Earlier in the week, I posted on the topic of religion, politics and libertarianism, the first two issues being familiar to most of us as the ones our parents always cautioned us against raising in public. The article generated a hefty 22 reponses.
Then, for three days running, we considered the equally important topics of education, neighborhood schools and the school corporation's unmerited secrecy in its decision-making processes ... and the yield has been 7 or 8 comments, total.
Now, I draw no conclusions from this, knowing that numerous factors are involved, but simply ask: Assuming that most readers perused the Tribune's coverage of the Resources for Results committee, am I the only one here that finds it an ominous trend when the superintendent himself intervenes to remove a newspaper reporter from a committee meeting -- whether the meeting is "public" and "legal" in the strictest sense or not?
Really, now: How abysmal is this sort of sensibility when it comes to public relations ?
My colleague Bluegill offered these thoughts in a comment appended to yesterday's NAC article. His words summarize it for me:
There's an abundance of good information out there explaining why maintaining and investing in walkable neighborhood schools is economically and socially the right thing to do.
The whole secrecy M.O. is disturbing on a lot of levels but, importantly, has kept the resources committee from hearing much of that reasoning for almost two years prior to making recommendations. Not only has the public trust been violated but the decision making process has been flipped backwards, weakening any real chance of fully informed discussion.
It's been mentioned among concerned citizens that talks with the school corporation should be handled as cooperatively and congenially as possible. It'd be nice if corporation leadership could at least show enough respect to return the favor.