The way you say it makes a difference

I recently read an article that had a very timely and interesting heading:

States with faster Internet speeds have smarter people

 

The article is a good read in and of itself, especially if you look at the charts. But the author even suggests that this might be a “chicken-and-egg” situation – it would be just as accurate, but would convey a slightly different meaning, if the article was titled instead:

“States with smarter people have faster Internet speeds”

 

Of course, in my opinion, the really smart people know better than to take these silly tests in the first place. 🙂

 

This got me thinking of the recent campaign to get citizens to favor the November referendum, “Vote Yes for Students”. Think about that for a little bit. Then consider, is there a “Vote No for Students” campaign? The way we use words conveys quite a lot of meaning over and above the mere dictionary definitions. I find the whole thing quite fascinating.

 

Vote Yes for Students. Vote Yes for AC at Central. Vote Yes for fixing problems at Edison and Dr. Howard. Vote Yes for innovation in educational technology and awesome business partnerships. But you will have to decide for yourself if voting for or against $150 million in new taxes on November 4th will achieve these results. It is paramount that all voters understand exactly what the November 4th vote is all about. “Vote Yes for Students” is an emotional non-argument.

 

Here is another observation. There is a big issue made of the sweltering heat and humidity at Central. Why?

 

Quick, what is the fist thing that goes through your head when you hear “Why?”

 

The heat and humidity at Central totally sucks. They have no central air, extremely poor air circulation, and 3 levels (heat rises). The students bring hand fans, the teachers attempt to put as many box fans as possible in the room and provide water, and everyone sweats. It really sucks.

 

So why do I ask why people make a big deal of it? The reason I ask is that if this is truly is a big deal, why have we waited so long to remedy it? Words are one thing, but our actions are showing something else. AC has been a deferred maintenance item for at least a decade now, yet we haven’t attempted to fix it. Even the strong banner cries of those who support the November referendum point out that they need the referendum put AC in. Yet, even if the referendum passes, how many years will it be before Central students actually have cooler classrooms? The class of 2016 will still be sweating. Probably the class of 2017 as well. If they are lucky, the class of 2018 might spend one year in a high school with AC after the referendum of 2014 passes.

I do not question the many needs we have and the critical nature of finding solutions. I question why have we waited so long, and how much longer must we wait to fix up everything else. Don’t tell me Dr. Howard will have to wait until 2025.

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10 Responses to “The way you say it makes a difference”

  1. Kathy R. Says:

    Especially since any repurposing of the Central building will require air conditioning.

  2. Rebecca Says:

    Dr. Howard was high on the list of the first facilities committee. Dr. Howard, Edison, Central all were. But the (then) school board felt that in order to get the first referendum passed (the one to settle the consent decree), we had to build a school in Savoy and do all the maintenance at the other elementary schools. Dr. Howard (and Edison and Central) would have to wait. And we’re still waiting . . . . The priorities of the voters and the needs of the schools and the needs of the school board (which by definition are more political) have long been out of whack. Now, I don’t begrudge Savoy an elementary school, but it should have waited and been one of the last things built. We’ve done this thing backwards from the get go. Needs before wants when budgeting. Always. Except in politics–and by extension Unit4.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      I’ll let a little cat out of the bag in terms of my own perspective on the Savoy school. Bear in mind that my daughter goes there, I love the staff and both my wife and I invest our time there.

      A certain board member had a large-scale plan for schools in Unit 4, and part of the plan was to develop more neighborhood schools, while keeping schools at the center of town as magnet schools. The Savoy school was to be a part of that big plan, I think. When it came time to vote, I initially was in favor of the 1% Sales Tax – I mean, how could you pass that up, a brand new school in your own neighborhood?! But the more I looked at the 1% Sales Tax, the less I liked it. Eventually I voted against it, and I encouraged my wife and neighbors to vote against it as well.

      I agree, it probably would have been wiser to wait on the Savoy school. I do have to comment though that having a new school certainly opened up some doors for speeding up construction/renovation at other schools and helping to handle larger-than-expected enrollments. As with any of these things we talk about, there is always a pro and a con. Yes, even with the November 4th tax referendum.

  3. Kathy Shannon Says:

    Amen! My freshman was dismissed early from Central today, and we spent some time this afternoon talking about the heat at Central. She’s a kid who is extremely sensitive to heat, and she knows it’s going to be a big issue next week. But she thinks they should just put in a/c now so they could give themselves some time to come up with a better solution than the Interstate Drive site. And this is probably a utopian dream, but we thought it would be fun if science classes tried out some of the ideas mentioned in another post–foil on windows, various air circulation methods, etc–and documented whether and how much of a difference they made.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Kathy, if the science class decides to green light that idea, I would be thrilled to “cover” it as best I can. Heck, I’ll even drop by and check it out myself. 🙂

      • Kathy Shannon Says:

        Sadly, my daughter is currently taking biology, so I doubt she will bring it up. Wouldn’t it be great though?

      • charlesdschultz Says:

        Absolutely! I love the idea of student-generated solutions. In fact, I have an appointment set up with Cedric Jones and I will ask him. I also plan to ask Joe Williams – surely some students have offered solutions, not just about the heat, but about overcapacity and fixing things up in general.

  4. Karen Says:

    Has the school looked into loaning equipment from the business community? Industrial fans, industrial dehumidifiers, etc/whatever?

  5. craigwalker48 Says:

    You voted against the 1% sales tax too Charles ? You are not a friend of our school system, you are an enemy of progress and Unit 4 . You have wasted countless amount of tax dollars with thousands of emails to the District asking for information that you cannot comprehend and are too lazy to actually attend meetings to get yourself. You are against anything and everything that provides funding for Unit 4. Now I am clear why you don’t run for school board… You would be trounced and revealed as a someone very few people like or agree with.

    Unit 4 deserves a real citizens blog not a hater blog like this is.

    • Rebecca Patterson Says:

      “Unit 4 deserves a real citizens blog not a hater blog like this is.” I’ll bite. What does a “citizen’s” blog do, cheer on unnecessary spending without asking questions? Encourage lack of planning. Or just heap praise on elected officials? Tell everyone we need to pay more in taxes just because we need to write a blog!


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