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Section A: General News


Editorial: The battle for controlling our children continues




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About politics and other things
April 10, 2013 | 2,011 views | 17 comments

As a parent, I’ve always assumed that it was my responsibility to care for my children.

After all, it was my husband and I who got up in the middle of the night when our children needed feeding, changing, or cuddling. It was I who took them to the doctors when they were sick, and nursed them back to health. It was I who clothed and fed them, got them to church on time, and to school. It was not someone from the federal government doing these things.

But that is changing. This notion that kids belong to their parents seems oddly out of place. As parents -- and churches -- have allowed and even encouraged expanded social welfare programs, parents have gradually relinquished some of their ownership, or perhaps all of it, if you listen to MSNBC.

“We have never invested as much in public education as we should have, because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children,” said MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry. “...we have to ... recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.” (See video here: http://bit.ly/Y7jfEB.)

These “better investments” are currently at the center of a battle in Texas over school choice. There was a full-page, full-color advertisement in Sunday’s San Antonio Express-News sponsored by “Raise Your Hand Texas.”

The ad blames “special interests” (not parents) for “peddling ideas” like school vouchers and the “radical expansion” of charter schools. It claims that these so-called reforms do nothing to make our local public schools better.

Things do need to change, but if public schools begin losing students to schools selected by parents, public schools would, indeed, be forced to change and improve. Perhaps school superintendents would quit giving themselves raises, quit hiring so many assistant administrators, and focus more on classroom teachers.

When America’s standing in the academic world is on a downward slide, when students require remedial courses just to get into colleges, and when teachers and administrators stoop to cheating in order to win accolades from the powers that be, we do need improvements.

In the meantime, parents should not be forced to send their children to a low-performing school (by virtue of the school district in which they live). Parents who have paid taxes should be allowed to use some of that school-tax money to send their children to a better school in a nearby district or even to a private school if they so choose.

Instead, as it is now, parents who cannot afford private school tuition or who cannot afford to move to a better district are denied that choice. Schools want power; parents want choice.

In most cities and counties, there is more money and, therefore, power in most school districts than in any other private business. The school districts themselves are big, big businesses that desire sleek-looking modern edifices in order to teach. Kids used to learn critical thinking skills when all they had were wooden chairs and a chalkboard. There were no “standardized tests,” and teachers actually taught the subject, not the test. Our current system often leads to followers whose little skulls are filled with whatever mush is sent their way.

We need to find a happy medium. The battle is not over schools; it is over who has the power over our children. The public school system cannot afford to allow parents too much authority, or the public school system loses much of its power.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Spec Ops  
Wilson  
April 16, 2013 2:26pm
 
Its 2nd in the Bexar county and surrounding counties. Higher then Alamo Heights, the Northside schools as well. Total of about 9 ISD from the surrounding areas. As far as the 639 ranking got it from the internet, it never ... More ›

 
Facts only please  
TX  
April 15, 2013 10:25pm
 
Spec ops: second in what? County / state what? What is your source?

 
Spec Ops  
Wilson  
April 15, 2013 3:56pm
 
Floresville ISD Superintendent makes 121k, we are the 2nd highest in School District Property taxes, even higher then all the Northiside San Antonio, schools. Our school was rated number 639 out of over 900 school districts ... More ›

 
Making the choice  
St. Hedwig  
April 15, 2013 3:39pm
 
With all due respect New Guy I am in Bexar County so your tax money is not being affected by my child attending a state recognized school that is not a brick and mortar. I contribute a substantial amount of tax money into my ... More ›

 
New Guy  
Wilson County  
April 15, 2013 1:37pm
 
If you all are going to be using my tax dollars for online school or charter, can we get back the money we spend on buses/transportation?

 
Making the choice  
St. Hedwig  
April 15, 2013 12:55pm
 
Absolutely. That is why he is enrolled in a virtual Charter school that is tuition free. It is not a home school. I have always stated that this option is not for everyone however, it is an option that is not well known. There ... More ›

 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
April 15, 2013 12:05pm
 
Making the Choice: Choosing to go another route with your child, whether private school, charter, or online,takes commitment. You are to be commended. Unfortunately, not all parents have that option. Some cannot afford the expense ... More ›

 
Making the choice  
St. Hedwig  
April 15, 2013 11:07am
 
Agreed Elaine. I remember 6th grade. Seeing how the bullies are allowed to run rampant now even more then that were then, as well as the fact our brick and mortars teach to the middle and ignore the lower and upper, I felt it ... More ›

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
April 14, 2013 10:19pm
 
Facts, I believe that remark was facetious, as the super usually controls the school board. Of course, it shouldn't be that way, but often it is.

 
Facts only please  
TX  
April 14, 2013 9:50pm
 
Elaine: Since when do school superintendents give themselves raises? The school board does this, not the superintendents...Please

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