I received many positive comments on education and the LAUSD school board. One of my neighbors, Jeffrey, questioned my position and we decided to post our Q & A.
Jeffrey: I agree that the Los Angeles public schools need improvement, but vouchers are not a panacea.
ExLiberal: I agree that vouchers are not for everyone. But like tax returns, we can shred them or apply them as we see fit. Regardless of whether parents prefer public, private, or charter schools, our tax dollars should empower children, not schools or the unions they serve.
Jeffrey: California law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, etc. As a taxpayer, I have a right to insist that my tax dollars don't fund schools that discriminate on such bases.
ExLiberal: Affirmative action quotas have resulted in tax-subsidized discrimination for several decades. Male whites are still routinely discriminated against in jobs and universities, so you already support some forms of discrimination. I don’t know of any private schools that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation. If you have any evidence I’d like to see it. Some people rely on allegations to prove guilt, but I require a higher standard of proof.
Jeffrey: I have a right to insist that my tax dollars are not spent in a school that teaches that my Jewish and gay neighbors are going to hell. That eliminates the vast majority of private religious schools.
ExLiberal: Uh, I don’t know much about you, Jeffrey. As someone who grew up in LA, attended public schools and spent his professional life on the streets of LA dealing with tens of thousands of our neighbors, I suspect that your years at Georgetown and Boalt Hall have kept you a bit out of touch with reality. Did your father pay for school? Did you attend private or public schools? Which ones? Like many voucher opponents, you appear to promote public schools that will prevent poor brown and black children from attending schools that your parents got you into. Why do Democrats oppose what would be so good for minorities?
Your anti-Christian bigotry notwithstanding, the vast majority of Christian schools do not teach that Jews and gays are going to hell. As a professional investigator, I would be interested in any evidence that you may have – otherwise your allegations are as inane as your previous arguments.
My grandson (eight years old) is Jewish. He attends this award-winning Christian school. Children of all races and genders attend. The school discriminates against abusive, hostile, and disruptive children. Most responsible parents support that kind of discrimination. I suspect that if I visited your home, peed on the floor, and kicked your dog that you would probably revoke my invitation. That’s not discrimination – it’s common sense.
Jeffrey: I also have a right to insist that my tax dollars are spent teaching the curriculum that the State of California establishes.
ExLiberal: I’ve never argued against WASC accreditation. My grandson’s private school is WASC certified. There's no argument that LAUSD has the highest standards for teachers, so how can you explain such substandard performance?
Jeffrey: I have a right to insist to demand that my tax dollars not be spent teaching kids that the universe is 6000 years old or that Yosemite Valley was created by the Great Flood.
ExLiberal: You have the right to demand crumpets on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean your demands are enforceable. The Supreme Court accepts that tax dollars can be applied to religious schools. We aren’t always happy with Supreme Court decisions (can you say Roe v. Wade?), but do our disagreements authorize us to violate or interfere with the law? Do those who oppose abortion have the right to interfere with a woman’s right to abort her child? No – nor does the school board’s opposition to public funds going to private schools.
What makes your anti-Christian demands any different from parents who oppose gay and lesbian indoctrination? The LAUSD has as much of a moral right to indoctrinate and stupefy our children as the police have on challenging relationships between consenting adults. Vouchers give parents choices that only affluent people enjoy today. Vouchers will help parents and children escape the LAUSD/Union dropout factories.
Jeffrey: There are a lot of private schools churning out kids who aren't very well educated in the sciences because their parents believe that God does not want them educated in the sciences, or who are exposed to very limited scope of intellectual inquiry.
ExLiberal: I’ve presented evidence beyond all reasonable doubt that America’s public school children have a greater likelihood of failure than private and charter schoolchildren.
Jeffrey: Today, private schools are not required to administer standardized tests. Until we require non-public schools to measure their performance by the same standards as public schools, I don't want my tax dollars to subsidize them.
