Well, when they told Jed Clampett Cali-for-nee-ah's the place you oughta be, they weren't kidding. Movie star/ politician Arnold Schwarzenegger's got a deal for parents in La-La Land, giving them all sorts of options to "improve" their schools:
Some of the options parents would have to choose from include: replacing the existing administration with a charter school, closing schools and replacing some or all of the existing staff.
What the other options may be I have no idea, as the article didn't deem them worthy of mention. I can't help but notice that there's nothing there about supporting or improving the schools. Apparently they must either be closed, replaced, or the staff must be gotten rid of. I have to also assume that when the schools are closed or replaced with charters, it's bye-bye staff. There is no possibility, therefore, that the school's problems could emanate from anywhere but the schools unionized employees.
So this makes being a parent much easier. If my kid flunks out, there's clearly something wrong with the school and it must be closed or replaced by a charter. At the very least, we need to fire all the staff.
Last year I covered a class for an absent AP. One kid was listening to an Ipod. I told him to put it away, and he did. The second time, I told him it would be my Ipod if I saw it again. The third time, I sent it to the dean's office. When I went to check up on what happened, I ran into the kid's mom. She told me it was his "enjoyment," and that I had no right to have taken it. She said she wanted to make sure he was never in my class.
I thought about what would happen if it were my kid. In fact, if it were my kid, it would be a long time before she saw that Ipod again. Now I'm thinking what it would be like if a mom like the one I ran into got to choose what happens with our school after her son flunks out for listening to the Ipod instead of studying.
And why is this program being started? Why, to qualify California for the Race to the Top funds. It seems like a race to see how fast we can replace union jobs with non-union jobs.
Thanks a lot, President Obama!