There is evidence that public schools run by the parents and community were the most successful of their time. I refer to the one room country schools, sadly abolished decades ago. The IQ tests given draftees for the military in WWII (please note that there is general agreement that IQ tests measure achievement rather than potential) showed as much as a 20 point difference between draftees from the cities and draftees from the farms; those farm kids knew things the city kids didn't. The teachers had little training beyond high school. The parents were often unschooled themselves, even new immigrants. What kept the achievement high was a fixed and measurable curriculum - generally defined by a textbook - and a healthy skepticism of the need for everyone to learn at the same rate of speed. Its virtues remain to be actualized in our urban, overly administered, rigid public schools that, ignoring some exceptions (most of whom - viz. University High School - seem to step outside the box and teach each student rather than each class), are not doing well at all in terms of turning out good citizens who understand our nation.
Gosh, Tom, you make it easy to catch you in an inconsistency. You wouldn't vote for a dem "racist Know Nothings who bragged about how they were going to tear down the U.S. economy and ignore the United States Constitution"? You just did. Twice.
Absolutely on the mark, Tom. We should demand that the party leaders (the 'establishment') begin to do whatever is necessary to attract independents to select one or the other - or, failing that, to get together on a couple of major ideas and form a third party that will displace one of the existing parties. Reagan's comment that he only wants people who agree with him 80 percent of the time was blatantly wrong. We in either party should want people who agree with us 51 percent of the time! 'Other democracies' have chosen the parliamentary system which was rejected by our Founding Fathers. We could change to that system with a constitutional amendment that abolishes fixed terms for the Presidency, elects Congress during the same election as that of the President, and allows for whoever gets the most votes in the electoral college to serve, as long as he forms a majority coalition of the various minority parties that are elected at the same time.
I have always heard condemnation of the secularization and commercialization of Christmas. In my dotage, however, I would posit an alternative. The commercialization and secularization of Christmas actually demonstrates the prevailing influence of Christ in the world. His teachings achieve nearly universal acceptance at this season, and thereby demonstrate His lasting influence upon our culture, our world. Ignore the churches, ignore the preaching, ignore the repetitive songs and artistic celebrations when thinking this way. Someone has written 'Christmas is Giving'. It is a time for blessing each other, for showing you care. That happens to people whether they are involved in a church or not. In fact, even as some religions attempt to avoid participating in the traditional symbols - and I would go so far as to include the atheist in this! - their adherents are probably purchasing gifts for their loved ones, enjoying special moments of peace and conviviality, and in general choosing a life path not far removed from the one Christ laid out. Even as the schools and the judiciary try to quash the symbols and the art, the fundamental idea controls! It's reported that the substitute for 'Merry Christmas' this year is 'Happy Federal Holidays'! Even if that absurdity should prevail, Christmas will survive! Merry Christmas Everybody!
I wish the anti-NRA writers would consider that the NRA is not the force they claim it is! The NRA would be powerless if they were not representing a huge part of the population. All lobbyists' power stems from the officials' (lobby-ees???) fundamental agreement to the principles or causes that are being lobbied for. (Straighten out that sentence, Tom, if you can...) It might come as a surprise to discover that there are actually principled differences among serious and well-intentioned people. There are real issues. As to voting for McGovern, Tom, do you realize he commented that he would never have been able to get on the ballot without an anonymous ten million dollar contribution from a single individual? Check his comments against any limits on campaign donations and you'll be shocked!
Would anyone besides me have the guts to point out that not only are school administrators vastly overpaid, but teachers are in fact well paid and the moaning and groaning that they are suffering is crocodile tears at best. Salary schedules should be based upon the average of the people - that is, taxpayers - who are paying the salaries. The lowest rungs should be 10 percent above that average and the highest rung should be 60 percent above that average. In both cases, compute all benefits to come up with the figures. Administrators should not exceed double the average. Period. Public schools have plenty of money, they are just spending it where it is not needed. That's called waste.
The unstated assertion here is that low-paid teachers are poor teachers. I suspect there is an argument the other direction. Is it not verifiable that the highest paid teachers, nationally, are in the least effective districts?
All Comments »
Tucson Weekly |
7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 |
(520) 797-4384 |
Powered by Foundation