Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bob Dunning: Remember, we don’t want to be like everyone else


From page A2 | April 26, 2013 | Leave Comment

ABOUT THOSE RANKINGS … I’m happy to see that the Davis School Board backed off its plan to reconfigure Davis High School into a four-year program after folks came out of the ground to register their opposition … mostly, we were told, the board was proposing the change because “that’s the way everyone else does it.” … since Davis has never been adept at playing follow the leader, it was refreshing to see the board actually listen to parents, students, teachers and other concerned citizens who seemed overwhelmingly opposed to the plan …

The board’s retreat is especially timely, given that U.S. News and World Report just released its rankings of public high schools and listed Davis 69th in the state out of 2,039 public high schools, and 365th in the nation of the over 21,000 schools U.S. News surveyed in 49 states … only Nebraska failed to crack the rankings … apparently folks in the Cornhusker state were too busy shucking corn to turn in the necessary data to be considered …

On the other hand, I’m sure there are those in town who say 69th in the state and 365th in the nation is beneath our dignity, and we’d be No. 1 in both polls if only we went to a four-year high school …

FRUIT OF ONE’S LABORS … several weeks ago I suggested there may be a role for the U.S. government to ensure that those who labored in California’s fields as part of the long-ago Bracero program receive the $3,000 they have been owed by the Mexican government for years … the hang-up is that many of these aging workers no longer have any way to prove they actually worked in the program …

Well, if they’d check their hands for calluses or the condition of their lower backs from the effects of using short-handled hoes, I suspect they’d have all the evidence they need of how hard these men worked to put food on America’s table …

MANY FRESHMEN IN UC DAVIS’ FRESHMAN CLASS … the Major Metropolitan Daily Across the River does this every now and then just to see if I’m still awake … yes, in an otherwise mundane story about the number of out-of-state freshmen in UC Davis’ incoming freshman class, the paper noted “The UC Davis campus received 55,895 freshmen applications.” … ah, like fingernails across a blackboard …

Now, UC Davis could indeed receive 55,895 freshmen, but those are still “freshman” applications that got them here … substitute the word “sophomore” for “freshman,” and “sophomores” for “freshmen” and you’ll see where I’m going …

NO NODAKERS ALLOWED … according to the same newspaper piece (see above), “UC Davis students admitted this year come from 49 states — only North Dakota is not represented — and 103 countries, said Walter Robinson, UC Davis’ executive director of admissions.” …

Well, Mr. Robinson, there may be an affirmative-action lawsuit in your future on behalf of the good citizens of North Dakota … given that my mother is a native of America’s coldest state, that makes me half North Dakotan … and I’m frankly offended by this slight that is being felt all the way from Bismarck to Fargo …

Then again, maybe there is no slight intended … given the extremely high rate of employment and high wages currently being paid in North Dakota, combined with that state’s excellent system of higher education, perhaps college-bound North Dakotans are simply choosing to stay home rather than pay UC Davis’ sky-high out-of-state tuition … Go Bison …

— Reach Bob Dunning at


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