Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Good Schlafly column

Judicial Supremacists Lash Out At Parents
The Ninth Circuit decision stated that "there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children" and that "parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed."

Read the column and then do a search for private schools in your area.


MAX Redline said...

The good news is: it's another 9th US Circus opinion. The most overturned court in the USA, and with good reason.

The bad news is: having already decided to enroll my daughter in private school, I get to pay TWICE!

Thomas said...

Activist kazan in 5...4...3...2...

Daniel said...

Have you visited Kaza's site? He's an interesting character.

Jay, at some point we will have vouchers. Not today or tommorow though.

Diesel said...


When/If we ever get a voucher system, it will/should be declared unconstitutional. It will be no different than being "separate but equal", and the Brown v. Board of Ed of Topeka case. The only difference this time is that it will be based on economics, not race. Unfortunately, vouchers will never stand.

Tim Lewis said...

The schools are already seperated by ridiculous district lines. The voucher system would at worst make those lines voluntary. At best it would make education competitive and force teachers to do their jobs instead of strongarming taxpayers.

Tony said...


You are SERIOUSLY smoking too much of that OEA crack and losing your usual semblance of objectivity.

The CURRENT system is INCREDIBLY racist and classist. Poor people, primarily blacks and other minorities, get shuffled into inner city schools that consistently underperform. A voucher system would provide funds for a parent in one of these underperforming schools to take their child elsewhere.

As the news reported 2 nights ago on the strike, the cost of a good Christian school in the Sandy area was $357 a month. That means for about $7,000 a year less than what we pay now, a child can be educated in a place where their teachers do not behave like spoiled brats when they don't get what they want, and they will not be subjected to the kind of political and sexual garbage that happens in your school, as you detail on your website.

That would break the back of the unions, and parents would have the freedom to send their kids to a school that respects them and their values, and cares more about educating the kids than lining the pockets of unions, making sure all the kids know how to put on a condom, making sure that they never consider any alternative origin theory other than "in the beginning was nothing, then nothing exploded for no reason and over time became everything", or making sure that every kid agrees that gay sex is normal and healthy.

To equate any of this with Brown v BOE, or some sort of racial equality, is Orwellian twisting of the truth. It is the current system that disenfranchises minorities and everyone else.

And look what your position is: Given the choice to go to any school you want, you probably wont come to mine because we arent the best. Therefore, I want the government to FORCE you to come to my substandard school system.

And please dont come back with it somehow benefits the rich and creates a standard of school inequality. The schools are currently unequal, and the rich can send their kids wherever they want NOW. Its the poor and middle class kids that can't afford it. And besides, even Oregon's boarding schools don't cost 10,000 a year like the public schools.

Diesel, you are in that system. You know better than that, and you know better that to listen to your union when it comes to getting objective education advice. That argument was seriously beneath you.

Rob Kremer said...

Actually, the 9th Circuit got this one right. I've written about it on my blog at http://robkremer.blogspot.com

Diesel said...

Tony, in a perfect world where all parents gave a rip about their kids education and were willing to drive their kids across town or out of town to a better school, your analogy would be a perfect fit.

You say that minorities are "shuffled" into inner city schools? Tell me something, where do most of the minorities in Salem live? (I see that you're from Salem) Are minorities being shuffled from South Salem up to North Salem High? Are minorities being shuffled from West Salem to North HS? No, for the most part. Those minorities that are being shuffled are, let's say from South Salem (Sprague district) to South Salem HS are ESL kids. Why? Because Sprague doesn't have an ESL program. McKay and North have ESL programs. Why? Because that's where the minorities live! They mostly live downtown and in Northeast Salem. A minority mom who's struggling to pay bills is not going to give a hoot about the voucher in her hand to send her kid across town. How's she going to get her kid there? Send him on the city bus? No private schools in town? How is she going to get her kid to a private school out of town? They will send their kid to the neighborhood school, just like they've always done. For examples of this, look at the middle schools in Salem that have not met AYP for the last couple years. Have the parents pulled their kids out and sent them across town to "better" schools? By and large, no.

From my experience, under performing kids are usually under performing for one reason - lack of parental support.

