Slate: Only bad people won’t sacrifice their children on altar of public education, or something

posted at 12:41 pm on August 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

We still have four more months left in 2013, but we may have found a winner for the single most vapid column of the year, courtesy of Slate. Allison Benedikt wrote a “manifesto” which appeared on their site today demanding that parents stop using private schools for their children, because — and I am not making this up — putting more children in failing schools is the path to improvement.  Benedikt begins her argument by pronouncing herself ignorant on education policy, and proceeds to demonstrate a nearly endless supply of ignorance throughout the rest of the article.

Actually, I’ve gotten ahead of myself.  She starts off her argument by pronouncing anyone who does not put their children in public schools a “bad person”:

You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.

Take a moment to mull over that gem. Benedikt’s entire argument is that non-participants in an organization ruin it by their non-participation.  It’s not the actual participants who are to blame for the institution’s failures – not the teachers, not the administrators, and not the policy-makers — but the people who avoid the failure that should be blamed.  That argument conveniently lets the participants in this “most-essential” institution off the hook for their own failures.  We’ll get back to that in a minute.

With that in mind, Benedikt then pronounces her ignorance on the subject, while demanding that children get sacrificed in the failing institutions for generations on the off chance that things will improve … by osmosis, or something:

I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.

Before we deconstruct the idiocies in that argument, let’s test that theory.  The worst-performing school districts tend to be those in densely-populated urban cores, where teachers routinely complain not of half-empty classrooms but of student-teacher ratios that are way too high. If Benedikt’s theory holds water, then those districts — where school choice is verboten and economic opportunities to provide alternatives are nearly as rare — should be models for educational improvement. Over the last 50 years, which direction have these schools taken?  According to every measure, it’s not the path of excellence.

Even more fundamentally, Benedikt argues that parents should have the welfare of the public sector as a higher ideal than that of their own children.  So what if they get a lousy education?  Kids fifty years from now might get a better one if parents today would only sacrifice their children’s future on the altar of the Public School Gods, whose beneficence can only be derived through complete sacrifice! And speaking of the common good, exactly how does producing a few generations of mediocre-educated children improve the communities and the country as a whole?  The only way this strategy makes any sense is we aim for a future that looks a lot like the film Idiocracy.

And exactly how does Benedikt envision the improvement process working?  To call this fantastic undersells the delusion and ignorance demonstrated:

And parents have a lot of power. In many underresourced schools, it’s the aggressive PTAs that raise the money for enrichment programs and willful parents who get in the administration’s face when a teacher is falling down on the job. Everyone, all in.

If that were true, we’d never have any failing schools at all.  Unfortunately, almost none of this is true.  It is true that PTAs raise funds to contribute to endangered programs, but the programs are usually endangered because the administrative costs in public schools have skyrocketed thanks to mandates from government, which means public funds — which do come from everyone — get increasingly spent on indirect costs rather than educating children. The results in this case speak for themselves, as even Benedikt implicitly acknowledges that public schools are mainly either failing or mediocre.

The part about “willful parents” forcing the administration to deal with failing teachers in public schools must have parents with actual experience in these districts doubled over with laughter.  It’s almost impossible to remove a failing teacher with tenure, even when they’ve been accused of far worse than incompetence — and even when an administration would like nothing more than to get rid of him or her.  Instead, they pay them to sit in so-called “rubber rooms” until retirement — New York City had seven hundred of them being paid not to teach in 2009 — which means even more funds being wasted on something other than basic education.  Shifting blame to non-participants isn’t just ignorant and laughable, it’s part of the reason for the chronic nature of the failures.

However, in private and parochial schools, that dynamic actually works.  Why? Private schools don’t get funding regardless of their success or failure in educating children. They only get tuition by demonstrating excellence and success, or else parents take their tuition elsewhere.  Teachers are accountable to parents, rather than just to their union, which means that parents can have a real impact on curriculum and educational strategies.

