American school children and Russian cows

If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person

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.

When Allison Benedikt says “worth it,” she is insisting that you consider all other children more important than your own child. Those of a totalitarian disposition might consider this idea worthy of debate, but, short of government forcing it, no one could consider it practical. Even president Obama has rejected Benedikt’s dictum.

One wonders how Progressives like Ms Benedikt reconcile their relentless public school focus on self-esteem training with their opinion that the collective is more important than you are. You’re special because your parents decided to sacrifice your education to the common good? You’re just as important as everyone else who can’t read or write?

It reminds me of an old Russian joke about a peasant with one cow who hates his neighbor because the neighbor has two cows. A genie offers to grant the envious farmer a single wish. “Kill one of my neighbor’s cows!” he demands.

Ms Benedikt is not arguing on behalf of children, or the “common good.” She’s arguing on behalf of public employee unions and big government, so ignore this report from Harvard: Students Learn Less in States with Stronger Teachers’ Unions

For Ms Benedikt that’s not a bug. It’s a feature. Of course, she would probably object that that’s an example what she wants to change. However, she also probably would object to education system reforms like those in Wisconsin and Michigan.

And, by the way, somebody should tell Ms Benedikt that calling president Obama a “bad person” is racist.

"…labor cartels with no interest in their customers"

That’s what I said Monday.

Today, Investors Business Daily asks, “Why Are Tuitions So High?”

An IBD analysis of data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that from 1989-2009 the number of administrative personnel at four- and two-year institutions grew 84%, from about 543,000 to over 1 million.

By contrast, the number of faculty increased 75%, from 824,000 to 1.4 million, while student enrollment grew 51%, from 13.5 million to 20.4 million.

RTWT You’ll soon see that it is the confluence of Federal interference in K-12, Federal regulation of higher education, Federal student loans and Pell grants, and teacher’s unions political clout which are responsible for the perfect storm of rising costs.

Higher Education Bubble Rent Seekers

It’s not the students. It’s the ADMINISTRATORS.

A Senate bill that would encourage the growth of alternative training programs for teachers and principals, some of which would not be based at colleges or universities but would have the authority to give certificates considered the equivalent of master’s degrees, has come under fire from higher education organizations that argue Congress should focus on higher education institutions in efforts to improve teacher quality…

“While our organizations support the reform of educator preparation programs, we have several concerns about this legislation, and we ask you not to support it,” they wrote in the letter, which was signed by the American Council on Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, among others.

“[H]igher education organizations” = arrogant closed shop public employee unions pretending to be professional associations. AKA labor cartels with no interest in their customers.

Of “higher education organizations that argue Congress should focus on higher education institutions” one can only ask, “Where have you been and what have you been doing to improve teacher quality while Congress was solely focused on your votes institutions, whose costs have risen vastly more (439% from ’82 to ’07) than any other segment of the economy? Why is the biggest category to increase in your bloated spending that of administration? Why are you still propagating useless ‘diversity’ and ‘feminism’ studies? What does the term “intellectual diversity” mean to you?”

Soft bigotry in Ann Arbor

James Taranto mentioned this in his Wall Street Journal Best of the Web Today column, making many of the obvious (except to Ann Arbor’s Dicken Elementary School Principal Mike Madison) observations.

Taranto (he uses the Royal “we”):

We don’t doubt Madison’s good intentions, nor do we think it was a “wasted venture.” It seems to us an excellent idea to expose black youngsters to accomplished black adults, for just the reasons he states.

But why only black youngsters? We are forever hearing that white Americans continue to harbor “racial resentment,” derogatory stereotypes, even flatly racist attitudes toward blacks. In this column’s opinion, that problem is overstated. But it certainly couldn’t hurt to show pupils of pallor that rocket scientists don’t necessarily “look like them.”

Further, who’s to say an accomplished black adult can’t be a role model for a white child, or vice versa? The multicultural mindset is impoverished inasmuch as it sees people primarily as members of a subpopulation, rather than as Americans or human beings.

During our childhood, we once read a book about Harriet Tubman, the escaped slave who made a career of rescuing other slaves. It never occurred to us that because Tubman was black, her story was “black history” and therefore not of interest to us. We were inspired by her heroism in the cause of freedom–universal human themes.

Similarly, the laws of physics do not discriminate. Anyone with the aptitude and the interest can become a rocket scientist. That’s a worthy lesson to teach children of any color–and that ain’t rocket science.

The field trip reminds me of the blacks-only graduation ceremonies at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan (and others, see here and here). The people organizing such things would be shocked, shocked, that their “reaching out” is actually teaching that blacks and whites being together necessarily denigrates one race or the other. Or both at once. Mike Madison is training them to it.

Taranto did miss the question of what this field trip causes these students to think about each other, and the direct, if subtle, contribution it therefore made to turning out future racists of all pigmentation. So sad that young people are in the hands of idiots whose intentions are good.

When society’s preponderant meme, like Madison’s, is that people are perfectable if we just shelter them from competition, force them to have the right experiences, make them obey the proper regulations and shovel enough money at their personal problems – this racial profiling is what results. Accomplishing it means you have to be in charge of their lives. Unfortunately, society has decided to put such people as Mike Madison in charge of our most impressionable members. We should be ashamed.

The other obvious question, of course, is what firestorm would have been visited upon Mr. Madison if it had been a whites only field trip. He never even thought about that, because he was too busy condescending to the black children mistakenly placed in his care.