Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Greenwell. Responds to School Board - "End of the Lifecycle"

The following is another excerpt from an editiorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr's position.

It is beyond dispute that our high school infrastructures are at the end of their natural lifecycles. Furthermore, we simply cannot meet the changing delivery of education through key elements such as technology, laboratories and distance learning in these buildings. We want to keep our students ahead of the pack, not allow them to fall behind. Most importantly, we want to prepare them to thrive in our changing world.
As this newspaper recently pointed out, the public discussion of this proposal must be based on fact, not political fiction. I am not running for a new term, and have no political stake. What is at stake is our need to provide for our current and future generations of children -- just as generations past did for ours. Vote yes to support our community on May 8.

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The fact that our buildings need work is an unfortunate characterization of the Board and Administration asleep at the switch. If the buildings were not upgraded, why would the taxpayers over the life of those buildings provide immense amounts of funds for operations and, most notably, the Sinking Fund? And now, Mr. Weiss, the leader of this Board and initiative, is abandoning the school district!

As to older buildings, no one would consider the students in Cranbrook, or the International Academy housed in a 1959 middle school, as being allowed to “fall behind”. It is absurd and insulting that the Bloomfield Hills School District would endorse a campaign that promotes "Building Schools - Building Leaders". We need the best tools for our teachers and students, but erecting shiny and enormous monuments have nothing to do with a quality education or student achievement - as evidenced by the Cranbrooks or the Harvards of the world.

Voting NO on May 8th, is the right thing to do. TEAM GREENWELL will deliver a reasonable high school plan that will redirect the emphasis on student achievement.