October 19, 2008

The State of the System

Justin Katz

Just in case anybody missed this nugget from our state's leading education unionist:

Robert A. Walsh Jr., executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, said repealing the tax levy law would also alleviate the problem.

Said Walsh, "We simply can't continue to produce a competitive public education system in our current state."

Put aside Walsh's dubious usage of the word "continue." "Repealing the tax levy law" is a one-step-removed synonym for "raise property taxes by more than 5% every year across the state." Those who believe that the unions will behave as a partner in education reform should be well aware that the core component of their solution is, yes, to make Rhode Island's tax burden even greater.

Furthermore, the only way in which Walsh's statement of possibility "in our current state" can be taken as true is if he excludes the possibility of real, substantial, change to the way in which education is administered and financed. One recent call for such change came from Bishop Hendricken High School Vice Principal John Jackson:

At first glance, it seemed like a feel-good story about a young girl from a war-torn country (Liberia) who was living a dream here in the United States. She was in a school (St. Raphael Academy) where she felt free to speak out, where teachers push students to do their best, and where she has aspirations of attending college. Her prior experience in the public schools of Providence was poor, to say the least — being teased and mocked, and even beaten up a few times.

Wouldn't everyone who is concerned with every qualifying student being given an opportunity for a great education be inspired and energized by a tax-credit program that allows businesses to donate money to help in this cause?

Apparently not, because once again, along comes the union perspective, and again the focus is not on education, but on protecting their own, and funneling money into a failing public school system. That the education of this young girl has improved dramatically is inconsequential to some, evidently.

As paradoxical as it may sound to the blue-state mind, all viable solutions for repairing Rhode Island's ailing educational system require that the money going to the public schools be decreased, whether it goes instead to private educators or to private citizens to improve their lives and our economy (or some combination of the two).

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Paiva-Weed is an intentional farce, as taxpayers have found throughout the state as their towns get (never denied) "waivers".
The "little" answer to the problem is to repeal the Caroulo Act and a CONSTITUTIONAL propoerty tax cap-with no "waivers".
The "big" answer is to restore the Founding Fathers seperation of School and State and institute a voucher system for legal resident parents only.

Posted by: Mike at October 19, 2008 7:19 PM

Another answer to our state's woes would be to stop listening to the Bob Walsh's of the world. I didn't know "competitive" was a synonym for "failing" when it comes to government schools. Leave it to the educrats to to reinvent the english language to further their ends.

Posted by: Frank at October 19, 2008 7:43 PM

Poor Justin. What would he do without the NEARI? I just wish he would read the book of James. Or maybe 2nd Peter.

Posted by: Pat Crowley at October 19, 2008 10:12 PM

"I didn't know "competitive" was a synonym for "failing" when it comes to government schools."


Posted by: Monique at October 19, 2008 10:14 PM

I suspect that the private schools are scrambling in their recruitment drives given the cost of tuition and the depressed economy. A letter to the editor by a vice principal of a private school may just reflect his thoughts on education or may reflect frustration with the situation as expressed above.

Posted by: Phil at October 20, 2008 5:59 AM

>>Poor Justin. What would he do without the NEARI? I just wish he would read the book of James. Or maybe 2nd Peter.

The hypocrisy (at best) of someone who diligently represents an organization that knowingly and deliberately exploits children to be admonishing others to read the Bible is self-evident.

Posted by: Tom W at October 20, 2008 8:42 AM

Isn't the Book of James where Jesus gives the finger to one of the rabbis?

Posted by: Anthony at October 20, 2008 1:34 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.