Saturday, April 5, 2014
I just returned home from touring the Walla Walla-High School science classrooms. Because I am fairly new to this town, I had decided to stay out of the discussion about this issue. But after my visit this evening, I can’t resist.
The instructors at the high school have obviously done an admirable job providing a quality education for students, despite dealing with a facility that isn’t just mediocre; it’s very much subpar. The classrooms are small. They have inadequate infrastructure: not enough electricity; minimal, or even zero water supply; minimal ventilation; almost no storage.
Teaching science is not the same as teaching any other subject. And teaching science in the 21st century is vastly different from doing the same job 40, or even 20, years ago.
Modern science is, like it or not, technology based. It requires adequate electrical power, and capacity for connecting computers and other tools. It requires laboratory experience, rather than the read/lecture/discuss model that most adults over 30 experienced in their formal education.
By the way, I do know a bit about teaching science. I made that my life’s work for 25 years in five different schools. And the only school I ever taught in where the facilities were worse than the ones I saw tonight was in a tiny farming community in Missouri 44 years ago.
I am appalled by some of the letters that have been in the U-B recently. For instance, proposing that these young adults deserve only a barn, and not a decent school, is pathetic.
Imploring voters to reject every school bond that might ever come forward is so ridiculous it doesn’t deserve a response. And saying over and over again we can’t afford to build this educational facility makes no sense.
Of course it is expensive, and of course our taxes will be affected. But we can’t afford to not invest in the success of our young people.
I am sure whatever I or any other person might say in support of the upcoming bond, it won’t change the minds of the extremely negative people.
So I can only hope something will encourage the more realistic citizens, who actually value education for our young adults, to take the time to cast a yes vote when they receive their ballots.
I don’t believe we are outnumbered; so I have to assume too many people thought that reason would prevail without our participation. Don’t make that mistake this time!