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Jim Crow as School Choice!


Betsy DeVos, reminding everyone that the “saying the quiet parts loud” remark we used to make about the Republican Party’s racist statements is completely antiquated in an era of open racism.

I have some other images of freedom-loving choice here:

Here’s someone who is choosing to oppress white choice in Birmingham.


Here’s some people choosing to live in poverty.


Here’s people who chose to be sent across the Atlantic as slaves.


You’d like to think that openly racist statements promoting Jim Crow America as a model for the present would get DeVos fired, but who I am kidding. It all just makes Rand Paul’s dream to overturn the Civil Rights Act more likely.

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  • LeeEsq

    DeVos does not see herself as stating the quiet parts out loud because she sees nothing wrong with her statement. She sees herself as stating the obvious truth from her ideological perspective.

    • It’s sad that black people no longer have the choice to drink from the coloreds only fountain or get lynched. Make America Great Again.

    • aturner339

      This is what distriguishes the Trump adminstration from previous GOP executives. A less guarded expression of racial ignorance that veers frequently into antagonism. C-Span callers in charge of government

      • LeeEsq


      • D.N. Nation

        C-Span prank callers in charge of government

        Fixed. Trump’s not all that different than the teenagers who call in and talk about their genitalia.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        This is what distriguishes the Trump adminstration from previous GOP executives. A less guarded expression of racial ignorance that veers frequently into antagonism. C-Span callers in charge of government

        I think they are genuinely more racist. It’s not just no veneer. They’re actually more racist.

        And, as was noted on the twitters, Dubya let black people drown, so that’s a hell of an accomplishment.

    • Woodrowfan

      she grew up in a bubble, still lives in it, and is completely clueless that it’s even there…

      • No Longer Middle Aged Man

        It would be nice if we could funnel some gas into it.

        • Abbey Bartlet

          Carbon monoxide?

          • No Longer Middle Aged Man

            I was thinking cyanide

            • catbutler

              I’m thinking pure carbon dioxide. Since they’re part of the group claiming it’s not harmful.

        • Caepan

          Sweets for the sweet – Zyklon B.

        • Warren Terra

          This subthread really sucks. Stay classy, guys.

  • sleepyirv

    This is less of a “saying the quiet parts loud” than a “being completely arrogant of history, which you hilariously try to cover up using nonsensical buzzwords of your chosen business field.”

  • Tom in BK

    We knew what we were getting with DeVos. But, Jesus everloving Christ.

  • LosGatosCA

    Everyday you think, wow that is the stupidest, most ignorantly racist, misogynistic, bigoted, and avoidably wrong thing to say, even if we all know they believe it – but then the next day brings a new low.

    The rank and file of Jay Gould’s Army absolutely loves it though. Throwing off the restraints of being a decent human being feels soooooo good for them.

    When Cheney/Bush threw off the torture restraints and established Gitmo these people got a real taste of how satisfying for them letting their evil side out can be. And now they won’t stop until the national guard is goose stepping in front of a massive concrete wall along the border, tens of millions of people lose their health insurance, and hundreds of millions of people see their safety nets shredded in the name of freedom of rich people to screw everyone else out of everything they don’t deserve.

    • Colin Day

      The rank and file of Jay Gould’s Army

      Gould said that he could pay half of the working class to kill the other half. Did he ever dream of getting half of the working class to kill the other half for the mere price of spouting sexist/racist/xenophobic/homophobic/transphobic propaganda?

      • Hogan

        The psychic wage of whiteness.

    • CP

      “Jay Gould’s Army” needs to become a thing.

  • Do we need all that education when most of the job growth in Trump’s America will be in strawberry picking and housekeeping as Trump clears out those hombres? And when it comes to enforcing Trump’s policies, how much education does it take to apply a boot to someone’s face? DeVos is just being realistic when it comes to the future educational needs of America.

    • PohranicniStraze

      In fairness, strawberry pickers are the baddest of the bad hombres.

      • AlanInSF

        The cantaloupe-calved drug mules could whip the bad-ass strawberry pickers any day.

