Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Putting Your Money Where Your Band-Aid Is

Here's one of the best ideas I've seen in a long time. While Joe Williams of The Chalkboard has a marginally different interpretation, I think it's an excellent idea that legislators be compelled to send their kids to the public schools they administrate.

If the schools are bad, they will, for once, have a viable incentive to improve them.

If Saint Rudy'd had to send his kids to public school, do you think he'd have suggested welfare recipients be compelled to work in public schools? For your kids and mine, Rudy thought, people chronically unable to find work are adequate role models. But Rudy's kids went to private schools, so why the hell should he worry?

Do you think it was a good idea to reduce city aid by precisely whatever amount the state increased it, whenever the state increased it? Rudy did. And why the hell not? His kids were in private school. If the public schools were a bunch of overcrowded danderous hellholes, he didn't have to worry about it.

Was it a productive for Mayor Bloomberg to fight tooth and nail in order to avoid paying any part of the CFE lawsuit, which focuses on quality teachers and class sizes more in line with the rest of the state?

Do you think it's wise, in order to artificially depress salaries, to hire any teacher you can muster through job fairs, massive publicity campaigns, 800 numbers and intergalactic recruitment?

Well, Rudy and Mike are fine with it. So is Chancellor Klein. Have any of their kids seen the inside of a public school?

Not on your life.

If their kids had to attend the schools they administrated, they'd think twice before offering low-rent, cut-rate, band-aid solutions for New York City's 1.1 million children.
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