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Checks and Balances

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Checks and Balances

July 29, 2008 - 00:28
4 comments

Here in the United States our democracy was purposefully engineered to include a system of Checks and Balances. Theoretically speaking, the system is a sound approach. The effectiveness of this system if translated to the context at hand, hinges on the willingness of stakeholders in the democracy holding our leaders accountable. We do not believe that all our parents, stakeholders, educators and taxpayers have exercised their rights and responsibilities under the provisions of this system of Checks and Balances. Many of us have been socialized to embrace mediocrity. We have convinced ourselves that this is the way things are and we have no control or say on our destiny. We have ignored the gift of numbers and the ease of coordination of resources and communication we all enjoy. Never in the history of humanity has it been easier to mobilize and effect positive change. Idealistic conversations are intellectually stimulating. Private grumbling has not yielded much either. But I ask you, when does rhetoric become action? Whose job is it to change things? Can we continue to choose non-involvement and pretend that everything is “excellent?” When do we stop begging for results and start holding our school leaders accountable?

This being stated, at the time of this post (July 28, 2008) our City School District of New Rochelle has not made public our “District Goals & Objectives 2008-2009.” Lets hope this is addressed rather quickly since we are already halfway through the summer. Maybe the topic will come up at tomorrow's Board of Education meeting.

See for yourself: City School District of New Rochelle Policies and Procedures

There are 4 Comments

How are we as responsible parents suppose to prepare and bring our kids up to speed if the school district is not communicating with us in an effective and timely manner? This is just unacceptable!!! They seem to be forgetting that they work for us (parents and children) and the tax-paying community as a whole. I'll be checking in often to see what's happening. Thank you for having this one of a kind forum. It's about time. Enough is enough!

The "District Goals and Objectives 2007-2008" have been removed. It is August 2nd. Do we have "Goals and Objectives for 2008-2009?"

An important fact to remember is that blogging requires no credentials whatever and absolutely anybody with access to a computer can do it. A blogger has only his or her reputation to recommend the work, which is almost entirely unedited, unchecked and unsubstantiated. The very nature of this structure seems to encourage carelessly conceived statements and baseless charges.

The City School District of New Rochelle offers a website for the district as a whole, as well as individual sites for each of its schools. These sites provide a plentiful amount of information on the schools, including operational details and academic resources. Outlets are available for parents or students to effectively address issues/concerns.

Here are some "important facts" that anon should remember...

There are no credentials required to be a newspaper reporter or to author a book but where would be if not for the fine work of Woodward and Bernstein or Upton Sinclair or Jacob Riis or Alexander Hamilton or James Madison. These people did not have "credentials" and changed the course of American history through their writing.

"absolutely anybody with access to a computer can do it"

Anyone with a pencil and paper can write a book or a letter to the editor. Should we ban things those too?

"A blogger has only his or her reputation to recommend the work"

Right, which makes it even MORE IMPORTANT that they be accurate and earn the trust of their readers. This is a reason to TRUST BLOGGERS MORE not less!

A blog is "almost entirely unedited".

Jayson Blair at the New York Times had an editor and he wrote front page stories replete with lies. Having an "editor" does not mean something is true.

Blogs can be "unchecked and unsubstantiated". That is true of anything. The only question is whether what is written ON THIS BLOG is checked or substantiated. In case you did not notice, this blog is fully of links and images of source documents. In other words, it contains FAR MORE substantiation than a newspaper reader would get because the reader can read the original sources for themselves.

"The very nature of this structure seems to encourage carelessly conceived statements and baseless charges"

This is perhaps the most idiotic of a series of idiotic statements in your comment. The same could be said for the telephone or standing on a street corner or making a speech in the U.S. Senate. It is called FREE SPEECH dummy. Deal with it.

Here is a real laugher:

"The City School District of New Rochelle offers a website for the district as a whole, as well as individual sites for each of its schools. These sites provide a plentiful amount of information on the schools, including operational details and academic resources. Outlets are available for parents or students to effectively address issues/concerns."

In other words, you conceive of life in New Rochelle as some sort of Orwellian nightmare where the District knows all, sees all and tells all. Truth only comes from the New Rochelle Ministry of Information. Any criticism of any aspect of anything related to public education in New Rochelle is TREASON and the perpetrators should be run out of town on a rail. Right?

Well, apparently not everyone agrees with your notion that there are "outlets available for parents or students to effectively address issues/concerns" because this blog exists and people read it and some people agree with some of the points being made on it.

Suppose a parent or student is not satisfied with the outcome of availing themselves of these outlets? Suppose that someone at the District did something wrong and when it is reported the District tries to sweep it under the rung? What then?

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