Daily Bread for 3.28.23: The Whitewater School Board Election (7)

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 45. Sunrise is 6:42 AM and sunset 7:16 PM for 12h 34m 19s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 44.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1862, in the Battle of Glorieta Pass, Union forces stop the Confederate invasion of the New Mexico Territory.  

In one week, Whitewater will choose three school board candidates from among a field of six.

This might have been an election merely about educational fundamentals. So much to the good. 

This might have been an election, also, about the managerial approach of this superintendent and her administrators. There have been oblique references from some of the candidates to these concerns, but nothing so direct as someone who favors candid conversation would have wanted. Last year at FREE WHITEWATER, I wrote that the community needed direct, blunt discussions on managerial policy. See from 8.1.22 Two Postures, Two Approaches and my comments under that post. Everyone would have benefitted from that approach, however uncomfortable at first. It was a road not then taken. 

A discussion of a managerial approach, like one of educational fundamentals, would have been all to the good. Fair, calmly addressed, dispassionately considered.

As a rule, especially of the worst possibilities, it is better to know than to remain ignorant. Therein lies the outlook of the tragic optimist: fundamentally hopeful but expecting that life will present occasional losses and dangers.

Of all that this community did not need, it did not need bad interpretations and vulgar impositions. Those who wish to teach others would do well to first display a fundamental  and moral foundation. It would have been better — indeed, joyous to me — if prior warnings about shoving children into closets and banning books had been false and overwrought. 

They were not. 

Success begins as individual success, and rights are, fundamentally, individual rights. No horde with bad reasoning, bad reading, and bad interpretations has the right to impose a revanchist and retrograde policy on vulnerable and harmless students. No one wants a fight, but so help me this would be a fight worth fighting, for principles worth defending. 

The extreme populists think that a dominance and submission ritual, with repeated conniptions that no well-behaved child would dare exhibit, will cow others. It will not. 

A school board race, on terms of conventional educational and managerial policy? Fair enough, that’s much needed here.

An internecine culture war in this district, with a candidate who calls for regression? Wrong to begin, but right to defend against. Supporters throwing anything and everything at the wall — a torrent of lies, fallacies, and substandard English — to see what sticks? These overwrought men who flinch and squeal at even the slightest critique must think others are made of sugar.

So be it; it doesn’t matter half so much how these men think as how one responds. 

Reform, a new day, a fresh approach, etc.? some candidates are calling for as much. 

Reagan, quoting an old Russian proverb (doveryay, no proveryay) was right: trust, but verify.

This libertarian blogger will wait and assess specific and definite policies & actions, hoping for the best but, like all sensible residents, preparing otherwise. 

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1 year ago

Good morning. This looks like the end of your series. Well done.
Here is a professor’s perspective.
Whitewater is a district that needs help but the helpers have no idea how hard a turn around will be. (Maybe they do, but they are not saying so.) Turning around scores/performance is a 3-5 year project at a minimum. This community cannot expect a turnaround in a year. If they think so they’re wrong about how fast change comes. Academics and sports are also separate jobs. One may improve without the other.
Your comment about “managerial” issues is spot on. That is also motivating some people in town. There is so much talk about how people have been disrespected. Your own views show none of that but it is a motivation for a sizable group in town. (If there is anything this superintendent doesn’t need it would be a daily battle with you. She must have a four leaf clover on her desk.)
You have focused on the library controversy as part of a potential longer range conflict in school system. There is no way that someone who sees individual rights as paramount and at risk would *not* have that focus. Congratulations, you are consistent with your principles.
You must know however that if you are right about a culture war direction then complaints/bans will arise periodically. If you’re wrong, you will have spent needless time but no one else has to worry because nothing will have happened. (I hope you’re wrong and you waste lots of time prepping for something that never comes. I am certain you feel the same way, to be honest.)