chastised the Augusta County School Board for failing to come up with a "plan to guide the school system into the next century." Now that would be quite a feat even for the crystal balls sitting around that all-knowing editorial table.
Almost by definition any strategic plan is a work in progress that must change with the times. Planning for the next three to five years should involve a reasonably high level of specificity and perhaps forecasts for 10 to 20 years can at least get some things right. But, a 100 year plan? Surely the Newsleader jests! There are way too many variables and unknowns to take a stab at such a distant target. Technology, Virginia politics and laws, whims of the board of supervisors, federal laws, derechos, climate change, and all sorts of unpredictable things are out there just waiting to blow any plans totally out of the water.
One hundred years ago could the editors have seen beyond slow typesetting, black and white newsprint, and newspaper boys? Did they know that TV, with its color and moving pictures, would rock the world of newspapers? Could their clairvoyance have foreseen the internet and online media that is killing traditional print newspapers and magazines?
Just a few years ago could the managers at the Newsleader have seen their incredibly shrinking presence in the community and the outsourcing of their printing operations? Did they see the decline in subscriptions? Did they know a once proud independent newspaper would be owned by Gannett?
Perhaps the editors's scrying is blind to the coming end times for the Newsleader? My crystal ball gazing tells me the Newsleader will be a historical footnote as we move into the next century and likely be only a vague memory long before. So, I doubt we get an editorial followup accessing the 100 year success of the School Board strategic plan. Fortunately, none of us will be around to judge the accuracy of this prediction.
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