The Blindness of the Dependent — July 16, 2012

  1. tiresome is curious RB-dependent resident’s endless effort to restart the conversation, instead of dealing with the issues already stated. i know no one who does not want to address the funding of the school once its house is in order. i know no one, except those dependent on the contract in whole or part for household income, like curious resident, who seeks a referendum before the fiscal house is in order.

    in LA’s own terms, even a referendum-pusher like curious resident should be able to see: (LA teachers’ union givebacks) then (a referendum).

    every district is unique — except that every district needs a sustainable present that leads to a better future. it has been painful for beneficiaries of the status quo at RB to undergo scrutiny and rationalization. we hear that here, on RB landmark posts, and around the school.

    but that pain is nothing compared to where this community was headed with the auto pilot throttle stuck on spending more than we had.

    any RB status quo beneficiary who does not, cannot or will not understand that is liable to impede the community from arriving where it needs to be: an RB we can afford that prepares kids for their place in this world as literate, articulate, intelligent and effective citizens.

    POSTED MONDAY JUN 18, 2012 14:37 #
  2. PAR4

    Chris – While I agree we need to quantify what the future of RB needs to be and roadmap our way to it, do you really think that there is some ‘magic number’ that will suddenly open the doors to a passed referendum? More draconian cuts still leave us well above balanced budget and the outflow of quality teachers is certain to continue. When (if) a referendum ever gets passed, how many years will it take to get us back to where we should be – offering extracurricular clubs and activities to all students, retaining (or reacquiring) top talent, having a school that lives up to the taxes/valuations people are asked to pay.

    I don’t believe CR was pounding the drum for a referendum, he is simply stating the same fact we all comprehend – we WILL need new revenue at some point – and that leads us back to my opening question.

    POSTED MONDAY JUN 18, 2012 15:34 #
  3. chrisrobling

    this is an informal response–
    no one, and i mean no one, wants to be here.
    it is not about cutting. there is no number. my interest in cutting per se is zilch. all of my interest is in the back half of your first graph.

    the board and kevin skinkis have served us well. they cut the deficit by some $1.3+ million, to a large but manageable $300,000. ten or so teaching positions have been cut, and the schedule remains very much the same. there was sturm und drang about activities, most are back. a pay-to-participate plan was instituted this year for sports, and more RB kids decided to play sports than the year before. all or almost all of the teams are back. the meetings have been a series of revelations — month-in and month-out — of disasters discovered inside the school as independent management has taken hold. all of these points militate against “trusting” the school, since the school supported the referendum, even though the school also contained all of the management failures.

    for instance, who among us has heard a referendum supporter say, ‘i regret telling my neighbors more of their money was necessary, when in fact none of us knew how much was being wasted.’?

    finally, close to the last of the old guard is retiring, and so a new, younger group without ties to the bad old days and low expectations within which RB operated, to say nothing of the defensiveness and exclusion that marked its every step.

    in each of these is an important lesson for referendum supporters. the referendum would have swamped the building with our cash. none of these savings would have been found. none of the management changes would have been made. what is worse, referendum supporters then have so far failed to reconcile their pursuit of more cash despite the obvious mismanagement under which the school was run.

    some, like curious rb-dependent resident, hunger after another referendum. they ought to think twice. most importantly, the community won’t be able to support one until the economy improves. by the time that happens, RB will be either be reformed and worthy of additional support, or not.

    RB can be a far better school than it is today, if it is sustainable, and if the community works to strengthen the board and administration and teachers to make a new deal, focused on making it exemplary. in the recent past, it exemplified governance failure. with every day that passes from then, it is closer to educational success.

    POSTED MONDAY JUN 18, 2012 21:40 #

    Innocent Bystander
  4. Nice post, chrisrobling. I agree wholeheartedly.

    POSTED TUESDAY JUN 19, 2012 00:30 #
Explore posts in the same categories: Education, Riverside Brokfield High School -- Referendum, Riverside Brookfield High School -- Athletics, Riverside Brookfield High School -- Turnaround

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