Monday, January 08, 2007

Something tells me we’ll be here again:

With Eliot Spitzer’s election it appears the public school system and it’s legion of teachers, is going to get the billions more that it wants. The reality is that despite the money they will receive I can easily predict that it will do nothing to improve the system and that they will be coming back several years from now to ask for billions more for the same reasons. I recall during the Giuliani era the continuous fight he had over public school funding. The best line at the time came from Rudy when during a dinner I attended he said, “another billion dollars is not going to fix the problem”.

While riding the bus on Friday I was reminded why Rudy is right. In the back of the bus were four teenagers, a girl and three boys. The four were in the back throwing F bombs and other vulgar language loudly that wanted me to go home and take a shower. They constantly were referring to beefs that they had with people and other nonsense. Basically it included anything but a normal conversation. This is the type of behavior you typically see from NYC public high school kids riding the MTA.

Observing these miscreants it becomes apparent that billions of dollars more to the system is not going to change anything. The problem runs deeper then classroom sizes or teacher pay. The problem is the household these children are raised in. John Locke, the Social Contract Theorist that our founding fathers turned to when writing the U.S. Constitution, believed that every child is a product of their environment. He believed anybody could be molded into anything based on their surroundings in their early life. Proofs of his theories are all around us. The Manning brothers would probably not be playing professional football today if it wasn’t for their father. Watching the Apprentice last night and Ivanka Trump, it’s obvious the influence her father had on her, including her decision to study hard and graduate from Wharton.

When I ask why does the Catholic School system in the city work so well at graduating students and preparing them for life I already know the answer. It’s because the parents write a check every month giving them a vested interest in their child’s success. The parents, I’m one of them, want to know what we’re getting for our money and want our children to come home with results. It makes us an active participant in the schooling of our children leading to the success that Catholic Schools have. In the public school, a large majority of the students go home to parents who don’t have an interest and don’t ride their children like a racehorse when it comes to their work or to be respectful young adults.

If smaller classrooms were the issue then I would say show them the money but it’s not. The teachers union, Gov. Spitzer and everyone else needs to start holding parents accountable. At a town hall event with Joel Klein a couple years ago when it came to problems with the school system, not once did he mention the parents. Why is the city so afraid to call it like it is? Who are they afraid they’re going to offend?

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