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I Just Couldn't Sacrifice My Son (To the Washington, DC School System)
Washington Post ^ | 23 October 2007 | David Nicholson

Posted on 10/23/2007 5:44:28 AM PDT by shrinkermd

When a high school friend told me several years ago that he and his wife were leaving Washington's Mount Pleasant neighborhood for Montgomery County, I snickered and murmured something about white flight. Progressives who traveled regularly to Cuba and Brazil, they wanted better schools for their children. I saw their decision as one more example of liberal hypocrisy.

I was childless then, but I have a 6-year-old now. And I know better. So to all the friends -- most but not all of them white -- whom I've chastised over the years for abandoning the District once their children reached school age:

I'm sorry. You were right. I was wrong.

After nearly 20 years in the city's Takoma neighborhood, the last six in a century-old house that my wife and I thought we'd grow old in, we have forsaken the city for the suburbs.

Given recent optimistic news about the city's schools, this may seem the equivalent of buying high and selling low. And though I don't know new D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, what I know of Mayor Adrian Fenty and Deputy Mayor for Education Victor Reinoso (a former neighbor) tells me that real change will come, sooner or later, to D.C. public schools.

The thing is, with a second-grader who has already read the first two Harry Potter books, I can't wait the four or five years it will take to begin to undo decades of neglect and mismanagement of District schools, much less the additional time needed to create programs for the gifted and talented.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Maryland; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: dc; democratichellholes; education; educrats; montgomerycounty; public; publicschools; schools; urbanwastelands
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The teacher's unions are all liberal bastions. The blues have run the big cities for over 50 years. When a blue parent wants a better school they go to a red area.

And, they think we are right wing hypocrites and bigots.

1 posted on 10/23/2007 5:44:29 AM PDT by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd

Liberals always want to sacrifice other people’s children.


2 posted on 10/23/2007 5:49:47 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: shrinkermd
Liberalism sounds great - unless it affects your personally...
3 posted on 10/23/2007 5:52:06 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: AppyPappy

Yup. Remember where Al Gore went to school in DC? It wasn’t the public school system.

Even in northern Virginia, James Carville sends his kids to private school.


4 posted on 10/23/2007 5:53:03 AM PDT by RexBeach ("Americans never quit." Douglas MacArthur)
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To: shrinkermd

Holy Batman, another a Liberal that sees the light...at least this idiot has the guts to apologize for his nanny state crimes: “I’m sorry. You were right. I was wrong”


5 posted on 10/23/2007 5:56:39 AM PDT by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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To: shrinkermd
In the end, though, I couldn't sacrifice my son to an education system that seems at best inefficient and at worst willfully corrupt.

So, the author is now campaigning for vouchers? Right? No?

I guess since he was able to flee to the suburbs, he figures the DC schools can just go about their business. It's not his problem any more. And anyway, the teachers union will still continue to funnel money to the Democrats, so it's all good. [/s]

6 posted on 10/23/2007 5:58:03 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: 2banana

Another liberal mugged by reality. I’d love to know how many of the big DC elite liberals who are so “supportive” of public education have their children in the DC schools. I’d wager the number is zero.


7 posted on 10/23/2007 5:59:36 AM PDT by LadyNavyVet
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To: ClearCase_guy

Its not just the schools people. DC works hard at making life intolerable for minorities (i.e. white people). How do I know, I lived there for 10 years.


8 posted on 10/23/2007 6:01:27 AM PDT by Jigajog
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To: shrinkermd

So this liberal moves his family to the burbs and a better school. When he and his wife votes to elect liberal school board members, in another 10 to 15 years, the schools in the burbs will be just like the schools in the city he left.


9 posted on 10/23/2007 6:04:03 AM PDT by unbiasedtruth
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To: iopscusa
“another a Liberal that sees the light”

He doesn’t see the light. A fascist bureaucracy is great as long as it’s you ruining other people’s lives. But when it’s other people ruining your life, it’s not as fun.

10 posted on 10/23/2007 6:06:13 AM PDT by live+let_live
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To: shrinkermd

This guy should abjectly apologize to all the parents and kids who were bused to bad schools because of him and his friends.


