Sutherland: Narrative, Schmarrative or Don’t Confuse Me With The Facts About Education

oreillyandmarysanchez

Bill O’Reilly does Mary Sanchez

 

One of the most discouraging things you can do if you’re interested in public affairs is to go to town hall meetings with your local member of Congress or one of your state’s U.S. Senators.  I went to such a forum with Kansas Rep. Vince Snowbarger during his one and only term in the House and it was a revelation.

A member of Dr. Bob Meneilly’s high tech hate-group, the former Mainstream Coalition, berated the Congressman for his supposed support of school vouchers.

The questioner insisted that this was the opening wedge of theocracy since vouchers could be used at schools with a religious affiliation.  When Snowbarger reiterated his OPPOSITION to school vouchers, pointing out how he’d always voted against such proposals while in the Kansas legislature, the questioner was non-plussed.

Vince explained his position that government funding meant government control and that private and parochial schools had to maintain their independence, even if that meant foregoing financial support from the government.  All the questioner could say in response was, “I don’t care what you say, I know how you really feel about supporting religious institutions with tax payer money!”

I thought of that vivid example of opinionated ignorance recently when reading two recent pieces in The Kansas City Star.

The first one appeared on October 15th written by the inimitable Mary Sanchez The article, “Education Policy Has Hurt Several Generations,” argues that declining test scores by American students relative to students in other countries are the result of a conscious decision by “an elite.”

Nowhere is the elite identified or defined by Sanchez.  Are we talking a political elite? A financial elite? A legal elite? A cultural or intellectual elite?  Could you please give some examples?

However I think I know who Sanchez means, i.e., whoever disagrees with the K.C. Star Editorial Board, that is, people like me!  What have we elitists done to warrant this attack?  We’ve set out to remake our country “into a plutocracy.”  How?  Again, I can only guess but I’d say we favor a top marginal income tax bracket of 35%, versus the 39.6% rate favored by the Party of Workers, Peasants, and Intellectuals.

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JB

I never understood how if the problem was that a larger and larger share of the national income, pre-tax, was going to those at the very top of the income scale, this would be altered by a modest increase in the top income tax rates.  If a no talent twerp like Justin Bieber makes $55 million a year, will he get paid any smaller share of the national income just because his taxes go up?  Will he earn less money (deserved or not) just because the taxes on what he earns go up slightly?

I know why so many are outraged that the CEO of McDonald’s made $13.5 million last year while workers at the restaurant chain make $7 or $8 an hour.  But why aren’t people equally outraged that our boy Justin B. took home a cool 55 big ones and Dr. Dre of headphone fame made $110,000,000 last year?  Why is anger at the plutocracy so selective in its application? (I won’t even mention the Kardashians!)

Sanchez goes onto conclude that part of the plutocratic project has been the degradation of our public education systems, specifically any policy that aims to produce equality of outcomes.  She claims that other countries do a better job of ensuring “equitable educational outcomes.”  Nowhere is there any attempt to specifically identify how “this elite,” wages war against policies that foster “equal” or “equitable” (assumed to be one and the same) outcomes.

I guess it has to do with favoring “Adjectives Over Arguments,” the heading of Sanchez’s article, but I’m not sure what that phrase means either.  (Don’t you use adjectives to make arguments?  How are the two word antonyms?)

I believe the logic of Ms. Sanchez’s article could be summed up as:  “Rich People are Bad Because They Want to Keep Their Money and Not Give It To The Democratic Party to Buy Votes.”  Ninety percent of the editorial positions of the Star could be explicated in that pithy apothegm.

As a guide to public policy it’s a little vague, even though it has a satisfying emotional clarity to it.  For a fuller explication, you had to wait until November 12th, when the Star ran a second opinion piece by a N.Y. Times writer, Eduardo Porter.  This time, the message came with admirable directness:

“Public Schools Still Favor The Rich”

Mr. Porter tells us that; “public resources devoted to education lean so decisively in favor of the better off.”  He reiterates the point that; “(A)s income and wealth continue to flow to the richest families in the richest neighborhoods, public education appears to be more of a force contributing to the inequality of income and opportunity, rather than helping to relieve it.”

Porter concludes that gaps in educational achievement and in the resulting economic inequality between the rich and poor will only get worse until the “lopsided funding of education changes.”

