3/09/2006

Curious Santorumism

Dobson's wingnut organization "Focus on The Family" is proposing to pay children to perform badly on tests to show the incompetence of public schools toward their ongoing agenda of diverting school aid to private and religious schools on the basis of performance based punishment. OK, I made that up. I was practicing a right wing strategy that I was just reading about today! But the question of charter and parochial schools comes up alot in my line of work. When a parent feels that a school is 'failing' do they have the right to demand an alternative? Do they have the right to receive compensation by the district no longer providing education? What standards are these alternative schools being held to? And perhaps the most difficult question: on what basis do we determine a 'failing school'? Ironically, there are some that both advocate a reduced role of government in our daily lives, yet keep the bar pretty high on what they expect from a public school. For example, character issues? Even if you could get away with having the government provide faith based education, would a religious person really want them to? Whose faith? What happened to the idea that 'it doesn't take a village, it takes a family' A.K.A. Santorumism? Listen to Dobson squeal about the behaviors of the California 9th Circuit:
"Mr. Reinhardt and his cronies on the 9th Circuit are responsible for countless rulings designed to remove all vestiges of God from public life, strip parents of the right to train and educate their children..." This comment is problematic because if one believes the family to be the source of character and spiritual guidance, why would you WANT ANY public bureaucracy to do this on your behalf? Would a faith based family really feel so disempowered about school prayer, etc. that they would describe themselves as STRIPPED? It would be impossible to, say, address theology at home? Pray to the extent you wish at home? STRIPPED, Mr.Dobson? Come on now. If you place all of your stock in public entities to the extent that you feel 'stripped' when a few rulings put the Bill of Rights in your face... what are you really saying?

29 comments:

Lew Scannon said...

I don't think the public schools are failing at all. What the problem comes back to is the parents themselves. Most send their kids off to school and don't put much input into their education beyond that. Rather than accept responsibility for their child's education, they lay it all on the schools themselves. Thanks to the efforts of my ex, my children do wonderful in school, because she is concerned with their education and tries to help them understand what and why they are learning (of course being blessed with my genes does help a little).
Most parents are too busy working all day so they can buy more crap and keep ahead of the Jones' that when it comes time to help their children learn, they don't have the energy. But you'll find that the children who are doing well are the ones with the most active parent participation.
What's that Conservatives say about liberals expecting the government to take care of them?

LILY BRANFORD said...

Thats the point, Lew. Its really for parents to take an engaged role in what the kids are doing. What strikes me as so odd about the whole 'argue for God in school, etc' issue is that wouldn't you think that faith would be more solid, that it would not necessitate incorporation into every facet of public life to be meaningful, especially when accommodating so many faiths is so impossible? They will say its an agenda against God. But isn't their agenda actually CONTRARY to parental responsibility? Its like expecting schools to provide meals to everyone, now prayer too? How much are we expecting schools to fill a parental void? Meal programs are great, but ultimately food and spirituality are not the primary goals of the school system. Or so small government folks tell me!

Lew Scannon said...

And if the schools are screwing up education, wouldn't it stand to follow that they'd screw up religion as well? So instead allowing each parent the right to instill their faith in their own children, Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, etc, we'd end up with a watered down version of Christianity so as not to upset any faith?

Donkeyhue said...

I commend you both for openly acknowledging and agreeing with with the conservative postion regarding traditional family values in regards to education.
Obviously children from a stable two parent households perform better statisticaly and Im glad things worked out well with your kids Lew, but what is your solution to the children of single or no parent households of which both camps I fell in, and I think you belittle and oversimplify those two parent hh's working numerous jobs to put food on the table and paying taxes expecting the school system to pick up the slack where they are unable. Yes, final responsibility begins and ends with the parents, but does that mean we let teachers off the hook. And what about those not fortunate to be from a 2 hh? Do we just write them off? The school system is failing, and the sooner the party thats in the pocket of the teachers union stops worrying about the Pledge of Allegiance and gets the good teachers the tools they need to educate, and serve the teachers that are failing our children the pink(o) slip the better.

