Improving starts with showing up

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The community can't be indifferent and still expect better schools.

AS BELOIT MOVES forward in so many encouraging ways, one of the biggest challenges remaining is achieving major improvements in the School District of Beloit.

Arguably, there is nothing more important to the process than recruiting and hiring the right superintendent to provide visionary leadership. Beloit needs nothing short of a turnaround artist who has proven abilities developed while successfully reforming other challenged urban districts.

So, one might think there would be a big community turnout when the school board schedules a public meeting and asks for citizen input on what people expect in the next district leader. That meeting was held last Tuesday evening.

Let us praise Wanda Sloan, Katherine Swain and Deb Fallon.

They were the only three citizens who showed up.

THIS IS SERIOUSLY disappointing, on so many levels. The indifference is deafening.

That, of course, doesn't mean Beloit will end up with a lousy superintendent. School board members are planning to put in a lot of time and effort to assure a good hire. They deserve praise for their hard work.

But we've said it before: The issues holding back the School District of Beloit are community problems, not isolated situations restricted to schoolhouses. Getting from where we are to where we need to be will require community-wide commitment.

Last week provided an opportunity for the community to demonstrate its willingness to engage and make a difference. Instead, the message was just the opposite.

The aphorism still applies: People get the government they deserve.

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