Rahm Emanuel’s Reform of the Chicago Public Schools

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty-(Rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

We often hear the term “school reform” used often by politicians of all stripes.  Chicago’s politicians are no different when it comes to talking about and taking action on so-called school reform.  Recently, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is a big fan of the charter school program and a former investment banker, decided that the best way to “reform” Chicago Public Schools was to close 49 schools and terminate 550 teachers and another 300 school staff employees!

“On June 14, the Chicago Public Schools sent layoff notices to 850 school employees, including 550 teachers. The layoffs will hit hardest at those teachers working in African-American and Latino communities. These are the communities that were targeted in the system’s recent decision to close 49 schools – the largest single school closure in US history.” Truth-out What is interesting to me is that while Mayor Emanuel has hammered the Chicago Public School teachers union and Chicago Public schools, he has made sure that Charter schools will be a big player in the City of Chicago.

“Emanuel, a former Congressman and investment banker, has become a darling of the US education reform lobby by implementing its demands for privatizing the public education system through establishing charter schools – privately owned, for-profit schools that receive public financing – by attacking the CTU, and most recently, by pushing forward the huge school closure.

The number of charter schools – which receive public money while being freed of many work and collective-bargaining rules – has doubled in Chicago since 2005, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. There are now about 100 of them in the city. The Emanuel administration has called for 60 new charter schools by 2017. ”  Truth-Out

While no one will argue that the Chicago Public Schools do not need improvements, why is it that politicians insist that educating our children should be done by for-profit corporations?  Mayor Emanuel is actually continuing a “reform” program first initiated by Mayor Richard Daley and now Education Secretary, Arne Duncan.

“Daley began the privatization of the school system by closing so-called “underperforming” schools, mostly in black and Latino neighborhoods, and firing large numbers of teachers. Between 2001 and last year, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district closed about 100 schools. Arne Duncan, the CEO of CPS during many of those years, was appointed Secretary of Education by President Barack Obama, who himself rose out of the Chicago political system.” Truth-Out

Is it just a coincidence that most of the schools closed by the last two Mayoral administration’s were in black and Latino neighborhoods?  Are the charter schools a way of attacking the Chicago Teachers Union?  The problems that the CTU and Mayor Emanuel had during the last strike were well documented.  The Teachers Union now has 550 fewer members and there may be more terminations to come. Round 1 to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Why are charter schools the latest rage in the education arena?  Why would alderman and mayors around the country be sold on the idea of for profit education, paid for by taxpayer money?  What facts did the Emanuel administration use to make its claim that Chicago needed to engage in the largest single school closure in history?

“Critics accused the board of using false and misleading claims to justify the closures. They say 46,000 students, not 30,000, will be affected. The board claims public schools had lost 145,000 students. In reality, enrollment had declined by 75,000, and 47,000 of those students had gone to charter schools, making the real figure 28,000. Most of Chicago’s student losses occurred 30-40 years ago at the height of deindustrialization. The school district claimed what it said was a $1 billion deficit made closures necessary, but in fact, since students don’t disappear and other schools will require more funding, there will be no cost savings from the closures.” Truth-Out

If I understand the numbers correctly, the Mayor may have used bogus numbers to make his claim that public schools needed to be closed en mass while Charter schools are increasing in number.  Could the lower average teacher salaries at charter schools be part of the reason Emanuel and other politicians are fawning over the alleged promise of charter schools?

At least one study provided numbers that seems to claim that charter school’s promise of improvement is all wet.  Especially when you compare apples to apples.  “Research on charter schools paints a mixed picture. A number of recent national studies have reached the same conclusion: charter schools do not, on average, show greater levels of student achievement, typically measured by standardized test scores, than public schools, and may even perform worse.

The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University found in a 2009 report that 17% of charter schools outperformed their public school equivalents, while 37% of charter schools performed worse than regular local schools, and the rest were about the same. A 2010 study by Mathematica Policy Research found that, on average, charter middle schools that held lotteries were neither more nor less successful than regular middle schools in improving student achievement, behavior, or school progress. Among the charter schools considered in the study, more had statistically significant negative effects on student achievement than statistically significant positive effects. These findings are echoed in a number of other studies.” Education Justice

If for profit charter schools are not performing better than public schools why would politicians be in favor of them?  The best answer I have to that question is to repeat the statement made by the infamous “Deep Throat” of Watergate fame.  “Follow the Money”!

Mayor Emanuel, have you no shame?

Additional References:  Edudemic.com;  Washington Post;

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151 thoughts on “Rahm Emanuel’s Reform of the Chicago Public Schools

  1. Larry,

    This is an important subject to write about. Study after study has shown that charter schools don’t outperform public schools, yet the drive to privatize education continues unabated. Emmanuel is an elitist who is a corporate hack and has been since his days with Clinton. Poor Chicago, they keep electing corrupt turkeys for Mayor.

  2. I have a couple questions about your good article Larry.

    1) If the charter schools have been in place since 2007 how have they individually compared with Chicago public schools as far as academic achievement? The comparison offered uses national charter school stats.

    2) If the charter schools are operating at less cost than public schools and are achieving at least the same rate of academic ranking would this not be more efficient?

    Just asking.

    On another note I personally don’t like the idea of a mayor being able to dictate school policy and budgeting issues. School districts should in my experience be separate entities.

    Washington’s constitution provides that school districts are to be essentially municipal corporations in their own rights and answer to the state legislature for governance outside the district. They answer also, ultimately, to the superintendent of public instruction.

  3. With Rahm’s DePaul plan, we’ve entered a new arena of stupidity

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to announce plans to build a $300 million, 12,000-seat arena for DePaul University . . . dum-dum- dum (suspense) . . . at McCormick Place.

    Not on DePaul’s campus. Not anywhere on the Near or Far North Side or anywhere close to Lincoln Park. The gym will be next to gargantuan convention center McCormick Place, located at 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, a meandering 50 blocks or more from DePaul. Kind of like a school bookstore, huh?

    It’s a dumb idea on the face of it. DePaul’s men’s basketball team has been on a slow trip to nowhere. In the last five years, the Blue Demons have gone 47-111.

  4. Darren,
    The Chicago experience is similar to the national results that when you have similar student bodies, the charter schools do worse than the public schools. Cheaper schools that actually do worse and harm the city by forcing neighborhood schools to close so that money can be directed to for profit charter schools is unhealthy and unwise, in my opinion.
    I also agree that the Mayor should not be the school czar of any city.

  5. The education of children in a democracy should not be handed over to for profit corporations who are anti union, anti democratic, anti human and ultimately anti education. Rham Emanual is a strange breed of DEMOCRAT, pro corporate, anti progressive and anti union. Of course it shouldn’t surprise us becuase his former boss Barach Obama is similarly inclined.

    As to charter schools Diane Ravitch one of the biggest charter school supporters in the nation Has changed her mind about charter schools. She initially thought they had great promise but she now says that the data shows that they have failed to deliver. She wrote: “On our present course, we are disrupting communities, dumbing down our schools, giving students false reports of their progress, and creating a private sector that will undermine public education without improving it. Most significantly, we are not producing a generation of students who are more knowledgable, and better prepared for the responsibilities of citizenship. That is why I changed my mind about the current direction of school reform.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  6. I might ask your indulgence, fellow bloggers, and make some plays on words in my comment. I was a public school kid in my youth back in my prior incarnation as a human. I had an excellent experience. To say that one is “reforming” a public school system by closing classes, firing teachers, and closing schools is a sure way to achieve reform schools as the destination for the kids. In essence a Charter school is like a colonial experiment. A bunch of white guys show up in a boat and the natives run for the hills. The right wing does not like teachers organized into unions so they bust them in these oblique ways. It is also age discrimination. They hire these young, fresh, no nothings who know it all and freeze out the kids who have special needs. Those kids stay in the public school and the one’s with energetic parents join the Charter. Its private school on public dime. A stitch in time does not save nine. The Chicago Mayor is just trying to bust unions. It is plain as the nose on his face.

