There can be community-building value in fund-raising for educational needs. The backside of all that generosity, however, is the fact that people want to donate their money in targeted ways, and they want to feel good about their own munificence. Here's a short list of things people don't want to spend money on: Special education. Textbooks. Teacher salaries and benefits. Fixing the leaky school roof. New, safer tires for buses.
September 2014 Archives
MI journalist Tim Skubick blasts weak-sister school music teachers who reject competition, suggesting that public ranking of ability is a fine old academic tradition, grumbling like your cranky old neighbor about giving every little Tom, Dick and Harriet an undeserved blue ribbon. You've read hundreds of columns like this, haven't you? Our Soft and Failing Youth, an evergreen theme for curmudgeons.
The level of take-sides aggression over education policy has come to an interesting place. You can't tell the players without a scorecard, in spite of partisan affiliation, union membership or aversion, the spokesperson's genuine level of expertise and experience around the policy in question--or whether someone is paying for their "opinion."
In a startling new development, the Education Achievement Authority (which lost a quarter of its students in the first year of operation) is now trying to entice students using outright deceit. They sent letters to families in surrounding, non-EAA public school districts titled "Confirmation of 2014-15 School Assignment." The letter begins: We are very happy to inform you that your child has been selected to enroll in the following EAA school for the 2014-15 school year...