Finally, here’s Benedikt’s argument for why we should not worry so much about the education in schools as the experience, which sounds as though it came from The Onion rather than Slate:

Also remember that there’s more to education than what’s taught. As rotten as my school’s English, history, science, social studies, math, art, music, and language programs were, going to school with poor kids and rich kids, black kids and brown kids, smart kids and not-so-smart ones, kids with superconservative Christian parents and other upper-middle-class Jews like me was its own education and life preparation. Reading Walt Whitman in ninth grade changed the way you see the world? Well, getting drunk before basketball games with kids who lived at the trailer park near my house did the same for me. In fact it’s part of the reason I feel so strongly about public schools.

Frankly, this is one of the most honest expressions of what liberals believe to be the purpose of public schools I’ve ever read.  It’s most certainly not about educating children, but about social norming … down to the lowest common denominator.  Rather than finding ways to provide poor children an effective and productive education so that they can compete better for jobs and wealth down the road, we just need to make sure everyone gets the same lousy education so, er, we can all have fond memories of puking our guts out before basketball games at the gym.  And let’s not miss the none-too-subtle assignment of responsibility for that drunkenness on the families from the trailer park.

The real question here isn’t why Benedikt would have thought this made a good argument for public-school education. The real question is how it got past Slate’s editors for publication.

Note: We had a lot of fun with this story on my show this morning from the fair.

Update: James Pethokoukis blasts this story, and quotes an important point from his AEI colleague Michael McShane:

3. Oh, by the way, do we have any data on the educational impact of helping lower-income and poor kids escape the public education monopoly? Like, say, data from the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program? Well, the US Education Department’s OSP study found the program, McShane points out, “produced $2.62 in benefits for every dollar spent on it. In other words, the return on public investment for the private-school voucher program during its early years was 162 percent.” What’s more, “The OSP increased the high-school graduation rate of students by 12 percentage points if they were lucky enough to win the annual scholarship lottery.”

4. One more from McShane:

It’s also a proud tradition in America (since Pierce v. Society of Sisters in 1925) to recognize that children are not instruments of the state. They do not exist to promote the goals of the government or the community, they (and their parents) are free to (within limits) to be educated as they best see fit.  Obviously this person has no idea about the anti-Catholicism and anti-immigrant racism that lead people to make the same argument that she is making, albeit 100 years ago.

It’s safe to say that Benedikt doesn’t have any idea at all about this topic, history, public policy, and probably a wide range of issues.  McShane gets to the heart of Benedikt’s argument better than anyone, though, by pointing out that her view of children is that they are nothing more than fodder to be exploited in any way possible to support the liberal vision of public education.


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Ed,

Why waste your time writing an entire post about a Slate article. Slate is basically a more sophisticated troll. Don’t feed them.

red_herring on August 29, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Maroon alert

cmsinaz on August 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

The obamas must be bad people then.

Matt Damon must be bad too.

The Clintons must be bad people.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Ed, tell red-herring to start its own blog. It has been a wart, rather a hemorrhoid.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:48 PM

ahhhh, the pic of the girl with those EYES!!

ToddPA on August 29, 2013 at 12:48 PM

The love of my life! My bug-eyed beauty!!

CurtZHP on August 29, 2013 at 12:48 PM

TeaParty and red-herring are mobys.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Allison Benedikt is what is known as dangerously stupid. Weapons grade ignorance that should be held up as the pinnacle of liberal education achievement.

HotAirian on August 29, 2013 at 12:48 PM

ahhhh, the pic of the girl with those EYES!!

ToddPA on August 29, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Get lost! I saw her first!

CurtZHP on August 29, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Ed,

Why waste your time writing an entire post about a Slate article. Slate is basically a more sophisticated troll. Don’t feed them.

red_herring on August 29, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Come on; ogres need to eat, and trolls make mighty tasty snacks.

