Koler rebuttal: Mike Patrick, there you go again - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Koler rebuttal: Mike Patrick, there you go again

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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 10:14 am | Updated: 2:43 pm, Fri Jan 27, 2012.

This article addresses and responds to a series of vicious character attacks by the CDA Press, which began as a “news story” in the Press’ online edition on 1/13, was furthered via Press editorials by Mike Patrick on 1/21 (online) and 1/22 (print edition) and taken to new lows in anonymous blog postings sponsored and tacitly encouraged by the Press. Claims made or sponsored by the Press were false, if not malicious.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time our Press has abandoned journalistic ethics (an oxymoron?) to feature false, defamatory attacks dressed up as “news.”  Recall the eve of school board trustee elections last May when Mr. Patrick elevated as “news” a blog posting falsely charging a link between the Aryan Nations and the Idaho non-profit association, Citizens for Better Education (“CBE”), with whom I am associated. The link was asserted based on the fact that the U.S. Post Office had randomly assigned a P.O. box to CBE that had once been used by an Aryan church group back in the 70's.  The Press could/should have verified that the US Postal Service controlled assignment of P.O. box numbers, but did not. The Press should have run a retraction but did not.  It’s reasonable to conclude the Press ran with the false claim as “news” in an unsuccessful attempt to swing the trustee election.

The Press has often turned a blind eye in regards to citizen complaints involving our school district, on issues ranging from trustees secretly videotaping citizens at public meetings to illegally prohibiting citizen comments and asserted violations of open meeting laws.

Before we turn to the Press’ recent hit pieces, some background:  I have vocally opposed a number of our CDA school board’s decisions over the past few years, including the expensive, failed IB program.  I have often taken the position that our school district should focus more on core curriculum providing a solid academic education to all of our kids, instead of what I perceive as an uncoordinated, expensive, ala carte approach mis-named “schools of choice.” Because the amount of money the school district receives from the State is based on the number of students, District Superintendent Hazel Bauman has often said that the district needs to offer as many “choices” to kids as possible, ostensibly so that students do not choose to attend private, home- or charter schools, resulting in less state funding for the district’s budget. I think the goal should be excellence in education, not having maximum numbers of students in district schools (translation: money). Additionally, in defending the IB program, the District touted IB as being part of its “schools of choice” program (not to be confused with “school choice” or a voucher system which Idaho should adopt to allow parents to choose public, private, home- or charter schools for their kids).

As is my habit, I attended the school board’s monthly meeting on 1/9/12.  On the agenda for consideration of the board of trustees were six proposed new non-academic high school courses, including pottery, yearbook, walking, and something called “college prep.”  I decided to comment about the proposal to add new non-academic courses, using the three minutes allotted by the board for citizen comments.  The recording of my three minute comment is posted on the Press’ web page and can also be viewed on channel 19.  However, here is the gist of my presentation at the school board meeting:

Point No. 1:  (This portion was delivered with a note of humorous satire, to reinforce the point.)  Adding more non-academic courses such as pottery under the guise of more “choice” is indicative of the school district losing sight of their primary mission – to educate our kids.  I made the tongue-in-cheek suggestion that the district should also consider adding basket weaving, “stomp” and even [root] beer-pong as a college-prep course.

Point No. 2: (Here, I spoke seriously, without satire, so indicating to the board.) My observation, from attending a 2-3 hour school board meeting last December was that the district really is a social services bureaucracy for our kids, in that they provide all sorts of things besides education – mental and emotional health services, teaching “values” (through programs like IB), physical health services, food services – even sending food home with some kids. I specifically said I do not begrudge that. I said it occurred to me that the only thing the district was not providing at this point is lodging, and raised the questions how long before they do that, and do we want that?  I expressed recognition that the social services aspect may be part of their mission as dictated by the state and/or feds, and then my opinion that it is hard for the district to keep their eye on their primary mission of education (and do it well) with so much else to do. I quoted the old adage, “jack of all trades, master of none” as a polite cautionary note to them. Nevertheless, I gave them kudos for their commitment and urged them to keep their “eye on the ball” - i.e., education.

