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August 29, 2013

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Anna

You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation's-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what's-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.

So not putting up with crap teachers and thugs is what's ruining state schools? I thought socialists like Allison were the ones ruining it.

David

So not putting up with crap teachers and thugs is what’s ruining state schools?

As I was saying to Jeff Guinn, I can’t decide if it’s link bait or an open admission of sadism.

D

Someone on Ricochet posted this along with a very revealing previous article by the author:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/05/31/sex_selection_abortion_and_the_pro_choice_movement_why_liberals_shouldn_t_gulp.html

The article is about why supporters of abortion on demand shouldn't acknowledge that there's anything questionable about sex-selective abortion, because there should be no acknowledgement of any moral questions about abortion ever. If any moral questions are admitted, it might allow that some tiny restriction of abortion were reasonable, and avoiding that nightmare is far more important than honestly considering moral questions. If that sounds like an indictment of abortion supporters, you have more self-awareness than the author.

Her arguments here are even less convincing. There are around 2 million homeschooled children in the US, from what I've read. These children's parents are paying for other children's education while taking care of their kids' schooling as well. I'm not sure what else they could be doing to help than putting money into the system and not taking any out. It's hard to tell if she's mad about people who put their kid in private schools, paying their own way as well as paying for public schools they don't use, or those who use vouchers. She doesn't say vouchers, but those seem to be the only ones she could be upset about with any kind of reason.

It's also very questionable whether it would improve the education of child A-M if very intelligent children N-Q (who are definitely losing out) are added to their class. Does the intelligence of other children in the same class affect a given child's education? If so, in what way?

All this seems to be giving her more credit than she deserves, though. Her writing is juvenile to the point that I wonder if she literally is in the 14-16 range.

Andi Lucas

It's also very questionable whether it would improve the education of child A-M if very intelligent children N-Q (who are definitely losing out) are added to their class. Does the intelligence of other children in the same class affect a given child's education? If so, in what way?

It helps to prevent children N-Q from fulfilling their potential, and thereby reduces inequality. To the cultists of the poisonous creed of egalitarianism this is considered good in and of itself.

D

Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.

I know it's not the case for this person, who has (and admits to having in the article) about a 4th grade education, but I wonder if any of the more intelligent people who have this sort of view have ever considered the ramifications if they succeed in convincing people of this.

Family selfishness, though it can be taken to an extreme (see modern China), is nevertheless one of the most valuable bulwarks against totalitarianism when coupled with a reasonably strong patriotic impulse. It grounds people in physical reality in a way that liberals hate. These people want to teach you to go to a protest for political change that might eventually lead to changed agricultural policies which could modify land usage prescriptions and potentially decrease the price of corn before feeding the hungry child in your own home. If they can get you to put politics before your own family's welfare then they can make you do anything. From such as this, you get East German family members informing on each other.

bgates

Allison Benedikt says you are a bad person if you send your children to private school.

Barack Obama sends his children to private school.

Therefore Allison Benedikt is a racist.

R. Sherman

These people are angry that parochial and homeschooled children outperform the public schools significantly. Alternative education systems put the lie to the tales of glorious achievement. Where I live in the U.S., in addition to a lot of taxes for education, I pay tuition for a parochial school. What I pay in tuition is less per student than the state gives a major metropolitan district which has been failing for years. Yes, we're bad for taking our kids out of the system, because it makes all arguments for the public system patently ludicrous.

sk60

You want the best for your child, but your child doesn't need it.

Funny how these 'liberals' are always telling me what I don't need, what I shouldn't want, what I should put up with.

David

Funny how these ‘liberals’ are always telling me what I don’t need, what I shouldn’t want, what I should put up with.

Tsk. There you go again, wanting to choose the best for your children, privileging them in your affections, and therefore being selfish. Just like all those other bourgeois oppressors who pay twice, once for their own children and then again for others. The bad people.

What are you, some kind of monster?

