Tuesday, December 29, 2009

For the Children?

Suppose children were wise enough to advocate on their own behalf regarding their education. What would they want?

Good teachers - not limited to those with education degrees? Check.

A range of educational options not limited to public schooling? Check.

An efficient means of getting rid of underperforming teachers and administrators? Check.

Conversely, what would these children consider detrimental and or irrelvant to their education?

Tenure? Check.

Protecting any school or school system from competition? Check.

Efforts to limit educational options? Check.

Is there a greater threat to children and their education than the agenda of our nation's teachers unions and their servants in government?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Student Pawns

A common argument against school vouchers is the notion that private schools will skim the best and brightest from the public schools, and that this will contribute to further deterioration of the public schools.

Implicit in this argument is the notion that bright and or well motivated students have an obligation to the school system itself and to poorly motivated or even disruptive students. The idea I suppose is that some type of transfer is supposed to occur wherein good students elevate the performance of lousy students.

I have no doubt that people influence those around them. But what tends to be ommitted from the anti-voucher argument is that influences work both ways. Yes, the A student might positively impact the class clown or the chronic truant. But if that is true, it is also be true that the clowns, truants, and gang bangers may negatively impact the A students. This negative impact I suspect is the reason many parents of means send their children to private schools.

So good students really are pawns. There job is to suffer academically at the hands of kids who disrupt the education process. It is easy to see why public schools need to hang on to these kids. What is not so easy to see is what is in it for the bright and motivated students.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reinvest or Divest?

The Journal Times reported, here, on Racine Unified's "reinvestment" plan. In a nutshell, the idea is that by building a few new schools, Unified could then reduce class sizes to their optimal levels, and improved achievement would follow. Of course the public will have to pay for this plan - the amount has not been detirmined - but it won't be cheap.

According to the JT article, if RUSD classes were now optimally sized, 826 elementary and 961 high school students would be displaced.

Supposing RUSD is correct about optimal class sizes, there are still options not yet explored by RUSD to solve the problem. Building more school is one option. Having fewer students is another.

I have no doubt that there is excess capacity in some of our private schools. Instead of building new public schools, perhaps we should explore the possibility of allowing current RUSD students vouchers to attend underutilized and high performing private schools. This would eliminate the overcrowding at our public schools, thus improving public school achievement - according to RUSD's own argument. Taxpayers would not be burdened with the huge expense of building new schools. Rather, since tuition at private schools is typically far less that RUSD's per student cost, txpayers could actually save money while improving RUSD student achievement.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Worst Case Utopia

"Worse cases scenario if climate models are incorrect... energy efficient lifestyles, clean air, clean water... win win ."

This gem was provided to me from an anonymous poster but I have heard it all before from the left. It is bunk as I shall do my best to explain.

OK, so there is no global warming, the models are incorrect etc... what liberals want to do will result in good stuff, improved energy efficiency, clean air, clean water, less reliance on energy from rogue nations etc... and that is the liberal worst case scenario.

My worst case scenario is, warming or not aside, the likelyhood that government will control our lives to an unacceptable extent, even more so than they do already. And this government will be an international one, not one that can be unelected by us. We all use energy to survive and all energy use will be subject to government control. So the worst case scenario for me is that an unaccountable international government comprised of the worlds tyrants will greatly control our lives.

Of course the possibility of governments run amuck does not frighten the left, because, of course, never in the course of history has any government ever failed to fairly and justly meet the needs of its citizens. So we have nothing to worry about on that score. Everything will be OK once we put the United Nations in charge of our lives.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dancing Walden Students Protected From Truth

Walden students are participating in a "global flash mob" - whatever that is - for, or against, global warming. You can read all about it here but you can't comment on the story. Perhaps the Racine Post is hoping to shield sensitive students from some, er, inconvenient news.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Health Slaves?

Senator Reid has compared opponents of the health care overhall to those who opposed ending slavery.

So which brings us closer to slavery, the freedom to buy health insurance or not, or laws that force us to buy insurance whether we want it or not?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Thought of the Day

"Surge, then pull out" doesn't sound like a war strategy.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Catastrophic Loss of Crisis

The elites of the world had many people convinced that man made global warming threatened our very existence. Now we know that these claims were (are?) based on manipulated raw data that has been destroyed, and that the earth hasn't been warming for the last decade, we should all be really happy, right? Why aren't there huge celebrations? Why is the media so disinterested, as though a WORLD NOT ENDING AFTER ALL headline wouldn't sell?

Perhaps I am just a cynic, but I get the feeling many people are going to miss the global warming crisis. Indeed, the loss of this crisis will be catastrophic for some.