I accurately used the term “social services bureaucracy” to describe the vast scope of undertaking by our school district.  I also impliedly questioned whether combining education and social services responsibilities was the best way to deliver both education and the necessary social services, stating, “I’m not sure that’s how I would do it, but that’s a fact about what our education system is today.”  I did not state that needy children should go hungry or otherwise be deprived of necessary support.

Now let’s examine the Press’ assertions: The “news” story on 1/13 (curiously without writer’s attribution) was subtitled, “Duncan Koler criticizes programs that help needy children.” This is false.  The story claims I, “found fault with some of the services the school district offers children in need of food, clothing and health care.”  This assertion, along with the subtitle, falsely charges that I argued for stopping aid to needy children.

Mike Patrick’s editorial ran online on 1/14, and in print as his lead editorial on 1/15.  First the title: “Empty stomachs, vacant hearts.” Are you kidding me? (I considered titling this My Turn “Bleeding hearts, empty heads,” but decided that would only be half-true.) Mr. Patrick then sarcastically referred to me as the man “leading the charge against subversive education.”  I would have found that funny, but for the dual standard Mr. Patrick employed subsequently, accusing me of sarcasm in my comments to the school board.   Additional mischaracterizations which Mr. Patrick somehow divined from my comments are as follows:

• That I “railed” against the social services bureaucracy with a “sarcastic rant.” I did not “rail,” but simply pointed out the obvious.  The Oxford University Press dictionary defines “rant” as “to speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way.”  Watch the video or listen to the audio – there was no shouting or anger expressed, and three minutes can hardly be considered “at length.”

• That I am against the privately-funded backpack food program (I am not);

• That I “packaged feeding, clothing and providing health care for children into [my] list of mistaken steps the district is taking, leading it down the slippery slope of socialism.” (I did not.)

• That my position is “that compassion and the opportunity to actually educate less fortunate children is a cross that should not be borne by public schools.” I did not – I simply stated, “I’m not sure if that’s how I would do it,” and “I disagree with parts of it.”

Those who stay informed know that Mr. Patrick’s hit piece inspired a firestorm of similar attacks on the Press’ blog. Many of these were shameful personal attacks, made by anonymous bloggers using assumed names.  I recently met with Mr. Patrick to discuss these matters, including the cesspool called the Press’ blog.  Mr. Patrick explained his belief that it’s more important to have an open forum that involves routine defamation and character assassination (which results from the ability to post anonymously), than to have an identification requirement that results in far fewer postings. (What did we ever do before blogs?)

Now, let’s attempt to put this matter into perspective.  I believe two critical but distinct issues are at play here: The first is where to draw the line on “extra-academic responsibilities” for the school district (including social services), factoring in the needs of the children and society.   The second issue relates to the manner in which our Press elects to treat civic discussion of important issues.

As to the first issue, no one yet has disputed my assertion that our school district has become a social services bureaucracy.  It is a fact.  It is also a fact that society as a whole and taxpayers specifically have the right (obligation?) to question whether the manner of delivery of education and services to our kids is the best we can do. Since the need is there, this discussion should necessarily include the specific social services our schools are now providing.  Is the school district the best provider of these services?  Aren’t other state and local agencies tasked with some of this?  If Johnny routinely comes to school on Monday hungry, shouldn’t someone look into why?

I discussed this briefly with Mike Patrick when we met recently to discuss my concerns. He agreed that tasking the schools with social services is not the best scenario for education, but he insisted that it’s the ONLY practical way to do it.  Apparently, he is so sure about this that even raising the topic publicly justifies his editorial wrath. This leads to the second issue: the Press’ over-the-top and mean-spirited reaction.

The Press as our local newspaper, and Mr. Patrick as its editor, are vested with the public’s trust.  The Press can and should provide, in addition to impartial news information, a forum for discussion of important issues. A skilled editor can encourage and guide thoughtful discussion, or – as happened here – provoke unnecessary rancor that actually chills discussion.  After all, who wants to step forward if they will be subjected to the kind of insults and falsehoods that the Press has delivered here and then sponsored on its blog?