ExLiberal: Two million public school students aren’t complying either. My grandson is regularly tested and he performs above public school children in his age group. Again, parents know which schools perform and which schools do not. Vouchers allow parents who want standardized testing to attend those schools and permit other parents who oppose them to go elsewhere. I thought you were pro-choice.
Jeffrey: The student body at private, charter and magnet schools is self-selected. At a minimum, the student body is made up of those whose parents care enough and are involved enough in their children's education to search out alternatives to the local public school.
ExLiberal: Again, your bigotry interferes with coherent argument. Most parents, even low-income brown- and black-skinned parents care for their children but cannot afford private schools for them. If $18,400 were tied to each of their children, they could afford choices that your neighbors and mine already make.
Jeffrey: Do non-public schools actually do a better job of educating students, or do students do better when parent(s) is (are) actively involved in their children's education?
ExLiberal: (Your question is a variation of, “Do you walk to school or take a lunch?”)
Children do better when their parents are involved AND private schools do better because parents are economically empowered to participate.
I recently spoke to a public school parent who tried to get involved after her son’s grades began to slip. The principal thought Mom was a pest and eventually blamed the child’s grades on Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), saying that he should be medicated. The mother disagreed. As a practicing medical doctor, she knew that her son was bored by the dumbed-down curriculum and special education distractions in the classroom. The principal obviously thought that this brown-skinned mother was too stupid to argue with LAUSD’s educational expert.
While you might think that disenfranchisement was caused by Negroes too lazy to vote, my experience at dozens of LAUSD schools during the past 40 years is quite different. Parents who care about their failing children are quickly worn out by non-responsive or hostile school administrators. When students represent $18,400/year, principals will become more responsive to their needs.
Jeffrey: Private schools are free to kick out kids with discipline or academic problems.
ExLiberal: I don’t want my children or teachers distracted by disruptive children in the classroom. If children are disruptive or have special needs, an $18,400/year voucher would go a long way toward assisting these children in classrooms more suited to their needs. And if you wanted to send your child to a special needs or disruptive classroom, I’m sure you could find one. Most rational people understand that parents should make these choices – not LAUSD.
Jeffrey: They do not have to take kids who have learning or physical disabilities, or who are non-English speaking. How much of the better performance of non-public schools is due to the fact that their student bodies tend to be almost exclusively kids without special needs?
ExLiberal: The mother of a Tourette Syndrome boy recently faced expulsion from a local elementary school for being “too disruptive.” The mother filed suit and, after a battle against LAUSD, the child now attends a private school that specifically cares for children like her son. Mother, son, and the school are all happy about the arrangement. The mother acquired what is tantamount to a voucher – her child attends classes where she wants him to go. She should not have had to fight LAUSD for a good school. A voucher would have prevented a prolonged fight.
Jeffrey: In addition, it costs a LOT of money to educate the "problem" kids.
ExLiberal: It depends upon the child. The doctor’s son was disruptive because he was bored to death in a classroom that coddled boisterous mediocrity. His behavior improved as soon as he was removed from that school. Many disruptive kids become that way because of the public school environment. My own son suffered from it and I had to move him to a private school to save him. I home-schooled him during his final semester and he graduated high school AND 15 college units. Vouchers would resolve many of these environmental problems.
Jeffrey: Simply dividing the total LAUSD budget by the total number of students to calculate the value of a voucher ignores the fact that LAUSD has a lot of the kids that cost more to educate.
ExLiberal: So LA kids aren’t like NORMAL children? Do you base your opinion on the writings of Hitler or Kinsey?
Jeffrey: It ignores the amount of money that LAUSD spends to comply with state and federal mandates that private schools are free to ignore, and that LAUSD spends a lot of money on athletic facilities, theaters, etc. that a lot of private and charter schools do not provide. You have to compare apples to apples.
ExLiberal: Again, you are either clueless or lying. Fenton Elementary Charter School is fully accredited and takes in about half ($9000) of what LAUSD public schools are funded. They accept special education and speech impaired students among the 1,300 students they serve. These students enjoy Mac computers, uniforms, discipline, and safe campuses – a huge improvement from the days when Fenton was a failing public school. If Fenton can succeed, imagine what other schools could do with $18,400 per child.
