I enjoy bitter flavors. I like coffee, bitter ale, Italian aperitif wines, and these little red sodas from San Pelligrino called Sanbitter. I also enjoy the bitter tang of irony. There are a few specific ironies that I truly savor. One of them are people in their cars in traffic complaining about traffic. They seem so blissfully unaware that they themselves are part of the very problem they hate. Another irony I enjoy are those who complain about complaints.
Let's be clear. I don't have any problem with a complaint. A good one states the problem, knows its roots, shows the harm it causes, and suggests a viable solution. That's perfectly legitimate. I absolutely loathe whining. Whining has the statement of the problem but rarely knows its roots and never suggests a workable solution. That's the big difference: suggesting a solution. If you offer a solution then you are part of the solution. If you don't, then you're just whining about the problem.
This blog has information and discussion about Seattle Public Schools. The individual schools, for the most part, work pretty well and do a good job providing an academic opportunity to most of the students who arrive prepared to take advantage of that opportunity. The District's central administration, however, is a howling cess pit of dysfunction, incompentency and waste. That's the way it goes. Things don't always work out as you might like.
So what are we to do? Generally we report the facts and then discuss them. The facts about the District's central administration are often sad, and the discussion is often about what is wrong and how it can be fixed. At least that's how it goes when things are working right. When things aren't working right we don't suggest solutions as we should and we end up doing more whining than we should. That's the way it goes. Things don't always work out as you might like.
The blog is open to anyone. It isn't moderated and it is almost completely unedited. Look around. The blog for the Alliance for Education isn't like that. The blog for the League of Education Voters isn't like that. If people want to comment on this blog and write about how the District is a paradise filled with butterflys, rainbows and cupcakes, they are free to do that. Not too many folks are taking that opportunity. If people want to write that the District's budget priorities are out of whack and that the central administration is bloated and useless, they are free to do that. Honestly, it is the more popular choice over unicorns and hearts. Is that representative of the community? I don't know. I can't say. This blog gets over 3,000 page views a day and lots of comments and discussion from a lot of different folks. The blog at the Alliance for Education is more positive, but it hasn't had a comment in a long, long time. I guess folks want to talk about their truth more than they want to talk about the version promoted by the Alliance and Strategies 360.
Some may find all of these suggestions for improvement to be negative. I think it is MUCH more positive than the comments I typically read on the Seattle Times web site. I'm not sure what the whiners want us to do about it since they don't really suggest a solution. Are we supposed to just stop noticing the lies and the broken commitments? Are we supposed to just pretend that the hypocrisies and flawed logic don't exist? I suppose we could do that, but I don't think we will. That's the way it goes. Things don't always work out as you might like.