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The Wire and my new social conscience

While I usually try to avoid serious topics on this here blog, having spent the past three weeks watching HBO’s The Wire, I feel it’s time I waxed poetic about the seedy underbelly of Baltimore City. As a viewer of The Wire, I am an expert on the matter, no doubt.

Okay, actually, I admit I am no expert, but the show was fantastic. And even though the series ended in 2008, the issues it addressed: problems with inner city schools, social care, drug enforcement, police resources and development processes, newspaper pressures and political jockeying are still widely prevalent.  Like the show demonstrates, there are no easy solutions, or maybe solutions even, because there are so many various factors that could impede any sort of progress.

That having been said, I’m still frustrated when I hear about money in school systems. For example, The Chester Upland School district is on the verge of going broke.  Any time budget cuts affect schools, I get really upset because I cannot think of anything more important than educating children. What project was so important that it warranted a governor cutting 866 million dollars from the school system budget? State senator Dominic Pileggi said, “I can tell you, there’s no appetite, there’s no appetite to just simply keep sending money without accountability.” What does this even mean? Were they writing blank checks before? Obviously not. But if so – whose fault is that? Is he asking to see some kind of business plan for the school system? Should the students be holding more bake sales? I find this outrageous and I hope his constituents find it unacceptable as well.



Published in Thoughtful Reflection


  1. Whitney Whitney

    Just to be a pain in the ass …

    This chart is why.

    Yes, there has been a virtual blank check and little, if any, accountability in most public school districts. Look into how difficult it is to fire an under-performing teacher in most public school districts. And look at how much money goes to bureaucrats instead of actual teaching and students. And look at the ridiculousness of new school facilities (most likely not the problem in this particular situation, though) – how much of that is really necessary to the education of these kids when so many are dropping out and can’t succeed at the basic levels?

    It has to stop somewhere. No, the school shouldn’t go bankrupt, but taxpayers should be demanding to know why a district can’t make it with so much money being sent its way (Yes, even with budget cuts. What spending did they cut with each round of budget cuts?). If it’s not going to the schools, where is it going?

  2. admin admin

    You’re right – accountability and transparency in all organizations is really important.

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