Third Party & Independents Archives

The Despair of Hypocrisy

I’ve written often about the hypocrisy of politicians in the past, but nothing prepared me for the full story on President Obama’s latest display of unmasked hypocrisy. Ending the school voucher program in Washington DC is a blatant slap in the face of anyone who thought this type of behavior would change.

When I first heard about the school program ending in DC, killed by a complicit Barak Obama and the Democrats in Congress, the cynic in me just sighed and thought "ok, of course, the teacher's unions are getting their payback now." Little did I know just how much the administration had to give up and step on its own words to get to that place.

For those that aren't aware, President Obama recently signed into law (in the spending bill) the phasing out of the DC program if the Congress didn't specifically authorize the program to continue in next year's budget. No sooner had this law been signed did Education Secretary Arne Duncan rescinded all scholorships already offered to children for next year, ensuring the plan's demise.

As Shikha Dalmia points out:

Against this grim reality, one would have thought an administration that ran on the theme of hope would do anything to nurture a program that offers a way out of D.C.'s hope-killing factories and into other schools.

But, that's not the whole story. Apparently there is also the news that the Obama administration actually sat on a study its own Education Department completed weeks earlier that showed, clearly, that the plan was succeeding.

In fact, the program, with per-pupil costs that are a third of what D.C. public schools spend, is producing solid gains for the 1,700 predominantly poor and minority children it serves. Indeed, the first batch of children who received vouchers from the program for private schools is now 19 months ahead of its public school peers in reading--which is why there are four applicants for every available slot.

So, not only has the administration sacrificed transparency, something it swore it would provide during this administration and has fought hard against actually implementing, there are several other ways in which this administration has worked against itself to provide for their financial supporters:

* President Obama told us many times that, unlike the Bush administration, his would not ignore science when it went against political policy. In fact, when asked about the Washington DC program specifically while running for office he stated "Let's see if it [the voucher program] works, and if it does, whatever my preconceptions, you do what's best for the kids." Yet far from being led by the scientific evidence, he concealed it and did the opposite.

* President Obama tells us that we need deficit spending to fund anything and everything, including bailing out failed businesses, building out infrastructure, weatherproofing schools, etc. But $15 million for a successful program that helps the most needy in DC is too costly.

* President Obama campaigned on the promise to lead an administration free of special-interest politics. But it is clear that special-interest politics is what drove this bus.

* President Obama sent his kids to private school in that very same school system. Apparently the school system is good enough for everyone else's kids but not his own. At least Jimmy Carter had the balls to live up to his own words by sending his daughter to public school. In fact, two of the classmates of his daughters won't be next year as their scholarships have been pulled from them.

The bad part is that those who already have seen that this administration is willing to bend the rules for political partisanship and special interest will only be emboldened, but those who put blinders on that there can be any wrong done by this administration will work hard to defend this indefensible decision by the President to sit on scientific evidence and end a successful program.

This administration, just like every administration before, has proven that they deserve no benefit of the doubt. All actions must be scrutinized and examined fully. If only there were a news medium seen by the majority of Americans that was interested in doing something like that honestly and without bias?

Posted by Rhinehold at April 20, 2009 1:40 PM
Comments
Comment #280631

Rhinehold
Good piece. Its a shame this doesn’t get more press. Being from California I have an unfortunate but I think justified distrust in teacher’s unions, which fight tooth and nail any attempt to hold teachers accountable or reform policies in general. This particular instance is regretable to say the least. I wonder what the Obama apologists will have to say about this.

As for giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, I don’t think anyone in power over anything should be given it. I will say I trust that Obama sincerely wants the best for the US, I just disagree with his methods. I would also say that in politics one must also give something you want for something else one wants more. Like say, giving up this program in exchange for the support of teachers unions. Also, sacrificing the program may earn enough good will to make broader reform possible. Though you being a libertarian you probably don’t like the public school system in any form.

As a sidenote regarding your desire for an unbiased news source: never has been one, never will be one. I think the concept of journalistic neutrality is actually a fairly recent concept, since back in the day many newspapers were actually affiliated with one party or another. The first instance of a blame-the-media attack I have heard was this from the election of 1800, a Federalist poet blaming the media for the election of Thomas Jefferson:

“And lo! In meretricious dress,
Forth comes a strumpet called ‘THE PRESS’
Whose haggard, unrequested charms
Ruch into every blaggard’s arms.”

(quoted from Anything for a Vote,” by Joseph Cummins. This is a very interesting book.)

Posted by: Calvin at April 20, 2009 3:21 PM
Comment #280633

“they deserve no benefit of the doubt”

There is no unreasonable doubt, when it is a matter of the mendacity of duopolist politicos.

Posted by: d.eris at April 20, 2009 4:29 PM
Comment #280638

Rhinehold, very one sided piece.

Vouchers leave behind schools in need of funds to improve with lower student enrollment upon which funds are dependent. In other words, vouchers makes marginal and poor schools even worse.

Obama’s and Democrats alternative is to make the marginal and poor schools good ones again, and if Obama has to step on the Teacher’s Union’s concerns over losing less than adequate teachers, so be it. America must have great improvement in its Birth to 12th grade educational system, and Obama is going to work to get our nation there.

Charter schools on the other hand are getting even more support from the Obama administration as laboratories for improved educational programs, especially with troubled, or special needs kids, but, all others too finding school an overwhelming experience.

Your article is so biased as to leave half the story out and leave the impression that D.C. will now have a void where vouchers once were. That is patently false. Alternative measures and programs are being put in place.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 20, 2009 5:59 PM
Comment #280639
Vouchers leave behind schools in need of funds to improve with lower student enrollment upon which funds are dependent. In other words, vouchers makes marginal and poor schools even worse.

This wasn’t the case in this instance, David. If you had bothered to read the referenced article:

To be sure, unions have long pretended to oppose vouchers not because they are afraid of competition but because vouchers drain resources from public school children. But the D.C. program didn’t do that. In fact, precisely to address this objection, the program was structured to keep D.C. public schools financially stable, meaning they lose no funding when their students transfer elsewhere. If anything, they have more money to spend on the remaining children. Obama would have done all D.C. children a service by pointing out this inconvenient truth—but he chose to remain silent.

As for it being ‘one sided’, please tell me the other side, David. What alternative measures are being put in place? What program is being implemented?

We have a statement by Obama who said that if the evidence came out that showed the program was successful, he would support it. Not only did he NOT do that, he sat on the evidence in order to make sure it was killed.

What is the other side to those, David? Did he not do what has been stated? Did the administration not kill the program and sit on evidence that would have helped save it to ensure it was killed after stating he would support it in that case? Did he not say he would rule by science instead of politics? Did he not send his kids to public school and take away that option for all of the poor children who were being offered that choice?

Was he not a hypocrite?

I understand the liberal dislike of voucher programs, I don’t agree with it, but I understand it. Why didn’t Obama just run on that view instead of claiming himself to be a pragmatist ruled by logic and then tow the partisan party line when the real test was put before him? Why is this becoming a habit with him, or is it not really a habit but the reality of his character?

Give me the other side, David. Because I don’t see one…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 20, 2009 6:14 PM
Comment #280646

yeah first it was the end of earmarks and wasteful spending. that promise was broken with the signing of the omnibus spending bill. now its this.


“Despite being “a skeptic of vouchers,” candidate Barack Obama promised this would not prevent him from “making sure that our kids can learn.” As he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in February 2008, “You do what works for the kids.”

“Last January 21, his first full day in office, President Obama declared, “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.””

“Just ten weeks later, Obama has broken both these promises. And poor-but-promising minority kids suffer the consequences.”

