Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cleveland's Disastrous Public Schools

Here's the second installment in the ReasonTV series on the disaster that was once my home town, Cleveland, Ohio. I've decided to take the unusual step of posting them hear (unless ReasonTV yells at me) to make sure this stuff receives wider circulation. It's light years ahead of the shallow pap you'll see on network TV and is incisive and professional in every way.

This video, around 9 minutes, deals with Cleveland's public schools which were in decline even when I was a kid there, way back in the 1950s and 1960s. Things deteriorated there disastrously after I left for Washington, DC in 1967 due to capricious and radical court-ordered busing. This caused "white flight" out of Cleveland and even out of Cuyahoga County since it was forced county-wide. The flight wasn't due purely to "racism," as lefties like to say. It was due to the extreme hardships encountered by white students who were bused sometimes 10-20 miles from their homes into subpar inner city schools in incredibly dangerous neighborhoods. Parents were more concerned with crime and danger to their kids than about race, but it was never portrayed that way in the media.

In any event, it was perhaps this more than anything else that eviscerated a once vital city and county, putting both cleanly in the league of Detroit today.

This TV clip offers the familiar alternative of charter schools with a twist. Note during the video that no politician will actually say a word against Cleveland's thuggish teachers' unions, a major obstacle to any school improvement. The union is a powerful, intimidating lobby, and the pols in Cleveland, all Dems, are deathly afraid of offending them in any way. Their silence speaks volumes on this video. It's time, in my opinion, for politicians--even Democrats--stop being so chicken-shit when it comes to public employee unions. They are the main reason for urban deterioration today. If they take a stand against this thuggishness, the people will support them--if not in public, then in the ballot box, where it really counts.

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