Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Don't Forget the Little People

So writes Diane Vespa, a local parent of two children who attend Peoria Public Schools. She works as a volunteer in the classrooms and advocates for sound child-focused district policy. She also works as a realtor and her husband, John, a judge, is running for election in November.

Her article appears in the August Issue of InterBusiness Issues magazine. She is right in all areas including school board members with little background to run an $150 million system. She says not to be too hard on the unions. Unions in Peoria Public School District #150 have gained their power through the public general dis-interest in who serves on the (thankless 5 year, no pay, my comments), school board.

Diane tells it pretty much like it is which is rare in a publication like IB that generally selects article writers who are only positive and optimistic about the "goings on" in this community.

Diane says new buildings are nice but it's what the kids learn that is more important than new steel and concrete (and debt, I might add).

Her article can be found on pages 64-66. Good reading, and thanks, Diane, for telling it like it is while holding hope for the future of the Peoria Public Schools with less interference from the government such as the highly questionable NCLB.


Diane Vespa said...

Merle, the folks at iBi asked that I write an article for their Education article. I warned them it might not be a fluffy piece. They were OK with that. Makes perfect sense. As a successful small business, they too, have a vested interest in the overall health of our community. Nothing is to be gained by ignoring the local, state and national issues that have a profound impact on the quality of our lives and the future we leave to our children.

Merle Widmer said...


Hope you didn't read in my blog that disagreed with any of your positions. I've been preaching and blogging what you wrote for 16 years with the message so far, falling on deaf ears.

The way we elect school boards in larger urban areas is wrong and had been wrong for at least 2 decades.

Rather than changing the system, we open charter schools, which I ususally support, serving only a handul of the kids that should be served.

I note the NAACP has changed their atatement on Charter Schools. (See opinion page of JS August 8).