      • Warren Terra

        Look at it this way: strawberry pickers engage in backbreaking labor under the searing heat of the summer sun. Misconstrued only slightly, they’re practically Satan’s demons, breaking backs (albeit their own) in heat that mirrors the fire pits of hell.

        • los

          awareness mixed with hunches:
          most strawberry crop harvest is in coastal CA.

          melons, zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes are harvested in heat, though Roma and cherry tomatoes might tolerate machine harvest better than ‘beefsteak’/slicing/sandwich tomatoes.
          sweet corn and IIRC green beans have switched to machine harvest.
          almost certainly specialty row crops are manually harvested, though maybe tomatillos in particular might be harvested same as tomatoes, especially since tomatillo fruit is far sturdier.

          Peak tree and vine fruit harvest is hottest months, but no stooping. Some exceptions: pomegranate, kiwi, most pears. avocados year-round.
          lemons coastal and year-round. other citrus inland if only for lower land costs – then lower labor costs.
          grapefruit need heat to sweeten.
          palm dates might be harvested in split shifts.

          • The Dark God of Time

            Kiwi needs pickers who know how to harvest them, as they are easily bruised if they are picked like they were oranges.

            • los

              pruning requires the skill of fast assessment, and is cool season work.

  • Harkov311

    I’d say it’s not so much racism showing as an elite cluelessness. This is a person who seems to think HBCUs were founded for the same reason that the country clubs she goes to were founded: to self-segregate away from the riff-raff.

    Never does it seem to dawn on her that those colleges were only founded because non-whites were (often literally) barred entry from the already existing colleges.

    • The school choice fanatics concern-troll people whose public schools are inadequate by saying this is what government will always do, and even suggest the people running public schools are racist and minority communities have to create their own schools to help themselves.

      • The Dark God of Time

        One of the resident trolls here equates opposition to charter schools as being against minority parents having a choice for their child’s education.

        • Uh, yeah?

          It’s a pretty widely held conviction, in some minority communities, and I even know of indisputably Left thinkers who would support the idea of “choice” in these cases. As I said, it’s a product of R concern trolling like Trump’s “no one is helping the black people in the hellholes.”

          • L2P

            I’ve been at those meetings and I don’t think that’s a fair representation of what they’re saying.

            Generally, the feeling is that schools in low SES communities get screwed. They get less money, less resources, less attention, etc. The FIRST choice is for adequate, normal public schools. Almost everybody wants their local school to be decent. It’s a huge hassle to get your kid somewhere else, even with bussing. Getting to a teacher meeting halfway across the city is a pain in the ass.

            But since that seems off the table, the SECOND choice is for charter schools and so on, so at least you can be in charge of your own funding and won’t get screwed. But its’ reluctant. Charter schools are also a huge PITA that everybody ALSO thinks will screw over minority kids the first chance they get.

            It’s really unfair to argue, like you do, that “in some minority communities it’s a pretty widely held conviction that being against school choice is being against minority education.”

            • I don’t know what you mean regarding meetings. These things come up for a vote in a referendum, say, and often it’s the suburban voters who vote against charter schools, etc. We are the ones who have the abstract arguments about what’s good in the best case and they are the ones these policies affect, so while I’m sure your generalizations are as good as mine, and it’s fair to point out that school choice, charter schools, and vouchers are all different things.

              That’s totally irrelevant to whether DeVos is trying to help people, or concern trolling, and we got a really good derail going here.

        • Cheap Wino

          Yes, because minority parents, if they’re really interested in their children’s education, can just have their driver take the child to school across town in the morning. It’s their choice if they instead end up at the neighborhood failing school.

          • DrDick

            And where are those poor black parents going to get the resources to send their kids to private schools? The solution is to better, and more equitably, fund the public schools.

          • I don’t understand what you’re saying.

            I don’t give a damn what some troll said.

            There are actual Democratic voters in districts the Democrats need who want charter schools and NCLB-based school choice (with government-provided busing). If you think the party can do without them because white boys know better that choice is only for rich people, I guess you can try to take over the party and see if you do without them. Or if you like you can demonstrate that you’re willing to take their POV seriously and give an actual argument about how government can meet their families’ needs.

