Sunday, January 23, 2011

Civility, MEQ's, and testing the waters

These are the themes of today's Courier Times editorial page. First comes an interesting Courier editorial entitled Let's give it a try in which the Ed board states, "Parents call for a time out when kids lose the ability to reason. Therapists likewise advocate timeouts as a means of restoring order when tempers flare . . . And so let us suggest a cooling off - and a renewed effort by negotiators on both sides to work in an amicable way toward an agreement that both sides can live with. Folks on the sidelines, including those who attend meetings, can help foster a new spirit of cooperation and respect by softening their approach as well."

Further down the same page Feasterville resident Robert Lanhan wants to let them (teachers) test the waters elsewhere if they do not think the community is not treating them fairly.
And finally, one page over is a guest opinion from Louise Boyd defending that a certified master's program is nationally recognized, in which she states that "Neshaminy students are the beneficiaries of improved instruction by teachers who are adapting the latest practices and the most up-to-date knowledge to their classrooms."

It's not a bad idea if we can dial down the angry rhetoric a notch, but we cannot lose sight of the financial reality we find ourselves in. And any positive, feel-good emotions we can bring to the negotiations can only last as long as progress is made. Remember, it is three years of an impasse that has brought about community frustration, not the other way around.

In the meantime all eyes look ahead to this Thursday's meeting between Ritchie Webb and Louise Boyd. Let us all take a breath and cross our fingers, and hope for the best. But both sides should keep one important thing in mind . . . renewed public anger is just one bad negotiation session away.

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