I believe Mr. Patrick’s false attacks were inspired equally by his dislike of other positions I have taken, and his desire to squash discussion of an issue that challenges his favored status quo. Respect for the truth is a key element of the ethics of journalism.  Mike, you crossed the line by twisting my words, mischaracterizing my comments and inspiring unjustified attacks on my character on your anonymous blog.  The public served by your newspaper deserves better.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

39 comments:

  • PatTheRat posted at 5:22 pm on Fri, Jun 7, 2013.

    PatTheRat Posts: 1

    Why is there so much aggression? It may be helpful to see parent's observation of their children and IB schools, here is one such experience InternationalBaccalaureateWarning.wordpress.com

     
  • simab posted at 6:52 am on Fri, May 4, 2012.

    simab Posts: 8

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  • mediaprizm posted at 10:42 pm on Wed, Feb 8, 2012.

    mediaprizm Posts: 48

    This is indeed a wonderful initiative. I hope God will bless him more so he can give more.Keep it up! Medical Supplies

     
  • Shirley Jones posted at 8:04 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    Shirley Jones Posts: 191

    No, disturbing is Mr. Kholer who home schools his kids, lives in a gated community, chases hearses for a living, while spending his free time politicizing the CdA school district attempting to submitting it to his own agenda, and denying hungry children meals. Now that is disturbing Eileen.

     
  • parent posted at 6:44 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    parent Posts: 347

    I'm not Mrs. Koler, and you are disturbing!

     
  • Shirley Jones posted at 6:08 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    Shirley Jones Posts: 191

    Stocking.... hahahahhahaha. This is common knowledge for all in his community. Nice try Eileen.

     
  • parent posted at 5:34 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    parent Posts: 347


    Mike, do you really believe we should always use our own names? Look at Shirley Jones, she is actually stocking Mr. Koler, she thinks she knows where he lives. Who needs to know where others live unless they are over the top? Disturbing!

    Do you think the Press might have some liability for facilitating this sort of stalking?

     
  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 6:05 pm on Sun, Jan 29, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    I feel lucky that some people care some much about the Quality Education of all our children, that don't stop at spending the extra money to send their own kids to private schools for that Quality Education. They also feel the desire the spend their time a money to change the public education system so all children might someday have a chance at a Quality Education system.

    The hypocrisy of some of you seem to have no end. You are always wanting people to spend more money, more money, into the broken system we have. And yet belittle and vilify those that do spend more money into a good system to be sure that their kids get the education that all kids deserve. Most rich enough to provide for a higher level of education for their own kids don't care as much for your kids to even try to help improve their quality of education. Seeing the attacks on those that do care, I understand their reluctance.

    Thanks Mr Koler for your efforts, even in the face of those that want less for their own kids.

     
  • True_parent posted at 5:38 pm on Sun, Jan 29, 2012.

    True_parent Posts: 7

    This guy Koler, his ego sickens me and the Press gives him too much attention. He needs to pay closer attention to his own kids and leave ours alone.

     
  • SensiblePerson posted at 5:35 pm on Sun, Jan 29, 2012.

    SensiblePerson Posts: 21

    Not sure why someone who home schools his own kids worries so much about my choice to put my kids in a public school, even an International Baccalaureate school. Insulting....

     
  • Shirley Jones posted at 4:30 pm on Sun, Jan 29, 2012.

    Shirley Jones Posts: 191

    Mr. Kholer’s battle with this district is hypocritical and out of line with the working family. He home schools his own children in the security of a gated community after selling his lake front home. He made his fortune chasing hearses (not a secret), pretends to be defending those less fortunate who attend public school, and most of all, he is “saving" America from the International Baccalaureate. We all know his intention is to align education with his and his cronies' own dogmatic beliefs, and he has no trouble vilifying anyone who crosses his path be it a parent, teacher, principal, or superintendent. He calls them communists, socialists, progressives, liberals, and so forth with out ever actually speaking with them. He proves this time and time again at our school board meetings. It is his way or no way, and like a lawyer he is out to win at any expense. Worse of all, he has no problem posting pictures of those teachers in this district who he finds offensive and ridiculing them. So rant I may be doing, but I am just following the good lawyers example.

