My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Do You See The Connection??

Two stories:

One: An Overland High School geography teacher was put on leave Wednesday while Cherry Creek Schools investigates whether he violated district policy that requires balanced viewpoints in the classroom.

Jay Bennish, who teaches 10th grade world geography, is being investigated for making biased, anti-President Bush comments in class during a discussion of the State of the Union speech last month. . . .

And, Two [courtesy RCP]: MINNEAPOLIS--Something momentous is happening here in the home of prairie populism: black flight. African-American families from the poorest neighborhoods are rapidly abandoning the district public schools, going to charter schools, and taking advantage of open enrollment at suburban public schools. Today, just around half of students who live in the city attend its district public schools.

Now, just to be clear, Overland HS is not a "poor, urban public school." It is a part of the very affluent Cherry Creek Public Schools system, though Overland itself is from a much less affluent area of the district.

Nonetheless, when the black population starts abandoning the public institutions that were the centerpiece of the New Deal and the Great Society, and seek market-based solutions elsewhere, the cumulative effect of teachers like Jay Bennish become obvious. It isn't that he is responsible for driving anyone away personally . . .

It's that systems on the brink of collapse attract people whose agendas are not focused on excellence.

And systems that tolerate agendas such as this cannot long hope to maintain the trust of the public.

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