Friday, June 12, 2009

Hit and Run Wreckings Reported

In his blog this week, Dr. Culver made yet another (yawn) reference to his favorite poem called "Builders and Wreckers". He's becoming a bit of a one trick pony, dontcha think? Surely with all his learning, he's gotta have more than just this one parable...right?

"...brought to mind one of my favorite poems, “Builders and Wreckers.” (There are lots of copies around the net, here’s where I first came across it: Poem Link ) The gist of the poem's metaphor is that to build anything… a bridge, a person, a classroom, an organization, a community…takes a great deal of skill
and care over a period of time.
To tear things down … a bridge, a person, a classroom, an organization, a community…takes little skill, attention, or time, just an orientation towards negativity and destructive “hit and run” actions. "
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
For someone who insinuates---but will never unequivocally declare--that resources such as SP-EYE fall into the "Wreckers" category, he sure does like to follow our lead!

  • Dr. Culver gets a blog ...who would have thought for someone non-tech savvy?
  • He uses the very SAME blog server as SP-EYE!
  • His early posts seem to be praising the very staffers he once tossed under the bus (as reported here). Co-inky-dink?
  • Have you noticed board agendas have quietly begun to respond to issues raised on this site?
We're flattered, Dr. Culver.

Drinking the Kool-Aid
Culver states that these "wreckers" are oriented towards negativity. Some could argue that Culver's positive switch is permanently stuck in 5th gear--at least in public. Is too much of EITHER a good thing? You can paint a house, put up a nice picket fence and a flower garden. It sure may look purty on the outside. But if years worth of garbage and dirty laundry are just piled up and squirreled away on the inside, malodorous aromas linger to the extent that it's preferable to be outside than in. You can't do any real entertaining --or educating--until the laundry is aired and cleaned.

Dr. FeelGood's miracle tonic never works. You've seen the movies and old TV reruns. These elixirs can seem intoxicating....but that's only because they contain alcohol. And we know that alcohol impairs judgement, don't we? We need more people to just say "NO" to the Kool Aid and demand quality education based on a foundation of fiscal responsibility. Culver can rail all he wants about wreckers, but his own concept of "builders" is predicated upon making use of ALL the skills available ...not just skills of those that have sipped the Kool-Aid and blindly follow the march of administration. The majority of this community is far too educated to fall for that new age, "I'm OK; You're OK" happy crappy. The real world has a nasty set of choppers, and isn't afraid to bite.

You see anyone running?
Hit and run actions? SP-EYE has been calling out acts of fiscal irresponsibility for two years. Culver knows that, so we're not sure why he suggested anyone was running away. We'll continue to be here, so long as the KoolAid continues to be served. We can't cross that line into become a really great school district until the laundry has been laundered and the smell is gone. Eventually Culver and his bosses will realize that we're both trying to build the same sand castle. That's OK. Patience is a virtue they say.

What kind of building is this?
Getting back to Culver's favorite fable...we need to ask a few questions:

  • What kind of building is accomplished by alleging that citizens with legitimate concerns have "ulterior motives" ?
  • What kind of engineering is shored up with $40 dinners?
  • Instead of open public dialog (without a 3-minute restriction), what kind of building is built with Culver getting the last word from the board table?
  • Why is it that if you ask probing questions based on fact, you get labeled a "wrecker"?
  • What construction foreman is successful when he continually throws his own crew under the bus?
Food For Thought
Culver likes his story about builders and wreckers. That's nice. There are also a million of 'em out there. In fact...if you want to make a point, someone likely already has. There's a classic parable, fable, proverb, or quotation for every imaginable situation. We leave you with a few we like. Perhaps we'll see some counter-action to them in a future InspirED post.

If you can't convince them, confuse them.
— President Harry S Truman
The well fed does not understand the lean.
— Irish Proverb
The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar to new ideas.
— Edward de Bono
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
— Aldous Huxley
The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
— Chinese Proverb

And last, but not least, we offer "the rest of the story" of Culver's Builders and Wreckers poem. He leaves this part out, so we thought we'd share it.
Of course it’s wise and necessary to challenge assumptions, test theories and predict problems, but that should be the beginning not an end.

Who said anything about this being the end? We don't see any Rubenesque ladies breaking into song. N