Although both Porter and Sanchez purport to address the situation in Kansas and Missouri, these descriptions have no relation to the reality here. In fact, for years the whole thrust of state politics in these two states (and in virtually every other state I’m familiar with) has been to alleviate the disparity between levels of educational funding in school districts serving the rich and the poor.

Bullock

Bullock

This trend started in Kansas more than forty years ago with the filing of Caldwell v. State, a Johnson County District Court case.  As a result of the decision in the trial court, the Kansas legislature passed the School District Equalization Act, which tried to rectify funding differences between districts based on their wealth.  Over the next four decades there have been a series of court decisions (e.g. Montoy v. State, I, II, III & IV),usually issued out of Shawnee County District Court,usually involving Judge Terry Bullock of that Court.

The net effect of all these cases has been to have the Kansas judiciary order the Kansas legislature to increase taxes for and spending on education.  For example education spending has increased by 2.5 billion dollars from 1998 to 2011 (from 3.1 billion to 5.6 billion) as a result of these court ordered mandates.

Taxes have increased dramatically in Johnson County to pay to bring the rest of the state up to the standard of a “suitable” and “appropriate” education.  Sales taxes are now near New York City levels in several municipalities.  Real property taxes in Johnson County have gone up twelve fold, and now are significantly higher than expensive areas like the Hamptons of Long Island.  The Kansas State income tax rates are high compared to surrounding states in our region, and for years were even higher than a blue state like Illinois.

All this has been done with the goal of equalizing education spending throughout the state between poor districts (e.g. Kansas City, Kansas) and rich ones (e.g. Blue Valley).

TrashRussellClarkAt the same time all this was going on in the Sunflower State, the Show-Me State was going through its own process of educational leveling.  The Kansas City school desegregation case started in federal court (the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri) in 1977.  Judge Russell Clark, like his Jayhawk counter-part Terry Bullock, has repeatedly issued rulings requiring increases in taxes and spending state wide to dramatically increase funding for Kansas City, Missouri public schools.  Since the same process was underway in St. Louis, the end result was that 44% of the educational spending in Missouri was going to two school districts that enrolled only 10% of the students.

Leaving aside the question of what the citizens of Kansas and Missouri got for their 10 billion dollars of court ordered spending, how can anyone claim that all this expenditure of time and resources was a cruel hoax by “the rich” or “the elite” to cheat poor children?

The constant use of the term “the narrative” (a prime example of literary jargon) by liberal commentators is actually very useful in explaining this seeming disconnect.  The term is simply a pretentious academic way of saying “my story” or “my version of what happened.”  What the factual record actually shows is less important than their version of what happened.

Like the cretinous supporter of Dr. Bob M. (the left-of-center answer to Jerry Falwell), don’t confuse them with the facts!  It’s “the narrative” that matters, the politically correct depiction of history rather than the actual record.  Only publications like the K.C. Star and N.Y. Times could get away with such mendacity

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27 Responses to Sutherland: Narrative, Schmarrative or Don’t Confuse Me With The Facts About Education

  1. chuck says:

    Dead on the money. The Cato Institute’s scathing idictment of the KC School District and the folks who poured billions down an “Equal Outcome” effort is worth a read for those interested in Education and the relation of money to same.

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-298.html

  2. Orphan of the Road says:

    Look for a further dumbing down of students as new text books bring an anti-science bias to schools across the Nation as Texas’ absurd teaching standards infect all districts. Texas is the largest buyer of elementary and high school textbooks.

    Probably not a more important vote than for school board members. But the public puts a low priority on it. The money spent by school boards is astronomical with little to show for it.

    The ideological war between the the extreme right and left has put the job of educating children on a back burner. Add in school administrations’ obvious bias towards teachers over educating students and you see why Johnny and Jane perform poorly.

    The idea that more money is all a district needs to get better results preys on the good nature of citizens who want children educated. That good nature is exploited by politicians and school administrators to line their pockets at the expense of the children and taxpayers.

    According to Sanchez and the other winger Liberals, if I had more money than Sebastian Vettel’s Formula One team, I could be the next champion.

    It’s enough to make a romantic cynic cry.

  3. Jimbo OPKS says:

    I was a taxpayer and homeowner in the KCPS during Judge Clark’s bull crap rule. There were NO limits to the money that was spent on the young scholars in the KCPS.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      There were NO limits to the money spent using the young scholars welfare as the reasons to funnel money into the flavor-of-the-month programs, consultant work and paying the revolving door of over paid superintendents.

