Letters to the Editor

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 1:00am

Revoke the charter

The dog-and-pony shows Mayor Karl Dean has encountered during his multi-city tour of charter schools [“Dean advocates for charter school law reform, April 30] apparently have shielding him from the downside of charter schools. He fails to understand how these taxpayer funded schools, which are quasi private schools, help to set up struggling urban public schools for failure.

In many inner-city communities throughout the country, charter school recruiters seek out parents who may be undereducated and poor themselves but want better for their own children. The charter schools then enroll students of parents who value education and pledge to become full partners in their children’s schooling.

This “cherry picking” leaves the affected public schools disadvantaged with a higher concentration of students who are unmotivated and difficult to teach, who are likely to become behavioral problems and truants and dropouts and later a drag on society. These are students who produce lower test scores even with dedicated teachers.

Under most accountability systems, schools with low-scoring students are labeled “failing.” Their teachers are considered ineffective and their professional reputations are tarnished. These schools face the threat of sanctions and are bashed in the press. Instead, they need real help, not pseudo competition and bully pulpit-driven education “reform.”

Meanwhile, charter schools are hyped in the press and receive honorable recognitions from various agencies and groups, including “progressive” politicians. Some charter schools receive generous grants and donations from private businesses and philanthropies to supplement government funding, thereby building more inequity into our education system.

Gene Bryant,

Filed under: City Voices

139 Comments on this post:

By: chiefpayne568 on 5/12/09 at 10:28


I agree that the states have the Constitutional right to nullify laws created by Congress but not granted them by the Constitution. The problem is, they don't have the power to enforce such nullification..and haven't had for some time due to the Civil War and the loss of states rights versus Federal powers.

By: BenDover on 5/12/09 at 10:28

Then he proceeded to suspend Habeas Corpus and deny the property rights of 10,000s of citizens without renumeration.

You guys do at least know that there were Northern Slave states up until the emancipation proclaimation (of which the only real intent was to break the South by sparking a slave insurection).

By: BenDover on 5/12/09 at 10:29

"The problem is, they don't have the power to enforce such nullification..and haven't had for some time due to the Civil War and the loss of states rights versus Federal powers"

heheheh... don't mess with Texas...

By: gdiafante on 5/12/09 at 10:42

War is hell Ben. Or should I call you Oliver Stone?

By: slacker on 5/12/09 at 10:47

brrrrk, you make a good point about vocational education.

By: BenDover on 5/12/09 at 10:53

I'd like to request that you guys disconnect from your overeducated brains for just a minute and tap down to the long forgotten common sense layer.

Now consider for just one moment the weird bizzaro world scenario where the things you've been taught are not really true. What if in this world education is, in fact, indoctrination? How would you know?

Doesn't it seem suspicious for the country to be equally divided at the time on the issue but for the whole of history to be so black and white where no reasonable person could possibly come to a conclusion different from the group-think you've consumed and digested for your whole lives?

I submit that for the things we've been taught to be true and so clear-cut we must abandon all common sense and ascribe absolute evil to one group and absolute sainthood to the other; where we know no human exists with such characteristics and those who approach either extreme are an unparalled rarity in nature.

It seem odd for a conservative to say this to liberals but question your premises.

By: slacker on 5/12/09 at 10:53

Full metal minie ball.

By: brrrrk on 5/12/09 at 10:53

slacker said,

"brrrrk, you make a good point about vocational education."

Here's what vocational education looks like from my part of woods, and I didn't exactly from from a wealthy part of the world. Seems like Tennessee can do something like this.... well if they can ever think of anything other than their own pockets.


By: slacker on 5/12/09 at 11:03

brrrrk, are they funded by vouchers?

By: brrrrk on 5/12/09 at 11:30

slacker said,

"brrrrk, are they funded by vouchers?"

Nope, no vouchers. It's all about priorities. Every student in the county has free access. It's a public school just like any other public school.

