Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sub Rosa Operative Rock's Aggregated Epistles

Some bloggers will do anything to get their names in the paper.

Today marks the first time that we, great-grandson of grocer Zelig Reichbaum, ever read a P-G editorial and thought to ourselves only, "What a bunch of poltroons!"

Blog for Equality Day was an unqualified success.

"... equal parts imbecilic, arrogant and myopic." Should have left it at that (or expanded upon that).

Burgher Jon has been blogging long enough to know what's going on, but not so long that he no longer thinks like a normal person.

We agree with Teacher Wordsmith Madman (we just weren't brave enough to say anything). However, we are still genuinely bemused at why stuff like stage-managing a trip around the world or hyping up a presidential candidacy is so aggravating and awful.

The Allegheny Institute advocates throwing money at the problem.

The Busman provides an update, or at least he tries.

Alright, pencils down. Let's see what you've come up with.


  1. I wonder how come this editorial is out now. We really only know about maybe 6 schools. The PG jumped the gun a bit, no?

  2. I rant about the P-G editorial about Mark Roosevelt. Roosevelt has earned a lot of ill will from those in the district that should be his biggest fans.

  3. Thanks for the mention, I was wondering why a week old page got so much attention yesterday.

    Is there an implication here that you have been blogging so long that you don't think like a normal person?

  4. Messy semantics, but yes. I'd say by now myself and some others inevitably are seeing things from inside the beltway or what have you.

  5. I'll be looking at things from my vantage point with the first ring road soon. -- NOT inside the beltway!

  6. You are all wrong on this. To characterize Mr. Roosevelt as this heavy-handed, dogmatic leader, a practitioner of pro-right wing segregationist education policies, or a roadblock to progressive reform tells me that none of you see the full picture.

    The previous superintendent, Dr. John Thompson - who's pedigree would suggest that he was a smart man - failed repeatedly to make wise decisions, or respond appropriately to district conditions and take appropriate actions with test scores, enrollment and finances. I don't recall hearing the kind of passionate discourse about Dr. Thompson's disgraceful leadership when he was in charge.

    And please come up with something better than the idiotic class envy argument about Mr. Roosevelt's raise I hear repeatedly.

    If you really want to change the fortunes of the district, mentor a child, become a tutor or get your teaching degree, but for the love of God come up with better reasons to dispise the guy who actually has a plan. Otherwise, shut the hell up.

  7. "mentor a child, become a tutor or get your teaching degree."

    Has Mr. Roosevelt done any of these things? Does he have a background in education or in politics? Even to that extent, do his leadership skills lie in consensus building, or in massaging data and public relations?

    "Otherwise, shut the hell up."

    Hahahahaha, no. No, that's not how it works. Not as long as we have an elected school board, which must be endlessly frustrating for some. It will be instructive to see how Mr. Roosvelt works with a new school board that has been given a mandate for equity and transparency.

  8. Let me offer a piece of mentoring, which I think allows me to speak:

    "Don't argue with Bram on his blog unless you have something intelligent to say."

    Now I'm going to put mentoring on my resume.

  9. "Has Mr. Roosevelt done any of these things? Does he have a background in education or in politics? Even to that extent, do his leadership skills lie in consensus building, or in massaging data and public relations?"

    By your logic, this also means that a man who has spent a fewer than 200 days serving in the U.S. Senate, and who has never held an executive position is unqualified to be Commander in Chief.

    Government buildings are brimming with seemingly qualified leaders who point to years of experience and knowledge, and yet government has never been more dysfunctional.

    Care to try again, smart ass?

  10. I don't know where I got the notion that mentoring, tutoring and a teaching background are vital qualifications to speak about the School District. I must be hallucinating comment #6.

    Look, I don't mean for my blog to be Thunderdome, really I don't. Roosevelt is to be commended for getting the School Board to put one foot in front of the other, make some rational moves in a defined direction, and generate a little optimism about the District. And maybe ultimately for improving certain standardized test scores. These are no small feats.

    I would simply prefer that the Board demand of him a somewhat higher regard for comprehensive education as a legitimate option, for the value of diverse student populations, and most of all for a less politically cutthroat approach towards the District's own constituents. I think that's reasonable to ask.

  11. Mentoring, tutoring and a teaching background are not vital qualifications to speak about the school district. I never said it was.

    What I did say is that mentoring, tutoring and teaching is a far more effective way to influence student performance than this idle discussion about the compitency of the Superintendent or whether the rightsiziing plan, the closing of facilities, and the promise are justifiable reasons for awarding him with a raise.

  12. I never said anything about his raise or his competency. MR is an employee. When we have issues with the direction of the District, our issues are with the Board. We've been consistent on this.

    If you don't think there's room for improvement on the board level that can result in better outcomes for many of the District's students, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    What do I mean by this? I think the primary function of public schools should be to educate city students to the best degree possible. Others appear to think that the primary role of public schools should be to provide attractive amenities to lure mobile new families into the city. Although this can and should be a lovely side-effect to a healthy school system, I think the two goals are not identical, and putting the cart before the horse can sometimes cloud the primary mission, lead to odd decisions, and leave a number of students wanting.