Seriously, a loony liberal idea left unsmacked germinates into a kudzu from Hell.

Steve Eggleston on August 29, 2013 at 12:49 PM

The obamas must be bad people then.

Matt Damon must be bad too.

The Clintons must be bad people.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Well…yeah!

cajunpatriot on August 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Does Allison Benedikt have the slightest clue how close she is to “your child belongs to the government?”

I can see it now, line after line of children, all dressed the same, marching on parade before the Great Leader. Marching band in front, tanks to follow.

I wonder where she went to school? Public or private. In either case, she is a testament to the utter failure of education, at least in her case.

IndieDogg on August 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM

The obamas must be bad people then.

Matt Damon must be bad too.

The Clintons must be bad people.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Yes, they are, but not for providing their children with a better education.

HiJack on August 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM

This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.

Say there, Allison, the crime-ridden dump known as Detroit needs a revival so I suggest we apply your logic and have you move there with your entire extended family.

Sure you’re all going to live in a highly volatile, incredibly dangerous, crumbling city full of wild dog packs, crazed addicts, and savage criminals, possibly for generations, and your children and grandchildren might get injured or killed in the meantime while they attend schools that are worse than those found in Kabul, but it will be worth it for the eventual common good.

Get crackin’, girl, I’ll even help you pack.

Bishop on August 29, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Liberal Rhetoric 101

1. Proclaim ignorance of a subject
2. Make profoundly ignorant statements about how to improve said subject.
???
3. Potato!

King B on August 29, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Yes, they are, but not for providing their children with a better education.

HiJack on August 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM

…for wanting yours to not have the same options.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Does Benedikt have kids?

No? Then STFU.

BacaDog on August 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Since I have one in public school and one in private school, either my wife and I are half bad, or I’m bad and my wife isn’t.

rukiddingme on August 29, 2013 at 12:54 PM

obama and the congress s/b the first ones to register for obamacare and all their kids for public schools…if they are so good…they advocate bread for thee and cake for me.

May hypocrisy split their heads into a million pieces.

All congresscritters who don’t renounce the exemption to obama’care’, OUT in 2014, with zero exceptions.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Didn’t we fight to win the Cold War to defeat this kind of thinking?

BuckeyeSam on August 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Since I have one in public school and one in private school, either my wife and I are half bad, or I’m bad and my wife isn’t.

rukiddingme on August 29, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Or you miss the whole point.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Seriously, if you add this to their love of abortion, and non-child producing (gay) marriages one has to ask why liberals have declared war on children.

heretic on August 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

The state needs you in public education so you can be indoctrinated as they see fit.

Child education is secondary to child indoctrination.

Democrat Party power is their top priority in public schools. That is why the Democrat Party Teacher’s Unions protect the terrible teachers even though it harms the children. Unions NEED bad teachers because good teachers do not need unions.

So Democrat Party power has priority over even basic education.

GardenGnome on August 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

BTW: I can’t wait to see someone like the Boss Emeritus take this article apart.

BuckeyeSam on August 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Or you miss the whole point.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Or not.

rukiddingme on August 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM

It’s safe to say that Benedikt doesn’t have any idea at all about this topic, history, public policy, and probably a wide range of issues.

In other words, a typical lib.

ctmom on August 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Well – they are racking up the comments over there at Slate – so they are getting all the attention they want.

djl130 on August 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM

And speaking of the common good, exactly how does producing a few generations of mediocre-educated children improve the communities and the country as a whole?

With the direction this country is moving, I think we can plainly see those effects now.

Vera71 on August 29, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Socialism: we need you. No, all of you. Yes, you over there–you too.

Don’t worrry, it’s completely voluntary, but we locked the doors just in case.

TexasDan on August 29, 2013 at 12:59 PM

The obamas must be bad people then.

Matt Damon must be bad too.

The Clintons must be bad people.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

You’re catching on, brickbrain.

itsspideyman on August 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

ahhhh, the pic of the girl with those EYES!!

