sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Sunday, October 03, 2004

 
So much blogging, too little time.......

I have much on my mind today but only a slight amount of time to post my thoughts. It's already a big sports weekend, so I would like weight in on Ed Hardin's slightly melodramatic account of the State-Wake game("Wake seemed poised on the edge of breakthrough, the kind Deacons have dreamed about for more than a century"); the Cubs and their fans jinxing themselves; and bogus wild-card teams (Red Sox) partying with champagne when they haven't won anything.

But instead, I'll weigh in on the N&R article this morning about Mike Barber's attempt to reach out to the Board of Education in an effort to curb school violence.

As I've written before, I find it amazing how far apart county commissioners and the school board are. From my point of view, it's clear that one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing. If the school system truly is the county's most pressing issue, than both entities ought to be visibly working together on a frequent basis to make sure the system not only gets proper funding but efficiently utilizes it.

What jumped out at me was the fact that the $1 million "worth of programs geared toward violence prevention, conflict resolution and reducing suspension rates" was brought up. I was suspect of that funding request from the beginning. I thought for sure they'd find the money from somewhere, and pleasantly surprised when it didn't make into the school's budget.

Superintendent Terry Grier wrote the funding would "provide for a teacher training component that will focus on institutional racism, class room management, and teacher expectation. Training opportunities will also be provided in the areas of student anger management, peer mediation and conflict resolution."

Sounds pretty politically correct to me, with a high price tag to match. Anger management and conflict resolution are so 90s. If the county commissioners and the school board do work together to curb school violence, let's hope they would be a little more specific than that.

I think Barber's intentions are noble (he doesn't write my paychecks any more). I've gotten to know him a little bit, and, while I think he's certainly politically ambitious, I also think he's concerned about getting away from the personalities and getting things done. Unfortunately, I don't think anything will happen until after the election, since both the board and the county commission could have new looks. We'll see what happens if they do.



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