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Liberal Hypocrisy Files: You Can Choose to Where to Abort but not Where to Educate May 8, 2010

My mother could not bring herself to consent her daughter’s education to Chicago Public Schools.  On my first day of school, I sported a nifty chocolate plaid pleated skirt with matching yellow blouse and brown button down sweater.  This was all due mostly in part to the financial generosity of my grandmother.  It was expected that this was the best thing for any child in Chicago’s inner city, to send them to a school where the teachers were good and the influence of the streets were diminished.  It was rare to see a single mother on welfare send her child to a private school but I was the exception.  While African American like me, most of my classmates came from two parent families  in which mom and pop had jobs.  They were bus drivers, postal carriers, retail salesmen, factory workers- they had skills.  Food stamps or welfare checks were never spoke of in front my classmates and my father died in Vietnam.  That is what we told the nuns when I was admitted.  Uniforms were a good front for having few clothes. The nuns hardly let the girls speak to boys as to insure our virginity.

The word of God according to Catholics was taught at least one hour a day.  Religion and morality could be found in everything from arithmetic to why I must share my tater tots with fat, clumsy Theresa who tripped and spilled her lunch tray on the floor.  Yes the nuns engaged in corporal punishment by twisting our cheeks and paddling us with a two by four but we were in the minds of our parents, safe from the failings of Chicago Public School.

Private education is of course a luxury that comes with a price. A price that my mother could no longer afford after my grandmother had a heart attack which lead to her retirement from housekeeping.

In 1981, the feet of young Afrocity touched public school ground for the first time in her eleven year life.  Now granted this was Oak Park, Illinois- a suburban school so it was not considered the true hell that I would later experience in Chicago Public School.   Although young, I knew that my choice to a top notch education was locked.  My mother was poor, hence the quality of my  education would be proportionate to her income.

If there were educational vouchers then, mother and I did not know about them.  I would have loved to be the recipient of one as my grades slid into an abyss once I was enrolled in the Chicago system. The teachers thought we were all lost causes except for myself and several others.  Our reward for being “teacher’s pet”  was a daily dose of ridicule from envious classmates.  High School was somewhat better than junior high as I had tested well enough to attend a “school for the gifted”.   Magnet schools provide a marginal escape for ghetto kids.  Black faces peppered  a sea of Caucasian, Asian and Middle Eastern grammar school superstars; often it was futile to compete for the instructors attention.  If you were African American and ran tops at cross country meets then and only then were you likely to be a teacher’s favorite.   Afrocity disappeared into the sea of faceless kids. CPS student # 1453768235 and so on and so on.   She did not reemerge until graduate school.

I remember the entire experience with sadness and anger.  First through fifth grade in parochial schools, sixth through 12th in public schools.  Truthfully the former was the better of the two halves. Imagine my feelings when I notice this article in the Chicago Tribune:

Illinois House kills school voucher bill

Fervent lobbying by unions sinks idea to give students $3,700 to switch to private or parochial schools

May 5, 2010

SPRINGFIELD — A measure to let students in Chicago’s worst-performing and most-overcrowded elementary schools use taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private schools was defeated in the Illinois House on Wednesday, giving teachers unions a major victory.

The landmark legislation would have made Chicago Public Schools the site of what experts said would be the nation’s largest voucher program. Up to 30,000 of the district’s 400,000 students could have left the weak schools they now attend, setting up competition for public schools.

The legislation got through the Senate in March after being championed by Sen. James Meeks, D-Chicago, and suburban Republicans. But by Wednesday, teachers unions had regrouped and its supporters found themselves pleading with opponents to overcome a furious lobbying effort to stop the bill.

“Think back to why you ran for office,” said sponsoring Rep. Kevin Joyce, D-Chicago. “Was it for a pension? I doubt it. Was it to protect the leadership of a union? I doubt that. Actually in all cases, I believe each and every one of us here got involved to try and make a difference in the lives of our fellow man.”

Joyce could muster only 48 of the 60 votes needed to pass a bill that would have allowed students to get vouchers worth about $3,700 to switch to private or parochial schools beginning in fall 2011.

Joyce said the bill would have passed if it had not faced the union opposition. The bill got support from 26 Republicans and 22 Democrats, fewer votes than Joyce had expected from his fellow Democrats.

Fighting back tears during the lengthy debate, Rep. Suzanne Bassi, R-Palatine, called on fellow lawmakers to “search your souls” to support the measure because “we have failed these kids in the inner-city schools.”

“I’m pleading with you,” said Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago, who represents an area with four public schools where students would have been eligible for vouchers. “I’m begging you. Help me help kids in my district.”