ToddPA on August 29, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Get lost! I saw her first!

CurtZHP on August 29, 2013 at 12:49 PM

if you have a Stare lasting longer than 4 hours

ToddPA on August 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

I wonder where she went to school? Public or private. In either case, she is a testament to the utter failure of education, at least in her case.

IndieDogg on August 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM

She says she went to public school. Here’s what Benedikt says about her own education:

“I went K–12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one book. There wasn’t even soccer. This is not a humblebrag! I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either. You know all those important novels that everyone’s read? I haven’t. I know nothing about poetry, very little about art, and please don’t quiz me on the dates of the Civil War. I’m not proud of my ignorance. But guess what the horrible result is? I’m doing fine.”

So I guess the moral of this story is that even if you go to a terrible public school, don’t learn much there, and don’t learn much in college, you can still get a job writing stupid essays on a famous website.

J.S.K. on August 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Libs have been trying to get the private sector out of education since mass education really took off at the end of the nineteenth century. They can’t stand any challenge on their monopolies. And no monopoly is more important to the lib than schools. For its through schools that they indoctrinate the “yutes” of America into their socialist downward spiral. Don’t be surprised if in the near future they try again to ban private education. They’ve made some oblique runs with O-care, and gay “rights” but they’ll up the ante soon.

Iblis on August 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

We still have four more months left in 2013, but we may have found a winner for the single most vapid column of the year, courtesy of Slate.

I dunno. Tommy Christopher produces several contenders a week. Then there are Dave Sirota, Ezra Klein and Matty Yglesias. Salon has a whole stable full of stupid.

Perhaps you should run a weekly poll.

myiq2xu on August 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Wonder if she can explain why teachers and administrators use private schools?

theblacksheepwasright on August 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Sorry, buddy, checked your previous posts….

missed the /snarc. :)

itsspideyman on August 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Slate desperately attention-trolls and the conserva-net obliges them.

Jeddite on August 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM

I legitimately cannot tell if that article is a put on or not. Still, it raises the larger fact that all liberal social policies are, at heart, suicide pacts.

JeremiahJohnson on August 29, 2013 at 1:02 PM

The real question is how it got past Slate’s editors for publication.

I have a theory:

Allison Benedikt is the managing editor of Slate’s Double X.

pain train on August 29, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Double down on failure if the cause is ideological?

Isn’t that the liberal/left credo?

rrpjr on August 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM

And it is my fault the inner-cities suck because I live in a small town.

agmartin on August 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM

In a strange way this article does have real value; it exposes the real thoughts of the left and the misguided “utopia” they think they can create.

Tater Salad on August 29, 2013 at 1:08 PM

She’s not bad looking but is the kind of girl that gets the I’ll call you after a one nighter.

docflash on August 29, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Lemme get this straight. I’m a bad person if I deny my child the opportunity to get drunk with a wider circle of acquaintances? Really? Really? This is beyond parody.

tommyboy on August 29, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Slate: Only bad people won’t sacrifice their children on altar of public education, or something

Well that explains all the politicians that send their children to private school…or are they “special”.

canditaylor68 on August 29, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Liberals will not rest until everything is subordinate to the state.

Mark1971 on August 29, 2013 at 1:09 PM

O_O *double-take* O_O

Bitter Clinger on August 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Or not.

rukiddingme on August 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM

It’s your choice.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Progressives are going to blame whites for the failure of education the same as they do for decaying urban centers.

….and they’re working tirelessly, relentlessly on regulations, executive actions and they WILL NOT GIVE UP.

For example (this from today regarding Progressives on gun control):

In the months following the Senate vote, Biden has claimed that at a handful of lawmakers who opposed expanded background checks have told him privately they’ve changed their minds and want another chance. But Biden and White House officials have not named any of those lawmakers.