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTMwNWExMzVmYzg4YTM5ZTM4NTA4Y2ZhNWRjZGFiNmM=#more

good one rhinehold nothing like rubbing a little salt in an open wound eh?

Posted by: dbs at April 20, 2009 7:54 PM
Comment #280648

You think breaking a promise you may or may not know the full implications of when you said it is hypocrisy?

How about this:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/20/harman/

In short, this woman who was elected to serve the people of CA, basically sold them out, and then The White House went along with it because they had wiretapping investigations then. Nevermind that the whole of Washington seems to be mire in this BS ALL the time, is it any surprise to you that you’ve found out the capital’s name is really Hypocrisy, D.C?

Posted by: Jon at April 20, 2009 8:02 PM
Comment #280654

Wow…students who are more proficient score better than a heterogeneous set of students, and students from parents who care more do better than the average student.

Great enlightenment, perhaps you should have read the study, instead of reading the regurgitation of a biased think tank.

Posted by: Cube at April 20, 2009 11:56 PM
Comment #280655

Finally tax dollars are being taken back from papist madrases in the nations capital. Jefferson would be pleased.

Posted by: bills at April 21, 2009 12:04 AM
Comment #280657

It always amazes me that you libs leave out one important fact…The private system educates our children better at generally about 1/3 of the cost that the public system does:

In the 2001-2002 school year, the median private school tuition paid by ISF [Independent Scholarship Fund] recipients was $3,852—about one-third less than the $6,045 per pupil expenditure at California’s government schools for the 1998-99 school year.


link text

often they do it at 1/4 the cost…look it up yourselves….

So hwy not use our taxpayer money where it goes the farthes…is used more wisely…and produces better results….and gives the best incintive for the public schools to improve…and…makes them accomplish the same thing on what is obvioulsy possible as the private schools do…spend less money….

It is so simple….the far left wants to indoctrinate in our schools …socialized education….if it were any other situation…better quality…less money….who would complain…


But the liberal answer is always…spend more money…more money for education…but obviously all that added money is not only necessary…it also so far…hasnt worked.

the rebuttals for this will be hilarious im sure…Let the reader decide

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 1:34 AM
Comment #280658

btw …yes that statistic doesnt say at one third….but one third less…however you can look for your selves…that would be the high…you can find schoold accomplishing the task at all the way to 1/4 the total cost per student than the public system…

http://www.publicschoolreview.com/articles/5

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/2006menu_tables.asp

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2007/10/private-school-tuition-13-to-12-less.html

http://www.publicpurpose.com/pp-edpp.htm

http://www.heartland.org/publications/school%20reform/article/13543/5000_Voucher_Would_Open_Most_School_Doors.html

http://www.ed.gov/parents/schools/choice/educationoptions/report_pg15.html

The reader is free to look up the statistics…so the public system loses money and cant do as good a job?…learn how to do a better job on less money…it can be done.

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 1:44 AM
Comment #280659

Rhinehold:

I confess to knowing nothing about this issue and frankly, had not heard of it until you wrote about it. I really have no position or axe to grind, but offer this counterpoint to your piece from a quick google search.

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/03/the_dc_voucher_program_has_nothing_to_do_with_sidwell_friends.php

Posted by: gergle at April 21, 2009 1:44 AM
Comment #280660

Scottie,

I’m highly suspicious of those numbers on their face, having gone to a public school. A specialized school can easily beat a public school’s costs. Not a great feat, and not a meaningful comparison.

Posted by: gergle at April 21, 2009 1:47 AM
Comment #280661

Gergle …great rebuttal….Fact is…More money does not better education…libs answer?… more money=better education…simple…but we will let the readers decide..

BTW…I went to public school too….that dont change a thing….

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 2:03 AM
Comment #280665

Rhinehold said: “This wasn’t the case in this instance, David. If you had bothered to read the referenced article:”

Folks with a logic 101 course under their belt know that an anecdotal reference does not constitute the general rule. Cherry picking data to support a general overview is not intellectually sound nor logical.

The old saying, there is an exception to every rule, is still around for a host of reasons.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 7:44 AM
Comment #280666

dbs said: “yeah first it was the end of earmarks and wasteful spending. that promise was broken with the signing of the omnibus spending bill. now its this.”

Your comment demonstrates abject ignorance of the promise made, dbs. Not surprising as your comments indicate little interest in voting for or listening carefully to Obama anyway.

The promise was made in reference to Obama’s annual budgets, not Bush’s. The Omnibus bill was Bush’s 2009 budget left unfinished by Bush and Congress.

And Obama is keeping his promise as is in the headlines yesterday and today with his cabinet ordered to pare their administrative budgets by 100 million dollars. Obama had some words to Congress yesterday too, on this topic, that they would be wise to follow the same lead in their markups of the budget.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 7:50 AM
Comment #280667

scottie, ABSOLUTELY False! Private schools don’t carry the expense of district busing or transportation, nor special needs education, nor a host of other mandates required of the public school systems. Comparing apples and oranges does not a sound argument make.

Some private schools in Texas have been found very short of quality education and some even shut down for gross deficiencies, resulting from the profit motives of their founders.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 7:55 AM
Comment #280670

Scottie, money does mean better education where the absence of money is the source of educational difficulties, such as a lack of security or environmental conditions so bad as to interfere with concentration and focus as in August without air conditioning. In such cases, money will improve the educational process.

Learning is a complex process predicated upon a host of variables and conditions, leaving ‘this or that’, black or white, simplistic analysis such as found in your comments, woefully inadequate for assessing educational needs and policy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 8:01 AM
Comment #280671

Here’s an example of hypocrisy that would be laughable if it weren’t so sad, since it is the voters who repeatedly reward slippery, dishonest, arrogant, and hypocritical behavior with perpetual re-election.

It’s impossible to get a straight answer out of some politicians.

But whose dumber? The corrupt politicians or the voters who repeatedly reward corrupt politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates?

Any way, some taxation, if done as fairly as possible, is OK (in my opinion). But that’s not the tax system what we have today (e.g. in which Warren Buffet, the 2nd wealthiest person in the U.S., paid a lower percentage of income to federal taxes (e.g. 17.7% on $46 Million in year 2006), than his secretary (who paid 30% in federal taxes on an income of $60K). Warren Buffet told Tom Brokaw on “NBC Nightly News” that the U.S. tax structure is unfair. Warren Buffet performed an informal poll in his office, where the average tax rate was 32.9%, compared to his 17.7% percent, citing that as evidence that “the tax system has tilted toward the rich in the last 10 years”.

HHHHHHMMMmmm … it seems that if someone wanted to help most Americans during this economic crisis, it would stop hammering most Americans with a regressive tax system that hammers the middle-income group with higher tax rates?

The hypocrisy of Congress appears to know no bounds?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at April 21, 2009 8:11 AM
Comment #280673

david

“The promise was made in reference to Obama’s annual budgets, not Bush’s. The Omnibus bill was Bush’s 2009 budget left unfinished by Bush and Congress.”

it doesn’t matter david. it was still full of earmarks, many were no doubt wasteful. he signed it, bush didn’t. the prudent thing to do would have been to cut the waste out of it because the opportunity was there. instead he signed it and justified it just as you did” last years business”. what a cop out.

Posted by: dbs at April 21, 2009 9:08 AM
Comment #280675

david

“Your comment demonstrates abject ignorance of the promise made,”

how so? the program was working and he allowed congress to kill it, while his DOE withheld the results of a taxpayer funded study that showed it was succeeding. why? IMO it was a payment to teachers unions who have a vested interest in killing anything that might jepeordize thier monoploly on the education or americas children.

