Doomed To Repeat It

Wanna feel depressed about society’s future?

The daughter of a Holocaust survivor interviews kids at a Louisiana vo-tech about the Holocaust:

Well, no.  The kids are at Drexel, and at Penn State – an “Ivy League” school that supposedly recruits the “best and brightest”.

“Highlights” – the Latina woman, Ivy Leaguer and future Leader Of Our Society at around 5:36 who lumped Jim Crow in with the Holocaust.

I’m afraid we’re one generation away from completely forgetting.

A Modest Question

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Everyone wants our children to be educated so they can achieve The American Dream.  But even in school districts run by Black administrators, Black students do poorly on reading and math tests.

According to the article, that’s because Black students lack White Privilege which consists of parental supervision, respect for teachers, education is valued, correctly spoken English at home, homework done and checked for errors, security from violence at home and teachers who have high expectations.

Of course, those are precisely the behaviors that constitute Acting White and which no self-respecting authentic Black youth would be caught dead doing, lest he be ridiculed as an Uncle Tom by peers and in the media.

Worse, the tests measure knowledge that might have been essential to success in 19th Century Prussia, on which our educational system was based.  But is it knowledge essential to success as a 21st Century American? What is “success?”  The Amish don’t define “success” the same as the Clintons and President Obama’s vision of being an American seems nothing like Ronald Reagan’s vision.  Do Blacks define “success” the same as Whites or Asians or recent Central American immigrants or African refugees?   What should schools teach when it’s obvious that students do not share the same definition of “success” and how can different measures of “success” constitute one American Dream?

Why should all students take the White Success tests? Maybe there should be a different tests to measure Black success?  I’m not talking about racist joke tests like “Jasper steals three watermelons . . .” but a serious inquiry into what constitutes “success” for modern Black Americans and what knowledge, skills and abilities are essential to achieve that success?

I’m asking for a serious inquiry:  what is The American Dream?

Joe Doakes

As we’ve discussed in this space before, “class” privilege is every bit as big an issue as “white privilege” – which is why BLM is protesting so furiously about the white variety.

But “class privilege” is exactly behind our current school system’s definition of “success”.

Titanic

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Some of us on the Right obsess about legal theories, which makes normal people’s eyes glaze over.  But the legal theories courts use make a difference not only in the present case, but in future cases where the theory is accepted as legitimate precedent.

A job requirement which appears innocent on its face, but which disqualifies an unusually high percentage of certain historically disadvantaged groups, is said to have a “disparate impact” and therefore constitutes unconstitutional discrimination.

For example, the job requirement that firefighters must be able to drag a heavy weight a long distance eliminates most female applicants.  In order for the job requirement to remain, the employer must show that dragging a heavy weight a long distance is a legitimate job requirement (it is, as you know if you’ve ever tried to handle a charged fire hose, much less lug an unconscious victim out the window of a burning building, down a ladder and across a lawn to safety).  There is no “team lift” on a ladder – you carry the victim or leave him to die.

Plaintiff’s lawyers love the legal theory of “disparate impact” because it doesn’t require proof intent to discriminate, only proof of unequal results.  The theory has been stretched to apply to housing and lending and now, to school discipline.

Black parents complained that Black students are suspended at higher rates than other students (see chart below).  They claim the school’s discipline policies have a disparate impact on Black students and therefore constitute racial discrimination.

stpsd

In response, St. Paul schools seem to have adopted a policy that Black students would not be suspended, even for repeated attacks on other students, faculty and staff.  Violent students quickly got the message: thugs won’t be punished, violence exploded, there is no discipline.

Recently, a St. Paul teacher was attacked by a student and suffered a concussion.  The teacher is suing the school for adopting policies that create an unsafe workplace and I wouldn’t be surprised if the teacher’s union strikes for workplace safety.

This is what happens when liberal judges let liberal plaintiffs impose liberal social values on society through litigation instead of education to pass legislation.  A theory that gave like-minded Liberals in the courtroom an excuse to impose social engineering is wreaking havoc in a classroom and nobody is accountable for the foreseeable consequences that are causing real damage to the next generation’s educational success.  Any parent that can afford to flee the system, has.  The only children left are those with nowhere to go and no way out.

