Friday, September 09, 2005

"There's still not enough..."

California's Charter School Association CEO Caprice Young did an interview in the San Francisco Examiner today. It's all the usual stuff: charters are public schools that serve a niche, charters do more with less, etc. But many business types have a perception that charters will prove that regular public schools are inefficient, wasteful places. Not so, says Young:

There's a Rand study they did years ago for the state legislators that shows that charters schools do as well or better academically than noncharter public school on about 85 percent of the funding. What gets lost in the debate here is that all schools in California are underfunded. ... Lots of people are out there saying if it weren't for these big bureaucracies there'd be plenty of money for schools. But even if it were perfect, and charter schools are about as close as you can come to perfect in some ways, since there's no bureaucracies and because the charter schools are spending money together so there are economies of scale, there's still not enough money.

We can't get around this. If we're going to have excellent schools, we'll have to pay for excellent schools, whether they be traditional public schools, charter public schools, or private schools. Schooling is expensive and you get what you pay for.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Judge Roberts, you got some 'splainin' to do

The Progressive points to several education cases in which prospective-Chief Justice John Roberts ruled against desegregation and against equal protection. (They have a lengthy list of other cases as well. I've just picked out those related to education and pasted them below.)

Board of Education of Oklahoma City v. Dowell (1991)—Starr, with Roberts in tow, and acting in an amicus capacity, successfully argued for limiting the busing requirements of school districts.

Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools (1992)—The solicitor general’s office, with Roberts’s participation, unsuccessfully argued that a female student who suffered sexual harassment could not receive damage awards under Title IX, which prohibits sexual discrimination in public schools.

Freeman v. Pitts (1992)—Starr argued, again with Roberts’s assistance, that a Georgia public school need not make further attempts at desegregation. The Court agreed.

Lee v. Weisman (1992)—Starr, with Roberts on board, failed to convince the Court that it was OK to have clergy offering prayers at official public school ceremonies. The decision was 5 to 4.

Will these come up in the questioning of Judge Roberts next week? They should. As Desi used to say, Roberts has "got some 'splaining to do."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Profiting from pain

Sick. Disgusting. Unbelievable. Attorneys general are lining up to fine and/or imprison those who sought to profit off of the pain of the hurricane victims. But no one will prosecute Senator (and presidential hopeful -- yuch!) George Allen from using the hurricane to advance his far right political agenda:

Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia said the hurricane recovery may be an opportunity to push through parts of the Republican agenda, such as school vouchers and tax cuts.

For example, he said, children displaced by the storm could be giving vouchers to use at private or public schools where they've been relocated, and businesses along the Gulf Coast would benefit from tax breaks. (via Bloomberg)

That's right. Rather than talking about helping out victims he's talking about tax cuts and school vouchers. Conservative idealogues are amazing, aren't they?

Listed on BlogShares