David

Presumably, Ms Benedikt would also have all British children sent to schools whose own teachers report “a climate of violence,” “malicious disruption” and damage to personal property as “part of the routine working environment.”

Ms Benedikt says, “Don’t just acknowledge your liberal guilt—listen to it.” Heh. Well, Jeff Goldstein has some thoughts on that. I particularly like the phrase, “narcissistic onanism disguised as chin-scratching depth of thought.”

Jennifer

So we should give our children the shaft for some eventual common good. Yeah, you first.

dicentra

Via Pethokoukis: http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/08/please-sending-your-kids-to-private-school-doesnt-make-you-a-bad-person/ (emphases mine)

So I asked AEI’s Michael McShane for his two cents:
"Because public schools are by and large residentially assigned, the rich have their totally awesome (and essentially private due to the home price in the school’s catchment area) public schools and poor people are trapped in failing schools because they can’t move away. That’s what leads to Balkanization. You choosing to send your kids to a suburban public school does nothing for the kids in SouthEast.

"Private schools, especially with public support, break the connection between residence and schooling, which holds more potential for desegregation and a mixing of students from different background than residential assignment of public schooling."

dicentra

one of the most valuable bulwarks against totalitarianism

Do you need to inquire past this? At all?

Does the intelligence of other children in the same class affect a given child's education?

Maybe if the smarter kids are recruited to tutor the slower ones, but children are not emotionally mature enough to navigate such a dynamic except in small doses.

If you're one of the smarter kids, you get utterly bored and tune out. If you're one of the slower kids, you get lost and tune out. If you're in the middle, you're surrounded by tuned-out peers.

It's the same magical thinking that justifies putting under-qualified minorities into Ivy League universities. "Oh, they'll catch up eventually." I taught some of those kids at Cornell (beginning Spanish), and it was obvious to me that they were in over their heads and not having a good time at all. If you don't understand the fundamentals of a subject, you don't learn anything in the more advanced classes.

Check it out:

"The primary difference between IEEE 802.3 and IEEE 802.11 at Layer 2 is that there is no collision detection and therefore each frame requires an ACK." Now explain to me why there is no collision detection and also describe the implications of requiring an ACK at Layer 2.
Some of you undoubtedly know what I'm talking about, but those who do not absolutely do not, because you don't have the requisite background. And if I go on to describe phase modulation or other more advanced aspects of that subject, that won't help you understand what I said at first, either.

They're tossing these kids into deep, turbulent waters without first teaching them to swim, the selfish bastages. They get to impress their fancy friends with their "minority admission" stats, but in the meantime, those poor kids experience nothing but frustration and failure.

Narcissistic onanism, indeed.

::spit::

Steve

I'm a little surprised that the people here, of all places, view this issue with a simplicity which matches the simplistic thinking of the silly article that inspired this discussion. I used to view it with equal simplicity. 25 years in a profession filled with privately educated people whose high opinion of themselves is unshakeable in spite of their obvious mediocrity and none of whom appear to have the slightest notion that they have effectively had their whole lives 'bought' for them by mummy & daddy, had me firmly believing that the only possible way of assuring the development of a true 'meritocracy' was by the abolition of the grotesquely unfair private education system.

Then I had my own child.

It doesn't seem so simple anymore. My profession is low-paid and we cannot afford to live close to a decent state school. In fact, we can barely afford private education either without serious sacrifice which may have to include that of our modest family home in an un-fashionable part of SE London and relocation to an even more modest house in an even less fashionable area. Not simple. Not by any measure.

The most surprising thing of all about that un-earned sense of superiority that private education seems to engender in some is that it is so arrogantly held. Accusations of chippiness against any of us 'proles' who have the audacity to challenge the pomposity with even the most gentle of objections are predictable and swift. It never ever seems to occur to these people that, having grown up on a grotty council estate and attended a third rate state school, far from having a sense of inferiority, I actually feel that, having ended up in the same profession with the same qualifications as people who have started their marathon with a 24 mile head start, it would be far more natural for me to feel somewhat superior. In some ways it's this arrogance that I most fear; the thought that my lovely, bright, caring little girl might end up as an arrogant asshole who thinks she is better than other people because she was fortunate enough to have parents who were able to help her to climb over other possibly brighter, possibly better children to get ahead is not a pretty one.

