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Re: More rhetoric on School $ for Ben

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  • Wanda Hurt
    Sorry that you are going to skip the convention, we need input from everyone concerning the Legislative Program. Last November the 600 delegates who attended
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 1, 2000
      Sorry that you are going to skip the convention, we need input from everyone
      concerning the Legislative Program. Last November the 600 delegates who
      attended debated the Legislative Program, revised it, amended it and finally
      voted on it in an almost 8 hour meeting. Several very controversial items
      were referred to study, a study that the Legislative Review Committee will
      begin right after the Session ends on April 10 and we need everyone's view
      because (at least the Legislative VP) represents the views of the members of
      the PTA (by of all things the majority vote on issues and positions we
      take).

      I do hope that you plan to vote for the school board next week because that
      too has become far too politicized but is an important decision that we as
      citizens make (again by horror of horrors) majority vote.

      Wanda
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Watts Family <watts2@...>
      To: <howardpubliced@onelist.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, February 29, 2000 11:39 PM
      Subject: [howardpubliced] More rhetoric on School $ for Ben


      > From: "Watts Family" <watts2@...>
      >
      > Ben
      > Sorry you don't appreciate good rhetoric, I find these pages full of it.
      > Some of my personal favorites are:
      >
      > "Public education is the cornerstone of our democracy";
      >
      > "we all live under the constraints of laws and make accommodations because
      > we live in civil society, not an anarchy that allows everyone to pursue
      > whatever actions they see fit";
      >
      > And of course my favorite of all "Liberty is a team effort"
      >
      > As for Wanda Hurt's suggestion that we march ourselves down to the annual
      > convention, I'll pass, there are more effective ways to advocate for one's
      > positions. The PTA, (in my humble opinion) has become too political and
      > shouldn't even be taking a position on such an issue, given that so many
      of
      > it's members feel so deeply on both sides. Taking such positions which
      > offend so many of it's members will only marginalize the PTA as just
      another
      > political organization and reduce it's support and effectiveness. If you
      > doubt there is any significant support among parents for this position
      here
      > are the numbers (hope they aren't too content free for you):
      >
      > http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/kp9809-1a.htm
      >
      > Bottom line -- PDK/Gallup poll shows PUBLIC school parents support 56% to
      > 40% opposed!!! And PDK is a public school advocacy group!!
      >
      > As for your suggestion that "outside existing paradigms" could be
      something
      > other than Public $ for private schools -- You're right!!! But
      unfortunately
      > Maryland is far behind the curve on trying anything that resembles choice.
      > We are fortunate however to have two senators (McCabe and Madden) who have
      > been trying in vain to pass PUBLIC charter school legislation, maybe you
      > should get behind them and push to have some of our schools serve as
      > pilots!!!! http://www.heritage.org/schools/maryland.html (see
      "developments
      > in 1999")
      >
      >
      > Of course the only choice that is available -- open enrollment -- is under
      > assault and causes those who avail themselves of it to be flamed on these
      > pages and have their motives questioned - don't they know this is a team
      > effort.
      >
      > Mr. Dyer has buttressed my point that our current system is "encouraging
      > those who can flee, to flee" with his story of his fleeing Baltimore and
      > those he left behind fleeing to private schools. This of course has
      > sociological effects beyond the schools, creating middle-class-family-free
      > zones. Are we now on this path in some areas of HOCO?? Perhaps, but the
      > answer is not to keep people from using open-enrollment, if they feel that
      > strongly about it they will simply move, as Mr. Dyer did. I support the
      > counties efforts to change image and/or quality of those schools, but
      > history shows this is not simply a money problem and if that's as deep as
      > anyone can think about this we're in trouble.
      >
      > If you still feel lacking in content try these, I have little hope of
      > swaying you but at least hope to expose you to "content" if that's your
      > desire:
      >
      > http://data.fas.harvard.edu/pepg/papers.htm
      > http://www.tppf.org/schoolchoice1.html
      > http://www.pioneerinstitute.org/research/whitepapers/wp6cover.cfm
      > http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/kp9809-1a.htm
      > http://www.educationpolicy.org/files/privbook/httoc.htm
      > http://www.frontpagemag.com/archives/education/stern2-9-99.htm
      > http://www.schoolchoices.org/roo/research.htm
      >
      > Happy Reading
      >
      > Dan
      >
      >
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      >
    • Watts Family
      Ben I almost see some grains of common ground here, we should probably leave it at that before our rhetoric causes everyone on this board to come out in
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 1, 2000
        Ben

        I almost see some grains of common ground here, we should probably leave it
        at that before our rhetoric causes everyone on this board to "come out in
        spots".....

