Thursday, August 29, 2013

Only Bad People Want a Good Education for their Children

So says Allison Benedikt of Slate Magazine.   Seriously, she said that.

This article had me laughing out loud.  Of course I was laughing in a way that is really just to cover my utter shock, disbelief, and total dismay.
I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.
Apparently it is perfectly fine for at least a few generations to get a lousy education because down the road it will help all.  Now that is logic isn't it?  Insert primal scream here.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but I thought liberals thought there was nothing better than education.  Matter of fact don't they say that public schools are a human right?  I seem to remember former congressman and convicted felon Jesse Jackson, Jr. talking about that on the floor of congress.  Yeah matter of fact there is video of that conversation, oh and don't forget the constitutionally protected iPad too.

What is really funny about this entire article is that by the end she completely contradicts herself:
I went K–12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one bookThere wasn’t even soccer. This is not a humblebrag! I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either. You know all those important novels that everyone’s read? I haven’t. I know nothing about poetry, very little about art, and please don’t quiz me on the dates of the Civil War. I’m not proud of my ignorance. But guess what the horrible result is? I’m doing fine. I’m not saying it’s a good thing that I got a lame education. I’m saying that I survived it, and so will your child, who must endure having no AP calculus so that in 25 years there will be AP calculus for all.
Again, correct me if I am wrong, if she is doing just fine without AP classes and no organized soccer teams, why wouldn't future generations do "just fine" as well?  I mean why would anyone need it regardless of what generation they come from?  It would seem to me that everyone will be able to find their dream job, such as working at Slate Magazine even though they learned virtually nothing after 17 years of education.  Now I did take AP Calculus and I don't work at Slate.  So apparently my "better" education didn't really help me that much did it?

She believes that if all children go to public school we will have a better school system.  Lets think about that for a minute.  Because it seems what she is saying is that people are stuck living in the neighborhoods with horrible public schools don't care that their kids are receiving a bad education.  Because after all if they did they would push for change right?  Oh wait, they are pushing for change and the unions stand in the way of those changes and much-needed reforms.  She never mentions that part of the equation.  I guess she didn't get algebra in her crappy public school either.  You know the thing that has you put all parts of the equation together to come to the correct solution.  There are millions upon millions of parents who are fighting to make changes in their local schools only to be met with hostility and resistance.  We have the NAACP suing to keep open the worst performing school system in the country all the while the lawyer filing the suit sends her child to boarding school in another state.  She knows her kid will be cheated if she attends those schools.  She has money, to heck with the poor and struggling middle class that can't afford the same.
Also remember that there’s more to education than what’s taught. As rotten as my school’s English, history, science, social studies, math, art, music, and language programs were, going to school with poor kids and rich kids, black kids and brown kids, smart kids and not-so-smart ones, kids with superconservative Christian parents and other upper-middle-class Jews like me was its own education and life preparation. Reading Walt Whitman in ninth grade changed the way you see the world? Well, getting drunk before basketball games with kids who lived at the trailer park near my house did the same for me. In fact it’s part of the reason I feel so strongly about public schools.
I totally don't get how getting drunk at trailer parks makes her feel strongly about public schools and that leading to the willingness to allow at least two or three more generations to have a substandard education, but that's just me.

Education reform is a passion of mine.  I would love to see every child in this country have the best education possible.  The problem is that, as of today, the last thing that will get us there is the public school system.  We are failing in virtually every measure and it will become a national security issue when people in this country can't compete on the world stage.  The system needs serious reform, unions and the government have far more power over the system than any PTA will ever have.  The current system doesn't allow those types of changes nor does it give parents many options when trying to push for change.

No one is a bad parent for wanting their child to get the best possible education that they can give to their child, for this woman to say that they are makes me wonder if she has any children of her own.  If so, doesn't her great job at Slate pay her enough to live in a neighborhood that has a better school system than say the ones in Harlem or the south side of Chicago?  I would venture to say the answer to that question is yes.
But I have to say I really appreciate one line in the article:
 Don’t just acknowledge your liberal guilt—listen to it.
Ah, the reasoning behind most of what liberals do.

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