Contrary to the liberal stereotype, conservatives actually love education. We firmly believe that economic growth is fueled by a talented, well-educated and ambitious population.
We also understand that as it currently exists, our public education system is not effective and that the more money you pour into it, the worse things get.
One of the (many) reasons I dislike liberals is that they claim to be “for the children” but seem to be totally indifferent to whether or not “the children” actually benefit from their programs.
Here you have a city that has effectively collapsed and is now ruining its second consecutive generation of childrens’ lives. The taxpayers of Michigan have offered truly huge sums of money and gotten nothing in return.
The liberals’ answer? Spend even more money.
Unlike liberals, I tend to credit my opponents with good intentions. I accept that people of goodwill can differ sharply on what method to achieve a common goal works best. (This is in stark contrast with liberals, who assume that if you disagree with their methods, you must be EVIL!!1! and want to destroy the world.)
However, in the case of schools like Detroit, I can no longer give liberals the benefit of the doubt. Given how much they focus on funding, they should be up in arms about the waste. The money given to educate the poorest children in the state – the “most vulnerable” as the liberals like to call it – is being squandered to their long-lasting detriment.
And liberals are just fine with this.
At this point, one begins to question whether liberals actually give a damn about “the children” and are simply more interested in the dues their political allies harvest from the teachers’ unions.
Perhaps the most blatant example of this was in 2003, when wealthy philanthropist Bob Thompson offered the amazing sum of $200 million to build alternative schools in Detroit. Surely, this was a liberal dream come true: FREE MONEY and BETTER SCHOOLS.
Oh, but they wouldn’t be union schools. There would be actual accountability.
Happily, the new mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing has managed to repair the bridge that ex-Gov. Jennifer Granholm torched nearly a decade ago.
Good for him – and good for the kids of Detroit.
My goal this year is trying to look on the positive side of things and if there is an upside to our current economic blizzard, it is this: We are realizing just how much money we’ve been wasting for years. There is nothing like a cash crunch to focus the mind. School districts across the state (and across the country) are coming up with new salary plans, health benefits and other innovations to keep the doors open and actually improve education.
If the end result of Michigan’s “Lost Decade” is that we finally get a handle on our failed school districts, we really won’t have lost that much after all.