Saturday, May 14, 2011

Neal Boortz: No choice in a government school.

Many thanks to one of our keen readers for bringing this editiorial to light for our readers.

By Neal Boortz For The AJC.

Earlier this week a news story came along that gave me another opportunity to do one of my favorite things — rant against government schools. If parents understood the damage that has been done to our republic through government control of education things might change. Big “if.” The story told us of some real angry housewives of Atlanta who are upset with the Fulton County Board of Education changing school attendance maps. These dedicated moms were screaming about their children being moved from one school to another and separated from their friends. Yeah, I know. You’ve heard this before.

Sorry, ladies, but just what did you expect after you abandoned your parental responsibilities by subjecting your children to these hideous government indoctrination centers we insist on calling “schools.” You blissfully glide along year after year believing that your child is actually being educated, and then suddenly you start spinning around on your eyebrows when the government determines that they will be sent to a different school than the one they attended last year? Grade inflation doesn’t bother you? How about cheating scandals? But change your child’s school and it’s the end of the world?

The first question is why are your children in a government school to begin with? Hopefully you aren’t one of those parents who realizes that most government schools are terrible, but believes that the particular school your child attends is so far above the rest that neither you nor your child has anything to worry about. Do you really believe that? Or do you just WANT to believe that?

So now your child is going to have to attend a strange school next year, and you’re upset. Pardon me for asking, but just how many letters have you written to your elected leaders asking for school choice? How many groups do you belong to that promote school choice? How many times have you spoken to your friends and business associates about school choice and vouchers that allow parents to choose which schools their children will attend? My guess is that your answers to these questions are none, none and never — or maybe just, “Huh?” But now you are whining because the government to which you surrendered your children without complaint has changed your child’s school.

Cry me a river.

Here’s a basic difference between American government schools and the schools you find in many places in Europe (where, by the way, they do a much better job): Here the child follows the money. There the money follows the child. Let me explain.

In many European countries, as here, you pay your school taxes. The bureaucrats then decide how much will be spent to educate each child. In America the bureaucrats send the money to a specific school and tell you that’s where your child must go. Across the pond the bureaucrats wait until the parent has decided on a school, based on whatever criteria is important to the parent, and then send the money chasing after the child. It’s called school choice. Perhaps you’ve heard that phrase before. Teachers’ unions have, and they hate it. They don’t want to have to compete for the money you’ve paid for your child’s education. You, however, SHOULD want to them to compete. Competition breeds innovation and excellence — two concepts foreign to today’s government schools.

Why my dislike of government schools? The type of electorate that can put a President Barack Obama into the White House had to come from somewhere. The common denominator is government education. As Thomas Sowell has written, our schools produce people with “neither the skills to be economically productive nor the intellectual development to make them discerning citizens and voters.”

But for some parents it’s all about where they go, not what they learn.


Anonymous said...

Ain't it the truth.

I meant, it is the truth.

Went to public school, my bad.

Anonymous said...

Article is "racist trash".

Anonymous said...

The "race" card is beyond getting old every time someone has a differing opinion, really, Americans are sick of it.

I suppose that's a racist comment as well.

Anonymous said...

I'd say it is "class trash," since there would likely be selective criteria for determing who would attend the best schools (e.g., academic skill level or more expensive schools). Many studies have shown that children who have strong parental involvement and academic exposure tend to do better in school.

Anonymous said...

In another state/county, you could trust that local school officials and active community members would look out for all children, but we know that won't really happen up here, considering the last few months i.e. redistricting and the ugly little (big) heads in NW Fulton rising to the surface in the process. It is beginning to smell like segregation. Large subdivisions like White Columns will continue to have the "final say". Watch what happens in the next few weeks; White Columns will be back in the Milton HS district map.

Anonymous said...

2:06, I think you are right. Unfortunately, all is not equal in the U.S.A. since people start off at different economic, educational, motivational, etc. levels. In addition, institutionalized racism does exist. However, many people fail to address or even acknowledge such issues. For these reasons, the end result will look like segregation.

Anonymous said...

It's all about what school and not about what the schools are filling are kids heads with, boort is right on, the comments here prove it. There also is someone bent on not wanting white columns to go to the closest school to them 1.7 miles from the school on the same road....but will make accusations of racism if WC does go to the closest school and not have to add to the west to east traffic, it has to be racism if they somehow want and should go to the school closest to them. how Utterly absurd.

Class warfare that some on this blog just has to have white columns go to Bethany otherwise they would have to go to school with some mobility kids, those kids, and it appears someone is trying their darndest to keep them out of Bethany. That is how it appears WC got sent to Bethany.

Anonymous said...

What other state or county can we trust government to look out for all our children? Did u actually mix the word trust with government??

r u a government employee or union worker?

