1 min read
Posted on 12.16.07
  • 1 min read
  • Posted on 12.16.07

Which is the greater evil, being called out as a "racist" every week or so by a newspaper pundit, or staying silent about problematic management and direction of the St. Louis public schools and the St. Louis Fire Department?

The St. Louis Fire Department — once one of the country’s most celebrated fire services — has been paralyzed by indecision for years. Just two months ago, fully one-third of its management positions were vacant; critical choices about deployment and training were unmade; and firefighters had no credible advocate on issues of compensation and retirement.

The St. Louis public school district — once the state’s best — has been failing children, parents, and other taxpayers for years. At the time a reform slate of school board candidates I supported was elected, the school district was insolvent and its curriculum was demonstrably insufficient to prepare a majority of its students for lives as citizens, workers, or parents.

Some problems won’t just solve themselves, particularly if we don’t talk about them.