novatownhall blog

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Browsing Posts in education

A little local news to cleanse the palate. Loudoun County Public Schools are considering asking Richmond for permission to charge students for riding the bus.

I saw this story and it made me ask: “Why are we having such budget problems in Loudoun that local officials are actually considering making parents pay for bus rides to school?” (Read the full story is here)

Some are saying that this is proof that sprawl does not work and that taxes are too low in Loudoun

A few takeaway questions:

- Considering that children pay for lunch, why would it not be reasonable to pay for the bus ride?

- Are taxes too low in Loudoun? If the county is spending too much, then where’s the waste? (not saying there’s no waste, just want to know). Also consider that Loudoun County can’t afford to build new roads because the new developments are so spread apart.

- Are our local elected officials focused too much on policies that promote sprawl? Considering that we can not even transport our children to school with out having to consider levying some type of fee because schools and housing are too far flung and budgets are not covering the needs, the answer to that question is probably “yes”.

- If we are having budget troubles now, just imagine how much fun it will be once Loudoun has to pitch in to pay for the Metro in about 5 years or so.

I bring this up because of recent snow days; school make-up; waivers to keep from extending the school year; student, parent, teacher and school administration opinions and beliefs; state and federal accountability, which seems to be at issue in recent weeks. First we need to know how this “public education” came about.

You can read here the history of public education. I perused many a site and feel this site gives a good, general understanding. For the most part, disciplining unruly children, rote and giving basic learning standards for children to do work, primarily factor jobs, was the intent for the public system. Compulsory attendance came into effect in the early 1900′s. Standards and minimum days (and/or hours) were later mandated and incorporated into state constitutions. Women were brought into the mix because they were seen as creating “good republican children with virtue”. All in all, it continued to evolve into the current system we now have instilled.

The current school system has become burdened with how to educate, what text and tools to use, as well vacations, holidays and “teacher” work days. I always enjoyed that term as being an oxymoron. When the teachers work, school for the children is not in session. Does that mean that when school is in session, teachers don’t work? Ponder that a bit. And why do we need to have the summer off from school? Why not winter instead? Originally, summer and fall was set for the kids to help on the farms with crops. We still do agriculture in this country but we can’t use child labor. Some of these farms don’t have a great return and it was always a family affair. Shoot, you didn’t have to attend school after you were 14. What changed and why? Even with mechanized equipment (which is very costly), how does the small farm make ends meet without family help? And who or what forces that circumstance?

Here is a brief stat on year round school. Yes, many countries do this because of the benefit of education. Why do people think that summer vacation (school break) is a holy grail? People work all year round with minimal vacation time-weeks at best, or even NO vacation time. Kids can’t handle school without constant breaks? Or is it school administration, teachers and parents pushing the point? Remember, public school was set up for those kids and immigrants to work in the factories of high density areas. But where now are those factories? And, of course, there where many other jobs and means of employment other than factories. Matter of fact, those jobs were pretty much OJT ( on the job training) where apprentices and employees worked their way up the ladder to achieve management, journeyman and masters of a trade or craft. But now, public education (or it’s equivalent) is being being pushed as a necessity to “make your way in life”. How so? Oh, right. It keeps people from feeding off the teet of the government where those social entitlement programs are involved. Why, then, are these same educated children, who cannot find jobs to their “skills”, doing just exactly that–feeding off the government? Something isn’t adding up here. Why can’t kids just quit school and work with their level of knowledge or pursue a desired skill or craft?

I have this article where Wisconsin wants to change the length of their school year by SHORTENING it. I have this article that shows how many days behind the local schools are because of snow days and what options they have. Seems that that holy grail “summer” is not to be interfered with. But what of the children’s education? Are they going too long or not long enough? Are they not getting enough breaks to assist in their learning capabilities? Is it a money problem for the school districts? Does our public school system need to morph once again to meet current needs and requirements? Idle hands; disciplining children; working the factories–where did it go wrong?

It was the late 60′s (the “hippie” generation) where dress codes started vacating the public school system. We still have kids being berated because they don’t wear the right “cool clothes”. They force issues and suspend kids for wearing American flag and 2Nd Amendment/NRA t-shirts. I’m pretty much fed up with all this intolerance. I have my own intolerance: no t-shirts at all. Either Polo or regular shirts. No shorts. Long pants where the belt line isn’t in the middle or below the cheeks of your ass; there are no holes; and nothing with words or graphics. No plunging neckline tops for girls. Boys hormones are already raging and school is for education (yes, I am laughing. Can’t believe I really just said that) and NOT sex. I guess there isn’t much you can do about the piercings and hair styles and color besides take pictures and put them on the internet 20 years down the road when some of these kids have matured. Maybe that will help them with their children since their own parents didn’t seem to give-a-shit about them. It isn’t much to ask for since I pay this public education. It will stave off many confrontations caused by these issues in school and, possibly, even raise the self-esteem of the individual kids. Oh the horror!

There are no perfect candidates. Matter of fact, there are few good ones. What makes a difference is how well people paid attention in government class in school, how much they keep up with current political affairs, and where they see their life heading: either good or bad. There is a war on the Tea Party, Christians, conservatives, Republicans, rule of law, Caucasians, your personal wealth, and truth and logic. The election was won by Wexton which gives the Senate to the Dems. Very perplexing to me how this came about (other than NoVa is oxygen starving blue all the way) after the affairs of late.

Take polls and surveys for example. We have seen time and again where the Feds are disregarding the law. We’ve seen that most bills on the federal level are against the will of the people while disrupting and curtailing our known American way of life. People are tired of being put upon, losing their jobs, their freedoms and their wealth. The socialist ideals being implemented cause woe on those who try to eke a living, having to give more of what they own and are due to those who sit back and just take while contributing nothing.