  4. Paul says:

    Speaking for the Missouri side, we’ve proven that we can equalize education spending through legislation, at least for as long as legislators fully fund the formulas they develop. The last two formulas have only been fully funded for two to three years.

    What we haven’t figured out, at least in our largest urban school districts, is how to get kids to school every day and how to get parents to play an active role in their kids’ educations. I don’t want to absolve our schools. Some have done a terrible job of preparing kids with the basics. Social promotion is a big issue. Schools don’t help kids see the relevance of education. The difference between Kansas City and Lee’s Summit, however, isn’t the teachers and administrators. It’s the mindset in the home. More Lee’s Summit parents place a high priority on education than parents in KCMO.

    One of the biggest national success stories is the Harlem Children’s Zone in NYC. Founder Geoffrey Canada figured out that if he was going to help inner-city kids succeed he had to begin from birth. HCZ families are required to be involved in extensive early childhood education, with the promised return being their kids will succeed after graduation. His track record is impressive, and sheds light on what we need to do to help more kids succeed in our urban centers. It’s not about spending more money, but rather about spending money right.

  5. the dude says:

    Question: Why should federal money go to fund private schools? It shouldn’t as long as we wish to keep the mandate of free public schooling to the secondary level.

    • Jimbo OPKS says:

      I would just like to be able to deduct private school tuition. We sent our daughter to Aquinas and they managed to do a good job for much less than the Blue Valley Schools charge. The State of KS saved money so where is my cut?

  6. Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. says:

    Folks,before we can decide if the money was well spent or squandered we have to reach a threshold finding that the money WAS spent! (Sanchez,Porter,and company don’t even want to concede that!) That is what is almost frightening about the people down at the Star,they seem to be living in a parallel universe in which the policies they favor never fail because they were poorly designed or executed but only because of sabotage by “Enemies Of The People”.Listening to their excuses about Obamacare reminds me of Soviet propagandists blaming the famines in Russia on “kulaks”or “wreckers” or “petty bourgeoise elements”. Same thing on education spending!

    • Jimbo OPKS says:

      Seriously Dwight. It is always, “we needed the last $10 of $10,000 that would have made the program succeed and it failed because you Republicans hate teachers, hate school kids, and you would all like to put kids in far-right Christo fascist concentration camps.”
      The Star refuses to recognize that it got the blank check with the de-seg lawsuit and it failed. You will never get a book such as The God That Failed from these folks. All of their propositions are non-falsifiable.

  7. Lee says:

    Yes, Dwight. I am so sorry you suffered all during your public school career. Refresh my memory, please; which highly over funded public high school did you graduate from?

    As for all of you haters of Judge Clark, did any one of you ever actually see the inside of any of the schools that were basically used for blacks only? I did. They were so bad, they should have been condemned. Plumbing that didn’t work, mold and mildew from leaking roofs everywhere, inadequate heating in the winter, plaster crumbling, out of dates books and equipment, etc. The buildings were basically falling apart. Then compare them to Southwest HS or the other white schools. It was a disgrace which many conservatives would like to ignore.

    Since Dwight has so much time on his hands, I suggest he go review the court records of the desegregation case because I know there were hundreds of photographs in evidence you can peruse. I actually visited one of the schools.

    Hearne. If you want to give a podium to someone who deserves it, how about giving it to Arthur Benson instead of this whiner Dwight. I think a lot of people need to be reminded of how bad it really was. And BTW, I have met Mr. Benson perhaps once and I doubt he would even know who I am. Actually, the Star should do this as a public service.

    This was the result of pure racism by the white city council and education board who just didn’t want to waste money educating blacks when all they were good for was to have illegitimate children and go on welfare.

    While some of the court ordered spending was excessive and stupid (like a working farm), 95+% of it was completely necessary. Unfortunately, the 5% stupidity is the tail wagging the dog in the conservative narrative about how un-elected federal judges want to usurp all our rights. Furthermore, the teacher’s unions did no one any favors but that’s another story for all the union haters.

    Hey Dwight! Did you graduate from one of those black schools or did your wealthy, elitist, country club family send you somewhere else? Inquiring minds want to know. It always amuses me how children of wealthy elitist society families who were born on third base think they got there by hitting a triple all by themselves.

