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April 3, 2010 standard

For the Bryant Hollinses of the world and their children, we should strive to improve our communities. They deserve better and so do we. (Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe)

Observations to live by, be it education or life:

  1. Ad hominem statements by defenders of trad. public ed that involve the words “profiteer” instantly render their arguments as mush. This applies to all forms of ad hominem statements.
  2. Insisting the status quo should remain “ante” even in the face of hard numbers, statistics, facts, isn’t a good idea. Anecdotes and citing Diane Ravitch as a source doesn’t work either.
  3. Nothing is more pathetic than telling a 6-year-old that his family is to blame for low quality of education at a failing school.
  4. Check that. Nothing is more pathetic than declaring that poor children must attend woeful schools and shouldn’t escape them. Period. End of story.
  5. Chances are that dropout you see came from a home in which mom or dad were also stuck with attending dropout factories. Expecting these parents to value education when they didn’t get one that was valuable in the first place makes no sense.
  6. Hillary Rodham Clinton was right about this: It takes a village to raise a child. This was true of me. Same for you. And them too.
  7. Somewhere, everywhere, there are burned-out teachers, abusive parents, neglectful adults. And no one to rescue the kids from them. This is why even those children must be our concern.
  8. There’s nothing wrong with calling yourself a school reformer. Or a defender of lives of kids. It’s inaction that is deplorable. So get up, get out and do the right thing.
  9. Public sector workers who declare their hatred of the “corporate” forget that without them, they would be homeless and jobless. After all, the taxes private sector employees pay (dearly) sustain the very schools and governments for which they work.
  10. Without outsiders offering challenge, the rot within anything, be it education or corporation, would not be recognized and solved. Half of the insiders know what the problems, but have no interest in afflicting their comfort. The rest have no experience with anything else, so everything is fine to them.
  11. As it turns out, in life, you don’t always need the right answer or the correct faith, just the best, most-honorable idea.
  12. And believe. Yes, believe. Not to the point of ignoring reality, but enough to realize that nothing bad lasts forever. Even abysmal traditional public schools.