Standard of Success

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 09/02/2007 - 09:18.


Today's Plain Dealer again chronicles the "horror" of living in the city and validates the decision of all the suburbanites that have chosen to flee.  Sister Regina touches on the crux of the real problem in her column today.  Standards.  The school district is changing the standard for success by imposing a dress code.  The City of Cleveland needs to set the same standard for our neighborhoods.  The new second district police commander gets it. 

Now, we have to let our kids know that success is not defined as "getting away with anything you feel like doing."  Kids in the suburbs want to know that heady feeling, which is why they come to the city to "let off steam."  I heard grumblings this week from the kids that uniforms imposed a culture on them.  That has been the typical response from the adults, too. 

Do we in the city really want to define "success" and "culture" as a run-down house with blaring music and untended toddlers playing in the street?  Let's start setting the standards now.

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City Mantra

Live from the nut tree.  If you do decide to live in the city, it is helpful to repeat a mantra modified to suit your own particular fears.  Keep repeating..."I am not AFRAID of..."  The residents described in today's PD article are doing just that.  On this holiday weekend, a young girl was shot in the city and it's horrific, a tragedy that we need to prevent from happening again, but 24 people also died on the highway.  We all pick and choose our fears.  Perception is not reality.

Setting new standards

I've noticed two interesting visuals the past few weeks...
Driving down Lakeview early in the morning I am amazed by the swarms of school kids walking to the many schools of all grade levels on the street... the kids all look very neat in their matching uniforms but I don't know if I like the practice). It is really nice to be some place where you see kids walking to school
And driving any where in Cleveland these days there are many more police cars on patrol and they are much more visible than usual... and the folks on the street know it, feel it and are changing their bahavior.

Disrupt IT

Kids' parents and a Good Society

 Council rep Nina Turner commented in today's PD about giving up on the parents and their generation.  I know how she feels.  But I also feel a hopeful shift imposed by the uniforms.  It's almost as if the kids have the dignity their parents lack and parents are forced to reevaluate their own behavior.  I do know that we have to build on this momentum.  In my own work environment, some managers want to lax the standards for library card usage and proof of identity, which goes against all common sense. 

How can I tell a kid not to lie, not to steal and to be responsible for the materials they borrow from the library, when I know that their parents will have a hey-day with the proposed policy?  The standard for success passed on to some of these kids has been "see how much you can you can get away with and how much you can get for free."  No accountability.  Is this really the standard we want for our kids?  Cleveland Public Library will hold a series of town hall meetings this fall.  Please make yourself heard.

(BTW, the city is no place for armchair liberals. Ask yourself, if you decide to send your boys to the University School, would you have a problem with uniforms?)

similarities

"The standard for success passed on to some of these kids has been "see how much you can you can get away with and how much you can get for free."  No accountability.  Is this really the standard we want for our kids?"
Are you describing kids or the elected morass? Or the Ohio Manufacturers Association members? It makes an interesting parallel.

Standards

Our society needs some good cataloguers.