     
  • milburnschmidt posted at 2:25 pm on Sun, Jan 29, 2012.

    milburnschmidt Posts: 1161

    Shirleys letter says more about shirley than a contribution to the discussion. One more ridiculous rant like that and we will refer to her as Squirrelly Shirley. As for Mr Kolers beef with the editor you know the old saying dont pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel or who has his finger on the delete button on the web site. And Jeffery even nobodies get to pile on once in awhile thats the american way.

     
  • Mary Souza posted at 10:29 am on Sun, Jan 29, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 788

    Shirley Jones' last comment is an unfair blog attack: I don't know about Mr. Koler's personal life, but does it matter if he home-schools his children? No. He is a taxpayer and has a right to speak about our local education system. Does it matter if Mr. Koler lives in a gated community? No. Class warfare is not appropriate, Shirley. I do know Mr. Koler is an attorney..."hearse chaser", really, Shirley, that's a silly slam. And anyone who read the My Turn column above, realizes that withholding meals from hungry children was never suggested by the author.

    Are these personal attacks an effort to divert attention away from the real issues brought up by Mr. Koler?

    This type of disrespectful, dishonest dialog is ruining this blog and others and it's pushing away those of us who might want to have rational discussions about local issues. Attacks are not allowed over on OpenCdA.com, where you are welcome to sign up and join the conversations.

     
  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 8:25 am on Sun, Jan 29, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Shirley,

    There you go again. He has not denied hungry children meals, he advocates finding out why a child is showing up at school hunger and fixing the problem, not hiding the problem from view. Kholer seems to show more compassion and care for the problem than you seem too.

    Do try to read what is said not just spin it to make spew your hatred.

    I don't know if any of the rest of your rant is true but none of it matters, unless you are into vilifying people by dividing everyone into classes. Class warfare is the modern day segregation and racism, congratulations on showing your true colors.

     
  • Shirley Jones posted at 11:27 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

    Shirley Jones Posts: 191

    Kholer home schools his kids, he lives in a gated community, he chases hearses for a living, and he spends his free time politicizing the CdA school district, he denies hungry children meals. Really, aren’t there better things to do? Shame.

     
  • Mary Souza posted at 10:51 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 788

    Mr. Koler, your words are well written and your opinions responsibly reported. You don't use personal attacks or call names. These are all reasons that make some people, who do not agree with your opinions, feel very upset, and then they act out in immature ways, like anonymous blog attacks.

    Every one of us has a right to our opinion, especially about the publicly supported school system, and everyone's viewpoint should be respected. Thank you for standing up for your rights and thereby the rights of us all.

     
  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 8:37 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Fester,
    I see no name calling of people, just attributes of character on nobodies. If you want to classify yourself with those attributes that is your problem not mine. As far as I can find their are only a dozen or so People on here, the rest are nobodies, useful for entertainment and not much else.

    Why should I walk carful after dark, do you believe in vampires? LOL or are you suggesting you might have the courage to come out of your recesses but not enough to come into the light. ROFL

     
  • uncle fester posted at 3:57 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

    uncle fester Posts: 831

    @Jeff , you tend to call people names that you have no clue about, hope you walk careful after dark

     
  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 2:47 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    BabyDiver,

    The only reasons I have ever heard boil down to one fear or another. Fear by any other name is still fear, and the inability to overcome your fears leads to cowardice. Sorry

     
  • babydriver posted at 2:28 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

    babydriver Posts: 1393

    Jeffrey Wherley, A real MAN!

    I could have other reasons, apart from my cowardliness, for remaining anon.

     
  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 1:33 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Actually fester, I have yet after 3 years posting under my name gotten any harassment and have gotten several "Thank you" and "Wish I could say that". I have gotten calls from political leaders and office holders that were interested in me expanding on some of my opinions. As you asked so well "how about you?"
    I think this alone shows who's opinions get "across". Yours are just entertainment from the dark recesses of cowardice and unaccountability.

     
  • Randy Myers posted at 9:37 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    Koler likes to stir. Once again he has done so. I think that he "doth protest too much" at the affronts, perceived or otherwise. You put yourself out there and you are going to get some flak. Seems he's the type that dishes it better than receives it from my view...which has all been media. On Huckleberries someone called him a textbook classic bully. That may be so. That may be so. At any rate, I'll keep watching to see how this plays out.

