October 4, 2011

"It irks me when someone says our young black children either go to charter schools or they go to prison... I have 4 children that went to Madison public schools, and all succeeded."

Said one of many speakers at the 3-hour public hearing last about the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy, "semi-private charter school proposed by the Urban League of Greater Madison, designed to raise graduation rates for at-risk students."
Some accused the Urban League of blaming the district for students' shortcomings....

More than few saw Madison Prep as an instrument of conservative groups pushing for the privatization of public education. Others worried that board approval would mark the return of segregated schools in Madison.

"This will contribute to the destruction of our public schools," said one.
I did not attend the hearing, but Meade did. Here's my favorite of the pictures he took. It seems to capture the mood of earnest but tired officials performing the obligation of listening to the people:

51 comments:

Seven Machos said...

It irks me when someone says our children either brush their teeth or get eaten by monsters.

Of course, no one ever says that, because it's absurd on its face, just as no one says any such thing about young black children and charter schools and prisons.

But it does irk me. It irks me all to hell.

rcocean said...

I thought it was the NBA or prison. Or maybe the NFL or prison.

Maybe, I misunderstood.

Fred4Pres said...

Some public schools are fine, but competition is a good thing. And options help kids.

Fred4Pres said...

I ignore hyperbole.

Seven Machos said...

Chris Webber went to Detroit Country Day and, while he had a solid NBA career, it was also a pretty big disappointment. He also had some minor legal trouble.

So, there you go. QED.

Mary Beth said...

The speaker's children were "at risk"? I doubt it since the kids who might benefit most from charter schools usually don't have parents that show up for public hearings about schools.

David said...

From the article:

Tyler Beck, 18, introduced himself as the valedictorian of the first graduating class of a Chicago charter school. He suggested claims that charter schools have high dropout rates are misleading.

"Those who did leave," said Beck, referring to dropouts at his school, "you can bet they were knocking on every door trying to get back in. There was one young man who cried to get back in the school and they let him back in."

He urged the school board to "hop on board with this," because "Madison Prep isn't offering the only solution, but it's offering a solution."


Let's hear it for Tyler Beck, who has figured out something quite important.

rcommal said...

OK, so they're tired. What's so surprising or even wrong about that? It's a tiring, hard thing, all this stuff about educating children and also all the stuff that goes into educating children. It's work, educating children well. There is no panacea. There isn't. There is no panacea. There isn't. People say, oh--public schools! private schools! religious schools! Catholic schools! homeschooling! homeschooling! Catholic schools! religious schools! private schools! public schools! Yes, indeed, they say that. They do. Too often they say it as if they believe they have wands--a particular type of wand, no less!--in each and every one of their hands. Star dust, star dust, everywhere! Well, bullshit. Oh, bullshit. Children used as cow patties to pitch at favorite targets is more like it.

kcom said...

"earnest but tired officials"

Or, alternatively, earnest but tired white people. Being that it's Wisconsin, they might very well be liberal white people. I'm sure they'll decide what's best for minorities. They always have before.

kcom said...

"I thought it was the NBA or prison. Or maybe the NFL or prison."

Or the ever popular rap star or prison. Or is that rap star and prison? Or maybe not prison, always, but lots of arrests over guns and shootings that apparently are never anybody's fault.

Thomas W said...

Echoing rcommal, there is no single magic solution to education. Choice and competition in schools keeps everybody honest. I'm constantly amazed that people who would shout "monopoly" if a corporation has too large a share of the market think that somehow the fact that because public schools are government funded and don't have an explicit profit motive they are somehow immune from monopoly problems.

A choice in schooling helps keep everybody honest.

lewsar said...

@mary beth: eh? i don't understand your assertion.

our kids went to a charter school because we thought the charter school would provide a better education. we were correct; the high school our kids attended after the K-8 charter school actually wrote a letter complaining that the charter school kids knew too much math and were thus bored during their high school math classes.

how supposed 'educators' could bring themselves to write and publish such a letter is beyond me.

Alex said...

Leftist punk berates Jewish man

rcommal said...

Let's be every bit as hard on self-professed education experts as we are on official ones. It's critically important.

Real American said...

just fire everybody and start over.

rcommal said...

People tend to be invested in their own choices and because of that tend not only to *not* apply the same standards to their own choices as they do to others' choices, but *also* to more harshly apply **even higher** standards to the choices of others. Thus human nature expresses itself via yet another avenue.

edutcher said...

I was wondering why you were posting so late (for you, anyway).

Some of these commenters get punchy after midnight on the East Coast.

Marshal said...

"More than few saw Madison Prep as an instrument of conservative groups pushing for the privatization of public education."

At least there were a few brave souls willing to stand up for what is right. Those conservatives who value a child's education more than protecting the school system have to be opposed at all costs. Luckily those on the left have their priorities straight, and they're not going to let government control of schools slip over such a minor issue as failing to educate children.

Shanna said...

The lady on the end's expression is priceless...

Nobody ever in the history of the world has said that black children go to charter schools or prison. The children who are brought up by parents interested in education and middle/upper class tend to do well, white or black. It's all the other kids we have to worry about.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

The fact is, we have a largely failed and very expensive public 'education' system. No surprise, really, as it is the bastard child of big government.

