I received a flyer in the mail tonight regarding the referendum on Oaklawn / Lincoln Schools. And I'm left saying "What The Fuck!?"
Firstly, The City of Oshkosh has only too recently been forced to eliminate 40 teaching positions.
There are a handful of reasons why, but let's face it. The real main reason is because we are hitting hard economic times right now, and the school system has had it fairly cushy for some time, adding a lot of what I would deem "Expendable Staff" in the past 10 years. Now they are being told to get real and keep those that matter most.
And now, there is this referendum. Supporters of Oaklawn have been whinging for years that the school is in terrible shape and they just aren't getting the budget to keep it up to snuff. And each time, we the people. vote it down.
And now I get this flyer in the mail saying "Oh, these poor teachers! They have a giant rack of lap tops that they have to set up every day throughout the school because they don't have a real computer lab." Guess what? The Medical facility I work at uses the very same docking rack for the entire nursing staff. It works just fine for us in the real world. What's so awful about making smart use of space?
And the picture of the Music Teacher's Roving Music cart : A recycled Pick-n-Save Grocery cart that the teacher loads up with all of her stuff so that she can roll it from room to room while teaching the children music appreciation is supposed to make us feel pity because she has no music room of her own. I'm a musician. And I didn't gain my love of music from my Primary School Music Teacher. Mr. Sandeman always smelled like he'd forgotten to wipe his ass, and I never wanted a one-on-one lesson from him because he really gave me the creeps. He had a lovely, large music room with plenty of storage. Unfortunately, it smelled like his ass. So a music teacher with a rolling grocery cart is a step up in my book! Although if the city does take pity on her, maybe they can steal her one of those awesome carts from Lowes or Menards instead. Much more sturdy, and the wheels are made for big loads. After all, lets face it. With the budget cuts, we're obviously going to have one music teacher shared among several schools. Wouldn't that teacher rather have portability as a selling factor to keep that position?
There was also a picture of the School Nurse's room, where they hoped to depict the lack of space and proper equipment. Students with an upset stomach have to go way down the hall to get to the bathroom. Well, cry me a river! That sounds more like poor organization to me than lack of space! Who did she swap offices with? Oh, and the photo? It's a room cluttered with rubbermaid tubs filled with whatnot. It looks, to me, more like they are just highly disorganized instead of cramped for space.
If this school is so bad, why is it still open? Why do parents allow their children to attend school there? We do not have to have our children go to school in our own district. We pay the school board's wages. We do have a say. If that school is so bad, why send kids there at all?
My oldest son went to Lincoln school for two years when he was growing up. It was an old, poor, small school, but it appeared to be kept up in those days. It is situated in a poor neighbourhood. Apathy among parents was far too evident. I was very happy when we moved to a nicer neighbourhood and were able to give our son a better chance to learn that you CAN improve your life situation. One can sit still and be angry at the cards life has dealt, or one can move forward and fight for something better.
That neighbourhood does not need a new building. That neighbourhood needs people who are willing to become more involved with the entire families and help them to shed their anger and move ahead.
It's not even a question of the proposed loan. It is a question of the attitudes revealed in this plea.
These people are not thinking outside of the box in the proper perspective. They simply want a free, new box to dump the same old crap into.
I am grateful that there are people like John Lemberger listening to this plea as well. He's Old School. He, like the people of his generation and my generation that followed, know that we CAN have a classroom filled with 30 students and know that all of these students are capable of learning the curriculum and that the majority of those students will graduate and make their mark in life instead of whinging that they didn't receive special treatment.
There is plenty wrong with the public school system today. If we could afford it, Our young one would be attending catholic school today. But in these economic times, all we can do is keep a watchful eye on our child as well as the school board. If they had their way, every child would be on Vyvanse or some other mind numbing drug to keep them calm and placid.
Back in my day, there was no ritalin or similar drugs out there. The teachers would simply stand the misbehaving child in a corner until they were ready to join the lesson. Today, when a child misbehaves, they shine a spotlight on them in hopes of retaining yet another job at the school for some "Behaviour Specialist" to take the child to their office and have the student fill out test papers that are skewed to suit their needs. It makes me sick.
Hubby and I were called in to school one day when our son was misbehaving. They were asking us what we felt they ought to do to help our child get back on track. Every suggestion we made was shot down. They can't make our child write 50 times "I will behave in class" because it is against their rules because it would make our little darling not enjoy writing. PLEEEEEEASE!
No. A new building is not what this city needs. What it needs is an overhaul in the educational system. I'm voting NO on Tuesday.
And on a related note, I went to school with Paul Esslinger. He was a little weasel.
When he first wanted to get into city Government, he went knocking on doors. He knocked on my Dad's door. Told him "Oh! I went to school with your daughter!" Oh, yeah! Like we were best pals! What? Did he memorize the High School Yearbook and go out stalking all the parents of former students and make like he was friends with all of them? That's not networking, that's just creepy!
Frank Tower sang in our Church Choir, and he's not even a Catholic. He helped us as a favour to the Choir Master. He was well spoken, talented, and intelligent.
Decisions, decisions. Smarmy Paul, or intelligent, thoughtful and gorgeous Frank. Gee! Such a tough choice!