Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters (see link at top of page). You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office, Washington, DC.  Conversation began Entry #289.

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Before the break, I said I thought at first Jordan’s idea of reinstating conscription was stupid.  Then I came around and supported it.”

JC:  “And…?

Greenie:  “Well, here’s an idea that you guys might think falls in the category of stupid.  I think we should ban charter schools.”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “What’s your logic?  Something wrong with charter schools?”

Jordan:  “Supporters claim charter schools are more effective than public schools at educating students.  So what’s wrong with their argument?”

Greenie:  “My view is charter schools are band-aides, not solutions.  Charter schools are an excuse to divert money from public schools to the private sector.  Or even worse, charter schools are part of a plan toward eliminating public schools altogether.  But charter schools don’t solve any real problems.”

BandAidJC:  “Not that I disagree with you but why do you think charter schools are a band-aide?”

Greenie:  “Because charter schools address symptoms and not causes.  Let’s not be naïve, a certain percentage of public schools have real problems.  And those problems need to be fixed.”

Jordan:  “You’re saying that charter schools don’t fix the problems.  Why not?  Aren’t students better off moving from public schools to charter schools?”

Greenie:  “Some students, probably, but not all.  What about the kids who don’t go to charter schools and remain in public schools?   Many are worse off than before the other kids left…plus there’s less funding for the public schools because taxpayers must fund the charter schools.”

Bag of MoneyJC:  “We need to get more specific about the issues.  Besides we know that merely throwing money at schools does not necessarily make schools better.”

Greenie:  “You want specifics?  Start with quality of teachers.  I know we all grew up in a different era – some probably liken it to the Stone Age by today’s standards.  But think about the quality of teachers we had from first grade through high school…and especially high school.”

Diagramed SentenceJC:  “I agree that many were top-notch, especially those teaching math and English.  To think we were so motivated we used to diagram sentences for fun!”

Jordan:  “Why do you think the teachers were so good?”

Greenie:  “Party because women had fewer career opportunities than today.”

JC:  “True, but we had some great male teachers as well.”

Black School TeacherJordan:  “What about teacher pay?”

Greenie:  “Much better proportionately than pay today but still less money than the private sector.”

JC:  “What about respect?  In an earlier era, teachers seemed to be respected by almost everyone…including politicians.”

Jordan:  “Good point.    I really get frustrated with some politicians in North Carolina.  Republicans have let teacher pay lag behind the rate of inflation.  What’s even worse, when teachers marched on Raleigh recently for higher pay and more support for students, a long-term, high-profile Republican called them thugs.”

JC:  “Nice, huh?  Calling your teachers thugs.  What an a-hole.”

Greenie:  “See why I said charter schools were a band-aide?   Charter schools do nothing to address some of the fundamental problems of public education.”

WhyJordan:  “OK, I’ll be the bad guy.  Why do we need free public education?  What percent of the public thinks education should be privately provided and not publicly provided…forget who pays for it?”

JC:  “That kind of question makes my head hurt.  Jordan, you know as well as I that what made this country great was not a bunch of open land, not a bunch of resources…not even a great constitution.  None of those mattered unless you had one thing…”

122813_2140_15Education4.jpgGreenie:  “…an educated populous.  And how did the US populous become educated?  Not just an education for the elite but an education for everyone, including immigrants, many of whom arrived here illiterate. They were educated through a free public education.”

Jordan:  “So your premise is until the country sets a goal of free, quality public education for everyone…and then begins to make that happen again…we’ll not make real progress toward making America great again.  Right?”

Greenie:  “You got it.  Allowing charter schools avoids forcing society toward restoring free, quality public education for all.”

School Bus NoJC:  “While we’re throwing out ideas about education, what about banning busing?  Busing seems like a waste of time and money.”

Greenie:  “Busing is a waste.  I agree the goal should be to eliminate almost all busing.”

Jordan:  “Ok, what’s the first step in making this plan work?”

Greenie:  “Simple.  Commitment.  If people commit to free, quality, public education for all, then the problem is more than half solved.  With such a commitment, all the other issues can start to be addressed rationally.”

JC:  “What about support from politicians?”

fife-drum%201Greenie:  “Tell me how a politician is going to campaign against free, quality public education for all?  That type campaign, especially in this post-Revenge Revolution environment would be suicide.”

Jordan:  “Greenie, I really like your idea.  Simple and easy to understand.”

JC:  “You got my vote too.  And now I’m the one who needs a break.”