We Cannot Stay Status Quo

Sometimes change comes hard. We all have the tendency to get set in a pattern, even if we profess it to be contrary to growth, and there we want to stay. After all, the more we stretch the more we feel the pain. Jefferson County is no different. We are in a time of change and some are feeling pressure of meeting new expectations and altering the projected path. Is every change beneficial? Certainly not. Anyone who has lived on this earth for more than three decades knows that sometimes changes bring a different reality than what we may want or need. But, we all also know that change is inevitable. Like the rising and setting of the sun, change is a part of the ongoing pattern of life. Can we fight it? Sure. And, we may even win on some selective points. Nothing is set in stone and just when you think you know the rules…Bam…the rules change.

Jefferson County Department of Education is feeling the weight of changes. With new leadership comes new ideas. I believe that anyone that has been aware of public education for the past several years will attest to the fact that we, in Jefferson County, were stagnate at best and sliding backward at worst. It is fine to hold to statue quo if you are at the top of the heap but we have clearly not been at the top of the heap in many, many years. Those that were present “back in the day” long for a return to the successes of decades long past. Those days are gone. Even if we wanted to return to the Jefferson County Schools of the 1980’s and early 1990’s we couldn’t. There has been too much change in the world since those good old days. Smart phones have replaced pay phones and gender bending has replaced barbie dolls and match box cars. We can’t even begin to speak of cowboys and Indians or Boy/Girl Scouts. The taboos have grown as faster than the tattoo culture. We have more snowflakes hiding in college “safe spaces” than on the lawn on any given winter. Zero tolerance has grown a life of its own but it is so unbalanced that it has created its own set of insanity. We spend unlimited time and resources on combating bullying yet we will not allow a child to stand up for themselves and deal with a bully the way generations before dealt with bullies. We have zero tolerance for teaching children to fight their own battles ( which promotes self esteem) but we have infinite tolerance for children picking their own gender and acting on that choice. Society has gone nuts and it has pulled public education right down along with it.

Forgive me, I digress. The point is that we have burned the bridge that lead back to what we were. Some changes have certainly been for the better and we must keep in mind that no matter the circumstances, we were going to change. Now we must deal with the changes that were made in the past and the changes that will be made in the future. We have to take the pride we have in the past and morph it into realistic goals for the future. Let’s be real. If we want to be anywhere near the top of the heap we are going to have to take some painful steps. Marking time is no way to run a educational system and no way to prepare the next generation to come out of the “safe space”, reach deep for some form of intestinal fortitude and lead the way. Right now we are the Beta Bunch, always running in hopes of keeping up with the Alpha. Change may hurt and it may not always be the decisions that I would have made or the method that I would initiate but we simply cannot stay at status quo. Love it or hate it, at least it isn’t the same old doing just enough and not rocking the boat. It has taken us 25 years to get in this condition. Isn’t it worth a few weeks or months of patience to see if we can change the direction that we have been heading? I certainly hope so.