Better Dead than Read

Sometimes, you almost have to admire the callousness of Big Education and their puppets in high office.

As you know, Bobby Jindal has instituted a voucher system in Louisiana. It has proven very popular, especially among black families trapped in horrible schools. The Left is desperate to undo this experiment. They’ve tried lawsuits, which haven’t worked. They’ve tried to make an issue out of a small number of schools teaching young creationism rubbish in place of science (I addressed that concern here). And now this:

The Justice Department has petitioned a U.S. District Court to bar Louisiana from awarding vouchers for the 2014-15 school year to students in public school systems that are under federal desegregation orders, unless the vouchers are first approved by a federal judge. The government argues that allowing students to leave their public schools for vouchered private schools threatens to disrupt the desegregation of school systems. A hearing is tentatively set for Sept. 19.

As Ed Morrissey noted, this is trying to apply the now-defunct pre-clearance of the VRA to schools.

There’s no denying the state’s racist history of school segregation or its ugly efforts in the late 1960s and early 1970s to undermine desegregation orders by helping white children to evade racially integrated schools. These efforts included funneling public money to all-white private schools. But the situation today bears no resemblance to those terrible days. Since most of the students using vouchers are black, it is, as State Education Superintendent John White pointed out to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “a little ridiculous” to argue that the departure of mostly black students to voucher schools would make their home school systems less white. Every private school participating in the voucher program must comply with the color-blind policies of the federal desegregation court orders.

90% of the students taking advantage of vouchers are black. 86% are from schools rated D or F. Considering that our current public school system has been one of the biggest factors in maintaining racial segregation (by making good school districts expensive and pricing out poor and even middle class minorities), it is frankly absurd to make this argument.

I have to think that the Justice Department knows how absurd their argument is. They are simply desperate to derail this program before it succeeds.

Back during the Cold War, my dad worked with immigrants from behind the Iron Curtain. One of the things they loved to do after seeing him was to go around the corner to the farmer’s market. The Dekalb Farmer’s Market was wonderful. It was massive, it had every kind of produce and meat you could imagine and it was all fresh and delicious. Neal Booortz has a story about taken a Russian friend there who couldn’t believe that ordinary people were allowed to shop there; surely it was only intended for the elite.

The patients loved the farmer’s market but it also angered them because it illustrated, better than anything ever could, how much of a failure communism was. They had spent their lives being told that moldy bread and brown lettuce were all the could expect. Suddenly, they realized this wasn’t the case. This angered them not just for their own sakes, but for the sakes of the friends and family members they’d left behind.

The more kids escape our Soviet-style school system, the more the support for hyper-controlled, one-size-fits-all, overly-bureaucratized system will fade. Every student who goes to a school where the teachers are free to teach, where the halls are safe and where success is met with praise is a student who will never support the gulag system again. They don’t even have to go private schools, per se. Just being able to go to better public schools would be enough. And the pressure they will exert does not have to abolish schools, but to reform them (something I’ve talked about here; my opinion on some issues has changed since then, but it’s still reflective of my thinking on the subject.)

Big Education is losing. They are scared. They are desperate. The race card is there last refuge. The response to this should be disgust, but also elation. We’re winning.

Comments are closed.

  1. salinger

    Creationist lunacy aside – EVERY study has shown Charter Schools as a whole do no better than public schools, in fact as a whole they are doing worse. What the charter schools do accomplish is funneling tax dollars into private hands.

    There are no more good performing charter schools than there are good performing public schools percentage-wise. (In real numbers there are more high performing public schools because there are more of them on a whole) Choice does not equal better schools – period. This is a fact.

    The sole purpose of the choice reform movement in education is to siphon off public money. The last two forms of “industry” in the Unites States that cannot be outsourced are Education and Medicine and right now the shysters are lining up for those education dollars.

    Public education needs a lot of work – charter schools are not the way to go about it. In fact they do more harm than they do good when one takes into account the students locked out because of the system.

    Hot! Thumb up 3

  2. salinger

    Must….not….argue….

    Hey – believe what you want – every single study says I am right.

    You guys are mistaking choice as the goal. You might as well be choosing between meat infected with staph or meat infected with e coli – both are going to make you sick.

    The public school system is sick – yes this is true.

    BUT the charter school system is just as diseased – and more likely a little worse.

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  3. Technomad

    The best way would be to get government out of education entirely. Considering what a bunch of ignorant POSes government are, it’s not surprising that they muck up education.

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  4. Mississippi Yankee

    salinger we understand from where you derive your income but my only question to you is… do you have a shrine to Jimmah Cartah in your home?

    His creation of the Dept. of Edumacaseun must have been the orgasmic for you and your ilk.

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  5. hist_ed

    Salinger, i your kid is stuck in a shithole public school, going to an average charter is a big step up. While there may be some shithole charters, I’d love to see some data on how long they survive. Shitty public schools can go on for decades; a shitty charter doesn’t have the same chance at longevity.

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  6. salinger

    While there may be some shithole charters

    Statistics put this at well over half – a bit more than some.

    Shitty public schools can go on for decades; a shitty charter doesn’t have the same chance at longevity.

    I agree. I believe we’d be better attacking the root cause of education shortfalls by looking at what make the successful schools successful – rather than pissing away time and money on these failures.

    I don’t think the fact that a shitty charter is gonna disappear (with cash and impunity) in a couple years does us any good at all and probably does more harm by displacing those students.

    salinger we understand from where you derive your income

    I don’t think you do.

