Saturday, March 25, 2006

HAFTR & Rambam - Trust the Experts I

H, among others, raises a serious point, one not easily dismissed. The boards of HAFTR and Rambam have the power and job to do what is in the best interests of those schools. We, the laity (in the sense of not being on the board) really should get out of the debate, wait until we see what happens, and not inject our uninformed opinions whenever asked.

Do parents ask teachers for the day by day curriculum of their students? Syllabi are for the student to know what assignments they have and what will be discussed, in very general terms. We trust our teachers. We have to.

Do voters call up their political representatives for every bill? Except for a few cooks, the answer is no. We (perhaps wrongly) trust them. What happens when the press and laity get involved? Look at the Patriot Act. If ever a law has been demonized, the Patriot Act is one. But how many people have actually read a small part of it? Most of it is highly detailed and technical, a lot of it consists of powers that law enforcement had beforehand (just not consolidated). Yet from the hype you'd wonder if the world ended.

Corporations operate the same way. Stockholders, the owners of the company, get to vote on proposals, but it is the board of directors which makes major decisions. Indeed, the board is allowed to use corporate funds to lobby for what they think is correct. If shareholders want to kick the board out and put in new directors, they are only reimbursed *if they win*. The directors can use corporate funds.

We trust the experts. And we should trust them here too. Let the two schools work out a deal, they know what's going on. We shouldn't pressure them, lest a good deal be scuttled. If the deal is bad, parents will take their children elsewhere. DRS will see a surge in applicants, as will Northshore. And if the deal isn't called off, HAFTR/Rambam will close, a testament to the lack of planning.

Its a very strong argument. We can't live our lives if we are forced to make every small decision, if we don't trust the experts, our doctors, lawyers, and educators.

I'll post a response to this argument a bit later. For now, think about it, regardless of which side you're on.