Thursday, April 15, 2010

Throwing the Language Red Flag on "Synergy," "Patron,""Stakeholder" and "It's About What's Best for the Children"

I'm a great believer in straight, honest talk in the political/government arena. I notice though that creeping into the lexicon are meaningless or misleading words and phrases, many of which I would like to permanently ban. Here are a few.

The Mayor talks at length about "synergy" and "synergies" with regard to the water/sewer utility utility deal and even quantifies specifically savings that will result therefrom.

"Synergy" means:
"The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects."
To even begin to try to quantify dollar figures as savings from "synergy" is pie in the sky stuff. "Synergy" is a meaningless word that politicians use when their proposal is lacking in substance.

In the education arena I am hearing "stakeholder" and "patron." Schools politicians say they are looking out for "patrons" or "stakeholders" in their decisions. "Patron" basically means a "customer." "Stakeholder" refers to someone who has an interest in something. Both are terms that seek to limit to whom schools officials owe a responsibility. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. The School Board and administration's duty isn't limited the other 20% of the Pike residents who have children in Pike schools. They owe a duty to the 100% of the taxpayers and voters who live in Pike. For once I'd like to hear an administrator or school board member talk about what they owe to the taxpayers.

Staying on the education front, any variation of "It's about what is best for the children." I am so sick of those in the education field using the supposed best interest of the children to try to justify everything they do even when it's more about themselves than the children. The Pike administrators in particular are very fond of using "the good of the children" argument to try to justify their adult decisions. Be honest about the reasons for decisions are and cut out the BS claim it's always about what is best for the kids.

Speaking of which, I do have one major objection to the forum last night. The "pro" referendum side used two children in their presentation. That is absolutely unacceptable. This issue of how to vote on the school referendum is an adult matter. Exploiting children for either side in wrong. That is something I have been consistent about throughout my political life. Children simply don't have the real world experiences necessary to make the adult decision of which side to support in a political dispute. Adults should not be using children to make political points. Doing that is definitely not what is in the best interests of the children.


Pike22 said...

This goes to prove that you really have no clue. This IS about the children. We cannot have someone like you making decisions about anyone but YOU. Please stay out of the lives of our children in Pike Township. Go back to your self serving life and leave the future of the children of Pike Township to the people who have the kids best interests in mind.

I have yet to hear an honest word come out of your mouth. I was at the meeting and came away with an even lower opinion of you than before. Before you speak on a subject, please do your homework and study the subject. You have not been to Guion Creek Elementary since 1997 (other than to step into the Gym to vote in 2009) so how can you speak about the condition of the school?

Please explain why you feel the kids do not "deserve" (your words) a new school?

Marycatherine Barton said...

Looks like a lot of vigorous battling going on in Pike.
At the least, the voters deserve truthfully, impartially authorized, and legally and fairly presented tax referendum.

Joe said...

Your remarks sound reasonable. I'm on a school board too. I get sick of these random ad hominem attacks like the poster above. They offer nothing, no rebuttals, no relevant arguments, they just don't like what you are saying. No doubt it sounds like you can be abrupt and forthright and are trying to dig through the mountain of horsesh** like 'stakeholders' and 'synergy' and bla bla bla. People don't like that when they are used to everyone always saying the same thing at the same meetings. Good luck. Though, since this was five years ago you probably already gave up.