Re: Truth, Justice, and the American Way
- --- "Kevin Rivard" wrote:
>way might still be alive and with a little prodding maybe those that
> reading your post showed me that truth, justice and the American
are still the silent majority might wake up and participate.
Thank you so much for your exuberant reply to my post. I actually
think it will require a LOT of prodding and education to get the
silent majority to first wake up and then act, but I sincerely
believe it's possible.
I also sincerely believe that communication is key to making that
happen. For those of you who don't know, Thomas Paine (whose ideas
from his pamphlet "Common Sense" inspired Jefferson's Declaration of
Independence) was a printer who effectively marketed his ideas of
democracy to the masses by using the best communication tool of the
day the printing press.
I have no doubt that to get the silent majority to become involved,
the smaller number of motivated activists must be very, very
organized because, having extremely limited resources, they have to
get the most bang for the buck. An organized system makes
effective communication possible. Effective communication enables
better information sharing. Better information sharing creates more
informed masses. More informed masses become more involved masses.
Once there is the solid foundation of an organized system of
communication, all sorts of other changes are possible. Without
that foundation, there will be great frustration and a lot of wasted
energy. You will be blown about by the whims of others' agenda
In the world of theoretical physics, there are chaotic systems and
ordered systems. In an ordered system, one knows what to expect,
and there are contingency plans for potential exceptions that may
occur; it operates "smoothly." In a chaotic system, one cannot
predict the outcome and it's a big mess. An ordered system is
capable of doing a known quantity of work. A chaotic system, has no
predictable outcome and little, if any, work is accomplished in
spite of how much energy is poured into it.
How does theoretical physics apply to our reality? Because what we
have are a bunch of chaotic systems. So many of the complaints I've
read here have no chance of being addressed much less resolved
equitably. Why? There are several factors.
First, whatever system of accountability exists, it seems to have
large gaping holes in its implementation.
Second, a large number of parents do not know what is going on nor
what they really can do about it, and the large immigrant population
adds to the number of uninformed masses because they probably
weren't educated as children about the nuances of local and state
governments in the U.S. To change this situation requires a better
system of information sharing and education for parents.
Another problem is that with everyone chasing after their own pet
peeve, there is no coordinated effort to address any one specific
problem before moving onto the next. Folks are flying about willy
nilly in their activist efforts. Those who are like-minded are not
organized and coordinated so little gets accomplished. (United we
stand. Divided we fall.)
Another significant factor that hinders and prevents positive
changes is that those who really know what's going on in our
classrooms and education system the teachers have no good way to
make changes. They don't have the time (they're overworked
already), and open communication and activism for a better way of
doing things runs the very real risk of career suicide. Nobody
should be expected to do this, and those who do are very courageous
role models. Stressed out and sometimes unemployed role models, but
very courageous ones, too.
A 7-STEP PLAN
I believe that if you want to be less frustrated and have more
successes in WCCUSD, I strongly urge folks in this discussion group
to work together to:
(1) Agree to work as an organized group with your initial mandate to
improve communication in the district by figuring out how to do it
yourselves as a model for others.
(2) Institute less chaotic, more effective mailing list procedures.
(3) Create a web site to share reference information that doesn't
change much (such as Board Meeting Procedures, MRAD funds allocation
docs, links to CA Ed Code, etc.)
(4) Market this communication system to the silent majority.
(5) Choose an important issue to fight for and use this new,
organized communication system to work on that problem. Set
priorities and work on issues using the ordered system of
communication, and improve the system where needed over time.
(6) Help the teachers to create and manage a similar type of
discussion group and web site.
(7) Help teachers market the web site and discussion group so it
becomes an effective (and secure way) of sharing information.
Now, don't be deceived by the simple 7-step outline. This is a lot
of work total, but with good organization, a good leader for each
step in the process, and division of labor it can be achieved. Once
achieved, you have a better district-wide communication system and
this is the essential groundwork for making all other kinds of
changes. It can be done. Don't you think it's worth the effort?
Thanks for reading,