What’s on Your Kid’s School Supply List?

The N&R has a whiny blog post asking if GCS will hire any new teachers with the latest round of porkulus funds.  Which doesn’t make sense because I am pretty sure they have managed to stave off any cuts to teachers anyway.  So is the N&R suggesting that we need more teachers than we  currently have?  In any case, right after reading that, I stumbled upon this post at Big Government pointing out that while Congress has passed a $10 billion bail out to the teachers unions (and union-like organizations, as the case may be), parents all across the country and being asked to send their kids back to school with toilet paper, cleaning supplies and other things that have absolutely nothing to do with the classroom.

At my local school, for instance, each child is asked to bring in an entire package of assorted color sharpies (what kind of idiot gives permanent markers to the kids? must be for the teachers!), dry erase markers, paper towels, wipes, tissues, two pairs of scissors (perhaps the expectation is that not all children are going to bring in the suggested supplies?) and on and on.  Aren’t dry erase markers, sharpies and paper towels (at a minimum) supposed to be provided by the school?  If the Feds are going to steal yet more money from taxpayers, can’t they at least cause it to be spent on something that will actually help our bottom line?


New Greenway Tunnel Under Cone Vandalized

And this is news because?  The N&R has some blatantly editorial “reporting” in this article.  I hate graffiti as much as the next person but really, isn’t the point of a NEWSpaper to report the news, not comment on the quality of subjects being reported on?  Was it really necessary to describe the vandals as “imbeciles”?  Well, whatever.  In any case, they seem shocked, shocked that someone would graffiti up the new almost $2 MILLION tunnel under Cone.  I have no idea why they are shocked when the town is plenty full of graffiti.  What DOES surprise me is the idea that the graffiti was done by someone who holds a grudge against the project.  Sure.  But I’m also not sure I really believe how “widely popular” the project really is — especially once people find out the price tag.  Two million dollars for a tunnel indeed.

Recession with Benefits and “Funemployment”

I had not heard the term “funemployment” before but it definitely describes how a lot of people are, er, making the most of their paid time off.  Because that’s really what it is when you get unemployment “insurance” for months on end.  Unemployment checks used to come from a special fund that businesses paid into (different firms pay different rates depending on how many people they lay off, among other things I’m sure).  Nowadays though, it’s coming direct from good ol’ Uncle Sam.  And for up to TWO years!  Think how much fun you can have in that time!!  Here’s an interesting post about funemployment, as reported in the LA Times (“unemployment is welcome”!!) as well as some thoughts on the NY Times referring to this as a “recession with benefits“.  Maybe the writers at the NY Times actually believe that having a friend “with benefits” is a good idea and usually works out well.  They would.

Joe Floyd Withdraws Bid for Superior Court Judge

Too much going on in his personal life apparently.  Still haven’t seen any more details about the strange arrest in July but the N&R is reporting that “details have emerged of his messy divorce battle”.  Not a good time to be running for office I’m sure.

More Abuse of the School Lunch Program

At least this is not coming from NC but it does seem interesting following on the heels of the big Carolina Journal investigation into abuses of the federal school lunch program.  Apparently a teacher was fired for complaining to the principal of her school that her fellow teachers were stealing federally funded boxed lunches earmarked for summer school students.  Makes you wonder if the principal was helping herself to some of those lunches.  But this just strikes me as yet one more reason why we should do away with the federal school lunch program entirely.  Read all about it on HotAir or philly.com.

Joseph (Joe) Floyd, Candidate for Guilford Co. Superior Court Judge Arrested

I’ll post this next to his info in the elections page as well so we don’t forget come November 2.  Anyway, according to the N&R, Floyd was arrested for breaking and entering and making a harassing phone call down in Mecklenberg County.  Remember though, that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and they really haven’t released much information about this.

Guilford County Schools — Institutionalizing Racism and Promoting a Color-Focused Society

**Apparently the school board may vote on this issue as soon as Thursday, June 10th —contact your school board representative and let him/her know how you feel about the dumbing down of standards to enter the gifted program!**

With the new “GCS Local Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) plan,” Guilford County Schools is heading further and further away from Martin Luther King’s dream of a society where people are not “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”.  That’s because the school system, in its infinite wisdom has decided that entry to advanced classes should not be based on a child’s ability to do advanced work  (unless that child is white, “middle-class” and therefore inherently somehow more “privileged” than other children) but rather on the income level of his parents (as stated on the notoriously easily fakeable application for free lunches), the color of his skin, if he is “exceptional” (what I think used to be called learning disabled??) or if he is part of a group that is somehow or other “underrepresented” in the AIG program.

There are so many problems with this whole idea that it is almost impossible to know where to start critiquing it.

But, first, and, perhaps most importantly, what message is this sending the children who currently are ineligible for the AIG (now Advanced Learner) program but suddenly become so?  Doesn’t anyone think those children will understand that the bar was lowered for them?  The message that sends is that those children aren’t good enough to make it on their own and need lower standards to compete with the “advantaged” white, middle-class children.  I’m about to throw up.  That sets these kids up for a lifetime of questioning their own abilities which certainly isn’t going to lead to the self-motivation necessary to do well in school and later in life.  Also, they will constantly be expecting that standards will be lowered for them.  Wonderful.

Secondly, if the idea behind “diversity” in the classroom is to make people more comfortable with those of different backgrounds than themselves, well, a lowering of standards will cause that to backfire completely.  How do you expect white children to gain an appreciation and respect for minority and otherwise “disadvantaged” children when they feel know they are getting special dispensation and, quite possibly, taking resources away from other, more qualified children.  This breeds resentment, not respect and admiration.

Third, it has been shown that people who are placed in classes for which they are not prepared do worse than if they were placed appropriately.*

Guilford County Schools would like you to send comments to this email address: gcscomments@gcsnc.com or you can just contact your school board representative directly.

Does anyone remember the phrase “the soft bigotry of low expectations”?  That’s what you’ve got right here.

*(A Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools, Richard Sander, 2004, although I know there are others)