Thursday, July 28, 2005

When will they learn?

In the past, there may have been many real “thinkers” on the Left, but that has been stamped out over the past 30 – 40 years by the “doctrinaire” crowd (you really need to read that link, it's a perfect description of the Left). They recite the doctrine endlessly, but no longer question any part of it. Indeed, they are actively discouraged from questioning any part of it.

If anyone dares to question the doctrine, no matter how silly, they are branded as blasphemers. Bernard Goldberg used to be no friend of the Right, but when he dared to say, in a Wall Street Journal article, that the MSM may be biased, he was branded a heretic and ousted from the church with the inevitable smear campaign that excommunication from the Church of the Left entails. In self defense, he then went on to write a book exposing all of their dirty laundry.

These are the people who are teaching our kids in public schools. People who have never learned to think, indeed who are punished for thinking, are supposed to be teaching our kids to think? Is it any wonder that test scores keep going down, even though we’ve doubled the amount of money given to the public education system in the past 15 years? Yes, doubled. And have any of the problems gone away? No, not one.


(That graph didn't come through very well, but what it shows is that, between local, state, federal and other (parent contributions?), we have went from 249.0 billion dollars in 1990-91, to 501.3 billion dollars in 2003-04!)

We keep giving more and more money to people who can’t, logically, put it to use in an efficient manner, because they have no logic! Luckily for them, there are enough people out there who also have no logic and keep giving them more money based on their annual promise that if they just had more money, they could reduce class-sizes and improve test scores.

But it never happens! When are people going to learn? If they hired a financial manager and they remained flat broke, or actually lost ground , do you think that they'd give him more money? Would they actually double his fee when he told them for fifteen years that, if he just had more money, he could make them rich? Hell, no. They'd either fire him or call the police to report a scam-artist!

So why do they keep falling for this scam?

What really needs to be done is to take a two-pronged approach: pass a school-voucher program, and tell the government schools, "not a dime more until you start improving things. You have enough money to do it now, so you'd better get started if you want to keep your job."

Either way, we need to get our children away from these unthinking people. We need to teach our kids to think, and these are the wrong people to do it.


  1. I was also amazed to see a news report about one inner city middle school touting the wonderful addition of laptop computers for every student. Laptops! How much did that cost! And the reading and math scores were atrocious.

    Bigger and better and more internet savvy schools are not the answer. As you said, Exile, its teaching the kids how to learn, and then to apply that ability to actual learning. Growing up I had no internet, barely a computer, and one calculator. I made it, and so did the rest of the adult generation.

    Our schools are the example and show just how big a black hole we're sinking money into if there is no accountability or focus on learning. And if that's not enough to scare anybody--just think about the numbers on that chart and imagine what the government would do with health care!

  2. If you want to attack public education, there is one very big, very easy place to attack... but few do: Attack the bureaucracy that has grown around education.
    This bureaucracy has screwed around with every lame-brained idea to come down the pike over the last 30-40 years and is a lot more interested in keeping its overblown salaries and its perks while refusing to allow the teachers to impose meaningful discipline and -- in fact -- often works counter to the teachers.
    And when it comes to the money going into the schools, the bureaucracy gets its cut and it ALWAYS gets its cut first.
    In order to justify their murky existences, the bureaucrats impose incredible paperwork loads on teachers, turning them into part teacher, part bureaucrat... actually hurting, not helping, the process.
    And you can bet that the bureaucrats are not the first ones let go when budget cuts come knockin'.
    Sorry for the rant, but having watched how my better half's job has changed over the last quarter-century and the reasons it has changed need to be aired.

  3. Great post. When you compare the spending in public education verses private it's almost sickening. As long as the teachers unions are controlled by libs nothing will change.

  4. I agree Bob, the bureaucracy is the major problem. There's one district locally that spends 40% of its budget on "administrators". That's almost one administrator per teacher!

    And it's for no other reason than it builds up their union rolls. The teachers' unions will always be in the hands of the Libs, Stacy. What we need is to get the unions out of the school system. Period.

    I'm sure that your "better half" is a fine person, Bob. But there are too many teachers out there who are complaining that they make "only" $40K/year. For working maybe 8 months out of the year. I realize that that is a generalization, but there are many, many of them out there.