            • Cheap Wino

              What DrDick said above. That charter schools have been marketed in such a way to entice that kind of voter doesn’t mean we need to adopt their policy positions to keep them in the fold.

              • Sure thing. You don’t have to make sure you don’t take their statements out of context, to illustrate their opinions are not Proper Party Positions, either.

                • Cheap Wino

                  I’m not sure where you’re coming from. Who’s statement did I take out of context?

                • The Dark God of Time

                  Google “Charter school conviction” and then get back to us.

                • los

                  Charter school conviction

                  (“conviction” – not “indicted”, which would be more common.)
                  Three perps in 2014, 2015, and 2016, within the first four links. One has history of criminal convictions.

                  Are charters “magnet schools for the mob?”

      • LeeEsq

        Most school choice advocates are intensely anti-statist in their beliefs.

        • That may be true in some cases, but combined with charter school support and/or belonging to a strongly Democratic community, it seems less likely, “School choice” amounts to “government should pay for education but I should choose my kids’ education in all respects.” Real anti-statists would just say “pay for it yourself.” (Real socialistsTM, I suppose, would ban private schools and maybe even public exam and magnet schools.)

          • LeeEsq

            Okay, I understand what your talking about better now. These people certainly exist in the Democratic Party.

      • DrDick

        Completely ignoring the reality that the “choice” movement was founded by white people wanting to pull their kids out of desegregated schools.

        • Are you saying I’m ignoring that reality (which may or may not be historically accurate, as if that matters to a committed partisan)?

          • The Dark God of Time

            I don’t care if the Democrats in some areas like the idea, charter schools are usually a ripoff, full stop.

          • DrDick

            I was actually responding to LeeEsq and referencing the school choice advocates.

    • los

      i don’t/didn’t know the origins of HBCU, but had assumed their origins was the “choice made available” by no educational funding (separate and non-existent)
      .. which is like RyanCare, RyanAid

  • sigaba

    Loud part quiet: Christian schools are the new HBCs and Christians are the new blacks.

    • Cheap Wino

      Yes, this. It’s a melting pot of ignorance, racism, and stupidity, the white christian edition.

    • DrDick

      No, those Christian schools have largely always been white flight schools following desegregation.

      • Dennis Orphen

        With a dollop (is that a word?) or two of rabid Anti-Intellectualism?

      • sigaba

        The Dreherism for this situation: “Christians are being persecuted and excluded from public schools.”


        “Public schools teach that Christianity is evil and wrong, what with the evolution and gay bathrooms. Christians are the new blacks.”

    • los

      Neo-Nazis are the Neu Juden (although the New Juden inexplicably still threaten to bomb synagogues)

  • nemdam

    I would say this is more extreme ignorance than “saying the quiet parts out loud.” If she were doing that, she would explicitly call for segregation. Instead, she seems to be ignorant of the fact that segregation existed.

    The Trump administration is basically trying to decipher which parts of it are stupid and which are racist.

    • witlesschum

      But ignorance this extreme—in not an off-the-cuff remark from America’s Bear Preparedness Czar or even one crank like Prof. Rand Paul whitesplaining African American history at Howard but in an official statement—seems to me that it’s got to be deliberate and bad faith trolling along the lines of the political cartoon Jordan mentioned above.

      This is shouting about Robert Byrd being a klansman in a blog comment, but from a cabinet secretary.

      • Cheap Wino

        This is shouting about Robert Byrd being a klansman in a blog comment, but from a cabinet secretary.

        So, SOP from the Trump administration.

        • witlesschum

          Y’know we haven’t heard from Jenny lately maybe he’s busy with a new job….

  • Hercules Mulligan

    Remember when the talking point of the day was that we were blowing DeVos out of proportion and shouldn’t have put so much effort into stopping her? Ah, memories!

  • Jordan

    So she saw that stupid political cartoon and was like “ya, lets roll with that angle”, hmm?

  • Bugboy

    “Here’s some people choosing to live in poverty.”

    And LOOK AT THAT STOVE! They must not be THAT poor if they can afford to have a stove!

