Who Protests Minority Catholic Choice Schools?

What kind of people protest and vandalize Catholic schools full of young African-American children? Nope, not those Tea Party People. You’d think that would be the case, considering our vice president thinks they’re terrorists and our president says they’re all racists. But nope. Not Tea Baggers.

Those obviously racist anti-choice protesters in the video below are some SEIU union thugs, some public employees (teachers) and according to someone at the end of the video clip, just some normal people who aren’t working on a nice summer day. They are the ones protesting at a Catholic Choice School full of smart kids.

The problem? Scott Walker is there reading them a story and commending them for doing such a great job. You know… teaching, learning, getting ready for college? Bad stuff.

CREDIT: Jeff Sainlar at http://www.jsonline.com/

This is what racist, anti-choice people do in Wisconsin: They go out and protest Scott Walker and expose his evil plan to give young African-American children a decent education.

Part of the deal with this day’s protest includes vandalizing the mostly minority Catholic “School Choice” school (the school is non-union, hence the SEIU ‘Purple Shirts’ in the mob.) Did I say SEIU goons did it? Not me.

All I’m saying is that maybe they should have protested at a poorly performing public school where Walker was visiting. Protesting this mostly minority Catholic school that sends 85% of its graduates on to college, doesn’t make these mostly white, mostly non-residents of this lovely recovering neighborhood look very good, does it?

CREDIT: Breann Schossow at http://www.jsonline.com/

Did I mention that most of the students at this Choice School are African American? Did I mention that this school alone might be responsible for DOUBLING the value of the houses in the  neighborhood in which it was built? (Re-watch the video. It’s in there.) Use your imagination and see if you can imagine that these people are from the up-and-coming neighborhood in which this 6 million dollar school compliments. Doesn’t work , does it?

Why The Hate?

CREDIT: Tom Lynn at http://www.jsonline.com/

Isn’t this (loud, hateful, mean spirited, minor vandalism) kind of protest something that only those Tea Partiers  would do?

To be sure, the protest was about the governor, Scott Walker and about school choice (but not for everyone) and about who should be getting the money for educating children — public employees and government contractors, or any entity that actually WORKS FOR THE KIDS?

Let’s revisit a STUNNING example of human decency at [2:47] shall we?

“What do you believe he’s done that’s so great that he … that he deserves the attention of your students?”

“I’m ashamed to have you in my neighborhood.”

I’m wondering if that was a nun he was talking to? To be sure, if this spiteful boy were speaking to the black principal of this school, he’d be a racist, right? Just like people who say insensitive things about the president? Coming from the mouth of one of those Tea Party people… you would say that was hate speech.

Don’t you dare say it’s not true.

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Admit it Liberals, You Hate (School) Choice

I think it’s really sad that some people only want to fund public education for some kids in only certain public schools, but not other public schools or any other workable educational options.

Why the discrimination people?

My Facebook friend, Nate Spencer says it’s about “money and power. Those other schools don’t tend to be NEA shops. Kids first indeed.”

I keep thinking that “money and power” are becoming old saws of late, Nate. Do you suppose there are other reasons? The “power” part I get… but I think it’s about the overall power that is derived from keeping a monopoly alive so that it feeds the millions of people that feed off of it. Only this monopoly doesn’t make a few greedy capitalist industrialists powerful, but rather several unions, contractors, suppliers, bureaucracies, workers, etc. etc. etc.

The Government Education Complex (read more about it on this blog: The Government Education Complex Defined) is the monopoly that uses taxpayer dollars (money taken by force) to keep itself alive via a political construct called districts. School districts are like mini fiefdoms, that require funding, not directly from the community they serve, but from the state and the federal governments, so that they can perpetuate themselves.

Over a century ago it was decided that taking our money by force through taxation in order to pay for the schooling of other people’s children is a good thing. It has been ingrained in our psyche that only public schooling is something worthwhile, and worthy of paying for with our tax dollars. But unfortunately for the Education Complex, along came a few different models of learning that happen to work better than the old factory school (districts) model and parents are now making choices, rather than abdicating their choice to the one and only government school closest to them. (Or in some cases, a non-local school that the government buses their children to because they determined some diversity quotas must be met.)

NOW… it’s suddenly not the right thing to pay for educating ALL children. NOW we should only pay for the kids who attend DISTRICT public schools. Not just ANY public school. Charters, and other options, you see, threaten the monopoly (and let’s face it.. the unions too; but that’s becoming an old saw as well.)

I guess all I want at this point in the debate is a little intellectual and moral honesty. If you are a Liberal and you believe Public Charter schools are all bad and shouldn’t exist because they are “pulling, stripping, stealing” money away from the district public schools, then pretty-please agree to the following… at least in principle:

1) Public School funding is really about funding “certain” children and not all children. IF you want to choose to go to a public school — ANY SCHOOL — that isn’t unionized or operates in a manner other than in a politically controlled district using master contracts that citizens can’t approve personally, you should have to pay for it yourself, just like all the other “rich” people who pay for private schooling. Your tax dollars can’t go to private schools or non-district schools. It hurts our old district schooling system too much and it hurts the children left in the poorly performing schools when you take your money and children out of the system. These systems must be fixed, no matter what the cost; even if it cheats some children out of a decent education.