  7. Right On! Justice Holmes.

    In the South the charter schools are a way of segregating by race on the public dime. Perhaps that is also the scheme in the North.

  8. DARREN SMITH Says:

    “If the charter schools are operating at less cost than public schools and are achieving at least the same rate of academic ranking would this not be more efficient?”

    Is there any line you would draw and say “no mas” to privatizers? If they “had” to lay off people and raise fees (to fund CEOs and other executives),in order to achieve greater efficiences don’t you know, that would be fine too by you?

    Just asking

  9. Interesting article Raff, like Darren stated: I have questions as well.

    1). Many school districts have deficits and/or debt. They are not required by state law to pay off their total debt immediately. They (school districts) can carry a certain percentage of a 2012-13, for example, deficit into the next year. However, they are required to have a plan to eliminate the yearly deficit and to start paying on their debt. Question: (You probably don’t have the answer) What is the required amount the CPS has to pay for the coming school year? If the CPS school is facing a total debt of $1 billion, and if they don’t have a financial plan to avoid bankruptcy, then, more drastic measures will be taken to reduce the debt and yearly decificts? Or Maybe we have to wait to see CPS budget?

    2). Like the state of Missouri, I can guarantee that noone in the state of Illinois is considering (or has proposed) legislation to change the way public schools are funded. In Missouri, we legally challenged the corrupt funding formula for educating our public school students. However, we discovered that not only was our democratic governor Jay Nixon and most of the state representatives were not on our side (meaning, they sent in court briefs in support of the funding formula), but also the Missouri Supreme Court rule against us.

    http://www.joplinglobe.com/statenews/x46864322/Missouri-Supreme-Court-upholds-school-funding-formula

    3). Has the CPS lost their accrediation? If so, then the state and/or city is in charge of everything? Or does the state and/or city appoint an entity to oversee everything? Hence, the reason why the Mayor is proposing certain plans?

    4). This is off topic. It is interesting that a few parents are now speaking up about the school district’s ‘problems’. Are they the same parents’ whose children are not doing so well in class? Are they (parents) expecting the schools to be the parental figure, as well as be a the teacher, while their child is in school? Where were the parental concerns before these ‘financial difficulties’ escalated? Learning begins and ends at home. If there is no ‘home’, then children’s learning needs will seldom occur.

    Read the following article about parents requesting Illinois AG Lisa Madigan to investigate CPS’ finances.

    http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-parent-group-wants-investigation-school-closure-decision-process-105488

  10. Raf, I’ve been reading a lot about this topic and I would like to keep it positive and simple. You’re a Guest Blogger who loves this blog w/ your genuine heart., so I know that will happen,. I don’t know if what the Teeny Tiny Mayor is doing is good or bad. However, can we agree the status quo is unacceptable?

  11. I fail to see how the structure of the state funded education monopoly is of any real importance in the education debate. What makes a publicly owned, publicly funded education institution somehow more virtuous than a publicly funded privately owned education institution?

  12. miles north of Chicago.rict and mayor’s office were separate until fairly recently when problems w/ the schools reached a crisis level. The same transition occurred in Milwaukee,

  13. Charter schools are not the problem. Some are a scam, some are not as the article articulates. I haver personal experience with a charter school that is a success. We have plenty of studies that show what we need to have better schools, money is not high on the list. Indeed follow the money. Rahm or his buddies are probably recipients of some of this charter school money.

  14. Darren, what I said is the mayor and school district were separate until recently,when problems got to a crisis level. The same transition occurred in Milwaukee, 90 miles north, for the same reason. Jed Clampett is whittling my comments.

  15. Brad S,
    To answer your question, it is simple math. If you fund a public school you pay for the school. Fund a charter or corporately managed school and you add a layer of expense called “profit.” It is the same thing that is wrong with health care insurance. Added to the profit is an overhead factor, created by the bureaucratic class to make sure there are thousands of rules in place that have to be followed. I wrote my first Federal grant back in 1968. I know what I am talking about. Public funding of a privately run operation adds at least two layers of added expense that are not there with direct funding.

    It is simply cheaper and more efficient for the funding source to run an operation (of any kind) directly.

    I also have a bone to pick with mandated high stakes testing and teaching to the test. That is why our kids are no longer getting civics classes.

  16. Most school districts could lay off a large number of “administrative staff”, reduce the bloated salaries of top officials and their liutenants, raise the property tax rate in wealthy residential areas, and then they could hire more teachers and have smaller class sizes. And while they’re at it, set up some special schools for the all those kids who need a more “structured” environment so they too can maybe learn a little.

  17. Sorry Otteray, perhaps my statement was a bit oblique.

    Why is it that “monopoly” – as long as it’s associated with health, education or welfare, is only acceptable when it’s run by the state (irrespective of the target of those public funds), but heinous when it’s some private institution that is also a monopoly? Because you know the results as a consumer of services provided by private monopolies: Poor service, high prices, feeling of being trapped, lack of innovation, and knowledge that said monopolies are protected by politicians and bureaucrats.

    How is that ANY different from public monopolies? You *always* get the same results: Poor service (education), high prices ($10,000/student/year average), trapped in public school system (unless you can afford private, or homeschool alternatives), lack of innovation, and public unions funding (almost exclusively) Democrat elections of politicians who will persist the whole broken system, with bureaucrats that pretend at reform, but kowtow to the unions as well.

    You can’t *reform* monopoly. You can only break them up – or you get the same results – every time.

  18. Brad S. what’s the difference PROFIT! Our tax $ will be swept up in an ever continuing search for profits and the schools will decline and the curriculum will be come more pro corporate and less democratic. The corporations have been fighting democracy since right after the Civil War and it kicked into really high gear with the New Deal. They hated workers having rights, schools or a voice, they resent workers having a vote. Corporate charter schools are the end of education as we know it. Remember that old reframe– you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone! Well we are starting to see that the end of unions resulted in the end of upward mobility, the end of the middle class, the end of banking regulations lead to a bubble and bust economy were the workers and the middle class always lose. Truly public education is the only way to go.

  19. BradS, I agree w/ everything you said. But, please realize there will be some people who will be vehemently opposed to your views. Don’t let them intimidate you. Keep your sense of humor. And feel free to ask me any questions about the folks who come at you. Welcome to the jungle. Otteray Scribe is a reasonable man. But, he is one of those super rich pilots who flies his fancy planes wherever and whenever he wants[this is a ballbust on OS, he is a pilot and we share the incredulity that so many people think private pilots are all billionaires]. Here’s an important rule for you to know. The rich are greedy, evil, bad people, according to a very vocal minority here. I will do anything I can to keep a man of your intellect and philosophy commenting here on a regular basis. “The more the merrier.” and “To each their own.” Buckle up and where a helmet.

  20. What Justice Holmes said.

    Any money diverted to profits is money taken from resources for students.

    Not everything society does needs to done on a for profit basis.

    Private, for profit schools are all well and good. They survive on their merits or they don’t but they are voluntary and their profits come from parents willing and able to pay extra for a perceived but not always actual change in quality. Some of the best schools I attended were private. Some of the worst schools I attended were private. Same can be said of the public schools I attended. But the raw business reality of the situation is every dollar taken as profit is not spent on the students. An educated workforce, especially a well educated workforce, is a boon to all of society. Improving the quality of education is a matter of getting the right resources to the students; from quality instructors who should be paid a good wage regardless of the business model the school operates on to having up to date equipment and textbooks. All things that profit taking steals purchasing dollars from. Charter schools do the same thing but on the tax payers dime instead of the tuition paid to traditional private for profit schools.

    It’s fundamentally the same problem as running healthcare insurance as a for profit business. Profits take money away from patient care. And just like for profit insurance health care insurance, eventually the pursuit of profits will trump providing for the students.

  21. OS,

    “I also have a bone to pick with mandated high stakes testing and teaching to the test.”

    Yep. Teaching to standardized tests – often used to determine funding levels – has done huge damage to public education all across the country.

  22. “The most erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.”

    ― H.L. Mencken

  23. “I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness…Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish & improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [tyranny, oppression, etc.] and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Wythe, dated August 13, 1786.

