Fact-Checking the Fact Checkers: Is Class Size Over-rated?

Cover of "Stand and Deliver"

Cover of Stand and Deliver

That’s true but the Orwell-aware citizen should fact-check the fact-checkers.

For instance at the ABC link they seemed to favor the criticisms against Romney for his comments that class size doesn’t matter as much as we used to think.

Actually, even Arne Duncan, Obama’s own education secretary, was right that it isn’t “as important as some necessarily think”.

How about that, an Obama cabinet secretary has told the truth at least once. Here’s what he said, following a reference to Romney’s comments:

Cutter also hammers Romney on classroom size, saying, “Mitt Romney made some more ridiculous claims and assertions this week, this time on education policy. He even had the nerve to tell a group of educators that: ‘It’s not the classroom size that’s driving the success of those school systems.’”

The problem is that Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, has also suggested classroom size isn’t as important as some necessarily think.

“We spent billions of dollars to reduce class size. As a parent, we all love small class size,” Duncan told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “But the best thing you can do is get children in front of an extraordinary teacher. So other countries have higher class sizes but extraordinary talent in those rooms.”

We have at least one example in the person of Jaime Escalante, the teacher who was at the center of the book and movie “Stand and Deliver“. His classes were the most popular at his East Los Angeles high school, and there was so much demand for his classes and demand to get into them that his class size only kept growing ever year.

And his results should have shamed the teachers’ unions across the country into oblivion with their demands of seniority over results and a maximum class size.

They finally pushed him all the way out because he fought the union tooth and nail and face to face, and finally retired in disgust to his native Bolivia.

No wonder “Johnny Can’t Read”, and Jane can’t calculate when they get their diploma.

LIke they used to joke in my kids’ high school (they’re better now I think), the graduates can’t read their own diplomas!

The best solution for education is to free it from the chains of political hegemony, set it free for parents and private schools and private charities to take care of.  Political money is a poison pill, and all tax money outlays are political, without exception, because they are filtered through people with their hands in our pockets. It corrupts everything and distorts the market.

Evidence of this is just to look at the private school competition. Yes, millionaires and billionaires can send their kids wherever they want to, and their kids do better than the ones in the inner cities. Part of it is context, but private concerns have to compete for discretionary spending like that. Government vouchers doesn’t solve it all, though, because government is a lousy operator in matters of concern to parents. Look at the raid on the community in East Texas where the social workers who are supposed to look out for the children traumatized them by cutting off their communication with parents and trying to get them to say bad things about their mothers and fathers.

 

Oh, yes, and the president of the United States too. He has his kids in a private school in Washington DC, while he is cutting off the scholarships for the poor black kids in the District of Columbia. Hey! What is wrong with that picture?

 

 

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