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The scores are in. The Upper St. Clair “International School,” hijacked by the International Baccalaureate Organization a few years ago, ranked 57th in the Region for fourth grade on the most recent PSSA testing, and far, far lower state-wide. In case anyone wonders whether this is a fluke, you should note that last year, the fourth grade scores were 49th in the region. While 57 looks good on a ketchup bottle, it is abysmal in one of the most expensive school districts in the state governed by a board that is planning another massive tax increase with more planned for the future. The program has failed at all levels. In the high school, the graduation rate for students with an IB diploma is still tragically dismal. Since the true costs of this designer program are more than $300,000 per year, and it is a near total failure, perhaps it is time to pull the plug on this program. The curtain has been pulled back and the man behind it has no clothes.
Upper St. Clair
In his long-winded diatribe of April 9 (USC taxes too high), Oren Spiegler is mystified as to why USC’s township tax is higher than that of Pine Township.
It is really no mystery at all. Upper St. Clair has more residents than Pine. More residents requiring more services necessitate higher taxes.
Mr. Spiegler notes that taxes are lower in two Butler County communities. Taxes in that county have always been lower than those in Allegheny County, but as the populations of the communities he cited expand, so will their tax bases. In the words of the old song, “It’s just a matter of time.”
As he continued his rant, Spiegler seemed to be saying that no one on the USC school board listens to his complaints. If he presents himself in a lathering rage, why should they?
Feeling as strongly as he does about township taxes and school taxes in Upper St. Clair, why doesn’t he run for public office, putting together a slate of like-minded candidates who could take their case to their fellow voters?
As an oustider, it seems to me that Upper St. Clair residents have received much in return for their township taxes and school taxes. Those who don’t think so are in dire need for an abrupt wake-up call.
Ross A. Matlack Jr.
I have read with interest the debate regarding laying turf on the recreation fields in Mt. Lebanon. Besides the obvious cost involved and the potential adverse effects to the surrounding areas by the impact from decreasing the amount of permeable surface for storm water runoff – which, by the way, the good citizens of Mt. Lebanon are actively paying and will continue to pay for the foreseeable future if not forever, “storm water fees” – there is another even more important reason to NOT do this, which I have seen no commentary.
I am referring to the very real risk and likelihood of severe injury to the very children that you are attempting to increase the availability of these fields for. According to the American Academy of Neurology, “playing on artificial turf may be a risk factor for more severe concussions.” A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. Symptoms can range from slight, like feeling dazed or confused with slowed motor reflexes, to severe, like loss of consciousness, convulsions and even sudden death. Any child who has had one or parent, coach or teacher, who has witnessed a child with one, will acknowledge the lost time from school and all activities during lengthy recovery times and will attest that it is a serious matter. I implore Mt. Lebanon commissioners to further investigate this very real threat before spending any more money or time on turfing these fields! A good place to start would be the article in the most recent issue of American Family Physician Practice Guidelines (April 1, 2014) the article is entitled “Evaluation and Management of Concussion in Athletes: Recommendations from the AAN.”
Please protect our youth. Hitting their heads on the ground that is softened by rain is bad enough, but an unyielding surface such as AstroTurf is unforgiving.
Joan E. Gibson
Those who have lived in Upper St. Clair for a long time may not recognize how the community compares to others in its level of taxation of our incomes and properties. A thorough examination leads to the conclusion that our residents have been overburdened for years....
Early childhood education is constantly evolving. Educational programming is becoming more sophisticated and prolific, and numerous phone and tablet apps are readily available to educate children. However, as they learn about subjects that belie their age and become increasingly tech savvy,......
The Almanac printed a letter from Michael Suley in the March 19, 2014, edition, telling us how unfair one aspect of the current assessment and township policy of Mt. Lebanon is. I say one aspect, because there are several more that are even more grossly unfair, and which demonstrate the......