        And Rick, OK "elitist" was a cheap shot but you used it first, and It's
        pretty clear that the greatest support for choice initiatives comes from
        decidedly non-elitist corners. Many of those you would consider elitists
        would prefer to keep the non-elitists right where they are.

        Dan

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Ben Dorman [mailto:ben.dorman@...]
        > Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2000 1:09 AM
        > To: howardpubliced@onelist.com
        > Subject: Re: [howardpubliced] More rhetoric on School $ for Ben
        >
        >
        > From: Ben Dorman <ben.dorman@...>
        >
        >
        >
        > Watts Family wrote:
        > >
        > > From: "Watts Family" <watts2@...>
        > >
        > > Ben
        > > Sorry you don't appreciate good rhetoric, I find these pages full of
        > > it.
        >
        >
        > Well, hold on a minute. Before we throw all rhetorical devices
        > [which make participating in debate worthwhile, don't you think?]
        > out of the window, kindly note in reference to the content
        > pointed to below that I never said that the arguments for
        > school choice were devoid of content. I think it's an
        > important public policy issue, an arguable
        > case, of which you and I are clearly on opposite sides.
        >
        > But I don't think there is any substance in statements that claim
        > that your constitutional rights are somehow violated, and
        > further, that as time goes on, somehow "government" or
        > some other ogre is paying less and less attention to your
        > constitutional rights because they disagree with your stance
        > on this issue. That's my opinion of your statement, and I'm
        > entitled to it. As to your other examples:
        >
        >
        > > Some of my personal favorites are:
        >
        >
        > >
        > > "Public education is the cornerstone of our democracy";
        >
        > Well, I agree that this doesn't mean much really. Is it true?
        > Did we have democracy before public education? Well, yes, but
        > few had the exercise of it. Is it true that the franchise has
        > grown and people more empowered as a result of public education?
        > I don't really think so: there are too many other things going
        > on in society. Personally, I'd say that politicization of the
        > electorate is the cornerstone of democracy - but this country
        > is the least politicized of any (4) I've now lived in.
        >
        > >
        > > "we all live under the constraints of laws and make accommodations
        > > because
        > > we live in civil society, not an anarchy that allows everyone to
        > > pursue
        > > whatever actions they see fit";
        >
        > well, I wrote that. Maybe too overblown, but I challenge any claim
        > that it lacks content. We *do* make accommodations because we live
        > in civil society. Don't you? Do you stop at stop signs (to give a
        > trivial example)?
        >
        > >
        > > And of course my favorite of all "Liberty is a team effort"
        >
        > Yeah, well. Perhaps Rick could have put this better, but he's not
        > wrong. You can't have your "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness"
        > to the detriment of everyone else's, because the constitution was
        > written for everyone else as well, not just you.
        >
        > >
        > > As for Wanda Hurt's suggestion that we march ourselves down to the
        > > annual
        > > convention, I'll pass, there are more effective ways to advocate for
        > > one's
        > > positions.
        >
        > I happen to agree with you on this, even if I happen to agree with the
        > position Wanda is expousing.
        >
        >
        > Regarding the PDK poll: I think you have to be careful in the
        > interpretation. If I lived in a lousy school district, I might favour
        > vouchers more than if I lived in somewhere like here, where although
        > the school system is not ideal by any means (none are) it's definitely
        > decent. So, the poll's sample of 1150 and also the sampling rubric
        > says that the findings apply to the country as a whole, not individual
        > areas.
        >
        > >
        >
        >
        > > As for your suggestion that "outside existing paradigms" could be
        > > something
        > > other than Public $ for private schools -- You're right!!! But
        > > unfortunately
        > > Maryland is far behind the curve on trying anything that resembles
        > > choice.
        > > We are fortunate however to have two senators (McCabe and Madden) who
        > > have
        > > been trying in vain to pass PUBLIC charter school legislation, maybe
        > > you
        > > should get behind them and push to have some of our schools serve as
        > > pilots!!!! http://www.heritage.org/schools/maryland.html (see
        > > "developments in 1999")
        > >
        >
        > I personally don't have a problem with publicly funded charter schools,
        > in fact some friends of mine wanted to set one up a few years ago
        > because
        > the educational model they wanted for their children did not exist
        > within
        > HCPSS. But I usually find that anything written by the Heritage
        > Foundation
        > makes me come out in spots. :0)
        >
        >
        > > Of course the only choice that is available -- open enrollment -- is
        > > under
        > > assault and causes those who avail themselves of it to be flamed on
        > > these
        > > pages and have their motives questioned - don't they know this is a
        > > team
        > > effort.
        >
        > Interestingly, the Mass. Study you put in a link to below was of
        > extended
        > "open enrollment" across district lines. I don't see a problem with that
        > either. It may have some unintended consequences, but it might also
        > help to raise standards of all districts.
        >
        > Neither OE or the Massachusetts experiment give public $$$ to private
        > schools, which is what I oppose. As I said, I was educated under
        > such a system and it really has some of the ill-effects I detailed.
        > But of course, those children who got the private education
        > did very well out of it, and those parents whose children benefitted
        > were very happy. Those parents whose aspired to send their children
        > to the good private schools in years to come were also in favour
        > of the system. Was it equitable for the majority who didn't have
        > that opportunity? No, it wasn't. It helped to trap a large
        > percentage of the population in the lesser accredited colleges and
        > reduced social mobility.
        >
        > But to be sure, this is not the only possible scenario, either
        > side of the Pond.
        > I think it is well-understood by most people,
        > that some factors in school equity are beyond the control of
        > the school board; the actual population also plays a role.
        > Difficult populations lead to difficult schools, which when
        > neglected are hard to fix. The other possibility is of course
        > that private schools are the only quick way to get children
        > educated at all. If I were a parent in that district, would I
        > want school choice? Damn right, I would. BUT I don't live in
        > such a place and would argue that there are no good arguments
        > for vouchers in this kind of school district. They are far
        > more likely to subsidize the middle class's private school
        > tuition than actually help people get their children a decent
        > education.
        >
        >
        > Well, the content you sent was interesting. Thanks.
        >
        > Ben
        > --
        > ============================================================
        > Ben Dorman 7231, Cadence Court, Columbia, MD 21046-1259
        > ben.dorman@... Tel: 410-381-2959
        > ASA Volunteer Webmaster http://www.autism-society.org
        >
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      • Richard A. Wilson
        I remember that MDPTA meeting. As everyone worked out the details of the MDPTA s position - the dinner banquet had gone cold and had to be warmed up several
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 1, 2000
          I remember that MDPTA meeting. As everyone worked out the details of
          the MDPTA's position - the dinner banquet had "gone cold" and had to
          be warmed up several hours later. In fact - I remember the installation
          of officers was done during dinner - something like 9:30 at night
          while everyone was eating. And I think the meeting would have run longer if
          some members, with medical issues and crashing pre-starving blood
          sugar levels, hadn't begun to wilt. 600 folks from all 23 counties
          in Maryland - discussing legislation governing our children is
          a behaviour embraced in my concept of "Liberty".

