Scene: Continuation of conversation between Jordan and JC.  Conversation centers on themes for government policies following Revenge Revolution.  Jordan and JC have agreed to a deadline of this evening to complete the work.  When finished, Jordan will attempt to review with POTUS.  Conversation begins Entry #131.

Background: JC and Jordan have concluded that the standard measure for future government policies should be ‘treat thy neighbor as thyself.’  The first ‘test’ of the standard is education policy.

Jordan:  “First criteria for education policy should be a quality education opportunity for all students.”

010414_1635_16TeachingS1.jpgJC:  “Public or private education?”

Jordan:  “Public education.  The country needs to make a quality education available to everyone.  Otherwise the country is not treating citizens fairly.”

JC:  “Does fair mean no private education?”

Jordan:  “No, fair allows private education as long as public education meets acceptable quality standards.”

JC:  “You just implied that separate but equal is OK.  You really mean that?”

Jordan:  “Yes, separate but equal is OK.”

supreme_court_buildingJC:  “That takes the country back to Plessy v. Ferguson and overturns Brown v. Board of Education.”

Jordan:  “Think about this.  We’re more than 100 years after Plessy v. Ferguson and more than 50 years after Brown v. Board of Education.  And what’s changed?  The US does not have even separate but equal public education.”

JC:  “Whoa, Bubba.  You really think so?”

Jordan:  “Pick a city.  Any city.”

JC:  “Alright.  Let’s take Charlotte, NC.  You used to live there.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Still do when I’m not trapped in Washington.”

JC:  “Charlotte claims it is a world-class city and a leader in all that new south stuff.”

Jordan:  “And what does Charlotte have?  A very strong private school base and a public school system with widely divergent quality and test scores.”

JC:  “Maybe Charlotte should balance out the public schools…with you know, more bussing.”

Jordan:  “Mandated bussing is what caused the boom in private schools.  Charter School-Bus-Clipartschools and vouchers made the problem even worse.”

JC:  “What’s the problem with charter schools?  I thought they were the answer to weak public schools.”

Jordan:  “Charter schools…and vouchers…use public money to fund schools that are privately run with little accountability.  Why should my tax dollars…or anyone’s tax dollars…support someone’s religious brainwashing…excuse me education.”

JC:  “The term ‘brainwashing’ is probably correct.  Many religious-based private schools seem to ban critical thinking.  The schools might as well build robots the kids are so programmed.”

Jordan:  “You asked me whether I supported separate but equal education.  My answer is ‘yes.’”

JC:  “How are you…we, the country…going to manage ‘separate but equal?’?”

Jordan:  “Let’s start with the kids first.  And back to the reference point, ‘treat thy neighbor as thyself.’”

122813_2140_15Education4.jpgJC:  “I agree that kids should have a neighborhood school.  Having a school one can attach to…sort of bond with emotionally…is important.  If possible, the kids should walk or ride a bike to school.  And go to class with other kids from the neighborhood.”

Jordan:  “So what do the kids get with bussing?”

JC:  “Kids get to spend a lot of time on the bus and don’t necessarily know the other kids in the neighborhood.”

Jordan:  “Exactly.  And had we been bussed in grammar school, you and I likely never would have met.  And no comment whether that would have been better.”

JC:  “I’m all for bussing.  Just kidding, Jordan.  I agree with you.  But how do you enforce consistent quality in the different schools?”

Jordan:  “A lot of decisions need to be made at the local level.  But the very first standard for all decisions needs to be ‘treat thy neighbor as thyself.’”

JC:  “I guess that’s what Plessy v. Ferguson was trying to do…but without really enforcing the standard.”

Jordan:  “No one said setting new government policies would be easy.  But a clear standard allows real discussion to take place, especially at the local level.”

JC:  “So the measurement standard for education is ‘treat thy neighbor as thyself?’  That’s it?”

Jordan:  “Well, yes, and why not?”

JC:  “The standard does not seem very clear.”

Jordan:  “Au contraire, I think the standard is very clear.  The standard forces the community into equal educational opportunity for all.”

meeting-clipart-board-clip-artJC:  “You’re counting on the local community to enforce the standard?”

Jordan:  “Who better to enforce it?  Right now, those groups that want unequal educational opportunity find all kinds of ways around supporting public education – private schools, private religious schools, vouchers, charter schools, home schools.  Everything but equal-opportunity public education.”

JC:  “Your logic seems to be the more specific the standard or rule, the more time and creativity some groups will spend on finding a way around it.”

Jordan:  “You got it.  Keep the policy standard simple and easy to understand.”

JC:  “I get it.  The government can then force those who don’t support the standard to justify why.”

Jordan:  “The federal government has been perceived as the bad guy in education, at Constitution-Dayleast by many Republicans.  Let’s turn that image around.  The federal government should set an easy to understand standard that is consistent with the US Constitution…equal justice for all…and consistent with virtually every religion.”

JC:  “Hard to argue with such a standard.”

Jordan:  “Besides, the entire country needs to crank up the focus on education.  The US is way behind much of the developed world in quality of education.”

JC:  “Mmmm.  The ‘treat thy neighbor as thyself’ seems to work with education policy.  What about say health care policy?”

Jordan:  “Let’s tackle that one after a break.”

JC:  “Don’t take too long.  Remember you’ve got a mock broadcast from the Oval Office at 9:00pm tonight.”

(To be continued)

Previous entries: #121-#130, Issues related to Federal budget.  Download in e-book format, 15 05 23 Do They Really Understand Entries #121-#130.