A conservative asked me why I hate Gerrymandering so much.
“When politicians are able to draw their own district lines, then they’re essenctially choosing their voters, instead of the voters choosing them.” I replied.
“Exactly,” he said, “and now you understand my gripe with public schools.”
OK, I get his point. If you want to send your kid to a different school to be with friends who don’t live in the same area, it’s near impossible. If you want to send your kid to a specific school because they excel at math or baseball or music, you have to basically move, and if you own your house…that sucks.
I’m going to repeat a quote I’ve been saying forever now:
If you have a leak in your roof, you don’t burn down your house and start from scratch, especially when you won’t have a place to live till it’s rebuilt. Instead…you fix the leak in your roof.
The vast majority of our public schools are NOT in a state of irreparability. To scrap the concept of public schools, a concept we’ve invested billions of taxpayer money into over the last century would be idiotic, espcially when they’re feeder schools for our universities (overall the best in the world). When properly mentored, the majority of our kids are able to compete in universities, so we’re doing the majority of things right in American public schools. On top of that, all the stats show that public schools in prosperous neighboods have exeecindgly high test scores, which shows funds and engaged parents and community make all the difference. Studies also show that over the last few years, graduation rates have gone up nation wide. Since lower income communities are scoring lower across the board (no matter the ethnicities of the neighborhoods) compared to their prosperous counterparts, it leads me to believe that the rise in graduation rates nation wide means that lower income communities are increasing their graduation rates, which means that the path we were on for the last 8 years was a good one. I’d hate to see a course change at the expense of America’s children.
Instead of burning public schools down and hoping for the best, I say we fix the roof, or in this case strengthen the leak that seems to have gotten patched. If that means taking a 2×4 to the teacher’s union, then so be it. If it means properly educating grownups to vote in their own self interest, so be it. If it means allowing specifc schools to have specialties and allowing kids and parents to choose their schools instead of the schools choosing them, so be it.
It won’t be easy, but nothing beneficial ever is in this damn country.