Skip to comments.Educrats Spin Conspiracy Theories
Posted on 05/03/2012 6:14:35 PM PDT by MichCapCon
According to an article posted on the Mlive.com news site, some Kalamazoo County public school officials are complaining that Lansing politicians want to eliminate public schools. Such alarmist rhetoric like this is not uncommon from education bureaucrats, although taxpayers might find the timing a bit odd given that both the state House and Senate have just increased education funding to nearly $13 billion next year.
What really frightens the conventional public school establishment, however, is not the amount politicians decide to spend on schools, but losing its monopoly on students thanks to other actions the Legislature recently took, namely lifting the cap on the number of charter public schools. The tipoff comes when a member of that establishment claims that were being set up for failure, in part because of the increased competition from charters.
The Mlive.com article cited another who fears the potential competition from online cyber schools, an expansion of which also passed the House this week. This individual sneered that politicians want to get give kids computers and let them sit at home (a statement that among other things shows a need for some remedial education on what the online learning revolution is all about).
Whats really going on here is not a power struggle between local school districts and Lansing, but one between the K-12 public school establishment and parents. Every time a parent says no thanks to the product conventional public schools offer, instead entrusting his or her childs education to a charter public school, thousands of tax dollars follow that child out of the old school and into the new one.
In the end, what public school monopolists really oppose is giving parents more control over their childrens education. The truth is, not a single tax dollar goes to a charter school unless parents make a conscientious decision to choose it over the conventional public school. Rather than spinning dark conspiracy theories for reporters who should know better, conventional school officials would serve the public better by instead looking for ways to make their own product more attractive to parents.
Public school is child abuse.
Picking on the schools again.
If anyone wants on the Michigan Cap Con ping list, let me know.
Most (if not all) educrats are pinheaded, self-entitled morons. Just look at the public school system’s abysmal failures and mediocrity. There are some exceptional students IN SPITE OF these tools.
Not a bad idea. Separation of School and State will keep bureaucrats from turning schools into government information centers.
I don’t know if they want to eliminate public schools, but I do. Public schools are an utter waste of money. They are simply a make work program for the teachers.
Education should be privatized—all of it.
...they were completely organized and ran at the local level.
...teacher's unions were disbanded and teacher salaries were performance based.
...at the high school/vo-tech level, there were a robust apprenticeship/internship program with local businesses.
I'd be ok with public schools if I didn't have to pay for the education of someone else's children.
Just curious...did you go to the Naval Academy? NROTC Scholarship?
Aviation Officer Candidate School, Pensacola, Florida, 1985.
So...in the mid 80's, when my parents were struggling to provide for three teenaged kids, you were content with them subsidizing your attendance at OCS, flight school, your billeting, your mess, your cadre, training aircraft, avgas, etc. Sounds like you were the direct beneficiary of other peoples' parents subsidizing your education and training, which, to your credit, it seems as though you've parlayed into what I'll assume is a reasonably comfortable vocation.
Good thing they and millions of others didn't object too strenuously to educating other peoples' kids. If however, you really are sincere about it, I'd be happy to drop you my parents' address via FReemail and you can reimburse them to assuage your guilt.
So here on Free Republic you are arguing that serving in the United States Military is the equivalent of sponging off the tax payer? I'll be sure to pass on those sentiments to the guys down at the VFW.
Who said it's sponging? You're getting your hackles raised because you're reading things into what I wrote that simply aren't there. The fact is, you received vocation/technical training paid for by other peoples' parents that you've made a career out of. Good for you.
If you review my very first post on this thread, you'll see that I have fundamental problems with the way public education is structured, and that it is one thing about this country that does need to be "fundamentally transformed."
That does not mean that there is not a case to be made for taxpayers providing for the education and training of others. You are an example of the positive outcome of such, which is why I find it ironic and hypocritical that you would begrudge that opportunity to others.
Certainly taxpayer funding of military training and education should have a positive effect on society; if it doesn't the taxpayers are getting shafted. The exact same case could be made for public schools, and I suspect if the provisions I suggested in my first post on this thread were followed, public school graduates would be much more robust contributing members of their communities.