11 posted on 10/23/2007 6:06:56 AM PDT by expatpat
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To: shrinkermd
Public-school Ping from a proud product of the Washington DC and Prince Georges County school systems (1951-1964.) An excellent education from both. (Mostly wasted on an indifferent student like me, but it got me into law school and beyond later on!)

Do I understand those schools aren't as good as they used to be?

Just axin'

12 posted on 10/23/2007 6:09:12 AM PDT by Snickersnee (Where are we going? And what's with this handbasket?)
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To: unbiasedtruth

Yes, look what has happened to New Hampshire and Vermont and Maine, due to the MA libs.


13 posted on 10/23/2007 6:09:29 AM PDT by expatpat
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To: metmom

He just couldn’t sacrifice his son to public education. (Mugged by reality.)


14 posted on 10/23/2007 6:12:49 AM PDT by HoosierHawk
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To: iopscusa

He is only looking for an education for his children and trying to do it on the cheap. When enough liberals like him move into the suburbs because things are better, they will eventually elect the same corrupt officials, that will install the same corrupt school boards, that will let in the same corrupt unions, that will run the schools into the same ground that he left. Meanwhile his kids will get their educations before he can ruin it for the next generation.


15 posted on 10/23/2007 6:14:34 AM PDT by Bob Buchholz
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To: HoosierHawk
He just couldn’t sacrifice his son to public education.

But has not problem whatsoever sacrificing mine and yours. Afterall, our sacrifice is always for the greater good. ;)

16 posted on 10/23/2007 6:19:19 AM PDT by truthluva ("Character is doing the right thing even when no one is looking" - JC Watts)
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To: LadyNavyVet

Want a real eye-opener, look at stats on how many public school teachers send their kids to private schools.


17 posted on 10/23/2007 6:20:13 AM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things.)
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To: Snickersnee

My mother went to school in Northern Virginia in the 70s and 80s and she says it was a failure then. And she was in the gifted program. She got her education later when she homeschooled my siblings and me.


18 posted on 10/23/2007 6:22:04 AM PDT by JenB
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To: shrinkermd
No apology necessary, Mr. Nicholson.

Your Republican Party ID card is in the mail...

19 posted on 10/23/2007 6:22:45 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: AppyPappy
Liberals always want to sacrifice other people’s children.

Other people's children. . .other people's money. It is always the same. . .

. . .Liberalism imagines itself as an 'enforced charitiy' for the greater good. Coercive. . .corrosive application of what should be 'personal choice'; not collective enforcement of charitable ideals which by it's own inauthenticity, this charity is destined to be rendered, null and void.

Can feel this Lib's angst; as he make a private decision for his own son.

Doubt even yet, he really smells the coffee here. . .

20 posted on 10/23/2007 6:24:15 AM PDT by cricket
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To: Snickersnee

Good for you, having grown up in a time before the public school system became an indoctrination bureaucracy and a place to “cage” the fatherless consequences of the welfare state.


21 posted on 10/23/2007 6:24:30 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: cricket

“liberals” deride private charity because that money isn’t coercively being funnelled through the government.


22 posted on 10/23/2007 6:25:43 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: LadyNavyVet
I’d love to know how many of the big DC elite liberals who are so “supportive” of public education have their children in the DC schools. I’d wager the number is zero.

I don't fault them for protecting their children. This is their first responsiblity.

I do fault them for the disasterous policies the advocate. But that is a separate issue.

But you would think that the knowledge that the public school system is unacceptable for their own children would effect their assessment of how their public education policies are working. It really does seem there is a disconnect, and they just don't care about the children trapped in their schools.

23 posted on 10/23/2007 6:27:48 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: unbiasedtruth

You just made me see liberals as locusts... It fits right into place now.


24 posted on 10/23/2007 6:30:30 AM PDT by NTW64 (...)
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To: shrinkermd

It is a shame this fellow felt the need to leave the neighborhood he loves. I wonder why he did not consider private schools.