For shame.

Joe Doakes

And if you still have your kids in that plague-ship of a district, I gotta ask why.

A Fire Extinguisher On The Titanic

Mark Zuckerberg’s celebrated hundred million dollar gift to the Newark NJ schools worked about as well as any huge influx of more-mundane taxpayer cash ever did; not at all.

Zuckerberg’s donation was earmarked toward merit pay, charter schools, and systemic reforms.  The charter schools worked well, but the city’s system for putting kids into charters was a goat rodeo.  The reform money got swallowed up by consulting fees.  And as to merit pay and teacher accountability?

Instead, the opposite occurred. Chris Cerf, the New Jersey commissioner of education at the time, worked with the Legislature and was able to negotiate some new accountability measures in teacher contracts.

But the teachers’ union only agreed upon those measures if the seniority protections remained intact.

Which meant that the teacher accountability money went to reinforce…unaccountability with teachers.

Reforming the public system, under its current politicized leadership, is like trying to argue with a blizzard.

Un-Abeler To Compute

I rarely if ever endorse candidates, per se.  I figure it’s not my job – who am I, after all?   I inform; you decide.

But I live in Saint Paul.  The Fourth Congressional District; Senate District 65; House 65A.  I’m “represented” by Betty McCollum, Sandy Pappas and Rena Moran.   And while I do my best to get involved in politics in my own neighborhood, let’s be honest; I probably have a greater  impact elsewhere.

Of course, Andy Aplikowski is a longtime friend of this blog.  And of mine, for that matter.  One of the co-founders of True North, one of the smartest political numbers guys I know, half of one of the genuinely nicest couples I know.  Andy’s running to replace Brandon Petersen in the Senate.  And I hope he wins.

Andy’s got the endorsement of the SD35 party apparatus.  But he’s gotta get through a primary against long-time former rep. Jim Abeler.

Now, I’ve interviewed Abeler a few times.  He’s a great guy; there are those who choose to demonize those they disagree with, and neither Abeler nor I are them.  And in his interviews, Abeler makes a solid case for some of the votes he’s taken.  Not solid enough to convince me, but nothing to brush aside, either.

But one vote that concerned me, as someone who’s gone around and around with the public school system, is a vote he took that ended up denying vouchers to students in Minneapolis and Saint Paul schools. Did Abeler have his reasons?  I’m sure he did – but they pale against the opportunity that arises when you allow the free market, personified by giving the parents the fiscal clout to say “no” to the district system, to have its effect.

So while I’m not sure what Abeler’s policy reasons are, I know that the vote did earn him some powerful friends. No, I mean some very powerful friends, friends with deep pockets and heavy-duty outsized clout in Minnesota politics.

Anyway – if you’re in SD35, or have friends there, by all means let ’em know where the School Choice vote goes.

Today’s Academic Hero

The president of Oklahoma Wesleyan says what’s needed to be said:

“This is not a day care,” Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, wrote in a fiery blog post on the school’s website last week.

“This is a university!”

His critics will no doubt home in on the fact that OWU is an evangelical school, and that Piper has spoken out in favor of Kim Davis, against transgender activism and gay marriage.

To which I reply “put on a helmet, bucko – that’s the point.  In real life, you’re going to encounter things and people you disagree with, and – scariest of all – who disagree with you.  And some of them are going to be smart – even smarter than you, maybe.  And you will have to learn how to deal with this cognitive dissonance.  Or – if you’re one of the students that’s whinging about “safe spaces” these days, I guess not to learn to deal with dissonance – like, for example, pretty much every liberal in the Twin Cities under the age of 70″.

Easier To Get A Basketball Than A Book

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A buddy sent me this.  I forward it, unedited:

“Here in a nutshell is what’s wrong with this nation:

Roseville Library

Mon-Thu10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri-Sat10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun12 – 5 p.m.

