Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Who do we include in our community

Although Americans are currently politically polarized and divided on many issues the belief that the children in our community should be educated at public expense so that all are educated is one thing we all seem agree on. As proof of that check out this opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times that advocates closing the public schools.

link to article

The author, Jonah Goldberg, is not questioning the value of education. Mr. Goldberg argues that educating all the children is so important that it should not be done by the government, which he feels is inherently incompetent in everything it does, but by the private sector. He advocates the government cutting checks (apparently something he trusts the government to do well) for every child which would be used to pay for education provided by the private sector.

So, rather than public schools which accept all children, no questions asked, we would have a system in which a child is only provided an education if the parents are on a government list of some sort – the list from which the checks are printed. We don’t know if Mr. Goldberg sees it as a plus or minus that his system would not educate all of the children that the current system does since he does not discuss this

Local blogger, thescoundrel, in comments posted in response to my previous entry advocated not educating children of illegal immigrants. What Mr. Goldberg and thescoundrel seem to be working toward is a change in our definition of community. They think we are making a mistake to include everyone who lives and works here in our community – the community of people whose children we educate, the community of people we consider Americans, the people we consider "like us". They say this not racism or xenophobia and perhaps it is not. But it sure does not seem moral or ethical or right to me.


Anonymous said...

I didn't see anything in Jonah Goldberg's article about redefining who is eligible for education. And I don't think that support of school vouchers implies a "change in our definition of community".

I don't think it's true that public schools accept all children "no questions asked". When I register my children for public school I have to produce several documents to prove residency. The last thing the school district wants is to actually have to educate somebody who can't afford to live in the community.

Illinois has a voucher system (of sorts) which guarantees health insurance to all children under 18. The web page claims that immigration status does not affect eligibility, and that they do not report non-citizens to the INS. I think that state governments are (in general) less xenophobic than local governments.

I think a means tested voucher system, similar to AllKids, would serve the poor better than our current system. And I think that's what Jonah Goldberg is suggesting.


Jim Mowen said...

Foolish and poorly informed people have been led astray on the 'voucher' system. It helps the rich, the middle-calss and mostly it helps the poor.

Who suffers most in education today? The poor and minorities.

Which schools receive the least funding and the lesser amount of oversight? Those in poor and minority neighborhoods.

At first blush, the liberals of the world will debate this (as they debate most every statement of reason), but let's consider Rock Island schools...rattle off the Elementary Schools that you would want to send your child to and those west of 17th Street will all be at the tail end of the list.

Vouchers give the poor and the minorities a 'choice' to not get screwed over by the public school system.

Another instance where the masses listen to the Democrat leadership and follow them right off the cliff.

Let's face it, the Democrat politicians have a vested interest in keeping the welfare state alive - and poor education is a great first step.

Josh Curren said...

This is a Democrat blog. Democrats, almost across the board are aggressively AGAINST where is the debate to the last post.

It has been over a week and no comments - is it that there is no logical argument, is it that the liberals see the light?

Dave Barrett said...

I said everything I have to say in my post. What do you want me to do -- repeat it. If it did not convince you the first time why would repeating it make any difference?

Josh Curren said...


You did not say everything in your post. You did nbot address the issue that the poor get skewed in the present system and that vouchers would benefit the poor - and that Democrats still oppose vouchers.

Dave Barrett said...

josh curren,
I don't believe that the poor would be better served by a voucher system, but to argue that point with you strikes me as really boring and pointless.

Josh Curren said...


I believe that you are dodging a legitimate and needed debate, but arguing this piont seems boring and pointless.

Dave Barrett said...

I'll take it as a compliment that you think a discussion on this blog serves any purpose whatsoever.

Josh said...

I see that you still choose to defer backing up your assertion that the poor would not be better served with a voucher system - when an earlier post clearly indicated a case where you would be wrong...

RI schools - west of what 17th Street?

I see why you wish to avoid discussing this...

Dave Barrett said...

You assert public schools have failed the poor and a voucher system is the answer. I assert the opposite. I have matched you tit for tat. What more do you want from me?

Josh said...

You have to work on making a logical argument. Come on - give me a little more than your opinion, backed up by something more than - 'because I think so.'

Why do you think so - help me learn what you base your belief on (or are you just guessing)?


Dave Barrett said...

After you. Where is your logical argument. Why do you think the public schools have failed? What evidence do you have that vouchers would work better? Come on! All you have done is make assertions.

Josh said...


I started by agreeing with the post that discussed that public schools have let down the poor, the minorities.

Where would you rather send your kids to school - wealthy (and white) Bettendorf/ PV, or low/ middle income (and much higher black population) Rock Island?

In Rock Island, if you were to list the schools that you would send your child to, the schools west of 24th Street would be at the bottom of the list.

The poorer the area, the more minority the population - the worse the schools.

THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE NO CHOICE, these are the people that are getting screwed by the public school system.

These are the people that would benefit from vouchers.

Liberals have such a hatred for anyone that makes more money than them, they are willing to hurt the people that they (say) that they value, that they (say) that they want to help...the poor.

Touche! Now your thoughts?