Interregnum

See the third definition but consider the first and second, as well.

Usually, when there’s a slowdown in activity here, it’s because I have so many things to write about, and so much to say about any one of them, that I can’t possibly spend the time it takes to do it right. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night and start writing in half-sleep in my mind, but dare not attempt to get it down the next morning because it is either too time-consuming or, worse, too outrageous. My recommendations for the up-coming “Unity in Diversity Day,” for instance, an example of the latter.

But as Beck could well illuminate, this has been a very long blog performance by me. I don’t usually stay interested in or content with a given format or emphasis, such as the attempt here to keep much of the focus on New Paltz, for very long.

Still, this slowdown is more attributable to indecision in a target-rich environment, than to a quelling of interest.

For instance: untying the knot that is the New Paltz school district would give me great satisfaction. I’m really “progressive” on education, such that when I hear nimrods (second definition) talking about what “education will be in the 21st century” I fear for the future of civilization itself, let alone the poor kids who will need to be locked down in the educational facilities to ensure the salaries and pensions secured by teachers unions and education bureaucrats.

“Education in the 21st century” will first and foremost consist of making sure those bills and incurred debts, immorally parasited onto the lives and property of community residents, will be promptly paid. In the prosecution of “education in the 21st century” all costs and programs unrelated to that legalized theft will be kept within the narrowest margin.

Want some real progress? Dissolve the school district, cut the taxes in half, and issue vouchers to students for $10,000 each and tell their parents to find a school or start one and make sure they meet the state requirements. Then watch private schools spring up, along with vastly expanded home-schooling networks. That and watch the teachers union monkey fly off the back of the whole deal, along with the education bureaucrats, and watch them all scream holy hell about it.

What to do with all those school buildings? Bulldoze them before someone gets the bright idea to re-open them, and sell the land to create a sinking fund to pay off the ridiculous pensions already incurred by the school district.

Here’s one school alternative: a private high school where all subjects are taught by the absolute best teachers in the country in their subject area. That means teachers with the highest communications skills and the deepest understanding who no student could possibly ignore, or experience without moving toward compentency or mastery in the subject. How could that possibly be done? By video lectures, of course, supplemented by tutoring, internet discussion, and serious parental involvement.

Want to have good students? Get them the best teachers available, by video, which can be watched more than once, by the way. And then explain something to them on the first day of school and hand them a slip of paper with the same message written down on it so that they never forget it: This is not a playground or a social club or a free-lunch counter. You are here to develop your talents and make the most of them, and we expect that you walk in the door with the character to be able to do that.

Parents should get the same message.

Want an “education model for the 21st century?” Well, start by dumping the 19th century model that’s been locked in concrete by the political power of teachers unions, who force you to keep someone on for their entire life, regardless of how they do or do not develop, after they’ve worked at their job for only three years, and then, when they finally retire, keep you paying their pension into eternity.

Don’t tell me to “get realistic.” If you want to get twice as much for half the cost, you get realistic, and stop telling everyone that there’s nothing to be done about the parasitic monkeys on the back of the community.

Save the pretense about the “good of the children.” The last place a kid needs to be for thirteen years of his or her young life is in a contemporary American public school system.

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