17 June 2011

Conservative education policy?

Not sure that anyone on the Right agrees with Josiah Friberg in his letter on education to our local paper but he makes some points that are echoes of points made by at least a few Republicans and "Conservatives" lately. Here it is, in its entirety:

I recently got one of those irritating self-aggrandizing news blasts from Gov. Bev Perdue which described her “Education Works Tour” with her cabinet secretaries.

Regardless of her attempt to project herself as the educational governor, education is Linksimply not the top priority in North Carolina, and it’s not the governor’s job to“fight” to save teacher’s pay checks. Doing that is just a confirming sign that education in this state is simply a huge jobs and public works scheme. It’s all about the money.

What’s the typical cry? “Give us more money, and we’ll do a better job. Don’t lay anyone off; it will hurt the kids.” I’m sorry, but it just isn’t so. More money, better salaries, better benefits, have nothing to do with the kids or improving education in North Carolina schools; instead, they have everything to do with making the lives of the teachers and administrators more comfortable and perpetuating a failing monopolized system.

The day that the whole government-controlled education system comes to an end, the better it will be for the children of this state and for education in general.

Josiah Friberg, Moravian Falls, NC

"Government-controlled education system" --- that would be, I assume, the public education system controlled by locally elected school boards?

At least it is consistent with our Republican county commisioner who doesn't want to spend taxpayers' money on libraries because "only deadbeats use the library."

I so hope we get an education system controlled by a big corporation.


At 17 June, 2011 22:54, Anonymous Maire said...

I'd love to work up a good rage at this crap, but my kids go to public school. My theory is that idiots like this are the product of the education cuts that started ~25 years ago.

At 17 June, 2011 23:06, Anonymous Joey Sobrino said...

We don't need "big corporations" to run schools. Small ones are doing just fine. Trisha teaches at a good one in Charlotte and used to at an exceptional one in Clearwater.


At 21 June, 2011 22:25, Blogger Clemens said...

Anecdotal evidence. Worthwhile, but too isolated to mean much yet. Who pays for the schools, do they make a profit, and where do the students come from? Do they get kicked out if they don't perform?

Any answers? It would be interesting to see. I simply don't see how private school companies will do much better than private prison companies - and most of them have been disasters from a public policy standpoint.

At 22 June, 2011 20:18, Anonymous Joey Sobrino said...

It is anecdotal and the plural of anecdote is not data but still, there are plenty of great private schools out there where the students outperform their public school counterparts.

The parents of each student pays for the school (unless you mean the building itself, in which case I would guess it would be like most business: it would take out a loan)

The kids did get kicked out if they didn't perform (from what I remember). I think there was a process but eventually if you failed you left. Usually not much of an issue, if your parents are forking over 10-15k per year they want results.

Private prison companies have an EXTREMELY poor motivation. They want as many people in prison as possible. This leads to powerful lobbying to increase prison sentences for non-violent offenses. Big mistake.

Private schools have the motivation to be academically excellent so they can raise their tuition the next year.

Do private school students do better than public school students when you control for income and parental involvement? Who knows. But I will say this, Trisha's students blew me away. They came up to her trying to speak Spanish outside of class and the like.


At 24 June, 2011 12:57, Blogger Clemens said...

And under those conditions any school would work wonders. But does society as a whole benefit? The idea of a guarantied, even required, public education of quality is not a new fangled liberal ideal. It has been there since the founding of the country.

But I will write a longer post about that soon. (I have a lot to do and feel the need to procrastinate).

At 24 June, 2011 21:12, Anonymous Joey Sobrino said...

Oh I agree with publicly funded education. It is the best equalizer we have. However, we when spend 10-15k per pupil in failing public schools vs the same for profitable private schools something is wrong.



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