Saturday, September 05, 2009

"Give Obama More Time"

That's the headline of an editorial in the Asbury Park Press today.

When I saw the headline I was expecting to read that the APP wants us to give the President a second chance on health care now that 1) he failed to have it rammed through Congress before the August recess, 2) the American people have loudly rejected Frank Pallone's HR 3200 and 3) Obama's poll numbers are plummeting.

All we can do is give Obama more time on health care. Hopefully for the country the plan he will introduce now that the Pelosi/Pallone plan is dead will allow for market driven reforms with less government involvement. Fortunately for the country "the people" are viewing the President more critically now than we and the media did when he was a candidate.

But to my surprise, that is not what the APP editorial is about. The APP is encouraging the Asbury Park School Board to give Obama more time before naming the Bangs Avenue Elementary School after The Won.

The school is now named after a street. But who or what is the street named after, a haircut?

Bangs Avenue was named a long time ago. It is referenced in a 1876 deed for a railroad station. I'm guessing that that Bangs was a prominent man in the 1850s or 1860s, but now the avenue is more famous than he is.

I went to Franklin School in Bergenfield, NJ, for kindergarten through 5th grade. The school was named after Benjamin Franklin. You probably know who he was. The other elementary schools in Bergenfield were named Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Hoover. Yes, Bergenfield has a school named after President Hoover. Before my lefty readers get excited, I didn't go to that school. The names of the schools were part of the educational process.

In September during the year when we finished 5th grade, 6th grade students from all over Bergenfield would walk or ride their bicycles to to the Roy W. Brown Middle School. (Childhood obesity was less of a problem back then, another government program on awry, but I digress). After being at that school for a few weeks, I remember asking my mother when Roy W. Brown was president.

My mother knew that Brown was never president. He was a former superintendent of schools. My mother probably knew that because she was a board of education member. She didn't think much of the man who was superintendent when I asked her the question, a guy named Jess, so I thought it was strange that a school would be named for a superintendent instead of a president. I wonder how the other kid's parents answered that question.

Now a days we give superintendents high six figure severance packages when they retire. It would be cheaper to name schools after them. Maybe those Hoover lovers were onto something.

My wife tells me that she went to Cox Memorial Elementary School in Freeland, PA. Cox was a coal mining entrepreneur. Many of the fathers and grandfathers of the kids who went to that school died of black lung after working for Cox for decades. That school has been torn down.

The APP is right. We don't know yet if Obama will be a Franklin, Hoover, Brown, Cox or Bangs. One thing we do know, the Asbury Park School Board could be doing better with the $60 million in state education dollars we are sending them every year.

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