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Clark Palmer takes issue with Journal's 'hurtful' editorial
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To the Antigo Journal:

On Friday, June 26, an astounding and deeply hurtful Journal-generated editorial was published on Page 4, claiming that the paper had a "duty" to publish "public discourse". Then, on July 8, I was stunned to discover that the Journal posted their contribution to "public discourse" on the paper's website without posting my original June 24th essay to ADJ, leaving the average visitor to speculate about its contents. As the author of the original opinion-piece, I am duty-bound to confess my sin: I criticized the Unified School District of Antigo(USDA)'s staff and administration, as well as the School Board. The Journal also claims I criticized USDA students and the Antigo community in general, which I vigorously deny. Of course, without re-publishing my original essay, who can tell?

The students are victims of the system, and the community has been misled by its own daily paper, which also claims a century-long "tradition" of promoting "public discourse". Phooey. I lay claim to the truth: I have the facts, all of them. For this I am viciously labelled as a "myopic" "naysayer" acting like a wet blanket on this fine city's "optimism and enthusiasm" and that I'm apparently part of some "minority" that "cherry-picks" statistical measurements. Until now, I didn't believe that the Journal was part of the problem; but now I know it is. The Journal is saying to you, the taxpayer, "we might publish your dissent, but we will belittle, ridicule, and intimidate you for doing so". The Journal editorialist then admits that he/she has "no idea" why I/they would try to bruise your "Antigo Pride". Well, sometimes pride is just pure arrogance and precedes a fall. The Journal's remarks, while meanspirited and offensive, just might lead to some true but overdue "public discourse". But I'm not holding my breath; an editorialist with "no idea" should not be discussing any issue whatsoever; and a prejudicial mindset, coupled with "no idea" is not constructive. Mr. Berner, where is the love?

Perhaps others in the community, such as parents, educators, administrators, or just plain folks will step up and express their well-founded opinions on why we can be justly proud of an educational institution that's having a very tough time educating our students. Sure, we have some noteworthy programs, some excellent teachers, and some very successful graduates; every school district has them. We have less of them. For thirty million dollars annually, USDA should have many hundreds more.

I am a retired pharmacist, a proud alumnus of UW-Madison, familiar with the Wisconsin educational and political landscape and I served a brief appointive term on the USDA School Board; previous decades of experience dealing with legal and Constitutional issues and State legislation gives me some insight concerning USDA's present situation. My background in science, math, logic, statistics, and public policy, coupled with the unique advantage of being "not from here" should afford me some deference that you might not extend to a lifelong Antigo native. I am not part of some group of "naysayers". I am credible, unintimidated, and totally dedicated to ensuring that the students for 540 square miles around Antigo receive the full and precious opportunity that a high-quality education can give—the type long lacking within USDA—the type Dr. Childs, our veteran District Administrator, is establishing through his fundamental changes to the USDA staff and administration, and preparing his young and energetic successor, Brian Misfeldt, to complete the transformation over the next few years.

My job is to "tell it like it is" and to back my opinions with valid, factual, verifiable information.

The USDA School Board has issued this policy statement: THE USDA WILL PREPARE ALL STUDENTS TO MEET OR EXCEED STATE TEST SCORE AVERAGES; TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP; TO BE COLLEGE/CAREER READY; AND TO THRIVE IN A WORLD OF CONSTANT AND RAPID CHANGE. USDA must be held accountable to achieve this goal as soon as possible. Not just for the top 5 or 10 percent of each class—we must "prepare ALL students...".

I have dared to provide you with solid evidence that USDA is presently falling far short of this goal. There are signs of improvement which I'd be happy to report, truthfully and in detail, separately later this summer. For now, be aware that academically USDA is starting at or near the bottom. It's vital that taxpayers be fully informed so they can be fully supportive; this will also prevent the swindling of the public by an empty "Antigo Pride" or "Antigo First" campaign. Will the Journal provide leadership on this issue or will it continue to have "no idea" ?

