Sunday, February 25, 2007
STATE SEN. GWEN HOWARD'S IDEA:
LOOK OUT, OR WE'LL GET RUN OVER
BY THE SOCIALISM BUS
Flashing yellow light, bigtime, about Omaha Sen. Gwen Howard's compromise bill in the Nebraska Legislature. It would result in the hiring of countless more nonteaching staff members, primarily to conduct social work services within the public schools.
The intent is laudable -- to try to "level the playing field" so that kids of all demographic groups and family backgrounds have equal educational opportunity. Often, their approaches to school are inequitable because of social problems -- poverty, parental drug addiction, lack of transportation resulting in absenteeism, and so forth.
But the pricetag on school social work is enormous, and not just in dollars and cents. It also continues the destructive trend toward socialistic schools that focus on just about everything BUT academics. Study after study shows that the more nonteaching personnel you put into a public school, the lower the quality of the academic performance. That's because therapeutic tangents and social engineering are emphasized above content. It's counter-productive, and clearly so.
The Howard compromise is also problematic because it incorporates the bad ideas of an overarching "learning community" that would destroy local control by locally-elected officials, and collectivizing the tax base, which would further remove accountability and cost controls from school spending decisionmaking.
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