LILY BRANFORD said...

How many cases involving the pledge were brought by TEACHERS filing suit as opposed to parents? Teachers categorically are not really the ones disputing the pledge, nor are their unions. This is just anti-teacher propaganda arrived at anecdotally but not supported by cases. Easy enough to check. Teachers are liberals, and so they are off having sex with the ACLU. We get it.

This is not an attack on the realities of working parents, single parent households, or anything like that. It is hard to provide food too but if a parent did not socisl services would step in. Education is not optional, as food is not optional. It is a legal requirement. The extent to which a person can participate varies socially just as MANY things are inherently disparate. Sadly, all home lives are not even, all schools are not even, all colleges and money to pay are not even...time to spend with children is not even. How far does that unfairness become a matter of policy to be dealt with by wingnuttery? We let thousands of kids go hungry every day in America. I would like to see THAT dealt with before I shed tears over the pledge. There are single parents that are active, engaged, work two jobs, and still run the PTA. Then there are parents that have a cook and nanny and STILL do not participate in the process. Nobody is saying 'let schools off the hook' but you are asking an awful lot from a system NOBODY WANTS TO PAY FOR.Of course there are many needs that are filled by the school system simply by virtue of the fact that kids go there. Default assistance.Children get meals, dental care, flouride supplements (some states)doctor physicals, ear screenings, eye exams, counseling, behavioral therapy, etc. The point here is NOT to suggest that there are not kids needing of services. I was pointing out the position of Dobson that keeping religion out STRIPS parents of rights and THAT is insulting to parents everywhere.

Not permitting religion to infiltrate public schools is not discriminating against single parents, to permit it though would be discriminating against all sorts of people, religious AND non religious and using tax money to assert that there is a God,etc. instead of the three R's. While I expect fully that you will debate whether that is constitutional, public money used to 'establish religion' is illegal. Now the pledge is often excepted under the application of the 'ceremonial invocation of a deity' rule. The pledge is another matter to debate.

But you seem to be suggesting that the single parent who might be too busy for God might benefit from school prayer? .

Donkeyhue said...

Again with the attack on anecdotes?

You and most commenters here make blanket statements wontonsouply and yet you expect me to cite specific cases. I am sharing my opinions and unlike others am not here for the sport of the debate. I am flattered though that you must hold me in such high regard that I am able to spew stats at will. So be it. going forward, tis what I will do. Until then...

Teachers are Hitlar

...now get some sleep we'll cont this tomm, and bring a pen and paper.

No Blood for Hubris said...

The important thing is to resume valueing public education (which so many Bushists would like to drown in the bathtub) and supporting it.

Supporting schools by supporting taxes, supporting them by supporting the smallest possible class size so that more kids get more attention, providing after-school programs for working parents, and parent conferences after work.

These whacko neo-cons (honestly, I don't know what to call them, I don't recall the conservatives of yore having contempt for public schools, or for education in general) seem to want to destroy the public school system in America.

They need to be stopped.

No Blood for Hubris said...

"Wontonsouply"?

Nice phraseology.

Donkeyhue said...

...and by opinions I mean facts.

thanks nbfh, my cleverness masks my lack of a proper vocabulary. its all a ruse

fosco said...

Free Prayer..Thats a subsidy to an already tax exempt entity. I would expect the tax payer to be reimbursed!!!! Send the bill for providing God out immediately!!! Post haste!

Not on my dime, Dobson.

Left of Center said...

First, I'm the son of public school teachers. I think teachers are underpaid, but i dont think most schools are underfunded. I think we run schools badly. I just watched this yesterday:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfRUMmTs0ZA
Johhn Stossel is a tool, but for the most part the story is good.

Lew Scannon said...

