Daily Bread for 3.19.24: Better Days for the Whitewater Schools

 Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be windy with a high of 53. Sunrise is 6:57 and sunset 7:07 for 12h 10m 16s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 73.1 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater Common Council meets tonight at 6:30 PM

On this day in 1918, the US Congress establishes time zones and approves daylight saving time.

I went to sleep last night nearly a pessimist; I awoke this morning an optimist yet again. People choose freely, sometimes well, sometimes poorly. For the Whitewater Unified School District, these many months — ending at last night’s board meeting — were a time of free choice for the district’s board president and the district’s superintendent. 

The board president has chosen not to run for reelection; the superintendent has chosen to seek employment elsewhere. In both cases, those decisions are right for those officials and for the Whitewater Schools. Some relationships, including political and employment ones, sadly become irretrievably broken. Repair requires reconciliation, and reconciliation requires a willingness to accept the principles on which a sound relationship rests.

For the Whitewater Schools, reconciliation required these officials to make a choice and commitment they chose not to make. See Speech & Debate in the Whitewater Schools.  See also What Ails, What Heals, and Heals & Ails, General & Particular, Public & Private.

No one should be compelled to choose; it must be a free decision. One wishes the best to both — truly — in the future.  They deserve situations suitable to them. Not every fit is a good fit. The Whitewater Unified School District’s board will soon have the opportunity to choose a new president. That board will be able to oversee the selection of a new superintendent at the earliest opportunity, either through her employment elsewhere, a settlement agreement, or if regrettably necessary through lawful public action of the board.

For Whitewater, the daunting — yet hopeful — building of a new administration in a new district awaits. We need not fear that a choice today will lead to worse outcomes tomorrow. This community can achieve for its students academic success, athletic accomplishment, and artistic achievement under principles of individual rights and tolerance for all, without prejudice toward race, ethnicity, gender, or orientation.

The principles of limited, open, responsible government and individual rights hold the commanding heights. They occupy good ground; they have a defensible position. Those who hold these values will over-match those who oppose them. We need not be afraid of what comes next — we will shape what comes next. 

The work of crafting a new district begins. It is the work of years to come. It will require ongoing attention. Sometimes hard, but easier if we join together. Sometimes daunting, but always possible. 

It’s spring break for the Whitewater Schools next week, but while our students, teachers, and families enjoy their well-deserved vacation, others of us can begin our reflections and recommendations for the future. 

The Whitewater Schools will come through just fine. 

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25 days ago

Good morning.

I know that you must have come to this decision reluctantly. Quite a few of us asked you to weigh in much earlier but you wouldn’t have any of it. The superintendent has been controversial and I know that you have opposed closed session tactics against her. Many of us wish that you had said more sooner. No one can say that you did not give the benefit of the doubt (no matter how frustrating that was for us).

The speech and debate post was your last opportunity wasn’t it? Have to say that when she sent a cease and desist letter to Zimmerman I thought to myself “yeah, that’s a bridge to far”.

I’m sure you were sincere but you had to see like us that no one was going to take your offer. Fair enough. You’ve been matter of fact even if we would have liked more fire.

Thanks for a good firm take.

You write at the end that “reflections and recommendations” like in the future.

25 days ago

You’re obviously not on the MAGA side of this. This isn’t a typical MAGA take: “This community can achieve for its students academic success, athletic accomplishment, and artistic achievement under principles of individual rights and tolerance for all, without prejudice toward race, ethnicity, gender, or orientation.”

The truth of this is it should not been seen as left versus right. A lot of people made the mistake of forming lines and dug in.

That only made things worse. Your take about this as a broken professional relationship with everyone better off in different roles is spot on.

Yeah, a measured but firm stand.The correct stand, too.

25 days ago

Fear of retaliation is totally rampant in schools. say anything and you’ll get trashed. It’s about keeping everyone quiet. A total revenge strategy. No way that this boarrd doesn’t know what’s going on. No effing way. They have let it happen for what years now and these “community members” have stood by watched it happen.

careful observer
25 days ago

it’s kind of a fairytale that it’s some plot against the district. it’s not. is it really anything goes to support the admin?

25 days ago

It’s been a sh*tshow. 100% my way or the highway. “Left or right” does not matter. It’s shut up and sing. Sing my tune to me. Sing it loud. Ask no questions. Be lucky you get no lies. Easy to bully the staff. Many many many good people have left. Board knows but does not give a f*ck. Second biggest losers are these board members who say they are pro-education. Hey guys, your bullsh*t “unplugged” sessions tell you nothing about the environment. Total bullsh*t from some of them. Zero understanding. Staff gets crumbs while admin gets paid and some on board go home to big houses. Sorry not sorry to vent.

Campus View
24 days ago

I was directed to this post yesterday. (The school district has attracted attention many people.) From a comunications standpoint, I’m struck by the clever framing of this post. It places the district superintendent and the latest board president in the rear view mirror. Most complaints treat their concerns in the present. That is not what you’ve done. The whole tone places these two in the past. That’s brilliant as positioning.

I’m not saying that you don’t feel that way. I’m saying that as a persuasive technique you’ve assigned them to the past and put your own positions in the present and future. People who share some of your positive positions on inclusion would have said they needed to defend this superintendent. (I totally support an inclusive outlook.)

This position of yours says “no”. These inclusive positions can go on without her. These views are expressed with rhetorical coinviction and strength. Again I’m not saying you don’t believe. I’m saying instead that your since belief is also a shrewd framework for your beliefs.

(By the way, I bet you’re right!!!)