A hope that probably won’t fulfill its promise.
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The problem with incipient gang members sitting in classrooms, and planning to outwit rival gangs, not to mention the police, is not that they are unintelligent but that they plan to join the lawless world they grew up in. They are not interested in Henry VIII or quadratic equations.
Private schools can kick out disruptive or failing students. Government-funded schools essentially cannot. As long as our regnant ideology of equality prevails, government schools will be nearly unreformable. Weissberg makes the comparison with public housing. If bad students cannot be removed, ghetto schools will resemble public housing projects.
Urging that adults must get married before having children is an ideal that is now too remote for mere lawmakers to address, let alone restore. Only a recovered religious faith will be able to do that. Book learning won’t be attainable in government-funded ghetto schools, no matter how powerless the teacher unions become.
I spoke to an old friend, Bernard Ruffin, who taught at a Fairfax County (Virginia) public school. He recently retired with a pension and a sigh of relief. A man of intellectual accomplishments, he has degrees from Bowdoin and Yale and has published eight books. His mother was an administrator at Howard and two aunts taught at Dunbar High School, the elite black high school in D.C., since destroyed by egalitarian madness. Yet Ruffin was relegated to the “ghetto” section of his school. Administrators want to reward their (younger, more pliant) favored teachers by assigning them to the best students.
Ruffin found it impossible to teach his pupils for the few hours a week he saw them. Often at school “for social reasons,” they took the attitude: “I defy you to teach me anything.” Faced with faculty complaints, administrators sided with students (to minimize political repercussions). Ruffin knew that when pupils came from broken, fatherless homes, “the teachers were blamed for the faults of the parents.”
Let me repeat the words of Washington Post columnist and Dunbar alumnus Colby King: “We have to fix the family. There’s no getting around it. The school system can’t solve it. The police department can’t solve it, the social service agencies can’t solve it.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?