Saturday, April 07, 2007

I-pods? Oh my!

Libby Spencer

I was hoping it was a joke, but it appears that the Michigan legislature really proposed buying an I-pod for every student in the state. Now this story is personal for me. Although I've never set foot in the Motor City, I've been blogging for the left on the Detroit News poliblog for the last three years. We barely kept the state out of Bush crony, Dick DeVos' hands and I blogged relentlessly on behalf of Democrats in the lead up to the election.

Now the Dems floated this ridiculous proposal and it's done much more damage than a few red faces in Lansing. Drudge picked it up. It's a front page item at Memeorandum and already the right wing bloggers are jumping on it and using it to indict the entire Democratic Party. Except for my friend Michael van der Galien at The Moderate Voice, who laughingly suggests that he can be bought, the running theme seems to be "see what you get when you elect spendthrift Democrats." It's very sad to see the Lansing Dems hand the Republicans the best ammunition they've had in months to obscure their own fiscal irresponsibility.

To put the story into better context, parents are pulling their children out of the public schools in droves. As they should. The school system is a mess. There's no accountability within the bureaucracy at the top, the schools are underfunded and what funds they do have appear to be regularly misspent. The teachers are agitating for better pay while the children make do without the basic educational supplies necessary to learn.

Perhaps whoever proposed this thought it would stem the student flight and save money by utilizing the latest high tech equipment in lieu of school books but since I-pods are generally associated with entertainment and not education, they just created the worst PR disaster in recent history - one that will tar all Democrats in the state with the same broad brush. As my dear departed friend Acidman would have said, whoever thought this up should be dragged out back and shot.

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Blogger whig said...

How do we fix the schools?

7:36:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I wish I knew the answer to that question whig. I've been concerned about the state of our public education system for the last thirty years since my daughter went through it. It's not set up for learning, it's set up for indoctrination.

They should be teaching our kids critical thinking but it's not set up to do that. Nowadays it's even worse with NCLB, they just teach to a standardized test. At least in my day, they taught the arts and sciences.

If I knew how to fix it, you can sure I would have tried.

9:48:00 PM  
Blogger Larjmarj said...

Sadly I heard this today from a conservative co-worker who was just gloating over the fact that the dem's in Michigan were proposing such a knuckleheaded move.
Sigh....I know what you mean about saving the state from DeVos in the last election but really WTF?

8:23:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

It was a very bad move on the PR side. After I thought about it though, electronic textbooks make sense to me. Just not I-pods.

8:40:00 PM  

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