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1015 Division St. Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613


Education blueprint raises concerns Maya Amajadi News Editor

Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and the governor’s special assistant for education, Linda Fandel, held a town meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15, to address “One Unshakable Vision” for education reform. The CFHS auditorium was filled with over 200 teachers, administrators, parents and students. Most of the input was provided by teachers concerned about the proposed four-tier system of teacher pay, although other parts of the plan including student assessments were also discussed. The input from this audience and those that preceded it from other meetings around the state made an impact on the governor’s blueprint, because the next day, Branstad tabled the four-tier system for at least one year. In the four tier system,

apprentice, career, mentor and master teachers, would have different pay checks. Only five percent of teachers would become master teachers and 15 percent of mentor teachers. Of those who went to the microphone during the CFHS meeting, all were opposed to this part of the plan. Afterwards, teachers continued to have questions. “If you only [are allowed] a certain percentage of mentor teachers, what if you have more teachers that want to do that and are qualified?” English teacher Diane Flaherty asked. The Cedar Falls School District has a high percentage of teachers with masters degrees. “Will teachers who want to be master teachers be forced to go to another district? TAG teacher Tim Kangas asked. Frank Jowitt, math teacher, applauded efforts to attract “the best and the brightest”

teachers by paying a higher starting salary. However, he disagreed with the four-tier system. “After each year and after more education, we get more money with the steps and lanes (current system). [In the four-tier system,] our wage is effectively frozen unless we bargain collectively as a teacher’s union, and that isn’t going to happen,” Jowitt said. Branstad countered educators’ worries about competition for the highest positions when he said, “Competition makes us all better, same as in business.” The crowd roared “no.” Later Kangas said, “You can use a business model, but only so far, in education. Students aren’t products. They’re people. We aren’t selling them to the highest bidder.” English teacher Scott Lawrence-Richards had this response the next day, “If I were to amend the governor’s

KEY ASPECTS OF BLUEPRINT Four-tier teacher compensation system and pay raises for teachers that advance levels. High-stakes, end-of-course assessments for core subjects in high school. State-wide goals for student outcomes, such as a 95 percent high school graduation rate.

To see entire plan, visit

plan, I would make it far less focused on competition and more focused on collaboration, fostering the achievement of all students and growth of all faculty.” Some community members also arrived to the meeting with concerns after reading Branstad’s plan. Retired educator Jill Mortenson is part of a book group on the University of Northern Iowa campus. “A main point is [the plan] is not very focused on learners. Schools are a

community of learners, and I don’t see much focus on that.” Mortenson said. “One Unshakable Vision” also requires teachers to have a GPA of at least 3.0 and pass a test on the subject they will teach. UNI associate professor Cherin Lee said. “I agree with the idea of increasing the quality of teachers and the education students get in the K-12 curriculum.” However, she disagrees with Branstad, continued Page 2

Newest networking site offers financial benefits Chandal Geerdes News Editor

One of the newest social networking sites to hit our smartphones not only allows students to check in with friends, but allows them to save cash. Foursquare, a site based on the principle of “exploring the world,” allows students to check-in to the locations they visit. In doing so, students can meet up with friends, discover new places, and most importantly, save money. Businesses offer rewards for “checking-in,” in the form of exclusive coupons, promotions and discounts. Frequent users can even be deemed “mayor” if they have successfully checked in the most times. “Being mayor can result in getting more badges and in some places, discounts and coupons,” said senior Braden Cervetti, who once received 30% off at Express after checking in. Foursquare offers over a billion check-ins, and millions are added

Sara Gabriele photo

Junior Chandal Geerdes checks in to Cedar Falls High School to begin the day.

everyday. Even local businesses such as the Cedar Falls Receration Center, Famous Daves, Blain’s Farm and Fleet, the Pretzel Maker in the College Square Mall, and Scratch Bakery have check-ins where you can receive promotions and discounts.

