Do We Need Classes in Common Sense?

So, did you hear this story?

Parents whose accounts were out of money were notified on Monday. The lunches (costing about $3) were taken from the 30 children on Tuesday, after cafeteria workers had given them the food (because the cafeteria servers couldn't see who was in debt until it was time to ring them up). The District reported that the lunches were thrown out because they couldn't be served to another student.

Here’s the thing, rules or no rules, where are people’s common sense?

Naturally, parents are extremely angry over this. Politicians are ranting and raving, holding news conferences, tying it into bullying, claiming this is simply a reflection of the need for broader school funding, blah, blah, blah.

First of all, you’re dealing with elementary school children! And really? Why would it ever be logical to throw away food as opposed to giving it to a hungry child?

Think people!

Children were naturally upset and confused.

The District is claiming this all occurred because of one employee’s stupidity. But this person could not have acted alone. What about all the mindless sheep who went along with it. Why didn't anybody stand up for a more logical solution?

According to a survey by the American Management Association, education is focusing on high tech skills like math and science, but executives feel what employees are lacking are critical thinking skills, creativity, communication skills…quite simply, common sense.

I’ve always believed there are two kinds of “smart.” There is “book smart,” this refers to those who can read, memorize and regurgitate facts (and rules) on command. And then there is “street smart,” or common sense.

Which do you feel leads to greater success in life?

Image by: USDAgov


Karen J said...

Oh.My.Word. Holly!

That *is* ridiculous - and unfortunately, a typical result of piling on *lack of critical thinking skills*, *rules-shy workers* (and management), and so many (often contradictory) rules that it's impossible to both "do the logical, reasonable and/or right thing" and "follow all the rules" at the same time.

I certainly don't see a solution lying in *yet more rules*!
For a start, the programs that effectively hide the account status need to be revised.
So your common sense classes need to go much further back than the cashiers - the program writers (and the program designers, and the rulemakers, and the legislators who are *so afraid* of that extra $3 on the tab), all could benefit from asking "And THEN what happens?" more often.

I'd start with giving parents more than over-night notice that the account needs to be refilled!!! They're obviously on very tight money, so it's not a trivial thing to move their money from one place to another!

That doesn't quite answer your question, though ~
"street smarts" gets my vote, nearly every time. "Knowing where to find the information" is good, but "knowing how to put it together" and "what it MEANS" is equally important.

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Karen. And I definitely agree about giving parents more than a one-day notice! I later read that there was some sort of glitch with their system on top of everything else, and that was part of the cause.

Thanks for stopping by!