To give things a little perspective...
I attended a Catholic school from grades 1-6, then went to public schools from grades 7-12. I attended a private college on a four-year ROTC scholarship, and in that regard, am also the beneficiary of people who paid to educate "other peoples' kids." The difference between you and I apparently, is that I appreciate it, never felt any sense of entitlement to it and have no problem with doing my part to afford others the same opportunity that many gave me. After commissioning, I spent 10 years on active duty and have been working in the private sector for 10+ years now.
I have no children of my own, but as you say, "pay to educate other peoples' kids." While I may not be perfectly happy with the way that money is spent, I'm not against the practice in principle, because someday, I'm going to hire those kids, and the better educated they are, the more productive they're going to be. Those that don't come to work directly for my company will be providing the goods and services that directly or indirectly, impact the quality of my life. I'm happy to pay for an 18 year old kid to go through Infantry Basic and AIT, because in the greater scheme of things, that provides an umbrella of security that allows for our standard of living. And while military service has a nobility all its own, in a more direct sense it is the 18 year old bank teller, plumber's apprentice, landscaper, and garbageman that also have a bearing on my quality of life, and the better educated they are, the more I and my town benefit from it. In that sense, their education is an investment. The quality of the education they get determines largely if it's a good or poor one.
I don't begrudge that opportunity to anybody. I don't mind paying taxes for the military because the purpose of the government is to secure our natural rights and that is what the military is hired and trained to do.
Schooling is NOT a natural right. One cannot have a natural right to that which is produced by other people: that is slavery.
Certainly taxpayer funding of military training and education should have a positive effect on society
Military education and training is for the purpose of defending the country. Any ancillary benefits to members of the military or society at large are immaterial to its purpose.
The exact same case could be made for public schools
No it can't. You would have to demonstrate that taxing people (taking away their property; denying them the natural right to own that property) for education in general is for the purpose of securing some identified natural right.
I'm not against the practice in principle, because someday, I'm going to hire those kids, and the better educated they are, the more productive they're going to be. Those that don't come to work directly for my company will be providing the goods and services that directly or indirectly, impact the quality of my life.
So is that your political principle? It's okay to take peoples money away along as the goal is to make someone "more productive" or "positively impact your quality of life? The principle I reference was unanimously agreed to in 1776. Yours sounds like it comes from a quasi economic analysis published by Psychology Today.
From a practical standpoint, educational improvement requires two things:
a) Parents must pay for their children's education.
From Milton Friedman's four ways to spend money
Anyway, let's begin with the first item. When you spend your own money for yourself, the tendency would be, which is true all the time, you want to have the best services and goods in exchange for every cent you have. Meanwhile, what is 'own money'? In practical sense, an equity, an asset, a penny that does not belong to anybody but you is what we call "own money". It is sometimes a proceed for yourself derived or earned while doing some risk, like going out for work everyday. Because of that, having the knowledge that you spend substantial effort to acquire it, it is somehow unavoidable that your mind requires the maximum satisfactory return for the least possible amount of money you can shell out. You want to eat the most delicious food your available money can buy, the best clothes for yourself at a discounted rate, acquire the highest rebates, maximizing the rewards you earned, etc... (highest quality for least cost)
b) Fathers have to raise there children.
High School Dropouts. 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
Educational Attainment. Kids living in single-parent homes or in step-families report lower educational expectations on the part of their parents, less parental monitoring of school work, and less overall social supervision than children from intact families. (N.M. Astore and S. McLanahan, American Sociological Review, No. 56 (1991)
Aggression. In a longitudinal study of 1,197 fourth-grade students, researchers observed "greater levels of aggression in boys from mother-only households than from boys in mother-father households." (N. Vaden-Kierman, N. Ialongo, J. Pearson, and S. Kellam, "Household Family Structure and Children's Aggressive Behavior: A Longitudinal Study of Urban Elementary School Children," Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 23, no. 5 (1995).
