I Know You Are, But What Am I?

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

“Highly inefficient, if not immoral.” That is a phrase that brings to mind many
different kinds of bad behavior and debauchery. From Lamar Odom’s weekend in Vegas to the Ram’s moving to Los Angeles my
mind runs wild. My mind does NOT turn to
the decisions made by Kansas school board members on behalf of our
students. Reasonable minds might differ
on what is inefficient, but moral judgments reach a higher level and should not
be made lightly.  
A dictionary definition of the word leaves out the emotion,
simply stating, “relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior.” In popular usage, the word is emotion and
value-laden. Great minds have written broadly on the subject of moral
behavior. In practice, it is an
emotion-laden term that gets personal fast.
The first draft of this blog, which was written Wednesday
morning after the State of the State Speech, was pretty snarky. When the speech forwarded the idea that school
board members make immoral decisions it did not sit well with me. My first reaction was a lengthy diatribe that
upon further review could be summed up with what my sister used to say to me,
“I know you are, but what am I.”

It’s a great way to aggravate your younger brother, but it
doesn’t really advance the discussion. Being
more mature, when my grandmother had to intervene in these nanny, nanny, boo
boo fights, we had to sit down for what she called “devotionals.” For a ten-year-old boy on a farm with horses
to ride, creeks to dam, forts to build, and kittens to catch, this was worse
punishment than a beating from Adrian Peterson.
So my sister and I would be forced to read and discuss
Mathew 5:39 “whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as
well” or Thessalonians 5:15 “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong, but always
strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” At the time, I was seething and didn’t much
care for the message, kind of like I was Wednesday morning. But this morning when I was out for a morning
run the words came back to me. I will take my grandma’s advice and not my 10-year-old self’s.
The business of educating Kansas students is too important
for pettiness, name-calling, and snark. 
Sure it is fun, but it doesn’t advance the cause of education in
Kansas. So let’s knock it off. Thanks to the Kansas State Board of
Education, we have a new vision for Kansas education. Now we have to decide what we want from
our schools, and how we pay for it. Can we focus on that instead of making policy by anecdote and trying to
find problems for ready-made solutions? The Kansas State Board did it; can school leaders and the leaders in
Topeka do it?
The day of the state of the state speech, an alliance of The
United School Administrators, Kansas School Superintendents Association, Kansas
National Education Association, and Kansas Association of School Boards issued
a statement asking for a partnership with the Governor and Legislature to
improve Kansas public education.  <http://www.kasb.org/wcm/_NB/16/NB0112b.aspx>   Let’s cut the
political rhetoric and focus on what Kansas students need from their schools
and how to pay for it.

(For an analysis of the 65% idea, please check out Ted Carter’s Blog  http://kasbresearch.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-myth-of-65.html)