My good friend Mike is trying to help a poor school district in Pennsylvania to try and climb out of a large hole that they are in. It is not altogether clear who put them there. It may well be a confluence of dark clouds that were aggregated by many different people and groups. Mike believes that the community is salvageable and maybe even more than that. He has had no luck trying to get the folks there to get up off their haunches and launch an improvement program.
The most that the local leaders can do is give up on their community, donate their local students to a nearby school district and plunge themselves into a no-win situation that will harm the community over the next generation. Even the right thinking people have given up the ghost.
Since I am not aware of the demographics of the community, it is hard to tell what exactly is going on. Is there a race issue involved? I believe that to be the case. The school district is 94% African American. The students come from impoverished backgrounds. It’s not too hard to figure out why things are not going well. I do believe that with the kind of leadership that Mike is talking about and a community where people work together, rather than separately, some of these demographics can be overcome. It appears that the state is not doing very much to help Wilkinsburg. Right now the state budget, which should have been passed by June 30th, is now 2 and ½ months overdue. It is school districts like Wilkinsburg that suffer, not those who are wealthy and get their money from local real estate taxes.