    While I am not as familiar with the Kansas case, let’s suppose you have a very wealthy Kansas county, such as Johnson County which has high property values and can generously fund the SM and BV schools so that they want for nothing–big new shiny buildings, lots of new and upgraded equipment, reasonably well paid teachers, lots of money for activities and sports. Then, let’s say, you have some other Kansas County out in the middle of nowhere with very low property values and crappy schools due to a lack of money.

    Please explain to me, aside from a Darwinian explanation, why some dirt poor Kansas high schooler should be treated so much differently in one county than the other–mainly due to where he was born and lives. It is my understanding that the Kansas courts told the legislature to see that all Kansas students should be treated equally in terms of their education. This was a highly radical ruling–treat people equally based on citizenship as opposed to how wealthy their parents are and where their wealthy parents can afford to live.

    It is also my understanding that the legislature has done a piss poor job of rectifying the problem since Brownback wants to cut taxes instead of providing good education to kansas students. The courts are pissed at this and the legislature is pissed at the courts. It should be fun to see this played out over the next generation while many students continue to be poorly educated as a result

    Sorry if my rambling response could have been better organized or written. I just didn’t have enough time to more carefully craft my words.

    • chuck says:

      Your response is a scatter gun attack on a number of issues and people. I DO know this. I taught in the KCSD in the late 70’s and the problem with a decent education, had zilch to do with money. But, for an anecdotal take on same, I was in retail during Judge Clark’s reign of monetary madness and I saw hundreds of employees of the KC School Dist and the actual KC School District pouring stacks of cash into electronics for personal use . Judge Clark did a hell of a lot for retail in KC, not much for students. I remember talking to some kid who was going to decamp to fu*king France for Chrissakes and learn how to fence. Thats right, the KCSD sent kids to Europe who couldn’t read or write, to learn how to fence. The taxpayers were definitely foiled.

      Here is a letter from a Baltimore teacher, who in response to accusations of educational standards and results, wrote into the paper. It is short and worth the read, in my opinion.

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/a-brave-baltimore-teacher-speaks-the-truth-about-schools-students/article/2533752

      • chuck says:

        By the way, just for the record, I was a Ruskin Eagle high school drop out. Just made it through the first half of my sophmore year.

    • Jimbo OPKS says:

      Van Horn class of 1975 here.
      “This was the result of pure racism by the white city council and education board who just didn’t want to waste money educating blacks when all they were good for was to have illegitimate children and go on welfare.”
      If you know so much then you know that in 1975 the city council was not white. You also know that the city council has exactly zero influence on the schools. And election board, WTF?

      “While some of the court ordered spending was excessive and stupid (like a working farm), 95+% of it was completely necessary. Unfortunately, the 5% stupidity is the tail wagging the dog in the conservative narrative about how un-elected federal judges want to usurp all our rights. ”
      95% was completely necessary? Oh please, I worked with an engineering explorer post at Southeast in the late 70’s. The facilities there were exactly like those at Southwest and VanHorn. It wasn’t just the working farm, it was the fencing. It was the Olympic theme. One of the few magnets that made sense, the SW STEM theme, was eliminated because of “unintended resegregative effects.”

      In a just nation, Judge Clark would have been impeached for unjustly raising my property taxes.

  8. John Altevogt says:

    A couple of minor disagreements.

    Bob Meneilly is far more comparable to a Fred Phelps than a Jerry Falwell. Falwell was a Christian and more of a policy wonk, Meneilly, like Phelps is a heretic and a bigot.

    Re: the McDonalds comparison. The differential is very justifiable. The CEO runs a smoothly operating multi-billion dollar corporation, the people working in the stores for $7-8 are performing tasks that have been routinized to the point a retarded ape could perform them. They were designed for kids in high school to earn gas money, and not for adults supporting a family.

    As for the two judges, both should clearly have been drug into the public square and hung from the highest tree along with any other Communist present in the courthouse.

    Clearly your recent visit back east has caused you to absorb some horrendous liberal sensitivities through osmosis. I suggest we arrange for a luncheon therapy session to get your mind back in tune with our delightful midwest traditions.

