Thursday, September 11, 2008

The New Paternism in Public Schools

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An Apeal to Authority

By the time youngsters reach high school in the United States, the achievement gap is immense. The average black 12th grader has the reading and writing skills of a typical white 8th grader and the math skills of a typical white 7th grader. The gap between white and Hispanic students is similar. But some remarkable inner-city schools are showing that the achievement gap can be closed, even at the middle and high school level, if poor minority kids are given the right kind of instruction.

Six Effective Urban Schools
American Indian Public Charter School (AIPCS), Oakland, CA
Amistad Academy, New Haven, CT
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Chicago, IL
KIPP Academy, Bronx, NY
SEED School, Washington, DC
University Park Campus School, Worcester, MA


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure of your source, but there is no way to tell by looking at the numbers whether KIPP or any other charter school are attempting to retain their failing students.

The evidence so far is inconclusive, although I remain very suspicious of the claims they are succesful at educating 'all' students.

KIPP schools require students to attend beyond the usual hours regular schools are open, so its unlikely that these schools would appeal for most children.

Anonymous said...

Most of what I read on the net tends to confirm what I hear:

"[Cristo Rey] results are mediocre at best. See their scores at:

Their ACT scores are essentially the same (around 17 on average) as their neighborhood schools despite the fact that they get 50% of their students from Catholic middle schools.

They also lose half of their students over the 4 years and still claim to get 100% college matriculation.

So they basically aren’t adding any value at all except maybe focusing what’s left of their senior class on college a bit better than the neighborhood schools do. But then again, if half of their entering kids are from Catholic schools, they may have been headed to college already."

As with most schools, they over rate themselves.

Anonymous said...

SEED School is the only public boarding school in the US. Kids definitely have extended learning hours. What are the age requirements, I wonder if they'll take my mother in law?

Anonymous said...

Any way you slice it, the high gains in test scores achieved especially by charter schools, can only be done at the expense of failing even larger numbers of students. The gains are lowest in math and especially science (2 points at best) This has been my argument from the outset. Charter schools do not serve the public interest because they cause more harm than good by essentially churning half their students. That's the price of their success and combined with poor curriculum, we are increasing the cost of educating children and delaying graduation from high school.

Anonymous said...

This article is rather interesting because of the posting that followed which included some of the organizers [I presume] of the event.

Bergeson is a complex candidate. Her views concerning education don't match anything I have encountered that reflect either party although she seems to appeal more to Republicans, despite her affiliation with Democrats. This might explain her current low standing in the polls as well as her election three times as Superintendent.

People sometimes forget the UW faculty assisted the Dalai Lama in coming to the US after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Despite the DL's popularity, his rule over Tibetans was not unlike a medieval dictatorship with lineage that included Ghengis Khan, so his status as a popular leader is not unlike the Pope's.

Terry Bergeson, WA State Superintendent of Public Instruction, spoke at the Pierce County GOP Convention on Saturday. Now we find out that she approved an effort to bring children from public schools in 25 counties to see the Dalai Lama. When asked whether she would do the same for the Pope, her response was:

[Essex] PORTER: Would the Superintendent of Public Instruction urge schools to bring kids to the Pope?

[Terry] BERGESON: Well, I probably couldn’t get away with that as the Pope, Essex. But the Dalai Lama is a man of the whole world.

Radio talk show host Dori Monson talked with Bergeson about the issue. Give it a listen. She tries to make a distinction between the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Buddhists, and the Pope, spiritual leader of Roman Catholics. But as she does she describes Dalai Lama’s efforts as religious in nature, bringing our hearts, minds and spirits together to bring more compassion.

So why was this anti-Christian politician speaking at the Pierce County GOP Convention? She took advantage of a small loophole in the convention rules. You see, Terry is a Democrat. Normally, a Democrat wouldn’t be asked to or even allowed to speak at a GOP convention, but there’s a catch.

She was allowed to speak because she’s campaigning for a non-partisan position and she registered as a non-partisan to run for that office. That doesn’t make her a non-partisan. In fact, when she spoke to the precinct delegates from the 27th legislative district, she was asked about her party affiliation. She admitted she is a Democrat.

In my opinion, this is just another example of her hypocrisy. The Dalai Lama isn’t a religious leader on a religious mission, but the Pope is a religious leader on a religious mission. She’s a Democrat until it’s inconvenient, then she’s non-partisan.

But that’s what I’ve come to expect from Democrats. What is the meaning of the word ‘is’?

