Wednesday, March 19, 2008

EDITORIAL: Aspirations No Substitute for Proper Vetting

The 160-plus individuals who attended the School District of Lancaster's school board meeting on Tuesday evening all shared aspirations for providing a better scientific education for youngsters. A show of hands indicated 90% or more audience support for the proposed charter school.

With few exceptions, speaker after speaker approved of the program, many saying "What do we have to lose?" (The answer not given: At least $5 million and the education of youngsters if the school does not pan out.)

As indicated by an extensive article posted last week, NewsLanc is neutral concerning charter schools, believing their feasibility depends upon the knowledge and reputation of their sponsors and the intended principal, adequate funding, and special needs. We reviewed the proposed Science School web site but found little if anything of substance posted.

After failing to generate information through a Google search, NewsLanc engaged professional investigators to spend two or three hours searching public records concerning the out of town board member who was supposed to bring experience to the project. Their search also turned up little information, let alone anything to suggest much experience, special competence or leadership accomplishments.

Apparently what NewsLanc suspected from the paucity of available information was determined in detail by the research conducted by the school system's staff and advisers.

Let us pursue our aspirations. But let us make sure that we are not being manipulated by those who would exploit our aspirations for our children either out of naivety or their own ambitions and profit.