Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Adopt a Dooher

Another genius idea from the Governor's opening remarks:

Better education for everyone is essential to getting Minnesota working again ... and to keep Minnesotans working in the future. To give everyone the skills necessary to succeed in an ever more competitive global economy. Doing so must be everyone's shared responsibility.

That is why I am asking every business in Minnesota to adopt a school. And contribute to its improvement. To visit the school and see its realities. To meet with teachers, students, and administrators and find out what they need to improve their school - now your school. A little money, a lot of help, technical expertise, remedial reading volunteers, adult mentors, new books, used computers. Make that school's progress your shared responsibility.

This should be great news for the charter school movement, right? Naah -- that's not the sort of school Dayton has in mind. He means your garden variety public school, of course. A few questions for the governor:
  • So if a business "adopts" a school, do they get any say in how it is run? If, say, Medtronic adopted a school, could they expect an increased emphasis on science and allocate their funds to laboratory work? Or is it just supposed to offer volunteers and write checks?
  • Most businesses are running very lean right now, which is one reason unemployment is so high. How precisely will adopting a school, and allocating company resources to the adoption, help a business keep its focus on its core ongoing operations?
  • Does Dayton really believe that workers at companies don't already volunteer a lot of time to schools? And how will the schools coordinate a phalanx of even more volunteers? I'm betting it would require another paid position or two at the school. Who pays for that? The business?
  • Another thing about volunteerism: at this point there are some programs of the sort Dayton envisions that are already in place. You can see banners at Fearless Maria's school advertising the long-standing partnership they have with a local medical device company. Still, the primary source of volunteers for the school are the families of the students, and rightly so.


Anonymous said...

Mr. D, when my kids were in public school, the wife and I volunteered often....of course all that daily exposure gave us a good idea about what was going on in the public schools; so we pulled our kids out of there and put them in private school as fast as we could.

See, that's the problem with Governor Pinhead's delusion.

Most parents that care about their kids have pulled them out of the schools that need the most help.

Add the fact that EdMN bought and paid for Dayton and you are left with the prospect of further exodus.

Probably the best thing that could happen come to think of it.

Mrs. D said...

I would encourage people to volunteer at their local public school. I have seen first hand why the elementary school in our area has so many serious issues. On the flip side, the middle school and high school are both wonderful places for students to learn and grow. Maybe if people were in the schools on a regular basis, they would question the significant amount of money that is being spent by the State of Minnesota on education.