Saturday 18th April 2015

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Turning Up The Heat On De Blasio

April 9, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

It is not yet clear whether New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will get away with his campaign to close down the city’s charter schools. What is clear is that he will not do it easily. He is in a fight. Commentators of all political persuasions are turning up the heat. What de Blasio is doing is being seen by more and more New Yorkers as an affront to fairness, decency, and common sense. He is closing down schools that help the city’s minority children, forcing them into failing neighborhood public schools.
Thomas Sowell, as one would expect, is in the vanguard against de Blasio. He asked in a recent column: “Why would anybody who has any concern at all about minority young people — or even common decency — want to destroy what progress has already been made” in the city’s charter schools? The progress of which Sowell speaks is demonstrable.
Writes Sowell, “Last year 82 percent of the students at a charter school called Success Academy passed city-wide mathematics exams, compared to 30 percent of the students in the city as a whole.”
Sowell does not beat around the bush regarding de Blasio’s motives: “One big reason, of course, is the teachers union, one of Mayor de Blasio’s biggest supporters.” The union realizes that charter schools “take power from politicians and bureaucrats, letting parents decide where their children will go to school. That is obviously offensive to those on the left, who think that our betters should be making our decisions for us.”
Mona Charen is on board with Sowell. In a recent column she notes that charter schools “currently educate about 20 percent of the students in Harlem and the Bronx, boroughs known for a) poverty, b) unemployment, and c) abysmal public schools.” The charter school that de Blasio wants to close down, the Success Academy, according to Charen, has “received 2,665 applications for 125 spots last year, making it more selective than the Ivy League.”
It picks its students through a lottery. “When the results are announced, a lucky few are jubilant. The faces of the remainder of the children are tear-stained and devastated.”
It is not just conservative commentators who see Success Academy as a beacon of light. The liberal New Yorker magazine wrote recently that 64 percent of Success Academy’s third graders “passed the state English exam and 88 percent passed the state math exam. At P.S. 123,” located in the same building as Success Academy, “only 18 percent of students passed the English test and only five percent passed the math test.”
Rather than build more such schools, de Blasio wants to close down Success Academy and send its students back into the failing, often dangerous, public schools in the area. Why is he willing to do this? Charen agrees with Thomas Sowell: “If you know anything about leftists, you won’t be surprised that he is actually training his fire on the poorest and most vulnerable. Remember that one of President Barack Obama’s first acts was to attack the school choice program in the District of Columbia.” De Blasio’s priority, writes Charen, “like many in his party…is the teachers union.”
On another topic, also involving de Blasio: the push to establish universal pre-K programs throughout the country. President Obama has joined with de Blasio in this effort. In a speech in early March, Obama stated, “I believe we should start teaching our kids at the earliest ages. So we’re trying to help more states make high-quality preschool and other early learning programs available to the youngest kids.”
The last budget he presented to Congress called for $75 billion in federal spending to support his goal of universal education for children as young as four years old.
Of course, as Terence Jeffrey observed in a recent column, when Obama says “we” and “our kids,” he is not talking about his children. They “attend the most expensive private school in Washington, D.C. — he is talking about other people’s children and grandchildren.”
Jeffrey notes that Obama’s budget also calls for $15 billion to “fund an Obamacare provision called the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program,” which will send government-funded “nurses, social workers, and other professionals” into people’s homes to “improve parenting skills.”
You read that correctly. The Obama administration’s plans go beyond universal pre-K. In the words of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in an address at the National Press Club, “what the president has put on the table is really a birth-to-five proposal, recognizing that you can’t start at four-year-olds.” Jeffrey describes this as a plan “to form your children’s character.” The “government of Obama and Kathleen Sebelius seeks to be the ultimate instructor of America’s youngest children — even in their ‘emotional skills’.”
Jeffrey is correct. The nanny-state is central to liberalism’s plan to “reform” society in what liberals believe is an enlightened manner. There is another motive at work, however. Liberals get elected by promising the voters free stuff. Another way of saying that is that they promise one segment of the population programs supported by the taxes of another segment. As some wags phrase it, they rob Peter to pay Paul.
The segment of the population that is promised the free stuff is the segment whose votes the liberal politicians are seeking to secure. It was former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill who described the strategy as “tax, tax; spend, spend; elect, elect.” It is a strategy that depends upon a never-ending search for a “societal need” that must be addressed by the government, something new to promise the voters. In this case, the politicians started with calls for the government to finance Head Start programs. From there it went to universal pre-K. Now we have the president and Kathleen Sebelius calling for “birth-to-five” programs to help with “parenting skills.”
The goal is always to find some government service that can be packaged as a “reform,” as a program to “help the children” — and to then portray the liberal Democrats who are promoting the program as the party of compassion and social justice, and those who oppose it as selfish and mean-spirited. We can see how it works: No matter how convincingly critics of the Department of Education make the case that it does little to improve education in the country, and no matter how few Americans can come up with even one or two things the department does to improve their local schools, it has become impossible to find a way to reduce its budget.
Republicans who make that proposal are portrayed as heartless and uncaring by their Democratic opponents. Invariably, the Democrat who makes this charge comes out on top on Election Day. This is a tough nut to crack.