Closed – Thursday, January 1, 2015
Closed – Monday, January 19, 2015
Closed – Monday, February 16, 2015
Closed – Sunday, April 5, 2015
Closed – Monday, April 20, 2015
Closed – Monday, May 25, 2015
Closed – Saturday, July 4, 2015
Closed – Monday, September 7, 2015
New Brighton Library will be closed Sept 7-11 for Community Center maintenance!
Closed – Monday, October 12, 2015
Closed – Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Closed – Thursday, November 26, 2015
Open – Friday, November 27, 2015
Closed – Thursday, December 24, 2015
Closed – Friday, December 25, 2015
Open – Thursday, December 31, 2015 until 5 p.m.
Alert – New Brighton Library will close at 4 p.m. on December 31, 2015
Closed – Friday, January 1, 2016

———-

The library is closed pretty much all hours and days that any working person could get there.  Closed at 5 on Friday and Saturday.  Opens at noon on Sunday, for 5 hours.  When I had the kids for the weekends I could get there only if we made a special day of it, couldn’t do anything else around getting to the library.  We could just barely get there on Sunday if we ate early then got on the road right after to make it to the hostage exchange on time.   Roseville is the busiest library in the entire system, hence it has the longest hours.  The others are far worse.

Books bad, basketball good.

———-

Rec centers:

MondayFriday – 6:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Saturday – 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m
Sunday – 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

All sites are CLOSED for the following major holidays:

Thursday, November 26 – Thanksgiving Day
Friday, December 25 – Christmas Day
Friday, January 1 – New Year’s Day
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day

———-

So the library, where books are, is closed on any holiday, real or imagined, on weekend evenings, most of the day on Sunday, etc.  Where as the rec center is open nearly all the time, and the feds want to spend money keeping them open at midnight for basketball.

Joe Doakes

Back when the GOP controlled the Legislature, the DFL used to whinge “they want to close the libraries!”.  I used to ask “What?  They’re open?”

The library in my neighborhood – a neglected old place that’s perpetually on the city’s chopping block, and hasn’t nearly the hours that the huge Roseville library has – seems to be open at times most convenient to…library staffers.  Not school kids, much less working adults.

And don’t get me started on the fact that the new Roseville “library” seems to allot about 20% of its space to…books.

But maybe that’s what the President means when he prattles about guns being easier to get than books; he’s referring to guns and books owned by government.  You can’t get to a book during hours any working person could get there – but the Department of Justice will give you a gun – if you’re a narcotraficante.

Doakes Sunday: Low Expectation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The student was disrupting the class.

The teacher couldn’t get her to stop being disruptive.  The teacher called the Principal.

The Principal couldn’t get her to stop being disruptive.  The Principal called for a Deputy Sheriff.

The Deputy couldn’t get her to stop being disruptive.  The Principal gave the Deputy permission to arrest the student to take her out of class.

The Deputy couldn’t get the student to stand up to leave so he dragged her out of her chair and out of the classroom.

Another student filmed the arrest.

The teacher and the Principal support the Deputy’s actions.

The student is Black, protests erupted.

The Sheriff fired the Deputy.

The lesson learned: Black students don’t have to obey school rules.

How will this lesson affect minority graduation rates, unemployment, college admissions and lifetime earnings?

Joe Doakes

Joe’s asking a rhetorical question.

We can see it in Valeria Silva’s Saint Paul Public Schools.

And when Silva’s gone?  We’ll see it in her successor’s SPPS, as well.

Just watch.

Woodbury: Time To Get Off The Clown Car

South Washington Citizens for Change, as well as District 833 school board candidate Andrea Mayer-Bruestle – have released a couple of videos that voters should think about, both for their school board vote and their vote on the bonding referendum this Tuesday.

First: Don’t think all that half-a-billion dollars is going to go toward more spending beyond the means, and District 833 will be bellying up to the taxpayer bar again in a couple years? Don’t bet on it:

And here’s a digest of headlines from the past few years that should show the Woodbury voter what kind of hands their district, and tax dollars, are in:

If you live in Woodbury/District 833, you’ve witnessed a pretty venal and ugly little campaign to try to separate you and your tax dollars. Pass these vids around, and let’s try not to reward this sort of thing any more.

Best Practices

In recent weeks, this blog, as well as the rest of the media, I’ve noted a bit of an uptick in publicized violence in the St. Paul public schools.

The Minneapolis public schools seem to of
been paying attention – and turn their best minds on to the problem of school violence.

We know this, because they have solve the problem.

