Letters to the Editor
Schools and “the village”
As we go to choose the school board on April 7, let us remember that we are choosing our children’s future [see “The ABCs of school board candidates,” by R.L. Nave, IT, March 26]. I have three nieces in the school system right here in Springfield. It’s the hip thing and societally accepted thing to say “it’s all about the kids,” but how many of the candidates even know or live with the issues? The most knowledgeable are those poor teachers who are raising the kids, because the kids are in their classrooms the whole day. We should be grateful that we have underpaid teachers willing to sacrifice that much.
As a believer in the adage, “it takes a village to raise a child” voters have a few days to see how much a part of “the village” is each of these candidates and how much have they done to foster that
connection between the school and the community. How much have they gone above
and beyond their fair share to really make the school work for the child?
To be satisfied with mediocrity will be to do a disservice to our children who need a full dose of the old and the modern to survive these harsh economic times. Nowadays we talk about education as though it was a business and not a duty. “Customer service” has infiltrated many fields, even education. We find ourselves interested only in the economics of things: How much it will cost downtown Springfield in revenue if Springfield High School were to be rebuilt on the west side, not how much it will cost the community or the kids who can glean exemplary values from the myriad of successful statesmen and professionals already downtown by just being downtown. Throw them in the middle of nowhere on the west side where they will have a field day and do anything they want without fear of conforming to civility and aspiring to great achievements.
As we head to the polls, let us empower our children to grow and develop by
seating a board that will watch out for the interests of our schools and not
get bogged down in the usual school politics in Springfield.
Roosevelt G. Pratt
Curator, Fashion Afrique
Give me a break
I will be for a tax increase when they can prove to me that they have cut all the pork, stopped overpaying cronies, cut waste and balanced the budget [see “Why nobody supports Quinn’s tax hike plan,” by Rich Miller, IT, March 26].
I just know that once they get a tax hike, we will never get a break when they are doing well. I think one thing they could do is to charge for tourist sites. Other states do that. People expect to pay when they go on vacation. That would pay for the sites and ease up that money to pay for other things. Why can’t anyone figure this out?
ISP needs brass
I have no doubt Jonathon Monken was a solid soldier and is a high-quality
individual [see “Born leader,” by Dusty Rhodes, IT, March 26]. I also have no doubt he is about to discover just how green and out
of his league he is. Twenty-nine years old? Get real. In order to qualify as
some kind of Wonder Kid you have to show more than he has at his age. He has
achieved a lot, but there are a lot of accomplished, talented, intelligent
young adults who are not qualified to command an organization of the size,
scope, and needs of the Illinois State Police.
There are some saying he will be “no one’s crony.” You see no threat of him becoming Quinn’s? I agree the ISP has a largely entrenched, out-of-touch and “compromised” command staff. I think what is needed is someone with inside knowledge, the trust of your rank-and-file, the best interests of the organization and individual trooper at heart, a pair of brass ones, and the go-ahead and backing of his leadership to destroy the entrenched hubris without fear of political fallout. Is there no one in the ISP with the qualities necessary, so you have to resort to this?