  9. Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. says:

    Where did I say that equalizing funding between schools in rich and poor districts was not the only fair and honorable thing to do? Obviously the facilities in the inner city schools needed desperately to be brought up to speed,particularly in Missouri,which was suffering from the legacy of segregation as a former slave state. Why is it that merely suggesting that our two states deserve some credit for making serious efforts to address these problems angers you to such a degree? Second point-I’m actually glad that you brought up the sainted Bing Benson and made knowing allusions to my supposed silver spoon upbringing. The bulk of my education was in public institutions, the Shawnee Mission Schools and the University of Kansas,although I did attend private institutions as well. My grandmother was a public high school teacher,my mother and my wife were volunteers in our local schools,and my daughter was a teacher.Thus I am hard pressed to understand why you think I am hostile to public education! I am willing to bet you a steak dinner at the Majestic Steakhouse that I spent more time in public schools than Mr. Benson. I also sent my own children to public schools,unlike Mr. Benson,who added insult to injury by sending HIS kids to private schools after his litigation effectively destroyed the KCMO public schools and he made a seven figure sum in legal fees for the privilege. Third point-I sense a large amount of defensiveness behind your bluster.I never even got to the point that money spent does not always result in educational quality,either in the poorest ghetto or the poshest suburb.My only intent was to show that here in Kansas and Missouri we saw we had a problem forty years ago and have made heroic,ongoing efforts to address it,contrary to what is boldly asserted to the two opinion pieces in the Star.

  10. chuck says:

    This teacher from LA just kills it.

    http://www.amren.com/features/2012/08/education-fraud-in-la-public-schools/

    It’s like communist reeducation camps.

  11. chuck says:

    In Chicago, the money spent on kids is far greater than money spent in rural areas.

    http://www.isbe.net/finance/verification.htm

    “Chicago public schools are some of the most lavishly funded public schools in the nation! Per pupil spending in 2011 averaged a staggering 13,432.53. Teachers and administrators in the Chicago public school system enjoy some of the highest salaries in the nation. Some administrators make over $200k a year. The state average per pupil spending is 11,841.53. Tax dollars from all over the state are being diverted to Chicago and lavished on the “poor black and brown children.” White children in rural areas of southern Illinois receive a third less money that what children in Chicago receive.”

    CBS quotes Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, where she points her finger at the usual suspects.

    “She said inequality has prevented people from embracing more revenue for schools through higher property taxes.

    “If you look at the majority of the tax base for property taxes in Chicago, they’re mostly white, who don’t have a real interest in paying for the education of poor black and brown children,” she said.

    She offered suggestions for school funding instead of more cuts and layoffs – pointing instead to TIF funds, taxes on commuters and financial trades, and what she called a more equitable tax system to bring in billions of dollars for schools.”

    Teacher’s Unions, of which I was once a member, are a business. I knew and know for the most part, motivated and hard working teachers, but strictured by the protocols mentioned by the LA teacher I noted above and the politically correct atmosphere that cellularly permeates the halls of academe, erudition is not now, nor has it been for a while, a top priority. The “post hoc ergo propter hoc” white guilt paradigm destroys any possibility of a quality education for inner city students. Built in excuses for failure are a penultimate factor in the espexted coda, failure, failure, failure.

    Our American culture, diseased and necrotic from irrational ethnomasochistic self flagellation flounders in a civil rights cesspool of our own making while the students in our nations schools suffer.

  12. chuck says:

    In Illinois, those same teachers who have some of the highest salaries in the US, are being threatened with the loss or reduction of pensions.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-05/pension-threats-in-illinois-detroit-rattle-government-workers.html

    “In Illinois, lawmakers decided to limit annual cost-of-living allowances and raise the retirement age for some workers. That would produce the bulk of $160 billion of savings during the next 30 years, according to the plan.

    Other states and cities are likely to go down the same path as Illinois, said Charles Craver, a labor law professor at George Washington University in Washington.

    “All the power has gone from the employees back to the employer,” Craver said in a telephone interview. “I can’t remember any period when I think workers are so threatened.”

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement after the Illinois pension changes passed. He said the crisis is not truly solved “until relief is brought to Chicago and all of the other local governments across our state that are standing on the brink of a fiscal cliff because of our pension liabilities.”

    Chicago and surrounding Cook County have the largest pension burdens among the 50 most indebted U.S. local governments, according to Moody’s Investors Service. ”

    I bring this up, because in my opinion, teacher accountability in conjuction with increased salaries rewarding the best teachers, is far more important than throwing cash around.

    • Stomper says:

      Chuck; You have made some solid points here that I agree with;

      * Teachers unions and tenure have done little if anything to benefit the students in the classroom. Teacher accountability is crucial.

