18 December 2006

Move Over Dr. Evil....

There's another "playa" in Fort Wayne that has their eyes set on holding the citizens for "ransom"...and it's the FWCS. Recently, a panel (what? Another task force? How much did THAT cost?) submitted estimates for renovations, repairs, and whatever the hell else they could think of for the entire lot of buildings FWCS has under it's "care". Prices ranged from $35 MILLION....to a whopping ONE...BILLION...DOLLARS.

You have THREE guesses who will wind up paying the freight on this, and the first two don't count. If you said "The Taxpayers"...you are CORRECT!

Now I would be the first (at this point) to make a case for ALL that illegal immigrant labor we could employ to fix up all these schools....and at the price we could get away paying them, it WOULD be a bargain. Hell, we can even hole them all up in some two-story colonials in an upscale neighborhood (who would even suspect?) like they did in Long Island. Of course, with ALL the (potential) immigrant laborers now in the Summit City, we WILL have to make ENGLISH a second language, change all the street signs to Spanish, and refer to our neighborhoods as "Barrios". But is that such a price to pay for cheap labor for OUR schoolchildren?

Of course it is...so we're not gonna do it, kapesh?

Now I would say that the STATE needs to step up and pitch in, if "they" are going to dictate scholastic requirements, achievement levels, and other standards. The state cannot just "sit on the sidelines and send in the plays"...they have to become more involved. And if they do not, WE, the taxpayers will AGAIN be called on to reach DEEPER into our pockets to bail another "entity" out (again). Sorry, but pockets are ONLY SO DEEP....and reaching farther down only serves to scratch my cajones. But if either FWCS or the state want to do that....couldn't that be construed as sexual harassment...LOL?

I feel that buildings are no longer the bastions of learning they once were...no more granite monoliths of education, those fortresses of learning, but rather mere aesthetically-appealing, cheaply constructed, obsolete before they're built structures of "feel-goodness" (my word, don't bother to look it up). And we, the taxpayers are paying the price for this error in judgement. I would rather see today's kids learning in TENTS (and REALLY learning the subjects, as well as values, ethics, decency, and civility) than have a multi-million dollar white elephant that pumps out cookie-cutter graduates with less ability than a ninth grader from 35 years ago!

Many would infer that having the government do MORE (financially) denotes more involvement, and they would be right. Someone has got to have a "vested interest" for all the money being sunk into projects such as this. And would that also mean the "state" can dictate curriculum, decorum, etc? Most assuredly, but it must be tempered with good old common sense. It has to have parity or it means nothing.

That's where "OUR" voice comes in. We have a say (as parents) as to how the state may proceed (it IS OUR money, after all). And it's time we let them KNOW that. Having our kids go to school looking like trollops, thugs, goths, and slobs says nothing for how we are expecting them to act AFTER they graduate. If anything, it reinforces what our future might look like. The public school system needs to take a page from the private and parochial sector in this case.

Having said that, my idea would be to return to what schools USED to be...where they were located, how they influenced neighborhoods, and the like. And a return to a more value-based expectation of all our students never did any wrong in generations past. By value-based I don't mean being able to JUST pass any test coming down the pike. What is needed is what we called "work habits". It means that everyone is held accountable for their actions...no irresponsibility allowed. And just as important is how the world perceives you now, AND also when you leave the halls of learning. Maybe that's a Victorian way of viewing all this, but is that a bad thing at this point?

Our educational system DOES need repairs....a LOT of repairs, but I would contend that a billion dollars just for maintenance, renovations, and the like would be nothing compared to the billions being pissed away by the manner in which these children are learning (or not learning). In overall scholastic achievement, we (the USA) is still in the top ten...but nowhere near the TOP any longer. What are other nations doing differently (or better) that "we" should be setting the standard for? Schools are (supposed to be) STRUCTURED environments....just like any work venue. It would be folly for us to believe otherwise. Bring back the structure for these kids that they sorely need. Stop worrying about meeting all these damn guidelines, quotas, test scores, statistical "bars" and whatever other nonsense is slapped in front of these kids. Time and again I hear educators say they are teaching "to the test", and all that says to me is that the kids will be able to "pass the test"...whatever "test" that might be. Where is the REAL creative, intuitive learning in that? Let the educators TEACH them, discipline them, mentor them, and become what they used to be to OUR generation. The rest will fall into place. It has in the past, and it can once again.

Feeling good is one thing...BEING good, DOING good, and ACTING good is quite the other.

Funny thing....when the last THREE are in play, the FIRST one always follows.

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