School ends
Posted by aogWednesday, 29 March 2006 at 22:06 TrackBack Ping URL

Joanne Jacobs has a post about a film, Boys of Barak about 20 school children in inner city Baltimore who travel to a Kenyan bording school to get a better education. It is not a message of success when kids have to travel to a third world nation like Kenya to acquire a proper education.

It is not that there can be a dysfunctional school that fails to educate even in the best education system. It is that alternatives are not locally available, which is primarily a function of the public monopoly imposed on the education system in this country.

I have thought much on this subject and I think ultimately it comes down to who is in charge of the schools, parents or politicians. One notes that most rural schools do at least OK and many of them well, while almost every big city school system is a massive failure. What is the difference? I think it is that in a rural community, most of the voters are themselves parents, therefore the school is viewed as an source of education. In a big city, however, there are far more non-child households and many parents who don’t vote, leading to the schools being viewed as a source of jobs. This is also encouraged by the larger size of urban school systems, where it is much easier to layer on management and overhead, something far more difficult in a small rural school.

Parents are hardly perfect, but overall a group of people with educations as a primary focus will run a school better than a group that sees the school as a jobs program. This is one of the many reasons that I think a voucher system would, over a decade or two, radically improve the quality of education in America, particularly for those currently stuck in the nightmare of many urban school systems, like the Boys of Baraka.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
cjm Thursday, 30 March 2006 at 19:29

i can’t imagine raising a child in an urban environment. give me the suburbs, in all their banal glory. funny enough, liberals in suburbs insist on, and get, excellent public schools.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 30 March 2006 at 19:49

See, that’s because it’s liberal parents who control the school system. Check out who is the power there — cronies of the ruling political class, or people who have children in school? Answer that for me and I will tell you whether the school is a good one.

Jeff Guinn Friday, 31 March 2006 at 06:33

AOG:

I think it is that in a rural community, most of the voters are themselves parents, therefore the school is viewed as an source of education. In a big city, however, there are far more non-child households and many parents who don’t vote, leading to the schools being viewed as a source of jobs.

I think you think right. And I know I have never heard that assessment anywhere else.

CJM:

Liberals in suburbs insist on excellent schools because they like their property values.

cjm Friday, 31 March 2006 at 10:46

jeff: you got that right brother! i live near one of the top rated high schools in the country, and it is like crack cocaine to asian families.

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