    As my better half often says, it’s a fkn wonder we aren’t extinct yet…

    • N__B

      Based on the symbol on the door, that stove is apparently nuclear-powered. How poor could they be?

      • Colin Day

        They have a fallout shelter, how poor can they be?

      • tsam

        It’s upside down, it’s a message to the alien overlords.

    • sigaba

      Stoves were the flat-screen TVs of the 1850s.

  • No Longer Middle Aged Man

    You know, sometimes I think that it might be worthwhile to try some pilot voucher programs and charter schools, if done with sufficient funding and good intent. And then the proponents reveal their true selves and I am reminded that the real intent is to destroy public education, or at best turn it into religious indoctrination, not improve it for the people who need it most. No Child Left Behind and the testing mania seem like wasted resources to me but not necessarily done out of malevolence. DeVos and her crew don’t get even that from me.

    So I have a proposal for her since apparently wonderful things come out of publicly funded adversity — because, let’s remember, African Americans paid taxes to support the schools their children weren’t allowed to attend. Let’s continue to fund public schools at the existing level and make Satanism a required subject at all elementary and middle schools. Then DeVos can put out similarly imbecilic tweets about the serendipity of the ensuing blossoming of Christian academies, following all the ones founded so that the children of white racists wouldn’t have to go to school with non-whites.

    • Dilan Esper

      There already are limited versions of school choice. There are charter schools (encouraged by Obama) and limited voucher programs.

      My understanding is the pure voucher programs haven’t worked very well but the charters have offered real improvement in some places where the schools are failing. However, teachers unions and their allies dispute that.

      DeVos’ comment is both out of right field and completely bonkers.

      • witlesschum

        In Michigan, the charters have accomplished the great educational feat of (drum roll) pretty much the same test scores as public schoools!

        The whole project is based on nothing but dodgy ideology in any case, so giving it any respect or time of day is basically saying “Maybe Comrade Stalin’s five year plan will work this time!”

        • sigaba

          Sure charter schools got the same test scores, but they didn’t kill Magic Market Fairies in the process, like those public robot factories did.

          Also charter schools do it with the added benfit of rentierism and the enelimable specter of graft. You can’t put a price on these benefits!

        • DrDick

          That is generally true, and they do so while excluding everyone who might be difficult. That qualifies as failure in my book.

          • Little Chak

            Yeah, taking only the ones who want to be there, and performing as well as (or even slightly better than) the public schools who must take everybody, is an abject failure.

      • Cheap Wino
      • rea

        DeVos’ comment is both out of right field

        DeVos’ comment is quite consistent with her adherence to the views expressed by Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch prime minister and theologian:

        The concept of sphere sovereignty was very important for Kuyper. He rejected the popular sovereignty of France in which all rights originated with the individual, and the state-sovereignty of Germany in which all rights derived from the state. Instead, he wanted to honour the “intermediate bodies” in society, such as schools and universities, the press, business and industry, the arts etc., each of which would be sovereign in its own sphere. In the interest of a level playing field, he championed the right of every faith community (among whom he counted humanists and socialists) to operate their own schools, newspapers, hospitals, youth movements etc. He sought equal government finances for all faith-based institutions. He saw an important role for the state in upholding the morality of the Dutch people

        “Sphere sovereignty” fits in very well with”separate but equal”.

        DeVos has talked about her admiration for this guy, who is a major figure in the history of her church.

        • LeeEsq

          The Pillar System seems close to what many conservatives want America to look like probably.

          • sonamib

            The Pillar system is also pretty much how Belgium works (or used to work). There are socialist, christian and liberal unions. Socialist, christian and liberal non-profit health insurers. There are liberal and christian universities and schools, but no socialist ones (though there are public universities and schools).

            The “independent” schools are financed at 75% by the government. That was a compromise made back in the 19th century to keep the social peace. And now the arrangement stays because of inertia, some of the institutions are too prestigious for the government to pull the plug on them and let them rot, on the other hand a hostile takeover of their administration by the public bureaucracy would be very unpopular.

