Columns

Don't Fall for the Liberal Pretense of Charter-School Support

By: Lloyd Brown | Posted: April 1, 2014 3:55 AM
From the Right Coast

In my lifelong study of the liberal mental process I've always been amazed at the ability some have to take a totally meaningless talking point or bumper sticker and run with it as if it were a showstopper.

Example: "Bush lied, people died." And a favorite during the Bush era – "Halliburton!" -- the very mention of a company's name being sufficient to set liberal heads nodding sagely, as if they had just found the philosopher's stone.

Liberals once pretended to welcome charter schools but, as charter schools began to attract more and more students away from failing traditional schools, began finding fault.

Currently, they are trying to muck up efforts to make the charter-school process in Florida fair. Districts elsewhere have been doing everything possible to block charter-school operations.

Anti-reform interests have seized upon a study purporting to show little difference between outcomes in charter schools and traditional government schools.

Great formulation. What does it mean? Another way to phrase it is that charter schools do as well as government schools. Hardly the point they want to make.

Liberals are not deterred. Engage in debate with one over the value of charter schools and he will sniff that "a study shows they are no better than public schools," as if that settled the matter and proved it was futile for parents to look to charter schools as an alternative.

They miss the point. The comparison is based on the average of each set of schools.

There are below-average, average and above-average schools in both groups, but note one important difference: Bad charter and private schools go out of business. Failing traditional schools rarely do.

The essential point is that children don't attend “averages.” They attend schools.

So, do parents yank their kids out of above-average traditional schools and send them packing to a below-average charter school? Of course not.

But parents concerned about their child's future, would transfer them from a failing government school where they are learning little or nothing and send them to a better charter school -- or private school if a voucher is available. (Liberals try to cut off that escape route, too.)

Parents who have the option might consider other factors in choosing a school, such as proximity to the home or their child's safety. If a kid is getting mugged or bullied by other children, and the traditional school authorities are doing nothing, concerned parents might choose a school that is slightly inferior educationally.

The bottom line: Children who are able to escape from a failing government school cannot be any worse off whether they choose a good, bad or indifferent alternative.

Choice infuriates liberals. The ultraliberal mayor of New York City is trying to destroy the popular charter schools to satisfy the powerful teacher unions that virtually run the city's schools.

Liberals can't deny choice to parents with the means to pay for a safe alternative where they can get as good or better education. But they can stop the poor from having a choice, by shutting down charter schools and opposing voucher programs tooth and nail.

It is sad that they engage in such mean behavior but pathetic that they use such vapid arguments to justify their actions.


Lloyd Brown was in the newspaper business nearly 50 years, beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. After retirement, he served as speech writer for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. 


Tags: News, Columns

Comments (2)

you cant get more liberal than Gulen
7:17AM APR 1ST 2014
In Florida former Education Commissioner Jim Horne is the charter School Conversion liaison pushing for-profit takeovers of public schools. Another person of interest in this movement is Gary Grappo [Google Gary Grappo – who was appointed Ambassador to Oman by President Bush (43)] Followers of the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen operate the largest number of charter schools in the US -- larger than KIPP or Green Dot or any other chain operation. Mr Gulen lives in his retreat in Pennsylvania. Followers are said to donate between 5% and 20% of their income to groups affiliated with the movement. The movement's schools usually boast hi-tech facilities, and many students are on scholarships funded by Gulen-inspired businessmen. Fatma Disli first came across the movement at a school it founded to help students pass university admissions tests. Turkish businessmen are attracted by what they see as Mr Gulen's international outlook and pragmatic approach to issues like using credit.
Besides noting U.S. charter school connections to the Fethullah Gülen Movement during her testimony in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case in Ohio on August 8, 2009,* former FBI language specialist-turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds...alleges a 1990s U.S./ Gülen al-Qaeda operation in Central Asian and a bribery scheme involving Indiana’s own U.S. House member Dan Burton.

Edmonds testified in candidate David Krikorian’s defense case... when Rep. Jean Schmidt, an Ohio Republican, filed charges against him for claiming, during a 2008 campaign bid, that she accepted money illegally from people with Turkey interests...

It seems Gülen and the U.S. State Department, from 1997 to 2001, had been training al-Qaeda in Central Asia, with the help of the Turkish military, Pakistani ISI, and Azerbaijan officials (96)... In a subsequent interview with retired CIA-counter-terrorism specialist Phil Giraldi (who believes her story), Edmonds details Gülen /U.S training missions and Turkish drug-smuggling into Chicago and Paterson New Jersey, two hot-beds of the Gülen Movement, each containing Fethullah’s followers’ charter schools...

Edmonds, before this interview took place, had been fired from the FBI in 2002 for revealing to higher ups security breaches and Turkish espionage at the bureau’s language division. This Turkish-American conspiracy included, as well, paying off U.S. officials to leak secrets and allow nuclear weapons technology to be sold on the Pakistani, Iranian, and North Korean black markets. Besides Dan Burton, others she implements include Illinois Republican Dennis Hastert, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, and Marc Grossman, Bush’s Deputy Undersecretary of State.

Edmonds has been gagged under a “state secrets privilege” order by the Bush Administration’s attorney general, John Ashcroft, from disclosing detailed information to the public, but her finger-pointing has been backed up or deemed credible by many, including the government’s own Department of Justice’s Inspector General and Senators Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley.

Gulen schools were investigated by the FBI last year for visa fraud (Gulen schools are one of the biggest users of H1b visas -- they say there are not enough STEM-qualified teachers in the US, so they have to recruit from Turkey. They recruit English teachers from Turkey as well.)

According to some teachers, 40% of the Turkish teachers' wages are kicked back to the administration.

It would be very interesting to know whether Gulen charter schools are used to raise money to further Gulen's global political/religious ambitions.
which is worse
6:17AM APR 1ST 2014
Oh no doubt a liberal can take any subject matter and skew it into something that makes no sense to anyone with gray matter.

But too can these Bush machine followers. It was they who wrote the Obama scripts. "It's Bush's fault!" They always share a certain amount of truth. Obama is doing exactly what his Bush masters are telling him to do. He is following in the footsteps of "Dubya."

George W. Bush - No Child Left Behind Act
Part D medicare prescription's paid

Barack Obama - Race To The Top
ObamaCare

Jeb Bush & Barack Obama - COMMON CORE

How do we know Obama is supporting Jeb Bush's Common core?
The 2009 Stimulus money was a reward for states for sign up for Common Core and Race To The Top is just more icing on the cake!

So here we have a Jeb Bush spokesman throwing out reverse spins like ""Bush lied, people died." And a favorite during the Bush era – "Halliburton!" --

Bush did lie, Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and Both Bush and Tony Blair knew they were lying in an attempt to gain support for the ground invasion of Iraq. Dick Cheny was a former big shot with "Halliburton."

Why didn't the Bush spin master Lloyd Brown mention "the Carlisle Group" and all it's Bush family connections? Because just like the liberals these scoundrels on the so called right always complaint about, they don't tell the truth, they read the scripts just like Obama reads his teleprompter!

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