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Russell Scanlon

My experience after 30 plus years in the education business is that there are lots of people who want to dump their “problems” into the public education system and then blame the teachers when things go bad. By then the rich white people have already arranged to have their precious darlings go to expensive private schools where they are shielded from such unpleasantries.

Prince Michael Jauregui

Mr. Scanlon, I sincerely commend you for your immeasurable contributions to We, The People. Personally, I'm indebted to a handful of New Mexico public school educators and their names are embedded within my soul. Thank-you again, sir.

Khal Spencer

Heh. Teachers get kids six hours a day. Parents, if they are not AWOL, get them the rest of the time. The schools should not be a whipping boy for everyone else's failures.

With the left, its "defund the police". With the right, its "defund public education". Both are dumb ideas. As far as private K-12? We had a private school some of the upper crust kids from my town went to and then a Catholic school. But most of the town was solidly middle/working class and made sure the public school was well funded and staffed with good teachers. Well most of them were pretty good. No one who went to my high school could blame the school if they were a loser. And, we didn't have kooks calling the public schools "Government Schools" as a pejorative.

Miranda Viscoli

Meth and gun violence. It happens every week in our state.

Prince Michael Jauregui

While fast-forwarding past the peanut gallery and their simplistic perspectives on profoundly complex socioeconomic inequalities, presented under the guise of "culture" and "community", I noted, Mr. David Brown's observation as most powerful -and truthful. By far.

Tragically, by all appearances, this was another drug deal gone very bad.

Still, as a mixed-Hispano male raised -for the most part- in New Mexico, I can unequivocally state: For every Phill Casaus, there are five potential Matthew Arellanos and three potential victims. Those, that cannot and will not transcend The Stacked Deck that their own country has willfully and craftily dealt to them. Be clear: Hispano/Latino and Native-Americans have long been relegated to a 4th-class citizenry and worker-ant existence - by design. Yet, while personal responsibility can never be excused, -especially in drug deals gone very bad- in the words of an elderly Pentecostal preacher: "Prince, when you tell the Truth, son, you gotta tell it all."

"So-so Society called, tried to put me in check/but they could only get through 1-800-collect/in neglect and denial of the seeds they've sown/deaf to the cry of Tomorrow, and my busy, busy tone...." The Gangsta of Love (c)1997 Jonah Productions/Melchizedek Muse Music

Khal Spencer

Money has no loyalties except to itself and its holders. I give Jim credit for trying to motivate students but if there is a glass ceiling on their lives, the reality will set in fast. The Good Life folks and investment banks bidding up little homes in Santa Fe to the point where most locals are S-O-L undoubtedly see themselves as decent people; don't pay any attention to that man behind the curtain.

Back in Buffalo, as the factories closed down and industries outsourced overseas, those who depended on the decent, if dirty, blue collar jobs were basically told that it sucked to be them. Imagine the same for the rest of the Rust Belt. Retrain yourself. Well, that is a mouthful. I'm sure those who have theirs are happy the lakefront is now parkland but if you needed a factory job because you were not the A student, you are not gonna get one. Fries with that, sir?

I can't stand going back to Buffalo now. The "haves" in the medical-technological complex that drives the "rebirth" can buy 200 year old homes on the old west side and rebuild them into multi million dollar mansions with gorgeous slate roofs. Over on the East side (where I was a kid for a while) it's desolation row. Rap songs work all over the U.S. but rather than fix the problem, we elect folks like Trump to promise us scapegoats. Today its Asians.

My youngest brother, still living in Buffalo, has worked a series of dead end jobs for decades. Part of that is definitely his own choosing; he is not stupid, just uninspired. Part of the problem is there are few of those factory jobs where you could eventually pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, so to speak, as my stepdad did in the sixties. There ain't no room for error any more in the Journey of Life and as you say, Prince, some folks got asphalt highways and some got dirt roads.

But still, if you are stupid enough to go armed to buy meth and pick a fight, what is the individual's part of the responsibility for making the right choices? That lifestyle is foreign to a lot of us. If you look at crime maps, they are also poverty maps and minority maps. We can try to round up the guns, but I don't see anyone trying to round up the despair. Its a little like the fire triangle: cut out any one of the three legs and the problem goes away.

Khal Spencer

Albuquerque Journal story.


Brian Weiss

"Arellano said he "did not mean to kill anyone,"

Yeah, I mean who would think that shooting AND stabbing someone would kill them? And everyone knows that if you act in self defense, the right course of action is to flee the scene.

Russell Scanlon

This is one of the saddest stories I have read in a long time.

