Friday, March 11, 2005
APOLOGIES TO SEN. RAIKES
A reader suggested that a lyric I posted earlier today is offensive. I'd like to apologize if that's true, and state that my intention was never to hurt anybody.
See the next post's last verse for the lyric that mentions Sen. Ron Raikes of Lincoln, chairman of the Legislature's Education Committee and sponsor of the bill that would push Nebraska's Class I country schools into closing and blending with the town schools.
It is my contention that the senator is wrong when he implies that parents are taking their kids out of town schools and putting them in the country schools to avoid Spanish-speaking immigrants because they are racists. His statements landed Nebraska in a big story on the Drudge website last month which painted our whole state as racist boobs. I know Sen. Raikes never meant for that to happen, but it did.
That's why I say the Class I schools can't get any breaks. They've had to deal with that . . . plus statewide misconceptions caused by financials that don't add up in statements about how much money closing the Class I schools would save or cost . . . plus pressure by the teachers' unions to close the Class I's because salaries are naturally lower in the itty bitty towns in Nebraska and that decreases the statewide average and the Commission on Industrial Relations comparables, which they think decreases the urban teachers' pay . . . plus the Class I's have had to deal with the State Department of Education posting the Class I test scores WITH the learning-disabled kids' scores averaged in, while the town school scores are posted WITHOUT them. That artificially deflates the Class I test scores, and that doesn't smell very good.
Now, you can't blame Sen. Raikes for all of this, but he is the one who sponsored the bill. So I think it's fair to mention his name in a protest song. However, I never meant to hurt his feelings. Just wanted to make the point that all this wouldn't be happening if he had worked with the Class I parents to come up with a different scenario.
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