Published in Appeal Democrat
Again this morning at my daily reading of the A-D, I noticed another reference to the concerns of local gang crimes in Yuba City. Mayor Ramirez and Mr. Jeffrey must not realize that a high local social crime rate doesn't just materialize out of thin air. I find it comical for Mayor Ramirez to approach the YC City Council about reactively attempting to lower the incidences of drugs, gang violence and drive-by shootings that often take place in our small Sacramento Valley community.
A high crime rate is a result of collective family, social and educational inadequacies. Just a couple of weeks ago, the A-D published a rather obscure article concerning the truancy rates at three of the local high schools-Marysville HS rated at .11%, Lindhurst HS at 11% and Yuba City HS at a whopping 34%. In my opinion, no degree of reactive law enforcement short of public floggings will lower the present trends.
On the other hand, I would suggest that Mayor Ramirez call Yuba City School Superintendent Nancy Aaberg and Vice-Superintendent Baldev Johal into his office and ask them a few serious questions about the present enrollment figures of Vocational, Industrial and Performing Arts Classes in the two Yuba City High Schools ON A PERCENTAGE BASIS compared to 8 years ago. Is it possible that the YCUSD's present No- Child- Left- Behind curricular emphasis is contributing to the local youth crime rate? Should we not give our students reasons to stay in school for all 12 years in promoting personal accomplishment and self-esteem? Should we promote high truancy and dropout rates by STAR testing students and branding each one with a test score so that YCUSD can gain revenue for overpaid administrators who do not even fairly pay our teachers when their contract expires?
Support your local community by contacting your School Board Trustee-- demand a well-rounded education, not a Test-based revenue machine. Read to your children, get to know their school instructors and supervise assigned homework completion.
Peter Van Alstyne
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