October
28th 2011
What School? … What Education?

Posted under That's Life Columns

 

The election for two school board offices is right around the corner.  After last night’s council meeting, I have to wonder exactly how much good it does to worry about who will be placed in the hot seats.  On top of that, I hear the complaint that those running all agree that the law must be obeyed concerning indoctrinating our youth that deviant sexual behavior is not only the norm but that those outside of the mainstream sexual heterogeneity have actually contributed to society in some significant way.

 

Far be it from me to regulate the behavior of others to conform to my idea of normality.  I don’t believe in homophobia any more than I believe in racism.  However, the two are distinct but different entities with civil right’s commonalities.

 

It is far different to teach about Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver along side of Eli Whitney and Henry Ford, than it is to validate the lives of the likes of Harvey Milk whose greatest achievement to my knowledge was being the first openly gay man to serve in office.  That would be like saying our first president was great because he was the first white president or that Barack Obama deserves some special credit in destroying the real America because he is half black.  Who cares what color any of them are or how they practice their sexuality?  It has little to do with accomplishment or personal worth.

 

Where I draw the line is having the public school system mandated to teach supposed history about deviance as if it is normality or worthy of note.  I suppose it is right in line with teaching young Johnny and Sally how to put a condom on a cucumber.  Neither of the two of them can write a coherent sentence upon graduation from our institutions of lower learning nor perform basic mathematics well enough to give proper change, but they will definitely know how to show their individualism through tattoos, cross dressing, and homo/bi/or diverse sexuality.  Unfortunately for them, the reality is they aren’t showing anything but the commonality of rebellious behavior that means nothing to productive society.

 

So for whom do you vote in this election if no one will take a stand against the minority mob rule of Sacramento?  Again, this is all about giving Dixon Unified its best shot at coming out of its malaise of ignorance and incompetence in the educational arena.  Given the preponderance of evidence that our children learn little of what they are taught, I am not too concerned about one class.  I also know how well our kids reject adults’ bids to force them to learn, or do, what they don’t want to learn or do.

 

As I have been saying for the last several weeks, there is only one candidate I endorse and will vote for.  Is Joe DiPaola the ideal candidate for every person in Dixon?  Obviously not for the evangelical Christian far right purist, but for the average citizen he fits the bill pretty well.  Although confused by his training as an attorney, DiPaola wants to change the quality of education more than the content of it.  Rather than worrying about the constitutionality of forced morality, or immorality in this case based on the majority of society’s norms, Joe is bogged down by “protected classes” which are determined by the cause “du jour”.  However, he is not alone in this but I would expect more from an educated man.

 

The obvious must once again be made clear.  The days of Alan Hodge, Shana Levine, Herb Cross, Jim Ernst, and a host of forgettable others which created and sustained what we now have as a school district must come to an end.  If Guy Garcia and John Gabby are installed instead of one of them and Joe DiPaola, we will see the transition out of program improvement brought to a screeching halt.  Irina Okhremtchouk and her doctorate in education will be minimized and marginalized as Herb will lead this board according to the way all “bad old boys” solve no problems whatsoever.  Herb will attempt to throw money at the problem but come up with no innovative solutions.  We will have what we always get from these types of people: more of the same.

 

So having endorsed Mr. DiPaola and giving you my reasons for doing so, I return now to the performance of our youth at the council meeting.  I find it problematic that Ms. Brownell or others who teach civics classes send students to these meetings to learn about government first hand but only as observers.  The council was again discussing the social host ordinance, which has direct impact on families and their younger members, but not one of the students present felt any need to address the council as they were told that 50% of the group were little alcoholics.

It is fine to choose not to participate in the process but isn’t that exactly why this class is taught, so that our children will learn that they not only have a right to participate but a duty to do so?  I understand the intimidation factor of speaking before the public or to people who are supposed to be the high lord muckety mucks of the city, but this was about them.  Do we not teach kids to defend themselves within our society?  Oops.  I forgot the liberal “anti-bullying”, anti-confrontation, good little sheep mentality of our educational system.

 

I wanted to hear the youth’s perspective on whether they think the police should be able to enter their home, their room, their lives simply because someone who doesn’t like them or their family makes a complaint, justified or not.  It seems that the Dixon school district has done their job in cowing, or lambing, their proteges into submissive behavior.  There is no hope for America with this type of mentality.

 

Although I saw Debra Minnema sitting in the back of the room as well as other members of the Dixon Patch online paper, I did not see her son who is not part of this namby-pamby group.  Leadership is a fearsome task as you are often subject to ridicule and scorn by others unable to match your footsteps.  However, it is needed more at this time in our country’s history than any other.

 

It also seems that the only time civic leaders are invited to speak to civics classes is during election season.  I would think that our teachers would want to avail themselves of an available resource of diverse and disparate views, yet somehow this never occurs.

 

There are many problems within our educational system.  This primary one sticks out.  You aren’t teaching your charges how to think … you are telling them what to think …

* * * * *

One last run at the election for the only other office for which some of us in Dixon can vote.  If you live in the DSMWS area, that is you don’t get your water from Cal Water, you get to vote for the Solano Irrigation District seat up for grabs.  The race is between Glen Grant who is already on their board and Priscilla Rolley.

 

While the Wackyville Repeater continues to tout those who do nothing, have done nothing, and sat idly by watching one of the agencies they were supposed to be in charge of overseeing go financially in the hole, their editorial staff attacks Rolley for being unavailable and unresponsive.  Exactly what did Grant’s supposedly opposite behavior get us?

 

Rolley was informed that the last Repeater election endorsement review board had Robert Currey answering questions from a binder, sort of like the trumped up Chamber candidate’s forum which saw Don Erickson run for mayor with answers to all of the questions in his own tabbed binder.  In addition, given the fact that the Repeater always endorses those who support the establishment rather than question it, going through their interview process is an exercise in futility.  As an example, look at their endorsement of other than the most qualified candidate on paper, Joe DiPaola in favor of Guy Garcia, a Roger Halberg sycophant.

 

What exactly did Grant’s expertise in water engineering garner the SID district?  When did this expertise ever come into play?  I did witness him question expenses one time, where an expense was 100% higher than expected, but nothing came of it and Grant quickly was made aware that this wasn’t done.

 

Rolley, on the other hand, is a virtual unknown.  Her husband, Dave, is the President of Local One which represents employees in the city of Dixon, the school district, and at SID.  In an attempt to indirectly attack Priscilla, some are questioning whether there is a conflict of interest between the two.  As the Fair Political Practices Commission only rules on financial conflicts of interest, this is a simple matter to resolve.

 

Dave Rolley receives only a $200 stipend in his role as president.  He does not personally do negotiations with the managements of the various organizations, and even if he did, this would not affect his personal income or remuneration.  The board of SID itself could not take any action which would affect this person financially, short of hiring him as a consultant which isn’t going to happen.

 

Having Priscilla on the board and making decisions affecting the workers her husband leads is not a conflict of interest.  It is in the interest of the board and the SID agency to have someone representing the public as well as the workers instead of just the staff.  The basic problem with SID and its board is they don’t want to hear from anyone but their management.

 

Electing Priscilla Rolley, who is licensed to practice law in her native country of Costa Rica, will be a step towards ending just one more troublesome, unresponsive and irresponsible governing body rather than continuing toward empire building.

 

First it was the Dixon City Council.  Now it is the school board and SID.  I hope John Vasquez and Mike Reagan are paying attention …

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