If you haven’t heard, Governor Doug Burgum skipped Thursday’s Governor’s Innovative Education Summit in Bismarck. Why? Because he was invited to meet with President Donald Trump and other leaders at the White House on the issue of infrastructure.
Because of the change of plans, it appears some folks can’t help but whine and criticize about the governor’s decision. Take for example this tweet, reported on by Rob Port at the SayAnything Blog yesterday, by an elementary principal from Thompson, ND:
And he’s not alone. Apparently at least one legislator and some others sniffled to Rob Port about the absence of the governor as well.
Somebody please pass me a bottle and burp rag. It seems someone may just need a nap.
I’ve had my disagreements with Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, but this is not one of them. In an interview yesterday with Point of View’s Chris Berg, Baesler admitted that Governor Burgum’s absence was less than ideal, but that he has surrounded himself by capable people who filled in well at the summit. I would expect as much from Burgum.
Baesler also rightfully pointed out that the governor can be briefed when he gets back, as it’s not the first time a person has found themselves in the position of not being able to be two places at once.
In my speaking with some attendees of the summit, there was no mention of Burgum’s absence. In fact, from the information I received, Burgum addressed the summit twice. Once through a pre-recorded welcoming message and then live via an on-line feed to conclude the day’s events.
Oh, and by the way– as I understand it, that concluding message given by Governor Burgum via the on-line feed was delivered to a skeleton crew of an audience, because most attendees ditched the wrap-up after attending "breakout" sessions. In fact, it’s also my understanding that quite a few folks ditched the breakout sessions as well.
In listening to an interview with Lt. Governor Brent Sanford on Point of View, the meetings at the White House were informative, positive, and productive. From my perspective, Governor Burgum made the right decision. When was the last time we had a President of the United States open to discussion on deregulation when it comes to infrastructure? Or deregulation of anything for that matter? You don’t throw those opportunities away. Nor do you send your second or third string to Washington, DC to represent you.
On the other hand, when was the last time some "new idea" in education came along It happens all the time. And while this summit certainly sounds to have been right along the lines of what Governor Burgum has been suggesting needs to happen in education, it is exactly for that reason he could afford to miss it. He’s familiar with the concepts of the summit and can easily be brought up to speed with what took place there when he gets back to Bismarck.
No, what this appears to amount to is a group of individuals – allegedly some educators and legislators – who somehow feel slighted. I say it’s time to grow up and stop the whining. The world doesn’t revolve around you or the topics and events of Thursday’s education summit. Act like an adult. And if you’re not quite sure what that’s like, just ask Doug Burgum. He can probably explain it to you.