In a recent thread here one regular contributor suggested that, without his own private education, he or she would almost certainly have ended up an abject failure. I wasn't sure what was more sad; that a mature adult could apparently have such little self worth, or that a mature adult could have so little embarassment about the fact that even they seemed to acknowledge that without mummy and daddy's financial assistance they could not have achieved anything approaching a successful life.

Like I said, far from simple. Thomas Sowells voucher system might work though, as might the return of Grammar Schools.

Steve

Does the intelligence of other children in the same class affect a given child's education?

Speaking from personal experience, yes it does. When I attended secondary school in the mid to late 70's the middle-class flight out of state education had barely begun. My classes all contained a healthy contingent of children of dentists and lawyers and other professions that didn't exist among my narrow circle of un-skilled, under-educated family, family friends and neighbours. The inspirational value of thus cannot be under-stated.

D

I'm a little surprised that the people here, of all places, view this issue with a simplicity which matches the simplistic thinking of the silly article that inspired this discussion.

I think people are primarily reacting to the part where the author says sending your kid to a private school makes you a bad person. Whatever the effects of private education on children, telling people that they shouldn't be allowed to make the choice for their kids or that making a choice the author doesn't agree with makes them a bad person rubs people very much the wrong way.

You also seem to say that private education positions kids to do better in life. Your only objection appears to be arrogance which often accompanies that success. It seems like it would be a lot easier to teach your privately-educated child not to be arrogant about their success than to try to help fill all the gaps in knowledge for your publicly-educated kid.

Steve

Your only objection appears to be arrogance which often accompanies that success.

It's not my only objection, merely, in my experience, the most grating outcome of this tricky issue. You may also have noticed my dis-comfort about the artificial promotion of mediocrity.

Particularly now that I am a parent, I fully understand a parents desire to maximize the potential of their off-spring and certainly hold little resentmet towards them. Other people could and should know better. My A level results achieved at the 58th best school in my SW county were better than those achieved by our prepostrous Dauphin, a man who had practically the most expensive education available in these isles. It seems to me that their might be some significance in that but it will never be acknowledged.

Just as Polly Toynbees' admission to Oxbridge in spite of her poor grades almost certainly was to the exclusion of another more worthy candidate, so it seems to me is the admission of another expensively educated and privately tutored 'straight A' student in place of a hard-working and bright kid who has had to scrap for his or her education in a crappy school. I find it hard to believe that the people in charge of university admissions are incapable of devising a method of identifying ability other than academic grades which appear all too easy to merely 'purchase'.

R. Sherman

Steve, Ms. Benedikt is referring to the American system, which is different than that in the UK. While there those schools which cater to the upper crust, most private schools are parochial. Those schools tend to be diverse and welcoming to all and have liberal aid policies for those who cannot afford full tuition. Those of us who sacrifice to send our children to such schools, do so not only for the education, which is better and costs less per student than the public system, but which also doesn't subvert the values which we parents try to teach at home.

Steve

My incorrect use of 'their' in place of 'there' in the last post is not due to my poor quality schooling - just a typo.

Col. Milquetoast

Everyone needs to be invested in our public schools in order for them to get better. … Your local school stinks and you do send your child there? I bet you are going to do everything within your power to make it better.

So… those crappy public schools aren't really crappy because all the parents who currently send their kids there will "do everything within [their] power to make it better"? Ignore systemic issues, union demands, political interference, incompetence, lousy parents, administrative fiefdoms, tangles of rules, rabble-rousers, etc and everything will come together with vague sloganeering.

