Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where and When

It's been far too long since I posted something here. I've been busy but also, I've had a bit of procrastinator/writer's block.

To kick myself into gear, I thought I'd post a picture from the past and ask how many things can you all identify correctly.

1) What year?
2) What street is this?
3) What are the cross streets
4) What parade?
5) What are the buildings/businesses pictured here?
Bonus: Do they still exist?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fort Wayne Community School Board Race - 2008

I've really wanted to keep as much politics out of my blog as possible because the purpose of Child of the Fort is for me to document all of the special times - people, places, things - about growing up in Fort Wayne.

Tonight though, I'm making an exception.

Steve Corona is continuing his 28 + year reign of mediocrity on the school board. Fort Wayne citizens in the 5th District re-elected him tonight.

He - along with Mark Giaquinta and Wendy Robinson - will succeed in destroying the school district that I love...the school district that set me on the right path with the right teachers, the right principal, the right curriculum, and the appropriate level of rigor and discipline.

And this makes me incredibly sad because many of my memories are about my school, my teachers, and the activities I participated in while a student at FWCS.

I don't think that any of these folks are evil. I think though, that something has happened and they are more concerned with their own priorities, their own agendas, than what the students need and deserve. They also seem to not care - or maybe understand - that their lack of focus on the fundamentals will in the long run, hurt the economy of Fort Wayne.

That's right folks.

They will continue to turn out students who are unemployable.

Those who do not fall into this category will flock outside of Fort Wayne because higher paying, professional positions aren't around now and won't be around in the future.

They will spend the next two years, concerned about buildings and creating chaotic high school environments (i.e. the new magnet concept recycled from the 80's). They will suck more money out of the Fort Wayne economy and give nothing in return but feel good, PR moments.

* More marketing campaigns - that will involve the Asher Agency who produced the fliers for Corona's campaign (not to mention the school logo they redesigned and received payment for - and god knows what else they've done for school board members and administrators).

* They will try to close Elmhurst High School again.

* They will destroy the neighborhood school concept. The high school re-organization is the catalyst for this.

* I see at least two more elementary schools closed (candidates - Bloomington, Nebraska). Maybe another middle school.

* They will continue to not take responsibility or accountability for anything - fiscally or academically related. They will blame the economy, Evert Mol, Jon Olinger, Bill Anthis, Lester Grille, racists, parents, teachers, lutherans, baptists, and every other Joe the Plumber for the continuing decline of the school system.

* They will continue to take pseudo-kick backs (or maybe I should label this - the back scratching society???) from all of the folks who benefit from their plan to spend large amounts of taxpayer dollars for items that don't benefit the basic, educational needs of students.

* The number of special education students will continue to rise. Right now, they represent 21.4% of the FWCS population. That's 6,298 students. Students that currently have a graduation rate of about 50%. And those unemployable FWCS drop-outs will need to be supported by national, state, and local tax dollars.

* The number of disciplinary issues will continue to rise. Although Giaquinta had the balls to publicly state that FWCS had NO disciplinary issues - the state data shows otherwise - Suspension or Expulsion, Incidents per 100 Students 2006-07 - Fort Wayne Community Schools 30.6

31 out of 100 students. And this is labeled not a problem???

So tonight, I congratulate

* The Journal Gazette - for their continued support of not only mediocrity but for the support of the eventual self-destruction of a once-great school corporation.

* Superintendent Wendy - who is now breathing a sigh of relief because she will continue to move forward with the blank check mentality.

* Mark and Steve because now, they are rid of Jon Olinger which means that they can give more favors to those who support their campaign and who benefit from all of the taxpayer monies that are going to be collected to build Wendy's utopian village.

* The movers and shakers of Fort Wayne. You used to take a ton of pride in NOT being an Indianapolis-wannabee city yet you continue to lead the school district down this path. Five years from now, FWCS will be IPS. That's right - the path has been paved and the journey has already started.