The Minneapolis public schools are now a “violence free zone“.

Freedom Of Speech For We, But Not For Ye

There’s a school bonding referendum on the ballot this Tuesday; the district wants $250 million, on top of the huge bond they got two years ago, on top of all their state money.

There are campaigns, both against the bill and, naturally, for it.

Over the weekend, the Washington County Watchdog facebook page tripped upon a couple of giggly north-Suburban bobbleheads chuckling about stealing “Vote No” campaign signs – or, in one case, having her kids do it.

Vote Yes people in Forest Lake are dumb enough to share they are stealing Vote No (Forest Lake Schools Bond) campaign…

Posted by Washington County Watchdog on Friday, October 30, 2015

The Watchdog confirmed that one of the women is affiliated with/employed by the “Vote Yes” campaign.

The Watchdog has confirmed that Nicole _____, the self-proclaimed sign thief in Forest Lake was in fact a part of the…

Posted by Washington County Watchdog on Sunday, November 1, 2015

I’m not going to post the womens’ full names; they incriminated themselves plenty over on their various Facebook pages.

Now, stealing campaign signs is a crime that should be investigated – no, actually investigated – by the Forest Lake cops and the Washington County attorney’s office; campaign signs ain’t cheap.  It’s also a suppression of other’s freedom of speech.  And since one of the principals in the story is involved with the “Hand Over The Money, Peasants!” campaign, I see no reason this shouldn’t be a matter for state elections officials.

But I have another question.

Double Standards:  I interviewed Andrew Mayer-Bruestle and Sue Richardson, from a similar “Vote No” campaign in Woodbury.  They report that the “Vote Yes” crowd, which is seeking a half billion dollars from the people and businesses of South WashCo – sicced WCCO on them for making “misleading statements” in their campaign literature.  And WCCO leapt into action, going all Mike Wallace on some of the “Vote No” supporters, with ambush interviews and grave (and erroneous) reporting that gave off that agenda-driven stench; I’m gonna guess one of the suburban grandees involved in the Vote Yes campaign has a friend, or spouse, on the WCCO staff.  Just a hunch.

So WCCO and the Pioneer Press scrambled a Defcon Five Media Deployment over a piece of campaign literature in Woodbury.

Duly noted.

So, WCCO – any interest in a story about a group of suburban hockey moms, including a member of a competing campaign,  conspiring and acting to steal money, stifle free speech, and violate election laws?  Y’know – actual crimes?

What say, Star Tribune?  Lori Sturdevant must surely be getting the victorian vapours about this bit of incivility, no?

MPR?  I mean, you have a big, well-staffed newsroom full of news eagles ready to swoop upon public malfeasance.  Imagine that someone had brought you first-hand evidence that people – bigots! – were kyping pro-“marriage equality” signs; does not warrant similar scrutiny?

And that other newspaper in the east metro, whatever it was?

For that matter – Forest Lake has a newspaper, right?

Update:  According to the WashDog, some of the signs were replaced, and some were returned.  While the WashDog doesn’t go into details, we presume they were returned by those who stole them; hopefully they didn’t fob that job of on their kids, the way one joked about doing with the actual theft.

Everyone keep your eyes peeled; there will be a lot more of this coming up in the next year.

Everyone’s An Expert

Since the story of Ahmed “Alarm Clock” Mohammed broke, half of America has become demolitions experts.  Charles C. W. Cooke – one of my two favorite political writers in America today – notes that Ahmed Mohammed’s clock looks a lot more like a bomb than a chewed-up pop tart looks like a gun.  He’s half-right; the poptart wasn’t a gun; the clock looked like a prop from a community-theater production of “24”.

The other half?  They seem to think they’re clairvoyant; the loathsome Richard Dawkins, for starters.

RIP Public Education

It’s officially too stupid to live.

Texas (!) school district arrests kid for building a clock that they call a “hoax bomb”, even though he never, ever called it that.  Indeed, other than the idiots at his school district and the Irvine TX police department, nobody ever did:

Ahmed Mohamed — who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart — hoped to impress his teachers when he brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High on Monday.

Instead, the school phoned police about Ahmed’s circuit-stuffed pencil case.