Renewing his pledge to keep working for legislative fixed, Biden suggested that one opportunity for improving prospects for gun control may come next year in the midterm elections. Liberal groups and those supporting gun control have vowed to hold accountable in 2014 those lawmakers who voted against gun control.

“If Congress won’t act, we’ll fight for a new Congress,” Biden said. “It’s that simple. But we’re going to get this done.”

IF ONLY…..someone that was an elected Limited government Conservative would show the same tenacity.

PappyD61 on August 29, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Allison Benedikt – Putting more children in failing schools is the path to improvement.
Albert Einstein – Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

LincolntheHun on August 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

That’s some industrial strength stupid there.

Mason on August 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Is liberalism covered under Obamacare as a mental disorder?

dpduq on August 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

You’re catching on, brickbrain.

itsspideyman on August 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

It wasn’t sarc – it was pointing out how hypocritical they are – they want your kids to go to public schools, while their dwell in expensive/exclusive private ones.

p.s. “brickbrain”? I can be called many things…hardly ever accused of not thinking. I could call you “itsspdeybrain” but I won’t :)

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

It’s your choice.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Yep.

rukiddingme on August 29, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Is liberalism covered under Obamacare as a mental disorder?

dpduq on August 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

It sure is.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 1:16 PM

As rotten as my school’s English, history, science, social studies, math, art, music, and language programs were

But besides that, it was like, teh awesome.

/where else could I see two gay guys kiss

Paul-Cincy on August 29, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Yeah, that’s some serious dummie sh*t.

I was forced to go to public school. I learned nothing. My teachers weren’t fit to change a tire. And one guy was even a child molester. I started skipping classes by fifth grade, and by high school I was completely absent. It was a joke. My high school diploma is a joke. (Don’t even get me started on college.) If it hadn’t been for the fact that my dad, a single parent, was a genius, I’d be nowhere today. I was essentially home-schooled.

But this is what liberals want. They want the dumbest populace possible. Because only idiots vote for libtards. Libs are an infection on this planet.

WhatSlushfund on August 29, 2013 at 1:16 PM

The state needs you in public education so you can be indoctrinated as they see fit……

….that’s why Kindergarten turned from voluntary to 1/2 day, then full day…..

….then it was more recently “four year old programs” or “Pre-K”.

Now it’s THREE YEAR OLD programs.

but the best part?

The state is headed to union led SIX WEEK OLD government led “Child Development and Education Centers” and parents (VIA COMMON CORE type efforts will be reported on if they don’t tow the line and support the all powerful educators (that know better).

PappyD61 on August 29, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Hugh Hewitt is smacking his lips while waiting for this one to succumb to his interview. I predict hang-up.

DanMan on August 29, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Idiocracy has already arrived.

Xasprtr on August 29, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Sacrifice all you like lady, your multi-culti utopia will never exist. Just don’t expect the rest of us who aren’t ignorant enough to believe your BS to participate in a mass suicide.

antipc on August 29, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Golly! Sure seems like Ms. Allison Benedikt’s idea of public education matches very well with “The Naked Communist” goal number 17:

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

Perhaps she is a collectivist?

djtnt on August 29, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Wow! A ringing endorsement of underage drinking as well!
It’s educational!!

redshirt on August 29, 2013 at 1:26 PM

The barbarians are inside the gates. And, they are busily raping and pillaging.

trigon on August 29, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Slate’s just trolling for hits at this point. Even most liberals can’t believe the dumb she spewed there.

changer1701 on August 29, 2013 at 1:29 PM

McShane gets to the heart of Benedikt’s argument better than anyone, though, by pointing out that her view of children is that they are nothing more than fodder to be exploited in any way possible to support the liberal vision of public education.

Kid, you will eat that socialism/commie stuff and you will like it.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Any parent would sends their sons to public school is close to committing child abuse unless that is their only option. Academe’s War on Boys is real!