Vouchers, of course, would have solved his problem altogether. He could have stayed in his house and sent his precious child to the school of his choice.

We’ll get there someday...


25 posted on 10/23/2007 6:33:15 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: shrinkermd

Ask a liberal what they would really put first: their theory of racial justice, or justice to their own child.


26 posted on 10/23/2007 6:33:42 AM PDT by HockeyPop
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To: shrinkermd

“....I know of Mayor Adrian Fenty and Deputy Mayor for Education Victor Reinoso (a former neighbor) tells me that real change will come, sooner or later, to D.C. public schools.”’

You don’t know ANYTHING, buddy, if you believe this.

In order for change to occur the people in charge must give up their “religion”, and THAT ain’t gonna’ happen.


27 posted on 10/23/2007 6:35:08 AM PDT by TalBlack
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To: shrinkermd

Idealism works as long as it doesn’t affect you personally...... then well.... it’s different you see....


28 posted on 10/23/2007 6:35:16 AM PDT by Walkingfeather (u)
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To: shrinkermd
This article made me snicker mightily. As many Freepers on this thread rightly stated, he hasn't 'seen the light', he just realized it was uncomfortable enough for him to move (after all, his precious son needs a good education) to a nicer area with a better school.

Of course, just like pigeons, liberals befoul one nest and move on to the next clean area, and once that area is ruined, they move on... its an unending cycle. But dollars to donuts, he'll continue to cling fast to the ideology that started it all.

But, I guess I will give him some credit for admitting the system is broken -- that's a start.

29 posted on 10/23/2007 6:35:35 AM PDT by RepoGirl ("Tom, I'm getting dead from you, but I'm not getting Undead..." -- Frasier Crane)
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To: RepoGirl
But, I guess I will give him some credit for admitting the system is broken -- that's a start.

Yes, he does admit the system is broken, but like you said, he, and others of like-mind, just move on to a new area and break that new system. I see it everywhere I move; Kansas City, Houston, Austin, Omaha and now St. Louis.

30 posted on 10/23/2007 6:53:21 AM PDT by unbiasedtruth
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To: RexBeach; shrinkermd; AppyPappy; ClearCase_guy; 2banana; LadyNavyVet
At the risk of suffering a barrage of attacks, I am going to pose a few questions to all of you relative to the education system in this country, in general, as was illustrated by the comments in the this thread’s original article.

First, full disclosure: I have been adjunct faculty in two different universities at both graduate and undergraduate levels (engineering and other technical subjects) and I currently substitute teach at the local, small town, high school (mostly math and science) when my business (I am an independent contractor) permits.

Second, concessions for reality: There are, unfortunately, a number of teachers and administrators who think and act as though schools should be institutions of social engineering and indoctrination rather than of education an learning. The real question is how many of these types are there in the system and whether, or not, their influence in via the NEA, state education departments, etc. is disproportionate and what can be done about it.

Now, the questions for you:

1. How do you propose for teachers to maintain classroom decorum and discipline when a great many of the students never experience anything similar at home? …You can only send some students to the principal’s office… (As an illustration, I have personally witnessed some of the abysmal, home environments I cite when giving a few young men a lift home following after-school tutoring sessions.)

2. What are you proposing to counter the lack of male role models in the home? (There is a 30% illegitimacy rate total and nearly a 70% such rate among African-Americans, or blacks, if you prefer.) An unmarried mother cannot teach her children all she should, run a home properly, go to PTA meetings, little league games/recitals (if such exist for her children) and support her family financially all at the same time. (Note: I am not advocating any sort of state intervention here, merely posing a question.)

3. How do you propose to help public school districts avoid textbooks filled with “propaganda” when the texts are mandated by the state and bought with state funds? (It is not economically feasible for the textbook publishers publish anything but what the largest school systems buy… California, Texas, etc.)

4. How do you propose to keep teachers from being punished for “poor performance” by their students when the students arrive on the first day of class already so deficient in basic academic skills that there is no hope of getting them up to an acceptable standard for assessment tests by the end of the year?