            But hey, our schools are terrible, student outcomes can pretty much be predicted according to the social class of their parents. So maybe don’t copy us.

        • No Longer Middle Aged Man

          I suspect her support for this approach is very selective. She might accept Jewish religion schools, but what about when Moslems, Scientologists, Afro-centric history proponents and others demand their fair share, not crumbs, of the public education dollar?

        • Origami Isopod

          Oh, how interesting, edit war on Kuyper’s Talk page between someone or someones who want his racism and antisemitism mentioned in the article…. and a self-described Calvinist editor.

      • DrDick

        Charter schools are, in fact, largely mediocre wastes of public money.

        • Dilan Esper

          The problem I have with the attacks on charter schools is if they are so terrible, why did the generally data driven Obama administration support them? There are other studies that indicate modest gains.

          I don’t know enough about education policy to know who is right. But I do know there are a lot of motivations on both sides of the debate and the Obama people seemed to think there was some improvement.

          • DrDick

            So you do not have any actual data to support your position? How surprising.

            • Dilan Esper

              Are you saying that Obama had no data to support his position? Because if you are, you are lying.

              • los


                Arne Duncan, IIRC, who also supported confirming Grizzly Betsy DeVos.

        • los

          That’s not good enough. We need superior wastes of taxpayer money.

      • los

        From sporadic reading
        Shanker agreed with charter as demolabs, with mainline public schools adopting the positive results
        It seems big charter chains aren’t vey good. Those with good student testing/scores ruthlessly weed out low-scoring students.
        I’ve read of some teachers supporting charters.
        Unionizing campaigns at some charters are popping up, IRC, even in some of the anti-employee states (though likely in employee-friendly cities).
        Teacher employment turnover is hideous at charters in general.

        Diane Ravitch is busy author of charter critiques, who posts frequently to her blog. Ravitch is also an occasional phone interviewee. She had been charter proponent in 1980s.
        also have read specific pages of some sites from links. “ed” names similar to “edublog”

    • Cheap Wino

      “No Child Left Behind and the testing mania seem like wasted resources to me but not necessarily done out of malevolence.”

      NCLB was always a doorway to open schools up to profit opportunities. Any potential benefit was ancillary to opening up a portal to profit off public school funds. Here in Illinois we have yearly, week-long testing that costs millions despite the fact that teacher’s unions have thankfully managed to keep the testing from actually counting for anything. So the big testing company gets to siphon off public dollars for something that literally has no effect on the students (other than taking a week out of their school year).

      • Little Chak

        You get off with only a week? We lose basically the month of April.

      • Dennis Orphen

        So the big testing company gets to siphon off public dollars for something that literally has no effect on the students

        Feature or Bug? You Decide! (We’ll be right back after this word from our sponsors)

  • NewishLawyer

    I think Lee and Harkov311 offer the most correct interpretations. DeVos cannot be shammed because she doesn’t think she said anything wrong. She merely stated her worldview. The causes of her worldview are obvious.

    I think there is still a part of the left that operates in conversion mode all the time. We think we can convert everyone to our way of seeing things. Just like Christian fundies think they can turn everyone into a Christian fundie.

    I am not convinced of this. Maybe what the left needs to do is just say to people like DeVos and Bannon is “We disagree with your worldview because X, Y, and Z and will do all in our power to stop it.”

    • sigaba

      Whenever liberals try to start a conversation, conservatives view the entreaty with contempt, because to them, that’s evidence that liberals don’t really believe in what they’re saying. Arrogance is the same thing as principle.

      • NewishLawyer

        Pretty much.

    • LeeEsq

      Most people believe that other people can be converted with the right methods because the idea of having constantly fight for your policy preferences is not fun. People want permanent victory.

    • Dennis Orphen

      Very good point, just because your wealthy doesn’t mean you can’t have genuine opinions.

    • los

      She merely stated her worldview.

      a MLM clan… that has long-funded fascism.

  • I’m waiting for the Twitter trolls to announce that HCBU’s are just like Holy Cross because Catholics weren’t allowed to go to St. Mark’s and Princeton. But I guess I’m not patient enough.

