Monday, January 15, 2007

Worlds of Education Going Bump In the Night

(Note to Readers: The following is being written while the humble blogmaster winces in back pain from a previously mentioned spine tweakage, AND grimaces in overly dramatic pain from having two temporary fillings put in one side of his mouth...temporary because he has been told that these particular teeth are at a "crossroads" at the corner of Root Canal Boulevard and Shiny Crown Avenue)

I'm at a potentially dangerous crossroads when it comes to this whole "focus on education" thing. A crossroads. The apex of a slippery slope. The sudden movement at the top of the avalanche, an avalanche that will very likely throw me off the mental highway, engulf my heretofore intact psyche and leave me helplessly disoriented, encased in miles and miles of white, cold bureaucracy.

I am considering actually caring who wins the APS School Board elections.

In fact, I'm even thinking of attending the League of Women's Voters APS Board Candidates Forum, something I would normally never think of doing. I'd never think of inflicting it on my worst enemy. I'd be hesitant to even force Hitler or that Saddam Hussein brother who got hung and had his head fly off today to attend one of these things.

Yet, I'm thinking about going. More precisely, I'm NOT thinking about going, because if I thought about it for one second I'd come to my senses and avoid the teacher "When World's Collide" scenario.

As teachers we have our own little world, the one I like to call "the box". This is the little world of our classroom, a fiefdom where we teachers are the feudal lords (vassals if you really want to get feudalism technical), ruling with a firm, yet forgiving hand over all we survey. We're in control to the point that we decide things like whether the lights are on or off, or even whether our "peasants" can see the outside world at all through the small window in the classroom door.

Then there is the world outside "the box". This is the world of staff meetings, in-service days and "the District". This world is like the area on those old maps where the flat Earth ended and there were sharks and guys with pitchforks waiting to catch the unfortunates who fell off. Veering anywhere close to this world is very, very dangerous, and most teachers who go there end up bloody, mumbling mental cases from the repeated sensation of smashing one's head against a jagged brick wall over and over and over and over again.

It's just better to stay in "the box", and just about all teachers have enough sense to realize that and act accordingly. Now, I'm wondering if I losing what smidgen is left of my mind because I'm feeling drawn somehow toward the Earth's edge that would be the League of Women Voters APS School Board Candidates Forum. A forum with people like current School Board member Robert Lucero. A forum packed to the castle turrets with fanatically involved constituent groups all bent on promulgating their own microscopically narrow view about what K-12 education should be.

Someone please wake me up and bring me to my senses.

As the Albuquerque Public School website is one of the worst Java hell-holes in all Internetland, I can't just link to the press release, but for who share my growing unhealthy fascination with the World of "the District", etc., here are the details for this morbidly enticing meeting....

Albuquerque Public Schools will hold a forum for candidates for the APS Board of Education at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the APS Building, located at 6400 Uptown Blvd. NE.
The forum will be moderated by the League of Women Voters.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to hear the views and opinions of those running for the Albuquerque Public Schools’ Board of Education,” said Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Everitt. “Each candidate will be given time for an opening statement, they will then answer questions from the community, and then will give a closing statement.”
According to the Bernalillo County Clerk, currently there are three candidates in District 1, located in the south valley of Albuquerque. They are: Cecilia C de Baca, Dolores Griego, and Richard Sanchez.
There are two candidates in District 2, located in Albuquerque’s west side. They are: Cynthia Jones and Robert Lucero, who is an incumbent.
There are five candidates in District 4, located in the downtown and University area of Albuquerque. They are: Vanessa Alarid, John Edward, Martin Esquivel, Charles MacQuigg, and Pauline Nuñez.
“We encourage the citizens of Albuquerque to attend this very important and informative meeting,” added Everitt.

Please, I'm beggin' ya, stop me from attending this any way you can. Tranquilizer darts would be a good choice...and could also serve to provide temporary relief from the tooth and back pain. Coating the darts in vicodin would be especially nice.


Natalie said...

Hey, now... wait a minute... it doesn't say anything about being limited to two minutes (something done to anyone wishing to speak at a board meeting) and they will be, um, answering questions. Uh huh.
C'mon, I'll go with you. You can pretend you don't know me (well, actually, you wouldn't have to pretend, per se... as you don'
I totally agree with you about the APS website. I have in mind some ideas for it and would love to solicit the educator community for changes as well as get some input from parents and, well, okay, "District administrators."
At the last board meeting, we were told that "very soon", there will be a way for parents and educators to have access to the APS website to see grades, absenteeism, and a few other things I can't remember. If they can do this (and who, btw, is going to have to input this stuff? You guys? Jesus, don't you have enough to do?) why can't they have better communication regarding district-wide best practices and/or something as simple as the programs available through APS?
Yeah, well, no one's talkin' and I'm guessin' it's because of the upcoming elections.
C'mon... you know you want to go... especially if you've just had a root canal and are vicodin-numbdumb. See, that way, if you say anything off the charts, you have a good excuse! Perfect.
And I'm serious... I'll go with ya.
email me

Ched MacQuigg said...

No room at the inn, I'm afraid

Ched MacQuigg said...

We need to talk about the possibility of defeating the APS Mill Levy; if we are given no other choice.

no transparency?
no accountability?

no mill levy!