For first-time readers, this blog is set in the future (sometime after 2020). This entry assumes the Revenge Revolution has occurred. For more information about the anticipated 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution — and more background about the author, Entry #1. One another note: almost all characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.
Scene: Conversation about education starts Entry #153. Jordan and JC, a long-time friend (and frequent character) are having dinner. Time of year – just about when school starts.
Jordan: “You got that argument right. The problem with charter schools is two-fold. #1, far less accountability than public schools. And in some cases virtually no accountability.
JC: “I’ll buy that. What’s the second problem?”
Jordan: “#2, taxpayer dollars that are collected for use in public schools are diverted to the private sector. The money transfer further erodes the funding for public schools – teachers, buildings, and equipment. The diversion is a vicious cycle with public education suffering more and more.
JC: “Aren’t some charter schools focused on specific subjects or areas of study? That seems like a good idea. Why not let kids who are really good at say math and science go to schools where they can excel?”
Jordan: “You can accomplish the same programs…call them high-intensity study programs…in the public school system. Big cities have done so for years. NY, and probably some others, have an array of special-interest high schools.”
JC: “You’re right. We went to public school and were enrolled in ‘accelerated classes.’ They probably call those classes ‘advanced placement’ now…more politically correct. I guess you and I didn’t need private schools or charter schools to get a good education.”
Jordan: “I understand the taxpayer’s frustration with cost of schools. Rather than increasing taxes, a better approach would be to reduce or eliminate money not being spent very efficiently – like busing, charter schools. Add to that waste the extra money many parents are spending for private schools.”
JC: “If I’ve heard you right tonight, you think the way to start rebuilding public schools is cutting way back on busing and taking the money to create a corps of higher-caliber teachers, like Miss ‘What?’ and Mrs. D.?”
Jordan: “There are people out there who can teach like Miss What? and Mrs. D. But they’re probably not teaching because of low pay. We need to recruit those people to become teachers and need to pay them enough so they remain as teachers.”
JC: “Given the political support for charters, how can the rebuilding program get started? There’ll be a lot of resistance.”
Jordan: “Maybe. But the key is generating public support, at which point the politicians will fold. Remember in 2015 how quickly and effectively the Donald changed the tone of the Republicans running for president?”
JC: “Yep. His comments were straightforward, unvarnished, not diplomatic and often over the top…but he got everyone’s attention.”
Jordan: “Trump also made it OK to talk about sensitive issues without the PC-sugar coating.”
JC: “Alright, I guess we need to find someone like the Donald…but a bit less bombastic…to talk about education.”
Jordan: “Let’s get someone to promote a very simple concept for education. You brought it up early in the conversation.”
JC: “You mean Einstein’s comments about education?”
Jordan: “Exactly. ‘Education is not the learning of facts. It’s rather the training of the mind to think.'”
JC: “Did he really say that, or is that some made-up quote on the web?”
Jordan: “Not sure it really matters. It’s a great quote and we should use it. We need to repeat it ’till we memorize it.”
JC: “You can engage your brain and memorize the quote. I’m getting a refill.”
Jordan: “Education is not the learning of facts. It’s rather the training of the mind to think. Education is not the learning of facts. It’s rather the training of the mind to think. Education is not the learning of facts. It’s rather the training of the mind to think.”
JC: “By the way, I checked on the quote while you were trying to memorize it. Some controversy about the exact quote and whether it was taken out of context…but, I think its close enough. The quote is easy to remember and understand. I’m voting we use it.”
(To be continued)