Friday, March 11, 2011

Lard ass

Other people told me so...but until I was *myself* adversely impacted by the District's eternal money problems, I didn't believe or understand the truth:

Even if our economy wasn't tanking and our nation wasn't on the brink of collapse...indeed, even in days of milk and honeycomb, the District would STILL be crying about money, and funding, and how cash-strapped it is.

If turning residential neighborhoods into ghettos is the objective, then school closures are a step in the right direction. The money saved when the District closed schools was negligible...eaten up by increased transportation costs to bus kids back and forth past the boarded up building on the corner. The money was frittered away on this and that, and now the money is GONE. It's a sad day, people, when $3 million is not much more than loose change.

Or perhaps "chump change" would be more accurate --

Besides closing those eight elementary schools a few years ago *how* has the District demonstrated its poverty...or its cinched belt...or its need?

How much money is spent on dubious teacher development, and on "bully-proofing" schools so that "gay teens" safely walk the school halls with their heads held high? What about the fat kids - THE most-picked upon strata of children? It must be because fat kids *choose* to overeat and not exercise...they simply need to control their behavior. Well, newsflash, friends: "gay teens" are *choosing* to be gay and flaunting their behavior, in large part due to the suffocating, in-your-face, It's Okay if You're Gay anti-bullying "programs" designed to improve school climate and culture.

Money for this type of costly cockamamie pours from the District like a puncture wound.

And surely the school closures have contributed to the ever-widening "achievement gaps" between this group and that. I'm tired of people crying crocodile tears over the "achievement gaps" between boys and girls and blacks and whites; the whole gender and race thing is rather hackneyed by now.

Since everyone's so gung-ho to study "data points" in the District, why not stir things up a bit: somebody study the achievement gap between children with both a father and a mother in the home vs. kids from broken homes...or the gap between kids from households *with* video game systems like Wii vs. kids without...or the gap between kids from families with a strong faith-based tradition vs. kids from families that adhere to a humanist belief. Now THAT might be a lot more provocative.

But even those types of studies are costly, and for what; to teach our kids slightly differently after the results of the study have been analyzed?

I remember going to the "listening lab," sitting at the station, donning headphones to listen to a story on a was a lot of fun then. My kids *still* think it's fun, and look so cute and funny while wearing the headphones, with their faces so serious as they concentrate on listening...

I mean, just because there's not much of a market amongst the general public for cassette tapes...since the listening labs were already in place and functioning, is it really necessary to upgrade to digital sound systems with Dolby Surround Sound?

This is just an example...I mean, maybe they still listen to cassette tapes in the listening labs...but there's LOTS of other examples of this type of unneeded upgrade to the District's equipment and such -- and the reason I know this is because of ALL THE DISCARDED-YET-FULLY-FUNCTIONAL AUDIO-VISUAL EQUIPMENT THAT WAS HAULED OFF TO ADAMS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND FOR MONTHS FILLED THE GYMNASIUM THERE FROM WALL TO WALL BEFORE BEING GIVEN AWAY PIECEMEAL TO OTHER NON-PROFITS.  

Don't you remember?  I do.

What if the District stops buying some of its more costly bells and whistles; are they even warranted in these economically challenging times? Who convinced the District the "culture" and "climate" at ALL its schools needs fixing -- and why? I thought the schools most wanting in culture and clime were already shuttered...for the betterment and in the interest of the kids.

The District blows fistfuls of dollars on research, retrofit and redesign of dubious merit...when all they need to do is hire more teachers to teach smaller classes.

More than three-fourths of property taxes go into the District's coffers...for such noble endeavors as re-toolingK through 6 elementary:

"Hmm...yeah...the whole elementary school thing seems a little stale to me...a little bland.  Hey, I know -- let's take sixth grade out of elementary school and move it into middle school!   Those kids need to grow up faster anyway.  But then things'll be a little crowded, so...hrrrmmm...I GOT IT:  let's take ninth grade out of middle school, and move it into high school!!!!  YES!!!!    Hrrrrrmm....but now, there's like, too much empty space in the elementary schools...wonder where'd all the kids go?  Let's study it....ok, the drop in elementary school students is attributable to lowered enrollment and urban exodus....what to do, what to do.....I KNOW:  let's close and consolidate a bunch of elementary schools so we can teach the kids more efficiently!!!  WOW, what would the District do without us forward-thinkers imagining the future of our imagination??? I to understand there's some underutilized space in the elementary schools??  How Could This Have Happened??   Hrrrm.....let's put out an RFP, and get a study group to figure out what's amiss.   OK, now let's study the data compiled by the study group:  our analysis would seem to indicate that a K through 6 model is exactly what the District needs -- somebody let the sixth grade middle schoolers know the wonderful news -- they're going back to elementary school.  EUREKA, WE'VE DONE IT!!!  AGAIN!  And that calls for a nice fat raise and drinks on the house!!!!"  

All the while, the kids are shuffled this way and are the are the is the community.  All of this stupidity and lack of foresight and shuffling and rearranging is all for the kids??? All of this shuffling costs time and money, you know -- NO WONDER YOU'RE ALWAYS DRAGGING ASS AND CRYING FOR MONEY.



I think teachers are *great.* But the bi-polar administration of School District 11 -- with its tortoise-like approach to solving pressing issues like class-size, its knee-jerk reaction to falsely-inflated bullying concerns, and its Let's-Defer-Mulling-The-Tough-Questions-To-A-Special-Tough-Question-Mulling-Study-Group-For-A-Study-And-Then-Let's-Sit-Down-And-Study-The-Study approach to every kind of achievement gap -- simply has its collective egghead lodged tightly up its collective lard ass.

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