Sunday, September 7, 2008

Education and social priorities

I expect to see this kind of thing in rural school districts (doesn't make it right, just more commonly seen) but in a high school in the biggest city in Oregon?

And while we’re on the topic of Madison, middle grades and libraries, 88 eighth graders start at Madison High tomorrow, and the school has no library staff. They’re holding a fundraiser to get the position back. Also, word is that the Madison eighth grade academy has a severe shortage of clerical staff to register new eighth grade students who start school tomorrow, many without schedules.

How can you have a HIGH SCHOOL with no staff (librarian?)? Hello! And we wonder why Oregon keeps falling further and further behind in all of the educational success indicators? Why our prison population booms while our graduate numbers are nothing to brag about?

I've been meeting with legislators lately around funding for post-secondary education (always pitted against k-12...sneaky) and everyone I speak to "understands" what education means to the future well-being of our state, but no one seems able or willing to find a way to prioritize education the way it should be.

Yes I know that Oregon's revenue system sucks and will always be vulnerable to economic fluctuations without change. Well, why aren't we changing it? Last year, even the business community got behind (on paper anyway) revising the corporate minimum income tax to bolster our education budget. They understand what the difference between a well-educated and not-so-well-educated workforce means for their economic futures. So, where are the roadblocks? Where is our public will for a strong state and future? I don't have the answer to that. I do know, however, that we better damn well find it before that future gets here.

And here is the rest of it.

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