Monday, March 27, 2006

All the Good Intentions

Tonight my friend C. dragged me
to a fundraiser for a worthy
congressional candidate
(who does not, unfortunately, represent my district)

But there were many school system people there--
the important ones who work in the
hulking administrative building
that eats up 59% of the per pupil spending

I spoke with a guy who works for School Stat
(they try to hold the system accountable)
This was my guy!
This guy can explain to me where the
billion dollars go...
"Well, there's a lot of waste,
poor management, and Special Ed."
The usual stuff. But what do we do?

I didn't ask him his annual salary.

He was smart, well-spoken...
all the things I do not expect from
a school system employee

"I made up the funding formula," he said
"we were trying to de-politicize it but we
knew there'd be some issues with schools
like yours. And, your principal makes a
good argument. But if we gave it to you--
we'd have to give it to everyone."

Another woman spoke to me.
She used to teach in Boston
now she works on new initiatives for
the K-12 schools in the office of
THE CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER
"I love being in urban education," she chortled
"not like those county people.
I could never work with them.
You know what I mean."

No. I don't.
Kids everywhere need an excellent education
and I've yet to be convinced
that another administrative position
is the best thing for urban education.

It seems an ocean of distance between
your desk and my classroom.

All these good people
standing around
supporting
this good candidate
I admire
talking about their good work
in this city and these good
intentions
seem hardly enough
hardly enough
good intention--
to make the change
we need.

3 Comments:

Blogger Kathleen said...

it's there, sister.
it's there.

unfortunately, the icky people are louder than the ones who have good intentions.
louder, of course, in an icky way.

the g.i. people are loud in good ways.
it will happen.
we just have to trust that.

we will get louder.
and we will kick butt.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, isn't the road to Hell paved with good intentions. We need so much more than good intentions and more tests. Well written!

8:27 PM  
Anonymous jorge said...

Thanks for sharing your frustration with the aloofness and the incomprehensible attitude of those "higher-ups." I am seeing first hand how adding another administrative position is dismantling some good educational programs. Soon, the only thing we will have left is administrators administrating administrators. There certainly will not be teachers and students - there will be no money to buy materials with which to learn nor pay the meager salaries of those peons who choose to teach! "It seems an ocean of distance between your desk and my classroom" says it all!

9:03 PM  

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