My grandson enjoys athletics, music, field trips, and many other programs for thousands less than what LAUSD wastes at $18,400/year. The Kansas City Experiment that secured $50,000/year per student proved that the solution has more to do with empowering parents than spending more on public schools.
Jeffrey: I agree that the parents involved in the fight for vouchers and charter schools care about their kids. But what about the kids whose parents are involved in the fight, or who cannot or will not take the time to effectively analyze the available school options?
ExLiberal: Those parents will always be there. It might be difficult for you to understand this, but most parents have ties to their communities. They talk to other parents and find out what their children are doing. Parents tend to want better lives for their children, regardless of the mess they’ve made of their own. How do the 727,000 children attending LAUSD find schools? Despite your projection that these parents are too stupid or lazy to make good choices, I promise you that any parent who knows how to choose a restaurant know how to choose schools. All they need are choices. Fully funded vouchers and charters deliver that choice.
Jeffrey: That could be because of language problems, lack of time, lack of education, alcohol/drug problems, mental problems or just plain lack of concern for their kids. These kids are just as entitled to a decent education as the kids whose parents are involved. I've never seen anything about a voucher program or charter schools that explains to me how they improve education for the kids whose parents don't get involved.
ExLiberal: Now you want pro-voucher groups to prove the negative – another asinine argument. Powerfully conclusive evidence exists about LAUSD’s failures and private schools’ successes. If you ever have a child or visit a private or public school, you’ll see how out of touch your biased arguments are.
Schools exist not to empower unions or cure all of society’s problems, but to provide children with a sound education. I’ve provided many links that answer these and other questions. Anyone who has ever eaten at government-run cafeterias and privately-owned restaurants know how competition lowers costs and improves quality.
Jeffrey: We need to improve the public schools for ALL of our kids. Their are fabulous public schools in LAUSD, including Wonderland and Hancock Park Elementary near my neighborhood. We need to figure out why those schools are doing well, and transfer those lessons to the rest of the public schools.
ExLiberal: I’ve explained here why these schools do well – for these schools are also in my neighborhood. COMPETITION. Parents in these neighborhoods have choice. If these public schools fail, parents will remove their children and place them in private schools. These schools must perform to survive.
LAUSD opposes making Parkman Elementary School a charter because they fear a domino effect of other schools going charter and shrinking LAUSD’s cash cow. Parkman and other LAUSD schools border the Las Virgenes District that also sports high performing schools.
LAUSD cares little for children but are terrified of competition. Competition requires schools to perform to survive. Because competition is almost non-existent in Watts, Pacoima, Oakwood, or Boyle Heights, LAUSD principals have little problem blaming parents or their children. Vouchers would create competition in those communities as well. I ask for nothing more than to empower parents in those neighborhoods just as parents in our neighborhoods already are. Vouchers would fill that need.
Thanks for writing Jeffrey. If you find any evidence to support your arguments I’d like to hear from you. CB
Monday, April 24, 2006
I received many positive comments on education and the LAUSD school board. One of my neighbors, Jeffrey, questioned my position and we decided to post our Q & A.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
The problem with running for office is that people expect politicians to act like politicians. This poses a problem for tactless street cops like me who seek office: Do I tell people what they think they want to hear, or do I express myself honestly and risk disfavor?
Many successful politicians get re-elected by doing what they pretend to oppose and by blocking what they pretend to support. For them, the difference between winning or losing depends not on their courage, but on their ability to make voters think they like being screwed. Although Democrats have controlled the 42nd Assembly District since the 1940s, these seat-swappers spend union and developer money to convince us that their liaisons have nothing to do with the harm created by their public schooled, eminently domained, hillside developed, air polluted, and union influenced progeny.
