Wednesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 39. Sunrise is 7:25 AM and sunset 4:34 PM for 9h 09m 25s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 94.6% of its visible disk illuminated.
Seldom has the expression ‘can’t see the forest for the trees‘ been more apt than in news of a dozen candidates running for the Whitewater Unified School Board. It’s not the number that reveals ridiculousness, but rather apparent excitement over it.
First, it should have been obvious that more candidates would run when two incumbents declared they were not running. Indeed, it was obvious to insightful residents. Worries over having too few candidates were unfounded. There was going to be a large slate. See It’s Okay, Whitewater — Somehow, Some Way, We’ll Manage.
Second, and this is what truly matters, these dozen are not the same in ability or outlook, and to think of this number, by itself, as an indivisible good is obtuse. These dozen represent, if elected as factions, different and opposing possibilities for the direction of the district. The Whitewater Unified School District will find itself in a world of hurt if a deficient faction from among these twelve prevails in April.
From an earlier post at FREE WHITEWATER:
How many people are in government matters less than what government does. Let’s suppose, despite all possibility, that no one ever runs for school board again in Whitewater. No one, ever. There will still be public education in Whitewater, however organized. Then — as now — it will matter what is taught and how it is taught. It’s what you do that matters, and the doing of education, so to speak, is teaching and learning. See “You are what you do. A man is defined by his actions, not his memory.”
And so, and so, something more useful for the city is in order. Of college — but useful for any level of education — Jonathan Malesic writes The Key to Success in College Is So Simple, It’s Almost Never Mentioned:
One of the most important factors in [college student] Ms. Zurek Small’s success seems almost too obvious to mention but, in fact, deserves far more attention and discussion: a simple willingness to learn. In more than 20 years of college teaching, I have seen that students who are open to new knowledge will learn. Students who aren’t won’t. But this attitude is not fixed. The paradoxical union of intellectual humility and ambition is something that every student can (with help from teachers, counselors and parents) and should cultivate. It’s what makes learning possible.
The willingness to learn is related to the growth mind-set — the belief that your abilities are not fixed but can improve. But there is a key difference: This willingness is a belief not primarily about the self but about the world. It’s a belief that every class offers something worthwhile, even if you don’t know in advance what that something is.
Excitement over the number of board candidates or even debates over expenses are lesser concerns that betray a lack of educational understanding. Educating effectively means teaching effectively. Either that’s happening our it’s not. All other matters are secondary or tertiary.
(Budget item discussions should be brief, honest to goodness: get three bids, discuss for no more than five minutes, then vote. That’s it. Anything more is a waste of a professional’s time.)
How are students learning? Why or why not? What’s being done if they’re not? How will the district help them?
Those who wish to be taken seriously need to focus on serious matters.
The ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured a coronal mass ejection erupt from the farside of the Sun on Jan. 3, 2022. .