2) Yes, yes, yes… I agree that charter schools are really public schools. I’ve been using the “charter schools aren’t public schools” and “charters get to pick and choose their students” lie because it furthers my agenda, which again, is the following: MY district school deserves taxpayer money before OTHER public schools and other educational choices receive money. The end justifies the means.

3) I realize that poor and “at-risk” children also might have parents who want to take advantage of charters or even vouchers. I feel for them. I really do. I’m a Liberal after all. We really really feel for these kids. That said, I have to admit that even though these options might in fact help these poor and disadvantaged students, it might actually hurt MY school district, therefore I can not support even poor and disadvantaged children receiving taxpayer support for THEIR choice to leave their assigned school district. It puts too many other kids at risk. And besides, how can we be sure the parents of poor and at-risk kids know what they’re doing? They can’t possibly know what’s best for their child’s education. They aren’t the professionals.

4) I’m still for choice!! I just have to look out for MY CHOICES first. You know what I mean? Therefore, I will work hard with my political friends and lobbyists in the statehouse, paid for with donations from my union dues, do make sure that all workable educational choice and reform ideas are aborted before they become viable law. I will, though, in the spirit of intellectual honesty, stop blaming Bush and NCLB for all of the problems we have today with our public school districts, especially with the prospect that Obama’s Race to the Top plan will be NCLB on crack!!

SEE!! That wasn’t so hard, was it? You really can be a pro choice Liberal and at the same time, deny ‘certain’ children their right to a good education of their parents’ choice. And people will probably still like you.

Admit these things, my liberal friends, public school district apologists and opponents in playful and philosophical discourse and I bet we can start to have more honest conversations about the future of education reform.

The Government Education Complex Defined

“The “Government Education Complex” is the interlocking set of interests that control the vast majority of American education dollars, education policy, and the steady increase in unnecessary education job creation.”

There it is… in a nutshell. From this, flows most of my theories about how Government Schooling is damaging generations of children.

The following is a more concise definition of how I (and others of my ilk) define and frame our arguments against Public Schools, Government Schools, and State Schools. Actually, for years we’ve been discussing on my AltEdDiscourse List, the problems with Government Schools using this term as a basis for defining all of the systemic problems with Government Run, Taxpayer Funded (GRTF) Schooling. Bruno Behrend has been a huge contributor to our discussions on AltEdDiscourse in the past, and he continues with the Heartland Institute today.

And so, with special thanks to my good friend, Bruno, I would like to present his concise definition of the GEC and why our Government Schools will never be fully reformed until we fundamentally change how we pay for and deliver “education.”

If you want to discuss with me, the state of public education, please read this first. It’ll be good for you to know where I’m comin’ from.

The Government Education Complex

by Bruno Behrend

The “Government Education Complex” is the interlocking set of interests that control the vast majority of American education dollars, education policy, and the steady increase in unnecessary education job creation. The explosion of spending, debt, and taxation we’ve witnessed in the last 25 years was used to fund the growth of this Complex.

The complex is made up not only of associations of administrators and teachers unions, but an interconnected network of bond dealers, builders, architects, law firms, textbook companies, and other service providers who profit off of the overproduction of service contracts, debt, public employment, and bureaucracy. This interlocking network has played a role in funding the campaigns of thousands of elected officials at all levels and in both parties.

Like the Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned of, the “Government Education Complex” is politically powerful and completely self-interested in perpetuating itself. Unlike the Military Industrial Complex, which has provided America with the most effective fighting force on the planet, the Government Education Complex has failed to provide our society with the educated populace we are paying for.

Rather, it merely uses our children as a stick to beat more money out of us while providing, at best, a mediocre education for the lucky. The unlucky get to go to America’s urban drop-out factories.

The vast sum of political money raised by the “Government Education Complex” is used to write legislation at the state level to grow the complex while protecting it from any competition. State school codes are written by and for the complex and its members and passed by the political class whose campaigns they fund.

The “Government Education Complex” succeeds because of one key factor in its structure – the school district. The “district” is an artifice that provides voters and citizens with the false perception of “local control.” In fact, your local school district is merely a “franchise” of the centralized complex – like McDonalds, only more expensive. That is why America has literally thousands of school districts, almost all of which are creatures of the individual states’ school codes. While there is some variation state to state and district to district, most of that variation is due to differing socio-economic or regional factors, not district autonomy.

This raises the question of whether the “Government Education Complex” is corrupt. The short answer is, “Yes.” At any given moment, you can find hundreds of local news stories about wasted money, insider contracts, or the difficulty citizens encounter when looking into school district finances. The entire process, from the complex property tax collection system to the overly complex fund accounting dictated in many states, is designed to obfuscate spending.

The long answer is more complex, simply because a great deal of what most regular citizens call “corruption” has been legalized by most state school codes. The Government Education Complex is designed to grow itself while spending money by the billions. It is operating exactly as intended. The actual education of America’s children is not its agenda. Spending money is its agenda.

