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Standardized testing is not a showcase of Eden students’ true measure

EDEN — The Eden Central School Board’s Oct. 16 meeting circled back to the topic of the perceived measurement of students within the district.

Mark Vona presented a speech to the board on “Partnership for Smarter Schools.” He expressed his concern for students and the way in which their school day is structured; he said that he hopes there will be change.

“It doesn’t make sense why we can’t see these tests,” Vona said, adding that he found the manner of the standardized testing to be an unfair measurement of a student. He expressed this thought by quoting Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

There was back-and-forth discussion between Vona and the board members. Vona told the board to think over his presentation and, if need be, he would further research any questions the board may have for him.

In other board news:

– Superintendent Sandra Anzalone discussed homecoming week. “We had a lot of fun,” she said. “Raider Fest was just an absolute venture by [the] student council.”

This year, Eden opened homecoming week to the entire district, rather than limiting the celebration to just the high school. Anzalone said that this arrangement “showed homecoming week was about everybody, not just the high school.”

– Board of Education Member Patty Krouse requested that the student insurance policy be considered as an item for next year’s budget. She told a story about her child, who broke his two front teeth on the playground during recess; the school did not have an insurance policy in place.

“I do find it important,” Krouse said, in regard to Eden’s obtaining this insurance.

– During the business report, Director of Finance Thomas Murphy discussed the Affordable Care Act and how it will impact the district. Some provisions will be pushed to January 2015.

“We, as a school district, need to be ready ... by July 1, 2014,” Murphy said.

– The Eden Central School District will present a high school diploma to Kent Willis of the United States Marine Corps, who left high school to serve during the Vietnam War, at the next meeting.

There will be refreshments in honor of Willis at 6:45 p.m., prior to the next board meeting that will be held at 7 on Nov. 20.

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