Sinking the school: In Ventura as it is in Venice

May 7, 2009

Whenever a news story breaks about some problem that could have turned out better had decision making not been so arbitrary, flawed or biased, you can always count on readers to chime in online with their comments.

Today, when word came out that Ventura College would be closing its longtime community swimming pool, school officials’ reasoning was that the aging aquatic center was poorly constructed to begin with, and that it is literally sinking.

It’s no wonder one reader of the (dubious) news source compared the aquatic center to the sinking house in Venice, Italy.

This week has been abundant with local stories of odd education happenings that leaves one questioning the tastes of school administrators.

Officials are looking to spend $1.5 million on an IMAX theater at Camarillo High School. Fiscal recession no big deal? When I was in high school, we were lucky to get a worn-out reel-to-reel projected on a peeling, stuccoed wall.

There’s been some dispute and debate over the amount of time local teachers put in before earning tenure.  Never mind these veteran professorial stalwarts who became tenured only after 10, 15 years of service. These days we’re hearing two scant years, 24 months of rookie duty. It’s simply not enough time to gain the experience needed for such coveted security.

And then there’s the recent swine flu scare. Without making light of the situation, was it really necessary to shut down Newbury Park High for a full week?

One of the best people who rises above in the world of education is Jeff Stern, who founded a local skateboard group for high school students. It’s become one of the best athletics-academics links this county has ever seen before, encouraging self-esteem, good grades, and athletic prowess.

For VC, better to follow soaring skaters in Venice, Calif., than sinking structures in Venice, Italy.

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