by Diane Payne
December 23, 2015
Search and Seize
December 17th brought another jam packed SRC meeting. It is not unusual for the SRC to change the rules to suit its current agenda, and that is exactly what happened even as people entered the building. Bags of all attendees were searched, but apparently not to prevent dangerous items from being brought in. All food items were confiscated and thrown away. No explanation and no remorse—just into the trash can. No one was warned or advised ahead of time. It didn’t matter that those food items were to sustain members of the public coming right from work, coming with children, or coming with medical issues. Of course, the SRC had no notice posted on its website that food is not permitted. How would anyone know when the SRC members themselves eat and drink in full view?
Charter School Lobby
Present was a large showing of charter school proponents, most there to demand that the SRC hand Wister over to Mastery, who provided dinner and tee shirts. In fact, the district gave them access to the café inside the building. This sent a clear message to public school parents that the churn and disruption which can rip neighborhoods apart would not only continue but be enabled by the district itself.
Dr. Hite’s opening remarks praised his administration’s continued influx of technology, which he claims will help our children prepare for college and career. It is hard to understand, though, why the district is using its very limited dollars on more technology rather than make sure all schools have enough teachers, librarians, nurses, and counselors. Could that be because ultimately the plan is to move to a blended learning/computer based model of education? The SRC has already set aside $10 million for these types of unproven programs—ones where our students are stuck in front of computers for hours each day. The district calls substituting a computer screen for a teacher “personalized learning”, but it is really more jargon for “let’s try to educate our children on the cheap.”