Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dumb and Dumber

Question: What do you get when an ex-sports-writer-now-serious-journalist pens a glowing description of a former beauty queen's latest stupid idea?

Answer: You get this.

In essence, columnist Doug Robinson recycles the Publik Skool Establishment myth that if you just dump more money into the schools, why you'll have Rhodes Scholars in no time. The obvious answer to that is to look at scholastic achievement. In that regard we find that although Utah has the lowest per-pupil expenditure, Utah students are slightly above average in test scores. On the other hand, Washington D. C. virtually gold-plates its' public schools, which not coincidentally have the distinction of being the worst in the Free World.

You can put any angle on this you want: Utah has more kids than other states; Utah students score well on tests so why do they need more money; Utah kids are the best in the universe, especially your kids. But education leaders have been bemoaning Utah's low ranking for years. They want more money for education, of course. Students could be better, they reason. If a football team were ranked No. 50, the coach would be fired.

Fine with me. Fire the whole bunch. In fact, since these people are the ones who have been overseeing this supposedly sub-standard education for years, let's get rid of them all and start up fresh.

Which brings me to Sharlene Wells-Hawkes. The former Miss America has another bright-eyed idea to Make Everything Wonderful. Essentially, she wants companies to donate 10% -- ten freakin' percent -- of their proceeds to failing Utah schools:

The former Miss America is chief operating officer of StoryRock Inc., a company that provides software for multimedia, digital yearbooks to schools. Her company has agreed to donate 10 percent of all proceeds from Utah schools to a specific school in Utah that needs help. And she's throwing down the gauntlet for other companies to do the same.

Ya know, CEO's are generally a smart bunch when it comes to money. And I'm sure if they were going to spend that much money on a school, they'd probably start their own private school and avoid the Educracy altogether. Pour some water in a rat hole, and you'll get what I mean.

In fact, if Ms. Wells-Hawkes were as smart as she pretends to be, she'd be better served by using her company's money to provide private-school scholarships to all those disadvantaged kids stuck in failing public schools. But I would bet that she doesn't want to do that because she doesn't want the riff-raff attending school with her kids.

I'm not sure who is dumber: Robinson, for writing such tripe; or Wells-Hawkes, for thinking up a ditzy scheme that sounds like something she would have said at a beauty pageant.


Post a Comment

<< Home