Archive for August, 2021

This Just In: Children Addicted to Free Lunch Become Spoiled Tools of Socialism

August 31, 2021 Comments off

New York Magazine writer Sarah Jones offers a good overview of the reasoning behind the Waukesha WI School Board’s recent and widely reported decision to deny free school lunch to it’s children… and it offers an good insight to the thinking behind anti-government elected to boards and legislatures across the country. So why did the school board decide to withhold its application for universal free lunch?

According to one school-board member, children could “become spoiled.” The school district’s assistant superintendent for business services worried that there would be a “slow addiction” to the free meals. This is a fascinating way to talk about children and their families, who do possess a biological need for food. Whether that need amounts to a “slow addiction” is a matter of opinion. And opinion in this country has become badly skewed.

Conflating a biological need with spoiling children or a “slow addiction” is crazy-making. But my guess is the board member and the assistant superintendent for business are REALLY concerned about creeping dependence on the government for assistance, creeping socialism. Where is the line between “dependence on the government” and cold-blooded Social Darwinism? Providing food to needy children hardly seems like a slippery slope to socialism. Indeed, withholding funds for a critical need seems more like a slippery slope to libertarianism. The next thing you know the school board will cut busing to school because bringing kids to school “spoils them” and bringing them for free is a “slow addiction to free public transportation”… and we wouldn’t want to stifle their independence by making them ride together with other children on a bus! 

Teacher and Para-Professional Shortages in Schools Mirror Those in Private Sector… and the Reasons for the Shortages Do As Well

August 29, 2021 Comments off

Our local newspaper’s front page features an article by the local business writer with the headline “Schools Facing Educator Shortage”. The article describes the problems confronting local school districts who are opening anew after a wide range of modified virtual and in-person offerings last year resulted in a highly stressful year for everyone associated with public education. What is most noteworthy is that school districts are facing a double whammy: in our region it seems that enrollments are rising due to move-ups from other parts of the country AND the fact that children who opted out of in-person programs are returning as well. That combined with wages for para-professionals that are lower than that paid to substitute teachers makes hiring problematic.

The article quotes several administrators and teachers on the possible rationale for the shortage, which include burnout that led to early retirements, the above-referenced wage differentials, and the fact that those entering education from other fields are offset by those leaving education for other work, especially at the paraprofessional level.

Perversely, the problem of finding paraprofessionals MAY work itself out when rent subsidies and stimulus checks disappear. But if prospective hires for those positions are drawn from a pool of workers who are forced back to work due to economic circumstances, will those new hires be motivated? In an ideal world, employers would be forced to address labor shortages by raising wages… but in our desire to return to our pre-pandemic world, employers will be draw from a pool of desperate workers trying to keep their heads above water.

NYPost Overlooks Mathematical Reality in Comparing US Education to China… and in Doing So Shows Either it’s Bias or its Ignorance

August 28, 2021 Comments off

The NY Post is SHOCKED to see how China is outpacing the US in turning out STEM graduate students!

“Based on current enrollment patterns, we project that by 2025 Chinese universities will produce more than 77,000 STEM PhD graduates per year compared to approximately 40,000 in the United States,” the authors wrote. More than “three-quarters of Chinese doctoral graduates” now specialize in STEM fields, a trend that will “undermine US long-term economic and national security.”

This is only shocking if you fail to understand that China has 4.3 times as many people as the US. I trust if you have read this far you see the stupidity of their conclusion… or maybe you see their bias…

Categories: Essays