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  7. Miguelito

    If vouchers can be used at private too (not just charter) they’re usually far better than public schools. Granted, just the parents being involved enough in their kid’s education to care this much is a huge step up over most kids in the areas with the worst failing schools.

    I haven’t seen many studies showing charter schools failing anywhere near the level that public schools are either.

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  8. salinger

    I haven’t seen many studies showing charter schools failing anywhere near the level that public schools are either.

    Here’s one – from one of the pioneering charter school states there a many many more but I don’t think you need 50 links to get the drift.

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  9. Hal_10000 *

    Creationist lunacy aside – EVERY study has shown Charter Schools as a whole do no better than public schools, in fact as a whole they are doing worse. What the charter schools do accomplish is funneling tax dollars into private hands.

    You have a point about charter schools. But 22 out of 23 studies have shown that school choice does improve performance — including for kids who stay in the public system.

    http://www.cato.org/blog/school-monopoly-what-great-idea

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  10. salinger

    But 22 out of 23 studies

    That would be fine if there were only 23 studies conducted. What you have provided is 22 out of 23 studies collected by a group whose sole reason for existence is to lobby for voucher programs. Would you be willing to give the same amount of credence if I used Diane Ravitch as a sole source?

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  11. Seattle Outcast

    The sole purpose of the choice reform movement in education is to siphon off public money.

    So, you’re saying that there shouldn’t be any tax dollars to siphon off, or that the DOE was a massive mistake (thanks Carter, for burdening us with this fucking disaster) and that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in education in any form, and it should be left entirely to the states, or more appropriately, to the school zones?

    Choice does not equal better schools – period. This is a fact.

    Actually, choice, in the long run ALWAYS leads to better results. Or, perhaps if I worded it this way:

    Teacher’s unions and tenure make schools worse – period. This is a fact.

    This because these are all about the teachers, and not the students at all. In fact, the students seem to be in the way of what teachers want, which is, apparently, getting paid extremely well and not being accountable to fucking anybody. Along with 90 days off every year.

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  12. Mississippi Yankee

    “salinger we understand from where you derive your income”

    I don’t think you do.

    So sal, are you saying the you peddle your wares at private schools too?

    Oh and BTW YOU were the first to bring up “charter schools”. The original post referred to private schools. And yes, the devil is in the difference.

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  13. salinger

    Actually, choice, in the long run ALWAYS leads to better results.

    Even when the choices are equally bad?

    Along with 90 days off every year.

    This is high indication you don’t know what you are talking about.

    So sal, are you saying the you peddle your wares at private schools too?

    My work is used in both private and public schools.

    The original post referred to private schools. And yes, the devil is in the difference.

    If you read the linked article you would see the author used the two terms synonymously. But I am interested, what do you see the difference is?

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  14. Seattle Outcast

    Even when the choices are equally bad?

    Are you hear to argue that people need the government there to make choices for them? Regardless, as long as people get to actually choose, they aren’t having a monopoly shoved down their throats. Your argument is your option isn’t any worse, so you get that one.

    Even when the choices are equally bad?

    Actually, it’s evidence that I know teachers, including one in my family. They get the summers off.

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  15. salinger

    Are you hear to argue that people need the government there to make choices for them?

    nope. I’ve stated my opinion on government’s role in education many times.

    Actually, it’s evidence that I know teachers, including one in my family. They get the summers of

    I think this goes more to illustrate the work ethic of your friends and family than that of teachers as a whole.

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  16. Miguelito

    This is high indication you don’t know what you are talking about.

    As someone that lives right next to a public elementary school and drives by a couple more every day, I can say that they do get the entire summer off. I walk my dog by the one every day and throughout the entire summer, all I saw was perhaps 1 office person 1 day a week. The one (or two) that were there a lot were the maintenance guys who were busy removing all the furniture and piling it up next to the fence to make room for all the new stuff. The “old” stuff all looking in great condition and maybe a couple years old. Gotta spend that school bond money or we might have a dip in our next budget though!

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the statist/progressives who are always touting the good of society over the individual are the same people that push to make sure the occasional “special needs” kid be mainstreamed into class with everyone else? Those same people talk about how said kids need their chance at a normal life and education too, but often the one kid needs so much attention that it actually hurts all the rest of the kids. Where’s the good of the whole vs the one there? Yes, I do think that some kids should probably be in other schools, whether it be due to health issues or, far more often, due to being delinquents that continually disrupt the class.

    I started out in public school and am so grateful that my parents scrimped and sacrificed (which I didn’t know at the time of course) to move my sister and I over to the local private (catholic) school. We’re not religious at all either, but it was the better school in the area. We had a few troublemakers there too over the years, but the private school could actually punish kids and kick them out if required… public school teachers seem to be forced to take a beating over actually punishing a kid. I always found it interesting that we always had teachers that seemed to work a lot harder and were a lot happier then most public school teachers, but they were paid less and weren’t unionized. They seemed to prefer avoiding the hellhole that a lot of public schools are, avoid the union and have some control over their classroom.

    Yes, the private school had some “religion” classes, but we learned that those were the one easy period each year and everything else was essentially college prep level or higher. The only friend I knew that had anywhere near to as good an education was the friend that, due to the luck of the draw, went to the magnet school. Having to get up a couple hours earlier for the bus sucked and having to befriend someone each year to be his bodyguard (seriously) didn’t seem like a fair trade-off though. The magnet school is, of course, in the shittiest neighborhood. Ironically, at my current job, I ended up working with 4 or 5 people who all had been in his class at the magnet school and they all remember him. They all have stories about school in the ‘hood too.

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