I'm confued as to how praying to an invisible man in the sky is going to make you smarter, when in fact, it doesn't promote learning at all, it teaches children to put their faith in an outside entity and when things don't work out it must be God's will. How does rote recessitation of a pledge taken from a socialist magazine stimulate a child's capapcity for learning? Public school were set up not to educate, but to train people from a very early age how to be useful. They are taught how to be punctual, to be obedient, and to perform rote repetitive work. The teachers are mere cogs in the machine and are being singled out because they belong to a union, when in fact it the system that needs to be changed. Teachers don't set cirriculum, the board of Education does. Teachers don't determine class size, although smaller class size is something the NEA has been pushing for, (and something that Charter schools have adopted)economics dictate that. Teachers can't reach a child who has watched too much tv, or been abused, or is fed a diet of too much refined sugar and processed foods.And they certainly can't reach a child whose parents put no stock in the child's education baring a grudge against the teacher themselves for collective bargaining. Not all teachers are saints, and there are some who should not be teaching, but to put the blame of the failure of the public school system on the teachers is like blaming the soldiers in Iraq for Bush's failed policy there.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I also believe you get what you pay for. We spend so little on public education, yet we want it to be Harvard like. Harvard didn't get to be Harvard without having the largest endowment.

I support public schools and I say to people who don't support Gov't involvement in them, when is the last time you went down to your kids school? If you didn't support Gov't involvment, you'd be down there instead of them filling your voide on next to nothing on the meager budget.

Earl Bockenfeld said...

Lily, your story about a Dobson plan to ruin public schools and move education to private/church schools was High-Roller Bill Bennett's plan when he was Sec. of Ed under Raygun.

What's the church problem? They have church services, two or three times a week, they have sunday school, and sometimes classes on Sat. Why isn't that time enough to cover God, the 12 commandments, abstinence, homophobia and all the other character issues? Why do they need/want to take away any class time from the classes and shop time? Everyone is saying the schools are failing, but it looks like to me the churches are doing even worst than the schools, or they wouldn't want help from schools to teach religion.

Money is a major problem. Parents want a good education for their kids, but they don't want to pay for it. Of course, with all the money that Bush has wasted on Iraq war, missile defense, and NSA spying was put into education. Then every neighborhood school could be a little Harvard. We do have some problems beyond money, the growing number of kids who are autistic, and the growing failure of boys to learn in school and go on to college.

Neil Shakespeare said...

Isn't sad we have to live in a world that has such a things as a "Santorumism"? Say, is there such a thing as a "Santorgasm"?

LILY BRANFORD said...

A Santorgasm occurs when you arrive at the hot,trembling ecstasy of doing dishes barefoot in your strong man's kitchen while using the running water to drown out the sound of Fox news. (and ladies, I strongly recommend his book for your dry spells)

And Earl I did say I was reading some wingnutty strategy. Or was that my date with Rhino?

I was making a joke, but you are right about the conspiracy against public schools as a cornerstone of sound Reagapolicy. Guess it was not a funny joke.

Earl Bockenfeld said...

Candy over at Smart Bitches who LOVE Trashy Novels has immoralized Bill Napoli thusly:

A Republican state senator for South Dakota who had these words of wisdom to say about acceptable rape exceptions for the abortion ban:

A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

An acquaintance of mine, Sylvia, referred to this as “hella rape,” which is quite possibly the best damn phrase I’ve read all year.

At any rate, fuckwittery should not go unrewarded. I’m thinking we should do to Napoli what Dan Savage did to Rick Santorum. The nifty thing is, Napoli himself has provided an excellent definition. I propose the following entry be entered into the lexicon:

napoli (not to be confused with the proper noun, which indicates the Italian city)
Function: verb


Inflected Form(s): napolied
Pronunciation: nA’poli

1. To brutalize and rape, sodomize as bad as you can possibly make it, a young, religious virgin woman who was saving herself for marriage. 2. To hella rape somebody.

Etymology: From State Senator Bill Napoli’s (R-SD) words on an acceptable description of rape that would merit an exemption from South Dakota’s abortion ban.

Now, popularizing this term is going to take a little help from you guys.

First of all, I’ve created a little page with the definition for “napoli.” LINK TO http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/billnapoli with “Bill Napoli” as the anchor text. The link should look like this:

Bill Napoli

This is known as Google-bombing.

