Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, December 5th, 2011.

The School Choice Ripoff


Republicans like to frame their “school choice” proposals as something that would benefit the working class and poor. But like most Republican policy proposals, it’s a scam to benefit the upper classes at the expense of the poor and enrich a private insurance industry.

Natalie Hopkinson writes,

IF you want to see the direction that education reform is taking the country, pay a visit to my leafy, majority-black neighborhood in Washington. While we have lived in the same house since our 11-year-old son was born, he’s been assigned to three different elementary schools as one after the other has been shuttered. Now it’s time for middle school, and there’s been no neighborhood option available.

Meanwhile, across Rock Creek Park in a wealthy, majority-white community, there is a sparkling new neighborhood middle school, with rugby, fencing, an international baccalaureate curriculum and all the other amenities that make people pay top dollar to live there.

Such inequities are the perverse result of a “reform” process intended to bring choice and accountability to the school system. Instead, it has destroyed community-based education for working-class families, even as it has funneled resources toward a few better-off, exclusive, institutions.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

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Newt! Newt! Newt!

Obama Administration

Polls show Newt taking the lead in Iowa polls, with Ron Paul moving up into second and Mittens dropping to third. Nate Silver says (with a number of caveats),

If I were setting odds as of this morning, I might assign Mr. Gingrich about a 45 or 50 percent chance of winning Iowa, followed by Mr. Paul at 25 percent and Mr. Romney at 15 percent, reserving a small possibility of a comeback by Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann or Rick Perry.

Conventional wisdom says Newt’s campaign organization is a mess, however. Mittens has the muscle on the ground.

But Paul Krugman writes,

Mr. Gingrich has some advantages none of the previous challengers had. He is by no means the deep thinker he imagines himself to be, but he’s a glib speaker, even when he has no idea what he’s talking about. And my sense is that he’s also very good at doublethink — that even when he knows what he’s saying isn’t true, he manages to believe it while he’s saying it. So he may not implode like his predecessors.

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