So the 14-year-old missed the student council meeting and took a trip in handcuffs to juvenile detention. His clock now sits in an evidence room. Police say they may yet charge him with making a hoax bomb — though they acknowledge he told everyone who would listen that it’s a clock.

In the meantime, Ahmed’s been suspended, his father is upset and the Council on American-Islamic Relations is once again eyeing claims of Islamophobia in Irving.

And you know what?  CAIR is right, and I hope the Mohammeds sue that idiot district back to the Stone Age.

I do, in fact, have some experience with brain-dead school administrators making things up from whole cloth – and my hatred for them burns like a million suns.

Mr. Mohammed:  if you need airtime to raise money to sue your scumbag district, let me know. I’m happy to help.

Popehat has a much better piece on the subject.

Royalty Doesn’t Need Feedback

The Saint Paul Public Schools are discontinuing TV broadcasts of the “public feedback” segment of school board meetings.

Let’s make sure we’re clear on what we’re talking about here; the public feedback part of the meeting is about half an hour, starting at 5:30 (which is a brutally difficult time to make, for people who have day jobs), during which the School Board deigns to allow commoners to address it, in slices of three minutes, while they converse amongst themselves or pretty visibly try to fight nodding off.  I did it a few years ago; you could tell that most of the board would rather have been getting a root canal.

But people watched those session via cable -and occasionally they drew blood:

…a May 2014 appearance before the St. Paul school board by five district teachers pushing for greater expectations of students and consequences for those who misbehave is credited with sparking a Caucus for Change movement dedicated to unseating board incumbents….

Board Member Anne Carroll [Who else? – Ed] argued that the change is part of a series of moves related to the collection of public comments that should give citizens a greater voice. She cited a new policy of taking online submissions that will be documented in the same way as in-person comments.

Board Member John Brodrick, who opposed the move in what was a 5-1 vote, said that having people speak to the board but not to the public via broadcast “betrayed the meaning of public comment.”…

…Currently, the comment period begins at 5:30 p.m., and when finished, gives way to an agenda item recognizing the “good work provided by outstanding district employees.”

Which sounds – I kid you not – like deputies in the old Supreme Soviet of the USSR rising to congratulate one of the collective farms in their district for meeting their five year plan with sufficient socialist fervor.  Seriously; these recognitions sound like competitions to see how many times you can fit the words “Diversity” and “Multiculturalism” into sentences while still maintaining a sentence structure.

Anyway – a school district that already hides out in its Stalineque bunker on Colborne Street, above, beyond and away from its constituents, is trying to become even more so.

 

 

Visualization

When I was in high school, I may have been the last generation to actually spend any time watching instructional films.  Not videos – productions shot on film.

Now, my beef is not with the medium on which the production was shot; video versus film is an aesthetic argument, and not one that I’m particularly involved in.

But along about time time video supplanted film, computer animation began to replace an older, more fascinating art – the building of explanatory models.

Explaining complex processes, equations, and mechanical concepts is difficult.  And in a way, I’ve found the plethora of computer-based animations used to do the explaining today are almost too accurate to do a job of explaining complex concepts.

Filling that gap, long before there were any computers, was the operating model.

An operating model took a complex concept, mechanism or process, simplified it, magnified the important stuff while omitting (or deferring) the minutia, and explained it.

And it’s kind of a lost art.

Which was why I loved this film – which explains the function of the auto differential, a bit of mechanical engineering that always amazes me…:

…and this one, which is as good an explanation of pretty much every firearm operating system in the business:

And I can watch them for hours.

Privilege

Earlier this week, while listening to Jack and Andrew on the lesser talk station, I caught them running through this piece about 38 examples of liberal privelege on college campuses. 

The piece is very much worth a read.

Of course, if you live in a place like the Twin Cities, you realize there’d be room for a similar piece for adults in places where Jon Stewart is considered news and where chanting “settled science!” is considered an argument-ender.

I’m going to take quick shot at it, off the top of my head:  if you’re an adult in a “progressive” city…:

  1. You’ve never had to learn to confront dissent as anything other than either a mortal threat to your worldview, or a joke to be scuttled away from, using ad homina if necessary.
  2. You’ve never had to learn to debate at a level beyond strawmen, red herrings, and chuckling “facts have a liberal bias” as if the saying were handed down by the ancients, rather than by a mediocre comic who made a living satirizing conservatives.
  3. After 12 years of indoctrination in the public schools, and often as not 4-8 years at an institution where dissent is treated as a pathology, you are utterly secure in your faith that your club is the sole source of truth.