+    +    +

Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about this and other educational issues. The e-mail address for First Teachers is fitzpatrijames@sbcglobal.net, and the mailing address is P.O. Box 15, Wallingford CT 06492.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 2

Attention!

Our On-line Store is currently experiencing problems. If you are ordering a print edition of The Wanderer 

CLICK HERE!

‘Prominent’ Catholics attacking Archbishop Cordileone are big donors to Pelosi and pro-abort Democra

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Big donors to the Democrat Party and pro-abortion Nancy Pelosi are among those publicly harassing San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for protecting Catholic identity in the area’s Catholic high schools. A big-ticket…Continue Reading

American Sisters accept Vatican reforms on doctrine, theology

Vatican City, Apr 16, 2015 / 04:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a joint report marking the conclusion of a multi-year mandate for reform, members of the LCWR have agreed to corrections called for by the Vatican, and said they will…Continue Reading

Cardinal George, archbishop emeritus of Chicago, dies at 78

DEVELOPING: Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago from 1997 to 2014, died Friday at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer, the Archdiocese of Chicago has confirmed.

We Must Pray For And Defend This Good Bishop

bishopcord

I call on all the readers here to pray and offer fasting and alms for the spiritual defense of Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco. Will San Francisco be the Alamo of the Church in these USA? Today, in the ultra-liberal…Continue Reading

Prominent Catholics call on pope to oust S.F. archbishop

In an unprecedented move, more than 100 prominent Roman Catholic donors and church members signed a full-page ad running Thursday in The Chronicle that calls on Pope Francis to replace San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for fostering “an atmosphere of…Continue Reading

This teacher cannot sue the Catholic Church for firing him because he openly rejects Catholic teachings: Legal experts

OMAHA, NE, April 14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Legal experts agree that, if you openly flout Christian teachings, you have no right to sue a religious school for firing you – in most instances. That analysis comes after a sexually active…Continue Reading

PETITION TO POPE FRANCIS: Declare St. John Paul II “Doctor of the Church”!

johnpaul

I, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, do hereby petition our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to declare St. John Paul II Doctor of the Church. I ask that St. John Paul II, who instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy, be declared Doctor of…Continue Reading

Cardinal Brandmüller: Advocates for changing Catholic teaching on marriage are ‘heretics’ – even if they are bishops

April 14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Cardinal Walter Brandmüller has been among the leading voices critical of proposals stemming from the Vatican’s Synod on the Family that risk subverting Catholic teaching on the sacraments and morality. He was one of five…Continue Reading

Obama administration: Catholic school upholding marriage is ‘sex discrimination’

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — The Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has found “reasonable cause” to rule that a Catholic prep school has unlawfully discriminated against a homosexual band director formerly in the school’s employ. Mount…Continue Reading

God or Nothing

ROME, April 10, 2015 – He has said so himself, with candor: “I have the feeling that God has put me here for a short time.” Four or five years, or even less. It is natural that this disclosure of…Continue Reading

USA, 25% more priests in 2015

Good news for the American Church. 595 priests are expected to be ordained in 2015: an increase of 24.7 on the previous year. The news was announced by the United States Episcopal Conference, which nevertheless prefers to err on the…Continue Reading

Catholic school reinstates teacher suspended for defending Catholic teaching on Facebook

SOMERVILLE, NJ, April 10, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — A teacher suspended from a Catholic school for using Facebook to defend traditional marriage has been reinstated. Almost one month ago, Patricia Jannuzzi was suspended from Immaculata High School in Somerville, New Jersey,…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

May His Soul Rest In Peace . . .

