Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is our children learning?

With Jack Kelly, you always have to wonder what hidden Republican agenda he is shilling for (and personally I wonder if he understands what he is saying). Today he is saying public workers need to take a pay cut, at least somewhat carefully, I note. He never mentions police, firefighters and paramedics by title, he really only looks at teachers. One of the few quotes he references states “"We are paying much, much more money to deliver government services that (with few exceptions) are not performing any better””. I assume the “few exceptions” are the people you call when you are most frightened.

But the hidden part of the agenda Jack is advancing is revealed a few paragraphs later: “Students in charter, private and parochial schools outperform public school students by most measures, despite spending much less per pupil. (Public schools do have to educate more high-cost, special-needs children, though.)”. I need to say that charter, private and parochial schools almost always do not have teachers unions. So even though the comment in parenthesis is an act of charity, the intent of the paragraph becomes clear. If we can’t eliminate the AFT and AFSCME, then let’s start outsourcing the government functions. Period.

After that snow fall in February, I am not going to say that government is doing an absolutely great job. Of course, maybe its not the government workers that need to be replaced (seemingly we don’t want a real Mayor). But the thing that really grabbed me when I read Kelly’s column was that we were at this place in 2001. The same sort of testing results that Kelly references in his column were brought up then, about eight and half years ago. The result was “No Child Left Behind”. The thing is, Bush had all those years to fix local education, and in fact some boards of education in inner cities and rural areas were squeezed, as well as some teacher’s unions. Some schools were closed, people were told to do more with no more money. And yet, Kelly is now raising the same sorts of testing results, now we are telling teachers to do more with less. If Bush and the Republicans, having control of both houses of Congress, couldn't fix the problem, what could be done now with even less money? I think that Kelly’s paragraph I quoted above tells the whole story. In a Kelly fantasy future, after outsourcing education of cities and rural areas to private concerns, education testing results will not improve because of those durn special needs kids (not saying anything about the wealth of the families in those areas). We are still not looking at real solutions to our education problems, at least not in Jack Kelly columns...

On another note, do all the guys named Tony in England have brown wavy hair? Tony Hayward, Tony Blair … they even kind of look alike.

1 comment:

怡婷 said...

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