35 more to go!

Bigger, Badder, Here-er

Fresch Fisch, from Saint Paul, emails:

Currently happening, June 11 to 16. Alexandria MN.  5600 students high school Trap students participating in the MN High School Clay Target Championships! Six full days, six divisions, 900+ students per day.

You say, just what does the largest shooting competition in the world look like? A drone’s eye view!

I was there Sunday and it was totally awesome.

http://mnclaytarget.com/

Not only is it the fastest growing high school sport in Minnesota and America, but it gives the world’s Bloombots acid reflux.

And that alone is an unalloyed good.

Impulse Control

This past week has been a really, really bad one for Governor Dayton and anyone who thinks he’s ready for prime time as a governor.

First, it the promise (since delivered) of a veto of the K-12 E-12 bill over a few hundred million in spending that a bipartisan majority in the Legislature had already turned down (in support of a program that nobody but Education Minnesota really wants).

And now?   He’s accusing Republicans of “hating teachers”.

Which certainly perked up my ears, what with having a father, two grandparents and a little sister who’ve been teachers.

Oh, yeah – Sondra Erickson, also a teacher, was not amused:

 Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, who chairs the House Education Policy Committee said Dayton should apologize for the remark.

In a statement, Erickson said:

“As a public school teacher with nearly four decades in public school classrooms, I am disappointed with Governor Dayton’s disrespectful remarks. Minnesotans expect their public officials to respectfully debate the issues facing our state without resorting to personal attacks. Republicans and Democrats passed a bipartisan budget that underscored our commitment to students and teachers including significant investments in proven early learning programs. Teachers deserve nothing but great respect because of their dedication to prepare our children with knowledge and skills for the future. Closing the achievement gap requires only the highest regard for those who teach and lead our children. I respectfully request that the governor apologize for his remarks.”

Of course, he’s not going to do it.  I fact, look for them to double down.

Because that’s page 1 of the Democrat messaging handbook.  Question how veterans benefits are paid for?  “Why do Republicans hate veterans?”.

Dispute global warming?  “Why do Republicans hate science?”.

Don’t like abortion, and think identity feminism has done a lot of damage?  “It’s a war on women!”.

Push back against a pork-barrel program that will at best do nothing useful for the vast majority of kids, but will plump up Education Minnesota’s and the DFL’s coffers?  “Republicans hate teachers!”.

And the thing is, 40-odd percent of Minnesota voters are stupid enough to buy it.

Why would he apologize?

Governor Dayton’s Priorities

Governor Flint-Smith Dayton is threatening to veto the budget deal over the lower level of funding promised for pre-kindergarten.

I’m not sure that our legislature – much less our governor – is smart enough to fight the battle based on something like “what’s best for children”…

…but in case any legislators are focused on that, psychology and even teachers are starting to think that jamming down academics with young children is at best of no value, and at worst counterproductive in the long run:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201505/early-academic-training-produces-long-term-harm (I’ve added emphasis):

A number of well-controlled studies have compared the effects of academically oriented early education classrooms with those of play-based classrooms (some of which are reviewed here, in an article by Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Geralyn McLaughlin,and Joan Almon).[1] The results are quite consistent from study to study: Early academic training somewhat increases children’s immediate scores on the specific tests that the training is aimed at (no surprise), but these initial gains wash out within 1 to 3 years and, at least in some studies, are eventually reversed. Perhaps more tragic than the lack of long-term academic advantage of early academic instruction is evidence that such instruction can produce long-term harm, especially in the realms of social and emotional development.

When you start regimenting kids bright and early, is it a surprise they grow up less able to think for themselves?

