State Journal: Shifting blame; Double jeopardy; Pomp 'n' country

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At a meeting of the Conference Board's Business-Education Forum late last month, Jack MacAllister, chairman of U.S. West Inc., quoted a poem he said had been written by Gov. Garry Carruthers of New Mexico.

The following is Gov. Carruthers's handiwork, as edited by Mr. MacAllister:

"The business executive says, 'How can I win this global fight when the college sends me a graduate who can't read or write?"'

"The college professor says, 'Such wrong in a student is a shame. Lack of preparation in high school is to blame."'

"Says the high-school teacher, 'Good heavens, that boy's a fool. The fault, of course, is with the middle school."'

"The middle-school teacher says, 'From such stupidity may I be spared. They sent him to me so unprepared."'

"The primary teacher says, 'The kindergarten--blockheads all! That kind of preparation is worse than none at all."'

"The kindergarten teacher says, 'Such lack of training, never did I see. What kind of mother must that woman be?"'

"The mother says, 'Poor husband's child. He's not to blame. His father's folks are all the same."'

"Said the father at the end of the line, 'Why I doubt the rascal's even mine!"'

A study of a temporary income-tax surcharge approved by the Illinois legislature last year has found that school districts mostly are using the resulting funds for operating expenses, while cities are spending the money on capital improvements.

The study's findings were subject to conflicting interpretations, neither of them very favorable to local decisionmakers.

The fact that the schools have devoted their money to meeting day-to-day expenses, said some observers, shows that they have become too dependent on it and risk disaster if the surcharge is not renewed.

But local governments' use of their funds for one-time projects, said others, shows that they did not really need the money to begin with.

Martha Wilkinson, who has championed adult education since her husband was elected Governor of Kentucky in 1987, recently presented a General Educational Development certificate to the country-music singer Waylon Jennings, who had dropped out of school in the 10th grade.

Instead of the traditional graduation theme, "Pomp and Circumstance," the ceremony featured recordings of Mr. Jennings's greatest hits.--hd

Vol. 09, Issue 21

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