Stoking the fire

THE LANDMARK VIEW

Opinion

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There's nothing like a little Brookfield politics to warm your heart during the cold, rainy days of late October. And there's nothing like a little alleged political scandal to get the juices flowing. It's right there on the front page?"VIP wants the Cook County State's Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General to investigate Brookfield President Michael Garvey and his PEP minions on the village board.

Their charge?"PEP's doing what VIP wanted to do back in 2004.

Somehow, that kind of charge doesn't have a crystal-clear ring to it, but it gets some press coverage. Welcome to Election '07, a year early.

The charges against PEP are interesting since, according to the village's finance director, the dastardly deed has yet to be committed. But it's instructive to see what shape the next campaign's political rhetoric will take. It's a familiar shape, one guaranteed to result in tit-fot-tat responses from PEP. Voters have to be tired of the usual game of political push and shove, but the politicians appear to love it.

What voters are likely more interested in seeing is an actual platform of programs that will address their everyday concerns as residents?"a platform that can explained by a coherent and implementable plan of action by politicians.

"We'll pave the streets and alleys!" Please explain how.

"We'll make business thrive!" Great! Give us a little insight on how you plan to do that.

"We'll provide the greatest village services in the western suburbs!" Terrific! And while you're at it, let us know what will have to be sliced from the budget to accomplish that.

"We'll make your home values soar!" You are magicians.

What has been proven over the last several years is that Brookfield needs fewer personalities and more professionals running village government. If there are real concerns about official misdeeds, then those need to be revealed and explored.

But if the next year and a half will be filled with the "You're doing what we wanted to do?"and it's a crime!" variety of politics, it's going to be a very long, weary election season, indeed, for Brookfield voters.

Keeping score

Congratulations to both Riverside District 96 and Lyons-Brookfield District 103 for their showings on the 2005 ISAT tests. Both districts recently released their scores to the public, and while Riverside's remained at their traditionally high level, District 103's rose sharply.

We were especially pleased with the performance of Brookfield Lincoln School, which showed dramatic improvement year over year on the ISAT test.

That said, this newspaper would like to restate its reservations about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and the singular emphasis placed on the ISAT as a measure of school achievement. While the ISAT may be one measure of achievement, it is certainly not the only indicator.

And we encourage school administrators and school boards, including the state board of education, not to confuse good ISAT scores with a well-rounded education for children. The overall concept of NCLB?"to make sure all children succeed academically, regardless of race, socio-economic status or handicap?"is a laudable one.

In the process, we hope education isn't narrowed by an all-consuming effort to comply with NCLB and its standardized testing.

 

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