” Not surprising as your comments indicate little interest in voting for or listening carefully to Obama anyway.”

i listen to him all the time david, but unlike yourself i don’t take him at his word. i watch his actions, and you’re right david i would never vote for him, his politics are far to liberal for my liking.

Posted by: dbs at April 21, 2009 9:21 AM
Comment #280677

d.a.n, very true. What a lot of folks, Democrats and Republicans alike, don’t understand is that thorough circulation of a nation’s money supply through the maximum number of citizen’s hands is the most productive and prosperous scenario possible for a democratically elected society operating under a rule of law, not men.

Too much money in too few hands, is like depriving a car of oil for lubrication. It will soon break down from the friction and lack of lubricant. Conversely, too little available capital arrests the adaptability of supply to demand creating shortages, inflation, and constricted economic activity.

Our current tax system favors concentration of the money supply in very few hands as well as its offshore export to avoid taxation. The current tax system encourages cash only business to avoid reporting of income by those who have little to begin with.

Now, I am talking about earned money supply, here. Not borrowed money supply based on future printing of even more money. That is a whole other issue, and comes with high costs as we have both discussed and agree.

A progressive tax system that maximizes consumer activity and small business operation and formation, utilizing local resources and developing local and export trade, and local investment, is what would maximize middle class prosperity, and lift more poor into the middle class, through job creation and small business development opportunity.

A vast amount of past and current government spending has been aimed at those goals, which could more efficiently have been achieved, and likely with broader and better results, if left to an equitable progressive tax system that met these objectives. Which in turn would have preempted some of the national debt now accrued.

The two party system however, has for purely political power reasons, corrupted the tax system’s objectives, polarizing emotionally based ideological views on tax policy as well as the role of government in the economy, and thus minimized the circulation of the earned money supply, and maximized dependence upon personal and corporate and government debt, forcing the federal government to correct the deficiencies which resulted.

But even these efforts to correct deficiencies are self-negating due to no follow through as Democrats and Republicans play musical chairs creating programs the other party will cancel out when they come to power. Hence, America has no consistent long term plan or implementation for tax and budget policy which can consistently be applied to achieve its long term objectives.

The demise of the GOP, at least affords the nation the opportunity to install and follow through on a consistent economic and tax policy whose objectives will be more likely to be realized. That said, it is absolutely crucial that the Democrats put in place a long term economic plan that is focused entirely on the long term economic needs of the nation, and not on political power gains. There are few signs yet, that this is what we can look forward to from the Democrats, and that is not a promising prospect at all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 10:09 AM
Comment #280678

dbs, the program was working for some, while failing a host of others. On net, it is not improving American educational product for the widest number of students.

Money leaving some schools with voucher students meant even poorer education for the non-voucher students left behind in the schools the voucher students left. It serves no long term good to voucher some students to leave local schools for more distant schools, because such an approach COMPLETELY negates the improvement and investment in the schools voucher students are leaving.

It was a half-assed approach with no net gains for America’s students. Yes, many voucher students are showing improved results, but, the students left in their old schools are not improving their results, and in some cases, their results are even dropping. Abandoning whole schools and their student population in favor of improved education for a smaller number of students receiving vouchers, is not a holistic approach to the problem.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 10:17 AM
Comment #280679

dbs said: “it doesn’t matter david. it was still full of earmarks”

It completely matters regarding to Obama’s promise. He promised HIS budgets would focus on cutting the waste, fraud, and abuse of the budgeting system. He did not promise to rectify these deficiencies in left over budgets of the past administration.

You cannot use the Omnibus bill as Obama breaking his promise. The Omnibus bill was NOT the target of Obama’s promise. Ergo, he cannot have broken a promise he never made regarding the Omnibus bill. He did promise that his budgets proposed to the Congress would be improved.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 10:21 AM
Comment #280680

I’m inclined to say that budget was loaded with pork it’s where the money goes that’s the key no more statutes or plaques and parks with a senators name on it or granite / marble facades on public schools ect ect ect ect that’s waste, Their business is to address we the people , dbs I’m not defending the last Bush /Dem budget but as someone who was involved in an industry that did many projects in downtown LA in the 1980s and early 1990s much of that money is paid piecemeal and if it was cut right out it would bring the project to a dead halt so i’m inclined to agree with David that is wasn’t on Obamas watch now when he gets a good look at the next budgets he can pluck out with his tweezers such items as i mentioned above you’d be surprised !

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 21, 2009 10:24 AM
Comment #280681

David,


scottie, ABSOLUTELY False! Private schools don’t carry the expense of district busing or transportation, nor special needs education, nor a host of other mandates required of the public school systems.

Ummm… busing and transportation are the same thing, public schools have cut a way lot of that out… and could you give me some other mandates? Special needs are a small percentage..that again…private education almost always handles better…so…um… what’s the point?

Some private schools in Texas have been found very short of quality education

That made me laugh…Number one David, almost ALL of our public schools are falling way short…have you seen where we rank in the world? The percentage of private schools falling short? Very miniscule! And our public schools are failing at very high costs! Again David…Good try! Your basic premise is based on a foundation that our public schools are doing a good job! THEY ARE NOT! That is the whole point!


Scottie, money does mean better education where the absence of money is the source of educational difficulties, such as a lack of security or environmental conditions so bad as to interfere with concentration and focus as in August without air conditioning. In such cases, money will improve the educational process.

LOL! Education worked fine before ANY schools had Air Conditioning!

Learning is a complex process predicated upon a host of variables and conditions, leaving ‘this or that’, black or white, simplistic analysis such as found in your comments, woefully inadequate for assessing educational needs and policy.

UMMM…I should just let the reader decide but I will comment….so you are saying that the private schools giving a better education with way less money invested per student is simplistic? Ok…So I am simplistic…Give me thirty desks..thirty students…and a blackboard and I can give them everything they need to be prepared for college…I taught in a private school…We took our kids the equivelent of two public school years every school year. So I guess I am simplistic. But I also taught sales and management in Trinnidad and Grenada. One of the things I taught? The K.I.S.S. method….Keep It Simple Stupid!

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 10:25 AM
Comment #280682

“”LOL! Education worked fine before ANY schools had Air Conditioning!”“” I was in those Schools in the 1960s in the high desert of california and it was 105-108 degrees for a good month before summer break it was Hel# the teachers would turn the lights off and we’d put our heads on the desk and every hour or so we’d go out to drink water.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 21, 2009 10:40 AM
Comment #280683

david

“You cannot use the Omnibus bill as Obama breaking his promise.”

i can and i will.

he could have cut several billion in waste, and he didn’t. i guess it wasn’t important enough. technicaly it wasn’t his budget, but he signed it which gave him control over its contents, and the waste thereof. go ahead though and let him slide on a technicality after all it’s just a few bllion. meanwhile we should drool all over ourselves because he’s asking his staff to cut @100 million in spending, YEEEE HAAAAA !!!

Posted by: dbs at April 21, 2009 10:42 AM
Comment #280684

scottie,

Throw twenty times the number of children at private schools and see how fast they become just as educationless as our current public schools…or, were you advocating just educating the ‘upper (or church affiliated) class’ of student?

Our system is bent, not broken, and can be repaired with proper, well aimed reforms.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 21, 2009 10:58 AM
Comment #280685

It was still hot when we came back to School in the middle/end of September from summer break , when i hit Junior High they had Air what a relief.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 21, 2009 11:06 AM
Comment #280686

UMMM..Mary…There are plenty of private schools just as big as our public schools so that argument5 is false..We have been reforming for years…each time we reform we go further back wards….if you think our schools are just bent…your head is in the sand..we are performing..

http://www.unesco.org/education/information/wer/htmlENG/tablesmenu.htm

A great source of statistics…without the spin!


Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 11:17 AM
Comment #280687

david

“Yes, many voucher students are showing improved results, but, the students left in their old schools are not improving their results, and in some cases, their results are even dropping.”

what does this tell you? money is not the problem. it is the way public schools are run. they are inefficient, and run by inefficient beauracracies whos sole purpose is to justify thier existence, and insure next years increase in thier budget. where’s the incentive to produce results with the best utilization of tax payer dollars? answer: there isn’t one. what matters most is that our kids get a quality education. not where that education comes from.

“It serves no long term good to voucher some students to leave local schools for more distant schools, because such an approach COMPLETELY negates the improvement and investment in the schools voucher students are leaving.”

actually it does, because it lights a fire under the asses of public school officials, and lets them know they’de better start showing results, and stop making excuses. this is what public school officials do best. test scores are down: give us more money. that is always thier answer: we need more money. sorry thats not the answer.

“Some private schools in Texas have been found very short of quality education and some even shut down for gross deficiencies, resulting from the profit motives of their founders.”

we should be so lucky with public schools. imagine the incentive for beauracrats when they realize if they don’t produce results they’ll be out of jobs. maybe then they might actually give a sh#t about producing results, when it comes to educating our kids.


Posted by: dbs at April 21, 2009 11:17 AM
Comment #280688

“Throw twenty times the number of children at private schools and see how fast they become just as educationless as our current public schools”

lets just say for the sake of argument this statemnet is true. what would you then suppose would happen? parents would put thier kids in better schools, and the failing schools would be gone. with public schools we don’t have that luxury. we are forced to continue throwing more and more money down a rathole.


“Our system is bent, not broken, and can be repaired with proper, well aimed reforms.”


i don’t disagree with this statement. the problem is those reforms are being blocked at every turn by lobbyist for teachers unions, and those who have a vested interest in business as usual. in thier minds the problem is always lack of money.

Posted by: dbs at April 21, 2009 11:28 AM
Comment #280690

Rodney, controlled environmental research demonstrates the best learning results occur in temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees, 68 being the most ideal temperature for the brain, and 72 the most comfortable for the body feedback mechanisms.

I am not surprised that in your school time was spent laying one’s heads down on the desks, turning out the lights, and halting the educational process. But, there is one flaw with such a system, dehydration effects on learning. People’s eating, drinking, and sleeping habits differ as do their perspiration rates and tolerances. Dehydration can cause headaches, inattentiveness, irritability, antsiness, all of which are not conducive to learning.

Are you attempting to make the argument that America can’t afford to give its children every advantage like air conditioning?

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 12:00 PM
Comment #280691

dbs said: “with public schools we don’t have that luxury. we are forced to continue throwing more and more money down a rathole.”

That is only the case if the reasons for poor performance are not identified and eliminated, to include administrators, teachers, building and environmental conditions, and security. These are in fact, the conditions that Obama intends to address, and more. And its about time.

Every nation that is beating ours in trade, has a nationalized educational system with national standards, national budget, and national authority to remove systemic impediments to learning. I am not saying we need to go that far, but, damn, there is absolutely no doubt anymore that America needs national educational parity in performance and standards.

An uneducated electorate is an easy electorate to manipulate. Do not think for one instant that politicians don’t believe their political potential rests in part on poor and delapidated schools and ineffectual teachers in their states and school districts.

Just because America passed a law mandating K-12 education, doesn’t mean a large number of politicians don’t work their magic to insure the future voters in their state or district don’t get so educated as to spot an illogical argument, or as to compare past performance with current reelection rhetoric, or so adequate with the English language as to recognize bullcrap when they hear it.

And if a politician is elected primarily by a particular race’s constituency with racist tendencies, do you think that politician is not going to see the potential benefit of insuring that the school districts predominantly of other races are not funded as adequately.

Or how about representing a predominantly upper middle class constituency, and arguing for local school control which is nothing more than code for insuring the lesser average income school district’s students will not get as good an education as the wealthier school districts, complete with science laboratories, libraries of multi-media educational materials, and security guards for the entire school grounds ensuring student’s and teacher’s safety.

America is retarded in adopting a world class 1st place educational system for all its children and future citizens. Time to get the lead out, and think about what education means to our nation’s future economic and international position in the world.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 12:09 PM
Comment #280693

Thank you David…now that we have discussed air conditioning…the private institutions seem to be able to afford that also while still spending way less per student than the public schools…who have in quite a few places…are not able to afford it:

DENVER — The first few days of school can be miserable for students who attend classes without air-conditioning.

In Denver, only 30 percent of the schools have that luxury.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/13944667/detail.html


http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2008/bills/SB76_.htm

Students are sweltering as temperatures reach 45 degrees in classrooms, because a lack of funding and a backlog of maintenance requests means schools have no air-conditioning.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Schools-losing-their-cool-in-battle-for-airconditioning/2005/02/05/1107476853540.html

Still No Air Conditioning For Some Bismarck Schools | Video
Kevin Gribble
8/20/2008




Not every student will enjoy all the modern conveniences as they head back to school tomorrow. Three Bismarck elementary schools are still without air conditioning in the 21st Century.

http://www.kmot.com/News_Stories.asp?news=21539

Manymore storys out there folks…David…thank you for making my argument…While we did fine before any of us had air conditioning…even in our homes…the public schools cannot seem to afford it while the private schools do…on far less money per student…balls in your court David…Mary.

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 12:14 PM
Comment #280694
An uneducated electorate is an easy electorate to manipulate

Not as easy as a governmently educated electorate…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 21, 2009 12:21 PM
Comment #280695
Many people believe that lack of funding is a problem in public educa­tion,but historical trends show that American spending on public educa­tion is at an all-time high. Between 1994 and 2004, average per-pupil expenditures in American public schools have increased by 23.5 percent (adjusted for inflation). Between 1984 and 2004, real expendi­tures per pupil increased by 49 percent.These increases follow the historical trend of ever-increasing real per-student expenditures in the nation’s public schools. In fact, the per-pupil expen­ditures in 1970–1971 ($4,060) were less than half of per-pupil expenditures in 2005–2006 ($9,266) after adjusting for inflation…

A basic comparison of long-term spending trends with long-term measures of student academic achievement challenges the belief that spending is correlated with achievement….from 1970 to 2004…spending per pupil has more than doubled, reading scores [as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress] have remained relatively flat…..

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 21, 2009 12:23 PM
Comment #280696

BTW, the point of the article was to point out the hypocrisy of the president. I’ll take it since no one can defend the actions of the president in this case that the point has been made and we are moving on to discuss education as the broken system it is in the US?

Jut to make sure we are all clear…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 21, 2009 12:26 PM
Comment #280697

“”Are you attempting to make the argument that America can’t afford to give its children every advantage like air conditioning?”” Said David R, no as far as i know they have Air conditioning in california now we Installed it in a lot of Schools I wished the kids had it when i was in school from K-6 WOW! Heat Exhaustion is not fun the teachers did the best they could back then. It’s why i said what a Relief when i hit Junior High they had Air.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 21, 2009 12:33 PM
Comment #280698
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson established Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as part of his Great Society program. The lofty goal of Title I has been to improve the basic and advanced skills of students who are at risk of failing in school. In particular, the program is designed to assist low-achieving children living in low-income areas where school funding is deemed to be inadequate. At $9 billion a year, Title I is the largest program of federal aid for elementary and secondary education. The money is used mostly to provide intensive math and reading instruction.

