Have you “Experienced” The Riffs at Mid-Riffs?

Mid-Riffs, a blog started by a bunch of my friends, is off to a great start with several posts on the high school millage in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Sometimes I agree with them and sometimes I don’t, but they are always fun to read.

The election is today, so be sure to check out their excellent information and analysis.  In particular, they have argued:

  • The high school is not falling apart. (In a 2006 statewide ranking of buildings needing repair, Fayetteville high school was ranked 988 out of 1,129 K-12 public school buildings, where 1 was most need of repair.)
  • There is no evidence buildings improve student outcomes.
  • The current facility has deficiencies, but they don’t necessitate complete demolition and reconstruction.
  • There is a case to be made for economic development, but any positive effects will be much diminished by the necessary tax increase.
  • But Mid-Riffs did make a case for why we might want to spend $116 million to tear-down the currently functional building for a brand new one — we like shiny new things.  We don’t need to buy diamond engagement rings, but people like to have them.  We don’t need a new building, but we might still want to have one.

    It’s not a very compelling argument, but it is no worse of a reason than your reason for buying that new Lexus.

    4 Responses to Have you “Experienced” The Riffs at Mid-Riffs?

    1. Greg Forster says:

      it is no worse of a reason than your reason for buying that new Lexus.

      That depends on the person. I know several people who own luxury cars for much better reasons. One spends a lot of time traveling in the car because of his job, so the improved performance and comfort of a luxury car are very valuable to him. Another is a person whose wife has some mobility issues and greatly values the increased comfort while riding in the car.

      So I guess the question is, does the shiny new high school come with comfy leather seats?

    2. Definitely. And it comes with 21st-century, 7-essential-skill, surround-sound. It’s awesome.

    3. Greg Forster says:

      Oh, well, if it’s as cool as that, then I think the Fayetteville School Board will be a shoo-in for our Humanitarian of the Year award for 2009.

    4. […] I opposed the previous millage effort, but I did so because it seemed extravagant and wasteful.  Much of the current high school is adequate and there was no need to demolish it entirely and replace it with a new Taj Mahal.  Besides, there is no evidence that fancy buildings improve education. Buildings don’t teach kids, people do. […]

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