You note the cost of private schools. Yes, they are cheaper. Don't take your special ed kid their though, they don't have a program for your kid. I have a student right now who's parents pulled him out of a certain private school in NE Salem because they did not want to deal with his learning disabilities. I'll tell you what? Public schools don't have a choice.

By the way, those teachers at the private school might not be "highly qualified". Make sure you check it out. Does a good kid, from a good family, with enough money get a good education from a private school? Sure he does. But that kid will get a good education at a public school as well.

I could go on and on, but I don't want to monopolize Daniel's blog here!

Diesel said...

Tony, by the way, don't confuse me the OEA...eve...again! I'm a union member because of the legal protections it offers. I'm a white, hetero, male...I'm going to get sued someday, and the union has a lot of coverage for the dues I pay. That's why I'm a union member, and that's the only reason I'm a union member.

Daniel said...

Don, I fail to understand how vouchers seperate people based on economics. They actually give more equality as everyone will have the same schooling options.

The book Voucher Wars, by Clint Bolick chronicles the legal battle over school choice from the view of a premier lawyer who argued the cases in court.

I would recommend it.

Daniel said...

Don, I posted my comment without seeing your response. While I agree that the best way for kids to have a successful school experience is for their parents to be involved I still don't see how that's an argument against vouchers.

It's certainly not a legal argument against vouchers.

As for improving the percentage of good parents... I wish that we could go back to the 1950's! Liberal policies encourage bad parenting and a de-emphasis on traditional family values is making your job harder.

By the way, thanks for the work you do. I hope that you don't end up drinking the cool-aid over the years.

Tony said...


You raise many valid points. However, let me throw a few things into the mix.

1. Most parents do care A LOT about their kids education. Granted, the involvement decreases among the inner city poor, but even there the majority of parents would rather their kids succeed. Ergo, over the long haul, educational choice would provide a better outcome for at least MORE of the kids.

2. ESL: Should be eliminated. Now. It is a disservice to the kids to let them continue in a program that allows them to stay out of the mainstream of American culture. An immersion program, maybe a summer school rapid immersion, would be much more preferable.

But there is a good point to be made about special education kids. Yes, they are more expensive, which is why the state gives more money for special ed kids, and special ed parents would be given more in vouchers, and I bet they would have some more options than they do now.

Your argument about how the kids are going to get to and from schools across town makes no sense. If it is a problem, then I suppose that the parent in question will keep their kid in the school that is close. Seems to me an argument for vouchers, not against. SOME of the parents will find a way. Especially when a school that costs 350 bucks a month per kid is given 10K a year per kid, that school could hire a bus driver pretty easily, or contract out with a transportation company. The whole point is it gives OPTIONS. If the parent wants it and the school wants to do it, it is there. Otherwise, they will use the current system.

Wouldn't you WANT your school having to compete with private schools? Think of how they would be forced to act. If enough parents said, "i dont want my kid being indoctrinated with values that are not consistent with mine", eventually the school woudl be forced to stop selling abortion and gay marriage and marxism and everything else...the stuff you complain about in your blog! Wouldn't that IMPROVE your job satisfaction if they had to focus more on the basics? If students were forced to learn or risk losing their place at the school? If you could reintroduce discipline in the classroom?

Wouldn't the crop of new schools that would pop up enhance your ability to get a full time teaching job? Wouldn't the fact that you could save what you pay in union dues give you a better bottom line? Wouldn't the fact that a school with 1/10th the administration costs, PERS costs, etc would have an ability to pay you a better salary be appealing? (private schools pay less NOW, because parents have to come up with the money. If it was a voucher grant, they could afford to pay MORE than public schools).

Wouldn't it be better if your merit was rewarded? If a bad apple was never tenured?

Sure, private schools are not a panacea, and public schools are not the center of hell (but you can see it from the roof of a public school - JUST KIDDING).

But options are good. And my question remains: If vouchers opened up options for people, but the public schools were really good, why would they switch? And if they aren't, why would we want to force someone to go to an underperforming school?

(and yes, I agree that a lack of parental involvement is to blame in many cases, as is abuse, neglect, etc. But how many stories about inner city private/charter schools that focus on these kids and give them regimented love and attention do we see? They can learn, given the right environment).