Clark Palmer

Antigo

Editor’s note: Mr. Palmer’s letter of June 24 and the Antigo Daily Journal’s subsequent editorial are both available for viewing on the newspaper website at antigodailyjournal.com. Click on the link to opinions/letters. Printed copies of the newspapers are also available at the newspaper office. We encourage readers to reach their own conclusions.
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Clark Palmer takes issue with Journal's 'hurtful' editorial
space
To the Antigo Journal:

On Friday, June 26, an astounding and deeply hurtful Journal-generated editorial was published on Page 4, claiming that the paper had a "duty" to publish "public discourse". Then, on July 8, I was stunned to discover that the Journal posted their contribution to "public discourse" on the paper's website without posting my original June 24th essay to ADJ, leaving the average visitor to speculate about its contents. As the author of the original opinion-piece, I am duty-bound to confess my sin: I criticized the Unified School District of Antigo(USDA)'s staff and administration, as well as the School Board. The Journal also claims I criticized USDA students and the Antigo community in general, which I vigorously deny. Of course, without re-publishing my original essay, who can tell?

The students are victims of the system, and the community has been misled by its own daily paper, which also claims a century-long "tradition" of promoting "public discourse". Phooey. I lay claim to the truth: I have the facts, all of them. For this I am viciously labelled as a "myopic" "naysayer" acting like a wet blanket on this fine city's "optimism and enthusiasm" and that I'm apparently part of some "minority" that "cherry-picks" statistical measurements. Until now, I didn't believe that the Journal was part of the problem; but now I know it is. The Journal is saying to you, the taxpayer, "we might publish your dissent, but we will belittle, ridicule, and intimidate you for doing so". The Journal editorialist then admits that he/she has "no idea" why I/they would try to bruise your "Antigo Pride". Well, sometimes pride is just pure arrogance and precedes a fall. The Journal's remarks, while meanspirited and offensive, just might lead to some true but overdue "public discourse". But I'm not holding my breath; an editorialist with "no idea" should not be discussing any issue whatsoever; and a prejudicial mindset, coupled with "no idea" is not constructive. Mr. Berner, where is the love?

Perhaps others in the community, such as parents, educators, administrators, or just plain folks will step up and express their well-founded opinions on why we can be justly proud of an educational institution that's having a very tough time educating our students. Sure, we have some noteworthy programs, some excellent teachers, and some very successful graduates; every school district has them. We have less of them. For thirty million dollars annually, USDA should have many hundreds more.

I am a retired pharmacist, a proud alumnus of UW-Madison, familiar with the Wisconsin educational and political landscape and I served a brief appointive term on the USDA School Board; previous decades of experience dealing with legal and Constitutional issues and State legislation gives me some insight concerning USDA's present situation. My background in science, math, logic, statistics, and public policy, coupled with the unique advantage of being "not from here" should afford me some deference that you might not extend to a lifelong Antigo native. I am not part of some group of "naysayers". I am credible, unintimidated, and totally dedicated to ensuring that the students for 540 square miles around Antigo receive the full and precious opportunity that a high-quality education can give—the type long lacking within USDA—the type Dr. Childs, our veteran District Administrator, is establishing through his fundamental changes to the USDA staff and administration, and preparing his young and energetic successor, Brian Misfeldt, to complete the transformation over the next few years.

My job is to "tell it like it is" and to back my opinions with valid, factual, verifiable information.

The USDA School Board has issued this policy statement: THE USDA WILL PREPARE ALL STUDENTS TO MEET OR EXCEED STATE TEST SCORE AVERAGES; TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP; TO BE COLLEGE/CAREER READY; AND TO THRIVE IN A WORLD OF CONSTANT AND RAPID CHANGE. USDA must be held accountable to achieve this goal as soon as possible. Not just for the top 5 or 10 percent of each class—we must "prepare ALL students...".

I have dared to provide you with solid evidence that USDA is presently falling far short of this goal. There are signs of improvement which I'd be happy to report, truthfully and in detail, separately later this summer. For now, be aware that academically USDA is starting at or near the bottom. It's vital that taxpayers be fully informed so they can be fully supportive; this will also prevent the swindling of the public by an empty "Antigo Pride" or "Antigo First" campaign. Will the Journal provide leadership on this issue or will it continue to have "no idea" ?

Clark Palmer

Antigo

Editor’s note: Mr. Palmer’s letter of June 24 and the Antigo Daily Journal’s subsequent editorial are both available for viewing on the newspaper website at antigodailyjournal.com. Click on the link to opinions/letters. Printed copies of the newspapers are also available at the newspaper office. We encourage readers to reach their own conclusions.
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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

WEEKLY
JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

*Member WNA & NNA

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