting out of taking the Keystone and PSSA tests. When high-performing students do so, it affects the district’s overall results, he noted.

“We, as administrators, are judged on the results of these tests. I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is,” he said.

Gower remained opposed to the change.

A proposed change to the Multi Disabilities Students program came under fire, as well.

The program is designed to provide special needs students with the support they need to get an education in the district. There are three K-8 students in the program and one in the high school. The three K-8 students are helped through the CLIU, while the district provide’s the learning support for the high school student.

The district is seeking to have the CLIU take over that part of the program, as well.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to find certified staff,” said Superintendent Teresa Young. “The CLIU has the staff and isn’t constrained by a union contract.”

Tyree Harris spoke to the board about the program, asking if all resources had been tapped before making the proposed change to the MDS program. He also suggested that his family was told the program was being eliminated, which the superintendent and board President Girard Fewins vehemently denied.

Tempers flared when Harris accused the board and administration of not caring about special needs students. Fewins angrily denied the accusation during a brief shouting match between the two.

“We care about every student in this district,” Fewins shouted. “Don’t you accuse us not caring about the kids.”

Suzanne Lovitt, whose son is in the MDS program, spoke after the confrontation. Accompanied by her son, she pleaded with the board to keep his needs in mind when making any changes to the program and suggested that the CLIU resources weren’t always as good as those of the district’s in-house program.

Board members Chad Obert, William Knepper and Amy Potsko were absent from the meeting.

Pssa's are waste of time. Thanks to the biggest dumbass Republican of all time, GW Bush. No child left behind has done more to drag down the IQ of America, than the personal presence and ignorance of every child of a Deviant Republican in the U S. School system.
Dear Constituents,

Good evening. The PSSA's are optional in the reality that every student has the right to opt out.

If all the students opt out, or the board rejects common core, it would allow the local community to take complete control of their curriculum again. With great power comes great responsibility.

Many of these decision were made by default. The power was used to not make a decision, blocking progress. Board members frequently rubber stamp the administration they were elected to oversee. Lehighton Board members admit to abdicating their authority to the very government officials they were elected to oversee. Proudly. Weird right? It is as if they never took a civics class.

The community decides the level of entitlement we provide in this government entitlement program called our public schools. Transparency will disinfect our local governments and feckless boards.

Sad to hear this administrator showing his true colors. It seems they are more concerned about their evaluation then the children.

We need our district leaders to apply a moral standard to their actions prior to choosing a career as a cog in an immoral machine. They need to be the change we want to see in the world.


Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.

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