Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sonnie Johnson: School Vouchers: A False Choice

By Sonnie Johnson

History is filled with broken promises, unrealized dreams, and an elite class of people who think they know better than the rest of us. Every Dictator knew it was more important to expand his empire than feed his people. Every King understood History would record their battles not the atrocities committed by his soldiers. Every Political Class has pressed their idea of thinking into the heads of children because they realize if they control the History, they control the people.

We will pass to our children a public school system that does little to nothing to prepare them for the real world. The sad part is we are faced with two false choices. We can continue to allow the Federal Government and the Elites to control what and when we learn (Making it more important your child understands why Timmy wears a bra instead of the true intent and purpose of the Second Amendment) or we can push for school vouchers and school choice. While I was once a proponent of the latter, I’m now starting to realize my idealism.

The option for children, with parents that care, to go to a private or charter school sounds great. The success rates of these schools shows real promise for America’s educational system. The attitude and hope for the future in the kids lucky enough to attend should inspire an entire neighborhood. That’s where my idealism ends.

The kid that goes to the private school and does all the right things will more than likely be the kid that happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. While we bus him 40 miles away to go to a better school, the community in which he lives still suffers and they direct that anger towards the one or two lucky enough to have a chance to make it out. It is anger and envy that just because my mother is on crack and I don’t know my father, I don’t have a chance. Educating a few will not break that cycle.

Until 1965, elementary and middle schools were locally built and run, like the charter and private schools of today. HMMM I wonder if that holds any correlation between those schools now being coveted. Lyndon Johnson comes into office with his idea for a Great Society. One of his first moves was The Elementary and Secondary School Act. This was the first time large amounts of Government funds poured into public school systems.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The majority of these funds were targeted towards low-income communities, mostly within the major cities. What does that mean? It means the Government (DEMOCRATS) basically formed the school system that currently exists. While we complain about not getting the same equipment as the suburban schools, we get triple the government spending. Why are our schools less effective, if Government is so powerful and all-knowing?

Shortly after the Act was passed, the Elites quickly realized the quality of the education was not as important as the family structure. A child with a broken home, a broken community, and a broken conception of life was still unable to make it, no matter how the Elites tried. Their answer, the push to take God out of schools, like it was somehow his fault. Like he had somehow made these children to fail.

It never occurred to the Elites, it was their fault. In 1949, Harry Truman passed the Housing Act, this was the beginning of the modern day ghettos. While the intent was to create cheap public housing, it actually started the process of killing the American Dream in the Black Community. For most people, finding that something you’re good at takes you far away from home. Instead, we began to value our “trap” like all of lifes’ treasure could be found within our block.

If the schools were bad, so what? If the crime rate was higher, who cares? We don’t move or seek better opportunities elsewhere. We represent, keep it real, and watch our communities burn in front of us. What you get will all this meddling is the current situation we face, how did we get into this mess? Where once as a people we ventured deep into the South, with the Klan (DEMOCRATS) in full force against us, to build schools and uplift our own people, we now allow those same thinkers (DEMOCRATS) to control our education.

And our only options are to let them continue or give up on the neighborhood and focus on individual students. Talk about a lose/lose situation. Where are our backbones to reach for more? Every five years, the Elementary and Secondary Act has to be renewed, the latest being the “No Child Left Behind Act”. Is there a candidate that believes we should push taking back our schools systems from the Federal Government?

Now, there will be critics who say, we need the Governments’ money to run these schools. I say, the governments’ money is mostly going to teachers’ unions and not the actual school system. When Lyndon Johnson instituted these reforms, he introduced the Teacher’s Union to the Democratic Party and there they still stand holding hands today.

This does not benefit our children. A teacher can walk into a classroom, tell the kids to read pages a-z, take a nap, and face no disciplinary action because the Teacher Union protects his ineffectiveness. A child can be bullied by student, complain to the principle, complain to the school board, and get laughed out of the proceedings. If you can’t hold teachers accountable or insist better overall safety of your child at school, is it really a Public School System or is it a Bureaucratic School System?

A Public School System would let the people decide in each community whether or not prayer should be allowed. A Public School System could decide some students are better suited in a trade school, in military service, or hell, the circus and shape paths appropriately. And no, this does not mean pick black boys to go into the military. It means give them their options. Some kids don’t like school, reading, or books and no amount of Liberal Love will change that. Yet, put that same student in front of a car and he can pull it apart and put it back together. A Real Public School system would realize this and encourage him, instead he’s downgraded because he’s not like the Elites.

Parents could decide more time should be spent acquiring computers instead of trying to micro-manage school lunch. Parents could say, “Don’t Green our School, give back our after school programs”. But more than that, the direct blame for a school systems failure or success would depend on the individual School System. That’s how it works in all other majority ethnic communities. They don’t accept failure, so they succeed.

Enter the catch-22. The Governments’ aim with this program is Low-Income Cities, mostly run by Democrats. They have to maintain a 40% poverty level in their communities to continue to get these funds. Politics are front and center in our School System and that is the danger of the Voucher Program. Once a private or semi-private school starts accepting Government Funds, they fall vulnerable to Government Control. Using History as a Guide, this system will not last long with Government Subsidized Entry.

Instead of wasting time taking it back bit by bit and allowing corruption to slow the process, we should take a true embrace on Limited Government. My Idealism Returns. They have us under their thumb and we must fight a thousand battles to get to one victory. Thinking in terms of strategy, the best place to start is with our Schools. We could teach Real Capitalism and Freedom, making it impossible for the Liberals to rob another generation of our children. We can show our kids it doesn’t matter if you have a strong grasp on Chemistry, there is still a profession out there that will allow you to take care of your future family.

With all that being said, Is our aim as Black Republicans and Conservatives to save the few or elighten and uplift the many?

Sonnie Johnson holds a degree in communications. She is a Republican lover of Hip Hop and unlike most thinks it can be an artistic vehicle to change. Star blogs at
she goes by the pen name Sonskystar

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A monopoly has no incentive to satisfy the needs of customers. The PS System is a government dictated monopoly. The party it needs to satisfy is the politician who will receive campaign contributions in return for government protection. Assuming the PS system really does care about its students, then why does it fail so abysmally? We have choice in food shopping and I have vigorous competition among the 3 major markets keeping prices down, enhancing inventory and maintaining clean appearances. Just what would we have if governments granted Stop& Shop the exclusive?