  24. Mencken was huge fan of Nietzsche, by the way.

    “No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

  25. Wow Nick you really know how to contribute to the discussion. Are you for or against Emmanuels school plans? Are you for or against charter schools? Or is it that your contributions are just ball-busting? Stay classy PA man. I think Brad S. is someone capable of fighting his own battles unlike some PI’s I’ve heard from.

  26. Justice Holmes said: “Truly public education is the only way to go.”

    I don’t know about that. So many public schools are doing a horrendous job educating our low-income youths.

    Brad S, Paul, & Nick S., et Al

    Solution: What ever happened to receiving a voucher to attend a private, religious school, of the parent’s choice, if the public system is not living up to its’ standards? Read the article below about the benefits of receiving a private religious and non-religious education?

    http://www.privateschoolreview.com/articles/1

  27. I guess it depends upon where one lives. If I had children, I wouldn’t have a problem with them going to the public schools around where I live. But if I lived in a problem area I would do whatever it took to pay for mine to go elsewhere. It’s not worth them having to go through all that drama just to get an education.

  28. Nick:

    It seems from your writings on this thread (that is those addressed to Brad and Larry) that you are trying to recruit people for something. what’s up with this?

  29. Bad idea…. And to think he’s a DINO….. Cut union contact…. Get rid of other things… Pay these teachers less…. Administrative expenses exceeding other similarly situated schools…. Where do I sign up….

  30. Brad S:

    The problem with profit oriented organizations is their motive; profit. Profit is computed as the gap between revenue and expenses, so there are two ways to widen that gap: Increase prices, and decrease expenses.

    Increasing prices will price some people out of the service. The real evil is in decreasing expenses; and for a private industry, that can mean corner cutting and shoddy performance that, in something like education, cannot be addressed in any effective manner.

    Government agencies are NOT profit motivated. Nobody in the hierarchy (unless they are taking illegal and corrupt action) stands to earn more money by increasing the prices or decreasing the costs to the point of harming ‘customers’ or the environment. A government agency has the official motivation of doing the most good it can with the budget it is granted; nobody stands to become a billionaire, or even a millionaire, by hiring sub-standard teachers, using cheaper books, providing less security or transportation, refusing to teach kids with cognitive deficits or other disabilities, packing kids into ever larger classrooms, teaching by film clip, and so on.

    There are many ills in the public school system, but their mission remains the same: Do what they can with the budget they are given for all kids. That is a fundamentally different motive than a for-profit company, which is simply to maximize the gap between revenue and expenses, and simple pricing mechanics ensures the maximum revenue point will not include all kids, and will not be focused on education at all, but ways of increasing the gap: Doing less work, providing less value, and getting more money.

  31. If the results are approximately the same.
    Seems to me the Mayor’s just screwing the Chicago Teachers Union

  32. I keep it civil, and merely ask questions and I’m accused of an Oliver Stone plot. It’s getting REALLY creepy now. Yes Darren, I’m recruiting a band of guerilla fighters known as “The Quixotics.”

  33. RWL: “What ever happened to receiving a voucher to attend a private, religious school,…”
    ————-
    It’s being implemented all over the country to our country’s detriment.

    Whatever happened to the establishment clause? Whatever happened to teaching kids real stuff instead of (corporate and) religious-based BS? When did people stop laughing at ‘people rode dinosaurs to work’ and demand that I fund that a**-hattery with tax dollars?

    “The new anti-science assault on US schools
    In a disturbing trend, anti-evolution campaigners are combining with climate change deniers to undermine public education”

    “The other significant twist has to do with the fact that the new anti-evolution – make that anti-science – bills are emerging in the context of the most vigorous assault on public education in recent history. In Oklahoma, for example, while Senator Brecheen fights the forces of evolution and materialism, the funding for schools is being cut, educational attainments are falling, and conservative leaders are agitating for school voucher systems, which, in the name of “choice”, would divert money from public schools to private schools – many of them religious. The sponsor of Indiana’s anti-science bill, Dennis Kruse, who happens to be chairman of the Senate education committee, is also fighting the two battles at once.

    The Heartland Institute – which has received funding in the past from oil companies and is a leading source of climate science skepticism – also lobbies strongly for school vouchers and other forms of “school transformation” that are broadly aimed at undermining the current public school system. The Discovery Institute – a leading voice for intelligent design – has indicated its support of exactly the same “school reform” initiatives.

    If you can’t shut down the science, the new science-deniers appear to be saying, you should shut down the schools. It would be a shame if they succeeded in replacing the teaching of science with indoctrination. It would be worse if they were to close the public school house doors altogether.” continues

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/12/new-anti-science-assault-us-schools

  34. Setting aside the fact that there are as many good/bad, selfless/selfish, competent/incompetent people in public schools as there are in charter schools, charter schools don’t matter. Vouchers don’t matter. Teachers’ unions don’t matter. Textbooks don’t matter.

    The reason none of these things matter is that they all are part of the paradigm in which students have no say in a system that many, if not most, of them truly hate. And then they are judged by a system designed to measure temporary memorization, as opposed to real learning.

    Until kids (and parents) have real choices about education – a decision as personal as love and faith – nothing will change.

    We need a revolution in education more than reform.

  35. nick,

    The problem with “I keep it civil, and merely ask questions and I’m accused of an Oliver Stone plot.” is that the post Darren refers to (June 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm) doesn’t contain a single question. Darren’s post did contain a question though, which you answered “Yes Darren, I’m recruiting a band of guerilla fighters known as ‘The Quixotics.’” Which raises the question of both the motive and need for recruiting “guerrilla fighter” allies.

    One of the things that you fail to understand about the marketplace of ideas model is that numbers won’t help you if your arguments are based in bad logic and/or weak or non-existent evidence. Meritorious arguments prevail in such an environment and bad one do not because it is the arguments that are judged and speak for themselves first and foremost. Other factors are secondary. We’ve seen the phenomena here before. Someone comes in with a weak argument and it is attacked. Unable to withstand the critical scrutiny, this person returns with “allies” to further their agenda of having their ideas accepted as valid on their face and minimize the damage critical scrutiny has done to their original statement(s). This never works. Bad ideas are bad ideas and they won’t withstand critical scrutiny no matter who or how many make them.

    If one if looking for simple agreement or playing to their confirmation biases as they might be, a free speech forum in the marketplace of ideas mode is not where they are going to find it . . . unless, of course, they have a better argument and/or better evidence. That’s how the marketplace operates.

    Just keeping it logic and evidence based.

  36. LK said: “It’s being implemented all over the country to our country’s detriment.”

    Not True. Since Wisconsin started the program in 1989, only 11 other states, plus the district of columbia (DC), have utilized the voucher program. Read the following article:

    http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/educ/school-choice-vouchers.aspx

    Do you really understand the purpose of the voucher program? Please read the article, and see how the voucher program has helped low income minorities escape failing school districts and increased their chances of graduating from high school.

    LK said: “Whatever happened to teaching kids real stuff instead of (corporate and) religious-based BS? When did people stop laughing at ‘people rode dinosaurs to work’ and demand that I fund that a**-hattery with tax dollars?”

    You either didn’t read my first article, didn’t read Darren’s comment about sending a child to a good school, never looked at the curriculum of a private religious high school and compared it to a failing public high school’s curriculum, and/or never stepped foot in one of the numerous failing, urban city high schools. If you have, then you wouldn’t have made those comments.

    I will give small glimpse of what I have experienced:
    In several failing highschools in St. Louis, MO, I have noticed that Calculus, Trigonometry, Genetics, and Latin are not part of the curriculum. However, in a private, STL catholic high school’s curriculum, they are teaching all of the above, including theology, Calculus 1 & 2, microbiology, and other college prep courses.

    Don’t take my word for it. Do your homework on comparison, and you will see the high school graduation rates, college (including Ivy Schools acceptance rates) entrance rates, PSAT, ACT & SAT 1 & 2, Achievement test scores, disciplinary issues, baby-making rates among high school students, etc. If you did, then you would see why low-income families would want to use a voucher to send their children to a private religious school, instead of the failing and unsafe school down the street.

