Friday, October 30, 2009

Sen. Meeks No Longer an Isolationist on School Vouchers! Welcome to the War

Senator James Meeks has been the Joseph P. Kennedy* Ambassador to School Reform Isolationism and a powerful voice for tossing more tax dollars to the Chicago Teachers Union and hapless Public Schools.

Blocks from Calumet High School, now morphed into a hybrid Charter Academy/Warehouse, and few more from the 60 million dollar Simeon High School, Leo High School - a Catholic High School ( 100% African American Males)-commands the respect and direction of families seeking a path to success for their sons.

Leo High School is tuition driven and depends upon the giving of its largely white, Catholic and aging Alumni. White Alumni giving to Leo High School stands at 99.9%, though more Black Alums are giving in recent months.
Ninety Three percent of Leo's graduates go on to colleges and universities and the balance to the skilled trades unions and the military.

For decades Catholics and other private school families ( Jewish, Dutch Reformed, Lutheran, Muslim, and Independent) have called for School Reform through a universal voucher system. The Public School lobby has defeated any and all efforts. One of the Public School Lobby's most passionate and articulate voices - Rev./Senator James Meeks has pushed down efforts to bring about genuine Reform through Vouchers.

Like Ambassador Joe Kennedy in 1939-40, while Ambassador to Great Britain, Senator Meeks has called for Isolationism on Vouchers. Now, the Senator has witnessed the toll upon our society that this Isolationism has wrought. Like Joe Kennedy, Senator Meeks has had a Great Awakening!

the Chicago Teachers Union has figured out a way for teachers to not be evaluated on obvious criteria, such as how well they perform in the classroom.

Nobody wants to be held accountable, but the blood of every child is on our hands.

We must also decide whether Mayor Daley should continue to preside over the Chicago schools. Since he assumed control of the district in 1995, the Blackhawks have had nine coaches, the Bulls have had eight coaches, the Cubs have had five managers and the White Sox have had three managers.

For the first time in my personal and political career, I am exploring the idea of vouchers and charter schools to help facilitate choice and enhance academic performance. Why should we continue to make investments in a system that is bankrupt and weighed down with bureaucracy?

We must begin making decisions that are in the best interest of children, such as mandatory teacher evaluations. Since the will to change the system is nonexistent, we should allow students the flexibility to attend schools outside their district. What once worked before, such as the local school councils, may have run its course in today's competitive environment.

They say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. We can no longer afford to have the blood of every child on our hands.

Welcome to the War Senator! Already the Isolationists like Eric Zorn ( using free Market tropes) are attacking Senator Meeks and 'Blaming the Parents!'
My problem with voucher-based education is that it relies on a level of parental involvement that's manifestly missing and on a free-market system that is failing the inner-city already. Not that there is any easy answer, but these communities need jobs and affordable housing, far lower single-parent birth rates and, yes, calm, safe focused classrooms in which students can learn and teachers can teach.

Since the will to change the system is nonexistent, we should allow students the flexibility to attend schools outside their district.
Interesting idea, the logistics of which boggle the mind. Even if we could pull it off, though, and allow certain, motivated students to flee, the basic problem they are fleeing -- joblessness and its attendant poverty -- will remain.

If PNG Zorn is against you, Senator, you are on the right path!We can use your voice, spirit and energy. Let's make Genuine Reform Happen in Illinois! Let's Kick Open the Doors for Vouchers!

* Old Joe Kennedy thought Adolph Hitler would 'not be such a bad guy' and just another guy doing business and after all Old Joe said during the Battle of Britain, "Democracy is finished in England. It may be here, [in the US]."

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