Here’s a crumb to keep you people off my back (see what I did there?), now leave me alone so I can get back to work!
Category Archives: Politics
Here is a great article on college costs that reinforces a point I made a few posts back.
By Chris Mooney & Indre Viskontas
In Milwaukee, just 13 percent of voucher students scored proficient in math and 11 percent made the bar in reading this spring. That’s worse on both counts than students in the city’s public schools. —Stephanie Simon
So, we’ve discussed charter schools, but haven’t had much to say about vouchers so far. Let’s be clear on this: school vouchers are a method of transfering public monies from public, freely accessible, schools to private closed enrollment schools. In the majority of the cases, the families making use of a voucher to help fund their child’s private school education was already paying to send them there to begin with. In effect, the public coffers are now paying to subsidize students who were already attending the private school. “Fully two-thirds of students in Wisconsin’s Parental Choice Program were already enrolled in private schools before they received the tuition subsidy — and another 5 percent were home schooled, state data show.” (Vouchers Don’t Do Much For Students —Simon)
Our nation’s model charters haven’t cracked a code for educating inner city students; they have cracked a code for isolating motivated inner city students and parents who see education as a way out of poverty, and filtering out the rest.—John Kuhn
Well, the title of this post just about says it all, doesn’t it? Let me state right up front that I believe there are effective and high-performing charter schools in this country—I also believe there are good, well-meaning politicians out there somewhere, too, but like Bigfoot, both groups are rarely encountered in the flesh. Like all myths, there is always a nugget of truth buried somewhere in the narrative, but the rare success stories you typically see about charter schools don’t equate to a majority, nor do they tell the whole story.
Once again we here in Texas are having that debate: Just how much religion do we teach in public schools? And once again, the religious—and obviously scientifically challenged—crowd want Texas schoolbooks to downplay evolution and add creationism to the curriculum. Don McLeroy is up to his old tricks, and he has a new booster in the form of Ide Trotter to help him in his cause.
I find it interesting the breadth of “reform” ideas put forth by the “school reform” hucksters. It has seemed to me, for some time now, that they are throwing everything they can against a wall just to see what will stick. Sometimes they simultaneously throw mutually exclusive ideas, but whatever…
Take technology, for instance. Most people get the impression that the hucksters want to throw massive amounts of money at schools in order in make technology purchases in order to improve teaching. At the same time, these same hucksters will, either silently or vocally, back billions in school budget reductions. These two ideas only appear to be mutually exclusive. The main function of additional technology in the classroom is to reduce the number of teachers, thereby saving money overall. It is, once again, the concept of profit and loss, where profit is defined as money cut from a budget, and loss is defined as money invested in the schools. This is short-sighted thinking at best, and destructive at worst. I happen to think that destruction is the plan of most of the hucksters.