OPINION: Get Out, Go Vote, and Look Forward

Readers Should Begin Anticipating What Happens After Tuesday.


Like many Patch readers, I will be voting YES on May 8th, 2012. Positions are now firmly established so I only urge everyone to mark the date and get to the polls. I also urge Patch readers to begin anticipating what happens after May 8th.

I have been very frustrated at times with the mode of argument adopted by some no voters and members of 20/20 in particular. But, as far as I can tell, most members of 20/20 are interested, like many of us, in the reform of public education. Public education itself is under severe attack – not by those who want reform but by those who want it abolished completely. This is not hyperbole.

On May 1st, when many of us were wrangling over how we could afford to renovate Andover to help with high school consolidation, the Michigan Legislature – lead by our local own representatives – were pushing for $200 million in state money to go to for profit “Cyber Schools.” While I think they are dead wrong about May 8th, I have yet to hear a 20/20 supporter say they didn’t want ANY high school. I urge all voters to consider this almost uncanny political disconnect.

Many of us are writing like crazy, putting up signs, worrying on one side or another about how to create a new single high school. At the same time, however, our elected representatives are pushing in a direction that could make the whole argument a moot point. It is critical, I think, the vote go YES on May 8th – yet if we don’t respond positively and in full to the larger problems that victory could be slowly undermined.

This is no rant from a wildly partisan teacher union supporter. In another district, my daughter just spent a year trapped with a teacher who should not be near a classroom. Those horrible situations are the result primarily of union excesses and a reliance on careerist administrators. So: I will be voting an enthusiastic YES on May 8th. But my enthusiasm stems not (potentially) from being on a winning side. It stems from being able to participate in a process where a whole community has debated, worked, struggled and looked forward. After May 8th let’s continue to take a look at the whole picture and continue to work to reform public education.

Ken Jackson,

Bloomfield Hills

Charles Gaba May 07, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Thank you for managing to find some common ground for Chris and myself, Ken. As a web developer myself, I obviously have no problems with *some* amount of online training, but making the entire (or a substantive amount) of the experience online-only is absurd and unhealthy. Half of the educational experience in any school comes from the *social interaction* and real-world experimentation and collaboration. While B2020 and OBU may disagree on the best environment for this to happen, I think we all agree that students should actually interact with other live, physical human beings on a regular basis. On May 9th we can discuss further :)
Ken Jackson May 07, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Mr. Baron, Those are tempting questions. But, given the genre (comment posting), and as Mr. Gaba rightly hints, the risk of doing what I charge others with doing (distracting attention too much from tomorrow's (MAY 8th) business), let me just say briefly that what we need most is new methods of public dialogue on public education (the old system of school board comments, etc., etc. seems utterly antiquated -- I wager the source of major frustration to Mr. Fellin and others who saw what they perceived as a serious mistake they could do nothing about). If we are going to insist our kids enter the century they already exist in ("21st Century Education") we should get in there first ourselves and see what it is like. Bloomfield has the capacity -- economically, culturally, and politically -- to lead on such things. We should.
Howard Baron May 07, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Mr. Jackson, I agree that improvements in the board/public communication need to be made. As Mr. Gaba has indicated, maybe we should hold off for a few days to let the election happen. As I have offered to others on these blogs, I would love to sit down over a cup of coffee and explore these and other ideas with you.
Ken Jackson May 07, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Happy to.
Slim Shadey May 09, 2012 at 12:54 PM
You know whats funny? How the opinion "why I will vote no" is written by a man who worked closly with the school distict and did a proper evaluation of the yes/no effects, and yet the comments are filled with unsupported hate. Yet on this post, written by a mom whose main argument is that we are under attack, is filled with suport. Look at her proof, " I can tell, most members of 20/20 are interested, like many of us, in the reform of public education" She can tell? This is what you base your vote on? Now look at a line from 'why I vote no', "Working closely with the Bloomfield Hills School District for over a year, I attempted to bridge the gap between the two camps:" That seems much more credible. You all gang up on the one guy the second he disagrees with you. News should be unbiased and FACT based. Also, how about a spell correct in this post section, I mean really.


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