    • No Longer Middle Aged Man

      You wrote above

      There are actual Democratic voters in districts the Democrats need who want charter schools and NCLB-based school choice (with government-provided busing).

      I can’t say first hand about African American community, but your statement is very consistent with the sentiments of many in the Latino community in my state. They see, rightly, urban public schools as failing them. Sometimes the state comes in and appoints an external administrator, and sometimes even an entire school board, who generally ignore parents in the district. In one instance they simply shut down the ESL program more or less overnight in favor of immersion for everyone – which might work for 6 year olds but is a disaster for 16 year olds, who wind up dropping out so neither get a high school diploma nor learn English.

      Latino community in my state is not anti public education — with maybe the exception of some Evangelical Latinos, who have different goals for elementary and middle education than the rest of the community — but they are anti-crappy education which is what they mostly are getting from public schools. And they, rightly, see “we’re going to improve the public schools” as as much of the tooth fairy or magic pony as the “magic of the market will raise all boats” and “tax cuts will create better jobs and opportunity for everyone.”

      If Democrats simply ignore these people we will justifiably lose their votes.

      • Crusty

        There are two separate questions. 1) Given presently available alternatives, what is the best choice for my specific child at this particular moment in time? The answer to that may well be the local charter school, not the public school. That is a separate question from 2) as a matter of national policy, how should we deliver education and in turn, equality of opportunity to the entire nation? The answer to that is to have high quality public schools for all.

        • No Longer Middle Aged Man

          I agree totally with your #2 as a policy goal. It isn’t happening and hasn’t happened for a while, to the particular disadvantage of particular groups of people who can’t afford to wait any longer. Which leads to #1. And people are going to vote that way despite know it alls (not accusing you of this) trying to tell them what’s best for them. The Democratic Party needs to lead but it also needs to listen and sometimes follow the wishes of the voters.

          • Crusty

            Put another way, the democratic party needs to find a way to improve public schools without asking parents to sacrifice their own children in furtherance of a policy goal that might not bear fruit for long after their children are out of school.

            • No Longer Middle Aged Man

              Yes, good way to express it. A fair few of the people whose views are what I wrote above are state employees and public union supporters. They’re not anti-teacher or anti-teachers unions. They’re simply tired of not getting what they need from the existing public education system and they don’t trust promises of improvement within the existing structure.

      • My town apparently uses school choice for elementary schools in part to manage ESL and special ed programs, from what I can see. There’s one waiver school for Spanish and one bilingual immersion school (other schools offer Portuguese and other languages), for families who want or need that, and universal choice seems to normalize that somewhat.

      • los

        No Longer Middle Aged Man says:

        simply shut down the ESL program more or less overnight in favor of immersion for everyone

        which has long been a conservative policy.

        You probably know of Deasy. (Too much activism, then resigned.)

        The suits began with Reed v. California, filed in February, 2010 and which, like Vergara, took aim at the state’s policy of laying off teachers with the least seniority. A key difference is that Reed confined its scope to three inner-city middle schools that the district had inexplicably packed with young, low-seniority teachers who faced dismissal during the last recession.

        Not only was Deasy a key witness for plaintiffs and the district in Reed, the then-newly installed deputy superintendent’s fingerprints could also be found on the suit’s most controversial aspect.

        autumn of 2011 Doe v. Deasy was filed by the Century City entertainment law firm of Barnes & Thornburgh —six months after Deasy succeeded Ramon C. Cortines as LAUSD superintendent.

        Sponsored by the Eli Broad-backed charter-school booster group EdVoice, Doe alleged that LAUSD was in violation of the Stull Act, a 1971 law that mandates the use of student test scores …

        The suit’s push for the use of VAM, which is favored by Deasy, and Deasy’s own apparent social links to Doe’s backers, seemed to point to Deasy himself having been instrumental in initiating Doe — in effect suing himself. The resulting rumors were so prevalent that they led Tokofsky at the time to quip that that case should be called “Deasy v. Deasy.” (The superintendent has in the past flatly denied that he was involved in the planning of Doe or the other suits.)