  37. One of my favorite scenes in The Big Lebowski is when The Dude is in the office of the Malibu Chief of Police. The Chief gives a pompous lecture that takes several minutes. The Dude sits there quietly, and when the Chief finally stops his soliloquy the Dude asks, “I’m sorry, did you just say something?” Of course the Chief then knocks the Dude off his chair. We share a love of this classic flick so I thought it might help us bond.

  38. Nick:

    The reason I ask is it seems you are engaging in a practice to infer that other guest bloggers are not following the best interests in this website, you are then trying by extension to appeal to the emotions of those two men to side with you claiming that you stand for virtuous contributions in the hope that they and the other readers will side with you. It seems that the intent is to divide other guest bloggers so that they will go into your camp to protect you.

    But what I find to be confusing is that despite what you have been doing here that is all too often very inflammatory and contentious with some of those here, you are positioning and declaring yourself to be a champion and fighter for those who are not inflammatory and nop-contentious. This is contractictory. It is hard to maintain a credible position of being altruistic while within a close period of time you then go on the attack elsewhere on the blog and stir up strife when it isn’t necessary.

    I know there is a philosophy, as it reads in the Latin, “Si vis pacem, para bellum” (If you want peace, prepare for war) which seems to be the mantra of what you are proclaiming when you write to this contributor that you will be there to protect him and that he should “Buckle up and wear a helmet.” But this really is not the place to prepare for war. Wars are not conducive toward social progress and justice in this society. It is better in this forum to stick to the issues and have a civil discussion with civil people who have differing views in the hope that betterment will prevail and that with empathy for those having opposing views others will at least have a better understanding of the other persons’ concerns and in fact might even learn more about their own position or cause.

    Going about trying to accomplish this with the idea the blog is a case of us vs them among the contributors really is beginning to look more like personal vendetta and intrigue than something of what this website has come to be known for.

    I would ask that you stop making it all about You and start being genuine in your proclaimed respect of others. A sharp disagreement is one thing, a pattern of ad hominem is another.

  39. Ooo. More passive-aggressiveness.

    Yeah. That’s really going to help you bond with people, nick. :roll:

    How about addressing the valid factual observation about your response to Darren. You clearly weren’t asking questions. You clearly were doing something else. What do you think that was, nick? Clearly it made an impression on Darren as to what you were doing, hence his question.

  40. I forgot to add: many want to demean religious institutions by demeaning the religion, instead of looking at the results of those institutions. Some of our best doctors, lawyers, engineers, college presidents, etc have graduated from private religious schools. I want the same educational opportunities for low-income students who are attending failing, public school districts.

  41. If education interests you, then you owe it to yourself to read Alfie Kohn. This speech encapsulates his viewpoints and his passion for education.

  42. RWL,

    True, true, but in the same breath there is a big difference between the quality of education you get as say a Loyola or an SMU compared to a Regents or a Bob Jones. Just because a school has a religious affiliation is not a guarantee that they provide a quality education. I too want the same educational opportunities for low-income students but that opportunity should be based on quality of instruction, not institutional denominational preference.

  43. Darren, Yes, I am argumentative w/ some. But, that’s part of this forum. What some folks here call “ad hominem” is really just me quoting them in contexts where it fits. I’ve been told that my anecdotes are “lies” by one person, “possibly false” by another. So, when appropriate I quote their words. Is that ad hominem? Of course not. I get along w/ virtually everyone here. Yesterday I was told that’s because I’m an “ass kisser.” As you might imagine, I’ll be using that quote a lot. I’m cool w/ just about everyone. I think you and I are pretty cool? There are chronic problems w/ Gene and MikeS. They write boring polemics about me that go on interminably, hijacking their own threads. That’s painfully obvious to everyone. I take responsibility for what I write, and zero responsibility for the thousands of words written about, or to me. Maybe they need to read some Hemingway.

    Finally, this “sides” stuff. It was painfully obvious from day one there are cliques here, middle school “A, “B.” They do seem to have broken apart a bit lately. I don’t join clubs, I deplore cliques, I don’t gossip, all of that stuff is antithetical to my personality. I’m a laid back dude who is welcoming and jovial, except for The Two. I have taken counsel from people here that I respect, and will continue to do so. This is really a tempest in a tea pot w/ The Two just very frustrated that I won’t get in line. It’s petty and stupid. Tell The Two to stop “making it about” me. And tell them to lighten up. Life is too short and unpredictable to sweat the small stuff. This is all small stuff that they seem obsessed about. I’ve just written more to you than I usually ever write. That’s because you’re worthy. And, I’m not kissing your ass!

  44. Gene,

    Of course! I am not stating that all private, religious or non-religious schools have good educational quality either via comparison to all public schools’ or not comparing. There are no absolutes in this world except death and taxes.

    However, with the voucher program, parents and their students have the opportunity to examine the school’s educational quality: curriculum, class size, updated facilities, including ‘smart’ classrooms, teaching styles of instructors, etc. There are a few schools that will send a counselor to the child’s home, and discuss with the parents, what their offering. Also, certain states, utilizing vouchers, have a list of private, religious and non-religious schools that parents can transfer their children to. The list of schools have to meet certain criteria, including price range of the voucher, graduation rates, curriculum content, etc.

  45. nick,

    What you’ve been told is that anecdotal evidence is of little probative value because a sample space of one is insufficient to make a general claim and that it is subject to all kinds of cognitive biases (including forms of lying in both deliberate and inadvertent ways). Yet still you expect people to accept anecdote as if it is gospel. It’s crap for evidence, sport. That you think it’s the paragon of evidence notwithstanding.

    And despite what you think, you are not cool with most everyone here, nick.

    You persistently violate the civility rule even after hearing from Professor Turley himself that can get you banned. You’re violating it right now but the anosognosia you’re obviously experiencing doesn’t even let you realize that. You’ve done so more than once since he himself told you violating the civility rule will get you banned.

    Keep it up.

    See how your passive-aggressive compulsion is going to work out for you in the long term.

    Just not as long as you seem to think.

  46. RWL,

    Then how would you feel about Dominionist schools like Regents and Bob Jones (as collegiate examples, not primary or secondary, but such Dominionist private religious schools do exist – I had the misfortune of attending one for a year) being excluded because of curriculum content? They have a notoriously anti-science pro-theocracy bent to their teachings but wouldn’t excluding them based on the religious bias in their education run into both Establishment and Equal Protection problems? I don’t see how it couldn’t. The use of voucher programs in that matter is going to create a situation were excessive entanglement in the form of monitoring standards for certification and run headlong into a Lemon problem.

  47. Gene,

    How would I feel by excluding an institution based on curriculum content? Depends upon so many factors: subject matter, number of students enrolled in the course(s), how the course(s) are being taught, whether or not the curriculum content is in line with the schools’ mission statement or purpose, etc.

    As far as legal ramifications for excluding certain schools, I would have to refer you to the 12 states, plus the district of columbia, as to how they are utilizing their vouchers (article and the article’s referenced links on their website that I mentioned above).

    IMO and experience, You have to remember: Some of these institutions don’t want these ‘types of students’ coming through their doors. Some don’t mind. Some of these institutions are so far away from the students’ home that they are automatically excluded or their parents choose not to send them that far away.

  48. That doesn’t answer the question, RWL. I wanted to know what you thought about excluding schools based on their religiously dogmatic preferences in teaching over using a science based non-secular curriculum and how that could run afoul of both the Constitution and case law surrounding both Separation of Church and State and the Equal Protection Clause. Just because substantive legal challenge on those grounds may not have been brought out doesn’t mean the underlying issues doesn’t exist or will never see the bar.

    Is it fair under the Establishment Clause and the Equal Protection Clause to allow one religious school to participate in voucher programs and disallow participation by another based on having a religiously based curriculum instead of a non-secular curriculum?

  49. Gene,

    I am sorry that I didn’t answer your question the way you wanted, but what I have written is sufficient enough.