In Title I’s 36-year history, the U.S. Department of Education has released two major longitudinal studies on the program’s effectiveness: Sustaining Effects in 1984 and Prospects in 1997. The Sustaining Effects study demonstrated that the $40 billion spent on the program to that point had done little to improve the achievement of the children it was designed to help. Although the elementary school students showed slight gains over their peers, “By the time students reached junior high school, there was no evidence of sustained or delayed effects of Title I,” wrote Launer R. Carter, director of the study, in Educational Researcher.

Thirteen years later, the most recent longitudinal study of the program found that even after the federal government spent another $78 billion (from 1984 to 1997), bringing the total spent on Title I to $118 billion, little had changed. “After controlling for student, family, and school differences between participants and non-participants, we still find that participants score lower than non-participants and that this gap in achievement is not closed over time,” the authors of the Prospects study wrote.

Researchers could not discern any long-term achievement gains directly linked to the Title I program. The program tries to identify and serve the children who need the most help, but according to the study, “The services appear to be insufficient to allow them to overcome the relatively large differences between them and their more-advantaged classmates.” Similarly, Wayne Riddle, an education analyst at the federal government’s Congressional Research Service, analyzed the two federal longitudinal studies and five other Title I studies. His conclusion: “Title I participants tend to increase their achievement levels at the same rate as non-disadvantaged pupils, so gaps in achievement do not significantly change.”

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 21, 2009 12:34 PM
Comment #280699

dbs said: “what does this tell you? money is not the problem.”

There you go again, looking for a one size fits all answer to a very complex and multi-variate problem like education. Money IS MOST DEFINITELY the problem in places like the Mississippi Delta where the tax base is so low, they can’t even get teachers to want to come their to teach, the conditions are so underfunded.

That’s not to say there aren’t other problems with the school districts in the Mississippi Delta, but, money is one of them.

Other poorly performing school districts with adequate school funding OBVIOUSLY are dealing with other issues as impediments to educational performance.

But, Maslow’s hierachy of needs is very much the first place to look for a measure of which schools need what prescriptions to improving their educational performance. If a school’s building is deteriorating, graffiti abounds, and the security to prevent the graffiti is absent, you have a school in need of more funding. The building speaks to the students, whether they matter or not to their community, their state, and their nation responsible for public schools.

Anything that elevates a student’s sense of pride in their school, elevates their motivation to contribute and do well in that school. There is a reason public dollars in such huge amounts are spent on school team activities. They elevate the school’s esprit de corps, and students pride in their classes and homework.

Education is a very complex milieu, and all the expertise from the fields of psychology, sociology, education, and administration need to be brought into the solution of raising America’s educational system to the best in the world, which it once was but has been declining from for many decades now.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 12:34 PM
Comment #280700
the best in the world, which it once was but has been declining from for many decades now.

In fact, it has declined every year since the Department of Education was put in place. It has been declining every year since Title 1.

Yet, we are told that national education is necessary, when all evidence points to the opposite conclusion and there is zero evidence that it has ever helped. Well, except for concentrating power for the teachers unions…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 21, 2009 12:37 PM
Comment #280701

The system is broken? I thought it was only bent! LOL!

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 12:38 PM
Comment #280702

scottie, your comment is ignorant of all the costly provisions required by law that public schools must undertake, which private schools are not obligated to, like physical accommodation of the handicapped, special needs students and their special educational materials and teachers needs at a premium cost, not to mention school busing.

You may want to research the actual budgets between private and public schools. It’s a real eye opener and blatantly explains why private schools can operate a lower cost per capita than a public school.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 12:38 PM
Comment #280704

It seems to me that the national educational system is ‘too big to fail’. Wouldn’t it make more sense to break it up into logical units closely resembling the areas in which the schools operate? We could call them … oh I don’t know … something like ‘states’ or ‘townships’ and let each one act in a more autonomous fashion to give the best educational experience for the local children in those regional areas…

Nah, I’m being silly, just ignore me.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 21, 2009 12:44 PM
Comment #280705

David, you mean all the regulations that have been imposed that have nothing to do with eductating our kids and preparing them for higher learning? Yes, David, I agree with you 100%. I repeat 100%. Those sxpenses are very definately a part of the problem as the private system is doing a much better of preparing our students without having all those requirements..So..why dont you support eliminating all that waste and concentrate on preparing our kids for college…Buses needed? yes! So, we pay a bit more, but you are right David, lots of waste is the problem.

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 12:45 PM
Comment #280708

Rhinehold, the problem with your quotation of the Title I reports the conclusion simply states that the needs of the students for improving educational performance were not being met by Title I funds as administered by local and state school boards.

That leaves a whole lot of room for researching why and begs questions like: are the school boards themselves appropriating dollars to students real needs, or their perceived needs, or even in areas away from student needs?

Second, one writer in your quote glosses over the fact that Title I funding improved K-8 performance, but, that such improvements were lost by the time students were in high school. It doesn’t explain why, what the difference between the K-8 and junior and senior high schools are, and a number of other questions.

As I have been saying, education is a complex and multi-variate human experience. Throwing money out without insuring the funds are targeted to the real world needs of students in order to improve their performance, is a waste of money.

My only conclusion from the reports you cited is that the bulk of the Title I funds were not targeted to student’s real needs. Were psychologists and sociologists brought into design and disbursement of the Title I funds? I rather doubt it. Yet, the psychological and sociological research on the pre-conditions for learning abound. Title I funds very likely did not identify and address those pre-conditions.

That is the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the results of the studies. There is a lot of history in Southern states for example where over the last 6 decades where black community schools were governed by state white school board policies, administration and funding applications. It is obvious that Title I funds directed through state education boards would not have been spent on the actual goal of improving the educational performance of black students in poor income school districts, though many a facade and sham would have been erected to make it appear otherwise.

This is but one of many potential explanations for the results of these longitudinal studies.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 12:55 PM
Comment #280709

We didn’t have a lunch program either when i was in the early part of K-6 my mom use to donate her time with the schools and worked in the cafeteria all the kids ate real good in my K-6!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 21, 2009 12:55 PM
Comment #280710

scottie, thank you for your candor in expressing that money spent on special needs children is a waste. What is your prescription for special needs students, leave them uneducated or a more Hilterian final solution?

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 1:00 PM
Comment #280711

scottie, and what of families who can’t afford to transport their child 45 miles each way to a better school? Let their kids go without education or remain in declining schools in poor income school districts? Public schools bear costs private schools don’t, and these funds are NOT wasted.

In fact, I hope we pass laws requiring private schools who use the public school bus system to discontinue that usage. Let the private schools pay for their own busing system and then we can compare apples to apples on costs.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 1:04 PM
Comment #280712

David….no….the private schools ccomplish the task of special needs students…just fine…at less cost…and if we need to spend more in the public education system for them? Great, Let’s do it! But I dont find anywhere in my words where i say…”money spent on special needs children is a waste” Sorry…faulty argument!

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 1:05 PM
Comment #280713

Thanks Rodney for the clarification. I was unsure which side of the argument your personal experience was attempting to support.

Folks who dismiss the value of air conditioning in education may just as well dismiss the value of heat in education in Northern states in the winter, for all the sense their dismissal makes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 1:08 PM
Comment #280714

Correct David…and as I posted earlier…the public schools…with all the money we pump into them…is having trouble even affording air conditioning …refer to post at: 12:14…..while the private schools provide air conditioning still at a very much lower cost per pupil…just how do they do it?

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 1:15 PM
Comment #280715
BTW, the point of the article was to point out the hypocrisy of the president. I’ll take it since no one can defend the actions of the president in this case that the point has been made and we are moving on to discuss education as the broken system it is in the US?

