Drinking the Kool Aid

I’d intended not to post for a while but I made the unfortunate decision to tune in WVTL on a casual drive Thursday morning and here we are.

What follows is my reaction to listening to a short segment — admittedly not the full segment — of a call-in by Sean Piasecki, a new member of the GASD board related to Bacon ELementary School. My issue rests with Sean Piasecki spinning the decision of the GASD to close Bacon as an “emotional issue”.

Limoncelli’s and the board’s past and present closure proponents trot this line out as they have no other response to justify their decision. Each of their arguments cited for closure has been rebuked by their actions and statements since the closure: Remember how larger class sizes did not matter only to see the district tout its Excel program as a way to reduce class size? Remember how we would have so many excess classrooms and such a shortage of revenue that Gerald Cinquanti suggested we may also need to close an additional elementary schools (Barkley) only to see the board embark on an expansion of the elementary classrooms at –wait for it — Barkley? And on, and on.

I’d have hoped as the new board members got up to speed that they’d take a cold, hard look at the district and actually reflect upon a strategy and plan. Instead we get the usual spin and its attendant talking points.

I also find it amusing that the Bacon closure issue is the only issue framed as “emotional”. In any other debated issue within our community, I hardly hear them described as “emotional” yet somehow Bacon continues to be framed in that way. As a proponent for keeping it open, I guess that makes me emotional too so clearly none of my arguments, facts, analysis or ideas have any relevance as they are just based upon my emotions. Since I’m accorded the respect of a preschooler who cannot recognize or manage his emotions, let’s play a preschool game where we describe what makes us sad, happy, scared, etc.

Let’s play!

Happy: A solid education for my kids in a high performing school district; a school district that attracts families to the area and benefits homeowners by sustaining and increasing home values

Angry: A school district that shutters one of its highest performing elementary schools; a district that adopts astoundingly stupid strategies and policies; a community that lingers in apathy while its school district flounders

Sad: A school district that turns away more families than it attracts; also see angry

Scared: A school district that moves its elementary education to an unproven magnet school model even at its best performing school; a school district that will not address academic issues (ELA performance) at the elementary schools even at its magnet school which received some of the lowest scores

Laughing: A school board and administration with such mutual adoration and affection that they really need to get a room; the attendant failure of the board to question or to challenge the administration on any substantive policy issue given such mutual adoration; also see scared

Rage: The use of any of the the following terms in describing the Bacon closure: “emotional issue”; “the need to move on”; “unfortunate”; “no other choice”; “a tough decision”; “protecting the taxpayer”; “Business decision”

Done!

Can I have Kool Aid now?  (Not the kind the board drinks)

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