Thursday, September 11, 2008

Politicians and Private Schools

I don't think you can "support" public education while sending your child to private school. The hypocrisy is clear. Sure, as a politician you can vote other people's money for public schools, but by sending your own kids somewhere else you're sending a message about "good enough for thee, but not for me".

Of course the NEA supports no one but Democrats for national office, and all of them send their kids to private schools. "Do as I say, not as I do." Obama is yet another in a long line.

Here's a defense of Obama's sending his kids to private school. In my opinion it's a weak defense, but I post it here anyway as others may disagree with me. (You may have to scroll down a few posts to get to the one under discussion.)


KauaiMark said...

"...people's money for private schools"

I think you meant to say:
...people's money for public schools

brain fart! :)

Darren said...

Correct--and corrected. Thank you.

JoeH said...

You are right on the hypocrisy displayed by Obama’s in that Chicago Public Schools are so rancid he should support a way out for those who don’t have the where with all i.e., vouchers. However, there’s always one of those isn’t there, were I a Chicago resident with children I would sacrifice almost all I had to send them to any school short of a madras and I think Obama is making the right choice for his kids. He is taking a clue from hypocritical public school teachers in Chicago, 40% of who opt out of the system as well. A minor positive is that with his kids in private schools, the system still gets some of Obama’s taxes to “educate” those who are stuck or should I say condemned, to CPS.

Footnote, I am a Chicago are resident who follows the foibles of the system

Darren said...

Thank you, JoeH. It looks like we agree.

Anonymous said...

Can one "support" public education while homeschooling?

-Mark Roulo

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? Obama pays his taxes to support public education, while not taking up a space. He then pays extra to send his kids elsewhere. That's not hypocrisy --it's a combination of wealth,concern for his kids, and an understanding that his schools aren't performing. Hypocrisy would be funding education for his kids while denying it to others. If he were actively trying to undermine the educational system, I'd see your point.

And, please understand -- I'm a teacher who fully supports a voucher system. The only problem is, no politician has ever proposed a voucher system -- all I've seen is programs that give enough money to offer an effective tax credit to the rich whose kids are already in private school, while not being enough to allow the poor to enroll their kids in private school. That is hypocritical.

If you want a voucher system here's how to do it:

1) Realize that it is in society's best interests, both morally and economically, to provide everyone with some minimal level of education. Set the level of your choosing.

2) Figure out how much per student. per year, this should cost on average.

3) Tax the citizens of your state enough to cover this cost.

4) Divide by the number of students

5) Issue vouchers for the amount determined in (4) to every parent, one for each child.

6) Maintain public schools that will automatically accept that voucher for a full year's schooling. After all, you've determined that that's what it should cost, right?

7) Allow parents to pay above, if they choose to. DO NOT allow rebates if they choose a cut rate school, as that would defeat the social purpose.

This program would force public schools to compete, because if they were that bad, private schools would take all their vouchers. It would also ensure that all would be educated, and the signing over of the voucher might instill more of a sense of responsibility among parents.


Darren said...

"I have the money to spare my kids from the schools that I'm foisting upon you because, after paying your taxes for these schools, you can't afford to send your kids anywhere else" does not, in my mind, qualify the man for sainthood.

Anonymous said...

Well, technically, he wouldn't be qualified for sainthood even if he solved the entire education crisis . . .it's got to be more than one miracle, doesn't it?

The problem is, you're accusing him of hypocrisy, not lack of sainthood. He is only hypocritical if he educates his children in good schools while not attempting to improve the public. The idea that private is automatically good is fallacious -- just look at the transfer students we get from a certain religious school down the road, who get to our school and fail. And, to the degree that private schools are successful, how much of that is due to the fact that they have a biased sample: behavior contracts, and parents willing to pay the extra money (and ergo more interested in schooling?

My plan would allow more people to make that choice, while the Republican model effectively just gives a discount to those already making the choice. My plan solves your problem -- it gives EVERYONE the right to do what Obama is doing. How long have I fought against the education infrastructure? And with what level of success? It's a fact that public school teachers put their kids in to private schools at a rate higher than the general population, despite having an average to below average income. Does that make them hypocrites? I think it makes them fatalistic realists. I still try, but if I weren't convinced that I could mnipulate a good education for my kids out of our district, I'd be in private schools also.

I'm actually more apt to believe someone's input into public education if their kids are in private school, because I know they care about education. Until they do something stupid (like Schwarzenegger, requiring Alg 1 in 8th grade), I know they care if they put their kids into private schools.

There's nothing wrong with competition in public education, but everyone needs the same initial opportunity -- that's good for society.


Darren said...

Not sure I agree with you on the Republicans, who generally support vouchers for everyone.

How thin is the line between fatalistic realist and hypocrite?