But unlike career politicians, I don’t need politics to be happy. If my message doesn’t resonate with voters in June or November, I will return to my peaceful and comfortable life. Today’s note isn’t about other politicians – it’s about finding my own political voice and exploring the risks involved.
After I called Cardinal Roger Mahoney a criminal last week (Rethinking Our Border), a friend politely suggested that I should soften my comments by describing illegal acts rather than those who commit them.
My intention was not to alienate Christians, but to shine a light on those who facilitate crime. Although LA politicians have decided that LAPD detectives are too honest to investigate local corruption, career cops like me still support quaint concepts like Equal Protection. To me, criminals who wear badges, vestments, or business suits still don’t deserve special treatment.
I’ve posted my friend’s comments along with my answers because I don’t think he’s the only Christian voter who questions my comments:
FRIEND: …(R)ather than saying Roger Mahoney is a criminal, state the law (and) remind people (IF THEY) do not like the law… we change the laws… You are not calling them criminals directly you are just saying the laws of this country should be enforced or changed… Mahoney is a politician and government official of the government of the Vatican protecting their interests and his own…
CB: While the Catholic Church has helped millions of people during the past century, it has also hurt millions of people through passive and deliberate means. Like LAUSD leadership, Cardinal Mahoney sometimes demonstrates more loyalty to his Church than his flock.
It’s bad enough when coyotes victimize and traffic undocumented migrants or priests commit child rape and sodomy, but when bishops, cardinals, and popes use forgiveness to facilitate the continued practice of these crimes against the People of California and the United States, the church management becomes a criminal enterprise – an enterprise that aids, abets, and conspires to exploit the most vulnerable families and children who seek help and guidance. Under such circumstances, the US Constitution and laws take precedent and should be enforced.
Compassion occasionally asks us to ignore and forgive some acts, but we’re not talking about the Catholic Church saving people from state-sanction genocide, witch-burning, or enslavement. We’re talking about a church that finds recreation and profit from the Americans, migrants, and families they have exploited to build their membership, their coffers, and sexual gratification.
It is one thing when one priest commits an isolated crime, but it’s quite another when a church actively or passively facilitates its continued commission. There’s a difference between employees who use the company car to buy groceries, and a company president who instructs his accountants to defraud shareholders. There are limits to forgiveness.
I don’t use the term criminal lightly – which is why I think it’s appropriate to describe Mahoney.
FRIEND: …not to mention, that true Catholicism is the business of forgiveness…
CB: As the Catholic Church and I describe here, true forgiveness requires contrition. Mahoney did not passively elude contrition, but 1) knowingly, intelligently, and deliberately 2) used his victims’ offerings to hire lawyers to 3)prevent the victims he defrauded and raped from discovering the plots against them. This demonstrates the antithesis of contrition. And although Christ recommended drowning, Mahoney delivered these wolves to guard other lambs.
FRIEND: I am just saying use the laws and rules to judge rather than calling them out for what they are.
CB: Jesus’ example reminds Americans of our obligation to keep God’s churches and temples clean by holding those in charge accountable for crimes they commit against their followers. While our Constitution protects the practice of religion, it does not provide churches or other institutions the right to use forgiveness to circumvent our laws.
Calling these criminals what they are might not be my best political move, but I can’t think of a better word for those who facilitate child rape and illegal immigration.
But hey, what do I know - I'm just a flat-footed street cop. CB
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 11:30 AM
Sunday, April 02, 2006
As Congress feigns renewed efforts to make illegal immigration illegal, they have helped clarify my own thought on illegal immigration.
To understand illegal immigration, we must first understand the tactics used by Democrats to frame the issue.
First, illegal immigration is a national issue and NOT a racial one. Democrats spin illegal immigration with the same racial themes they’ve used to create, perpetuate, and enforce black poverty to control black voters since 1964.
The Democrat Party formula works this way:
- The Democrat Party has replaced the KKK with HANDLERS like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Antonio Villaraigosa to herd voters toward Democrat politicians.