Jut to make sure we are all clear…

Rhinegold, Looks like nobody knows much about this. I suspect there’s another side to the story. Could it be that the private school students are from a bit higher socioeconomic lot than the average DC public school student?

Posted by: Schwamp at April 21, 2009 1:15 PM
Comment #280716

scottie, sorry, your comment is either inventing information to preserve the argument or it is ignoring the empirical data and information. The vast majority of private schools HAVE NO curriculum for special needs students, and don’t accept special needs students.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 21, 2009 1:26 PM
Comment #280717

David!

So we spend money in our public schools on special needs students! No problem there! However, there are private institutions that focus on special needs students that accomplish the task much more efficient than the public schools do..That has nothing to do with the WASTE that also prevails in the public school system for the majority of the students there…Special needs students are always a very small fraction of the total student body…Lets talk more about air conditioning…:)

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 1:32 PM
Comment #280718

David,

To keep you from creating a red herring i will state this:

If we spend three times…four times…whatever on each special needs student than what we spend per student…great. but if we werent wasting the large majority of the money we do in the public system that obviously the private system knows how to do…we would have MORE to spend on special needs!

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 1:36 PM
Comment #280719

Scottie,

Private schools have no obligation to teach every student. If I am not obligated to teach every student and rely upon a good reputation, why would I accept a student with disability, behavior issues, or parents that just don’t give a s***?

Please explain that one to me, and I’ll buy into your rant against public schools.

I’m not saying that we don’t need to improve public education, but we need to look at the whole problem, not provide an economic advantage to private schools. As David pointed out, in Texas there have been serious issues with a multitude of newly formed private schools that were simply scams to enrich the founders.

I do think that public schools and the DOE are often bloated with overpaid administrators.

I don’t think public money to fund private schools is the answer, just as you say, throwing money at it doesn’t solve the problem, nor does privatizing it. There are no magic answers on either side of the issue.

Posted by: gergle at April 21, 2009 1:36 PM
Comment #280720

Au Contrare gergle,

many times parents take their children and stick them in private schools because not only do they take them, they more successfuly deal with the problem..they involve the parents better..and they, because they can instil more discipline in the classroom are able to often save a student as opposed to them slipping through the cracks…the readers can do a lil bit o’ research and find this to be true…

When public money..which is our money…is put into a system where it has to be competed for…you have the only real motivation for the public schools to get their act together..and improve…Now..we have tried for a long time to throw money at our public schools to solve the problem..at no avail..so..other than shoving more money…do you have a better solution?

And explain why privatizing it doesnt work.

Posted by: scottie at April 21, 2009 1:47 PM
Comment #280723

Scottie,

How many times exactly? How long have we thrown money at public schools? Are you saying there is no difference in literacy from 1940 to now? Are you sure about that?

I know the answers, generally, to these questions. I’m seeing if you do. Your post seems to indicate you don’t.

Posted by: gergle at April 21, 2009 2:11 PM
Comment #280724

BTW,

Privatizing means making profit a goal. Why can’t a private school succeed at educating the public without public money? If the model is so great, why can’t the extra money they are making be used to fund their own grants? The math doesn’t add up.

Capitalism is a fine thing. It isn’t education and it particularly has never been mass education. I wonder why?

Posted by: gergle at April 21, 2009 2:14 PM
Comment #280725

Rhinehold,

Since anecdote is popular, I’ll give you one.
A black preacher I worked with back in the early 1980’s told me about his education in suburban Houston. It consisted of a group of a few neighbor hood kids in a shack attached to the “teachers” house. The teacher had no credentials, there were no books, little paper or pencils. This was separate but “equal” in the 1950’s and early 60’s.

Are you saying black education has not improved in the South since this time? Really?

Posted by: gergle at April 21, 2009 2:23 PM
Comment #280726

I would say at this point is that the main problem here is a heavy reliance on ideology.

This is a social issue, test score scientism aside. Part of the problem is an immature culture that rejects education as making you into some kind of indoctrinated fake. Part of the problem is that some are just intent, all disclaiming to the country, on essentially destroying the public school system. And finally, of course, part of the problem is a self-serving bureaucracy.

I won’t offer any false hopes of simple answers.

I think testing is important, but it must not become the gravitational center of education, since many educational concepts are too complex to measure by quantitative methods.

I think bureaucratic rein-ins are important, but we have to have specific goals in mind, and work out plans to free up the places where administration’s become a logjam for students.

I think it’s important that our efforts in running public schools is not focused on shutting them down. There’s a conflict of interest there, in a political environment where there are some who despise the idea of public schooling itself. Folks who don’t want kids going to public schools are not going to run them effectively.

Finally, we’ve got to realize that most of what’s great about our country comes from a culture of widespread education, and that a toxic attitude which favors adolescent rebellion to education over a mature questing for one’s ultimate role will not do this country a world of good.

scottie-
Why doesn’t it work? Private Schools, to be effective, must be both selective and exclusive. They have to compete in a market, without the benefit of socialized funding.

Give them socialized funding, and they no longer have to compete.

When you talk about vouchers and the like, you’re missing a critical point: vouchers subsidize the schools, flood the market. This nullifies both the need for schools to be top-notch to attract students, and their incentive for being selective.

If the independent, competitive virtues of private schools are that which you would care for students to be exposed to, a voucher regime would constitute a false hope. It would, by the gravitational pull of its funding mandates, draw private schools to more resemble public schools.

Public Schools, meanwhile, would be suffer at their function. The point of a public school is not to compete with other schools scholastically, but to provide a basic level of education necessary for people to function in life. There’s nothing wrong with exceeding that mandate, but the aim must be, at the very least, to fulfill that. This notion of closing down schools based on test results, of creating false competition, just as vouchers create false privatization, just misses the point of what these schools are supposed to do, and supposed to be.

These are not corporations or partnerships created by private individuals for profit or for nonprofit purposes, with the mind of either doing business, or shutting the thing down if things don’t pan out. These were schools created with the notion of serving a function for all citizens in that particular geographic area.

The entire paradigm under which we open these schools is different, and this notion of school competition is an unwieldy Frankenstein monstrosity of a perversion of this purpose. The state doesn’t get to quit on its citizens and then create a socialized burden on private business. It shouldn’t, at the very least.

Private schools should carry out their purpose: to offer alternative or superior educational opportunities to those willing and able to pay the cost. Public Schools should carry out their purpose: to offer a basic or greater than basic education to the citizens of a school district, with the government economies of scale helping to ease that burden and educate those who otherwise might not get that opportunity.

Ultimately, our goal with public schools should be to provide universal, at least adequate opportunity for education, with a person’s initiative and personal resources carrying them further if they so desire. It should not be to purposefuly create situation where we shut down schools, and socialize private schools to cover for that irresponsibility.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 21, 2009 2:29 PM
Comment #280728

Rhinehold,

I actually agree a locally controlled system would make more sense, except for the issues with uneven funding and the fact that all public schools are controlled by local boards. I’m not exactly sure what you are suggesting.

Posted by: gergle at April 21, 2009 2:36 PM
Comment #280732

david

“There you go again, looking for a one size fits all answer to a very complex and multi-variate problem like education.”

actully that wasn’t my point. my point was that the knee jerk reaction to failing schools by beauracrats, and teachers unions always seems to be ” WE NEED MORE MONEY ” when in fact the problem is not funding but a failure manage resources in a reponsible way.

now before you go off again, i do agree that different situations sometimes require different solutions, but this only bolsters the argument that local control is more effective in dealing with these problems. you point out that miss. delta schools are underfunded. i don’t know about thier peticular situation so i’ll take you at your word. the problem is calif. schools are not. in fact they are throwing money hand over fist at the schools and they are still underperforming, but what do we hear from the CTA, and the school districts ” WE NEED MORE MONEY “.

so who is going to be more in tuned to the problems, and peticular needs of a school in small town USA, those there in the trenches, or some education czar in washington?