Like Jacques Fresco, mentioned in the previous "Improving Us From Above" post, it is the symbolic ordering of "everyone" that will cause magical good things to happen. From the outside it almost looks like faith in a ritual incantation. The gods will not look favorably up us unless everyone bows down and shows they believe in the faith and only then will the haruspex lead an incantation and then the ritual of the inspection of the entrails can begin.

Steve

R Sherman,

I understand that and, as I said I understand the motivation of parents. Likewise my experience is of UK schools, universities and employers all of whom seem to help to perpetuate what amounts to a narrow circle of 'privilege'. As I mentioned earlier Thomas Sowells' voucher system seems to me like a good solution to a difficult problem as it might force some schools to 'up their game' if they cannot merely rely on an 'entrapment' area feeding in new pupils and guaranteed government funding. Here in the UK, it seems to me that in the 1950's and 1960's the grammar school system was a very successful way of lifting bright kids from poor areas up the 'social ladder'. For some reason their return is considered un-desirable to the entire political class. They are probably all afraid of the competition that this might provide to their own kids!

Steve

Col.

The first thing my wife, a qualified but not practicing solicitor, did when our daughter was accepted in a half decent state primary school was to get onto the 'friends' committe which raises funds for the school in order to improve the facilities (recent purchases include a new computer suite and sound system) and is almost exclusively run by educated middle-classed women who, like my wife, have given up work to become parents, whence their inability to pay for private education. Her second act was to get herself onto the board of governors where she now spends much time agitating to ensure the maintenance of the highest possible standards of education for our daughter and the 400 or so other pupils.

If you don't think that the middle-classes positively impact on state education then I suggest that is because you either have no recent experience of a state school or you haven't bothered to find out whether there is anything in the claim.

R. Sherman

Steve, your comments to Col. M. perhaps indicate a further lack of appreciation for the American system. In our state schools, the teachers' unions run the show. They get their cronies elected to school boards. The sole purpose for these unions' existence is to protect the jobs of teachers at all costs. Their propaganda notwithstanding, they have no interest in the children themselves. Oh, they invoke the children's interest when it comes to their own salary and benefits, but they fight like wildcats if someone trys to discipline a mediocre or poor teacher. Parents cannot affect that, no matter how involved they are. Perhaps, they can do something on the margins, but they cannot bring the level of education up. I attended a state school in the mid to late 70's and was fine. Today, I'd sell everything I own to keep my kids out of that system.

Andi Lucas

Here in the UK, it seems to me that in the 1950's and 1960's the grammar school system was a very successful way of lifting bright kids from poor areas up the 'social ladder'. For some reason their return is considered un-desirable to the entire political class. They are probably all afraid of the competition that this might provide to their own kids!

Amen to that - luckily where I grew up in Kent this system survived. It's egalitarian hostility to this recognition and nurturing of ability (especially when expressed by privately educated leftist dunces like La Toynbee) that really gets my goat.

dicentra

filled with privately educated people whose high opinion of themselves is unshakeable in spite of their obvious mediocrity

That's not as big a problem in the U.S., where politicians invent hard-luck stories for themselves to provide "street cred", which trumps "breeding" in every context imaginable. In fact, "breeding" is considered a quaint and bigoted notion, something we fought a war to leave behind.

The arrogance among our elites comes not from where they went to primary school but in which ideology they ostensibly support. With easily obtained loans for the university, even a kid from the inner-city can go to an Ivy League school, regardless of qualifications. And a graduate from Podunk University who is fervent enough with the leftism is accepted without question.

My classes all contained a healthy contingent of children of dentists and lawyers and other professions that didn't exist among my narrow circle of un-skilled, under-educated family, family friends and neighbours. The inspirational value of thus cannot be under-stated.