That many people recognize this is exactly why alternatives to public education have become popular.

Mediocrity is a perfect breeding ground for failure.

The correct parent mind-set does not involve blaming a failed system, it involves proactivity. Recognition is step one. Involvement in your kids' education is an absolute must.

Like science, education, educators and students must always be challenged.

If the people out there want to preserve the idea of public education, there must be more parent involvement. Learning is not exclusive to the hours spent inside school walls, it starts and is a continuous process based in the family/home.

AllenS said...

I worked with a black man who him and his wife worked as much as they could so they could afford to send their children to a Catholic school. Neither were Catholics.

Bob_R said...

Very good picture by Meade. Could be a scene from Parks and Recreation.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Marshal

Brilliant snark, well-played.

rcommal

Progressives would have us believe that self-interest is bad. Could it be said that progressives have a tin ear when it comes to human nature? I think that is the lesson here.

Shanna said...

Could be a scene from Parks and Recreation.

That show is the best. They had an episode or two where they were taking public questions and they were pretty funny.

Also, Ron is the best.

Michael said...

AllenS, as usual, makes the point perfectly. Those who care about their kids more than their own lifestyles will send them to private or parochial schools. Believe me, when parents have to pay they make sure the kids do the work.

Mary Beth said...

@lewsar, From the post - "semi-private charter school proposed by the Urban League of Greater Madison, designed to raise graduation rates for at-risk students."

Whoever the title of the post was quoting said that her/his children went to Madison public schools and succeeded. I'm saying that a parent involved enough to go to meetings like this probably does not have children in the "at risk" group. They are right that it's not charter schools or prison but it's also true that just because their children did well in that environment, it doesn't mean others need a different type of school.

Pogo said...

"It irks me when someone says our young black children either go to charter schools or they go to prison..."

The Obama speaking style is now national.
Everything is a lie.

Destroy the straw man!

“There are those who say..."

Rick67 said...

"More than few saw Madison Prep as an instrument of conservative groups pushing for the privatization of public education."

Seriously? In Madison? On what basis?!?

Ann Althouse said...

"Or, alternatively, earnest but tired white people. Being that it's Wisconsin, they might very well be liberal white people."

It's not a wide shot of the whole board, which is multiracial.

AJ Lynch said...

In the last 100 years, we have offered more and more educational opportunities to more kids and we have spent more and more money and all we have done is increased the amount of hand wringing over schools. We have actually made schools worse than they were 100 years ago.

AJ Lynch said...

Is multiracial the same as diverse?

Mrs. X said...

We're (unfortunately) involved with the DOE here in New York. My son has a learning disability. The most recent recommendation from the learned powers-that-be was that he go to a school where last year's graduation rate was 13%. I had to ask the school official who told me this to repeat herself twice--I thought she was saying 30%, which is dismal enough, but no, it was 13. In addition, there was a fight in the cafeteria last Christmas which resulted in a kid being brought to the hospital. Consequently, the principal limited the number of bathroom passes, which resulted in a riot.

We're not sending our son there, and no one should have to send any child there. It's the parents who need to riot, so that "schools" such as this one can be shut down and remade by people who actually care about what happens to our kids.

ricpic said...

It irks her? From the Black Commenter blog: 28% of black males spend some time in jail.

Fred4Pres said...

We're not sending our son there, and no one should have to send any child there. It's the parents who need to riot, so that "schools" such as this one can be shut down and remade by people who actually care about what happens to our kids.

Taxpayers need to revolt. We spend more than most any other country (the Swiss may be the only place that outspends us) and we get less bang for the buck. NYC schools? It may be as high as $20,000 a student (it is over that in Newark and Washington, D.C.). Go watch Waiting for Superman, it is heartbreaking.

Competiton. Market place. That is why vouchers and charter schools are the answers and solutions to failing schools. It will not be a complete cure, but it will be far better than the system we have now.

MarkG said...

Mary Beth has it exactly right.

Jesse Jackson likes to whine about poor education opportunities for black kids, but strangely all of his own black kids are literate and well-educated.

MadisonMan said...

Some accused the Urban League of blaming the district for students' shortcomings

It is not the students' shortcomings. It is their parents shortcomings, expecting the schools to do everything that they either can't or won't do.

There's also the foolish notion that everyone will succeed.

Scott M said...

, but strangely all of his own black kids are literate and well-educated

All those with his wife? Or are you including all those for whom he's just the baby-daddy?

TosaGuy said...

Must not be a big deal since they were only "irked", if it was truly a big deal to them they would be "outraged".

ErnieG said...

"... I have 4 children that went to Madison public schools, and all succeeded."

I had a statistics professor who cautioned us about drawing a conclusion based on too small a sample size: "Indians always walk single file. I saw one once and he was."

Patrick said...

That photograph is so illustrative of the political class.

JorgXMcKie said...

You can pretty much trace the current problems in public education that period of time in the middle '60s or so when K-12 schools quit responding to local community pressure and began responding to the "Education Establishment" which always knows better than parents or anyone else how kids should be taught.