Anonymous said...

Neither, was once a KKK member.

Anonymous said...

White Columns fails to understand they will go to the Freemanville middle in 2013, so they will never have the feeder pattern of Northwestern/Milton High again. It is a no win situation.

Anonymous said...

Gee how do you know so much?
The issue for them isn't the feeder.

Anonymous said...

Bethany will have a better reputation than Milton in the long run anyway.

Anonymous said...

The BOE has zero money to build a new school anywhere, and after this redistricting debacle they won't get SPLOST dollars for sure.

Anonymous said...

Why will they have a better reputation, how so? What are you basing that comment on?

Anonymous said...

Due to demographics meaning socio-economic not race. Milton now picks up more of Roswell and the city of Alpharetta area surrounding 400 is going to get more dense with a more transient population. Rentals are becoming scarce so there will be more apartments and it will be in that Westside corridor. Bethany doesn't get very close to 400 and is almost exclusively city of Milton which is anti-growth and density.

Anonymous said...

Oh, thanks for making it crystal clear why you think Bethany will be better in the long run. That explains why a certain group of women who met with the mayor of Milton, and been chewing on the ear of Katie Reeves, are hell bent on going to all of these meetings Katie Reeves has all over the place countering the legitimate concerns of other neighborhoods wanting to go to the school closest to them.

It is not about which school will be better, they will both be great schools which everyone agrees.

However, for those who will attend Bethany in all 4 maps released, it clearly isn't about traffic, or child safety for you, it's about making Bethany populated with elite white students who's parents average income is well into the six figures.

These women traveling round like a bunch of gypsies to all these meetings have one goal in mind, it has now been made so clear by a blogger. They and the BOE are participating in class war fare and discrimination against the lesser fortunate children in Alpharetta.

Anonymous said...

socio-economic is code for race.

It's just a gentler kinder word.

Anonymous said...

What the heck are you talking about? What women? Exactly who has that much say so on this?

Anonymous said...

As for the race issue, you're late by a few decades. Yes 40 years ago white flight to suburbs was to avoid blacks but check the latest census. The biggest influx to wealthy Atlanta suburbs in the last decade was from wealthy blacks. Go see the schools in Appalachia, they're almost all white and are among the worst in the nation. Sadly, the no. 1 determinant of social class is your parent's social class.

Glad I could enlighten you that test scores and socio-economics (wealth) are highly correlated, apparently you ended up in North Fulton due to the great roads and lack of traffic. Yes it's all about the money. Also , I mentioned the earlier point because I haven't heard of a single person lobbying to get into Bethany Bend only to get into Milton and the irony is that Bethany Bend may end up with better scores in the long term.

Anonymous said...

11:43, you are presenting facts inaccurately. Yes, it is true that socio-economic level correlates highly with test scores and overall educational positive outcomes. However, you are grossly misrepresenting, the number of African-Americans who are wealthy and therefore reap the benefits of a good education for their children. That is, there is still a disproportionate number of minorities (i.e., African-Americans and Hispanics) who receive an inadequate education at substandard schools compared to caucasians. To further illustrate this point, just look at the number of Hispanic and African-American students in Milton schools; that number is not representative of the American population.

Is this situation a direct result of racism? Perhaps it is not, but institutionalized racism is definitely a contributing factor. race relevant when discussing this topic? Yes!

Anonymous said...

"2:40", no question whites are disproportionately wealthier than minorities. I fail to see the relevance of your response however. The simple point I was making is this, any child (minority or otherwise) living in a wealthy subdivision is very likely to score higher on test scores than any child (white or otherwise) in an apartment complex. Therefore assuming all else being equal, the school with a higher proportion of apartments is going to score lower on achievement tests.

People fighting to stay in Milton might actually be shooting themselves in the foot. Of course at the end of the day there isn't much difference in any of the North Fulton schools which is partly why this is all so comical (Newsweek Top US High Schools: Milton 318, Alpharetta 352, Chattahoochee 404, Roswell 412, Northview 424).

Anonymous said...

3:27, in your 11:43 post you stated that race was not an issue in this topic. Then you said you were enlightening someone regarding the high correlation between socio-economic level and tests scores. Honestly, that is common knowledge. In any case, I think you were commenting on 5:21's, post. While I do not think that socio-economic level is always a "code word" for race in Milton, I think 5:21 made a valid point, since most of the people who live in town homes (and less desirable areas) are minorities.

However, I do agree with you that both Milton and the new high school will be among the best schools in the state and country.

Also, many families choose to live in Milton (whether wealthy or not) because of the good schools. Given this reason, people should not automatically assume that because a family lives in a less desirable part of the city, they are less committed to their child's education.

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