Co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai built the the first version of Foursquare in fall 2008, but since the launch in 2009, the site’s membership has risen to over 10 million people. Senior Maddie Gary said she likes

the competitive atmosphere of the site. “People are always wanting to go to new places to receive more points and become the top leader board,” Gary said. Only after four months Gary is the mayor of her house, a couple of her friends’ houses, Cedar Falls High School, St. Patrick’s Church, Yogurt Pro, and The Other Place on University. Through being mayor Gary has received discounts on goods and clothes. “It was really cool because I didn’t even have to do anything for the discount,” Gary said. Gary even expressed that some places will even donate to certain organizations if people check in at their business and she’s helped with that as well. However, one thing Gary dislikes about the site is getting friend request from people she doesn’t know. “They’ll know where I am when I check in and that freaks me out,” Gary said.


Nov. 22, 2011

Branstad, continued from 1 the GPA change. For teachers in elementary education, the courses are much different than a high school physics teacher’s. “Even if they get a B-, they won’t be a teacher,” Lee said about taking courses such as calculus. Biology teacher John Black said, “I think the teacher criteria to enter the field is a good idea. Many other professions have college exams to illustrate competency, such as doctors and lawyers. Teachers should have it too.” Another change the plan proposes is teachers evaluating other teachers.Kangas said. “In the situation where teacher A is in charge and teacher B is subordinate, the collaborative and professional environment is skewed. How willing are they going to be to work together and what will that relationship be?” “A teacher’s job isn’t to evaluate another teacher, ” Mortenson said. She stated that if teachers lose their jobs due to poor peer evaluations, this will kill collaboration. However, she is very pleased that education has become a strong talking point for the governor in office. Black said it is his understanding that teachers’ job security will be based on

effectiveness, determined by the school board, without any legal protection. “This is a big change,” Black said. “They are trying to eliminate poor teachers, which the current

system does not do, but it’s a scary attempt.” Branstad mentioned China, Taiwan and Scandanavia having high test scores. Black said, “My question is are those students at a football game at 11 p.m. on Monday? Do they have organized sports? No.” Black knows this from when he lived in Argentina, where there are no organized school sports, just club teams, and school comes first. “It’s apples and oranges. I participated in sports in high school and loved it.” He said it is impossible to compare students from the United States where sports are a top priority. He

scary. Basing teacher pay on test scores, there are too many outside factors that go into that,” Dike-New Hartford teacher Scott Connolly said. Kangas likes the idea of exit exams. “If students can pass, are we going to allow them to pursue —Governor Terry Branstad advanced educaFalls tion? Could they graduate as a High School has already sophomore?” Kangas asked. implemented in the form of “I think it is a good plan; Tuesday morning ProfesWe do need to make an sional Learning Communities education change in Iowa, (PLC). “I think the PLC is a but it’s got a long way to good thing. The willingness go,” resource teacher Megan to work together has always Tasler said. “I do believe with been there. It is the time my kids, [the plan] may not [that was the issue,] and now be as inclusive as Iowa has we’ve got it,” Kangas said. been.” The governor proposed In the governor’s plan, emphasizing work experience students will be required to over college readiness for take end-of-course exams, these students. The governor which will serve as exit also pushed for people to go exams in high school and a into the science and maththird grade reading test which ematical fields, but Tasler will determine promotion to argued that isn’t for every fourth grade. “The third grade student. “Some of my kids can possible retention is kind of go to college; you want to be said there needs to be continuity in the classroom and full weeks without disruptions. The plan also outlines a weekly meeting for teachers to collaborate, which Cedar

Iowa has been stagnant while other states are improving, and that is not OK.