     
  • cdanative33 posted at 9:06 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 359

    I find the logic in your rebuttal weak at best. You say that the school district is wrong in attempting to provide choices for the students and their parents because it is an attempt to increase enrollment and subsequently bring in more funds to the district....sounds like capitalism to me. Would you prefer that the district provide less choice? I'm confused...?

    If people don't like IB, they don't have to put their child in it...it's an opt in program. If a parent wants that as an option for their child's education, why do you care?

    Please explain why your so upset that schools feed hungry children?

    "Thanks" for all the time you've put into investigating our school district. Now, do us all a favor and find a new hobby.

     
  • uncle fester posted at 7:24 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    uncle fester Posts: 831

    After reading this "letter" I don't think I like the writer either. He needs to get a hobby. @Jeff, you want to put your name on a blog, good for you. I get my opinions across without any further harassment away from the blog, how about you?

     
  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:48 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    College coaches make in excess of 1 million per year. Some of that if not most comes from the general education fund which equates to over 20 general education teacher salaries. Some coaches have MULTI million dollar contracts. Now there is talk about PAYING college athletes above and beyond their FREE education, room, board, cars, and other perks.

    Disgusting!

     
  • inclined posted at 6:25 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 682

    Koler responds to what might be a legal issue, putting slander in print.

    He is establishing a preponderance of evidence. Those not use to evidence, nor suited for it, in a state of mind that cannot tolerate or deal with grounds of belief, records, documents and testimony, might here be revealing a framework that details their working understanding and relationships, obligations, responsibilities, duty, and so forth, in a relative environment, where the court and law does not work well for you. Ideals, facts, conditions for contracts, are all relative to your center of opinion and consideration. Whereas Mr. Koler functions in the discipline of rules and standards established and in force for everyone’s best interest.

    I understand the disdain some of you have for this man. We are all kinds. Oddly, it is the rule of law that makes possible yours and my liberty, our freedoms. And I bet this man is the kind that is in a monogamous marriage, has not aborted children, has not lost children to rebellion, does in fact contribute to charity, does not cheat on taxes, isn’t a gambler, doesn’t run around, volunteers time, gets along with peers, is not given to dissipation, wasteful, a prodigal himself, a spendthrift, lives inside his means, does not love his sports and hobbies at the expense of his family, or those that once cared for him, modest, never divorced, no lover of pornography, upright and moral. This is a nasty man.

    And there is the rule of moral law. Inherent in that, is the rule that says if you reject moral law, you hate any vestige of rule of law in those that want it to decide their lives. Strangely, you hate selfishness in others, but to your nature, you hate light, or the shinning that differentiates real goodness from what you know to be you. You advertise your disgust and reveal you tend to love number one. Your life is about relative “truth”. It would be interesting for the public to see you.

     
  • mister d posted at 5:59 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    It's amazing schools do as well as they do with all that is thrown at them now a days. The current crop of students have less manners than many of their parents and many of them lack the work ethic needed to be successful. It's silly to look at the school problem without looking at the parent problem Those that support their children educationally, seem to succeed.

     
  • hayden_guy posted at 5:00 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    hayden_guy Posts: 399

    yoWhatHuh- The article that you linked to says " Currently, 629 schools have football teams — 132 more than in 1980. And all but 14 of them lose money, including some with national names"

    According to your link only 14 college teams make money, that means 615 college football programs lose money. Where do they get their money from (and where do the other sports get their money from)?
    "And teams cost money — often lots of it. Varsity golf at Duke, open to both genders, costs an estimated $20,405 per player per year. Because there are no revenues for most sports, the deficits often have to be covered by tuition bills."

    Tuition costs are paying for college sports. Seems to me that tuition should go to pay for more professors, smaller classes, more class offerings... student (not athlete) things. But, that is the wacky world I live in.

    I would love to see a study like this done on high school sports and how much they cost us. There are a few, like for right now there is a chance that CDA High football is making money since they have been state champs for 2 years in a row, but I am guessing Post Falls, Lewiston, these other schools that are not doing as well as losing money (along with all the other sports at the school).

     
  • YoWhatHuh posted at 4:38 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    YoWhatHuh Posts: 5

    @Always Curios. I stand corrected. What I should have said is football brings in millions for colleges. Your article reads like only 14 college FOOTBALL teams make money. But take a look at this article...