  50. This is Jebby’s pet project in florida and it’s spreading like his own personal disease.
    Besides, this is what investment bankers do, particularly when the govt. (rahm) still hands out goodies to its buddies in the “new” education business sweeping the land, or any of the many mega businesses it supports with our taxes . Now taxpayers will be ensuring big profits for the educators. Suckers, we.

  51. RWL, When I wrote my response to you the thought that gave me pause was our catholic high schools. St. Louis has excellent Catholic high schools and world class Catholic Universities. Stellar is a word that comes to mind. But growing up in St. Louis and being raised Catholic- or at least that was the parental unit’s plan- I became acquainted with the Catholic school system early on.

    Just to stick with that, it is a private school system and as such has the latitude to pick and choose its students at every level. Being a k-8 catholic student with good grades is a plus to get into a Catholic high school and so on. It’s expensive. Even with vouchers it would be expensive at the high school level unless you qualified for scholarships or had personal benefactors. And grades aren’t the only factor. The Archdiocese uses the High schools as an opportunity to cement ones faith, they have daily prayers and other spiritual opportunities available to the students. As an aside, my slide out of Catholicism (and religion entirely) was cemented at a Catholic religious retreat of primarily Catholic school girls. It was a strange thing all in all.

    In any event, I don’t know what the exact cost is but I hesitate to think dropping some vouchers on the impoverished of St. Louis and pointing them in the direction of the private school system of the St. Louis Archdiocese is going to serve more than the merest tiny fraction of kids that are already of the sort that would be comfortably embraced by that school system.

    Vouchers are not being used to swell the ranks of Catholic high schools, they are being used, where implemented, to swell the ranks of for profit and conservative Christian schools.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/04/christian-roots-school-voucher-movement-still-pretty-obvious

    http://creationistvouchers.com/creationist-vouchers-database/

    There is a spiffy, professionally done interactive map that has the same info as the second link but it’s down for maintenance so you know the drill, click a state and it gives the list of schools.

  52. rafflaw,

    Thanks for bringing this subject up again. The push to increase the number of charter schools and to privatize public education isn’t happening only in Chicago, but in many cities and states across the country.

    *****

    Chicago Teachers Take a Stand Against Mayor Rahm Emanuel and His Contract Demands
    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/09/16/chicago-teachers-take-a-stand-against-mayor-rahm-emanuel-and-his-contract-demands/

    *****

    Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. Moving/downsizing is no easy task. I hope I’ll be back to guest blogging again soon.

  53. LK said: “In any event, I don’t know what the exact cost is but I hesitate to think dropping some vouchers on the impoverished of St. Louis and pointing them in the direction of the private school system of the St. Louis Archdiocese is going to serve more than the merest tiny fraction of kids that are already of the sort that would be comfortably embraced by that school system.”

    Although I do agree with your statement, it still doesn’t hurt to try, and I was just using the Catholic, private school system as an example. Do I think th placing STL’s inner city youths in a private Catholic school system is good idea so that they can obtain a better education than what the failing STL public school system has given them? Probably not, but I have been wrong before……

    LK said: “Vouchers are not being used to swell the ranks of Catholic high schools, they are being used, where implemented, to swell the ranks of for profit and conservative Christian schools.”

    If the conservative Christian Schools (example of private, religious schools that I mentioned in the above article) & for proft schools (example of private, non-religious school, also mentioned in the abov article?) are performing as I mention above, then I am all for it!

  54. Elaine,

    What AY said plus an “I hope you’re getting plenty of fun time with Baby J.”

    We’ll keep your seat warm and the light on.

  55. Gene,

    Just copied this off of Reader Supported News, maybe it could be this blawg general guidelines: General guidelines:

    Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

    Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

  56. AY,

    Remember that responsible action starts with following the rules and accepting accountability for one’s actions in violation thereof, not denying them in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    However, the guidelines of another blog are immaterial to the rules here even if they somewhat conform to the rules as stated here unless that language is specifically adopted by he who makes the rules.

  57. Or would you care to prove which part of the above was a lie, AY?

    That he wasn’t informed? Or that he didn’t engage in violating the rule after being informed?

    Keep in mind you yourself admonished him for his behavior more than once after 6/18.

    Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to their own facts. If it’s a fact and provable as such? It isn’t a lie.

  58. nick:

    How degenerate and base are you? I cannot believe you said that one of the regulars here had a writing style similar to William F. Buckley’s. Your attacks are depraved and indifferent to that individuals feelings. Callous and most hard hearted nave, reform, reform I say. And use the name Rawls in an insulting way and you will be found a most fine fellow full of bonhomie and jest. But the name of Buckley stings and burns the soul. Such poor, such bare, such lewd, such mean attempts at insults.

    You write like Whitaker Chambers, take that you black hearted cad! :)

  59. Bron,

    The form is the thing and the repeated defiance. He’s actually done “worse” on this thread as far as content goes. Whitaker Chambers? That’s just silly. :D

  60. Gene,

    There’s really no reason for me to engage you. I have been reading the blawg today and there are many which have sharp tongues…. You are pretty good at baiting especially as well today…..

    I read the suggestions for another site, gave credit and your response to me was very uncalled for…. Maybe, you have a feeling you are the blog administration and have to call out everyone that says something…. Maybe I’m missing the role of who is really in charge here….

    If I posted a suggestion…. Why do you have to snark?

  61. AY,

    There was no snark in what I said.

    Care to explain how are the rules of another site material here?

    Or answer the other questions for that matter.

    They are legitimate questions.

    Where’s the lie?

  62. Lets see Gene:

    From the Urban dictionary:

    1. snark

    noun
    Combination of “snide” and “remark”. Sarcastic comment(s).
    Also snarky (adj.) and snarkily (adv.)
    His commentary was rife with snark.
    “Your boundless ineptitude is astounding,” she snarkily declared.

    Or try this:

    Main Entry: snarky
    Pronunciation: \ˈsnär-kē\
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: dialect snark to annoy, perhaps alteration of nark to irritate
    Date: 1906
    1 : crotchety, snappish 2 : sarcastic, , or in tone or manner

    Figure out which works best for you….

  63. None, AY.

    For there was no snark in pointing out the problem with relevance (or the statement preceding it for that matter).

    I could be snarky if you like though.

    But on the other hand, you probably wouldn’t like that.

    See, that was snark.

    Now, care to explain how either the rules of another site are applicable or where the lie was? (This question is entirely snark free with the exception of this disclaimer.)

  64. AY,

    I didn’t say you did. I asked if you cared to explain where the lie was in my statement to nick. Really, do try to keep up. (This last sentence was entirely snark.)

  65. AY:

    isnt that pretty much what we do here voluntarily? I mean for the most part. Sometimes tempers flare.

    Isnt that what civility means? It should be voluntary, its a little bit of freedom in an otherwise pc world.

    Which is my point about laissez faire, when people are free to engage in voluntary exchanges things have a way of working out. And if there is a bad apple you ignore them so to speak.

    Freedom is always a good thing for human beings. How many interesting thoughts have you seen posted here over the years? And they get vetted and tempered and filtered down a thread. And many times the end result is quite interesting and sometimes extraordinary.

    That is what freedom is all about, allowing the best to flourish to make all of our lives richer.

  66. Suggestion Gomer, a suggestion …. Learn to read…

    I said MAYBE this could be this blawgs guidelines… I Did not say it was This blawgs guidelines…. Read…. You’re just so ready to pounce on anyone…. You blasted Dredd alot today….

  67. Bron,

    The marketplace of ideas present at this place is as close to a laissez-faire market as you’ll ever see in reality, but even it has a minimal set of rules. None of which interfere with the notion of interesting thoughts vetted and tempered down into an interesting and sometimes extraordinary result.

  68. MAYBE you should learn to answer a question about relevance.

    Shaaaa-zam!

    And I blasted Dredd on the content of his arguments and got ad hominem evasion for responses. Just like the dozens of other times I (or Tony or any number of others) have taken Dredd to task for his dubious understanding and restatements of science. That selective reading will get you every time, AY.