Inspirational in what way? My secondary (high) school contained kids from the poorest to the richest, but the poor kids spent their time smoking pot behind the shop building or hanging out in the rotunda (if they showed up at all) while the milquetoast principal and vice-principal tried to be nice to them without actually insisting they attend class. Unfortunately, the poor kids were less likely to be white, so if they yielded to this "inspiration" to improve themselves, their neighborhood peers would punish them for "acting white."

Definitely a different dynamic over here than there. R. Sherman is right: private schools over here are not the exclusive realm of the monied, just of parents who are desperate to prevent their kids from languishing in schools where teachers are forbidden to give a zero for an assignment that's not handed in at all and where everyone gets a participation trophy.

dicentra

If you don't think that the middle-classes positively impact on state education…

You might want to read this: http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/175064/?show-at-comment=241208#comment-241208

Public/government schools in the U.S. are growing ever-more impervious to parental protests and involvement.

Don't like the fact that the teachers won't tell your kid that 4x3 is not 11?

Tough. They have a teaching certificate and you don't.

Upset that your 9-year-old is being taught how to roll a condom onto a cucumber?

Get stuffed, bigot. Don't be violating the separation between church and state.

The teacher that raped your daughter (who later committed suicide) is put on trial?

He serves 30 days and the judge asserts that your daughter could have stopped it at any time: http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/former-senior-high-teacher-gets-days-for-rape-of-student/article_b1f84190-ef23-5868-8799-b779c0421dc1.html

Outraged that the teacher who sexually abused your son is being supported by the school board and half the teachers?

Expect your home to be fire-bombed: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/19/staggering-mich-family-violently-targeted-after-standing-against-teacher-who-molested-their-8th-grade-son/

You're reacting to an entirely different set of circumstances than whazzerface.

So we're not being simple-minded at all; we're reacting to the current circs.

Hal

Ronnie Barker as Renaissance man:
I encourage education. I teach my children to read.

Ronnie Corbett as Medieval man:
My children don't have a school, so they can't read.

Stephen Fry as Modern man:
My children go to Comprehensive school. So they can't read either.

http://www.englishblog.com/2008/12/upper-middle-and-working-class.html#.Uh_QsvVCwcs

rabbit

I suspect that a great deal of this "attending public schools is a moral duty" nonsense originates from monopoly-seeking public teacher unions.

Jeff Guinn

[dicentra:] They're tossing these kids into deep, turbulent waters without first teaching them to swim, the selfish bastages. They get to impress their fancy friends with their "minority admission" stats, but in the meantime, those poor kids experience nothing but frustration and failure.

Funny you should mention that. A recent story out of Los Angeles raises that very problem. Kashawn Campbell graduated second in his class from Jefferson High School, with perfect grades. The University of California, having been told by the electorate to end affirmative action in admissions, used alternative means to get to that same end: admit top students from every California high school, regardless of entrance exam scores.

The only reason he didn't flunk out of his freshman year was because of an A- in African American studies.

The discussion at the link is all about the mismatch problem inherent with all variations of affirmative action.

What struck me hardest, though, yet was scarcely mentioned, is that the #2 student couldn't write a coherent sentence. Trying to comprehend that school's failure completely exhausts my imagination.

Telling me to put my kids in a school like that amounts to saying the problem with the coal mine is not enough canaries.

dicentra

Telling me to put my kids in a school like that amounts to saying the problem with the coal mine is not enough canaries.

Perfect.

JeremiadBullfrog

I haven't investigated it closely, but there is sound research that says that if you compare the performance of students grouped according to below average, average, and above average, the average students do gain from being in class with above average students.

Of course, there are always several caveats to go with this:
1) It's only that pairing (average + above average) that lifts any group, so this does not contradict the conventional wisdom that if you put the "smart" kids with the "dumb" (i.e., below-average) kids, it will bring things down.

2) I think this gain has more to do with the effect the above average students have on teacher preparation and classroom culture (e.g., smarter students in the class means teachers can't just phone it in. Also, the types of questions from the class and the overall level of discussion will be higher). It stands to reason that if you have a group of regular people who do alright and work hard, and then you seed that group with some talented people, the regular people will get more out of it.

