Choosing Choice

Public schools often get lousy report cards.

One big reason is that under the bureaucratically run government monopoly, teachers and administrators have no freedom to try fundamentally different approaches and be rewarded by consumers when they get it right. Educators must obey uniform and stifling standards.

Alas, too many of these public-school staffers are far from eager to shuck the mandatory mediocrity. They’re more worried about keeping their jobs and keeping captive their mis-taught and under-taught students. Such educrats oppose all policies — tax credits, vouchers, more autonomy for charter schools — that help students escape failing classrooms.

The educrats’ prejudice against educational freedom is being abetted by Obama’s “Justice” Department, suing to block school-choice policies in Louisiana on “civil rights” grounds. Obviously, no “civil right” is violated merely because a student attends a private school. But Obama’s lawyers want to make the issue about race regardless. Something about how it’s harder to maintain racial balance if too many children of a particular race leave public schools . . . even if fostering school choice makes it easier for all kids of whatever race to do so.

By Justice’s bogus standard of “justice,” then, actual justice — indeed, actual freedom and opportunity, even actual quality of education — must be shoved aside as irrelevant. What matters is only “racial balance,” no matter the injury to any student’s rights or well-being.

But preserving the jobs of educrats and preserving somebody’s idea of ideal demographics are not the purpose of going to school. The purpose is to learn.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Aug
    30
    8:35
    AM
    JFB

    The perfect example of double-think and the statist/progressive agenda in reality.
    Failing and sub-standard systems are perfectly acceptable and in fact mandatory, as long as they promote equality.
    Imagine how well that standard will apply to medical services!

  2. Aug
    30
    10:34
    AM
    drrik

    Those “stifling” standards do not get met, yet no one loses their job or is held accountable. Public schools are mainly to protect union donations.

  3. Aug
    30
    11:10
    AM
    Jay

    A few comments:

    IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS, ( AND PRIVATE TUTORING-AFTER SCHOOL) WHERE PARENTS PAY- THE PARENTS ARE INVOLVED AND MAKE SURE THEIR CHILDREN LEARN

    In many public schools, (and publicly funded tutoring) the parents, ( and children) TO BE BLUNT, DON’T GIVE A DAMN.
    Then, (especially in minority areas) there is a peer pressure NOT to excel academically, as opposed to the Oriental pressure TO excel academically. One place where this is true-in New York City, there is (or was when I read about it) a hue and cry over the city’s “elite” high schools-with stiff entrance exams, good behavior expected; etc. The hue and cry–Orientals OVER REPRESENTED AS A PER CENT OF THE POPULATION, OTHER ETHNIC GROUPS UNDER REPRESENTED. THE IMBALANCE, THE PROGRESSIVES SAY, MUST BE CORRECTED. Mediocrity above meritocracy, I guess. ( I have not lived in NY in over 40 years, and have no interest in it).

    ——————————–

    As to teachers– the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND and misc. state laws are a one size fits all; and the measurements are also flawed.

    For example- In School 1– this year the 4th grade scored X; but last year the 4th graders scored (averaged,) Y. BUT THE CLASSES ARE DIFFERENT. IF ONE WANTED TO MEASURE PROGRESS, MEASURE THE SAME STUDENTS.

    And, teachers are told to teach for the test, not to teach for learning.

    And add the alcoholism and drug abuse amongst parents (of all races and income groups); sexual and other abuse- that is open but once was hidden, and other non-school problems–not all the teachers fault.

    ——————————-

    I have more I would say, but have thigns to do,. PLACE MORE OF THE BLAME ON THE PARENTS– THEY ARE –OR SHOULD BE– THE PRIMARY EDUCATOR OF THEIR CHILDREN.

  4. Aug
    30
    12:26
    PM
    Paul Jacob

    Jay,

    Nowhere did my commentary blame the teachers for the problem. I blame the teachers unions and the education establishment for opposing any way out for kids and I blame the prez for suing to keep kids in failing schools.

    While parents are obviously responsible for educating their children (as my wife and I and many others are doing), the teachers unions and folks like Mr.Obama do everything in their power to make it difficult for people to homeschool their kids — at ZERO COST to the taxpayers and at with BETTER OUTCOMES.

    There is no excuse for putting the education unions ahead of the education of the children and that’s what Pres. Obama has done.

  5. Aug
    31
    9:36
    AM
    Jay

    Paul,

    I am NOT talking about home schooling and parents. I AM taking about parents being responsible for their children. An example- a few months ago (Yahoo/AP News? –I question the news)-a child was given a mock award for the best “my dog ate my homework”– the parent sued–she did not know her child ( we are talking perhaps 7 or 8–not a teen–was having difficulty in school. WHERE THE HELL WAS SHE?
    A teacher has 30 or so children–at a time; a parent 1 or 2 or 3 (and sometimes, even 2 parents–although in Cal. there was a member of the legislature who wanted to change the definition of a parent to include more) (glad I don’t live there any longer).

    As to Charter Schools–in FL., they are not held to the same standards and have to meet the same FCAT scoring guidelines. If they get $$$- they should.

    Besides, the tests-as I mentioned- compare grades, not children. AS TO HOW RIDICULOUS THIS CAN BE–A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE.

    YEAR 1: A SCHOOL HAD ONE (1) HISPANIC CHILD (THE CHILD, ACTUALLY, OF A SCHOOL EMPLOYEE) IN A CERTAIN GRADE. THE CHILD WAS INTELLIGENT, AND PARENTS MADE SURE THAT THE CHILD DID THE WORK. SCHOOL GOT AN “A” FOR HISPANIC SCORES.

    CHILD IS PROMOTED.

    YEAR 2–SCHOOL HAD NO HISPANIC CHILDREN IN THAT GRADE.

    SCHOOL GOT AN F–FOR HISPANICS-AS THE MARKS WENT TO ZERO. IGNORING-NO HISPANIC CHILD IN THAT GRADE.

    IQ tests are sometimes as weird- my great niece–who has an IQ off the boards (on the upside) was given a test. There was a question about COWS. She wrote all about cows- and was going to be flunked-she didn’t write that they are mammals. She wrote all about them ( she was about 7 at the time) and the person marking had to look up the information-to see that she was correct-but left off the word mammals- the “preferred” answer.

    As bad, as one website (I think it was Wikipedia (not sure) had comments about an author. The author wrote that the comments (factual information, not viewpoints) was incorrect- they refused to correct it, as needed more then 1 person to make a change.

    As for tenure–it can go both ways-my mother was a teacher- and (at one time) nontenured-let go from a school- her classes consistently (before state testing as such, but other measures) consistently scored better then others in the area (let alone the school)–why? The principal needed a coach to stay, and the coach’s wife needed a job.

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