Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Search For the Guilty, Punishment of the Innocent

Phase 4 and 5 of the six-step formula in any given project, after Enthusiasm, Disillusionment, and then Panic and Hysteria are:

4. Search for the Guilty, and
5. Punishment of the Innocent.

That’s where we appear to be in the current Texas budget deficit crisis vis-à-vis public education. We are now engaged in trying to expose all of the legendary parasites of the public education system, and after public excoriation, the aim is to cut these bloodsuckers and freeloaders off of the public . . .ah. . . . breast.

Fiscal conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity and the Conservative Coalition Research Institute are now making it their business to know the business of education better than educators. They love making decisions, especially ones dealing with things they have no clue on.

And who are these identified leaches and betrayers of the public trust? It’s all here at the Austin-American Statesman.

The image of bloated bureaucracy is a favorite target of small-government advocates, a boogeyman all the more popular in these austere times for public finances.”

“Fiscal conservatives say nonteaching jobs are the first place school districts should look when considering layoffs, but school officials say such positions are crucial to a functional public school system. The need for janitors and bus drivers is obvious, they say, but grant writers and data analysts are also essential; they bring in federal money and compile valuable information on school performance.
What is true enough, though, if you read further on, is that there is no silver bullet cure like the conservative groups would have you believe. Texas is a big, big state with vastly ranging population concentrations. Sometimes there are lots and lots of students compared to staff and admins, and sometimes there are not. But what comes out in the wash is an average, and the average, these groups say, is too damn high (to paraphrase the former gubernatorial candidate for the state of New York, Jimmy McMillan).

Now I also believe that there are people whose purpose in the system needs further examination, particularly when there is cronyism and nepotism going on. But please, give me a break. This isn’t something that will take the axe of a mindless money-minded mensch of the Republican Party.

This is a procedure that call for a scalpel.

And a little bit of thought.

1 comment:

Kenneth D. Franks said...

"That calls for a scalpel," surgery is not even necessary. The private school voucher legislators may need to be defeated and the structural budget deficit needs to be fixed.