By: daKine7 on 5/12/09 at 11:37

Bend: I distinctly remember the MC at Woodstock saying to stay away from the "brown acid". Obviously, you were trippin' before you got the memo.
Whatever your last post said, or implied, I have no idea. What I do know, is that you and "Chief" are brain dead. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who would vote for GW Bush for a 3rd term (as you would) and Chiefy who loves the "mission in Iraq", and willingly go for a 3rd tour, are insane. It's been 7 years of b.s. from the start and all the cards are on the table. These people will continue to kill US servicemen for the next 100 years, or until Jesus Christ comes, and he ain't commin'.
It's a NO-Win situation, but you testosterone ladden children think it's a football or baseball game. Where you either win, or lose. We've lost the damn thing. Pull out and count the casualities. It's over. Go home and get a freekin' job.

By: gdiafante on 5/12/09 at 11:44

Ben must have just discovered that Washington didn't really have wooden teeth.

By: slacker on 5/12/09 at 11:58

brrrk, it makes sense to me, but to initiate something like that in this town, it would have to be analyzed by several different panels of expensive, out of town consultants. It would then be ruled insensitive to the feelings of the not so bright, and rejected.

By: chiefpayne568 on 5/12/09 at 12:00

BTW, nice to know there's some justice around.

Miss California USA to keep title

By: gdiafante on 5/12/09 at 12:11

Well, in a world where genocide is unchecked in Africa, I'm glad that justice was served to Miss California. What would have become of that twit had she been forced to give up the crown? Would Chief stage a protest at Legislative Plaza to defend her honor?

These and more absurd questions will be answered on the next episode of "who gives a ****".

By: chiefpayne568 on 5/12/09 at 12:14


No...but the world would have been just a little bit more unsafe to state your personal opinion when asked.

By: gdiafante on 5/12/09 at 12:25

Chief, it wasn't really about her opinion, it was about her posing topless. The reason they didn't take her crown because it would have been seen as retalition for her anti-gay marriage stance.

By: house_of_pain on 5/12/09 at 12:32

What was her reason for being against gay marriage?
Would it make her boobs less perky?

By: slacker on 5/12/09 at 12:50

Maybe not as jigally.

By: gdiafante on 5/12/09 at 12:54

The irony is that she posed before the pagent paid for her implants...and then lied on her contract about "racy pictures" existing.

She's such a good Christian girl...

By: brrrrk on 5/12/09 at 2:29

gdiafante said

"The irony is that she posed before the pagent paid for her implants...and then lied on her contract about "racy pictures" existing.

She's such a good Christian girl..."

It seems to me that today's Christianity is a faith of convenience....

By: BenDover on 5/12/09 at 2:42

What's worse... falling short of one's moral aspirations or having no moral aspirations?

In any case she's a beautiful girl... not my type but very beautiful.

By: slacker on 5/12/09 at 2:45

I wonder if she is for world peace?

By: brrrrk on 5/12/09 at 2:49

Senator Baucus of Montana (a Democrat) has once again prevented anybody advocating single payer health care from speaking at the Senate hearings on health care reform... by having them arrested no less. There is not one member of the committee who represents single payer health care. With these figures, it's no wonder

This represents three of the top five special interest contributors to the Baucus campaign...

Securities & Investment $838,418
Insurance $592,185
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $524,813

I guess money talks....... or more to the point, it prevents talk.


By: BenDover on 5/12/09 at 3:04

She's for swirled peas.

By: Loner on 5/12/09 at 3:26

For those who are too lazy or too intimidated to Google it, I present the following cut/paste from a credible source. The URL is:


Here is the copied text:

Slavery. Far from a "peculiar institution," slavery was, as Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens declared, 'the cornerstone" of the Confederacy. As such, it was protected even more in the Confederate Constitution than it had been in the proslavery U.S. Constitution of 1787.

The most obvious difference between the two documents lay in their use of the term slavery. In deference in 1787 to some of the Northern delegates who thought their constituents might oppose the Constitution if the word appeared, the framers of the U.S. Constitution substituted such phrases as other persons, such persons, and persons owing service for the word slaves. No such problems arose in the framing of the Confederate document. The blatantly proslavery Confederate Constitution contains the words slave or slavery ten times in seven separate clauses.

When it comes to identifying the causes of the Civil War, I believe Alexander Stephens, VP of the CSA, not Ben Dover or Chiefpayne568.

By: brrrrk on 5/12/09 at 3:36

Loner, stop confusing people with facts... you'll make their heads hurt.

