Not Ready for College LO7198
Mon, 6 May 1996 00:17:44 -0400

Replying to LO7095 --

Recently, in response to my posting, Joan Pomo wrote

> "For me, democracy is a terrible system whose alternatives are all much,
much worse. For me, the school system is a problem, not a symptom and it
scares me more to hear that an educational specialist such as you is
looking for solutions to school problems outside of schools. In the
business world, this means bankruptcy is just around the corner. Is there
anything comparable for schools or do their employees just keep drawing
their salaries no matter the results?"

Joan, I believe the issues relating to education today are indeed rooted
in larger societial. I truly believe attempts to solve our nation's need
for responsible and productive citizens by focusing only on schools and
ignoring related issues in society are shortsighted, and will not solve
the overall problem.

For me and others in education, we are in a fight to survive as an
institution. Studies would indicate that in most aspects, schools are
doing better than ever. But that is not good enough. Many of us are
trying to change schools in meaningful ways. My participation in the list
and work assigned in school improvement (growth, development, learning
community or whatever) is part of our search for solutions. Schools do
have competition that could lead to bankruptcy -- open enrollment,
vouchers, tuition credits, home schooling, charter schools (I will skip
the politcal discussion of the pros and cons of each).

In closing Joan, I don't want you to see my concern about systemic
societial issues and education as removing myself and others as blameless
or victims. Educators are responsible for the quality of schools and the
learning of students.

David Wilkinson, School Improvement Specialist, email -
"Des Moines Public Schools - A Tradition of Excellence"


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