March 23, 2006


In Florida, 'Uniform' Foolishness (George F. Will, March 23, 2006, Washington Post)

[F]lorida's Supreme Court fulfilled the desires of the teachers unions, and disrupted the lives of the 733 children and their parents, by declaring, in a 5 to 2 ruling, that the voucher program is incompatible with the state constitution. [...]

This court last seized the nation's attention when, after the 2000 election, it acted legislatively, rewriting state election laws in ways helpful to Al Gore's attempt to erase George W. Bush's slender lead. Back then, all the court's seven members had been nominated by Democratic governors. Since then, the court has acquired two justices nominated by Gov. Bush. They were the two dissenters from the court's "uniformity" ruling. Elections can slowly turn tides.

All of Archbishop Curley's 43 Opportunity Scholarship children who are not graduating in June are going to stay in the school. The voucher is worth about $1,800 less than the school's $6,400 tuition, and about $3,400 less than the $8,000 cost of educating a pupil. But Brother Patrick Sean Moffett, the head of the school, says, "We're going to keep them all, somehow."

It is stirring to see the quiet tenacity of people whose lives are disrupted by other people's political struggles. When Octavia and her mother -- and David Hill, 14, a ninth-grader, and his parents, and several other parents and relatives of students -- recently gathered around a table at the school to discuss the end of the OSP, there was no rancor. The children and parents at the table were black. None were Republicans. The NAACP, as usual, is in lock step with the Democratic Party, which is in lock step with the teachers unions.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 23, 2006 8:25 AM

If the Florida Supreme Court could throw out Jeb's plan to tie teacher salaries to testing scores tomorrow, they would.

Posted by: John at March 23, 2006 9:00 AM

Until we have universal school choice...

(with fully funded vouchers of equal value for all state citizens and an Education Savings Account component)

...the republic is not safe.

To the extent that schemes like NCLB help bring this about, they are good. To the extent that they "preserve" the current corrupt system, they need to go.

Posted by: Bruno at March 23, 2006 9:56 AM

The operative word here is parents. The kids who have them already have a leg up in the system and there surely must be someone in the black community who can come up with the $77,400 to finance all the kids. A black Republican someone would be very nice.

Posted by: erp at March 23, 2006 10:16 AM

One of Tolkien's lines, "Oft evil will doth evil mar," has application here.

School choice has a hard road in many states because anti-Catholic bigotry had insinuated "public education only" clauses in those states' constitutions.

In order to crush the infamous thing (Gotsspeak for dismantle public education) we are going to have to federally zero-fund bigoted state systems.

Remember W.F. Buckley's now ancient point that every dollar channelled through Washington transfers power to Washington. Just as we stuck it to the homosexual law schools we are going to have to tell the bigoted states that they may continue their bigotry, but they must do so without one red cent of federal money.

Here we see the difference between conservatism and conservative ideology. The ideology of federalism is not to stand in the way of the assertion of parental prerogatives, the family being prior and superior to the state.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 23, 2006 12:32 PM

Gee, if "uniformity" is critical, I guess all the extra stuff the schools do for "special needs" students is unconstitutional as well, right?

Posted by: PapayaSF at March 23, 2006 4:46 PM

In fact, here in CA, there's a bit of a scandal happening because some parents successfully sue the school districts for money to pay for their kid's private, out-of-state boarding schools, because it's supposedly required for the little dear's mental health.

Posted by: PapayaSF at March 23, 2006 4:49 PM

Pap, you sure it isn't for the little dear's parents' mental health?

Posted by: erp at March 23, 2006 6:39 PM

That, too, no doubt. But the irony is that rich and litigious parents can get hugely expensive private school educations for their kids at public expense. Sort of like the leftist caricature of schol vouchers, but all in the name of "disabilities."

Posted by: PapayaSF at March 23, 2006 7:40 PM


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference YOU CAN EITHER BE FOR THE TEACHERS' UNIONS OR FOR THE STUDENTS::

» Uniform Mediocrity for Florida Supreme Court from Webloggin
The dumbing down of our schools should be the wake up call for all to take notice of a system that has been opportunistically manipulated in the name of power, greed and a politically motivated idealism that holds uniformity of mediocrity as the norm. ... [Read More]