Laurence on August 29, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Rahmbo in chicago and the “YOU LIE!” OBOZO’s in DC, like many d-cRAT socialist extremists, are the ultimate ELITISTS who put their kids in the most expense and exclusive ($30,000+ per student) PRIVATE schools available. This way, the d-cRAT socialists avoid those failed “public” schools in which NEA union goons and thugs (supported by taxpayer money provided by the lunatic-left d-cRAT party for their votes and payback campaign contributions) mis-teach children, while collecting massive salaries and gold-plated benefits that are destined to bankrupt every city like has happened in the SOCIALIST UTOPIA of detroit. I wonder, can the OBOZO and rahmbo kids spell: “H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E” ? Their parents certainly can’t.

TeaPartyNation on August 29, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I can see it now, line after line of children, all dressed the same, marching on parade before the Great Leader.

IndieDogg on August 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Watch the video for Education by Pink Floyd

freedomfirst on August 29, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I am still disappointed that some of the passengers on the Titanic used lifeboats considering that there was not enough for everyone.

Laurence on August 29, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Who is Benedikt?
I wonder why I pay taxes for school while I homeschool my kids. Hey, here’s an idea. Give me my voucher to apply to their curriculum. I guarantee the results will surpass those of the public screwed system.

freedomfirst on August 29, 2013 at 1:39 PM

It is true that PTAs raise funds to contribute to endangered programs, but the programs are usually endangered because the administrative costs in public schools have skyrocketed thanks to mandates from government, which means public funds — which do come from everyone — get increasingly spent on indirect costs rather than educating children.

I am friends with a well know school superintendent. We have talked about this very thing. He agrees with the above statement. According to him, a major cost now is the necessity of mainstreaming kids who really should be in another enviroment. Not of their own doing of course. It however eats up a significant amount of revenue. These kids have a person assigned to them the entire day…each kid equals one extra employee at the least.

wsucoug on August 29, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Sorry kids; it’s human experiments for the lot of you. It’s for the public good.

EA_MAN on August 29, 2013 at 1:40 PM

She speaks the truth. She, just like all leftists, feels that children are nothing more than tools that should be used for the benefit of the State. So, many lives are destroyed. Big deal. Lives are ruined every day.

To paraphrase the old Russian premier, 1,000,000 illiterate children is a statistic. Now, 100,000,000 ignorant children, that’s a democrat voting block for a lifetime.

njrob on August 29, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Man that sounds like the argument used for Obamacare….

You are a participant in the health care market, even though you don’t have a health insurance policy….

Truly ironic, fun times in which we live….
up is down, down is up and all that other crap. :D

MityMaxx on August 29, 2013 at 1:48 PM

…but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.

I actually think Dante got it wrong. This is the actual phrase hanging over the gates of Hell.

somewhatconcerned on August 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM

The state is headed to union led SIX WEEK OLD government led “Child Development and Education Centers” and parents (VIA COMMON CORE type efforts will be reported on if they don’t tow the line and support the all powerful educators (that know better).

PappyD61 on August 29, 2013 at 1:19PM

Sound like the Glen Beck endorsed book, Agenda 21. Wasn’t very well written, but the world of the book was clearly a leftist’s wet dream.

njrob on August 29, 2013 at 1:53 PM

That article should have come with a /sarc tag. Can people really be that stupid?

jayhawkingeorgia on August 29, 2013 at 1:54 PM

I am not an education policy wonk a critical thinker: I’m just judgmental an idiot. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school person drove a Trabant, public schools Trabants would improve.

FIFY

That article should have come with a /sarc tag. Can people really be that stupid?

jayhawkingeorgia on August 29, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Why, yes; yes, they can! (Haven’t you read LFoD’s and UE’s and the other trolls’ comments?)

