Bad parents made their kids go here
Good Parents send their kids to public schools and save money for Medicinal Marijuana, LaLaPalooza, Pitchfork, Vegan Carry-outs and Indigo Girl Tix.
I read a really goofy Manifesto on Slate by Allison Bendikt and I knew that Bruce Dold of the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board could not wait to re-print it after Eric Zorn shoved it under his nose. The Tribune Editorial Board and its stable of quirky, edgy and too cool for Catholic school columnists has all the gravitas and discernment of MSNBC. Here is Ms. Benedikt's attempt at public discourse - premise - Parents who send their kids to private schools ( Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran, Muslim, Dutch Reformed and Suburban Secularist) are bad people.
Allison Benedikt is married to John Cook, who also writes for national Progressive publications like The Nation, Salon, The Republic. You magazines read by rich people who really hate rich people.
Allison is not as strident as her hubby, who demands that private schools be outlawed just The Reich did in the 1930's. Allison merely points to bad parents who send their kids to Catholic schools . . .private schools. She's not strident merely judgmental.
I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good. (Yes, rich people might cluster. But rich people will always find a way to game the system: That shouldn’t be an argument against an all-in approach to public education any more than it is a case against single-payer health care.)
So, how would this work exactly? It’s simple! Everyone needs to be invested in our public schools in order for them to get better. Not just lip-service investment, or property tax investment, but real flesh-and-blood-offspring investment. Your local school stinks but you don’t send your child there? Then its badness is just something you deplore in the abstract. Your local school stinks and you do send your child there? I bet you are going to do everything within your power to make it better. . . .( YES WE CAN!!!! SI! SE PUEDE!!!!!) . . .Sorry but I could help myself.Now here comes the payoff! . . .
There are a lot of reasons why bad people send their kids to private school. Yes, some do it for prestige or out of loyalty to a long-standing family tradition or because they want their children to eventually work at Slate. But many others go private for religious reasons, or because their kids have behavioral or learning issues, or simply because the public school in their district is not so hot. None of these are compelling reasons. Or, rather, the compelling ones (behavioral or learning issues, wanting a not-subpar school for your child) are exactly why we should all opt in, not out.
Ms. Benedikt notes that she is fine ( perfectly content) with her ignorance of history as well as other public school education afforded gaps in her intellectual capacities. Catholic schools teach that Ignorance is human, but Stupid is forever. Ignorance needs to be corrected. Human aspiration is the result. A stupid person does not care a whit about what she/he does not know. Back to paragraph # 1, parenthetical close:
(Yes, rich people might cluster. But rich people will always find a way to game the system: That shouldn’t be an argument against an all-in approach to public education any more than it is a case against single-payer health care.)
Ms. Benedikt admits to the sorry state of American public education in her Manifesto
I believe in public education, but my district school really isn’t good! you might say. I understand. You want the best for your child, but your child doesn’t need it. If you can afford private school (even if affording means scrimping and saving, or taking out loans), chances are that your spawn will be perfectly fine at a crappy public school. She will have support at home (that’s you!) and all the advantages that go along with being a person whose family can pay for and cares about superior education—the exact kind of family that can help your crappy public school become less crappy. She may not learn as much or be as challenged, but take a deep breath and live with that. Oh, but she’s gifted? Well, then, she’ll really be fine.My spawn all attended Catholic schools Pre-12 because we are Catholic. However, were I Wiccan my spawn would have donned Catholic schoolyard jumpers, or Virgin Mary blue polos and navy strides from Zemskis anyway. I love my children, but more than that - I am obligated to their development as Americans. Americans are not moral relativists, but committed citizens who know that they are not the center of the Universe. To that end, I must do for my children from conception until I shed my mortal husk.
The total cost for the Catholic schooling of my spawn breaks out like this
Plutocrat Hickey Games the System, or From 1988 - 2014 for Spawn Total of 3
P-8 $ 26,000 in Tuition* Two Parent Income 1988-1998 ( widowed 1/14/1998 all kids received Social Security Death Benefits monthly and socked away; plus generous gifts from family members in Memoriam)- Single Parent 1998-2013.
P-8 $ 6,400 in Books and Fees
9-12 $ 75,000 in Tuition
9-12 $ 9,450 in Books and Fees
Spawn Total $ 116,850
My salary range between 1988-2013* Before Mortgage/City/County/State/ Federal Taxes & my Social Security Payments
1988 - $ 22,000
2013 - $ 71,000
The Spawn Payoff - My oldest daughter and her fiance are going to close on house in Oak Lawn next month; my son is taking his Boiler Operations Class prior to his October journeyman's exam for IUOE Local 399 and my baby girl is engaged in the Freshman Seminar at Western Michigan University. All three Spawnies are committed voters ( Anti-Abortion Democrats) tax-payers and free of any criminal record.
That makes me a Bad Parent*.
Ms. Benedikt has cast her thoughts upon the waters of public opinion - good on you, Allison. The Benedikt Manifesto will aid the Public School Industry's propaganda machine and reach the eyes and ears of millions.
My tens of readers have been offered my homey homily.
So long as whack-jobs continue to be afforded the microphones, the air-time and print shoved in front of politely silent ( stunned?) audiences, what passes for American thought will continue to be as compelling as the Manifesto: Private School v. Public School in Slate, The New Republic, or The Nation.
Personally, I find more gravitas in periodicals like Jugs and Ammo.
* One of the most laughable memes employed by the Public School Propaganda Ministry Contra School Choice is tired old saw - " BUT, People, Catholic Schools can kick out kids and have done with them."
Here is an exchange with a young man who lost a brother ( CPS Alum) to gang violence last October and went into a tail spin of truancy - we could not have the young guy back unless he chose to live at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Posted to Facebook.