Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Age of the Unthinkable

So tonight the Board approved the budget which will be on the ballot 4/21. Following is the statement I made prior to tonight's vote:

Last week I heard a book mentioned on the radio. It was called The Age of the Unthinkable, and to be honest I didn’t really listen to the story. I was fixated on the name. The Age of the Unthinkable is where we are right now in the Ridgewood Public Schools. As we’ve talked about the budget for the 2009-10 school year, we found ourselves in a strange and unfamiliar time, where our priorities are up against a wall and we had to make choices that seem to go against things we as a community hold dear. To many people, some of the proposed budget cuts are unthinkable. Unfortunately, the reality is, it doesn’t matter how uncomfortable we feel. There’s no way to avoid the pain, we can only distribute it. It seems pretty clear that the status quo just doesn’t exist anymore.

So I looked up the book on Amazon, and read this description: “The traditional physics of power have been replaced by something radically different. In The Age of the Unthinkable, [the author] puts forth a revelatory new model for understanding our dangerously unforseeable world….He describes a new landscape of inherent unpredictability--and remarkable, wonderful possibility.”

I wish I had time to read that book (the subtitle is "Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It"), but I’m intrigued by the concept as it applies to our schools.

Our own new age of unpredictability...and previously unthinkable changes... is forcing us to look at things differently, and we’re going to have to do things differently. We're going to have to look forward instead of back. Figure out how to make it work, all of us together, and maybe even come out stronger and better in the end. I don't see how we have any other choice.

I want to thank the administrators for their hard work developing the 09/10 budget. And I want to thank everyone who brought comments to our meetings and sent in emails and phone calls. I hope Ridgewood voters will support the budget on April 21, so we can then turn our attention to the possibilities before us. To not just surviving, but thriving. I’m sure it’ll get harder before it gets easier, but I do believe we’ll get there, and this budget is an important step we’ve got to take.


Anonymous said...

More and more I realize that you are the only seriously contemplative entity on the BoE, and I thank you for that. Please do your best to fill the leadership vaccuum that currently exists at Cottage Place.

Laurie said...

Thank you and you're welcome.