Despite school follies, hope of public persists

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By David Tulis

I am encouraging myself not to be surprised at the persistence of confidence in the state. It is more than realism. It is more than pragmatism. It goes beyond the bright fruit of university graduation. It’s a religion.

The faith in the modern state in many respects is buckling. Poll numbers show low ratings for a beloved federal president and the mighty U.S. congress that passed Obamacare and is paying for foreign wars. But the confidence in, say, Tennessee state government remains strong, as its ministries of welfare are able to save the people from their sins.

➤ Children and families need more pre-kindergarten classes for young children, more “home visitation” and family resource centers to help boys and girls become more successful, a state commission on children and youth says.

➤ Parents disappointed their public school facility did not get funding are despairing of the system, but give no signs of being free of it, according to coverage Thursday in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Greg Laudeman, a booster for Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts, says the funding fight over F$48 million “points to bigger problems with public school funding and vision,” the report says. “The department of education has no vision,” Mr. Laudeman says, “no strategy how we’re going to create the next generation work force. *** They are totally in reactive mode, patching things up.” System failure, but no system abandonment in favor of free market solutions.

Sources: Louie Brogdon and Kevin Hardy, “$48 billion decision[;] County Commission OKs money for one new school, 3 additions,” March 27, 2014.

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