Friday, April 15, 2011

Vouchers Are Junk Mail. Toss SB 1550 to Save Education

restrictions apply, see dealer for details.

 Concerning SB 1550, senate bill 1550 vouchers for the masses.
Likely you’re going to find a piece of trash in your mailbox today. It’s a coupon for $2000 off a brand new car. You know damned well it’s not worth the glossy paper it’s printed on.
That’s a voucher. The dealership just handed you a choice. You can come in, walk the lot, and choose the color.
Go ahead. Play the movie. Next you’re sitting down with some guy who smokes too much, wears too much of the wrong cologne. His comb over is a sad little affair that barely covers the plugs. He gives you an inflated price for the car. He offers financing that puts you on the debt Hamster wheel whereby in one year, you're upside down on that car for the next four .
Another example. You sit on the airplane. You’ve paid $700 to fly across the country. The guy in the next seat might have paid $500, or might have paid $180 on Expedia. Now, are you going to ask him if he’s paying less than you? Of course not, and the airline depends on that.
SB 1550 “School Vouchers for Everyone” as it is being called – and they might as well go ahead and tag a “Yay!” on the end it – is designed to give you that worthless coupon to pay for your child’s education………….”yay!”
Nightmare? Oh yes. This is the way they destroy public education. On the one hand they make public education insufferable through standardized testing. Notice every year the testing hysteria gets more ridiculous.
This year my middle child takes her math test on a computer. And there aren’t enough computers. So, we know what that means. Right. They compare notes. Oh well. Ooops.
The hysteria has become the central focus of the academic year. It crescendos until this week. My youngest child just took his bicycle out for a ride last night. He didn’t get back until 9 p.m. We didn’t say anything to him. He’s been mopey, depressed. We think it’s FCAT sickness.
A corporate education.
Hard core conservatives are fans of “Who Moved My Cheese” the runaway best seller. Bosses across America found it as a snide yet sickeningly polite, cocktail-party way, to tell their employees to go screw themselves if they didn’t like the way things were going.
You really should give it a read. As a former teacher at a private school, we were forced to not only read it, but read it to our students aloud, lest, they too did not like the way things were going.
In it, the rats grow accustomed to finding the cheese at a particular spot in the maze. Then those who designed the maze and keep the rats in it, (gasp) move the cheese! The rats who don’t scurry fast enough and try to find the cheese, die. Get it? “If you don’t like it, tough, move on! You rat!”
And this is what they are doing to your kids, your family, and you. It’s getting increasingly insupportable sending your children to public school these days. Are you surprised? You been watching it, and dealing with it. Haven’t you noticed them moving the cheese? First standardize test the hell out of those rats. Then they pit the teachers against the parents. Next they pit the principals against the teachers. Now, pit the teachers against the school board. And when the school board doesn’t mouth a word of protest and they have served their purpose? Defund the school board and remove all their power. (SB 7234 and SB 90, respectively)
Through it all, the tension is getting to the teachers, who are taking it out on the kids. I know of one example of a 30 teacher without the first blemish on his record. He snapped on a student and was suspended in late March. You try working somewhere for 30 years without the first misstep. I’d trust this guy with my children. In fact, I have. This guy has chaperoned my child on a cross-country flight and back for a school function. He was set to do so again when this happened. This is the sort of guy who has been changing students’ lives, for 30 years, in my county’s toughest school.
Now where were we? Oh yeah. The cheese.  The car dealership, etc. The rats.
During the committee vote yesterday the biggest concern voiced was all about the money, (AATM).
Say this SB 1550 becomes law. You “get” $3000 per rat, per year, to send your rat to the maze of your “choice”. Which is also a convenient way of putting God back where he doesn’t belong, in place of Mr. Darwin.
Core conservatives might know all about Darwin. They understand if you boot a guy with Down syndrome onto the road after you’ve defunded his state run program, nature will deal with him. They just don’t want you, or your children, to understand Mr. Darwin. See? Darwin was a secret that got “out of the bag” back in the….whenever’s. And now they want to put him back, and frankly, replace him with Walmart Jesus.
"Kids! Meet your new science teacher!"
Now, these private corps which run the various farms, or ignorance mazes, what are they going to do? They are going to inflate their prices so they can gank you for more, actual money, on top of your little voucher ticket, there.
Will you actually see the money?
Get real.
No. Remember? It’s a “voucher! A choice!................yay!” Better stated it is air, a promise, from people who don’t particularly care about you, or your….rat.
Children. That’s how they think of their children. Yours are “rats” remember?  Let’s speak to that.
They don’t want their children learning with your rats, any more than they want to share first class with you on the plane, nor even admit to you they paid half price for their air fare. I mean, good luck taking a survey on the airplane to get a picture of true price.
Bless Mother of Strictness
So too. If you want your child to attend Sacred Heart of the Passive Aggressive down the street and you walk over there with your little “voucher” (did you hear them sniff it at? I did? Now imagine how they treat your kid, er, your rat) what’s to stop the kindly Sister Mary administrator from upping the price to you, while keeping it on the down-low with those who have been (and this is how they will couch it) who have been “paying full price” all along?
The beauty of this “system” from the hard core conservative angle is divide and conquer. Chaos , confusion, shuffle, inequity, conflict.
"Keepin' your f&ckin' rats in the basement!"
They don’t want people to be educated. They don’t want your rat. Don’t you get it?
The problem is, unions don’t particularly care about this bill. Notice the unions haven’t been making too much noise about it, since it doesn’t have anything to do with teacher pay, pensions etc. No. This is one that you the parent, or the grandparent are going to have to come out and fight on. You.
This is the big one for those who want to see public education remain in Florida.  This isn’t a union busting bill this is a human busting bill, a child busting bill a future busting bill.
We need ideas for protests for this bill. And we need them now. All are welcome.

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