Quick Hits – January 3, 2018

U-46 really is too big – Part 3

Alright! Let’s finally polish this sucker off because not even I want to hear myself talk this much. To recap, U-46 should be broken up into smaller school districts because:

  • It’s 41 percent bigger than the next largest Illinois school district and that’s always a red flag.
  • I’ve never seen a case of “bigger is better” when it come to a government entity of any kind.
  • It takes an exceptional CEO/superintendent to effectively manage such a large district and, as U-46 has demonstrated over the years, exceptional superintendents are hard to find.
  • U-46 student needs are so disparate, they would be better served by smaller districts that could more effectively meet those needs.
  • Accountability is a much more difficult proposition in a 40,400 student district spanning 90 square miles.
  • The district’s size makes it a proxy war battleground for ideologues on both sides, which does nothing more than waste everyone’s time

Of course, some reader will inevitably ask me to provide all sorts of numbers to further back up my theory, but they really need get off their lazy bleepin’ asses and do it themselves, because I’ve clearly made my point. (And if anyone does that they get blocked!)

U-46

Other than the specious “We’ve always done it this way because we’ve always done it this way” contention, nobody has effectively refuted any argument I’ve made here. Yes! It might cost more to break the district up in the short run, but it’s more than a wee bit ironic that the folks who generally think we never throw enough money at education are suddenly turning into fiscal conservatives.

What’s really going on here is, most U-46ers don’t like board member Jeanette Ward – who is nuts, and because she backs Illinois State Rep and very conservative gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives’ thoughts on too-large and too-small school districts, they’re automatically against anything that comes out of their mouths.

Apparently, they don’t understand the broken clock analogy.

One reader went as far as stipulating that, “You can’t agree with Jeanette Ward or Jeanne Ives and be right about anything.” Though that’s certainly a fun fascist thought, as previously stated, I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone here.

I came to this U-46-is-to-large conclusion all by myself when my family lived in Streamwood in the mid ‘90s. I’ll never forget watching the district descend into a virtual civil war over a school funding tax referendum. So, Ms. Wards’ (no relation) and Ms. Ives’ thoughts – though correct – had absolutely no bearing on developing my own theory.

U-46 CEO Tony Sanders simply asked me to explain why the district should be split and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

Just like the Olympics throws out the highest and lowest scores in skating competitions, there’s an inherent logic to breaking up school districts that are clearly too big, and consolidating those that are clearly too small.

And I don’t mind the fact that so many people disagree with me on this – with the exception of those who consistently fail to make any effort to come up with an original thought. But what does bother me is the capacity for generally thoughtful people to dismiss an idea simply because they’re offended by the source.

It’s just another sign of the rise of the liberal tea party. And those newly energized folks best be careful before they become exactly what they’ve loathed.

We don’t have to agree on everything!

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