M.A.T.H program provides help at all times Mikayla Foland Staff Writer

Cedar Falls High School’s math department has started a new program this past week called M.A.T.H, which stands for Math Achievement with Teacher Help. It was created to allow students seeking help with math homework to find it at all times of the school day. “As a department, we wanted to provide a structured way for students to receive help outside of their actual class time. With so many of our classes at or close to maximum size, the opportunity for a teacher to

give individual attention is minimal during actual class time,” said math department chair Rich Strike. “This provides an excellent opportunity for a student to be able to easily go to a math teacher for help during a time when he/she is free.” Student can get help with math during all hours of the school day because of the new schedule of the program. “We have set up a schedule where a specific teacher or location is available during each class period, before school, and after school. This schedule has been posted in all of the math

rooms, given to guidance counselors, administrators and sent to all teachers to be used by those that have study halls,” Strike said. In the first official week of the program, over 150 students were “served.” It is clear to students using the program that all the teachers are very interested in helping them overcome their obstacles in whatever they are studying. “The best part is that students always have a place to go if they need help with their math. With this program a math expert is always available to help,” Strike said.

able to do what you want to do, although not every student is going to be an engineer.” When Tasler questioned Branstad at the meeting, he said, “Special Education kids are a different situation. There will be evaluations of how your students have met their individual goals. We have to make education more like special ed. It needs to be individualized. I want students to have the mind set they can get jobs. It’s not a one size fits all plan. Our plan is designed to get us something better.” To this last statement, there was laughing from the crowd. Branstad said, “Iowa has been stagnant while other states are improving, and that is not OK. I’ve committed to doing what I can, but we need your help. People hate change, but they love progress. We want this to be progress for the long term.” But if the general reception from the teacher-dominated crowd at the governor’s meeting is any indication of his plan’s potential, he may have a long way to go. “Unless the governor can gain consensus for his educational plan among all parties, he risks fostering discord rather than progress,” Lawrence-Richards said.

After school program created to assist struggling students environment clear of distractions. Because this program is just starting, it will focus CFHS teachers prepare to on sophomores and juniors, start an after school program but they hope to involve helping students with acaseniors as soon as possible. demics. This program will Any student can request work to “help students make specialized instruction on a up missing work, points variety of subjects. they’ve lost and help them Students can seek asget their grades up before sistance through this program they become final at semesby their guidance counter” special needs teacher cilor’s referral, or at their Bridget Bakula said. own request. The program At this point, the program is completely voluntary. has no specific goals other Even if a student’s councilor than helping students raise refers them to the guided their grades through a assistance, students have the combination of specialized option to refrain from particiassistance and a stress-free pating in the program.

Katherine Mayhew Staff Writer


Nov.22, 2011

Breaking Dawn crosses borders in mediocrity Ellen Gustavson Editor-in-Chief

It’s your typical love story: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy impregnates girl, unborn fetus almost kills girl, boy turns girl into vampire and they all live happily ever after. Wait, what? Last Friday at midnight, theaters released the first part of of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1. Following in the footsteps of Harry Potter, Summit Entertainment decided to split the final installment of the series in two parts, so they could please their fans — ahem, make more money, ahem — by including every necessary detail from the 756-page book. The movie follows Edward and Bella’s story as they get married and go on their honeymoon, only to soon find out that Bella has somehow ended up pregnant with some sort of half-vampire. Because the fetus is incompatible with Bella’s body, she wastes away to keep her child alive; ultimately, her beloved Edward must transform her into a vampire after the baby is delivered to ensure her own

survival. The movie begins with an extremely lighthearted tone that differs greatly from the previous movies in the series. Though still as awkward as ever, Kristen Stewart (Bella) manages to pull off a charming smile or two, and even, unless my ears deceived me, a giggle. Yes, you read that right. Kristen Stewart, infamous for her monotonous voice and constant blankfaced expression, pulled it together and actually acted convincingly in this movie, a pleasant surprise for anyone who walked in with their expectations as low as the sticky theater floor beneath their feet (i.e., me). The happiness of Edward and Bella’s wedding then takes a turn down Awkward Street as they head for their

