Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year - 2019!

It is now the Year of Our Lord Two-Thousand Ten-andNine.  Happy new year to all of you reading this.  Having dispensed with the social amenities, I will now pour myself a little eye opener and get down to business.

The eternal battle between sanity and chaos continues, and will continue unabated until the moonbats come to their senses or are exterminated.  I have no preference for either solution, nor do I believe either one will occur in my lifetime.  Hell, given my diet, my excess weight, and my alcohol intake, I'm not talking about a significant length of time here.

On the education front, anyone affiliated with public education in Ohio has their collective knickers in a knot over the application of Ohio House Bill 70, which states, in part, that if the school system is failing by Ohio standards (and those standards are not all that high, let me tell you), the folks who work there will change whatever it is they're doing and produce desirable results - or else.

Peanut Gallery: Or else what, Mad Jack? It isn't like a teacher can be fired, what with the teacher's union being what it is.  The only other way to enforce this directive is to cut funding, and since our elected officials are much more concerned with being reelected than anything else, and cutting State funding for schools being a third rail when it comes to elections, well... wouldn't you say we're pretty much hosed?

I would indeed. Except - look at this cheese: State takeover of Columbus City Schools?

From the article:
It [HB 70] applies to any school district that gets an overall “F” grade on the state report card three years in a row, triggering the appointment of a powerful state-employed CEO with “complete operational, managerial, and instructional control of the district.” The CEO has the power to unilaterally run the operation, convert district schools to charters, cancel union contracts and privatize public operations.

Two other districts already have been taken over under the 2015 law: Lorain and East Cleveland. Dayton schools could be next, after the end of this school year. Columbus and eight more districts — Ashtabula, Canton, Euclid, Lima, Mansfield, North College Hill, Painesville and Toledo — face potential takeovers after next school year.

The Ohio State Supreme Court will hear a case of the this law being challenged, mainly because public school employees can all agree that they don't like it, but actually on a mere technicality. It seems that HB 70 got rushed through the House and Senate, and I'm guessing that a lot of the legislature didn't have time to read the bill before voting on it.  Not that it really matters, but they should at least get the opportunity, right?

Anyway, an attempt to strike the law is being made.  If the law is stricken from the books, it's going to float to the surface again and this time will lead to a lot of argument, ill-will, and legislative gridlock.

The real problems of education, as I see them, are this:

  • Teachers and staff complain they are underpaid, which is sort of true and sort of not.  Teachers and staff get a summer vacation, many holidays, and benefits that most private companies simply cannot afford to give away.  The retirement plan isn't all that bad either.
  • Teachers and staff acknowledge that the scholastic achievements of a small fraction of the students leave a little something to be desired.  Translation: Students are 'graduating' and are not able to read, write, or perform basic math.  This is what we, in the private sector, refer to as failure and grounds for termination.

Who am I kidding? You or me? Public schools are failing, and have been failing for years. Teachers say that it's the parents, none of whom are involved in their children's education. If the parenting improves, then all we have to worry about is the pay, which is just a short step above poverty.

The reality is that the parenting isn't going to improve, ever.  Just drop that idea, because it's never going to happen.

While the salary is low, paying someone twice or three times what they make now is not going to magically make them a better school teacher.  For instance, the New York Philharmonic could hire me as a musician (I used to play trumpet in high school), but everyone within earshot would immediately know that I should have never in a million years have been hired, I'm a complete and total failure, and increasing my pay is not going to turn me into Mindy Kaufman, Arlen Fast, or Christopher Martin.  This is especially true in the case of Mindy, who's a good looking woman, and me, who is not just male but uglier than the back end of a Mexican bus, and who is decidedly not confused about his sexual identity and his preferences, and if any of you derelicts want any proof or testimony to the fact, you can go fart up a flagpole.

Okay, I got carried away there.

In the meantime I'm waiting for the Reynoldsburg school system to make the list, which it might.  I note that Toledo is on the list already, and rightfully so.

Having a CEO who is empowered to make drastic, sweeping changes to the current school system is a double-edged sword at best.  What the staff wants is a decidedly progressive black female, preferably lesbian or transgendered, who is sympathetic to their current situation.  What they're likely to get is a 60-something ultra-conservative male with the ethics of a chainsaw and the empathy of an empty beer can.  With any luck at all, reality will be somewhere in the middle, meaning nothing will really change.

And so it goes.  The 18 and over crowd, generation Z if you like, will continue living with roughly 25% of them unable to read, balance a checkbook, understand the terms of a loan, or any number of things that the readers of this incredible hound take for granted.  Now what?  Well, I'm glad you asked, because I can answer that one.

A certain percentage of today's adult population really and truly wants the government to run their lives for them.  The government, like a giant, benevolent oracle, who knows all, sees all, and decides all for everyone.  The government will keep us all safe and well-regulated.  These are the moonbat democrats, generally speaking.

This is the segment of the populace that grows lager every June, when little Johnny finally graduates and files for welfare, because there's nothing else he can do.

I don't see this as a conspiracy so much as I think it's an unintended consequence, but now that it's happened and it's beneficial, why not keep it going?

The real solution now is to either send your kids to a private school, or home school them. But how many will do that, or can afford it?

We'll see, I guess.


CWMartin said...

" What the staff wants is a decidedly progressive black female, preferably lesbian or transgendered, who is sympathetic to their current situation." Gee, we basically have that in FWCS, and Bobby G's wife still left the district because they suck. Never give the people what they want...

As for an iron-handed CEO- isn't that what the superindendent is SUPPOSED to be? "Why, the solution is simple, slop on another layer of bureaucracy." And that is REALLY why nothing will change.

Mad Jack said...

You're right about another layer of bureaucracy.

A good friend of mine, a man who I regard as being both intelligent and erudite, has examined the problems with Toledo (Ohio) public schools, and stated that if he had absolute authority he could straighten the system out in ten years. What do you suppose happens in the meantime? And what's happening now?

Old NFO said...

Happy New Year sir!

Mad Jack said...

And a very Happy New Year to you as well. Here's a hoist of the mid-afternoon bourbon glass and a tip of the old fedora to you.

Bob G. said...

Mad Jack:
---Yeah, the educational system is not even a shadow of what people from OUR era once knew, that's for sure.
---I keep saying that the only way to get grad rates up and all this "feel good" PCBS flushed down the crapper, is to get BACK TO BASICS...but to return to how things worked when WE were school age is not considered "forward-thinking" in the eyes of the progressives and their agenda.
But hey, I only went through 12+ years of education and married a teacher (who Chris states had to leave the system because it blew chunks).
Someday, the idiots will wake up and smell the diplomas burning. Just not today, right??
Good post.

Stay safe out there.

Mad Jack said...

Thanks Bob.

I come from a long line of school teachers, and they insisted on an orderly class, and insisted that the students actually learn something. In Junior High I had a math teacher that started teaching us about interest - simple interest - and I didn't understand the value of the lesson until I got my first car loan and the loan officer couldn't explain how interest was calculated, nor could she duplicate it.

"Sure, here's the payment schedule, but how do I know it's correct?"

And the fun started.