November 16, 2005


Republicans misread religious voters (Froma Harrop, November 15, 2005, Dallas Morning News)

Situated in south-central Pennsylvania, Dover is no hotbed of liberalism. Many, if not most, of the voters who dismissed the School Board would describe themselves as both conservative and Christian. All the folks wanted was to stop the activists from messing around with their kids' education – and to free their town of its growing reputation as the Dogpatch of the East.

Easy enough for the media to demonize one small community at a time, but as the movement becomes more widespread and opponents lose court cases, so have no ability to turn things into Inherit the Windier, such changes will be quietly and uncontroversially adopted. As the prescription drug benefit and CFR showed, that which a large majority in a democracy want they eventually get.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 16, 2005 11:37 AM

OT, but probably no better place for it:

Yesterday a tortoise that Darwin collected during his Beagle voyage turned 175 yrs old, making it the oldest known living creature.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 16, 2005 12:00 PM

Still a tortoise, eh?

Posted by: oj at November 16, 2005 12:07 PM

While we're off topic, First Things has had some typically thoughtful and interesting stuff on the whole ID/Darwinism thing the last two days...

oj: Too funny.

Posted by: b at November 16, 2005 12:25 PM

LOL, way to lead with your chin Jeff.

Posted by: joe shropshire at November 16, 2005 12:41 PM

I disagree with your optimism, but not your viewpoint.

Splitting education into 1000s of unnecessary school districts is one of the ways "Big Education" keeps its stranglehold on the American Mind.

The idea that there is anything local about your district is a myth. It is merely a corrupt franchise of the same protected "company."

If you get one or two reformers on a 7 member board, you can and will be routinely outvoted as the board uses you to engage in the charade that they are anything but a purchased entity of the "company."

If you succeed in "taking over" the board to the extent that you actually go against "company" policy, the "company" has ample resources to focus on getting rid of you - which is exactly what they did here.

If we ever want to see school choice get beyond the tiny experimental "projects," we must engage in a full frontal assault on the "company."

Any one have $20 Million or so? If not, the least you can do is convey the message to your neighbors.

Posted by: Bruno at November 16, 2005 12:42 PM

Bruno: Small districts are good. Teachers unions (and all public sector unions) should be abolished.

Posted by: b at November 16, 2005 12:59 PM

Jeff Guinn:

Genuinely an interesting story, but it seems there is some doubt about whether the tortoise was actually collected by Darwin. Too bad -- that's one hell of a story angle.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 16, 2005 1:47 PM


Nonsense. Small districts are useless, as are large ones. They do nothing but create another set of expensive and useless jobs for unnecessary superintendents, assistant superintendents, coordinators, drones, bottlewashers, and other jobs that suck down taxpayer dollars with out connecting one neuron in one child's head.

The entire paradigm is a complete joke. Fund the child directly, and let the schools manage themselves.

If various schools wish to become part of a network (locality, curricula, religion, or some other basis), nothing should stop them.

However, the current structure is a complete charade. There is next to no local control (in IL, 90% of district decisions are mandated by the state)

Any one arguing that districts create "local control" are patsies. The ultimate "local control" is the family/child (cutomer), who negotiates/decides on a school (service providor).

All else is window dressing used to prop up a corrupt system. IL may be worse than your state, but until funding goes directly to the child, I'm going to be far more right than wrong.

A properly crafted "scholarship plan" will make every public school private, and every private school public. This is how it should be.

Education's middle management should be sent to burgerflipping, along with the generations of burgerflippers they have created.

Posted by: Bruno at November 16, 2005 2:18 PM

Bruno: I don't get it--aren't you in effect arguing for districts made up a single school?

Posted by: b at November 16, 2005 3:03 PM


No. Bruno is arguing that the goverment shouldn't be deciding on things like school districts. Fund the children and let the market work out how to arrange "districts", if such things turn out to be useful.


175 the oldest known living thing? What about all those sequoia trees that are thousands of years old?

P.S. If you want to get pedantic, then every bacteria is hundreds of millions of years old...

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at November 16, 2005 7:55 PM


What AOG said.

Better yet, sure, let every school be it's own district. I don't care, as long as their budget is limited to...

(Fully funded voucher X #kids) + Voluntary Donations

Posted by: Bruno at November 16, 2005 10:09 PM

"As the prescription drug benefit and CFR showed, that which a large majority in a democracy want they eventually get."

Exactly; and the majority (close to 70%) want creationism taught as science in classrooms. :

Posted by: creeper at November 17, 2005 2:45 AM

"Still a tortoise, eh?"

Are you still laboring under the misconception that the theory of evolution claims that a tortoise should morph into a different species in the course of its lifetime?

Posted by: creeper at November 17, 2005 2:47 AM


" ... oldest living creature."

Which excludes the sequoias.

I grant that what makes something a creature can be a bit fuzzy, but I at the risk of getting too technical, I think it involves having legs, fins, wings; moving around stuff.

Interestingly, the article shows evolution in action. Biologists were able to pinpoint its birthplace based upon DNA differences.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 17, 2005 7:04 AM

So the OJ trial disproves evolution?

Posted by: oj at November 17, 2005 7:21 AM