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/12/opinion/la-oe-dreifushacker-college-cost-20100912

    Football does turn a profit and has to support all other athletics on top of that.

     
  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 4:17 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Mr Koler,

    I do agree with your condemnation of all the Anonymity on these pages. Anyone not willing to Stand behind the comments they make are Cowards and even when they may have a valid point, their points get wasted because of their fear to openly support them. I have found on sites that demand a positive ID also have more open, deep and courteous contributers. Personally I was taught as a child to not say or do anything unless you were willing to put your name to it, and put up with any consequences. My parents started with that lesson with discipline and rewards to fit my judgements in actions, and the Education system America used to have continued with similar needs to stand for the work and actions I presented for Grade(A-F).

    Do as I do, Consider these anonymous people as the cheep entertainment they are. Their opinions are worth absolutely no more than that, as long has they are unwilling to champion them with their name. Any argument that they have to stay anonymous because of their importance in the community or retribution is only proof of their cowardice and lack of importances.

    Just My Opinion, but as you can see, I stand behind it.

     
  • DeNiles posted at 3:43 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    It should be clear that the more any gov't taxes its citizens the harder it is for them to support their families and participate in their children's education. There was a time when the K-12 public systems did not provide the depth of these social systems and the students who graduated were in fact better educated. It is also true that currently it is the volume of student body's that translates into more funding $$$$ and not the caliber of their education. IF, the systems worked then people like this disgruntled man would not be so disgruntled. I know a number of educators and they all say that the system is not working. I read annually where more tax $$$$ is demanded by the system that is not working because they say they need more tax $$$ to make it work. Return to the 1st sentence.

    It is frustrating. At the very least please return some serious discipline to the schools so kids who want to learn can have a better opportunity to learn.

     
  • Always Curious posted at 3:42 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    Always Curious Posts: 460

    Actually YoWhatHuh the facts don't support your commonly held misbelief. The link below is just one article that a little research will show that college athletics is actually a tremendous drain on limited financial resources that have caused tuitions to skyrocket over the past decade(s).

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/12/opinion/la-oe-dreifushacker-college-cost-20100912

    As for Mr. Koler, while I don't agree with some of his views while I do agree with others (of his views).

     
  • YoWhatHuh posted at 2:21 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    YoWhatHuh Posts: 5

    @Ziggy - I have to strongly disagree with your opinion about "teaching" sport in schools. The money generated by sports in both high school and college far out way the cost. Why do you think universities give scholarships to athletes? They bring in millions for the school.

    Based on your logic a school like Boise State should get rid of the football program to reduce costs. Am I reading that right?

     
  • Screen Name posted at 1:12 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    Screen Name Posts: 757

    "If Johnny routinely comes to school on Monday hungry, shouldn’t someone look into why?"

    Mr. Kohler, let's think about why first?

    Parents have no money to buy food, are not home, are working, are dead, don't care about feeding Johnny, are alcoholics, are drug addicts, did not wants kids to begin with, are single parents, are unemployed, etc, etc. None of those reasons are Johnny's fault.

    Mr. Kohler, you don't strike me as a "grow government" type of guy. However, are you suggesting that some government agency investigate every allegation that Johnny is hungry and then impose some sort of social program to deal with it? Should the government take hungry kids into a "feeding home" and care for them until age 18? Perhaps put the parents in jail for not feeding Johnny? You did hear about the lack of space in the jail, right? Who is the "someone" that should look into it and what should that "someone" do? It is easy to criticize as you do, it is more difficult to actually solve problems which you don't.

    Not every citizen of Kootenai County lives in your income tax bracket. "Why is Johnny hungry?" That question reminds me of Pres. Bush I who was so out of touch with the common person that he was amazed by the check out scanner at the supermarket. Mr. Kohler you are so out of touch that you really have no idea what goes on in the lives of children who go to school hungry.

    Perhaps you could be that "someone" who looks into the problem of child hunger in our community. Would like to donate some of your time or money to help solve this problem instead of criticizing those that do? Probably not. I suspect you believe "someone" else should do it.