  • prognostication

    I’ve come around to the view that if you want to fix education for disadvantaged groups, the answers are busing, busing, and more busing. Politically difficult-to-impossible of course. But it’s not clear to me that anything else is going to achieve more than small marginal improvements. Of course, at least until now the people in charge sort of had their hearts in the right place, which… obviously is no longer the case.

    • mds

      the answers are busing, busing, and more busing.

      You misspelled “money.” Because where are you busing the students to? Districts with a metric shit-ton of money for their schools.

      • Rob in CT

        I’d say it’s actually something different: in districts where the people have good jobs and thus some money kids live fairly stable lives and have their basic needs met consistently. Their school districts may or may not be lavishly funded, but the kids need less support from outside the home, because their lives are easier all around.

        To back this up, to my eye (though I haven’t graphed it, so concede I could be wrong), this data looks all over the place:


        Hartford’s per pupil spending is pretty high. Bridgeport’s is low. Both have problems. My town’s per pupil spending is in between those two, and does very well.

        • prognostication

          Maybe you’re not actually contradicting me, but my read on the actual weight of the evidence is that if you bus people who don’t have that into schools where most people do have that, they benefit. Peer effects, role models, etc.

          • Rob in CT

            I do wonder which is easier: large-scale bussing efforts or a serious jobs program…

            • los

              The school “has” each kid as student for fewer hours of each week than the legal guardians “have” the kid.

              School can somewhat patch – but can’t fix – a child’s effed up life outside of school.

              Difficult opportunity:
              Edu reform must assist/develop/educate the prime caretakers (or create a caretaker) for the child.

              Early headstart seems the only example of public entities trying to include parents in edu for kids.

        • Rob in CT

          Heh, looking at that data another thing jumps out at me: the difference in spending levels between the school systems* I attended as a kid and the school systems* serving the town in which I now live. Where I grew up, on the “Gold Coast,” is spending 35% more per pupil.

          I do think this matters. But at the margins in comparison to things like “do the parents have jobs?”

          * plural because both involve regionals

  • Coconinoite

    As parent of a diagnosed ADD tween, in a shitty school district in a state that races neck and neck with Mississippi in all things drugs, education, drop-out rate, and teen pregnancy, I have to say that my kid’s only saving grace was that she won the charter school lottery (it’s random selection, not merit) and got place #73 out of 75 spots at one of the three charter middle/high schools in our school district. There were somewhere between 300 and 400 applicants for those 75 spots. I fault our governor, who waits until after the legislative session is over to sign or veto bills so there can’t be any overrides, and refuses to raise any tax rates whatsoever in an economy overly dependent on falling oil and gas revenues. If my kid had continued to the regular public school, I would have lost her, both academically and socially. I wholly support the public school system and wish I had faith enough in our local school to keep her in it, but the existing problems and entrenched unwillingness to find and implement appropriate solutions on the part of our republican administration means that I gotta do whatever I can to save my kid, including putting her in a charter school. I know this rankles some of the people commenting today, but I wanted to give a personal perspective. As a side note, I did everything I could on this side of the Hatch Act to encourage my Senators to vote against her (and they did).

  • Abbey Bartlet

    Two points:
    1) Re our earlier discussion, this seems to have been one of those times [note: season five, so post-Sorkin] maybe West Wing was not awful on race stuff (a point backed up by various blog posts/reviews I’ve seen; can’t link to many because filter, but here’s one):

    LEO: The House and Senate just passed the Emergency D.C. Supplemental Appropriation
    for Snow Removal.
    TOBY: And that’s the first bill signing we’re inviting the Mayor of Washington to?
    LEO: They attached a school voucher program to it.
    TOBY: Oh.
    LEO: We – I mean you – someone – has to talk to the Mayor before we veto it.

