Public Education

The demise of public education received another nail in the coffin tonight.

When publicly elected officials fail to serve the customers by whom they were chosen, people get hurt – and by that I mean – feelings are hurt and changes happen in the community. Perhaps for the worse, or, maybe for the better.

We shall see how this vote to close Oliver Heckman Elementary, a community school, will change the landscape here in the coming years.

Clearly, the vote tonight affects a small minority of the public or it would have turned out differently. The customers will still get to vote, they will vote with their personal funds to send their kids to private or parochial schools or they will vote when and if they support a Charter School to come into the community.

Until then…

  • I blame myself for not staying engaged throughout the process and fighting the good fight.
  • I blame myself for trusting others.
  • I blame myself for not impressing upon the community to make a bigger stand to support the local community school in our town.
  • I blame myself for not impressing upon the business community to share their thoughts and how important their voice was…how they needed to share what this closing could do and how it would affect their business.
  • I blame myself for not finding out how much of a loss the 6 businesses sustained last year, 1 of which closed during the bridge reconstruction, and how that related to tax support (or loss in revenue) for the schools.

All that being said…

  • I will not blame myself if a Charter School comes into the borough and I decide to send my kid (kids if applicable) to the new school.
  • I will not blame myself when we sell our house and move on.
  • I will not blame myself when I choose to make a change, because I can.
  • I will not blame myself for supporting a future where the Public schools fall aside to Charters and Cyber Schools.
  • I will not blame myself for supporting Kahn Academy because it does a better job at the finesse of physics and algebra and geometry – not better than a live real teacher – but because it can give the time to help kids learn.
  • I will not blame myself for supporting immersion schools or Rosetta Stone to teach our kids more about foreign language, because a “word a day” does not teach you a language.

Why? Because I am a customer and I am willing to pay for what I want…and the companies I mentioned all work to serve their customers.

Public education needs to realize that teachers are needed, while elected school boards are not and neither are administration who add cost and sometimes, well, they just can’t see that they are the ones who can’t see the future.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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