- Handlers instill group-paranoia within these blocs, making uneducated members think that; A) racism is a real threat, and; B) Democrats offer the only safe place for threatened racial groups to turn.
- The DNC employs the liberal media, public schools, and universities to re-enforce this paranoia to control selected groups.
Since 1964, Democrats have controlled almost every failing public school district in America. Educated graduates are less likely to accept racial paranoia and are more likely to find the success, independence, and happiness that renders Democrats less relevant and conservatives more appealing. By spreading the progressive dogma that invites students to view virtues of patriotism, marriage, education, religion, and success as “not cool” or selling out to whitey, the LAUSD forces insecure non-whites to risk accusations of trying to be white (intra-racial bigotry) and the loss of racial identity.
Uneducated adults are more likely to rely on emotional cues than intellect to make decisions at voting booths, jury boxes, and in their personal lives. More often than not, bad decisions result in stressed lifestyles that are more likely to rely on Democrats and government assistance. This also creates new generations of stressed children for the LAUSD and Democrats to indoctrinate. While immigrants from socialist or communist regimes are keen to these tactics and embrace Republicans, undocumented Latino immigrants are more trusting and vulnerable to overtures from Latino Democrats and Cardinals.
I. IMMEDIATELY SECURE OUR BORDERS USING ANY AND ALL MEANS NECESSARY
I oppose TSA-like solutions. Federal airport security is overpaid, ineffective, and has less at stake than local jurisdictions. I believe this is best accomplished first by local counties supported by state and federal resources as requested. Until we secure our borders, no other efforts will be effective.
Federal authorities should not take over defense except when evidence exists that local politicians (like Antonio Villaraigosa and Cardinal Roger Mahoney) are collaborating with smugglers or facilitating illegal immigration. Border states and counties, backed by the Border Patrol and National Guard, should provide America’s first line of defense.
II. ENFORCE EXISTING IMMIGRATION LAWS AND PROSECUTE POLITICIANS AND CLERGY WHO AID AND ABET TRAFFICKERS
People who abet and support illegal immigration are as guilty as the coyotes who exploit and deliver undocumented families. Those who aid and abet traffickers do not support or defend the United States. These criminals must be prosecuted and elected leaders and clergy should be removed from all official duties. No American has the Constitutional right to circumvent our laws or promote anarchy.
III. AFTER OUR BORDERS ARE SECURE, deport all undocumented immigrants who:
- In the last five years were convicted of drug, property, or violent crimes OR;
- Are members of criminal organizations or gangs.
Controlling our borders and deporting criminals is not enough. Californians must provide vouchers and charter schools so that immigrant parents can choose something other than the public schools that indoctrinate and stupefy their children. These children are de facto Americans. Regardless of citizenship, all parents and their children must be empowered to succeed in America.
As a former resident of Central America and the son of a South American immigrant, I recognize that Latino immigrants hold conservative values of family, spirituality, morality, and patriotism. If given the choice of vouchers and charters, these children can receive the education they deserve and not the indoctrination that many now endure. These migrants and their children require and deserve our investment. They hold the promise of America’s future. The United States cannot afford to abandon them.
When we divide LAUSD's $13.4 billion/year budget into our 727,000 students, we see that each child generates $18,000/year in revenues. If we empower parents with $18,000 vouchers and the choice of fully-funded charter schools, California would become the world leader in education. Schools would pop up like mushrooms throughout Los Angeles and California. Public school boards resist these efforts to satisfy unions that embezzle huge chunks of those funds toward union bosses who empower democrats who empower the unions that force indoctrination on our children. As long as LAUSD indoctrinates and cripples students, our children will not achieve the education or freedoms to seek more than other union jobs that feed democrats.
Border security, education, and the stress of social services has never been easy for Southern California, but by taking these actions, voters can begin to address these issues in a way that promises a stronger and more secure America.
Read more on:
LAUSD School Board
Read also Thomas Sowell’s recent essays on immigration:
Guests or Gate Crashers, Part I
Guests or Gate Crashers, Part II
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 10:27 PM