Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the editor
Dr. Rock doesn't get it

May 25, 2011

Dear Editor,

I think Clarkston Superintendent Rod Rock is a very smart man with a rather large blind spot ("Superintendent's call to action: part II," May 18).

Long term, the danger to our children is not the governor's budget. The true lurking danger is a school system that has truly forgotten why it exists in the first place. A system run by people who refuse to be measured and evaluated in any meaningful way trying to preserve entitlement and lack of accountability. We don't need cutsie rhetoric and turns of phrase and intellectual flourishes and references. We need the truth. More money will not reform our school system. The Dr. Rocks of the world had plenty of money during better budgetary times and built a system not at all relevant and economically resilient.

What's needed is a restructuring process, much like the American Bankruptcy code, to reshape the balance sheets of our school system and schools. The governor has nothing against our children. He knows the course we are on won't make us or our children more competitive. I agree.

Here's the essence of the Rockian Blindspot: he says the most important resources in our schools are the teachers. He's so wrong. It's our children.

You want raises, rich benefits and development? Then embrace and tie it all to measurement, performance and results.

One of my son's teachers actually pronounced on the first day of the trimester that if students didn't learn to type 50 words per minute they'd never get a decent job in the future. I will not even go into what is so absolutely wrong with a teacher expressing that perspective to a group of 14 year olds living on this planet at this point in the 21st Century.

Honestly, Dr. Rock, what would Horace Mann think about our schools? We have moved beyond universal education. You're fighting a new age war with an old battle cry, and you want us to follow you? Not on my watch.

Michael Palese

Independence Township