There’s one other thing worth mentioning about Bergeson’s visit to the PCGOP convention on Saturday. She was introduced to us (in the 27th) by the executive director of the Mainstream Republicans who is working on her campaign. A man who frequently consults on campaigns for Democrats. Birds of a feather…

Maybe her operative should consider dropping the ‘Republican’ label. Unless, of course, the Mainstream Republicans really are hypocrites, supporting Democrats while claiming to be Republicans. He’s also a PCO for the Republican Party. Isn’t there an oath involved with that office? I hope his opponent in the next PCO election points out his double standard to voters.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2008 at 12:03 pm and is filed under 'Mainstream Republicans',, Campaign 2008,, KCGOP, PCGOP, Religion, Tacoma Contradictions, WSRP. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

21 Responses to “Hypocrite spoke at Pierce County GOP Convention”
jamie Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 12:26 pm
RBD, I think there is a distinction here between the Dalai Lama’s visit and that of the Pope. The Dalai Lama came for a meeting to discuss the overarching philosophy of compassion, which is important not only in Buddhist thought, but in that of many other world religions, specifically very much so in Christianity (regardless of denomination, AFAIK). In fact, this meeting featured not only the Dalai Lama, but also many other significant leaders, both secular and religious, notably Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The Pope’s visit, on the other hand, is very much focused on ministering to the Roman Catholics of the United States. I think there is a big difference between hearing a lecture on the general topic of compassion at Qwest Field and hearing High Mass at Nationals Stadium, no?

Republican By Default Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 12:39 pm
It’s a distinction without a difference. Regardless of how it was advertised, the Dalai Lama is a religious leader spreading his religious beliefs.

Do you think for a moment that if the Pope touted his visit as ‘a mission of compassion’ that teachers, unions and school administrators (all the way up to the top administrator in the state) would allow students to be taken to the assembly?

The fact that you have accepted a double standard on the issue doesn’t make a bit of difference.

jamie Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 12:51 pm
Hmmm….I like to think if an ecumenical approach was taken to organizing a “compassion” event at which the Pope was one of the speakers, schools would be able to attend such an event. I really think you’re missing some nuance here: the Pope’s visit is the Pope’s agenda, the Dalai Lama’s visit is to participate in a conversation organized by others to include a diversity of voices on a specific topic.

Republican By Default Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 1:14 pm
jamie, I’m not the one missing the nuance. I see it very clearly.

It seems to me that what you consider ‘nuance’ is really just doubletalk.

jamie Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 1:23 pm
The Dalai Lama came to talk about compassion, which from his perspective would of course be informed by Buddhism. The Pope came to talk about Catholicism, informed by Catholicism. Big distinction in my mind. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree…

Republican By Default Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 1:39 pm
Do you believe that I thought, for even a moment, that you would let yourself be convinced of anything? You posted here because you thought you could convince others. That’s the same reason the Dalai Lama is here in the US. He’s here promoting his religion under the guise of being compassionate.

Clint Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 1:47 pm
I happen to agree that Bergeson as a government agent shouldn’t have taken such an active and official role in Seeds of Compassion as you have represented here. So the clarification I seek from you is whether she was doing this in her role as Superintendent of Public Instruction rather than extraneously to it. The extent to which Dalai Lama is a representative of a religion is hard to dispute. But it’s easy to dispute that he is representative of “The Buddhists.” That however doesn’t infringe on the point you were making. It just is indicative of oversimplification. Also, Bergeson’s quote didn’t say that she wouldn’t want to help children see the Pope, but that she wouldn’t ‘get away with it.’ It is easy to infer that on some level she thinks it unfair that she can’t give the Pope equal treatment as an ‘educator’.

Republican By Default Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 2:48 pm
It’s obvious that the opposite is the case. She knows that the Dalai Lama is a religious leader and she knows she’s ‘getting away with’ taking the kids to see him.

If you listened to the audio she described (twice, if I recall correctly) that the Dalai Lama was there to help us be more compassionate by uniting our mind, heart and spirit (exact wording escapes me). That isn’t education, it’s spirituality and religion.

Alex Hays Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 3:29 pm
Hi Jeff,

Alex Hays here, the Mainstream Republican you attack above.

What surprises me is that we sat together in the same room for hours and hours at the county convention and you could have come over and talked to me about the concerns you note here. I think it’s weird that people have little compunction about writing nasty things on blogs but no courtesy to talk in person.

I think if you had talked with me you would have at least understood why I and many Republicans are supporting Terry Bergeson. You’d also have found out that I have worked for a very few Democrats (and only those supported by Republicans, with the blessing of the local party) and no Democrat for a partisan office in over eight years. It’s also telling to note every Democrat I’ve worked for is now a Republican, except for Mike Murphy and he at least has endorsed a Republican to replace him as state Treasurer.