5. How do you compensate for courses designed purely to “cram” as much information into the course for exposing the student to what they might see on standardized tests and leave no time for teaching something as vital to citizenship as “critical thinking?”

There are many, many more questions that could be posed, especially related to compensation (I make more in one quarter in my business than my daughter, a full time teacher makes in a year) or how to protect teachers from frivolous lawsuits, etc.
31 posted on 10/23/2007 6:58:35 AM PDT by Lucky Dog
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To: Lucky Dog

Easy solution. If a student is a disruption, you toss them out.


32 posted on 10/23/2007 7:02:13 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: iopscusa
another a Liberal that sees the light.

No, just another hypocrite liberal acting in self interest.

33 posted on 10/23/2007 7:02:36 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: Lucky Dog
There is no easy or short answers - he is a shot at partial answers:

1. Why do Catholic Schools work in the same neighborhoods that have dysfunctional public schools?

2. Why do military schools work (some even with fully automatic weapons)/

3. Why are public school unions so against school vouchers?

2banana

34 posted on 10/23/2007 7:03:57 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: shrinkermd
When a blue parent wants a better school they go to a red area

And then start trying to f*** it up.

35 posted on 10/23/2007 7:05:45 AM PDT by Jim Noble (Trails of trouble, roads of battle, paths of victory we shall walk.)
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To: AppyPappy
Easy solution. If a student is a disruption, you toss them out

I agree except how do you toss out 50% of the class?

How long do you think a teacher would keep a job doing that?

What is the principal (or anyone else) going to do with 50% of every class in the school being tossed out every day?

How long do you think would pass before a "pack of lawyers" descended upon the shcool system, the principal, and the teacher?
36 posted on 10/23/2007 7:06:06 AM PDT by Lucky Dog
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To: Lucky Dog

Good questions with no good, easy answers.

Parents, teachers, psychotherapists always pour more into their work than they receive from it. Maintaining classroom discipline is a function of the right personality and the right attitude. It is sort of an art form that many teachers never accomplish, but those that do are the new American heroes.

It now seems likely we are about to see an increasing tendency of parents to self select their schools with the possibility of tiering as the solution. Thus, some schools would be academic and others basically places to socialize and encourage those from dysfunctional backgrounds. Not nice, but necessary IMHO.


37 posted on 10/23/2007 7:08:29 AM PDT by shrinkermd
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To: Lucky Dog
I some answers to your questions. (Numbers do not match the numbered questions, as you need to treat the disease, not the symptoms.)

Start small, by abolishing integration. That judicial experiment of the 1960s has proven to be a total failure. Go back to neighborhood schools, where not just the local parents, but the local community will take an interest in the success of the school and the student.

Break up large districts, so that citizen influence over the administrators can be re-established. (Perhaps 10-15,000 students per district).

Re-establish corporal punishment in the schools.

Secondary steps would include removing ‘accommodations’ for behavior disorders, and instituting requirements self-control. Requiring uniforms would help as well.

38 posted on 10/23/2007 7:14:56 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: Lucky Dog

You asked.


39 posted on 10/23/2007 7:17:54 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: 2banana
1. Why do Catholic Schools work in the same neighborhoods that have dysfunctional public schools?

Catholic schools are not required by law to accept every possible student. Catholic schools do not answer to politcal entities such a school boards. Catholic schools teach religious values as well as academics. Students' parents tend to share the values being taught in the school. etc. etc.

2. Why do military schools work (some even with fully automatic weapons)

see answers for Catholic shools above.

3. Why are public school unions so against school vouchers?

It is a question of justice and job security in their memebership's eyes. Most teachers have passed hurdles (degree requirements, continuing education requirements, licensure, etc.), put up with poor pay, unjustifiably irate parents, absent parents, disruptive hoodlums for students (in some cases), etc. They see vouchers as means of syphoning off the best and most well behaved students leaving them with nothing but the "hard cases."
40 posted on 10/23/2007 7:20:03 AM PDT by Lucky Dog
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To: MrB
liberals” deride private charity because that money isn’t coercively being funnelled through the government.

Well, of course! Since when does any inividual take precedent over the 'collective'?

