Busy Bloggin' Morning, this.

With all the hooplah (and now craven arson) going on over people posting pics of pseudo-prophets, it's kind of cool that the best written blog post I found today is about School Vouchers. Michael Reynolds, of The Mighty Middle, has written a quite touchingly personal, yet emminently sensible piece on what these end-arounds of the Separation of Church and State will really do to our Public School systems.
[Link] We've had (my daughter) tested. She might have a learning disability of the dyslexia variety. There's a weak suggestion that she might be ADHD -- although neither her teachers nor we think so. We have no time to even begin any therapy aside from drugs before the school's deadline. So, cutting through the edu-babble, it's drug her, or they dump her.

Private schools don't have the resources for problem children. This private school wants my son. They don't want my daughter. You know who wants my daughter? The public schools because they have no choice. The private school is already in competition with a handful of other private schools. It is not a competition to help kids who need help, it's a competition for money and prestige, for efficiency, for staff retention -- none of which make my daughter seem like a good deal. It is in a competition it can most easily win by dumping all the square pegs.
I think that it is perfectly reasonable for a Private School to be able to make such a horrifyingly insensitive choice. I don't think it's absolutely necessary for them to choose so, but I know what kind of budgets many of these schools have with which to work. This is especially true of the elementary level parochial, or Parish, schools such as the one to which my parents sent all 5 of my siblings and me.

It's a tough call for a parent to make in deciding what is A) best for each of their children individually and B) relevant to their family's needs as a whole and loving unit.

I could go on but instead recommend you head on over to The Mighty Middle for other commenters' takes along with mine and Michael's.

Back on the pics-o'-prophets bit for a minute: The 2% Co. posted on it of course. I had a chance to get into a little back and forth, pros and cons with one of my fellow fans of their site. I think we both made some good points, even though we approached from essentially opposing ends of the debate. Here is the essential element of my opinion on the whole she-bang:
[Link]The Pen is Mightier than the Sword is true in the long run of cultural evolution. But, no matter how you try to rationalize it, the Sword is Always Bloodier than the Pen.

I understand and appreciate your points Dikkii. I am one who sincerely and deliberately speaks with my Pen until a time might come that I am confronted with the Sword. Then the rules be damned.
As you'll see if you follow the links, even the Respectfully Insolent Orac had a somewhat controversial piece to add to the debate. I thought his part important because of it's historical accuracy. What I don't agree with is that any juxtaposition of Hitler's cartoon campaign against the Jews exists in any meaningful way over this current cultural clash.

Today's issue is not about a coordinated effort to eradicate a sub-culture it considers politically parasitical and destructive to society. It is about everyone's right to share information and knowledge, regardless of anyone's taboos against that information being freely available. The differences far outweigh the similarities, and neither should be ignored.


I guess we should all just be grateful
that our President has his Patriotic way vis-a-vie unchallenged Civil Spying activities. I'm sure his ability to covertly track anyone's activity without Judicial checks will prevent any convicted terrorists from escaping from foreign prisons and cutting our throats in the middle of the night. Ooops! Wait a minute...


  1. Michael, there is one misconception you are operating under here and it is one that is assumed generally and needs to be corrected.

    I live near Milwaukee, Wisconsin which has one of (if not the) largest voucher programs in the country. The same argument gets made (mostly by the teachers unions!!) all of the time and it is simply not true.

    The average student in the public school system in Milwaukee has an annual cost of just over $10,000 to educate. This includes facility costs, the teachers' salary and benefits, teaching materials, etc.

    The voucher program provides just over $5,000 to each student to leave the public school system and attend the private school of his or her choice.

    When you do the math, every child leaves behind almost $5,000 to be spread amongst the remaining students and also creates the opportunity for smaller class sizes for those who remain.

    It is unfortunate that in most cases the private schools do not have the resources for those students needing special care but the money left behind by those students leaving the system can also help to defray that costs to the public.

    In all truth the only people who usually lose in this situation are the teachers unions. They no longer have as much power to protect incompetant teachers against the parents who decide to keep their children in the system. They now have the ability to remove the bad ones as there is less need to keep just anyone who is merely willing to teach due to overloaded classes.

    Even more importantly, the teachers unions have lost the complete control over curriculim for all of the students reducing their ability direct the liberal indoctrination of the whole of our youth.

  2. When you do the math, every child leaves behind almost $5,000 to be spread amongst the remaining students and also creates the opportunity for smaller class sizes for those who remain.

    That's almost a great point, but you missed a step Wayne. The remaining $5,000 is not left to the School system. It disappears along with the child because the System is smart? enough or cheap? enough to No Longer Count that Kid in the enrollment numbers, presumably because they're not the greatest Math wizzes either. Though I know that's kind of insulting, it's more understandable than thinking the Teachers Union is not concerned with its members ability to do their jobs for the children with sufficient funding.

    Remeber, what is also lost is the synergy in the budgetary pool of that $5,000 being lost from the total budget. Those numbers don't ONLY apply to each individual student. They supply a pool of funds for Classrooms based on the number of enrolled kids, thus leaving less money available than that single $10,000 rated student was being credited for exclusively using up.

    That is a hazard of Central Planning and is only exacerbated by the fact that the whole amount isn't given to the Private institution to which the child is then enrolled.

    I certainly agree with you that ineptitude amongst teachers, though not as prevalent as many suggest, is indeed one of the key factors in our kids Education. It's probably only Second to insufficient budgets for the System's educational requirements.

    Vouchers end up being a lose-lose proposition, regardless of the other major issues.

    Thanks for bringing up a very important misunderstanding of how School Financing works and what problems our School Systems face.

  3. Yep. That Great Escape over there somehow goes unremarked in the midst of the absurd assertions by Abu Gonzales. We're so concerned about these terrorists that we put the big ones in cheap prisons and the goatherders in Guantanamo, surrounded by water, meanwhile filtering granny's phone calls for whispers of Al Qaeda. Yeah, that makes sense.


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