Under the Dome

Gary Pearce: The GOP plan to privatize the schools

"The Republicans’ education agenda finally comes into focus: It’s about creating a market for private enterprise. They want to privatize Medicaid and privatize the Department of Commerce, so why not privatize schools?" So writes Democratic political consultant in his blog Talking About Politics.

It’s the only thing that makes sense. You might be wondering: How do they propose to make public schools better when they demonize and demoralize teachers, take teacher assistants out of the classroom and increase class sizes? (And, at the same time, demand that schools teach the Bible, cursive writing and, for all we know, creationism.)

The answer has to be that they don’t want to make public schools better. They want to make them worse. They want to say: “The schools are broken, they are failing. So we have to give tax money to private schools.”

Then families that can afford it will move their children to private schools. Which leaves public schools with the kids from poor and broken families. Which drives down the schools’ performances even farther. Which…well, you get it.

And who will fill this need? Entrepreneurs like big Republican contributor Bob Luddy, who owns and operates private schools. You see, it’s all about the private sector, not public schools.


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"Which drives down the schools’ performances even farther."

And here we have the crux of the matter. We must keep the kids who study and make good grades in with those who do not so that the "average" will look better.

It is not about bringing up those who do not perform well, it is about keeping those who do in school who do perform well so that the "class average" will look good.

It is somewhat like eating at those food places that let you see the dish. They keep spooning the food at the bottom up to the top so that the fresh food will mix with the old food and give you an "average" dining experience.

"Average" is the new "peace in our time."

In his own little world

All this is true in Gary's little imaginary world, where 100 years of Democrat policies gave us world-class public schools, full employment, and the healthiest, happiest people on the planet.

It's time to try something different. The changes being sought by the new majority are minor and will involve a very small fraction of the total student population over several years, and if they don't work can easily be reversed. It makes absolutely no sense to continue to spend $6,700 per student to educate a child whose parents aren't happy with their local public school option when you could just give them $4,200 and let them choose their own path. How, exactly, would that be so destructive of the public good?

Major Jim

Gary must have unraveled the double-secret GOP plan

Someone must have slipped up and Gary found out the secret to privatize the public schools. Hope he does not find out that all the old public school buildings are going to be converted to state-sponsored bingo games for senior citizens. Maybe we should put Gary to work on ferreting out terrorist plans. He is good.

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