3) But this doesn't imply that the ONLY way to get these gains is by mixing these groups. I mean, teachers could *cough, cough* be more demanding of their "average" ability classes. That would, of course, among other things require more administrative support of good teachers and scrutiny/censure of bad teachers...

4) The benefits can go both ways under the right circumstances (e.g., leadership skill-building opportunities for the better students). But again, it's imperative that the teacher manage this appropriately and make sure those upper-level kids aren't getting shortchanged in terms of challenging content. This certainly can be done, but as usual it's a question of whether the teacher's ability is high enough and the administrative support exists.

David

It seems like it would be a lot easier to teach your privately-educated child not to be arrogant about their success than to try to help fill all the gaps in knowledge for your publicly-educated kid.

I can’t add much to that.

it is the symbolic ordering of “everyone” that will cause magical good things to happen.

And such people have already done a great deal of damage with their magical beliefs. In May 2012, while professing his own “belief in social justice,” the Guardian’s George Monbiot, a noted alumnus of Stowe, an imposing boarding school in Buckinghamshire, took delight in the idea of “shutting down private schools.” As with so many articles by Mr Monbiot, an urge to coerce wasn’t hard to find. In this case, the targets were people Mr Monbiot regards as having “undeserved advantages,” by which he means their earnings. “Rather than opting out of the state education system,” he wrote, “they would be obliged to fight for its improvement and better funding.” His argument, then, was essentially the same as that of Ms Benedikt.

Unfortunately, the shortcomings of comprehensive education aren’t just, or even chiefly, a matter of funding; it’s also an issue of intake, behaviour and ethos. Money won’t change the bell curves of ability and aptitude, and it won’t shift egalitarian ideology, which, in my experience, was the major problem. At the substandard middle school and comp I attended, there were plenty of teachers whose egalitarian leanings were at least as pronounced as those of Mr Monbiot and Ms Benedikt. A result of which was a belief that the teaching and correction of grammar were insufficiently progressive and therefore superfluous. (A view shared by, among others, the communist and BBC regular Michael Rosen, who tells Guardian readers, in grammatically correct articles, that “there is no such thing as correct grammar.”) Consequently, my exasperated German teacher had to spend much of his lessons providing remedial English tuition. For ‘A’ stream students.

And this, I think, is at the core of the issue. Parents who wish to fight for the improvement of their local state school may find themselves faced with something much tougher than fund-raising. Giving socialists more funding won’t inhibit their socialism. Short of using fire, a nest of publicly funded lefties is very hard to shift. If the prevailing thinking in a school is based on the propagation of an egalitarian worldview, then the biggest problem facing its pupils, especially bright pupils, is the thinking itself. And if children aren’t being taught English grammar or even spelling on ideological grounds, then not teaching grammar and spelling in a slightly nicer classroom won’t make much of a difference.

What Andi referred to earlier as the “egalitarian hostility to… the nurturing of ability” is a very real phenomenon, one I can attest to. At length, if necessary. Shortly before I left the sixth form, bored and demoralised, I had some interesting exchanges with my left-leaning teachers, two of whom said my education wasn’t for my benefit, but rather “for society,” and that I therefore shouldn’t grumble about its shortcomings. What I wanted didn’t count. I don’t doubt that Ms Benedikt and Mr Monbiot, like my own teachers, imagine themselves to be good and caring people, compassionate warriors for “social justice.” George likes to tell us this often enough. But shutting down escape routes doesn’t suggest altruism or compassion. It suggests sadism. And it’s worth bearing in mind that Ms Benedikt’s article, like that of George Monbiot and any number of others, is basically a demand for hostages.

AC1

If you took your good apples and put them in bad barrels eventually the bad barrels would become good.

Torquil Macneil

"A view shared by, among others, the communist and BBC regular Michael Rosen, who tells Guardian readers, in grammatically correct articles, that “there is no such thing as correct grammar.”"