In conclusion, the Government Education Complex cannot be reformed. It must be dismantled. If you are serious about educating America’s children, you must disabuse yourself of the notion that any combination of tepid reforms – a transparency law here, a teacher merit pay tweak there, or teacher measurement improvement law anywhere – can “fix” our education system.

Dismantlement means that we need to move toward the money following the child to a much more vast array of education content providers. We need to create a “Parent/Child Education Network.” This means that there will be a place for every imaginable learning system, from the traditional school to international digital learning content beamed to tablets and smart phones. This Parent/Child Education Network must replace the Government Education Complex.

That should be your goal, and every incremental step in education reform must be measured by whether it leads there. Anything that leaves the Government-Education Complex in place will fail to improve America’s education outcomes.

Bruno Behrend works for the Heartland Institute. Here’s a similar post in his words at SomewhatReasonable.com.
Bruno Behrend
Director of the Center for School Reform
The Heartland Institute
19 South LaSalle Street #903
Chicago, IL 60603
phone 312/377-4000
fax 312/377-5000
bbehrend@heartland.org
http://www.heartland.org

Obama and Duncan Sittin’ in a Tree Holding Back our RTtT

Well… Indiana lost it. No big bucks … for the schools and teachers children. Reach To the Top (RTtT) funds were doled out this month, and guess what? Surprise! Indiana, with a great plan (I hear) didn’t get a DIME!

What about the CHILDREN? What about all of those State Schools out there that are losing money left and right because they are losing students left and right?

Arne (Duncan)! What about all those charter schools we need to build, to help create the competition needed to lift ALL schools up?

Arne Duncan, Education Czar

I don’t have time, but if someone would do me a favor and please look up all of the states that DID get RTtT funds, and check on a couple of things:

1) Do they have Democrat governors?

2) Do they have abysmal, bloated, bankrupt education systems that are on life support? (Because they have been managed by Democrat governors for more than a few years?

3) Did the states that got the funds actually vote in a BIG WAY for Obama? (Indiana barely squeaked him a win pretty much on Gary’s (South Chicago) votes and probably more than a few union thugs manning the voting booths.)

3a) Actually… how many states that got funds did NOT give Obama the nod?

This raises the final question: Are these funds really about educating children and reforming American Public Education? Or, are they more about keeping the unions (NEA – Teachers; SEIU – Lunch room workers) happy?

I think Indiana should just take is lovely plan for reforming schools… and implement it WITHOUT the Federal Government’s dirty ol’ money.

After all, if they’re good ideas, blessings from Mr. Duncan and Mr. Obama shouldn’t be necessary. Right? It’s for the children.

BbB

Rhode Island School Fires Everyone!

This is what should have started happening years ago under NCLB.

All teachers fired at R.I. school. Will that happen elsewhere?

Nothing much more to say, other than to comment on how dorky one poor teacher’s sign looks:

Rhode Island teachers picket after being sacked. You just don't do that to "family" do you?

“OUR STUDENTS?” Let’s just dispense with the shallow and sometimes scary idea that our children belong to the state? They don’t. Ask any public school student if they think of their teachers as family, and I don’t believe you’ll get answers worth putting on picket signs.

These are union teachers and they’ve been part of this failing school system for years. They have only themselves and their union reps to blame, if THE PEOPLE aren’t happy with their work product.

The union is apparently still trying to make sure they can keep the new school union:

The Obama administration is “pushing the envelope” more than would be traditionally expected by a Democratic administration supported by unions, Mr. Domenech says. But, he adds, there are also efforts under way for state superintendents and union representatives to reach some compromises for revising union contracts to support school improvement.

Four words: I Hope They Fail. It’s interesting that under an unprecedented pile of support from unions (mostly SEIU but certainly the NEA put a few tens of millions into getting Obama elected) the administration is seemingly allowing this sort of thing to happen. What gives?

My theory is that there will be a few more of these massive school reorganizations and just before the majority of the public begins to think they can start doing this to ALL their failing schools, and just before the unions start calling for nation-wide strikes, President Obama will come to the rescue.

Or… not.

Could it be possible that our president WANTS people agitated to the brink of civil unrest? If you read “Rules For Radicals” (the playbook for the Obama administration) then all of this pressure, unrest, and confusion makes perfect sense.

Who Is The Target?

As we see a few more of these mini revolts peek into the news, remember the big picture. Who is the target? Quoting from “Rules For Radicals”:

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’…

“…any target can always say, ‘Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ When you ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments…. Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target…’

What does this mean? If, ultimately, parents revolting against compulsory state schooling are the targets (And why wouldn’t they be? They are the ones who are not forcing their children to go to school and feeding the schools with tax dollars!) then it seems logical to create situations whereby parents grow more and more agitated. To the point of revolt. THEN is when the target will be frozen. PARENTS will be the “bad guys.”

If a few union teachers lose their jobs in the process of the ultimate goal… so be it.

BbB