our view

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Parts of this that were intended to be serious were met with ringing laughter in the theater, while the parts meant to be humorous faced stony silence ... honeymoon. Parts of this that were intended to be serious were met with ringing laughter in the theater, while the parts meant to be humorous faced stony silence, punctured by bouts of quickly stifled coughing. To its credit, the sex scene was quite brief, saving the audience any more awkwardness than necessary, and saving any younger members of the audience from having their innocent eyes corrupted. Things go from bad to worse when Bella gets pregnant. This part of the movie was dragged out for an almost unbearably long time; the only thing that kept me awake was being grossed out by Bella’s corpse-like appearance, and the fact that she had to drink blood from a Styrofoam cup and a straw. (I know. Styrofoam? Really? Why aren’t the

Cullens more environmentally conscious?) Also interspersed between the stretch of Bella’s disturbing pregnancy is drama among telepathic werewolves and an excessive amount of musical montages. The big payoff for all this is a gruesome, bloody birth scene and a rather condensed fight between the vampires and werewolves. The movie wraps up with the end of Bella’s transformation to a vampire and a giant cliff hanger (SPOILER ALERT): Bella opening her red vampire eyes. Ooh. Suspense. Of course, some credit should be given to the movie for coping with much more mature material. The much talked about first-night-ofthe-honeymoon scene, for example, actually had to be

UNI International Education Week opens diverse cultures to students, public The University of Northern Iowa’s International Education Week was Nov. 14-18. It hosted informational tables about Ireland, Tibet, Bosnia, China and Japan, complete with international coffee samples in the mornings. Afternoon and nighttime activities included speakers, dance and musical performances, films, cricket lessons, a traditional clothing fashion show, international food, cultural games and presentations — all open to the public. We are proud that continued education on different cultures grows in our community because it is only through the acknowledgement of our differences that we have the opportunity to recognize how similar we are to people all around the globe. Our very own Nicholas Chizek, the CFHS speech team coach, was the keynote speaker at the kick-off event in Mauker Union on Monday. Chizek is a former UNI study abroad participant and knows firsthand the value of experiencing different cultures. In his opening speech, he gave three pieces of advice to future study abroad students, “1. Stay with a host family. They will integrate you into their lives with so much gusto you won’t want to leave. 2. Don’t be afraid and enjoy your victories wherever you find them. I luckily signed up for the course that changed my perspective and my future; intercultural communications. 3. Get out there and love you some exploration.” UNI has over 100 opportunities in over 60 countries for students to take part in this eye-opening experience. “You can watch a movie, worship a painting or love a book that evokes fear, pain, sadness and laughter, but when you can literally brush shoulders with a person that mirrors that of the artwork, that’s when you make the connection,” Chizek said.

YES NO Soph. Boys: Soph. Boys: 20% 80% Soph. Girls: Soph. Girls: 65% 35% Junior Boys: Junior Boys: 40% 60% Junior Girls: Junior Girls: 55% 45% Sernior Boys: Senior Boys: 10% 90% Senior Girls: Senior Girls: 35% 65% The Hi-Line Poll represents the opinion of at least 10 percent of all students in each subgroup.

re-filmed, as it earned the movie an ‘R’ rating during its first screening. The movie also touches on the issue of abortion, giving it more of an adult twist than the love-triangle tween issues of the previous movies in the series. Nevertheless, the movie leaves off with good news for both Twi-hards and Twihaters alike. For the former, there’s another year to revel in Twilight-mania before it all ends with Part 2; for the latter, at least there’s only one more to go.

Contact the Tiger Hi-Line

The Tiger Hi-Line is a weekly publication of the journalism classes of Cedar Falls High School, 1015 Division St., Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613. Our website is The Hi-Line is distributed to CFHS students on Tuesdays to read in their free time. Columns and letters do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Hi-Line or Cedar Falls Schools. The Hi-Line editorial staff view is presented weekly in the editorial labeled as Our View. Reader opinions on any topic are welcome and should be sent to the Tiger Hi-Line staff or delivered to room 208. All letters must be signed. Letters must be submitted by 3 p.m. on Thursday for publication the following Tuesday. Letters may not exceed 300 words and may be edited to meet space limitations. Include address and phone number for verification.

