This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 27, 2003 8:08 AM. The previous post in this blog was Are you hot?. The next post in this blog is Farewell. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, February 27, 2003

Whiz kid

Nearly lost in all the crisis news about Oregon's public schools was an article in Tuesday's Oregonian about a 30-year-old elementary school principal out in the Parkrose School District on Portland's far east side. He's turning heads by having his public school renamed an "academy"; extending school days; revamping the curriculum; and (get this) requiring the kids to wear uniforms to school next year.

It's apparently going over well, according to the story:

While other Portland-area schools are being dismantled, Russell Elementary is undergoing what veteran teachers desperate for change call a "resurrection."

"This is really a little beacon of light for us," said third-grade teacher Wanda Dasler, who has taught in Parkrose for 20 years. "Everyone is so jazzed. It gives us new hope when we're in such a depressed time."

I propose a toast, VodkaPundit-style: Here's to the bright young principal, and here's to the parents, teachers and administrators who were smart enough and daring enough to give him a shot at being principal!

I wore blue and white uniforms to school for eight years. It was great. Peer pressure and competition over stylish or expensive clothes were largely eliminated. There could be a little of that regarding one's coat, but once in the classroom and at one's desk, everyone was dressed alike, and apparel faded into the background, where it belonged.

Some people think that little things like clothing aren't that important, but they can be to kids. Indeed, my big city prosecutor contacts tell hair-raising stories about ghetto children literally killing each other over a pair of Nikes.

Of course, my friends over at the ACLU will be filing their lawsuit against the 30-year-old principal over the uniform requirement any minute now. I hope the ACLU loses on this one. Go, Russell Academy!

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