Give P.E.A.C.E. a chance
By Rev. Frank Moyer
Give P.E.A.C.E. a chance
Reading the recent Guest Column by Barb Dent, I was reminded of the phrase used by former President Ronald Reagan: There you go again.
A forum, according to the Random House Dictionary, is an assembly for the discussion of questions of public interest. The R.E.A.CH. meetings for candidates hardly fit that definition. The candidates had already been endorsed, and the questions were poorly-veiled attacks on positions at odds with R.E.A.CH.
Do the P.E.A.C.E. (Partners in Educating All Children Equitably) candidates, Nancy Kalchbrenner (D), Mark Burns (E) and Jay Nellis (F) have a vision on education? Very definitely. It is a vision that affirms the inherent value of each child; a vision that recognizes that a childs potential is only attained when teachers, parents, administration and board work in partnershipnot antagonistically.
Do the P.E.A.C.E. candidates have ideas regarding the financial situation for District 205? Absolutely. Mark Burns (E) and Jay Nellis (F) bring expertise and years of experience regarding finances. While line items in a 250+ million-dollar operation are important, Burns and Nellis know that extreme pre-occupation with them usually results in a loss of vision for the whole.
Do the P.E.A.C.E. candidates have thoughts about student assignment? Certainly. Student assignment is very complex in a system with a long history of discrimination. Student assignment is essential to helping each child receive that level of education and challenge which will prepare her or him for life. Nancy Kalchbrenner (D) has worked with Parent Councils for years, and those bridges will be invaluable in forging assignment policies and guidelines.
There you go again!, Barb, equating settlement with capitulation. Kalchbrenner, Burns and Nellis have each stated the importance of bringing closure to the lawsuit in such a manner as to assure all District 205 citizens that we are committed to providing an equitable education for all children. Jay Nellis (F), when he ran previously, suggested a means to achieve that end. If that had been accepted, District 205 would have unitary status now!
R.E.A.CH. candidates and organization are primarily focused on taxes, not education. It has been a focus on winning, even if the process destroys the District! (This is a war mentality, such as bombing to bring peace.)
More than 20 years ago, John Lennon wrote these words:
Love and peace are possibilities for us all
We can create our own future
You have to imagine something
Before you can do it.
Everyone is responsible for society;
Nothing will change unless
We each feel it in our hearts.
Give peace a chance.
P.E.A.C.E.Partners in Educating All Children Equitablybelieves it is time to give P.E.A.C.E. a chance in District 205. The continued leadership from R.E.A.CH. would guarantee that nothing will change. Kalchbrenner, Burns and Nellis do have a vision and can feel it in their hearts.
Give P.E.A.C.E. a chance.
The Rev. Frank Moyer is a managing partner in the Common Boundary Wellness Center.