2006: Make a commitment to excel
December 30, 2005
When the Park City Education Foundation (PCEF) first announced its intention to help make Park City "one of the top 10 school districts in the nation," it sounded more like a marketing slogan than an actual goal. But when the foundation began calling on national experts to actually define the standards of educational excellence and suggest ways to attain them, we began to pay closer attention.
The oft-repeated slogan has since become a rallying cry throughout the district and there has been measurable progress, which, in turn, has added even more momentum to the district’s quest.
It is worth noting, and admirable, that the foundation did not choose to base its fundraising campaign on claims of "being" the best. Instead, they invited the community to help local schools become the best — and it seems to be working.
Based on the PCEF’s example, and with the deadline for New Year’s Day resolutions looming, The Record would like to see several other local entities adopt the same model.
Start with City Hall. What would it take to become one of the top 10 cities in the country not according to a panel of beauty contest judges, but to the citizens of Park City? Certainly, those standards would include a vital economy and plenty of recreation and cultural amenities. But how are the city’s grades when it comes to affordable housing, access to healthcare, assisted-living facilities and the environment?
The same holds true for our county government. As evidenced by the lawsuits, the acrimony between landowners and elected officials, the precarious nature of the East Side’s agricultural heritage, the worries about water and rapidly deteriorating traffic conditions, it is clear some serious brainstorming is in order. Could Summit County rise to the top of the class?
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In 2002 Park City and Summit County residents proved they were capable of hosting the Olympics. Now we are faced with different kinds of challenges. Some are the result of the area’s success and its reputation as a generous community. Many of the challenges are common to communities all over the country how to assimilate a growing population of immigrants, how to protect the environment and how to guard public safety without curbing civil liberties.
These are problems that even the toniest resort towns face. But with our citizens’ commitment, talent and drive, it is conceivable that, in the New Year, we can help set the standard for becoming one of the top 10 communities in the country.