Editorial Staff

Editors-in-Chief: Sara Gabriele, Ellen Gustavson, Meg Lane News Editors: Maya Amjadi, Sara Gabriele, Chandal Geerdes Opinion Editors: Meg Lane, Karl Sadkowski Sports Editor: Jared Hylton Feature Editors: Ellen Gustavson, Sandra Omari-Boateng Entertainment Editor: Lucas Hamilton Hi-Line Online Editor: Martha Hall Staff Writers: Sarah Church, Lindsey Davis, Chase Eremieff, Mikayla Foland, Isabelle Hayes, Trevor Johnson, Kathrine Mayhew, Diamond Spann, Rhydian Talbot


Nov. 22, 2011

Girls basketball team ready to kick off new season Lindsey Davis Staff Writer

One thing that can be said of the women’s basketball season last year was that it was a little rocky. This year is a whole new story, and so far one thing the team has shown is drastic improvement. At the beginning of the 2010 season the girls were starting with a loss of five starters from the previous year. Head coach Dan List sums this situation up best. “We were very young and inexperienced and it showed, especially early in the year. By the end of the year the girls began gelling and coming together as a team and they played very good basketball,” said List. If they started to play good basketball 10 months ago, they can really play now.

“This year we’re more experienced and we get along better,” said junior Emily Neff. Last year’s team seemed

and only three seniors were the only previous high school players. Inexperienced? One would be likely to say yes. The 2011 season can only be seen as a whole new ball

I’m looking forward to getting better and working hard to be the team we’ve always wanted to be.

—Krystal Graves, Senior basketball player

to be a sort of melting pot of players. Kaz Brown, then a freshman, was quickly pulled up and thrown in with an assortment of girls of all ages. Three sophomores were also pulled to Varsity. Four juniors

game. “We return most of our team from last year and will be much improved. We have size, athleticism, and experience,” said Coach List. The first game is coming

up quickly on the girls, and they have been working hard every day in preparation. “We have only been practicing for two weeks, but getting our feet under us and getting into basketball shape is our primary goal,” said List. In conclusion from the team, everyone is very excited and hopeful for the 2011 season. Ask anyone and they will tell you how far the team has come since last year. “I’m looking forward to getting better and working hard to be the team we’ve always wanted to be,” said senior Krystal Graves. Charles City on Nov. 22 is the first regular season matchup for the Tigers. Early season games help the girls get a taste of the upcoming season as well as a few games under their belt.

Tigers in Action

Dance teams held their Men’s swimming team returns nine letterwinners annual exhibition on Saturday.

Athlete Week of the

Jon Skarlis Hockey Johnathan Skarlis is the sixth leading scorer for the 7-0 Waterloo Warriors.

1. How do you feel about the 7-0 start to your season? It’s a good start. We’re just looking to keep it going. 2.What has inspired you this season? Our coach has pushed us to work harder. 3. What’s your best memory from the season this far? Getting our first win of the season.

Tigers in Action MEN’S BASKETBALLDec. 2 @ Decorah 6 p.m. WOMEN’S BASKETBALLNov. 22 @ Charles City 6:15 MEN’S SWIMMINGNov. 22 @ Dubuque Senior 6 p.m. MEN’S & WOMEN’S BOWLING- Nov. 22 vs. Dubuque Hempstead 3:45

Meg Lane photos Anna Love photos

Top, Nick Michels (’13) and Gabe Langner (’14) dominate in practice in preparation for the team’s first Top, Molly Juhlin (’13) pops, locks and drops it as the dance team shows off its hip-hop skills. meet, Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Nov. 22, 2011 Hi-Line  
Nov. 22, 2011 Hi-Line  

This is the Nov. 22 edition of the Tiger Hi-Line newspaper produced in the journalism class at Cedar Falls High School.