. . .Liberals ARE the 'sock-puppets' of the world. And of couse - if not ironically - they are the first to (collectively) scream a sock-puppet alert; whenever evidence of an individualism arises. Their arrogance and it's consequences, is rooted in their blindness to the inferiority of the amoral 'group think' that binds them together.

For sure; a sock-puppet's dream of 'will to power' - their 'collective will to power that is; can only bring genuine nightmares for all of us.

41 posted on 10/23/2007 7:21:57 AM PDT by cricket
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To: PAR35
Good answers, for the most part.

Now, let's see how you are going to "sell" them to anone not on this discussion board?


42 posted on 10/23/2007 7:24:16 AM PDT by Lucky Dog
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To: cricket

At the heart of all collectivism is the greed to control or own that which you do not earn.


43 posted on 10/23/2007 7:26:56 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: shrinkermd
Maintaining classroom discipline is a function of the right personality and the right attitude.

I would agree except that current "rules" prohibit the easiest, most expeditious and cheapest means of so doing. Addiitionally, there is a distinct shortage of those teachers who can by "force of personality" inspire discipline a classroom.

How do you propose to compensate so that "mere mortals" can accomplish the task?

Thus, some schools would be academic and others basically places to socialize and encourage those from dysfunctional backgrounds. Not nice, but necessary IMHO.

Is our society going to excell or even survive in the world market place producing citizens in this fashion?

How much talent would be wasted by your system?
44 posted on 10/23/2007 7:30:55 AM PDT by Lucky Dog
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To: shrinkermd
Teaching condom use instead of grammer = neglect.

Clearly Bush's fault.

45 posted on 10/23/2007 7:33:00 AM PDT by MrEdd (Ron Paul is Ralph Nader for the right...)
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To: shrinkermd

[I Just Couldn’t Sacrifice My Son (To the Washington, DC School System]

Good. Conservatives had better wake up and attack the liberal public school system and best replace it with conservative run schools before anarchy spreads nationwide and the schools mold their young mush minded children into the liberal left social and political system that is murdering America.


46 posted on 10/23/2007 7:35:14 AM PDT by kindred (I am voting conservatives like Hunter,or Third Party. No vote for Rudy or other rinos.)
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To: Lucky Dog
It is a question of justice and job security in their memebership's eyes. Most teachers have passed hurdles (degree requirements, continuing education requirements, licensure, etc.), put up with poor pay, unjustifiably irate parents, absent parents, disruptive hoodlums for students (in some cases), etc. They see vouchers as means of syphoning off the best and most well behaved students leaving them with nothing but the "hard cases."

So, should the best and most well behaved students be made to suffer so public school teachers are not left with nothing but "hard cases"?

It is not the function of the student to brighten the teacher's day. That may happen from time to time, but it is not the student's job.

If the system is disfuctional, there will be a lot fewer well behaved students and a lot more hard cases. There will always be some disruptive students, of course. But they should not be allowed to drag the whole system down.

47 posted on 10/23/2007 7:36:35 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: AppyPappy
You asked.

Sorry, your reply "sailed right over my mousy brown hair." Can you expound and expand a bit?
48 posted on 10/23/2007 7:38:04 AM PDT by Lucky Dog
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To: iopscusa

I’m not convinced they accept it is their fault why things are the way they are.


49 posted on 10/23/2007 7:39:07 AM PDT by television is just wrong (deport all illegal aliens NOW. Put all AMERICANS TO WORK FIRST. END Welfare)
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To: AppyPappy
I wouldn't say that the guy is too liberal. He got personally involved with both his godson's education and his own child's education.

He wanted parents to have input and provide oversight for the schools.

Those aren't really liberal attitudes.

He didn't have faith that they just needed the right people in charge of the bureaucracy while suggesting that it was solely the government's duty to educate kids.

He may have been blind to many of the issues until they effected him personally, but we are all guilty of that to some extent.

I don't know anything else about the author than what he wrote in this article, but this article doesn't make him sound like a liberal to me.

50 posted on 10/23/2007 7:39:53 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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