  69. The plutocratic cabal wanted a working class that was merely trained to do a particular job, not think about social or political issues. They created an educational system focused on training instead of learning, which took its lead from such physiological, materialistic “psychologists” as Wilhelm Wundt, G. Stanley Hall, James McKeen Cattell, E. L. Thorndike, and others. The primary ideas and practices of this group included:

    Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt
    A thing makes sense and is worth pursuing only if it can be measured, quantified, and scientifically demonstrated

    Psychology, accordingly, should concern itself exclusively with human behavior–not with non-demonstrable entities such as “mind,” “soul,” “thought,” etc.

    Public education must limit itself to training working class students to carry out whatever task they are given to do and to accept the commands of their superiors

    This ruler-imposed system, enhanced by anti-intellectual activities such as minority-group studies and multiculturalism, produces uneducated and programmed students who understand almost nothing of what occurs beyond the propaganda and mythology of the political-financial leaders.

    the Supreme Court has delivered the coup de grace to American education: on June 27, 2002, the Neanderthal majority in the court ruled that the government may give financial aid to parents so they can send their children to religious or private schools. Our tax dollars can now be used to fund training in any religious or political ideology imaginable. Granted, public funds since the 1950s have been used exclusively to dumb down America, but tax dollars did not go to support ideologically-based schools that were totally inimical to American values.

    That’s the difficulty; we’ve lost any effective understanding of what American values are. So now the fascist cabal is going to destroy any unity among Americans through this new educational anarchy.

  70. The newly-sanctioned voucher system will intensify class and social distinctions. The top schools will be reserved for the wealthiest layers of society who can pay to send their children to elite private schools and academies. Next below on the totem pole will be the private and for-profit schools for middle-class and working class children, whose parents will have to work longer hours and go further into debt to scrape together thousands of dollars to pay tuition costs. At the very bottom will be the public schools, left for the poorest and most disadvantaged working class students. Unable to do little to help working class youth develop learning skills, the role of these schools will be little more than training lower-class students for low-paying jobs.

    Beginning at the time of the American revolution, part of the genius of the nation has been the right to public education, based on the idea that all children, regardless of economic or social status, race, religion or ethnic background, be guaranteed government-paid, quality education. Founding fathers such as Jefferson favored the establishment of government-funded “free schools” in opposition to the aristocratic system in Europe, where education was limited to the wealthiest layers of society and largely overseen by the Church.

    “Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers–those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential–and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point.”

    Chris Hedges, Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System, truthdig.org, 4/10/2011

    https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/01/07-4

    http://www.hermes-press.com/education_index.htm

    ALL TOLD IN THE DESTRUCTION OF AMERICAN EDUCATION… NONE OF IT IS FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR CHILDREN AND NEVER REALLY WAY.. WISH I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW!!!!

  71. Bron, I had an Uncle Lawrence. He was a sweet guy. This was back in the 1960’s. He would say the same things over, and over and over and over and over and over, etc. again. My dad thought he had been recruited by the Soviets to practice psychological torture. You don’t think Putin’s people got to Gene do you?

  72. Im gonna stick my 3 1/2 cents in here since im not a regular in the sense of posting but i have been here for a number of years and have read all of your blogs and comments. to Mr Gene H and Mr Mike S i propose you put up an imaginary ignore button for certain individuals because there is a reason for them constantly flouting the rules and coming after you both in the 3rd,4th and 5th person and that is attention. not only attention but the minute that individual gets banned by Mr Turley the blame will be placed on both of you on all other blogs.

    there is a method to the madness my mother used to say. ” its alright to talk yourself but when you begin to answer yourself its time to seek help” that individual does what he does to get your attention and get you both to respond. he knows exactly what he is doing as does anyone else who has been around for a good length of time and realizes that. ive been around for a good 5+ years again not always able to comment but i definitely read it or have it read to me blogs and all comments. once you begin to ignore them they will have to move on eventually but for right now since your responding they will continue to flout the rules with the hopes of blaming you should they finally get banned

  73. Still avoiding the question of which part was a lie, I see. Or answering Darren’s question about your recruitment post. Evasion is only an effective tactic if the one you are avoiding isn’t relentless.

    Really, if you think being reminded of the rules is psychological torture, nick? Then maybe you should just follow the rules and avoid the torture. It’s that whole “action/consequence” thingy.

  74. AY, I’ve been told there is some history between you and Gene. It appears there is “history” between Gene and a number of people. All I can say is I wish this obsession w/ Gene and Mark would end. I have little doubt this stupid male posturing keeps many women from posting and we DESPERATELY need their perspective for balance. I really am trying to be a good boy. But I may have to prepare myself for coming to terms w/ “I’m bbbbbad, bbbbbbad, bad to the bone.” I’m not making fun of stutterers, just for the record.

    Elaine, I understand you have much more important commitments to family. But good to hear from you. I was dubbed an “ass kisser” yesterday so I’ll just leave it @ that.

  75. robinh,

    Thank you for your concern, however, if nick gets banned it will be based entirely upon his consistent refusal to follow the blog’s civility policy. I know exactly what I’m doing as does Mike. There are methods behind our madness too. :D It has been stated that the only person who can ban is the Prof and he will only ban for a very limited set of offenses. Any decision he makes will be based on the contents of nick’s postings as they relate to the rules.

    If someone wants to blame me? I don’t care.

  76. history /ˈhɪst(ə)ri/, n.,

    2: the whole series of past events connected with a particular person or thing

    All of the long time posters at this blog have history with one another.

  77. Nick,

    History is anything of the past by definition…. If you’re asking if there’s animosity…. Not from me… I’m direct to the point and rarely mince words or play games…. I usually stand up for the underdog..and… Try and be cordial….

    The way I see it… You’re the target…. Maybe your own doing…maybe not….

  78. nick:

    I dont know, I have read some stuff that leads me to believe that Putin is more free market than Obama.

    Robinh is right about this country going to the dogs and right about fascism.

    But wrong about some other things. For example some ivy league schools will pay full tuition to anyone who can get in. But everybody isnt ivy league material and I dont think everyone is made for college. I dont understand why people think college is some great doorway to prosperity. I know welders and plumberes who make more than most family practice doctors.

    And if you can operate the machines in a tool and die shop? The sky is nearly the limit.

    I have read stories where many manufacturing companies have to teach people rudimentary math and english skills before they can hire them. And these arent inner city children.

    People should learn a trade and get educated by reading the great thinkers of history. Then go to college if you are so inclined.

    I wish I would never have gone, I never had a problem making money until I got a college degree. Most of the guys I know who are wealthy, hire college boys to do their work for them. Those guys are plumbers and welders and contractors. College boys are a dime a dozen, a good welder, carpenter or electrician is hard to find.

  79. Bron,

    You’re right about that. College isn’t for everyone and we do have a shortage of skilled tradesmen. However, part of the problem with colleges is misdirection, misapplication and a fundamental lack of understanding of the job markets related to certain majors. Take something like art history for example. It’s basically a requisite to be a museum curator. But how many art history majors go on to be museum curators? 1 in 1500? 1 in 3000? There aren’t that many curator positions open at any one time. Or maybe they are studying art history simply because they like the subject. If you’re going to do that, I agree, be autodidactic and teach yourself or maybe take a couple of courses without completing the degree just for fun.

    The skilled trades though are all honorable honest professions. I’ve never understood the stigma that they have with some. We need welders and plumbers and machinists to make society run just as much as we need doctors, lawyers and professors.

    And I think too many kids are brought up thinking money is the primary goal in life. Be good at what you do and enjoy what you do and the money will come. But you can’t buy job satisfaction.

  80. Bron, Ct. is famous for tool and die shops, from small shops to large ones. Colt firearms hired some of the best Tool and Die operators, among them my Uncle Nick. My buddies who became tool and die makers were the “greasers” w/ real smarts. A couple also had entrepreneurial abilities and opened their own shops. The problem w/ that was they would sometimes become dependent on a large customer. It that customer moved, went out of biz, or just got a better deal then the small shop owner was just left holding their own dick. I learned from that when I started my own biz. Although a professional agency I am blue collar to my bone and never became too dependent on one law firm, insurance co., corp.. govt. agency. etc.