“That is only the case if the reasons for poor performance are not identified and eliminated, to include administrators, teachers, building and environmental conditions, and security.”

i’de have to say david this really can’t always be done, especially in some of the inner city schools where you may have multiple upon multiple problems. i say close the damn thing down open a new one somewhere out of the scope of influence of the gangs, drugs, disruptions, and assh#les in general. use the revenue to transport the kids that want to learn somewhere where they can.

you know it’s funny i went to public schools all of my K-12 years back in the 60s and 70s. we had old schools without aircond. we sat in desks that were relics of the roosevelt, and truman administration, but we learned. the teacher came in we opened our books, and did as we were told. god help you if you got out of line, when the school was done with you, you went home and your parents finished the job. we don’t have that anymore. we a lot of PC nonsense, lets not hurt anyones feelings, if you think 2+2=7 THATS OK, because we don’t want to damage your self esteem. never mind that disapointment in failure is natures way of inspiring you not to fail next time.

Posted by: dbs at April 21, 2009 3:43 PM
Comment #280741

Dbs you were close to the beach nice cool ocean breezes and the sun didn’t come out of the fog until 1 pm down that way, Was the the high heat even a factor there? we baked out in the high desert kids got sick and were sent home being cool would have helped a lot, Many and myself included had a lot of stars for history and reading and math and many more would have them to if they were cooler.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 21, 2009 4:32 PM
Comment #280744

rodney

i went to school in my earlier years in the san gabriel valley. it got pretty darn hot. we had those old monster sized industrial fans, you probably remember those. the thing is we got out of school back in those days usually the first week of june. i feel sorry for kids these days the school year is longer, and they don’t really learn any more.

as far as the weather in costa mesa we get a morning marine layer until @ 1pm, that usually ends by the end of june. i’ve had days where the temp back by my pool would reach 104 or better. not to worry though pools right there, plus it would always cool off at night something you folks in the inland empire didn’t have the benefit of.

Posted by: dbs at April 21, 2009 5:10 PM
Comment #280749

I sure remember those fans dbs they came on wheels and they were loud and i’d talk behind them, I was Darth vader 12-13 years before he was!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 21, 2009 5:36 PM
Comment #280761

According to Scottie “It always amazes me that you libs leave out one important fact…The private system educates our children better at generally about 1/3 of the cost that the public system does:

In the 2001-2002 school year, the median private school tuition paid by ISF [Independent Scholarship Fund] recipients was $3,852—about one-third less than the $6,045 per pupil expenditure at California’s government schools for the 1998-99 school year.”

I would guess ISF must only pay for parochial schools tuition ran by the Catholics and supported by more than just tuition paid by the parents. Because in the links provided by Scottie the cost of a private school is much higher. In fact it was also stated Obama is paying 30k tuition for his kids.


“According to National Association of Independent Schools, the median tuition fee for private day schools in the United States is close to $12,000 for grades 1 to 3, $13,000 for grades 6 to 8 and $15,000 for grades 9 to 12. The median tuition fee for boarding schools is $12,000 for grades 1 to 3, $27,000 for grades 6 to 9, and $28,000 for grades 9 to 12. Fees in parochial schools are a little less. Another study found that parochial schools cost $4,200 a year while other private schools charge $8,500 per student.”

So this issue of private schools being cheaper doesn’t ring true. When you think about it does it really make sense that a 10 students per teacher ratio is less expensive than a 24 student per teacher ratio? Seems to me conservatives just want to throw money at the problem doesn’t it? It seems Obama has done the right thing by getting rid of vouchers in DC and supporting public schools. It is easy when you can pick and choose the students, or better yet force the students to compete to get into your private school and charge on average 2 to 3 times as much to educate a highly motivated student. Seems there is a lot of hypocrisy on this issue to go around.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 21, 2009 9:29 PM
Comment #280768

Stephen,

You said, “I would say at this point is that the main problem here is a heavy reliance on ideology.”

I’m not sure that I know of many where that isn’t the case. But this one is definitely a lightening rod. Your post is far from devoid of your idealogy btw.

You said, “Folks who don’t want kids going to public schools are not going to run them effectively.” This is pure idealogy here. In fact, most in favor of vouchers have no problem with kids going to Public Schools at all. Most believe that they and their parents should choose to attend of their own free will because they believe it is the best choice for them not because they do not have the means to pay for another alternative that is better for them.

You also say, “Why doesn’t it work? Private Schools, to be effective, must be both selective and exclusive. They have to compete in a market, without the benefit of socialized funding.” Actually, none of this is true either unless by socialized you mean in the very strict terms of the word of “government funding.” Parochial schools in my city are not very selective beyond the basic requirement that the child is capable of learning (As many have pointed out there the public school system is much better suited in most cases to educating special needs students). The church does provide a level of socialized funding to these schools.

You also said, “If the independent, competitive virtues of private schools are that which you would care for students to be exposed to, a voucher regime would constitute a false hope. It would, by the gravitational pull of its funding mandates, draw private schools to more resemble public schools.” This does not seem to have been the case in other elements of society even in very close examples of Federal Aid to college students which is provided to students of Private Universities. Have because of that funding have private universities become more like public universites. Has the provision of federal research grant money to private institutions made them more like the government research programs?

There are unique structural differences between the two that go beyond funding sources. If you want to look to solve problems of the public schools without sending the money to private schools, perhaps some thought should be paid to how to make public schools look more like private schools. In fact that is what many of the charter programs local districts are pursuing are doing.

You also said, “The point of a public school is not to compete with other schools scholastically, but to provide a basic level of education necessary for people to function in life. There’s nothing wrong with exceeding that mandate, but the aim must be, at the very least, to fulfill that. This notion of closing down schools based on test results, of creating false competition, just as vouchers create false privatization, just misses the point of what these schools are supposed to do, and supposed to be.”

Ok, I can buy this, but what do we do when this very basic mission is not even completed? Many local school districts have rejected your theory that “The entire paradigm under which we open these schools is different, and this notion of school competition is an unwieldy Frankenstein monstrosity of a perversion of this purpose.” They have created charter schools to guard against such failure to provide some competition to the more traditionally run schools so that there is a safety valve against this failure. This measure was demanded by their citizens in response to the failure and irresponsibility of those charged with the most basic mission you have described for running traditional public schools.

Posted by: Rob at April 22, 2009 12:40 AM
Comment #280776
I would say at this point is that the main problem here is a heavy reliance on ideology.

You are correct, Stephen, thanks for agreeing with the main point of the article. It’s a shame that this president ran on the promise of changing that way of running DC, but we are seeing now that it just isn’t the case.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 22, 2009 10:00 AM
Comment #280785

I’m pretty sure that if voucher monies appeared in the hands of private school administrators, they’d find a way to created sellable valueless education, much like the finance houses found a way to sell valueless bundles of toxic debt paper…it’s the capitalist way…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 22, 2009 1:29 PM
Comment #280792

Actually, it turns out that the credit default swap market would never have come to see the light of day without governmental help and encouragement. Capitalism would not have entered into it… I’ll be detailing more in my next article, I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading all about it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 22, 2009 3:50 PM
Comment #280794

Mary’s,

You said, “I’m pretty sure that if voucher monies appeared in the hands of private school administrators, they’d find a way to created sellable valueless education…”

Is there any proof to that?

