Lynn Woolsey’s 2010 opponent speaks out on education and shrinking budgets…

Yesterday’s print edition of The Press Democrat included a “Close to Home” Guest Opinion entitled “Making students the focus” by former 6th District congressional candidate Jim Judd. In a slightly longer form, one can also read it on the newspaper’s website at this link. Mr. Judd responded to an earlier guest opinion on the subject of dwindling funding for schools and in what context that should be addressed.

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About district6voter

A concerned Northern California citizen who believes Representative Lynn Woolsey ought to be replaced in November, 2010.
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6 Responses to Lynn Woolsey’s 2010 opponent speaks out on education and shrinking budgets…

  1. Sierra Peterson says:

    Also of issue is the neglect and mistreatment of disabled students in charter schools.
    New Orleans charter schools have frequently denied disabled students admission, used excessive punishment against them, or relied on permanent expulsion as a means of disciplining those students they are clearly ill-equipped to deal with in the first place.
    Here is a site that documents many of these issues, as well as the schools’ involvement in borderline illegal real estate deals.

  2. Sierra Peterson says:

    Jim Judd is in favor of cutting programs for at risk youth…Unless there is a solid plan to replace the current programs, it is only common sense that less people will be graduating from high school, let alone college.

    This was the crux of my two comments and what I was hoping you would address. Focusing on charter schools at the expense of the main idea will obscure what’s really important, which is that any would-be politician who clearly wishes to slash social services without replacing them with an equally robust local provider will cause a sharp upswing in poverty levels.

    Additionally, much of the studies regarding exceptional performance in charter schools are likely due to those schools’ practice of cherry-picking students who are most likely to succeed, while leaving the rest in underfunded public schools. The corporatization of education has also, ironically, received a windfall in public stimulus money, yet another example of how supposedly autonomous “free trade” networks actually parasitize off of the tax dollars of working Americans. I’m not against charter schools in principle but I think it’s important to look at what has gone wrong in other states in order to prevent that from occurring here. The history of how privatization and union-busting have also been used to prop up corrupt regimes in other countries is also necessary to understand the whole picture, because tyranny is not the exclusive domain of “big government” alone.

  3. You focused on charter schools, not I. By the way, charter schools do not cherry pick students. Students and their parents are the ones who make the decisions about whether they will attend these schools. That is the point: to permit more choice for parents and students in a school system that is failing them on many fronts. The number of native English speakers who “graduate’ from high school without a sound education is still quite appalling. Schools (charter and non-charter) should primarily be run locally by school boards elected by the people in their districts. There is too much bureaucracy, too much social engineering and too much union interference in schools these days. Enough is enough, and we must change that and return to local accountability.

    And the idea that all assistance to at risk youth or other similar groups is the purview of the government is faulty. Government has its own necessary duties. For example, a prime duty of the federal government is proper defense of our nation. The states and local governments should deal with problems that they are best suited to. For instance, state government should be responsible for highways that stretch across the state. Counties should be responsible for roads that crisscross their area. When it comes to assistance for the underprivileged or the disabled, etc., there are plenty of other groups equipped and eager to take up the mission. Assistance to those in need is not a government duty, it is a human one that each person should take part in in some way. We are a very open-hearted country and we don’t need government trying to legislate, regulate, and control every kind of assistance out there.

    We are not going to persuade each other. You are obviously very liberal in your views, I’m not.

  4. Sierra Peterson says:

    By the way, charter schools do not cherry pick students. Students and their parents are the ones who make the decisions about whether they will attend these schools.

    In New Orleans, a large number of disabled students have been denied admission to charter schools. This information is in the third link I provided so your generalization is inaccurate. Expulsion is another means of cherry picking. Here, also,
    is an article about New Jersey charter schools which have a disproportionately low number of poor students compared to public schools, which accounts for their relatively high test scores for obvious reasons.

    When it comes to assistance for the underprivileged or the disabled, etc., there are plenty of other groups equipped and eager to take up the mission.

    You are living in another universe if you think that local charities are in any place to be able to cope with the enormous hardship that will result from drastic cuts to social services. Anyone living in the ghetto knows that this is simply not true. Options for people in this situation are almost exclusively either help from one’s family, if it exists at all, or federal assistance. The welfare state replaced local charity a long time ago. And no, in no way do I think this is a good thing.

    Regarding my being a “liberal”, this is not an accurate characterization of my views. I’ve always felt that bureaucracies encourage corruption, inefficiency and abuses of power. As far as “charity” goes, most of my efforts have gone towards either supporting autonomous organizations, such as Food Not Bombs, or helping people directly, through money, food and sheltering people in my own home. I’ve done things this way precisely because I know that, for every dollar you give to the federal government, it will take 90 cents for itself. But I’m also realistic enough to know that local charities have a LOT of work to do before they can effectively ameliorate the mass suffering that will be caused by cuts to the social safety net. To make matters worse, many libertarian and conservative leaders are spreading the idea that poverty is caused more by personal failure than lack of opportunity. But it may be that we have unworkable differences on these matters so it’s best to stop trying to come to an agreement.

    • I think I made it clear that I was limiting my comments to California charter schools. What happens in other states is beyond the scope of this conversation.

      The welfare state is an artificial state of things that some folks think is a necessity. It’s not. It is based on the assumption that we have an endless supply of money and other resources, which we do not. The gravy train is coming to the end of the track, and people are going to have to learn to live with less government and its “entitlement” programs whether they like it or not. I trust that human beings outside of government can find better ways to do things than the fat, slow, and wasteful government — for all of us. You are right that government is not efficient as a supplier of assistance. We agree on that.

      And pardon me if my quick generalization of your views is not quite accurate. We all have individual perspectives that (fortunately) keep us from being easily crammed into the convenient labels of society. Nevertheless, in general this blog isnt’ a place where you can find people who agree with you on much. Perhaps if you read Lynn Woolsey’s site instead, you would feel a little more at home. 🙂

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