  81. AY, I’m tiring of the word “banned.” My wife, who just published her first novel, Taken For Granted, available on Amazon, was meticulous about not using the same words over and over again. In the interest of mere sanity I suggest , excluded, forbidden, proscribed, interdicted and prohibited be used instead of the incredibly lame “banned.” You are direct and cordial. And..when someone is gone for awhile you always welcome them back. You’ve done that w/ me a couple times and I find it encouraging and positive.

  82. nick:

    that isnt only the problem with blue collar people, I knew an engineer once who had 2 clients and had 10-12 people working for him. Whoops, they both went belly up.

    Go wide and go deep. You need clients from many industries and a few of each. If more than 20% of your business is coming from one source, you better go find some more business.

  83. Gene H:

    you are right on that. If you give people freedom to do their work, they will be happy. I should say autonomy.

  84. If you’re tired of the word “banned” then start complying with the civility rule, nick, and I won’t have to remind you of what can happen if you refuse to comply with it.

    Refusal to follow it can get you banned, cast out, deported, discarded, discharged, dislodged, dismissed, dispelled, driven away, ejected, eliminated, eradicated, evicted, excluded, excommunicated, exiled, expatriated, expulsed, extradited, gotten rid of, isolated, ostracized, ousted, outlawed, proscribed, relegated, removed, rusticated, sequestered, shaken off, or shut out.

    I got others too, but they all mean the same thing.

    “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;”
    Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Sc. II, by William Shakespeare

  85. Bron,

    Autonomy can be part of that, but some don’t do well in self-governing situations. I’m all for autonomy for people who can work that way. In fact, I was talking about that with a friend the other day. He’s been starting a business out of his home and he’s finding it hard to work at this point now that certain projects that lent themselves to isolation are coming to an end. Without those hyper-focused projects, too much isolation and not having a discrete place to relax is wearing on him. But instead of folding, he’s going to get office space so he’s got a discrete home and discrete work area. Even in autonomy, sometimes the solution is structure. If people can impose that upon themselves, then they’ll be successful in an autonomous work environment be it at home or an office or a workshop. If not? They’re usually better off with someone else giving them a structured environment. Not everyone is suited to be a Chief, they’re happier as warriors.

  86. And good point about a diversified customer base, too. All your eggs in one basket can lead to scrambled eggs.

  87. “I won’t have to remind you of what can happen.” Why do you “have to remind me.” Is it a compulsion over which you are powerless? Is that your employment? Is it a personal mission? A spiritual one? Since it must have happened close to a hundred times it seems obsessively compulsive. There are behavior modification programs that have some degree success. Obviously, your singular plan to date has been an abject failure. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Good night to all. Blackhawks are Stanley Cup Champs! Bruins played them tough, just not tough enough. It was nice to see 2 of the original 6 in the finals. If it went 7, I was going to try and get tix for game 7 to take my son. One of the few Colombian NHL fans in the world.

  88. Robinh, Thanks for the comments, you should comment more often IMO. You hit on a relevant point that is overlooked: “Granted, public funds since the 1950s have been used exclusively to dumb down America, but tax dollars did not go to support ideologically-based schools that were totally inimical to American values.”

    I agree. What is in the interest of the nation is no longer a matter of consensus or a matter subject to reflection and articulation by our leaders. I can only imagine what a John Kennedy would think of government subsidizing schools that have an anti-science curriculum but I have faith that he would have had some thoughts about it, he would have clearly articulated those thoughts in memorable speeches and the possibility of so destructive a program happening would be nil.

    I’m sure time has colored my view but a little leadership from the top would do me good. There is no effective speaker for the good of the nation. It’s time for this topic to be addressed in the national dialogue and some consensus that acts as a framework for government action to be reached. There seems to me to be a whole lot of flailing around without a plan or purpose or underlying theme.

  89. lottakatz:

    the problem is public funding of schools. People have their own beliefs, why should I fund a school which teaches children something I dont believe is legitimate?

  90. Bron,

    You don’t see the inherent contradiction in what you just said?

    “the problem is public funding of schools. People have their own beliefs, why should I fund a school which teaches children something I dont believe is legitimate?”

    So instead of a secular education paid for by tax dollars, you’d rather a religious education be paid for by tax dollars? Doesn’t that presuppose that everyone has the same religious beliefs? Doesn’t it seem wiser to go with funding a secular education for all and allowing those with a preference to have a religiously based education on their own dime?

    Secular doesn’t mean wrong. It just means “non-religious”. The same cannot be said of a religiously based curriculum. If you doubt this, I have one word: creationism. It’s great religious dogma. It’s scientific and factual gibberish. So why not leave the education in the secular realm and the religious teachings for church? That is what people like Jefferson intended in both promoting public education and the Separation of Church and State.

  91. Elaine,

    By understanding in law school was that publicly funded education has to be equal there’s no requirement under the Constitution that education be paid for by the people.

  92. nick spinelli 1, June 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    BradS, I agree w/ everything you said. But, please realize there will be some people who will be vehemently opposed to your views. Don’t let them intimidate you. Keep your sense of humor. And feel free to ask me any questions about the folks who come at you. Welcome to the jungle. Otteray Scribe is a reasonable man. But, he is one of those super rich pilots who flies his fancy planes wherever and whenever he wants[this is a ballbust on OS, he is a pilot and we share the incredulity that so many people think private pilots are all billionaires]. Here’s an important rule for you to know. The rich are greedy, evil, bad people, according to a very vocal minority here. I will do anything I can to keep a man of your intellect and philosophy commenting here on a regular basis. “The more the merrier.” and “To each their own.” Buckle up and where a helmet.

    *****

    Oh my! How terrible that some people might be opposed to your and Brad’s view on this subject. Do you believe that those who disagree with your viewpoint and who express their opinions here are trying to intimidate you? Are you that easily intimidated? Do you suppose Brad is?

    BTW, who is the “vocal minority?” Can you be more specific?

  93. I forget the journalist name… But he had gotten documents under the carter administration…. Which has been marked declassified… Reagan had them reclassified and then tried to charge him under the espionage act…. Court held not…. So congress remedies was to give wide berth to a president … And even if they were unclassified when obtained the president could say they were now… Game over… But it was a post hoc law so it did not pin this journalist….

  94. Bron: “People have their own beliefs, why should I fund a school which teaches children something I dont believe is legitimate?”
    *

    It’s not about you or your beliefs. It’s about what benefits a society in the 21 century. Society isn’t an ala carte menu, or shouldn’t be, of what you would or would not support based on your own beliefs and selfish ‘wants’. Building, conserving and passing on a functioning society doesn’t work that way.

  95. AY,

    Elaine,

    By understanding in law school was that publicly funded education has to be equal there’s no requirement under the Constitution that education be paid for by the people.

    *****
    Your comment isn’t clear. Who do you propose pay for a “publicly funded” public education system?

  96. Gene,

    I’ve missed being around…and also keeping up with all the latest news. It’s been difficult going sarcasm-free for weeks! I thought I might have to join Wisea**es Anonymous.

  97. Elaine,

    I think part of the problem with uneven quality of public education in this country is in part caused by the dichotomy of wanting an equal education across the board conflicting with the fact that school districts (and consequently their primary funding and curriculum) operate at a local level and thus have constraints on funding and curriculum that are local in nature. National standardized testing – as you’ve pointed out on many occasions – is a boondoggle. Do you see any other way to close this particular gap either from the local or Federal level?

  98. Elaine,

    That’s the point… There is nothing in the US Const. that requires publicly funded education…. It’s all in title IX…. Which can be eliminated by congress….

    Hence under Plessey and brown vs the board…. So long as public funds are being used they must be equal…. There is nothing that says tax payer dollars be used…. But if they are used they cannot discriminate….

