Monday February 8, 2016
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Tom, Beautiful ! Thank you for sharing your joy.
Tom, You did understand me , and then went on to improve what I said, Well done!
It seems that our society has come to the point where many believe that each person is qualified to be the arbiter and judge of his/her own actions. The corollaries to that are that 1. Society has little or no right to establish and maintain moral codes. 2. Each/most person(s ) have the capacity to know what is best for the individual and for others. 3. Norms and folkways have no overriding value, because they are simply the product of those in power. To paraphrase: My body and mind are mine and I can do with them what I wish to do. The foolishness of that philosophy is clear to some of us and impossible for some of us to accept unless something changes our mind. Most of us "elders" have had events that changed our points of view on a good many things, but speaking to "youngers" often is like speaking to a rock.
Tom, I would want to know more about the circumstances before taking final action. However, I would charge the man with the crime in order to make certain that he was investigated and not running away.
My friend, who was raised in New Hampshire, told me about a town in which a local resident had no permanent residence. Each and every fall the old fellow threw a rock through a window of some local business in order to be sent to the nice, warm jail. Apparently the local police became very accommodating and expected the old man's "crime spree" each year. The old man, after all, was a part of the population :)
Tom, I suggest that we help him pack his ditty bag and send him to Syria. I think that the home of Devil worship and its practical applications must be there. I do try to be helpful.
All of the remarks made above hold truths to one degree or another. Roy's remarks are particularly poignant given his knowledge and experiences. After some thinking about the issues I, too, will vote "Yes". It is somewhat difficult when I see one sitting Board member who has been deeply involved in egregious acts that deeply hurt very good people. In the end, students may have been harmed by poor decisions that appear to have no consequences to the then Administration and Board members. I suppose that I will have to wait for Karma to hit those involved in nefarious decisions and actions. Meanwhile I will support the teachers and students of our community.
The usual " do it for the students" campaign is gearing up. While I would like to help the students , I have been forced to ask myself several questions. One is : why should I feel guilty for holding the School Board and administration accountable for poor decision making and poor management? Over the past years I have observed the Board making decisions which were both stupid and unethical. I point to the riffing of staff and the firing of PHS administration, the promotion of friends of Board members to teaching and administration jobs, the spending of about 1 million dollars over budget by a Superintendent who was supposedly supervised by the Board, and so on. Two is: if the public does not boldly proclaim that the "bosses" are accountable, when will the second-class leadership stop? Truly will feel sorry for the results of non-passage of the override. The point is that Payson has tolerated inferior leadership for too long and it has to stop. Some short-term negatives might just lead to some long-term improvements. A sad corollary is that the people that made the poor decisions and approved of horrid decisions are gone or are still hanging around pretending that all has been "for the good of the kids".
Tom, Not exactly the same but...: I was teaching a required-to-graduate course in American Government. One or two days into the course I distributed a multiple choice test to the students and told them that they would take the same test later in the course. I gave the test during the last week of the course. The results were amazing in that rate of improvement was close to 60%. The students (who would never remember the questions after 17 weeks) had shown what improvement could be made and I felt wonderfully validated. No, the test did not decide the grade to be given and the students knew that. I had another, longer Final Exam and also counted effort such as quizzes, tests and extra credit assignments. To answer your last question, questions on tests can not measure critical thinking, application of philosophies, or other more esoteric topics that should be important to all but robots.
Tom, I also read the letter that you quote. Totally Hogwash by a person who does not know of what they write! As an aside, I recently read an article which stated that a person's study concluded that the idea that wolves kill mostly the young, old and sick was wrong. Since I am now among the "old" I don't know if I should feel pleased or not :)
Tom Some of the remarks bring to my mind the concept of "community policing". If I understand the definition correctly, a large part of community policing refers to officers making many more positive contacts with members of the community that they serve, thus building trust and good will. As applied to Payson, one might imagine officers attending more meetings of various types and not having an agenda except to make positive contacts. Another method is contacting residents and giving them positive strokes for things done well. Another is to sponsor organizations or groups that are not particularly associated with law enforcement such as athletic clubs, philanthropic groups and so on. It might be difficult for the officers in a "small" town, but would it be worth it ?
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