We really need to be putting a lot more time, money, and effort into our education system—especially K-6.

Khal Spencer

You can lead horses to water, Russell. If a culture doesn't take education seriously, its hard for the education system to be a miracle worker. Maybe we should canonize good teachers, and not posthumously.

My wife taught English at a community college for 20 years. She lamented that although the state of Hawaii made CC practically free, students often did not take it seriously and dropped out or did poorly. It was the returning students who came back after some life experiences and decided the "ding, fries ready" lifestyle was not for them. Or sometimes, the straight A student was someone who had served time and was released from jail who decided that he (usually he) really wanted to turn his or her life around.

Jim Klukkert

Khal, I commend your wife for her effort [ and her better understanding in general :–} ] but I wonder if by the time the young folks are in CC if the opportunity has past by most of them. I found a Community as Curriculum effective with my 4 to 6 graders. At the high school graduation of some of those kids, I was besieged with requests for Community Service Projects.

The recent story about kids researching the health and environmental impacts on their community, regarding the relocation of an asphalt plant, perhaps serve as a good example of 'Community as Curriculum.'

The problem with 'Community as Curriculum,' as evidenced in the Comments section of that story, is that young people get engaged with their community, get engaged with their future, and then want to make a difference in their lives and for their community.

Such engagement, dare I say empowerment, leads to conflicts with the power establishment, as well as those who perceive folks, young or old, concerned for the health of their community or themselves, as a threat to the economy.

You will perhaps recall David Brown's comments on this topic. Oh well, so it goes...

Anyway Khal, if we can steer towards study of what actually concerns these young people, we might discover they are highly motivated to have some control over their lives. If on the other hand, young folks are understandably dismayed at their prospects, we should understand that with little time nor satisfaction anticipated, young folks will gravitate to sex, drugs and rock and roll.

In these times of Ice Nine, best to you and the wife.

David Brown

Mr. Klukkert with teachers like you in charge what could possibly go wrong? Let me count the ways ..... time is not of the essence...neither is logic. Frankl if all the

Santa Fe teach staff is as pedantic ‘community as curriculum’ trolls one can’t blame students for turning to sex drugs and rock n roll.

Khal Spencer

The bottom line is engagement and hope. I suspect you are right that you need to instill both of those early on before the young 'uns get detached and disillusioned.

God, I don't remember what drove me in 4th - 6th grade, but I was in those grades during the mid sixties when there was still a sense of optimism in my community. Good union jobs, good public schools; a good job was a guarantee of a decent middle or working class life. At least where I lived.

I have a work colleague who has relatives who grew up here and she tells me there is not always that sense of optimism or a sense that effort pays off. If you burn out hope, then what you get is as you say, sex, drugs, and maybe rock and roll. And I don't think any of that three is what it used to be...

Related story of how home prices have been driven beyond the reach of most of the folks who live here. These stories are the canaries in the coal mines telling us the whole sociology is, as Tom Petty might say, upside down and inside out. And yellow...

Jim Klukkert

David Brown is going to have to repeat elementary school. Master Brown obviously has not learned that he is not allowed to name school, nor has he learned to do his homework.

Keep this up Master Brown, and I will have to send you to the Principal's Office! [cool]

Russell Scanlon

It has to be K-6. And there need to be more male teachers in those early years—and absolutely no offense intended to all the great women educators—but boys that age need more positive male role models.

It’s kind of obvious to point out that it’s primarily young men who are filling up the prisons and morgues. Just like the young men in this sad episode.

I’m not for just throwing money at things but gosh—maybe if we paid teachers a wage where a man (or woman) could provide for their family, that would help. It seems like in this area, our society, so rich with capital and resources, is pathetically miserly.

Khal Spencer

Spot on. As it happens, my 5th and 6th grade teachers were men. I still remember their names, too. I think at least one of them went back to school on the GI Bill. Many of the teachers in my middle and high school were men. Back then, you could make a living at teaching.

But parenting is important, too. The role models start in the home and community. I read too many stories about dysfunction and suspect a lot of teachers are doing damage control. How do kids grow up to be young men who are scoring meth, looking for a fight, and getting into shootouts?

david J.

And the Federal reserve tells us there is no inflation! Have they looked at Meth prices?

Khal Spencer

"...Two women were with Hernandez and his friend moments before the shooting, the affidavit said. They told police they had seen Hernandez and a young man with a skateboard arguing over the price of methamphetamine...."

Yeah. Drugs and hotheads and weapons. What could possibly go wrong?

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