george

Pope Francis: Christian humility is not masochism, but love

Vatican Radio) Humiliation for its own sake is masochism, but when it is suffered and endured in the name of the Gospel it makes us like Jesus. That was what Pope Francis said in his homily at the Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he invited Christians to never cultivate sentiments of hatred, but to give themselves time to discover within themselves sentiments and attitudes that are pleasing to God: love and dialogue.   Is…Continue Reading

Pope Francis to visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay

(Vatican Radio)  A communique from the Holy See’s Press office on Thursday announced that Pope Francis will make an apostolic visit to three Latin American countries in early July. It said following invitations from the respective heads of state and the Catholic Bishops, the Pope will be in Ecuador from the 6-8th, Bolivia from the 8th- 10th  and Paraguay from the 10th-12th. Full details of the programme for the visit will be published at a…Continue Reading

Pope at Mass: Those who do not dialogue disobey God

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday offered the Mass at Casa Santa Marta for his predecessor, the Pope Emeritus, on the occasion of Benedict XVI’s 88th birthday. “I want to remember that today is the birthday of Benedict XVI,” Pope Francis said at the liturgy. “I offered the Mass for him, and I invite you to pray for him, that the Lord might sustain him and grant him much joy and happiness.” In his homily,…Continue Reading

Income Inequality: Married Couples With Kids Make Average Of $107,054

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate provided this column. All rights reserved.) + + + If American politicians wanted to drive down the income of the American people and make this a poorer nation — and they actually studied the government’s own data…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . The Artful Ploys Of The Noonday Demon

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Time, by Jean-Charles Nault, OSB (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2015), 203 pp. $16.95. Available through www.ignatiuspress.com. Some temptations are bold and brazen in their seduction, and some are subtle and artful. While the temptations of the flesh disorder the appetites and produce uncontrollable…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Can We Use Our Consciences On Contraception?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “Surveys in many countries consistently show that most Catholics believe that decisions of conscience about…Continue Reading

Protecting Freedom Of Religion

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University. (ZENIT made Fr. Flynn’s essay available; all rights reserved.) + + + Great Britain’s Equality and…Continue Reading

A Russian Orthodox Bishop Speaks Plainly To Ecumenists

By JAMES LIKOUDIS In a previous article (see The Wanderer, February 26, 2015, p. 6A) attention was focused on the ecclesiological views of the Metropolitan Hilarion (Aleyev) of Volokolamsk, one of the most important Russian Orthodox bishops as chairman of the Department for External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate. In an important speech delivered at…Continue Reading

The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

burk10

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Church’s Origin, Foundation, And Mission

By DON FIER Sacred Scripture reveals a rich and diverse tapestry of images to describe the Church. Each of these symbols enables one with faith to gain additional insights into the various complementary aspects which are present in this great mystery which the Fathers of Vatican Council II refer to as the “universal sacrament of salvation” (Lumen Gentium, n. 48…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In the second reading on Good Friday (Heb. 5:8-9), there is a phrase toward the end of the epistle that says: “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” I am puzzled by the words “when he was…Continue Reading

The Good Shepherd

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Easter (YR B) Readings: Acts 4:8-12 1 John 3:1-2 John 10:11-18   In the Gospel reading today we hear our Lord telling us that He is the Good Shepherd. We have all heard this many times and, in our minds, we have our own notions of what that means. We can think about…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Siena

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Catherine of Siena lived in the 14th century, a century of great upheaval and confusion in the Church. The Church celebrates her feast on April 29. She not only was a great saint, but her writings and her example were so extraordinary that she is one of the few persons who have been given the title…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… We Worship The Easter Christ In The Eucharist

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Christ is risen, Alleluia! The Lord is truly risen, Alleluia!” A blessed Easter full of joy in the graces of our risen Lord to you and your families. During the “three days” of the sacred Triduum, this year I received an email note from a parishioner: “I went to church with my mother on Holy…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anselm

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anselm was born in France near the Swiss Alps around 1033. At the age of 15, he wished to enter religious life by joining a monastery. Sadly, his influential father was so against it that the monastery refused to accept him. This so discouraged the youth that he drowned his sorrows in worldly pursuits. He deeply…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marguerite D’Youville

By CAROLE BRESLIN By 1701 the European colonies in North America had expanded beyond the Appalachian Mountains. The Anglo population in the English American colonies had reached 275,000. The French had recently established a colony in Detroit. Catholics, however, were persecuted as Massachusetts passed a law ordering all Roman Catholic priests to leave or face execution. New York passed a…Continue Reading