     
  • Why Not posted at 12:27 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 4148

    Hello Duncan, one of those pseudonyms here; hiding behind my keyboard and monitor to once again lambast you for narrow minded views on public education. You are absolutely correct that that public schools, here and across this great nation have become a gigantic social service bureaucracy. So much so that 3R’s are actually secondary to surrogate parenting, teaching proper social kills and even keeping peace. That Mr. Duncan is a reflection on society and there is nothing we can do short of segregation that will fix it. Schools for the haves and have not’s, for English and non English speaking students, for challenged and so called normal children; the list goes on. It would be impossible to build schools for every socially challenged and economically or skills deficient group just to teach each the basics proficiently. Take the blinders off. Public schools have a lot on the plate. Not to mention that not all kids learn the same way. Pottery class might be the thing that keeps some kid in school, out of trouble and inspires them to actually learn math or to improve their reading. Mr. Duncan thankfully most people don’t think like you, including Mike Patrick, who I might add does a fine job.

     
  • hayden_guy posted at 12:24 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    hayden_guy Posts: 399

    Idaho Constitution- "ARTICLE IX
    EDUCATION AND SCHOOL LANDS

    SECTION 1. LEGISLATURE TO ESTABLISH SYSTEM OF FREE SCHOOLS. The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho, to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools."

    Why is your idea of "thorough" better than someone else's idea of thorough. What is thorough for your child is not thorough for my child. By way of the constitution the district must provide education to as many children as possible.

    Let us not forget the had it not been for a calligraphy class that Steve Jobs attended, we may not have the Mac, and thus all computing as well know it today.

    What was thorough education 20 years ago is not thorough now. Creativity that students learn in the elective classes is what will help them go further in life and in their careers. Creativity and coming up with better ways of doing things can not be taught to a test, it must be explored, must have trial and error, and must be a passion from the students.

    Mr. Koler, you are an angry bitter person. Do you realize that the Press is using you for their publicity? Controversy increases their sales of papers as well as hits to pages such as this. Why else would they run this diatribe from you?

    "Mike, you crossed the line by twisting my words, mischaracterizing my comments and inspiring unjustified attacks on my character on your anonymous blog." Mike is not the only one that twists words. Your whole basis is founded on twisted words.

     
  • Ziggy posted at 11:59 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    Ziggy Posts: 1121

    You have valid points. I, too, question some of the frivolous classes offered in many districts. The products of American education are evident when we have senators saying, "the founding fathers got rid of slavery" or "civil rights should have been voted on."
    In my work, I once heard a graduate student of an Ivy League school say, "I don't know much about history. What happened on Dec 7th?" after I had made a comment on that day.
    Also the "teaching" of sports is questionable. Does the school pay for my child's ballet lessons? No and they shouldn't. However they do pay for someone else's child's football lessons. And colleges continue this insantiy. Pro sports should pick up the tab for college aged future pro athletes and leave the education to the universities.
    As a former teacher I observe several things: the bright students are as bright or brighter than they ever were but all of them have parents who are totally involved in their child's schooling.
    You have a point when you say someone should investigate why these children are hungry all weekend? I don't begrudge the children their weekend food at all, but someone should look into the reason they are not being fed.
    Lastly, anonymity. I agree with Mike Patrick that free speech and a healthy interchange of ideas is important. The reason that people remain anonymous is that there are crazy people out there who would look you up and do you harm just for having an opposing view. Also, there are writers who, being at the 5th grade level of maturity, think that calling people with opposing views names is relevant. It only shows their ignorance. Any writing teacher will tell you that that is the easiest and the most juvenile way to respond to an opponent and that type of rhetoric would not be allowed by any good teacher. Oviously these people were not paying attention in the 5th grade.

     
  • babydriver posted at 11:07 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    babydriver Posts: 1393

    Wow.

    I apologize for preferring anonymity, it helps me when being under attack, and I’m sure you know what that is like.

    Yes, the blogging at times seems like a cesspool, but always? There are plenty of us that agree with you.

     
  • immortal posted at 11:04 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

    immortal Posts: 258

    Wasn't it in Hamlet where one of the characters said, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Koler needs to remember that in this country he is entitled to his own opinion, as are others to think it's (expletive deleted) worthless.

     
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