So rather than get nasty, get to know me.

I work hard for the party, last year alone I put together large mailings, phone programs and media buys that helped nearly two dozen Republican candidates, and NP state Supreme Court candidate (but former R state Senator) Steve Johnson. This year I’ll put out hundreds of thousands of dollars in projects to help elect Dino Rossi, Shawn Bunney, Doug Sutherland, Dave Reichert and local Republican candidates. One major donor even credited my work with saving Dave Reichert — it’d be nice to take credit for that, but I think more than a little arrogant.

If you see a name missing from the above list (like Rob McKenna) that’s because I think he’ll smoke John Laudenberg without my help and we should spend our limited resources where they’ll do the most good. So don’t read anything negative into that.

So, please call or e-mail. First beer is on me! 253.756.7836

Clint Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 3:34 pm
What would be your interpretation if the Dalai Lama weren’t present at this event?

Clint Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 3:39 pm
and also I apologize for bad grammar. I wasn’t trying to say that the Dalai Lama or the Pope were educators, but rather that Bergeson is frankly purporting herself to be one.

Republican By Default Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 6:10 pm
Clint, I see. Thanks for the clarification.

If the Dalai Lama and all other religious leaders were not part of this event, I would still oppose taking school children to it, for two main reasons:

1) this isn’t reading, writing or arithmetic. This state needs to focus on the basics and knock off the other stuff until they’ve brought that back up to par.

2) even without the religious (Buddhist) overtones, this would be (effectively) a relatively partisan political issue. I don’t think children should be indoctrinated with politics in school or school related events.

Republican By Default Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 6:15 pm
I’ll be back later to resond to Alex.

He called, we had a nice long, cordial talk about many issues. Unfortunately, it was so long it cut into my time for other things. So when I’m done, I’ll be back to talk about it.

For now I’ll say this. Overall, it was a relatively positive conversation, even though we still disagree on some issues. So when I get back I’ll probably end up focusing on the Mainstream Republican issue rather than Alex, except where he diverges from the group’s history. I will include his reasons for supporting Terry Bergeson in order to be fair to him.

Republican By Default Says:

April 17th, 2008 at 11:27 pm
All right. Starting with Alex Hay’s points. Saturday at the convention it was getting late in the day, the power was out and we were sitting outside waiting for the ballots for the 27th to be counted when Hays brought Bergeson around.

He introduced her without giving her party affiliation or background (she’s a Democrat and former president of the WEA). Her party affiliation would not have come out if someone from the 27th hadn’t asked. One of the main questions asked of her was whether any teacher had been penalized for under-performance or if it was just the kids who suffered. She couldn’t think of an example where that happened.

She was interrupted for another vote (selecting delegates to the state convention) and he moved on with her, apparently to another group. Immediately after that vote was finished we were called into the foyer (it had windows for light, power was still out). More order of business stuff, candidates for County Executive spoke and we voted. Somewhere in all of that Bergeson was allowed to give a campaign speech. After all of that we adjourned and I waited around for the final tally on the last vote. There was no time to look for or speak to anyone about the matter, had I thought to.

I have to admit that I was a little distracted. My step-father had major surgery the day before and was in recovery. He’s 77, my mom is 73. It’s not easy for either of them. I think the thing that bothered me the most was not being able to be there. So any mental energy that wasn’t required for me to understand what I needed to about the convention went to that issue. If I had the time to think to talk to Hays, I likely wouldn’t have thought to. I was a little overwhelmed between the personal issue and the fact that this was my first convention.

I held off posting until I could get some background on the matter. Monday through Wednesday I tried to talk with the county chair. I believe we spoke on Wednesday morning. He explained what I said above, that it was a loophole based on her declared NP status, however, he also told her and ‘her staff’ (whoever that was), that there wouldn’t be time, that all of the speaker slots were filled. The convention chair introduced her, apparently to the surprise of some of the officials at the convention, my assumption was that it was because Hays got involved but I didn’t get clarification on that point.

That’s when the ’school kids at the Dalai Lama event’ issue hit the news. So I posted. I also knew that I would be speaking with my district coordinator (is that the title?) that evening. He confirmed what the county chair had already told me.

I had no way of getting in contact with Hays before posting, so I left his name out of it. Only the people who were at the convention would know who he was, and he had the opportunity to respond in comments, which he did. I don’t think he was treated unfairly under the circumstances.

