Monday, July 10, 2017

Time for the public education monopoly to end

Greetings adoring masses.  Let’s hit it.

Take on the G-20
I can sum it up in one sentence:  I’m glad it was PDJT (and/or Ivanka), not Shrillda the Hutt, sitting at the table.

School vouchers
There’s a debate raging in Indiana over school vouchers.  Okay “raging” is an exaggeration.  Lefty Libs are in an uproar over losing their grip on their education monopoly.  They will not go quietly no matter obvious their failure in education becomes.  Needless to say, the local fish wrap has come down squarely on the side of the status quo supporting the public school monopoly on education irrespective of the fact that there is not one example of success at the high school level in Ft. Wayne.

This (Intrusion on public schools limits vouchers’ usefulness) is but one of a long line of Lefty Lib letters trying to justify the failed status quo.  Lex responded:

RE: Intrusion on public schools limits vouchers’ usefulness, JG letter Jul 7, 2017

It’s nonsense to argue that school vouchers somehow “intrude” on public schools by taking funds.  Depending on which web site you believe, per student expenditure for FWCS is somewhere between $12,231 and $10,270.  By contrast Indiana offers only up to $4,800 (in many cases far less) per school voucher. 

So to keep this simple for my own publicly educated mind, if you have 20 students being educated at $100 each ($2,000), and you pay five students $40 each ($200) to leave, has the funding per pupil of the remaining 15 students gone up or down?  Lemmesee, 2,000 minus 200 equals 1,800.  1,800 divided 15 equals $120 per student.  $120 is greater than $100.  The public schools actually gain per pupil funding for every student they pay a voucher to leave.

Ah but what about the sunk costs of maintenance, administrative cost, buildings etc.  Well, those costs are not static.  When class sizes diminish, teachers should be excused.  When enough classrooms have been eliminated, schools should be closed, consolidated and the assets sold off.  As the district shrinks, administrative staff and cost should shrink proportionately.  What these concerns actually point out is the real and accurate fear that, if they are forced to compete, public schools can’t and the worst will die.  The alternative to a peaceful death of the public school monopoly is to keep the failed and dying patient on taxpayer funded life support forever.

FWCS are on life support.  According to the School Digger web site, not one of FWCS high schools is highly rated.  Three have a one star rating and three have two stars out of five.  Out of 392 high schools statewide FWCS best ranking is 221st.  The worst is 349th.  Mayor Henry can hang as many lights on the MLK Bridge as it will hold, build a river walk, ballpark, event center or any other attraction downtown, but until Ft. Wayne has a first rate school system, top flight people and companies will not come and have their children condemned to a failed school system.

To address the failing public school monopoly, Indiana might consider vouchers on demand for any alternative to the failed status quo.  Home schoolers should be eligible as well if they joined a home school co-op.  Mayor Henry and other civic leaders should consider looking into cooperating with Bishop Rhoades, Blackhawk, Concordia and other successful area private educators to open the public/private Allen County Career Center. The Career Center would serve as a year-round three year vocational training center, an alternative to traditional four year high school.  Its mission would be to provide any Allen County area high schooler with a great high school education, an accredited degree and - instead of a state football or basketball championship - a marketable vocational skill upon graduation for every graduate.  Instead of using college placement as a metric of success, the Career Center would use job placement.

Pre-K, to me, seems little more than a government subsidized babysitting service.  Why would any rational person want to put their child into a failed educational system run by the government at an earlier age?  If we’re going to subsidize babysitting, let’s just be up front about it.  Let’s give working couples with children a tax break that they can use to purchase the childcare of their choosing, which probably won’t be government run childcare.

All schools as well as home school co-ops would be required to meet minimum Indiana educational standards. 

All of this may sound insane, but not as insane as continuing to do the same thing over and over again expecting to achieve a different result.  That exercise is itself a popular definition of insanity. 

Copy to: Thom Bauer for the file

Note to editors:  Yeah, it’s well over 300 words.  Given the JG’s one-sided handling of this issue, the JG should print every word. 

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