          Not teaming with your parental colleagues and running off with your
          voucher is something else, entirely, to me.

          Cheers,
          Rick Wilson

          Wanda Hurt wrote:
          >
          > From: "Wanda Hurt" <wandahurt@...>
          >
          > Sorry that you are going to skip the convention, we need input from everyone
          > concerning the Legislative Program. Last November the 600 delegates who
          > attended debated the Legislative Program, revised it, amended it and finally
          > voted on it in an almost 8 hour meeting. Several very controversial items
          > were referred to study, a study that the Legislative Review Committee will
          > begin right after the Session ends on April 10 and we need everyone's view
          > because (at least the Legislative VP) represents the views of the members of
          > the PTA (by of all things the majority vote on issues and positions we
          > take).
          >
          > I do hope that you plan to vote for the school board next week because that
          > too has become far too politicized but is an important decision that we as
          > citizens make (again by horror of horrors) majority vote.
          >
          > Wanda
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Watts Family <watts2@...>
          > To: <howardpubliced@onelist.com>
          > Sent: Tuesday, February 29, 2000 11:39 PM
          > Subject: [howardpubliced] More rhetoric on School $ for Ben
          >
          > > From: "Watts Family" <watts2@...>
          > >
          > >
          > > And of course my favorite of all "Liberty is a team effort"
          > >
          > > As for Wanda Hurt's suggestion that we march ourselves down to the annual
          > > convention, I'll pass, there are more effective ways to advocate for one's
          > > positions. The PTA, (in my humble opinion) has become too political and
          > > shouldn't even be taking a position on such an issue, given that so many
          > of
          > > it's members feel so deeply on both sides. Taking such positions which
          > > offend so many of it's members will only marginalize the PTA as just
          > another
          > > political organization and reduce it's support and effectiveness. If you
          > > doubt there is any significant support among parents for this position
          > here
          > > are the numbers (hope they aren't too content free for you):
          > >
          > > http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/kp9809-1a.htm
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