Tuesday, June 28, 2016

School Of Hard Knocks, Con't.

The overarching failure of charter schools in America over the last two decades, a failure that both parties and both the Bush and Obama administrations must be held responsible for, has now crushed a generation of public schools. But nowhere has been hit harder by this than the state that went all in on charter schools 23 years ago: Michigan, and especially the city of Detroit.

Detroit schools have long been in decline academically and financially. But over the past five years, divisive politics and educational ideology and a scramble for money have combined to produced a public education fiasco that is perhaps unparalleled in the United States. 
While the idea was to foster academic competition, the unchecked growth of charters has created a glut of schools competing for some of the nation’s poorest students, enticing them to enroll with cash bonuses, laptops, raffle tickets for iPads and bicycles. Leaders of charter and traditional schools alike say they are being cannibalized, fighting so hard over students and the limited public dollars that follow them that no one thrives. 
Detroit now has a bigger share of students in charters than any American city except New Orleans, which turned almost all its schools into charters after Hurricane Katrina. But half the charters perform only as well, or worse, than Detroit’s traditional public schools. 
“The point was to raise all schools,” said Scott Romney, a lawyer and board member of New Detroit, a civic group formed after the 1967 race riots here. “Instead, we’ve had a total and complete collapse of education in this city.” 
The city has emerged almost miraculously fast from the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. Downtown Detroit hums with development — a maze of detours around construction sites with luxury apartments, a new Nike store along a stretch of prime but empty storefronts. Even where blight resumes a few blocks out, farm-to-table restaurants and modern design stores sprout hopefully. Last year, the city had its smallest population decline since the 1950s. 
But the city’s residents — many of them stranded here after whites and middle-class blacks fled in waves — will not share in any renaissance as long as only 10 percent of rising high school seniors score “college ready” on reading tests.
“We’ll either invest in our own children and prepare them to fill these jobs, or I suppose maybe people will migrate from other places in the country to fill them,” said Thomas F. Stallworth III, a former state Representative who steered the passage of the 2014 legislation that paved Detroit’s way out of bankruptcy. “If that’s the case, we are still left with this underbelly of generational poverty with no clear path out.”

Charter schools have been a multi-billion dollar scam for taxpayers for years now, the promise of "professional education corporations" coming in to bring failing school districts around.  The reality is that generational poverty assures that it can't work, and voters perpetuate the system every time elections come around.

Public school in 2016 is essentially educational triage. The good kids in the wealthy districts get the money, instruction, attention and do well in life.  Everyone else gets thrown in the deep end with whatever is left and told to fend for themselves.  Increasingly, that's nothing, and only a few make it out of hell every year.  Everyone else, well, they're not worth saving, are they?

So while corporate Detroit is having a renaissance complete with hipsters and urban renewal, the people that lived here all their lives are getting none of that.

And so it goes.

The GOP Purity Patrol

Former Arkansas GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee is angry at RINOs like George Will and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, declaring they aren't really Republicans if they don't back Trump.

“My feeling about George Will is, if he wants Hillary Clinton to be president, and if he’s willing to go vote for her as he said he would, then he is not a Republican. And he needs to just be honest and frankly, if he’s one of these guys, ‘it’s my way or no way,’ then goodbye.”

“Senator Ben Sasse too?” asked Kilmeade.

“Yes, absolutely,” Huckabee replied. “I’m frustrated because we have a party, we have an election, not a selection. It’s not a back room bunch of good old boys who get to make the decision. We respect the voters.”

 If that's the case, then Huckabee should keep in mind that Trump never did get a majority of voters in many state primaries, and that Republican voters aren't satisfied with him as their choice.

Just 45 percent of Republican voters say they are satisfied with Donald Trump as their party's presumptive presidential nominee, while 52 percent say they would have preferred someone else, according to results from the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

By comparison, the numbers are reversed for Hillary Clinton among Democrats - 52 percent of Democratic voters are satisfied with Clinton, and 45 percent prefer someone else.

GOP attitudes about Trump break along ideological and educational lines. By a 53 percent-to-45 percent margin, conservative Republicans say they prefer a different nominee to Trump, while moderates are split 49 percent to 49 percent.

Maybe more tellingly, 58 percent of Republicans with a high-school education or less are satisfied with Trump as the party's presumptive nominee, versus 60 percent of Republicans with a college degree who want someone else.

So while Clinton is still consolidating her support, it looks like Trump still has serious problems uniting his party.

Do you blame them? They know what's coming.


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