Have the private universities that receive grant money for their students created a valueless education?

Have the private research instituations that receive public financing created valueless experimental research?

Have the many private organizations that receive public money to provide foster care and adoption services for the unfortunate children of our society created a valueless experience in helping them?

Have the private contractors that build roads, bridges, and buildings created valueless infrastructure for this country?

Should I go on??

The number of public/ private ventures in this country far outnumber the number of purely public ventures. I’m not sure why the suggestion that another element of our government using similar means to meet public obligations causes such consternation. Would we be better off moving all of these ventures to a purely public model?

Posted by: Rob at April 22, 2009 4:46 PM
Comment #280803

Rob-
I believe there is a difference between having an ideology, and being a prisoner to it.

Many voucher supporters indeed respect the right of public schools to exist. But you have to trace the idea back to those who brought it up, first and foremost: those who want their children educated in parochial/sectarian schools at taxpayer expense, many of whom also dislike public education in general, seeing it as a socialist endeavor.

Yes, parochial schools have the option to accept anybody they’d like. But they’re not under obligation to educate anybody if they they don’t want to. They can be exclusive in principle, even if they’re less discriminating in practice.

While public universities do exist, there is no mandate for people to attend them, as there is with Elementary, Secondary, and High Schools. Additionally, we must consider the fact that these institutions compete for private tuition dollars, instead of merely and totally being funded by the state. There is no right to public education once you find your way to a high school diploma; you’re on your own.

Students typically have their own ability to choose the colleges they go to, and whether they get financial aid or not, make the choice of who gets that money.

Public Schools before that point, though, are obligated to educate everybody. They can’t merely choose to have broad standards, if they like, they must accept all students.

Essentially, my mindset here is that public is public, and private, private for good reasons. When I reference the notion of flooded markets on the private side and the absurdity of threatening Public schools with shutdown if they don’t outcompete some other school (rather than just holding teachers and adminstrators accountable and turning over personnel), I’m trying to highlight the critical parts of what make each what they are, for their purpose: If you flood a market with students on the government’s tab, where do the competitive pressures of scarcity go? If you eliminate public schools, shut them down, how does that help with the overall student load for schools that are obligated to take students in? One dilutes the motivation of competitive pressures that are supposed to make those schools superior. The other misapplies concepts of private competition to entities whose purpose was meant to be socially comprehensive rather than cutting edge.

You can’t simply toss different practices in a grab bag, and hope for the best. We have to be purposeful in this, and not take a public mandate to educate it, and squander it trying to turn Public schools and private into something they’re not.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 22, 2009 5:33 PM
Comment #280811

> I’m not sure why the suggestion that another element of our government using similar means to meet public obligations causes such consternation. Would we be better off moving all of these ventures to a purely public model?
Posted by: Rob at April 22, 2009 04:46 PM

Rob,

Mostly because religion has a virtual monopoly on private schooling. Couple that with the costs of the program coming out of the same budget as public schools, and add that private schooling has not, so far, proven to be very superior to public education, excepting the very wealthiest ones…hmmm…more money does not help public schools, but more money does help educate the wealthy??? Who’d a thunk it…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 22, 2009 7:22 PM
Comment #280816

Stephen,

You said, “But you have to trace the idea back to those who brought it up, first and foremost: those who want their children educated in parochial/sectarian schools at taxpayer expense, many of whom also dislike public education in general, seeing it as a socialist endeavor.”

This statement smacks directly against your continual claims that you want a governemnt that works best for the people and develops practical solutions. Judging an idea based on the initiators of it is being a prisoner of idealogy in the worst degree. Worse yet, it a logical fallacy; it is a version of the ad hominem argument.

I’ll respond to the rest later with more thought, but I had to get that out there first.

Mary’s,

While I disagree with your basic assumptions in the post immediately above, I’ll accept them as the basis for a reasonable argument. That, however, is a long way from something as baseless and incendiary as “I’m pretty sure that if voucher monies appeared in the hands of private school administrators, they’d find a way to created sellable valueless education…”

Posted by: Rob at April 22, 2009 8:25 PM
Comment #280825

Rob
No, it doesn’t clash with that view. I trace it back to clear away some of the propaganda and focus-grouped fancy wording surrounding it. I think if you do the research, vouchers for private school really do serve mainly that purpose I spoke of. I mean, you’re not going to get kids into the truly good schools with this. This is going to be medium to low rent schools, modest private schools at best.

But the main features of the plan are this: it will encourage an exodus of children and dollars from public schools with no real religious agenda to private schools which are perfectly able to serve one.

Given all the smokescreens that have been spread around this subject, we should be wary of this kind of policy on general principle. This is social engineering being attempted in a less than forthright way, at taxpayer expense. If we’re going to change society with the government, we might as well be forthright about what we’re doing, instead of wrapping it in a bunch of rhetoric about competition.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 22, 2009 10:05 PM
Comment #280830

Rob, Stephen is right. It is common practice in America to go to the source of ideas and proposals for a better read of motivation and intent. In law, it is embodied in the principles of precedence and stare decisis.

Motive and intent, when it comes to public policy, are premium considerations BEFORE passing such policy. A policy may appear on its face to have merit. But, if there are ulterior undisclosed motives, the potential for unintended consequences of enacting such policy goes way up. It is therefore, responsible to look to the sources of legislative proposals.

If Exxon/Mobil is behind a legislative proposal, it says volumes about the intent and objectives of the proposal: profit for Exxon/Mobil. That could be relevant for consideration of the proposal.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2009 1:40 AM
Comment #280831

>That, however, is a long way from something as baseless and incendiary as “I’m pretty sure that if voucher monies appeared in the hands of private school administrators, they’d find a way to created sellable valueless education…”
Posted by: Rob at April 22, 2009 08:25 PM

Rob,

Incendiary? Private school, by their very nature, tie the hands of government (no regulation) the same way private finance houses tied the hands of government (GLB and other deregulation), and leave the people no say in curriculum or method. It would take but one successful move on the part of one such school to move the entire program into the realm of valuelessness. That is not a prediction or a condemnation, merely an observation. It is because of low oversight or no oversight that these things can (and do) occur. If you say then that perhaps some oversight might be achieved, it places private schooling into the same category as public education.

I may be wrong, but there is certainly nothing incendiary about the view. And I may be wrong, but there is certainly a base for the view.

Baseless and incendiary? Bah!

Posted by: Marysdude at April 23, 2009 2:50 AM
Comment #280893

Stephen & David,

I actually think much to weight is given to motivation and not enough to the merits of ideas. Really good leaders are able to look past those motivations and recognize an idea as solid and actionable despite initial preconceptions to the contrary.

What was the initial motivation behind welfare reform? I’d submit that it was racism, but Clinton was able to move past that and recognize that there was still merit in the idea.

The most notable and successful polocies are usually those that are enacted by those who had to get over the preconceptions of the motivation behind the idea in order to execute them.

If you look at the DC experience in particular, this was driven by liberals who despite all efforts to the contrary were failing their constituents. They looked to the other side of the political spectrum to solve these problem.

I actually feel sorry for the citizens of D.C. because unlike the rest of America they have so little control over their own city.

Posted by: Rob at April 24, 2009 2:29 PM
Comment #281001

I haven’t seen any backlash from the citizens of D.C. That will be the key. we have excellent public schools up here where i’m at there is a great amount of pride within the parents and students and Teachers and community.I’d like to see it spread like it was for me and many in the 1960s and 1970s it was very good even without AC for a while and other factors.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 27, 2009 1:05 PM
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