Cynicism intolerable


This will likely be ignored by those who should care, but how else to go about making for a world in which sensible people respond sensibly to the events of the world surrounding them?

How cynical can those running a school district be?

The statement that follows is in response to a settlement made by the Washoe County School District in regard to a suit brought by parents of students with disabilities claiming that their children suffered abuse at the hands of a special education teacher employed by the District.

When approached, neither the District superintendent or the head of the District Board of Trustees would respond.  The District issued the statement printed below:


“In a district release about the settlement, Chief General Counsel for the school district Neil Rombardo said, ‘This is part of our continuing commitment to ensuring that our school environments are safe and respectful at all times, for all students. We feel that settlement will help support that commitment, while limiting District exposure.’”

As is the District’s regular reaction to bad things going on in its schools, it spokespeople assure constituents that the bad was of the past and that everything possible is being done to make things better.  The problem is that the bad has been going on for quite a long time and the promise of fixes only come when the bad is so bad that its revelation makes the District look really bad.

It does seem that this District cares a hell of a lot more about appearances than actually providing good education in a safe environment for all of its students.  This has been the case for a long, long time and, it seems, the “new” administration will carry on the bad practices of the past.  There needs to be a change of more than appearance.  The Board needs to get down to the real work of ridding the District of what is bad, ineffectual, and plain dangerous to students.  Cosmetic “change” is exactly that, on the surface.  This conveniently hides what is just below where policies and actions are of real consequence and harmful to the human beings who are affected by our local educational system.



By lafered

Retired professor of education concerned with thoughtfulness

4 replies on “Cynicism intolerable”

At present I am again drinking bourbon and coke. Tomorrow I will be taking my grandkids to see “The Secret Life of Pets.” I know that you like your pets! Too, I will go to my grave knowing that people never listen to me. Anyway, you must keep going! I will. But I/we must enjoy what I/we can while we can, and, at the same time, keep speaking our mind–I always close when I write to family and friends and, now, to you–“peace and happiness.”

Then, for democracy to move toward fulfilling its promise, new kinds of organizations must be founded, new kind of organization structures and this in doing such few seem to have much interest, in part because the institutions we have, the organizational structures that currently exist, the models upon which they are based have become reified, rarely examined in regard to the possibility of alternatives. The push to change has little effect because too many believe that what is is what has to be. I wrote an article once in which I argued for schools that have at their center a discourse that works for the evaluation of the present and the creation of a future based upon what is understood about the efficacy of what exists at any given point in time. The school I want to build in the hills above Reno would be process based, that process would involve evolution of everything from curriculum to hiring practices. It is very hard to get anyone to buy into such a scheme, this I think for the reasons just discussed.

I know you regularly respond to these posts. My complaint and concern is that my complaints and concerns rarely cause conversation to evolve beyond what I have said. And that is I frustration with which I think I will go to the grave.

As for your work life, do not hurt yourself doing what you are doing.

All institutions/bureaus which are formed for the good of a community often turn bad in the sense that once established they take on a life of their own and must justify the reason for their existence. In the beginning they minister to their community, but, often, as time goes on, they become top heavy in administration and less efficient serving their community. Certain administrators must continue to justify their existence in order to continue drawing a paycheck. There are thousands of examples: politicians, church denominations, FBI, CIA, different types of schools and sometimes even law enforcement. It’s the nature of capitalism in a way. While the very wealthy have their monopolies, the average working people are in fierce competition with each other for descent jobs. Many score descent jobs in some institution formed for the common good, but because there is always an ongoing desire for monetary efficiency, the institution becomes more about looking good than actually doing good. It is a trap many fall into. The so-called hero who gets the job is the one who can make the institution work more cheaply than anyone else. It is a terrible downward spiral which happens over and over.

I appreciate your posts Lafer. I try to keep up, but my job has been draining me–56 hours in five days this week–a lot of concrete going down. I start at 11: 45 pm again Sunday–doing it all over again.

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