Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

No room for education reform in spending frenzy

Jerry Stratton, March 10, 2009

Remember the D.C. voucher minority education program that saved money, improved math scores, and that parents loved? In the omnibus spending bill that just passed, Democrats ended it. I guess it’s a spending bill, not a saving bill.

Hat tip to Gabriel Malor at the Ace of Spades HQ.

July 20, 2022: On education, the left is mired in the fifties

The left loves to accuse conservatives of wanting to turn the clock back to the fifties. This, it turns out, is typical projection. From government to education, the beltway left is stuck in the industrial assembly-line mindset of the fifties. They believe that any attempt to modernize either government or education is an attack on morals.

Even today, any attempt to allow parents a choice in schools other than the one-size fits all government-run approach is met with end-of-the-world nonsense. This is often even true when those choices are other government schools such as schools in different districts or charter schools.

The ridiculous lack of even basic security in schools is a direct result of schools being run as a fifties-era government monopoly. You often hear older people lamenting that they used to be able to keep their doors unlocked, but times have changed. Businesses used to be able to keep their buildings unguarded, but times have changed.

And it’s true. Times have changed. We used to be able to keep our doors unlocked. We used to be able to open the unguarded doors of our businesses and not go bankrupt from crime. But we recognize that times have changed. And so we no longer keep our doors unlocked and our buildings unguarded.

Schools, because monopolies tend to get stuck in their heyday, still keep their doors unlocked, despite the ease of having one-way doors that only open from the inside. They still keep students unguarded, despite the dedicated teachers available in every class. Teachers who often end up protecting children by dying to defend them, rather than protecting children by training to defend them.

Pretend your school is a bank. Or a sporting event. Or anything not run by government. All of them storing important things or hosting important events, but none as important as educating children. All of them have better security than schools. Much of it is simple security that doesn’t even add more expense: doors that only open from the inside, and training for employees. And of course, others forms of security does add expense, such as security guards and automatic alarms. But businesses pay for these because they work.

January 1, 2010: Blogs fight resegregation in DC?

The Democrats have officially killed the successful DC scholarship program. Now some bloggers are considering setting up a private scholarship fund to resurrect it. This is a great idea, and a great way to start off 2010. I pledge at least a hundred dollars to it right now.

The Anchoress has some ideas, too:

I’d like to be in on the creation of such an effort. I think this is a terrific and positive note on which to begin a new year, particularly one in which governmental leadership suggests itself to be moribund and completely mad.

And I also like her ideas on vocational training:

If something like this were to succeed, it could even be expanded to include vocational training and apprenticeships for those who would prefer to learn the sort of blue-collar, non-outsourceable and completely respectable jobs that so many of our young people no longer consider because the “you’re nothing without a degree” narrative has become so all-consuming.

The DC voucher program was a good idea at the time, and it’s still a good idea. This was a small program; it lies within the grasp of grassroots donations. The program is 1,716 students, at $7,500 a student, for just under $13,000,000 each year. I’ll be happy to provide my hundred dollars a year to help fund it. Can we get 129,999 more people to do that? I think we can.

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