Our conversation today was amicable. He seems like a likable guy and maybe someone who likes to be liked, which is not a bad thing in his line of work. We discussed numerous issues relating mostly to the Mainstream Republican organization and the politics within the Republican party around here.

The problem with that group is that it was ‘formed’ (or maybe ‘reformed’ as these organizations sometimes are) specifically to oppose what they refer to as ‘Evangelical Christians’ within the Republican party. One of Hays’ comments at the convention was that the group was a ‘big tent’ group within the party. That comment almost got a response from me, but it would have been out of order during the delegate candidates speeches in the district voting process.

My point about the group, which is too big to cover in comments, is that they are not ‘big tent’ because they have, for years, tried to drive people like me out of the party in this area. There are other problems that dovetail with the group that are a continual problem. I’ll just sum it up by saying that the group played a major role in alienating the base of the Republican party in Western Washington.

Since that happened, the only time there has been any recognizable level of success for Republicans winning elections was in ‘94, when Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America brought Conservatives (who are often derisively referred to as ‘Evangelicals’) out to the polls. Unfortunately, since then it has been business as usual in this area and those successes have been lost, thanks in part to that group.

To his credit, Hays did explain that he has made an effort to ‘bring Evangelicals back to the table’. Although his comment seemed condescending and uninformed, it seemed that he was sincere. I was left with the impression that he really doesn’t understand the depth of the problem within the party. And in the bigger context, even if he is sincere, his efforts may be too little, too late.

He also explained that Bergeson has been endorsed by some Republicans. But looking at the records of some of them, I have to say, big deal. Many are pro-choice and support the efforts of the group that tried to drive out people like me. They often ‘endorse’ people because the alternative (the opponent) is worse. Whatever happened to running a better candidate instead of picking the one that stinks the least.

Alex Hays Says:

April 18th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Thanks for the response.

One item: the party chair said that Terry Bergeson wouldn’t be allowed to speak, I asked him to reconsider and he stood by his position, this entire conversation took about 10 seconds. So I dropped it (the county party chair was busy and I didn’t want to be rude) so when Terry was invited to speak it was a pleasant surprise to me, as Terry had even started to leave the building at that moment

The convention chair is a former Republican state Representative who served on the education committee and introduced Terry with some kind words. Most county conventions I’ve attended will hear from candiates for non-partisan office, even those who are registered Democrats.

In term of folks pushing people out of the party:

I oppose that kind of behavior and I operate as an inclusive Republican. While you may have seen some of that behavior from people in the past who share my Moderate outlook, you’ve never seen me do that. In point of fact your comment above serve to try and force me out of the party, which is itself hyprocritical. As I noted when we talked moderates can, and often have, pointed to efforts from the right wing of the party to force them out. As I noted to you on the phone such “you started it!!!” exchanges aren’t very helpful, so I just cut right to the chase and instead work to create a Republican party big enough for you, me, some people to my left, some to your right and everyone in between.

Given that my work for the Mainstream Republicans and the relatively small number of people in our party who are affirmatively working to create an inclusive Republican party I hope you’re wrong about my efforts being “too little, too late”. I certainly believe you’re wrong, and I’m proud to note that leading evangelicals agree with me. When I briefly ran for state party vice chair I was endorsed by Faith and Freedom Chairman Pastor Joe Fuiten, and the day of your post I even helped Joe with a small project related to a visit by Governor Huckabee.

I’m concerned that the anger you have about events in the past is so strong that even the best efforts made today can’t convince you to set asside that anger and work for a unified Republican Party. “Anger” may be too strong a word, so I’m open to whatever term you prefer.

In any event I’m glad we had a chance to talk and I understand how you were unable to bring your concerns to me the day of the convention. You have my best wishes for you and your family.

Alex Hays Says:

April 18th, 2008 at 3:09 pm
One clarification:

I use the term “Evangelicals” to describe people who identify themselves as Evangelicals. No insult is made or intended. I have never thought of the term as derisive, rather the opposite. My friends wo are Evangelicals use that term and less often “biblical churches”. Now if I’d said “fundamentalists” you’d have a point.

Anonymous said...

Far from being anti-christian as some of the protestant evangelicals are asserting, B. attended a liberal Catholic College and my hunch is B's background is at least reformed old-testament, evangelical Catholicism. That is how 180-degree wrong Conservatives are about Bergeson who at the very least is a spiritualist and a very complex person.

Anonymous said...

Its become very difficult to currently describe what are the views of a mainstream Republican from Washtingon? I would call it a caricature, more than a description.