"Normal" schools used to teach mostly subject matter to future students. Today, Colleges of Education teach policy and "leadership" and "theory of education" and so on.

Of course, the idea that instead of teaching each child to her limits has been subsumed by the idea of getting everyone certified with a [worthless] diploma and that hasn't helped.

Quasimodo said...

We're not sending our son there, and no one should have to send any child there. It's the parents who need to riot, so that "schools" such as this one can be shut down and remade by people who actually care about what happens to our kids.

Its the "parents" who are to blame for the condition of our public schools. Charter schools are only an escape hatch for the few parents who belatedly get a tiny hint of a clue .... it does not mean their kids will value their "free" education.

kwood said...

I love the idea of charter schools and low-cost private schools. I also love the idea of some sort of neighborhood home-school cooperative.

Vouchers, I worry about a bit because I fear they might drive up the prices, like medical insurance.

I'm not saying this is a fact, just that it's what I fear would happen. Can anyone dispell that fear? Could vouchers on a large scale work without driving up prices?

Quayle said...

There are some things that only a parent can do, and if that parent doesn't do them, society will indeed grow tried trying to come up with a remedy or work around.

The primary responsibility for educating children is and must reside with the parents, who then use the schools as a resource and supplement.

And if the parent fails or doesn't give a damn, the school will never be able to correct that, or will only be able to correct that as a cost that the society won't be able to sustain.

Rumpletweezer said...

As long as the public schools treat the unions as the "clients" and not the students or their parents, the public schools can't be fixed. Parents have no leverage in the fight to improve schools.

Shanna said...

Could vouchers on a large scale work without driving up prices?

Depends on the price point. If vouchers are set at a price that is higher than most private school education, they will all go up to that. If it is lower, they may well lower prices.

Parents have no leverage in the fight to improve schools.

The only way to vote on this is to vote with your feet, and you're not allowed, at least not without paying double for your kids education. If you can't afford that, you are out of luck.

gerry said...

but strangely all of his own black kids are literate and well-educated.

Didn't adulterer Jackson's kids all go to private academies?

Peter said...

“I have 4 children that went to Madison public schools, and all succeeded.”

BUT, this is an argument only against the assertion, “ALL children who go to public schools fail.” And no one is making that argument.

“I am a single mother and my children are not criminals.”

“I am a recovered junkie and am now as productive as anyone!”

“I dropped out of high school and I am financially successful."

BUT, statistically the children of single mothers are more likely to be criminals.

And, those who are or have been addicted to hard drugs are, in the aggregate, less productive than those who have or are not.

And, mean and median incomes for high school graduates are higher than high school dropouts'.

Logic is hard?
Logic is hard.

Tom said...

God Bless many of our elected official who can sit through hours of inane public comments. I once had to endure a planning commission meeting where a couple was asking for a density variance for a multi family dwelling north of the little creek in town which was already zoned for multi family. There must have been 50 folks from south of the creek which is zoned for single family doing the same NIMBY comments over and over despite requests to limit themselves to name and address if they had nothing new to add.

AllenS said...

JorgXMcKie said...
You can pretty much trace the current problems in public education that period of time in the middle '60s or so when K-12 schools quit responding to local community pressure and began responding to the "Education Establishment" which always knows better than parents or anyone else how kids should be taught.

Yes, and I think I know why. That's when forced busing started. Before that, students went to school nearest to their home. Parents knew parents that had children in those schools, but now, a parent might not know any other parents from that neighborhood that the children are being bused to. Does that make sense?

Kathy said...

My comment: The liberals have fled Madison in a flurry of white flight just like Chicago area folks did back in the 1970's when Chicago had to deal with the migration of southern blacks to their industrial environment (clue: jobs were in Chicago and not in Mississippi).

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled against such "white flight" in the 1970's....but don't let the Madison libs who left the city know about this. The NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome is no more alive and well as in Madison, WI and our poor old schools are struggling because of it. Someone on our school board should be screaming about it but....this is actually impossible to imagine with the way this dec is stacked. It has been OUTRAGEOUS hypocrisy from the Madison, WI liberal left to move away from our "challenged" schools to the more conservative, structured school systems in Madison's many newly found burbs......this is the secret thing no one in Madison ever dares talk about and it makes me sick to my stomach.

Liberals = hypocrites.

Ideologically - it is so important for all to research and then understand how so many of the Madison liberal community leaders fled the Isthmus and other Madison neighborhoods when they started having kids (ergo: the growth of Verona, Oregon, Waunakee and Sun Prairie communities). White educated Madison liberals flew and are still flying from the Madison School District like the hypocrites all liberals are - OK for you and thee but not OK for me and mine.

End of story.

From the New York Times om 2010 -
at this link: http://tinyurl.com/3pdhqjg

"Build it and they will come. Nationally, about 12 percent of students are identified as disabled, but in Madison 17.5 percent are, according to John Harper, who oversees special education."

During school board races, the anti-liberal teacher union eater carriers usually use the more relevant quote that Madison Wisconsin schools are over 50% special needs students.

Much food for thought, Madisonians who at least commit to living within our city limits.