  99. A hobby is an activity in which a person engages out of love. They love collecting stamps, carving wood, etc. They never lament about having to do it, they wake up every morning w/ positive energy wanting to work on their hobby. You constantly complain about having to try and control me. But, maybe you do indeed enjoy this quite difficult control project, and this is a control freakish hobby. The joy will be a huge delayed gratification if you’re ever successful. What about coins, chess, Star Wars memorabilia? We would all be happier, but maybe that doesn’t matter. Some people here enjoy my comments and would be unhappy if you’re ever successful in your vendetta. To hell w/ them, eh?

  100. How Chicago’s five-year school plan was dead on arrival
    With the latest round of budget cuts, Mayor Emanuel dooms the education polices he forced into place.
    By Ben Joravsky
    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/mayor-emanuel-kills-school-plans-with-cuts/Content?oid=10131475

    Excerpt:
    You can be forgiven if you missed the recent release of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new five-year plan for transforming the Chicago Public Schools.

    Or, as the mayor calls it, “The Next Generation: Chicago’s Children / 21st Century preparation for success in college, career and life.” A title that just rolls off the tongue.

    I didn’t take much notice of the plan at first myself. It was unveiled a little over two weeks ago, but I was so distracted by the fallout from the mayor’s last major education initiative—the closing of 50 schools—that I wasn’t able to give “The Next Generation” the attention it so richly deserves.

    At the June 10 release of the plan, schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced that the turmoil and tumult of the last year—highlighted by the first teachers’ strike in 25 years and then the closings—were a thing of the past.

    Instead, she said, the five-year plan would usher in an era of peace, love, and understanding between CPS and the teachers, parents, and students under its domain.

    Alas, a few days later, principals in schools across the city announced substantial budget cuts to what little art, music, electives, and after-school programs they offered.

    Those cuts—at elementary schools like Burley and Jungman and high schools such as Lane Tech, Whitney Young, Roosevelt, Lake View, and Von Steuben—brought howls of protest.

    And so the school year ended as it began—with angry protesters in the streets.

    By the way, note that I said principals announced the cuts. Mayor Emanuel—who ordered that the budget ax fall—was conveniently on an overseas trip to Israel last week when the bad news broke. Not coincidentally, he was conveniently on a ski trip in Utah when the school closings were announced.

    It was also up to principals to decide what exactly to cut after being given thousands and even millions of dollars less to work with.

    CPS says that’s part of the mayor’s broader initiative to give principals more autonomy. But as far as I can tell, autonomy means that the mayor gets to announce the good news while someone else—lower on the totem pole—is forced to announce the bad news.

    Back to the plan. It’s a gorgeous, 28-page pamphlet, filled with page after page of glossy colored pictures of beaming children who undoubtedly have no idea that they’re being used as props in the mayor’s propaganda campaign. Scattered among the photos are some vague and grandiose goals like “ensuring world-class learning experiences for every child.”

    The first three pages are filled with essays written by the figures who run the schools. Appropriately, Mayor Emanuel leads off, followed by school board president David Vitale. Bringing up the rear is Byrd-Bennett, just in case anyone needs to know the hierarchy of shot callers.

    In his essay, Mayor Emanuel extols the virtues of his first major educational initiative—the longer school day—which will “not only position our students for success but also help make Chicago a better city.”

    Left unmentioned is the fact that the recent cuts mean a reduction in the money many schools were given to help them devote the extra class time to art, gym, computer training, or electives.

    As a result, many schools are now forced to have students spend the extra time in study halls with their homeroom teachers, who have no aides thanks to the previous cuts.

    Thus, the latest mayoral initiative undoes the previous mayoral initiative. Yet I’ll bet that won’t stop Mayor Emanuel from bragging about the longer day in his upcoming reelection campaign.

  101. AY,

    Are you arguing against a publicly funded public education for children in this country?

    BTW, the federal government doesn’t provide the basic funding for public education–cities and towns do.

  102. rafflaw,

    My granddaughter is napping at the moment. I thought I’d take a little time out of my schedule today and spend it on the blog. We’re still not completely settled in here. There’s lots of “stuff”–including furniture–that we still have to get rid of. It’s a good thing we have a big barn where we can store some of that stuff.

  103. No I am not arguing against publicly funded education… I don’t think tax dollars should be used at charter or private schools…..

    I’m just saying what I recall from school… That’s all… I was aghast….

    In as much as the thought about owing land… You just have a better right to it than the next guy….. But if you don’t pay your taxes or the government decides they want it… They can take it….

  104. Like I said, nick. Call it a hobby.

    You seem to keep mistaking that I care about your opinion of me though and keep making it personal with words like “control freak”.

    I love the blog and I love the few rules it has that allow it to function in a way practically unique on the web. Naturally it follows that I’d be interested in seeing the rules complied with. Fairly obvious, really.

    The control you chafe against is the control of the rules. Rules which protect the otherwise huge freedom encouraged here from needless disruption. Disruption of the kind you’ve seemingly been bent on since your arrival. Rules that most everyone else has no issue with complying with when participating in this community.

  105. Elaine M. Good to see you, Elaine. We are still in the fixing up and getting rid of stuff phase. Currently waiting for the painters to show. Hope to have the house on the market soon.

  106. Swarthmore mom,

    We were fortunate. We sold our house without a broker. The sister of one of my best friends bought it.

    I wish you luck. Real estate values have been rising steadily in my neck of the woods. There have been bidding wars. Some of the houses are going above asking price. One of my friends sold her condo in Somerville (MA) in less than a week for $20,000 above asking price.

  107. lottakatz:

    your answer is what I fundamentally disagree with.

    Totalitarian societies are very big on teaching subservience to the state and that individual desires are selfish and base.

    The Declaration says we have a natural right to pursue our happiness. He is talking about the individual, not about society.

  108. Bron,

    You seem to assume that subservience to the state is a prerequisite component of a public education. I’m a product of both public and private education and, although loyal to the Constitution, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a subservient bone in my body. That wasn’t just a product of private schools. Then again, when I was in school, they taught Civics.

  109. Bron, Presumably there’s a visitor’s list in these gents electronic jail. I’ll make sure I put you on it. Could you smuggle in some good prosciutto? It really would be fascinating to see what the rules in their jail would be like.

  110. Gene H:

    No, all I am saying is that all totalitarian states teach subservience to the state, to the leader, to the collective or society if you will. It is a mark of a totalitarian society.

    I dont even like the pledge of allegiance. If we pledge allegiance to anything it should be to the Constitution.

  111. Bron,

    Methinks you are mistaking authoritarianism and totalitarianism. While authoritarianism is usually a feature of a totalitarian state, the authority they may indoctrinate fealty to is not always the state, but often an individual (see dictatorships). However, if your concern is the indoctrination of children into authoritarianism on the road to totalitarianism? Today, that may be a legitimate concern, however, such a component of public education is not required and most certainly wasn’t how things were done when I was in grammar and secondary schools.

  112. Also, FWIW, I agree on the Pledge issue. I quit saying it grade school. It’s nationalistic statist bullshit. At least a pledge based on the Constitution would be a pledge to principles. That I’d be down with.

  113. RWL,
    DOMA should never have become law in the first place. Clinton should have vetoed it even if his veto might have been overridden.

  114. YES follow the money. ALWAYS follow the money. Common Core, Charter Schools, Vouchers etc. All for the money machine not education. And lets not forget one other thing. CONTROL. The federal government wants COMPLETE control of our children. Charter Schools do not have elected school boards. They promise the parents control instead of the school board but truth be known. Once they shut down all the public schools and eliminate all elected school boards they will shut the doors to the parents like a bank vault. And who will you go to…….Rahm Emanuel. Think again folds. Control of your kids is what they want and unfortunately parents will probably give it up willingly. We have fallen right into their hands. We have children then willingly hand them over to day care and then school. Parents of today think all they have to do is have the kids and then hand the responsibility of raising them over to someone else. Heck they even think it is my job to pay for their daycare. I say if you cannot afford to stay home and raise you kids you shouldn’t be having them in the first place. If you go to work and cannot afford daycare then DO NOT HAVE THEM. it is not my job or the governments job to raise your kids!!!

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