A great homecoming week at Central

Congratulations go out to all of the folks involved in Homecoming week that took place last week at Central. Brooke Willemsen and Matt Ditsch, chosen Queen and King are excellent representatives for the students at Central and truly embody the spirit of what Central stands for, both in education and co-curricular activities.

The Parade of Flags is something that I had not seen before at any homecoming celebration until I got to Central, and that presentation really sets the stage for Central’s flag to be presented as homecoming’s center piece. By the way, maybe I’m getting older, but the class of ’87 looks kinda young? I asked when the alumni volleyball game took place, but got the answer that it would not be a good situation. Maybe next year?

Congratulations also need to be shared with readers about an event that took place last Thursday out at Baylor Park. For the first time in 12 years Central had a cross country runner win the Minnesota River Conference meet as Alex Wischnack, a sophomore runner at Central, took the crown on his home course. Looks like a bright future for the young man and the team. The cross country team has been faring very well this fall, and it seems that personal bests come nearly every meet. While they have been “flying under the radar” early on, I think other teams are taking notice of them as we move into state qualifying meets.

Switching gears totally, I am working on a Minnesota Department of Education task force dealing with the Math Graduation Assessment. We last met on Wednesday, Oct. 17. Our charge is to make recommendations to the commissioner of education so that she may take them to the legislature in the spring. The graduation exams were implemented a couple of years ago and replaced the basic skills testing that was originally administered in 8th grade. This math exam is now embedded in the MCA assessments that 11th grade students take in the spring.

This task force is composed of members from various groups, administrators, Education Minnesota union representatives, special education advocacy groups, various parent advocacy groups, business representatives, higher education representatives, and the department of education.

The one thing that has really stood out during our early discussions is the fact that there are not any higher education institutions putting any credence in the graduation exam for furthering a student’s education. So, the sole purpose of the exam comes down to granting or not granting a high school diploma. This, to me is not a legitimate purpose for these exams.

I will keep you up to date on our progress. See you in the paper.

Brian Corlett is superintendent of Central Public Schools. Corlett’s Cracker Barrel is a regular feature of The Norwood Young America Times.