Achievement. Children from low-income, two-parent families outperform students from high-income, single-parent homes. Almost twice as many high achievers come from two-parent homes as one-parent homes. (One-Parent Families and Their Children, Charles F. Kettering Foundation, 1990).
I'll align my thoughts on the matter with James Madison.
I read your post - I just think you underestimate the scope of the problem. Or in other words, I think the problem is more fundamental. Single payer systems do not work. Single payer education has been an unmitigated disaster. Single payer health care will be an unmitigated disaster as well. I don't think the conditions you listed would materially change the quality of education at public schools. Forcing parents to pay the tab would force those changes you advocate, and in addition provide more benefits e.g. allowing the Bible back in school. Without a reasonable knowledge of the Bible, the majority of the canon of western civilization becomes incomprehensible. (Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, Dante, Michaelangelo, Joyce, Augustine, Aquinas etc.)
As for Madison, like Jefferson who founded the University of Virginia, he was a slaveholder. Neither one freed their slaves. That he advocates appropriating the hard work of others to spend as he wishes is unsurprising. Either way, to quote another defender of Natural Rights: By proving that there is no principle of justice that has not been denied somewhere or at one time, one has not yet proved that any given denial was justified or reasonable.
I do, however, agree with Madison on the importance of education to the protections of our liberty. That is the exact reason it is critical to end single payer education. In addition, todays technology effectively erases the handicap of poverty. The books necessary for a proper education are available to everyone, virtually free. Lectures by top faculty can be downloaded for free from iTunes. Public education has become an expensive babysitting service that actively discourages what is essential for education which is hard work.
I advocate nothing of a single payer system. In fact, get rid of the unions, base teacher pay on performance and I'd be willing to bet schools become more competetive, and private schools blossom. Roll in the apprenticeship and internship programs and a symbiotic relationship develops in which the private sector becomes more involved (and influential) in the schools and the schools better prepare the students to play positive roles in the community. Above and beyond that, the educators are far more accountable for their results to the people who pay them.
While I agree with you that parental involvement is critical, powering things down to the local level essentially makes the schools and school boards a consortium of parents. Right now, for those parents who sincerely want to be involved, the biggest discouragement to communicating and enacting new ideas is the resistance they get from teacher unions, federal and even state level mandates. Return more local control, and I suspect you'd get a whole lot more parental involvement...you might even see the Bible re-enter the public schools if for no other reason, than to remain competetive with the private schools that include it.
Say what you will about Madison, Jefferson etc. you're the one who suggested in a previous post that my thoughts were inconsistent with the Spirit of 1776....Now you're saying the people with that spirit were slave holders. Not sure how to debate somebody who jumps from one side of an issue to the other.
Public schools generally served this nation well for many decades before they fell under progressive control and become the festering sewers many are today. IMHO, this isn't the result of an inherent flaw in the concept, but merely the result of traditionalists ceding the territory to the progressive educrats.
Certainly, in a perfect world, all children would receive classical and vocational training between home and church, and be fully prepared to assume the mantles of responsible, productive moral citizens upon reaching adulthood. That's not going to happen. There remains a role for professional educators and academics, which you so much as admit when you write, "... The books necessary for a proper education are available to everyone (who's going to write those books?) virtually free. Lectures by top faculty can be downloaded for free from iTunes."
Now within that construct of teachers teaching, there needs to be a mechanism of accountability. In your argument, you feel that if parents were paying exclusively for their own childrens' education, the parents would have so much skin in the game the educators would be far more accountable to them. There are a couple of problems with that. First, you would think that would already be the case with private schools, and to a certain degree it is, yet, not all kids can afford to go to such schools or have parents willing to make the sacrifices needed to do so. That leaves us with a few options for those kids. We could let them run feral and uneducated and become general nuisances, if not outright dangers to civil society. We can throw them into the "babysitting" service that many of our public schools have become, or we can reform and overhaul the public schools where, even if some parents could care less about their children, those kids still find themselves in an environment where responsible parents and community leaders have a much greater say in the curriculum and the work ethic demanded from both the educators and students.
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