February 27th, 2011

Interesting words

"The six-day bicycle race, scoff at it though you may, is a mocking, ironic caricature of life itself. Your life, my life, the life of everyone who goes to the office or the job, day after day, year after year, until, at last, the bell rings. Then where are you? The six-day bike rider is just where he began. He has travelled a long way, hustling furiously at times, but when it is all over he hasn't gone anywhere. This theme-thought cannot be escaped, because there it goes before you, and it is always alike. People riding around and around, jamming, hurting themselves, grinding themselves to get where? We come from nowhere and positively must go back there and, therefore, what is the big hurry?"
Westbrook Pegler

287 - Those Seattle Schools

The headline story in today's Seattle Times is one of those stories that gets blood boiling. It is the current scandal about millions of dollars being misused, misappropriated, outright stolen. About cronyism, about incompetence, about arrogance, etc. Mainly it is about con-men criminals not being supervised by the school administration but instead given carte blanche to steal funds right and left. And the Superintendent being either oblivious or negligent.

The problem in Seattle is not the schools, not the teachers nor the students. The problem in Seattle is at the central office level, where decisions are make with no regard to principle and ethics, or logic and reason. The School Board sits in public session and overtly shuts out any attempt by people to awaken them to problems in their system. This was strikingly evident at the closure hearings a few years ago, especially the hearings for Viewlands, at which competent parents warned that the building was to be needed within very few years. (Now they are remodeling the building for reopening. Today they pointed out that they are behind because vandals stripped copper out of the building shortly after it was closed. Whose job was it to protect that building from vandals? Eh?) Today's scandal news is that internal warnings were sent galore to the upper levels of administration, but controlling the programs and the person who was skimming money was not the job of anyone, apparently, not even the Superintendent.

As usual, we need a major overhaul in the schools, and it should start at the top and go down to the school board and about six levels of underlings. Year after year we vote for levies to support our schools. Those supporting votes are going to disappear fast if nothing is done even faster about this scandal.