For example, in the 1970s, the German government sponsored a large-scale comparison in which the graduates of 50 play-based kindergartens were compared, over time, with the graduates of 50 academic direct-instruction-based kindergartens.[2] Despite the initial academic gains of direct instruction, by grade four the children from the direct-instruction kindergartens performed significantly worse than those from the play-based kindergartens on every measure that was used. In particular, they were less advanced in reading and mathematics and less well adjusted socially and emotionally. At the time of the study, Germany was gradually making a switch from traditional play-based kindergartens to academic ones. At least partly as a result of the study, Germany reversed that trend; they went back to play-based kindergartens. Apparently, German educational authorities, at least at that time, unlike American authorities today, actually paid attention to educational research and used it to inform educational practice.

Of course, universal “free” Pre-K isn’t about educating children, much less making them grow up to be better, happier, smarter people.

It’s about providing more jobs for Governor Flint-Smith’s Dayton’s biggest contributors, and thereby more dues for the DFL.

Universal pre-K may be the best possible advertisement for home schooling.

Warehouse: Schools And Stories

I forget who I heard referring to the inner city as “government’s warehouse for poor people”. There are those who get hurt and bothered when I use that term, as if I’m characterizing the people.

I’m not.  I’m characterizing the government.

And for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of dealing with government in a failed one-party state, this article explains why I use the simile, and don’t apologize for it, ever.

Read the story.  And then remember that while the tax money that was supposed to help alleviate these kids problems has been slashed, the Saint Paul School District’s administration has been getting huge pay raises.   Especially African-American parents:  this is your DFL in action, with your kids.  This is the wages of your allegiance the DFL. Let’s talk.

I’m not going to pullquote the article – because I’d like you all to read it.  It may be the most depressing thing I’ve read lately.

Wheat And Chaff

The Saint Paul Public Schools need to close a $20,000,000 budget shortfall.

This is on a budget in an exceptionally highly-taxed city, that is already well over half a billlion dollars.

What’s the plan (emphasis added)?

Chief Executive Officer Michelle Walker said the district looked to cut administrators and supervisors rather than those who work in the schools, but “there are going to be impacts on both sides.”

The deficit represents 3.8 percent of the school district’s $533 million general fund budget. It’s largely a product of negotiated increases in salary and benefits, as well as inflationary increases for things like utilities and equipment.

First:  as we’ve seen with the recent layoffs in Minneapolis, it’s interesting that the districts are so loaded up on useless administrative mouths to feed in the first place.

Second:  The “Equipment” line item is an interesting one:

Louise Seeba, who opposed the district’s 1:1 iPad initiative, which will cost roughly $8 million a year, suggested next year’s cuts are a consequence of frivolous spending.

“I guess the voters, our parents, have to say, ‘You know what, thanks for that iPad, but now I don’t have special ed services to the level that I expect.’ I think if the schools are upset, they might have a reason,” she said.

Others downplayed iPads as a factor in the present budget picture because a referendum dedicated that money to technology.

In other words, “the iPads are being paid for by a special levy extracted from taxpayers due to an obscure vote in a low-turnout election dominated by teachers union spending; nothing to see here”.

File under “life in a one party city”.

Silva Lining

Notwithstanding the fact that the Saint Paul Public Schools under Superintendant Valeria Silva have been stagnant at best, the district gave her a pretty dang spectacular pay hike in renewing her contract for four years.

She’s paid back her constituents by applying for a job in Palm Beach:

On Monday night, the St. Paul school district issued a statement in reaction to Silva’s Florida job application.

According to the statement made on behalf of the school board by chairwoman Mary Doran:

“It is not surprising that Superintendent Silva would be in demand by school districts across the country.

“She is a nationally recognized education leader. Saint Paul schools are notably successful. We have been a model for other districts in many ways. That attracts attention and recruiters.

“The board negotiated a new contract with Superintendent Silva with the expectation that she would be with us for three more years. She has devoted her entire academic career to Saint Paul’s children. Not many cities can say that about their superintendent.

It actually is more than just mercenarism; the Saint Paul Teachers Federation is unhappy with Silva and the School Board, and is essentially going to buy the upcoming school board elections, which’ll make life difficult to impossible for Silva, and open the door to a new superintendent, in this case a toady almost literally hand-picked by the union to carry out its wishes more closely than even the current board.

One thing that won’t change?  The new Superintendent will be a product of the “Celebrity Superintendent” system, and will cost a metric buttload of money.