      * All the money in the world, in and of itself, did not and will not solve the train wreck that is the KCMo school district.

      * Common Core, while noble in its’ attempt to focus students on critical thinking, has some serious issues to address. Just like “No Child Left Behind” while noble in its’ intent, caused some serious and negative side effects.

      However I also think you have overly politicized the issue here.

      * If I had linked articles on the issue to the KC Star, MSNBC, or even the Huffington Post, I would get shouted down as a left wing, communist sympathizer. Yet you link us to articles from the Washington Examiner, American Renaissance, and the Cato Institute. Talk about right wing drivel.

      * You criticize Lee as taking a scatter gun attack on a number of issues and people. My take on Dwight’s posting was that it was also a scatter gun attack on those he viewed as irritants ( Meneilly, Mary Sanchez, KC Star editorial board, Eduardo Porter, Judges Bullock and Clark, and even took time to trash Justin Beiber and Dr. Dre) He even came back in a comment to trash Obamacare.

      I’d hope the topic would generate some rational suggestions for solutions to an obvious problem as opposed to highly partisan attacks. Paul probably made two of the better points I’ve read here. Money does play a role but it needs to be spent correctly and not just thrown at the problem. The 800 pound gorilla in the room is that parents playing an active role in the process is the key to any hope for success.

    • Jimbo OPKS says:

      Chuck, stop or they will have to invoke the Mercy Rule.

  13. chuck says:

    Mr. Stomper–

    “If I had linked articles on the issue to the KC Star, MSNBC, or even the Huffington Post, I would get shouted down as a left wing, communist sympathizer. Yet you link us to articles from the Washington Examiner, American Renaissance, and the Cato Institute. Talk about right wing drivel.”

    Go ahead and link them. Lets hear it, I wanna be wrong, not right. My vision of where this country is headed is less than sanguine. Put a smile on my face.

    “You criticize Lee as taking a scatter gun attack on a number of issues and people. My take on Dwight’s posting was that it was also a scatter gun attack on those he viewed as irritants ( Meneilly, Mary Sanchez, KC Star editorial board, Eduardo Porter, Judges Bullock and Clark, and even took time to trash Justin Beiber and Dr. Dre) He even came back in a comment to trash Obamacare. ”

    Ok, fair enough.

    “The 800 pound gorilla in the room is that parents playing an active role in the process is the key to any hope for success.”

    This is exactly what I am talking about. There has not been, nor is there now, or should we expect an epiphany from the parents you mention. It will NOT change. As I said, “The “post hoc ergo propter hoc” white guilt paradigm destroys any possibility of a quality education for inner city students. Built in excuses for failure are a penultimate factor in the espected coda, failure, failure, failure.

    Our American culture, diseased and necrotic from irrational ethnomasochistic self flagellation flounders in a civil rights cesspool of our own making while the students in our nations schools.”

    The culture is the problem and the folks in charge of the culture, The 4th Estate, Hollywood, Local and National politicians, and the new demographic find a far easier row to how with the status quo.

    • Stomper says:

      Thanks Chuck; Wow, your penultimate paragraph was quite a masterpiece. Looks like maybe a word was missing at the very end ( maybe the word might be “suffer” or “fail”) but still impressive.

      Not sure I’m quite as pessimistic as you are on the possibilities of inner city parents stepping up but agree that it’s an uphill battle. Glad we agree it’s a crticial component.

      You did make a couple of comments earlier that seemed mutually exclusive. I’m sure there is something missing you didn’t share. You said you taught in the KCSD in one comment and then shared you were a high school drop out in the next. I’m confident you picked up the ball somewhere in between. You’re obviously a prolific reader.

      I hope all the important players here ( students, teachers, parents, school boards, state legislatures, business, Washington, etc.) can work together going forward to find a solution that might make your vision for where our country is headed a bit more sanguine.

      Chuck, I always enjoy reading your posts. In shear volume, there is only one or two other commentors that come close. While Paul Wilson’s goal is to get Mysterious J to finish one of his pieces, my goal is to bring you back a step or two from the dark side. I haven’t read all of her work and don’t always agree with her 100% but I have a great respect for the opinions of Diane Ravitch with regards to issues on education. Have you read any of her stuff?

      • chuck says:

        I will look her up and check her out.

        I had to enter the service in 1969, then, after discharge in 73, I went to UMKC and picked up a degree in Education and History.

        🙂

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