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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Everything vs. Education

Thomas Jefferson aptly noted that “If the children are untaught, their ignorance and vices will in future life cost us much dearer in their consequences than it would have done in their correction by a good education”. But yet, debates rage throughout this country contrasting education and the real or imagined benefits of everything else. Some of these discussions are valid and beneficial to all parties, as when school budgets are reduced leaving administrators with the unenviable task of cutting costs somewhere so as not to affect the ultimate goal – education.

However, other “discussions” center on the absurd. The amount of time, money and effort utterly wasted on such inanity as teachers’ unions protecting pedophile teachers or lawsuits to protect college professors the likes of Sami Al-Arian (supporting terrorism) and Ward Churchill (described World Trade Center victims as "little Eichmanns”) boggles the mind . These efforts serve simply one purpose – denying children an education.

But yet these types of insipid debates need not be national in scope to further undermine the country’s obligation to educate so as to preserve democracy. The discussion circulating regarding the use of track K is akin to these nefarious arguments that continually consume the educational establishment and thwart the legitimate efforts of a school system.

Given the relative autonomy of local school boards, the biggest obstacle in providing for an education are the local obstacles derived from local initiatives. The solar power scheme is such an evidently specious obstacle.

It is simply unfathomable that any board that purports to forward education in this country and especially in this state will not move expeditiously to use a gift of such magnitude as a track of land deeded for a real school.

If a school board is given one book, it should put it to use to educate one child. If a school board is given one computer, it should put it to use to educate a handful of children. If a person gives their knowledge, put it to use to educate classes of children. If a school board is given a plot of land, it should put it to use to educate hundreds of children. What alternatives can be nobler or better served? Why try to sell the book or trade the computer or deny the person knowledge or give away the plot of land for a perceived immediate gain that in reality is no gain at all?

Everyone decries the state of education. Blame the lack of money, blame the unions, and of course blame the teachers. But the real problem with education lies simply in the sordid politics that grant favors to a select few at the expense of our children. An act more ignoble can not be conceived, yet such transactions are the norm, ergo the state of education. The problem is not the lack of money or the unions or the teachers; the problem with education is exclusively because of those villains that cynically and blindly suggest that everything they will profit from can supplant any piece of the educational pie while masqueraded as “educational”.

The Collier County School Board must deny the fallacious proposal to turn track K into some power generating facility. The Collier County School Board must work with local parents that have been desirous in building a high school for exceptional education on track K. The Collier County School Board must honor its commitment to further education in this county as when presented with land specifically deeded for that purpose.

The educational quality of any generation affects us all. It is immensely nearsighted to allow a few to profit from a questionable transaction promulgated farcically as an educational effort. It is entirely because of transactions such as the power scam being proposed that will … “cost us much dearer in their consequences”.

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