McDonnell turned this state around after Kaine put us in a hole. We had more freedoms, made Virginians more responsible for their own lives and gave us the tools to achieve that. He did raise state tax once again and he did put himself into a scandal that tarnished his reputation and all he has accomplished. Too bad, that. History only lends to scandals of the individual instead of the good deeds. Even so, it is purely evident that we have been better off as of late. Taking that into consideration, and the Democrats at all levels of politics initiating oppressive agendas, why would we elect socialists who want to continue this oppressive agenda until we are that third world country we said we would never be? McAwful has already started this agenda with proposing raising taxes, expanding Medicade ( and with it an Obamacare exchange), relaxing illegal immigration, giving homosexuals a greater status than everyday citizens, gun control, more women’s rights (can’t figure out what that catch-all term really means), etc. Is this what we really need; an extension of Obama-nation? I guess if you are a leftist it is. But the polls and surveys say the majority doesn’t want these things. If that’s the case, why do we continue to elect these radicals to suppress our liberties?

These are questions I can’t find answers for with just talking to individuals. I have mulled over different reasoning and scenarios but still am perplexed because none of it seems logical. It will not be interesting to see how this state unfolds over the next 4 years because it will be hurtful to all those responsible people that are trying to survive. And it always seems a daunting task to try and reclaim which is so easily lost. I won’t congratulate Wexton or the Dems for their win because I think of the welfare of Virginia as a whole. This is going to bite us hard and we are seemingly on a path to a future of default if this radical agenda is pushed forward.

People say that a third or fourth party is not the ticket because it siphons votes from the main parties. Others say we need to rebrand the Republican Party ( which is what the Tea Party groups were/are trying to do). None of that makes sense when we continue to expand the welfare state with no strings attached. Until people are educated on the law, the constitution and how self responsibility is the first cure to a strong Republic, nothing will change. Election laws must be changed for voting purposes ( I don’t think that anyone on state/federal assistance–”the dole”–should have the right to vote to further that non-productive, freebie lifestyle). I am a proponent to recall ANY political figure that lies to the people while holding office (that includes those little “white” lies–what a racist term). Consequences need to be given for this new “lifestyle” that has perpetrated our lives. I am not saying all is lost as it stands now but we are on the toboggan, gaining speed downhill to that very end.

I wanted to do a post on the senseless shooting of Chris Lane by 3 bored teenagers who needed something to do. I didn’t want to fit it into summer jobs and busy work of another post when Pat Buchanan comes along and says it all for me. Many of us here have spoken repeatedly over the years about the breakdown of our moral fabric and WHERE that moral fabric exists. To deny it any further is beyond ignorance; it makes those people the problem and not the solution. I would like to see this senseless killing justified in any way and how moral values don’t play a key part in this tragedy. Or better yet, the inclusion of black racism towards whites. Good luck with that.

Everyone has probably noticed by now that one of my main themes here is social capital and cooperation in our local communities. This is because it is at the micro-level that we function and it is here that any true renewal will occur. I was pleased to see this week that even Mark Levin has adopted parts of this message in his new book. Change will not be made from Washington. It is made in Ashburn, Sterling, South Riding, Brambleton and Leesburg.

But more important than local political change is the cultural change that is happening on the ground. My main purpose with this post is to share an excellent article here that details the disturbing drop in cooperation in the USA (those that like stats and details as I do can go there to read it). Today there are fewer and fewer communal associations and young people are being told to march to the beat of their own drum.  What kind of communities will we, in our radical autonomy, all act as individual little atoms totally free from any attachment whatsoever to the rest of humanity?

Can we survive in such a state? The truth is, we can have term limits, balanced budget amendments, and all other sorts of laws restraining the federal leviathan in DC, but what good is it if our culture is turning to crap? Do we even have a common culture or common values anymore?

The ruling elite sure seem to have a common culture. Whether they’re Democrat or Republican, their children pretty much go to the same type of schools, live in the same communities, attend the same parties, and go to the same functions and vacation spots.  Most of these functions and events are not attended by people like us – and the ruling elites like it that way. We can not look to these people to save us.

I think where people are by and large the most productive and happiest are where they are living in some form of a community where they know people’s names and their tendencies.  They know when something is going wrong.  They know when something is going right.  This is what community is all about.  Then you have government as the next layer above that to just try to see to it that you can conserve that kind of lifestyle and living.

I would say only in California but their are always a handful of lunatic states that seem to stay in cahoots with one another. Well it appears that parents are now looking for any signs, from babies on up, that may give indication their children are “special”–what use to be known as abnormal. Instead of trying to find the fault and fix the problem, we are told that it should be promoted as “normalcy”. Now we can fight till doomsday about a person being born homosexual but now we have to take a personal privacy (except in the military) like a bathroom break and open it up to an individuals “belief” of what sex they are that particular day. They want to pass a bill that allows the opposite sex (anatomy) into the same bathroom. And they want to start this in grammar school, where a child grows up thinking this is okay. Think about it.

I remember when they had boys schools only and girls schools only. Now this is seen as discrimination. They use to have separate dorms for boys and girls in colleges, but we can’t have that. It seems the more levels of taboo we have, that can be broken down, the more ROUNDED we become as a society. Or so the progressive minded think. With what has happened in the last 50 years or so, along with instant communications media, digital media, audio and video enhancements; is it any wonder that most things concerning sex are being exploited as well being thrown in our faces most everyday. With this constant frontal assault, is it any wonder why there is so much perversion and deviancy? Better yet, since things are becoming normal through tolerance, can we even see the deviancy and perversion anymore? The tolerance needs to stop and the lines need to be re-drawn and re-affirmed.