School Superintendents Serve Up Baloney!
By The Observer (Name withheld by request)
In a recent Op-Ed piece, six Cape Cod Public School Superintendents released a seemingly positive spin supporting the Cape’s public schools. I may not be a mathematical genius, but what happened to the other half of the Superintendents? Why didn’t they join in? Were they excluded? Wait a minute… Their ships aren’t sinking, or possibly after reading the “joint” letter, they were able to see through the transparency and wanted nothing to do with this lame attempt at marketing.
I admire the hard work and dedication of the many educators and administrators that contribute to the growth and development, of the Cape’s students. They are our next carpenters, entrepreneurs, educators, nurses, rocket scientists, servicemen and most importantly, Moms and Dads, who will one day make choices about their own children’s education. There is little more that I enjoy than starting of my day with a great cup of java and coming across a story of educational wonder, regardless where the student attends school. As I have stated in my prior pieces, kids are our future!
With that being said, reading the Op-Ed piece made me reminiscent of much younger days when I was captivated by magic and took everything at face value, it reads more like a dream than a reality, and highlights issues that are not relevant. I would have respected their intentions if they were honest about their problems and then focused on their efforts of change, improvements and accomplishments. Look at Tom Brady the other Sunday, he openly commented on his poor performance but went on to compliment the defensive team and what they hope to accomplish going forward. People are inherently good and understand the difficulties associated with life. They also have a keen ability to smell the essence of manure in the air. I wouldn’t consider my self an idiot, and I don’t imagine the 85,000 other people who read Cape Cod Today are either, but who did the superintendents think their target audience was?
I’m glad to see that students on the Cape have caught the eye of some of the nation’s most recognized and esteemed institutions of higher learning. In a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, from November of 2011, it states that "a quarter of the incoming freshman in the fall of 2010 applied to at least seven or more colleges". Some institutions reported that some of their incoming freshman applied to as many as 15 schools. Not to discredit the accomplishments of the students who left to attend these fine schools of academia, but when you focus on the six schools represented, as it would be unjust to discuss the others, then the intended effect loses its punch.
From a numbers and ratio standpoint, I would only hope that collectively, there would be a handful of gifted young men and women who would have the opportunity to attend these schools. Further more, regardless where these students attend school, I imagine they would inherently rise to the top. Unfortunately, not everyone can have natural academic abilities, and this population only makes up a small fraction of a graduating class. On the bell curve of life, what do these districts do differently for the “regular kid” to become outstanding. How do they stand out? Where do they go? These are the students the districts should be focusing on and showcasing. They are the ones who are the “underdogs” or “average Joe’s” in the masses, and face the greatest odds in the college race. They also carry the greatest numbers in a school’s population. Fortunately or Unfortunately, I imagine they are also the ones that make up a significant portion of the migrating population leaving these school districts and greatly affecting the sending district’s bottom line.
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Safe & Secure? Bullying incidents are frequently reported in the local media, and those are only the ones we hear about. I received a variety of responses from my last post, thank you. I’m glad people are passionate. Many students commented that bullying occurs in their school and their friend’s schools. This is not safe, nor is it acceptable if this is the mindset!
A powerful letter was printed on January 3 in the Cape Cod Times, and was written by a junior at a local high school about bullying. She shares her unique insight on the recent increase of bullying and comments about the poor outcome of attending an assembly with a visiting speaker about bullying and the energy that came from it, and then the momentum lost shortly after. She continues sharing her insight about the unfortunate outcomes of bullying, and what needs to be done to reduce it. She’s a student, people!!! You want to create a safe school environment, listen to her and her friends! This young woman has a great head on her shoulders and a bucket of tenacity to go with it! Keep it up, because the change starts with you!
I was appalled at some of the arguments used. True 100% baloney! The idea that certified teachers, licensed personnel, and transportation were selling points only reflect these districts desperation. These points are law, not options. Further more, if they are going to continue using “the arts” as critical components of their successful programs, then stop threatened to cut them when a new annual budget faces opposition. If they are that important then they should be protected and treated as such.
“Students are a community’s treasure”, this could not be any more on target. However, the emphasis expressed in the Op-Ed piece linking the experience of attending a student’s home public school to the community is short sighted and antiquated. We no longer live in a world of “one size fits all”. The education system has become as competitive as any other sector in today’s market. Students drawn to other schools (public, private, or technical) have their own reasons, and attending another school, the student may find greater success geared more towards their individual needs. This success positively enhances their relationships and opportunities to contribute to their community, and therefore contribute to a stronger and more vibrant community tapestry.
I encourage readers to share their thoughts with their district’s superintndent or email their views to Cape Cod Today. Change can only happen if others are informed.