Thursday, January 5, 2012

The City by the River closes the schools

There was a time when all I read was science fiction books. I often wondered how those authors could come up with some of the stuff they wrote. Here’s my stab at a science fiction short story.
The City by the River Closes the Schools

Once upon a time in the near future, where a city sits by the river, the community agreed to stop educating their children. They ultimately achieved the dubious distinction of being labeled with the lowest ranking educational achievement on their planet. This honor satisfied so many that they graciously accepted their fate and settled in with their destructive practices year after year. 
There was always a small army of malcontents who challenged the status quo, but they could never muster up enough ammunition to compete against the embedded and entrenched system of failure that the apathetic masses desired. 
Finally, the destruction was complete after the leaders realized that it cost a tremendous amount of money to maintain a failing system when they could get the same results for free. 
Schools closed, instructors took positions on other planets, and children no longer were forced to be stigmatized by their inadequate classroom achievement.
Some parents continued not to care about their children’s education and their children found creative ways to spend their days.
Other parents sought creative ways to educate their children. They taught them at home, formed learning communities among like minded parents, joined churches that offered education options, bussed their kids to schools in other communities, paid for private education, or simply moved away from the City by the River. 
Since most of the school taxes were paid by homeowners, they rejoiced to not have to pay school taxes anymore. They never liked paying to educate children from families that didn't have to pay taxes. With the savings, the homeowners improved their properties, increased their savings, and had an increase in lifestyle, as many of them were approaching their golden years. 
As time passed, more and more young parents moved out of the City by the River to find affordable housing and free schools for their children. In their place arrived more and more aliens, also known as working families, who purchased properties and made the City by the River an attractive place to live. 
Ten years after the schools closed, a grand study was conducted which concluded that education is successful when parents have to make choices on how to best educate their children. It was proven that the ancient system which mandated that children be warehoused in their own communities under the auspices of education often did not result in educating human beings beyond the 4th grade level. 
Schools did return to the City by the River years later and were formed by the aliens who saw to it that they worked together to create the most effective learning situation for their children using the resources they had available. 
The success of the City by the River sparked other planets to adopt the same philosophy of totally destroying their failing education system and starting over again by populating it with only the aliens who need it, want it, and can deliver it. 
For those other planets that did not have the courage to embrace change, they stayed right were they were. 


  1. only u! thx for offering another coping stream as i struggle to come to terms with this long-standing issue.

  2. Dear Stefan,
    I find your narrative take on the Chester-Upland School District's 'blight' very amusing and thought-provoking. You get an 'A'!
    Isn't it ashame that the children, parents and citizens of this community have been reduced to this! Doesn't it make you wonder how a system that has so consistently ranked at the bottom - yet qualify for so much federal, state and other organizational funding - produce intellectually and socially inferior (harsh words used by neighboring districts) candidates unprepared for a realistic productive society, also 'flunk' out or 'punk' out on their duty to sustain a mere community school district!!! Who's minding the store?
    In the average span of school-time for a district student, they have been exposed to at least a half dozen or more different administrations. Each one naturally with their own agendas, administrative team,curriculum,ideas and strategies for implementing the best educational program. Now when did CU start to rank at the bottom of the education list?
    .When the newest administration decided that the students would only learn to read for a half of the year?
    .No math, science, etc.
    .Or when the agenda was to present the students with a system of 'rote- memorization'? Need I go on?
    The school building and its contents:
    (Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Maintainence workers, Cafeteria workers, and other Staff), are sometimes the only constant and consistentcy in most of our children's lives!! Here is where they get academic exposure, eat, socialize, lean on shoulders, seek aid for themselves or family members, recieve unconditional love from someone not biologically related to them, form strong opions and bonds, and make decisions that may impact their independent living.
    The schools are not just infrastucture for the city, it is home for a lot of students!
    Mismanagement or embezellment coming to a halt!
    Parents instead of ranting and raving about who stepped on little Rasaheeda's 'tims' on the playground, take your energentic behinds to the administration building, Harrisburg, hell the streets and fight for your child's life!! The streets are already wiping out generations of our youths! Don't let politics rob their minds also! And demand a line by line accounting of every penny that is/was earmarked for your child's education.
    Sign me,
    (Music, please), Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar!!

  3. The schools are a home for a lot of students. Great point!
    Rasaheeda's 'tims'. LOL!

  4. What a way start a new year. Close the schools, that will solve all the problems, teachers pay raises, building maintainence, bus drivers, administration, discipline problems in the schools, no more school polices, etc. The old saying is "If you don't want Black folk to know it put in a book". I guess maybe the powers that be found that there were actully some students who are in school to learn and the best way to stop that is to close the schools.

    We can find money to finance two wars at the same time but we can't find money to educate the young people (when the majority are Black). Sad, sad sad! If we want to march for something, now is the time. Get out and show your strength and desire to educate your children. LW Atlanta, GA

  5. Stefan, One other thing I must say,along with school being he home some of the young people have. The meals that they get at school is the only meal many of the students get every day. Disgusting!!!