Santorum is already enshrined in the dis-honored Hall of Fame for:

santorum (san-TOR-um) n.
1. The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.

I am worried about a second entry the "Santorgasm" which might seem desirable to some people, unless it's qualified, as Lily said, which can only be achieved when you are "barefoot and pregnant."

Anonymous said...

If you live in a red state trailer with a rhinoceros, and you are barefoot and pregnant with a baby rhino, while reading Santorum's book doing dishes, while googling 'sexy NRA hunks" high on oxycontin- would you have multiple Santorgasms?

Just asking.

Frederick said...

I'll tell ya where we went wrong, when we let people other than clergy learn to read and write in the first place. We wouldn't be debating all this mumbo jumbo. Praise Saint Santorum, finest mind of the 13th century! Now, back to the fields.

fosco said...

Why don't we just outsource the little bastards to India? They could use the improved English test scores.

Kathy said...

Schools do have problems, I'm not going to deny that, but parents are a bigger problem. Today's parents are too involved in running interference for their children instead of letting them learn to run their own lives. College professors even complain about parents threatening them when they give their kids poor grades.

My son is a teacher in a rural town where parents rule the roost. One man was unhappy because the coach benched his son for low grades, so he ran for school board. When he got elected, he convinced the rest of the board to fire the coach. The union is trying to fight the dismissal, but it's a small union.

Not only that, the board also fired several principles and brought in crony friends from other towns.

My sister teaches elementary school and one parent tried to have her fired because she sent home a note written in red ink. The parent tried to convince the adminstration that my sister was into witchcraft. They had to move the child from my sister's class to another one, and this was repeated several times over the next several years. How can a child learn when he/she lives in that type of environment?

Faith based schools aren't the answer to all the problems either. I know a young man who was raised by fundamentalists and attended a faith based school. He rebelled after graduation, stole a car and ended up in prison. He served time, ended up at home again where he listened to his mother's lecture on sin and stealing, and he went out and stole another car. He's now serving 6-8 years.

I'm not saying schools are perfect. There is room for improvement in public education, but parents have to back off and let teachers and administrators do their jobs for the most part. More importantly, they have to let their kids take responsibility for their actions. Parents have to stop being enablers.

GraemeAnfinson said...

I was reading that and actually pissed until you said you made the first part up. Nice work on the google bomb dude

dusty said...

What about that ridiculous No Child Left Behind crap? The Feds want a standard to judge all schools and teachers by...just something else to worry about if your a superintendant in a public school system.

Schools are underfunded in some cases..you can not deny that fact. In Cali, the money made from the State Lotto is SUPPOSED to go to the schools..its not..the sitting governors have all used it for whatever they can deem an "emergency"..the only way to abscond with the funds.

A school is many things to many people..everyone has a different idea of what a school should provide and how. People in Cali now expect schools to be a daycare center afterhours..is that fair? Whos' going to pay that bill? I wouldn't want to run a school district anywhere in the United States. I have no answers to the questions posed by this post or the folks commenting on it..

I just wanted to add my two cents..wich is all my thoughts are worth at this point.

Anonymous said...

Mine are worth four cents. And they are commercial free.

Dude said...

When Dobson uses the word "stripped" I can assure you he is visualizing a classroom full of naked boys. That guy is the biggest perv on the planet.

No Blood for Hubris said...

My favorite Dobsonian story, next to the one where he beats his own puppy, is where he suggests that, to prevents one's son from becoming gay, dads should shower naked with their sons. I'm not making this up.

Rory Shock said...

Reinhardt is a frickin' hero ... he's a judge that really believes in freedom and democracy ... I sat near him at a conference once in a previous incarnation and the subject was the first anti-terrorism and speedy death penalty bill that Clinton signed into law ... a vile precursor to the vile Patriotic Acts ... he asked a presenter a question about that law ... along the lines of ... "Doesn't this essentiallly do away with Federal Habeas Corpus review?" Good question it was. Anyhow ... fuck you Dobson ... right on Lily

Aethlos said...

i think lil went to law school.

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