When a local columnist writes an article on literacy, and the local Right Wing Media machine chews it up, spits it out, and changes the whole intent into their own little focused message, it is nothing more the a perfect example of being part of the problem, not part of the solution.
These wingers have the time to pursue their agendas and grab hold of any message as part of their mission. In this case, their mission is nothing more then the systemic disassembling of the public school system. They refuse to look at the successes, they refuse to acknowledge the troubles these schools are having meeting the mandates placed upon them by the current administrations. They expect everything to work perfectly, they assume everyone should be able to start and stop on a dime. They can only crow about money spent, not money invested. They can only squawk about textbooks -vs- reading books while doing everything they can to prohibit access to any books, or at least so it seems. They talk about 'accountability' of the district and school staffs, but place no accountability on the parents.
There are no fewer then a half dozen members of the Right Wing Axis and their surrogates bashing away at this issue, and only one who is making any reasonable attempt to focus on the kids, albeit his goal is still the same as the rest.
These are rational individuals whom I consider my friends, but it is painful to watch them swing so far off course on some personal vendetta against an individual who is trying to make a difference. If they want to provide a best case environment for the students of St. Paul, then why not work together within the system? Seems their energies are going up the stove pipe, instead of heating the schools.
For the record, My SPPS History
Tom: K-3 Maxfield, 4th Galtier
(Moved to Mounds View with his father, then California with his mother)
Now PFC Marines
Josh: 4-6 Galtier, Highland 7-10(current)
Nick: K (California) 1-6 Galtier, 7 Ramsey (Current)
Bob: K Maxfield, 1-6 Galtier (Current) Maxfield had an all day Kindergarten
I've never switched my kids from a school, or changed their teacher during a school year. Stability is important, and transience is detrimental, not only to the child, but to the environment of the class itself. I have always worked within the system to effect change when I felt there may have been a problem, and the response has always been positive.
I don't think we should give the districts and their employees a free pass, but I don't think we should give the parents one either.
UPDATE: My apologies to the King who did try to separate himself from the vendetta, and stuck to the story itself:
You can call it wonkery if you like...
...but I didn't agree with the decision during the third hour of NARN to steer the discussion of the Coleman-Westover-Maxfield controversy away from accountability and towards the media flap. The flap, of course, continued yesterday with Coleman referring to Westover as "Captain Fishsticks", so I guess I am going to go even further afield. Mitch and Fraters and the Blog of the Year will take that side of the debate, and good for them. I prefer to practice my comparative advantage.