Eastview High School Graduation
Last weekend the ISD 196 East View High school graduation ceremony was held at the Eagan high school stadium. The principal congratulated everyone for being a nationally recognized outstanding school (Rank 501 in the US New and World Report rankings). Sadly, he did not find the time to recognize any of the students for outstanding academic performance or accomplishments.
Later came a speech form the East View speech coach. One would expect a teacher to provide some inspiration, highlight opportunities and maybe upcoming challenges. Some advice, lessons learned, and maybe examples of how the schools academic standards has prepared the students to take on the upcoming challenges and contribute to a fulfilled and successful life.
Not so at East View High. Speech Coach Todd Harring compared the year he graduated 1990/91 to the current year. 1990/91 was a great year - MN sports teams leading, US just won the Gulf war, all was good. He then characterized 2020/21 as dominated by a pandemic, police violence against Blacks, general violence against Asians, terrible presidential politics, misinformation, “clowns” occupying the capital, and above all systemic racism. He blamed his generation for believing that Rodney King should not have resisted arrest and called for tighter controls off police. The one thing his generation did well – so XXX - is this new generation of kids. He then tasked the no-longer students with fixing what his generation had broken. More activism, less concentration on your own affairs. Not a single word about academics, not a word how student excelled, how they now had the tools to face the world, not a one!
The white male student who spoke for the students pointed out that the diploma they received was worthless, since it suggested to discard last year’s grades. He actually proposed to do away with grades, explaining that grades just did not reflect how “we tried to be there for each other” and how “we are all in this together”. He went on to praise his generation for having sprang into action following the “murder” of George Floyd and for actively working on racial justice. He left it up to the audience to figure out how the burning of Latino and black owned businesses and homes contributed to racial justice. Academics accomplishment did not find their way into his speech either.
# 501 in the national rankings is the best high school in our district! We must demand better for our children! How about ISD 196 concentrates on academic achievement of each individual student and stops worrying about Washington politics, social justice, gender and race issues? Stop pushing activism and start praising English, Math and Art performance. Concentrate on the student, not what group they come from. It is time to change leadership, time to replace the school board!
"# 501 in the national rankings is the best high school in our district! We must demand better for our children!"