In old western movies, the bad guys would try to get their way by stampeding the cattle herd of the good guys, knowing that the least that would happen is a lot of destruction, even if they couldn’t exactly control the stampede. Destruction, even mindless destruction, is good for bad guys — in the movies.
I’m not sure why that image popped into my mind this morning. I was reading about the vouchers election campaign in Utah, and then I was looking around the Strong American Schools (SAS) website (“ED in ’08”).
Strong American Schools is a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, two of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world, have provided grant funding for Strong American Schools.
Roy Romer, the former governor of Colorado and most recently superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, is our chairman and lead spokesman.
What’s the most-often stated reason for vouchers in Utah? Somehow, the schools are failing.
Which state in the U.S. has the highest graduation rates? At 84% of students graduating from high school, Utah leads the nation in that category. New Jersey is #2 at 80%, and most other states lag 10 to 20 points behind.
What are the Utah voucher advocates using to show “failing schools” when the state leads the nation in graduation?
If Utah leads the nation in graduation, with per capita spending on students in schools ranking near the bottom of the states over the last decade or three, what factor is pulling students from least spending to best graduation? It’s probably the teachers.
Excuse me while I wonder: Why are Utah voters (and the rest of us) in this hand basket, and where are we going in such a damned hurry?