By: Loner on 5/12/09 at 3:51

All those young men who went to war were doing so to protect and uphold their respective Constitutions The North was putting down a rebellion against the Constitution; the South, on the other hand, was fighting for a constitutionally guaranteed system of white supremacy. That pretty much sums it up.

Was it all worth it? Maybe not. If left to their own devices, some of the renegade states would probably have asked for re-admission to the union, once the "high" of secession wore off and reality sank in.

If Lincoln had let the South go its own way, the remaining United States might have advanced more rapidly as a secular, educated and pluralistic society.

The CSA, meanwhile, if it survived at all, would probably now resemble a third world hell hole or a race-based totalitarian state, like the old South Africa.

By: brrrrk on 5/12/09 at 3:54

Loner said,

"The CSA, meanwhile, if it survived at all, would probably now resemble a third world hell hole or a race-based totalitarian state, like the old South Africa."

But with grits......

By: Loner on 5/12/09 at 3:57

They can take something for the head, Brrrrk. The facts are ugly, but if we ignore them, we risk repeating the same error(s). In my opinion, neither side won much of anythjing in the Civil War, everybody lost a great deal, and that incalculable loss still reverberates today.

By: Loner on 5/12/09 at 4:00

Grits, yes. Diamonds, no.

By: Loner on 5/12/09 at 4:15

If the South had been left to go its own way....think about it. Why invent labor-saving devices when labor is dirt cheap?

If the South had gone on its merry way, unmolested.....I see a bizarre world where negroes would be used to power all sorts of things that we now power with a motor or engine. Kind of a Flinstones type of technology.

Southern bad boys would now be cruising around on their negro-powered 2-wheeled "choppers" - Whitey rides up front, a brawny negro sits behind him; whitey rests his boots on the foot pegs, the negro does all the pedalling. Hell's angels indeed.

By: slacker on 5/12/09 at 5:01

Loner, that's one that never should have happened, the fools didn't think it would last over a month.

By: Loner on 5/12/09 at 5:24

Too much Southern Comfort?

By: slacker on 5/12/09 at 5:29

I'm afraid Fort Sumter was a bluff that was called.

By: Loner on 5/12/09 at 5:53

The irony there is that, if I recall, the only man killed in the attack was killed after the surrender, during a victory-celebration cannon salute.

The blockade of Southern ports alone might have brought the South to its senses.

The British could have stepped in to help mitigate things, they didn't. When the South did not get the expected military help from the Brits, they should have quit , right then and therre, they didn't..

Considering the Confederate Constitution's priorities and the strategic blunderings of the Confederate government, it is fair to say that the leaders of the rebellion were not just A-holes, they were idiots.

Or simply drunk.

By: FAMUAce on 5/12/09 at 11:24

Your comments typify why many Black Americans still seethe regarding race relations in this country. Your observations of the causes of the Civil War, whether correct or incorrect, neglect to humanize slaves. My ancestors were more than just property -- regardless of their treatment. Yes, the Civil War might have been avoided if planters were simply bought out. However, slaves would have never received their humanity. From your words, it still seems as if they never have.

By: BenDover on 5/13/09 at 12:10

I'm sorry if I made you feel that way FAMUAce. I believe history supports that race relations would have been greatly served if we had not had the civil war and reconstruction that polarized blacks and whites against each other. My recommendation worked for other countries... I see no reason why it would not have worked here and find interest in the fact that the hero Lincoln didn't even try it; choosing instead to use slavery as a moral justification to use force to achieve his political objectives.

These are all valid points, I think, but I am sorry if the coarseness of them made you uncomfortable. If you note at several points in the argument I used the word ‘detestable’ and the like with respect to slavery in my. I can’t help that the only salient argument against my position was omitted. I figured loner would pick it out but he doesn’t try as hard as he used to.

By: FAMUAce on 5/13/09 at 11:06

Thanks for your reply. I understand what you were trying to convey and it seems to be a valid point. However, in observing the cultures within many of these cultures, one could theorize that race relations would not have normalized. Truth be told, it was forced integration that served as catalyst to our current situation, which is not perfect but better. It took a generation of this integration for all races to truly engage with one another and recognize the humanity in one another. I don't think that race relations anywhere in the world have become normalized via organic means. There is still rampant racist and xenophobic sentiment in Europe and South America today. For better or for worse, the US is more advanced in that area because of our experiences.