GWB on August 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Excellent point. :)

Slate might do well to hire a staff writer who HAS an education.

thatsafactjack on August 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Why, yes; yes, they can! (Haven’t you read LFoD’s and UE’s and the other trolls’ comments?)
GWB on August 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM

I note none of the HA trolls have appeared to defend this insanity. I dare em. I double dog dare em. Besides, it’s my birthday and I need a good laugh.

tommyboy on August 29, 2013 at 2:04 PM

The worst-performing school districts tend to be those in densely-populated urban cores, where teachers routinely complain not of half-empty classrooms but of student-teacher ratios that are way too high.

.
SOLUTION: Busing! YES! Take the excess from the inner city and route them to the nearest suburban school with seats available and “Voilá!!!” Problem Solved!
/brain-dead lib spouting failed strategies of the past as viable solutions today…

ExpressoBold on August 29, 2013 at 2:05 PM

You can’t fix STUPID! And the author apparently wants it spread.

GarandFan on August 29, 2013 at 2:13 PM

And it is my fault the inner-cities suck because I live in a small town.

agmartin on August 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Which is precisely why the administration is currently looking at ways to move the dysfunctional elements of inner cities to a small town or suburb near you.

CJ on August 29, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Has no one noticed that Allison Benedikt is a product of public education? That elegantly explains her ignorance and makes hers a circular argument.

NOMOBO on August 29, 2013 at 2:14 PM

You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.

Um, so by bad you mean good? Or something…? I am confused.

Now if you don’t do everything in your power to get what’s best for your kid, that would make you a bad person.

thirtyandseven on August 29, 2013 at 2:15 PM

I’ve seen Many people on other sites saying this is clearly satire. Perhaps the title “A Manifesto” is supposed to mean the same thing as “A modest proposal”. It speak well of the left that you really can’t tell.

tommyboy on August 29, 2013 at 2:22 PM

tommyboy on August 29, 2013 at 2:22 PM

speak well = doesn’t speak well

tommyboy on August 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM

You are a bad person if you send your children to private school.

Well, my kids are home schooled, so I’m golden.

besser tot als rot on August 29, 2013 at 2:24 PM

That article works better as satire. When I first read it, I really wasn’t sure if she was serious. Apparently she was. Frightening.

RadClown on August 29, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Worthless article.

Bmore on August 29, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Just imagine how wonderful it will be when all would-be doctors and civil engineers are subjected to mediocre educations for the greater good.

CJ on August 29, 2013 at 2:33 PM

In my early days of homeschooling, when I was still questioning if I was doing the right thing, I heard a very wise man at a conference say that if you take your kids out of public school and put them in a closet they are already coming ahead, anything else you do for their education is gravy. He was being a little sarcastic perhaps, but not too far off.
Meet Allison Benedikt, exhibit #1

neuquenguy on August 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM

heretic on August 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

This they have given up on reproduction the only way to ensure the continuance of the progressive philosophy is to convert your children to their religion. That can only be done well in publik skools.

chemman on August 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM

As rotten as my school’s English, history, science, social studies, math, art, music, and language programs were

Wow. If she didn’t know at the time how crappy her public school was, she certainly seems to know now.

But I’ll bet anyone a million dollars that this article is the only thing she’s ever done to try to improve her failed school.

Note: I’m not trying to suggest anything in this article could possibly improve anyone’s school, but since she believes this abject stupidity….

runawayyyy on August 29, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Just imagine how wonderful it will be when all would-be doctors and civil engineers are subjected to mediocre educations for the greater good.

CJ on August 29, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Live another 20 years and you won’t have to imagine. Have you had any interaction with 12 y.o. and younger kids? It scares the daylights out of me. Do you remember in grammar school you would have a current events lesson in which you had to cut out an article from a newspaper, paste it on a piece of cardboard, and pass it around the class while you explained what the article said and it’s greater meaning? The kids today don’t even know who the Vice President is, much less what is going on in the world.

NOMOBO on August 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Exactly!

By the way this seems to be a week for libtard ignorance doesn’t it?

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 2:43 PM

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