And I don't fault you for being a union member, for the legal protections and for the legitimate collective bargaining that they do. I hope you have asked them not to use your money for political activities though, as is, I think, your right to do. But your earlier post seemed like you had an OEA grape Kool-Aid mustache while you were writing it. Their arguments against vouchers are protectionist nonsense, because they know that their livelihood is threatened by the expansion of public schools that they fear would follow.

Diesel said...

The Fifties! Oh how I wish I could've lived through the 50s! I'm teaching my kids a unit on the 1950s right now, and while I talk about it with a dreamy expression, my kids just complain about how boring "Leave it to Beaver" is. Alas, I was born just 40 years late.

Here's my thing. I'm not against vouchers. I think school choice (if all other factors are equal) is a fantastic idea. Here are SOME of the problems I see though:

1) Let's say everyone in town wants to go to the "good school" up on the hill, leaving the inner city school. What happens when the school is at capacity? Who get's in? Who doesn't? A lottery system? First come, first serve? Is that "fair"?

2) How do the "special" kids fit into the voucher system? If the good schools don't offer a special ed program, does that mean we end up with schools that only have kids "riding the short bus?" Is that "fair"?

3) As most private schools are religion-based, does a voucher program begin us on a path of government subsidized religion (which is prohibited in the Constitution, right?)? Yes TONY, that's an NEA talking point, get off my back. It's still a valid question. Which religious schools get more government money? The schools with the most kids?

4) If vouchers are in place, parents will pull their kids out of bad schools and put them in good schools, right? What happens to the kids who are left at the bad schools (since they can't ALL go to the good schools)? This is where I see the "separate but unequal" deal happening. The bad schools will simply be stuck with little to no funding (because so many kids have left) and the ones that have stayed will most likely be from a lower socioeconomic background. Why? Because any self-respecting affluent parent will have pulled their kid out and paid the tuition for a private school already.

Ok, obviously I'm throwing out extreme cases, but those are all valid lawsuits just waiting to happen. I think a voucher system will open up a huge can of worms that won't solve much.

In the United States we have made a commitment to a public education for EVERYONE. Right now, I believe our current public education system (even with its plethra of problems) is the "most fair" system. If we all starting pulling money out of the system, the system will crash. I don't believe vouchers are the right path, right now.

Tim Lewis said...

The district lines in Oregon City were redrawn so that all low-income areas were assigned to one school. The school was basically forcefully turned into a Title 1 school. It didn't have to be. Each of the surrounding schools (not a mile away) don't have Title 1 programs. Why? Because they don't have those student needs. Why? Because the students are being shipped to another school. This is the same all across the country.

It's the same basic chicken/egg argument for ESL students go to the ESL school...which is the ESL school because the ESL students keep getting shipped there. When it all comes down to it, the district lines are drawn around money. They make a few crappy schools that are total Title 1 and ESL and special needs schools, then they have the newest and best schools for the rich kids. Where is all the money given? The Title 1 schools. Why don't they have the newest and best? I think you can guess where it's going.

In many of these places, the students get shipped across town just so they can go to that school, because of the ridiculous district lines madating them to go there. Selective hearing...that's what this is about.

Again...it all comes down to money. For the schools, the teachers...etc.

I will agree with you, if more parents were involved with students' educations, they would probably do much better. I think it's too often used as an excuse for teachers for poor performance, though. Sometimes, it's just bad teaching.

Diesel said...


Two questions:

1) What are the current problems in public schools that would be fixed by sending all the kids to private schools?

2) By sending all the same kids with the same problems to a private school, and giving the $10k to private schools rather than public schools, aren't you just transfering the problems from one place to another?

My knee-jerk reaction to the system you've proposed is that basically you just want schools with less government regulations. I guarranty you that 90% of all the ridiculous things that schools have to do these days are because of new government regulations, laws, and mandates. You want to get rid of 'em? I'm all for it! But then you public schools that are "just teaching". What a pity, ehh? :)

Diesel said...

Speaking of "cans of worms", Daniel...what have you opened up here? :)

Healthy debate! There's nothing like it. Good thing the Dems don't hang out on this blog, we'd all have been called Nazi racists by now!