Saturday, March 14, 2009

Word of the Day: Brought to you by . . .

Remember Sesame Street? Each show was 'brought to you by the letter . . . '
Today's words of the day are brought to you by the letter "C."

Contagious cheating.

I couldn't decide which word to choose, so I used a little bit of the logic my kids learned from Public Broadcasting, with a little bit of assistance from Newsweek and Bernie Madoff.

I should also add consequences.

How does this relate to MCPS?

Bernie Madoff is off to jail, for conducting the largest Ponzi scheme in recent history. A piece by Newsweek explores why folks like Bernie cheat, and asks, is cheating contagious?

According to a study done by researchers at Duke University, how others act influences whether someone is more likely to cheat and think he/she will be successful. The more a person is exposed to cheating and unethical behavior by others, the more likely that person will cheat. Thus, cheating can be contagious.

That's why its time for the residents of the county to ask Dr. Weast and MCPS to stop. Stop the procurements that don't follow the rules, stop acting in self-interest, cut the (honeybaked) ham and travel to showcase and endorse commercial products that put money into other accounts, at the expense of our kids, but most of all, stop spending money as if the citizens of Montgomery County have an endless supply of cash. We don't. What we want our school system to do is provide the free public education we expect for our kids, pay for their textbooks, and provide the type of quality education that our neighbors in Howard and Fairfax offer.

We expect our kids to obey the law, become well respected adults, and not cheat. Don't we have the same expectations of our leadership - even if these values aren't shared by the state government in Baltimore and Annapolis, and our local officials in Rockville who decline to provide oversight of our county school system.

Lets be glad someone finally put Mr. Madoff where he belongs. Those who abuse financial power and trust in our county should not be so cavalier to think they can continue to abuse our resources without consequences. Think about the role models you want for your children - because what they see around them will influence how they act as adults.

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