Friday, April 01, 2005


Winding up this week’s series on kindergarten and exciting private-sector alternatives for those who don’t think the public schools are getting the job done, it must be stressed that the following is NOT an April Fool’s Day joke.

If the Legislature “caves” to the teachers’ union and the State Ed Department, and kills our Class 1 country schools with LB 126, then I think the Class 1 schools should all go private.

That’s right: turn their backs on state aid, federal aid and local property tax revenues, circle the wagons, and re-create themselves as one-room schoolhouses run by parents, not the government.

Then hold on to your hats, and watch the educational quality eclipse the town schools. Why? Because the classics of American education – local control, a focus on good teaching, and involved parents – will come to the fore.

And guess what? They’d be in the “in” crowd. The one-room schoolhouse is a hot trend in education nationwide. Visit
www.floridamandate.blogspot.com and read the article “One Room Schoolhouse” by Bruce Shortt to see how it might work in space provided by a church, which is certainly still found in every community. A teacher could be paid, but this also could be done with volunteers from among parents, retired church members and others who just love children and want their educations to be the best they can be.

What? No certification, accreditation, constant assessment, privacy-invading data collection, gobs of paperwork, unfunded mandates, zero tolerance policies, pointless inservices, multiculturalism, anti-Americanism, or forced acceptance of sexual perversions and promiscuity?

What would they DO all day? Just kidding.

Just think of the unionized job slots that would be lost if all those little schools dropped off the public-school rolls.

Just think how the rationale for bureaucratic jobs and expenses would vanish, if there were that many fewer schools for the bureaucracy to box with.

Just think about what would go on during a typical school day, if suddenly the focus could be put on the educational needs of the children, and not the financial “needs” of the powers-that-be.

Just think about the academic quality that would result if teachers and parents were truly in charge, instead of the “what’s nuts? let’s try it” attitude of the anti-family left-wingers in control of public education these days.

There’s something very satisfying about playing the “OK, I’ll take my ball and go home” game with educrats. It’s about time Nebraska parents and taxpayers called their bluff on this LB 126 power play that has nothing to do with educating children, and everything to do with their greed for more money and power.

Yes, it would be a lot harder for them to have to do the K-8 educating themselves. Yes, it would be unfair that they have to turn their backs on the bona fide tax dollars that should be coming to them. Yes, it’s too bad that the union is so powerful in this state that Nebraska doesn’t have a whiff of hope for charter school legislation or school choice.

But yessssss, it would be sweet to preserve that priceless atmosphere of the country school in Nebraska, such an important part of our heritage.

And yesssssss, it’d be great to model the power of close relationships in small schools, and the ability to focus on academics and not governmental intervention and social engineering.

Yessssss! In a way, I’m hoping LB 126 will pass . . . just to see an in-your-face to the politicians and the educrats and show them how they SHOULD have been doing their jobs for the past several decades.

Who knows? It might spark a revolution all across the country! And what an April Fool that would be. We and our children would laugh all the way to a happily ever after.

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