Very irritating that sort of thing. I notice it is only aimed at English teachers, never the modern Languages department. It is fun to imagine Michael Rosen insisting to his French teacher that 'his' version of the language is just as valid as hers, though, and that if she doesn't consider it to be 'French' well she can stuff her cultural imperialism.

David

It is fun to imagine Michael Rosen insisting to his French teacher that ‘his’ version of the language is just as valid as hers

Heh. And it’s the implicit assumption that these lowered standards will do for other people’s children. Much like the taxpayer-funded race-hustler Dr Caprice Hollins, who claims that “students of colour” needn’t learn the grammar and fluency she herself enjoys - and which employers usually expect of job candidates. These basic skills are apparently “white values,” and expecting proficiency of all students, regardless of their melanin levels, is “cultural racism.” Instead of encouraging black children to articulate their thoughts and plan ahead, we must, she says, see people as “racial beings” and “teach [children] to view the world through a racial lens.”

And if that doesn’t guarantee happiness and prosperity, heavens, what will?

Torquil Macneil

We need a machine to painlessly remove from people those faculties that they claim to despise despite (usually against their will) having been inculcated with them as children. So, Mr Rosen, would you mind if we just removed from you the 'knowledge' about the correct use of apostrophes that you believe to be so oppressive?

Stuck-Record

It;s simply about extending the Socialist zone of control everywhere. Until it achieves blanket coverage there will always be those annoying 'outliers' that show that different systems actually work better than socialism. This is an annoying reality check for socialists.

Blanket coverage in a field is always more important than quality of service.

Once total coverage is achieved you can give the people whatever shit you want.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Following Ms. Benedikt's logic, she ought to do her shopping at Walmart or Tesco to improve their "bad" practices, and dine out at Starbucks or McDonalds for the same reason.

Animositas

"Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good"

Of course, it's always for the common good and we are always just thisclose to getting there. So what if we have to throw two, or three ad infinitum, generations on the scrapheap eventually all will be perfect on Big Rock Candy Mountain.

the wolf

"Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good"

She takes it on faith that somehow a mediocre education will suddenly transform into a good education, eventually. Magical thinking.

R. Sherman

Consequently, my exasperated German teacher had to spend much of his lessons providing remedial English tuition.

Did I teach you German in the early '80s at the University of Missouri? [Insert Smiley Thing]

David

As I’ve covered this ground before, I didn’t bother parsing Ms Benedikt’s “manifesto.” Ace, however, has more patience. I also like his summary: “Strap in. We’ve got some Dumb Turbulence.”

Fruitbat44

Ameican SF writer Larry Correia has commented on Ms Benedikt's article up on his blog. Comment? Fisking in his on words.

Mr Correia's language is somewhat salty on occasions and his style is somewhat combative, however he is writing from experience, makes good points and is rather entertaining:

http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/fisking-slate-over-public-schools/

dicentra

Kevin Williamson weighs in at NRO, proposing that Rich White Liberals be evicted from their homes to mix things up. He also adds this parenthetical: "I believe it was WFB who observed that a sufficiently motivated student could get a Yale-quality education practically anywhere, but that’s not what Yale is for."

dicentra

there will always be those annoying 'outliers' that show that different systems actually work better than socialism.

Those different systems never work better FOR the socialists. This is key.

Also, these champions of "no correct grammar" might feel exaltation at not correcting "Ebonics," but they'll just as surely wince and jeer at the white rural American who drawls: "They come over last night. I wish they would of came earlier."

David

proposing that Rich White Liberals be evicted from their homes to mix things up.

“Geographic justice.” Heh.

Jason Bontrager

"Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good"

Something about this sentence rings a faint bell for me. It reminds me of...omelets.

WTP

Here's a better thought...you give me 100K. I will invest it and return 1.5 billion to your great-great grandchildren. Think of their future and don't be so damn selfish.

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