Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jim Wooten is RIght and Still Wrong

Jim Wooten, one of my favorite targets, does at times tell it like it is. Today, in his common calls for taking public funds and putting them to work in "the market", Mr. Wooten writes "Schools need more than just a tweak". Wooten does at least partly speak the truth when he writes

I'm past blaming teachers or even administrators. Some are good and some are lousy, the same as editorialists and used-car salesmen.

Schools have become the catch-basins for everything broken in society. When children are brought into the world without the slightest thought of providing them a two-parent home, every void in the child's life, from discipline to socialization, passes to the classroom.

Combined with the requirements do-gooders heap on schools — mainstreaming the disabled and children who don't speak English, along with the usual assortment of gifted, average and slow-learners into one classroom — and it's a wonder anybody learns anything.

Add to it increasingly litigious parents and children with video-game attention spans and it's dramatically clear that the system is broken in a way that more money and rejiggered funding formulas can't fix.

That Jim is past blaming teachers and administrators seems hardly to resonate with some of his past writing. And "do goooders" really don't do the harm you suggest. Reduced class sizes, support staff, time to plan, better resources, less poverty, parents that are not working around the clock to keep food on the table, less hassles with goofy parents/kids, ... Indeed many teachers work hard despite the bureaucrats, and I think many of those nasty pencil pushers are at the federal level with your President behind these ideas. No Child Left Behind is an absolute disaster, as is most of the conservatism that has reached into education these last few years. Your above remarks are true Jim yet your solution is failed logic and flawed policy. Peace ... or War!