Chris Jones: A commitment to editorial excellence?
September 19, 2012
To the editor:
Recently, these pages have contained some interesting discussions about perception. In its simplest form, a perception is an observation.
The editorial board made some interesting observations in its piece titled, "Editorial: Commitment to Excellence?" Arguing observations based on individual perceptions is as productive as yelling in the wind.
While the board observes that teachers do not contribute $20, $30, or $40 to these three community organizations, it fails to observe that teachers spend hundreds of their own dollars equipping their room for the year. The editorial board fails to observe the number of teachers that have participated in events sponsored by Friends of Moffat County Education, one of the three organizations referenced in the story.
Why did the board fail to observe those teachers who rush to the store to buy a $20 Halloween costume or pair of winter mittens for students in need?
The editorial board observes, "that it is not enough for teachers to think that their contribution to education ends when the school bell rings." Yet the board fails to observe that the school accountability committees or SACs barely have enough participation to conduct a monthly meeting.
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These SAC committees are designed for parents to participate in the performance of schools. Where is the parent's commitment to excellence?
As you can see, all of us can yell into the wind.
However, when perception blatantly contradicts reality one must question the credibility of the editorial board.
The reality is that Friends of Moffat County Education (FMCE), one of the three community organizations referenced in the editorial, has a teacher that is an active board member. FMCE also has a liaison from the school district's administrative office and/or school board that actively participates in each FMCE meeting.
The reality is that FMCE has had teachers volunteer their time and resources to help FMCE collect 13,000 books, organize 5K races, bring the Earthdome program to schools, and organize book distribution activities in the summer. The reality is that several teachers and members of MCSD administration attend each Maximum Commitment to Excellence meeting (another organization referenced in the editorial).
The reality is that NOT one of the three editorial board members credited with the editorial has attended an FMCE meeting or asked FMCE about its partnerships with the teaching community. The reality is that NONE of the editorial board members has attended any of the Maximum Commitment to Excellence meetings of which I was present.
Before recklessly questioning teachers' commitment to excellence, the editorial board needs to examine its ability to voice sound, informed observations. Making bold statements in the absence of fact is not a commitment to excellence; it is a commitment to mediocrity.
Editorial board, where is your commitment to excellence?
President, Friends of Moffat County Education