A bit of background here.  Democrats like President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, are notoriously opposed to educational vouchers. Both men hail from Illinois.  This decision to kill the Illinois voucher program is of no surprise to me.  Like most liberal hypocrites, the Obama’s daughters attended not Chicago Public Schools but nice comfy private schools. On the issue, the Democrats never practice at home what they preach to their voters.  Unions and the need to improve  Chicago Public Schools should come second to the welfare of the children.  If a child wants out now, then I feel that the child should be allowed assistance to attend whatever school its parents pleases. What if that voucher is a matter of life and death?  What about Derrion Albert? Remember him? The young boy that was beaten to death in a public school last year. I wonder if his fate would have resulted in a happier and longer life had he not been in a public school ridden with gang violence and drugs?

Here are a few comments from opposing sides of voucher assistance at the Tribune blog:

“Under different economic circumstances, I might support school vouchers for private schools, but during these bleak economic times, public dollars should be spent on public education. Rather than providing school vouchers to a small number of CPS students, however deserving, city and state policymakers should be concerned with providing schools with the funds needed to prevent cutbacks in teaching staff.

Pry more money out of the Obama administration. Raise our taxes if you must. Otherwise prepare to have an even greater proportion of Chicago’s public schools classified as “low-performing.””

Woman in Chicago

Voucher questions

As many as 22,000 or more children who go to the weakest Chicago Public Schools could be getting vouchers to go to private schools (“More kids, more choices,” Editorial, April 28). Why have the staff members at these schools not been fired and replaced with better teachers? Also what part does the parent play in the failure of the student? How will these children get to the new schools? What will happen to the children who stay at the poor-performing schools? Will those schools still be left open and have to be funded?

Yes the voucher program seems nice. But as a taxpayer, a lot of questions still need to be addressed.

Autographed Letter Signed,



5 Responses to “Liberal Hypocrisy Files: You Can Choose to Where to Abort but not Where to Educate”

  1. yttik Says:

    Yes, I believe in choice! Choice in education is the key to improving all education, public schools included. It would also prevent a lot of misery and suffering. The worse thing we can do is convince parents and kids that education is mandatory and that they have no choice about where they go.

    Part of it is attitude and conditioning and part of it is finances. A single mom is going to have a tough time driving her kid across the district twice a day or homeschooling or taking the time to research scholarships. But my message to parents, no matter who you are or where you live, is that you have choices. Don’t ever let them convince you that you don’t.

    I’ve seen a lot of successes. Charter schools, vouchers, alternatives schools, partnerships between public school and home schoolers. The key is to realize we own public education and it is here to serve our needs. Pretty tough idea to sell in communities dealing with a lot of poverty and violence and just trying to keep the food on the table, but it must be done.

  2. Holly Says:

    Reading this just infuriates me. If the point of our education system is to ensure poverty, racial class, and ignorance then it is a success.

    It’s interesting that the Democrats are the party of “minorities,” yet all of the failed voucher programs were heavily pushed by Republicans for black students in the inner-cities. All of these voucher programs have been put forward for a majority of black students because the public education system doesn’t give a damn about them and has failed them. If the basically all white teachers union wins over an entire inner city of black students, I wonder when minorities will ever win in the Democrat party.

    Choice is everything to the individual, but choice means irrelevancy for the Democrat party.

  3. Liz Says:

    The bit that infuriates me is the claim that vouchers only skim the cream off, but don’t actually give a better education.

    (1) How come the “cream” doesn’t do as well in public schools as when there’s educational choice?

    (2) Why do kids like Afrocity have an obligation to get an inferior education so that public schools and their teachers can feel better about themselves?

    (3) Why have people like Obama never sent their kids to public schools?

    • afrocity Says:

      Liz and you know that Washington DC public schools BEGGED Obama to send the girls there, yet he did not. Dems never lead by example.

  4. ymarsakar Says:

    The Democrats have two things they know are successful. Stable marriages that allow for a cohesive clan and alliance setup along with higher education for their children, in order to teach them how to rule over their betters. A pedigree of Ivy League education, thus, is a must. And Ivy League would be embarrassed to take some kid from the sticks or public education. They produce people to rule over the masses and cogs and serfs and slaves produced by pub ed. Pub ed isn’t supposed to produce people to rule over Ivy League graduates. That’s not the Natural Order of things.

    You can see these examples in the Kennedy clan as well as Roosevelt’s mother telling him not to divorce Eleanor for his love mistress.

    These people know what it takes to gain and keep power. Failed marriages, bad relationships, “common” education, ain’t it.

    That’s why they will make sure all their black slaves won’t get off their urban fiefdoms and plantations. They’ll put to them, what they know will make them fail. Then when these broken black families come yelling out for justice, they will present themselves as the Solution.

    It is an old and not particularly innovative way to control people. If the black community had actual access to the history of power politics in a good classical educational system, they would be aware of this. But they aren’t. Just as the Left intended. Frederik Douglas knew that education was the means by which to overturn the inferiority of blacks, whether real or perceived. He would not support the activism of more violent factions. Not even if those were the white people he respected.

    First the slave yearns for freedom and finds strength in having little to nothing to lose. Then freedom grants prosperity. Prosperity complacence. Complacence, decadence and weakness. Weakness back to slavery.

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