I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Could School Choice Help Prevent the Next Baltimore Riot?

As I was flipping channels on Sunday morning, watching the various Sunday Morning News Programs, there was a lot of discussion, naturally, on the Baltimore Riots.

Everyone on This Week with George Stephanopoulos was talking about it. 

Face the nation had a panel talking about it.

It seemed that everyone had issues they believed contributed to the problems in the Baltimore area.  Poverty, concentrated poverty, income inequality, and a lack of jobs was a recurring explanation.  The police need more training.  The police need more psychological training was one line of thought.
One guest even blamed a lack of neighborhood grocery stores and a deficient transportation system.

Nobody talked about individual choices, personal responsibility, the disintegration of the Nuclear Family, Skyrocketing out-of-wedlock birthrates in most large urban communities, or the long rap-sheet of drug charges Freddie Gray had.  Nope, no conversation about any of that—those are taboo subjects on the Sunday morning shows.   It was just a lot of gushy, idealistic drivel about how when people make bad choices, it is everyone else’s fault; the government is actually at fault--and must install and pay for more “programs” at once!

And then several panelists mentioned poor education as an issue.

Bill Kristol piped up after the Bernie Sanders Interview and threw out a gem, that nobody touched

and everyone else on the panel ignored and quickly moved away from. 

School Choice. 

Offer School Choice to students in places like Baltimore, make the schools compete for better academic outcomes, and let kids and parents that want to escape a failing school—actually let them do this!  

He’s right, school choice is the civil rights issue of our times, and school choice is what will eventually save the American public school system.

But Liberals do not want it.  And that is Final!! 

Here is what Kristol said:

“A populist moment in the sense that people, middle class working class Americans would like to see policies that help them more. But so fine. Let's have school -- I mean, the single best thing what to do for poor kids in Baltimore or anywhere else is have more choice of schools, more competition among schools. In New York there are terrific charter schools attempts, which Bill de Blasio, this hero of the Left, is trying to shut down. There have been much attempts to introduce charter schools of competition, break up the teacher unions stranglehold in Baltimore, I don't think so. Will any Democrat run as a school reformer the way Bill Clinton did? This year? I'm doubtful.”
…and on the subject of the weak, “stand-down” policing  in Baltimore early on in the rioting that led to 15 buildings and more than 100 cars being torched early last week, Kristol was dead on in his assessment when he said:
“it’s been a city that's had an awful lot of trouble over the last few decades. And I'm just struck by the contrast to New York. You know, New York instituted broken windows policing. I think there were 2,300 murders in New York in 1990, 333 last year. I mean, that's a pretty amazing drop. New York is now safer than America on the average. It was three times more dangerous in terms of homicides 20 years ago. I think you need to have tough policing.  Obviously, policemen should be held accountable when they do something wrong, but we cannot abandon tough policing and law and order.”
He appeared to be the only guest on the show this week that “gets it.”


Anonymous said...

Social structures amd policies affect human behavior. Read a sociology book. Since most people can only see trees amd not forests, it's easy to see how people cannot see the influence of social design. It's abstract. It's hard to see those connections. And it takes a lot of grit to even go beyond the social structure. Indeed, those are unusual and outstanding human beings.

It's really a matter of design to meet the best ends. It's not the only factor, but it is significant. It wont sabe everyone, but society would be more equitable as a whole.

There are factors like a lack of regard for education as a way out, as well. And factors like whether education is relevant. And factors of how education beats the natural curiosity out of children.

I wondered if you get paid for this stuff.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous-No I do not get paid to Blog on this site; this is simply a way to express myself, and to release information to constituents and give my opinions on topics of interest. I can also use this platform to expound upon issues about which I may be asked to vote. In short, this blog is a just one tool I use to do my job. I could stop tomorrow, or I could start blogging a whole lot more. I just enjoy writing on these interesting subjects that swirl around education locally and nationally. Now, with respect to your observation, I know what sociology is, I've read a bit about it and am by no means an expert. This said, I will not fall all over myself trying to use ridiculous theoretical constructs such as "white privilege" to excuse the poorly handled and un-excusable mismanagement of the Baltimore Riots. Remember, we were all berated as racists when Ferguson riots happened, and many people (I'd venture to guess you as well anon) believed a huge part of the problem was that the Ferguson police department was not "racially representative of the community they serve." Well, I know that is BS but whatever. Anyway, Baltimore is run by a Black mayor, a black police commissioner, and its police force is minority-majority and they still have massive community dysfunction and they still attempted appeasement initially in the first two days of the rioting, which cost good citizens significant loss of property for no good reason. It was poor policing, poor leadership, and anemic crowd control. If they would have shut them down with the first broken window, things would have been a whole lot better. Chamberlainian appeasement to mobs results in chaos. All these problems, when boiled down to basics, are a symptom of social dysfunction brought about by the complete breakdown of the family unit in urban areas like Baltimore, combined with an abandonment of religion and common decency. Don't look for the government to solve these issues, the government has only exacerbated the issue via profligate spending on entitlements that have enabled this barbaric condition. That's my opinion

Teresa Robert said...

They protect food supply by inspecting livestock, they promote New York, Terrific charter schools and Single best thing. And they help educate people on these sectors.
Buy Professional Paper Writer

Jeff Bergosh said...

Uh, Teresa Robert, Whaaaatt?