    JOSH: So, the President wants to issue a joint statement with you opposing the
    voucher rider on the snow removal appropriation.
    MAYOR [of DC, played by James Pickens, Jr.]: But I want the money.
    JOSH: Oh, we’ll get it for you eventually. We’ll just have to go through at least
    one round of the President vetoing it in order to get them to send us a
    clean bill with no vouchers attached.
    MAYOR: I want the voucher money, too.
    JOSH: Huh?
    MAYOR: I’d like the President to sign the bill with the vouchers.
    JOSH: Mr. Mayor, he’s vetoed every school vouchers bill they’ve sent him.
    MAYOR: I know, but this is just a pilot program, a little voucher experiment, help
    pay for maybe a couple hundred kids to go to private school, out of 68,000
    in the D.C. public school system.
    JOSH: We’re against vouchers, period. And by “we”, I mean the entire Democratic
    Party. You’re still a Democrat, right?
    MAYOR: This bill got 4 votes in the Senate and 42 in the House. Look, it wasn’t my
    idea to put Congress in control of the D.C. budget.
    JOSH: Then, help us fight them on this.
    MAYOR: Why don’t you help me get some kids a better education?

    MAYOR: I’m sorry, Mr. President, but we can argue this all night and I’m still not
    going to change my mind.
    BARTLET: Again.
    MAYOR: I’m not the only one. My school board president has changed her mind, too.
    JOSH: Jany…
    MAYOR: Scott.
    JOSH: She’s in favor of vouchers now? She used to rail against them.
    MAYOR: After six years of us promising to make schools better next year, we’re
    ready to give vouchers a try. We’re ready to give anything a try.
    BARTLET: You start handing out tuition vouchers for private school, you’re sending
    the message that it’s time to give up on public schools.
    MAYOR: With all due respect, Mr. President, no one gets to talk to me about giving
    up on public schools. I assume I’m the only person in this room who actually
    went to public school.
    BARTLET: And you couldn’t be a better advertisement for them.
    MAYOR: Kids weren’t bringing guns to school in my day.
    BARTLET: Republicans want to spend more on D.C. education, they should spend it on
    public schools.
    MAYOR: We spend over 13,000 per student, that’s more than anywhere else in the
    country, and we don’t have a lot to show for it.
    BARTLET: But if we start diverting money away from public schools, that’s the end of
    public education.
    MAYOR: This is extra money Republicans will give me for school vouchers, nothing else.
    BARTLET: They’re just using you to try and divide the Party.
    MAYOR: I’m the only mayor in America whose budget is controlled by Congress and
    the President. And you guys never fail to play political games over the city
    that I’m trying to run.
    BARTLET: Your Honor, I’m not trying to tell you how to run your city.
    MAYOR: Yes, you are, Mr. President. Congress is too, and I resent it. But this
    time they want to give me money that might actually help some students. I’m
    sorry. I don’t know how to refuse that.
    BARTLET: This is a pilot program?
    JOSH: Enough money for a couple hundred students.
    MAYOR: I have a few thousand names on the waiting list for vouchers already. Go
    into any one of my schools, ask kids who want to go to college what they
    think of vouchers. They’ll ask where they can sign up.
    BARTLET: Could you ask Charlie to come in, please?

    BARTLET: Tell us where you went to high school.
    CHARLIE: Roosevelt.
    BARTLET: A public school.
    CHARLIE: Yes, sir.
    MAYOR: Where’d you want to go, Charlie?
    CHARLIE: Gonzaga. A parochial school, near Union Station.
    MAYOR: Why?
    CHARLIE: There’s never been a shooting there. They don’t even have metal
    detectors. Almost everyone goes to college.
    MAYOR: Couldn’t afford it?
    CHARLIE: Couldn’t come close to affording it.
    BARTLET: You know what this meeting’s about?
    CHARLIE: Yes, sir. The mayor told me.
    BARTLET: What do you think about trying an experimental vouchers program for
    D.C. schools?
    CHARLIE: I wish they would have had one when I was in school.
    BARTLET:You planning on telling me that anytime soon?
    CHARLIE: Can’t say that I was, sir.
    BARTLET: Your Honor, I’m going to need your help putting out some fires within the
    Party on this one.
    MAYOR: You got it. Thank you, Mr. President.

    2) [tk]

  • Origami Isopod
  • los

    A key factor – also seen scattered in comments here – is the parents.

    Any “reform” depends on the parents, but too many parents can’t or won’t do what they need to do.

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