The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Community values

Yesterday I asked what values would come into play if a school was trying to decide how they feel about adding more school courses or programs at a school.

Here's the quick review.

All issues that schools face are essentially a tug-of-war between four terminal values.

1. Liberty - freedom, right to choose, privacy, individuality
2. Equality - equity, fairness, justice, tolerance, a level playing field
3. Community- sense of belonging, unity, togetherness, safety, security, social and moral order
4. Prosperity- value, profit, benefit, efficiency, return on investment, standard of living

If a school community was debating whether or not to add more courses or programs at a school, the values at odds with one another would be liberty and prosperity. The decision to add more individual course selections and choices for more students must be weighed against the costs to other programs or in some states the board might have to consider tax increases in order to provide a more expansive program. How you feel about adding the new courses depends on the context of the situation. How much will it cost? Is it worth it? Is it only my kid it concerns? Do I consider all kids or only MY grandkids? How much weight do I put on individual choices versus the cost to provide them? Liberty vs. Prosperity

Here's one for tomorrow.

How do you feel about selling pop and soft drinks in schools?

What values are at odds with one another?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you feel about selling pop and soft drinks in schools?

1. Liberty- Students for the most part are under 18 and have less rights. Parents though should have a say or vote in the sale of soft drinks in schools since we are the ones paying for the pop itself, doctor bills, dentist bills, and for larger clothing (think weight gain).
2. Equality- Lower income students do not have the luxury of buying soft drinks...but if they are purchasing soft drinks but receive free or reduced priced lunches that is not fair to tax payers.
3. Community- Social and moral order- I would assume (I know we shouldn't assume things!) that soft drinks would make for less order because of the affects of the sugar and caffeine. I doubt teachers and classmates enjoy the after affects of students that are affected by the sugar and caffeine.
4. Value- None for students
Profit- Only for the school (And where does that profit go? Who decides where the profit goes?)
Benefit- None for students! Pop is not a healthy choice for students.
Efficiency- *shrugging my shoulders* Are hyper students more efficient?
Return on investment- I'm sure the school makes a profit.
Standard of living- Pop is not necessary to maintain your standard of living.

As a parent I'm against pop in schools because it makes the school hypocritical. On one side you have the schools (health teachers) teaching students about the food pyramid and how pop falls under junk food and has no value. On the other hand you have the cafeterias pushing pop, ice cream, Gatorade, and other unhealthy snacks. The Gatorade only makes sense if a student has been involved in a very physical activity and needs fluid replacement but again there is a better choice, water.
IMHO I think schools should be following through on what the teachers are teaching the students and consider what the gov. advises children should consume to be fit and healthy. How many obese children are there in America now compared to back in the old days (now I sound like my mom) when schools only served the lunches under the guidelines of the government? What's next? Cigarette and condom sales to students over 18? It's up to the schools to be responsible and draw the line somewhere when it comes to money making ideas.

anonymous2 said...

Anonymous, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. One point of clarification. To my knowledge pop is not available to students during the school day. I do not believe I have ever been to school when pop was available in the cafeterias or available to students as part of a free lunch. If I am incorrect, please respond, but that is my experience.

Anonymous said...

Interesting quesitons & comments...

While I agree that we may be sending an unhealthy message by selling pop in school, we currently sell unhealthy snacks, ice cream and treats during lunch. The reason? It's a money maker. So, why not pop? Or if not pop, then why sell chips and other junk food?

Also, I'm offended by the statement regarding the tax payer suffering because a student on free and reduced lunch may purchase a pop. Who are you to judge these families and their life syle? A student buying a pop does not mean that they are not deserving of free or reduced lunch.
I recommend reading Ruby Payne's "Frameworks of Poverty" and opening your mind to a different way of life that is hard for us to understand.

It is easy to see why there are so many issues here and why change is difficult. You just can please all the people all of the time, and therefore, it is easier to stay stagnant, rather than move forward.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. One point of clarification. To my knowledge pop is not available to students during the school day. I do not believe I have ever been to school when pop was available in the cafeterias or available to students as part of a free lunch. If I am incorrect, please respond, but that is my experience."
Pop machines in North Webster Elementary have in the past (I have no child there currently) been on and available for read-ins, field trips, at 3:05 (some days there was a line of kids buying pop then making a mad dash out to their bus), and in the teacher's lounge.
"Who are you to judge these families and their life syle?"
It's the same idea of adults buying cigs, alcohol and pop then paying for part of their groceries with WIC or food stamps. If they have the money for a case of beer or cigs then they have the money to buy milk, juice, eggs.... At lunch time pop is not available but all other junk food items are including Gatorade.
It's funny I offended you about the free lunches when many times our school cafeteria workers offended students who forget to bring in their lunch money then proceed to take away their hot lunch. Granted some give the students a cold lunch but what happens to that tray of food they took away...it goes in the trash!
Sure the profit is great but is money everything? Is it worth creating future health problems for our children? Other than making the school (BTW still wondering where that oh-so-great profit goes) money what is the benefit to selling pop and junkfood?

Anonymous said...

Pop machines in schools - fine with me. They were there in the 80's when I attended Wawasee - why the concern today? There are many other things OTHER than a pop machine in the schools that should be the schools focus. If the school makes a profit - more power to them!

Anonymous said...

"Pop machines in schools - fine with me. They were there in the 80's when I attended Wawasee - why the concern today? There are many other things OTHER than a pop machine in the schools that should be the schools focus. If the school makes a profit - more power to them!"

The concern is because it was Dr. Stock that brought the subject up in the first place. When I was in school in the 80's the goal of my HS wasn't to make a profit from students. My HS's goal was to actually teach students. IMO I think Wawasee needs to focus more on the basics of teaching our students the basics of life after HS. Let's let the students have a class on being an average Joe Smith that skips college to work at a job where he earns $10 an hour, has a wife and 2 children. Have him make real life choices about insurance, checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, retirement savings, investments, vacations, car payments and mortgage payments. Teach them about renting versus buying a house. Teach them about the amount of interest they'll pay on a credit card that carries a balance with a 15% interest rate. Teach them about the information contained in a credit report. Teach them the long-term effects of good and bad credit.

My guess is by now you're saying it should be the parents responsibility to teach their children all those things. In that case some children will never learn until they make their own mistakes. Some parents cannot be bothered to teach their children to say the alphabet and write their full name let alone teach them all the things they need to learn before they graduate. Then there are the parents that can't teach what they dont' know themselves!!

Superparent said...

Wawasee High School already has a class in the basics of independent life. It's called Mr. Schmidt's English 12.

Check it out- teaches seniors to read while teaching them to cope with real life after high school.