The excellent blog Dangerously Irrelevant recently had a contest for readers to come up with a six-word motto for their nation’s schools. I learned about it from Alice Mercer after the contest had finished.

There were a number  entries, including some that were really quite funny (and insightful). However, it was disconcerting to see that, with just a few exceptions, most were pretty negative.

Listen, I know our schools have a lot of problems, and have a very long way to go. And I think there are a lot of valid constructive criticisms that can be, and should be, made. However, in general, I think that many schools, along with a number of labor unions and religious congregations, are one of the few institutions that are doing a pretty decent job at helping people develop skills needed to actively participate effectively in public life.

Maybe I’m living in a bubble, and most schools really are in terrible shape, but it hasn’t been my experience.

I know it’s more fun to ridicule, and I definitely do my share of it. But reading some of the contest entries brought up the same feelings that I shared at In Practice about my impatience at bloggers who complain about teachers who don’t embrace technology. I just think we might want to strike more of a balance.

Happily, Alice shared with me a little more positive example of bloggers sharing — a Valentine’s Day Passion Quilt.