Monday 30th March 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:

Lying About Card. Burke

Both Michael Sean Winters of the Fishwrap and David Gibson of RNS posted intellectually dishonest hit pieces against Card. Burke. They purposely misread what Card. Burke said in order to put him in the worst light they could. At least…Continue Reading

Pope says prayers, not ‘gossip,’ needed for successful synod on family

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — No matter how weary, wounded or sinful a family has become, the church will always do everything to try to help family members heal, convert and reconcile with the Lord,…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke says confusion spreading among Catholics ‘in an alarming way’

LifeSiteNews: Since the extraordinary synod on the family, we have entered a period of uncertainty and confusion over several “hot-button” issues: communion for divorced and “remarried” couples, a change of attitude towards homosexual unions and an apparent relaxing of attitudes…Continue Reading

Bishop backs Catholic school’s removal of teacher over pro-marriage Facebook comments: cites Pope Francis

SOMERVILLE, NJ, March 23, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Catholic school has decided not to rehire a theology teacher who rejected the argument in favor of gay “marriage” on her private Facebook page, her family has announced. The controversy began last…Continue Reading

Creepy Catholicism.

Martin O’Malley is the latest Catholic politician to come out as a duplicitous “Catholic.” Deacon Kandra posts an excerpt here from an interview in which O’Malley displays some amazingly twisted thinking to support homosexual marriage–even though he’s a Catholic. As far…Continue Reading

Polish Bishops’ Conference rejects Holy Communion for divorced and “remarried”

The Polish Bishops’ Conference has issued a communiqué firmly rejecting the proposals that divorced and “remarried” Catholics should be admitted to Holy Communion without amendment of life. The communiqué, published on 12th March, includes the following statement: “In view of the…Continue Reading

Celtic Catholic priest and friends pile on archbishop

On Monday March 16, KALW radio’s City Visions will host a program “Can Bay Area Catholics and Archbishop Cordileone find Common Ground?” Scheduled guests are the Reverend Vincent Pizzuto; Most Holy Redeemer parishioner and teachers’ union representative Ted DeSaulnier; and…Continue Reading

The Traditional Case for Capital Punishment

A group of Catholic publishers recently issued a joint statement urging an end to capital punishment. I have great respect for all of them – I have written for all of them at one point or another. I disagree with…Continue Reading

Cardinal Müller: Pope Is Not Above the Word of God and the Catholic Faith

Edit: Rorate tends to understate things.  They want a sober response.  We’d like to offer this translation of Giuseppe Nardi’s appreciation of their take on Cardinal Müller’s recent letter appearing in the Osservatore Romano and additional commentary from other important Italian…Continue Reading

Is the Synod Secretariat Stacking the Deck Again?

The Vatican today announced that the vice president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family will be a consulter to the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. Professor José Granados‘ appointment,…Continue Reading

Gay activist: Of course our goal is to ‘indoctrinate children into LGBTQ agenda’

TORONTO, March 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — A homosexual activist has candidly admitted that gay-themed materials and policies pushed in grade schools across North America are for the sake of “indoctrinating” children into an unquestioning acceptance of homosexuality. “I am here…Continue Reading

Pope . . . giving holy Communion to remarried divorcees “won’t solve anything”

On the second anniversary of his pontificate, the Holy Father gave a lengthy interview to a Mexican television journalist. – CNA/Bohumil Petrik VATICAN CITY — In a new, wide-ranging interview published Friday on the second anniversary of his election, Pope…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 . . .

Pope Francis on Palm Sunday: remember persecuted Christians

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis remembered the persecuted Christians in the world on Sunday – Palm Sunday – during Mass in St. Peter’s Square. Following the proclamation of the Passion according to St. Mark, Pope Francis delivered a homily, in which he reflected on the plight of all those who endure humiliation because of their faithfulness to the Gospel, all those who face discrimination and pay a personal price for their fidelity to Christ. “We think…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Palm Sunday Homily

pope742

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered the homily at Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday – Palm Sunday – the beginning of Holy Week, 2015. Please find, below, the official English translation of the Holy Father’s prepared remarks. ***************************** At the heart of this celebration, which seems so festive, are the words we heard in the hymn of the Letter to the Philippians: “He humbled himself” (2:8).  Jesus’ humiliation. These words show us God’s way…Continue Reading

Pope: Life Of St Teresa Of Avila Can Help Renew Consecrated Life

st thera avila

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said the life of St Teresa of Avila, characterized by “total self-giving to God,” is a “great treasure” that can help to renew consecrated life today. The pope spoke of the witness of St Teresa in a letter, issued Saturday, to the Superior General of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, Fr Xavier Cannistrà, to mark the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the saint’s birth. Listen to the report by Laura…Continue Reading

Mass at Santa Marta- Ode to joy

2015-03-26 L’Osservatore Romano Joy and hope are Christian traits. It is sad to find a believer who knows no joy, fearful in his attachment to cold doctrine. This was the very reason for Francis’ ode to joy during Mass at Santa Marta on Thursday, 26 March. At the beginning of Mass, the Pope acknowledged the Carmelite “Hour of Prayer for Peace”. “Dear brothers and sisters”, he said, “the day after tomorrow, 28 March, will be…Continue Reading

“What Is Historical Church Teaching 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.) + + + Part 1 “Contraception cannot be an expression of total self-giving, because in contraception, something is…Continue Reading

Transforming The St. Patrick’s Day Parades

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON St. Patrick’s Day, which is a holy day of obligation for Catholics in Ireland, has been corrupted in America by homosexual activists who flaunt their opposition to Catholic doctrine. Celebratory parades have been co-opted for dissident political purposes. Since the seventh century, St. Patrick has been revered as the patron saint…Continue Reading

How Far Can One Sink?

By DONALD DeMARCO “With [Premier] Wynne’s sex education curriculum, we have at last splashed down in a miasmal sewer in which it’s hard to sink any further.” So writes Harley Price, who has taught philosophy at a number of prestigious universities. Many, including outraged parents and indignant members of the medical establishment, agree with him.…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . A Spiritually Sound Approach To Depression

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY The Catholic Guide to Depression, by Aaron Kheriaty, MD, with Fr. John Cihak (Sophia Institute Press, 228 pages). Visit www.sophiainstitute.com or call 1-800-888-9344 for more information or for ordering. + + + This book has a lengthy introduction, and is then divided into two parts. The first is entitled “Understanding Depression,”…Continue Reading

What If Hillary Doesn’t Care?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if Hillary Clinton’s emails were hacked by foreign agents when she was the secretary of state? What if persons claiming to have done so are boasting about their alleged feats on Internet websites and in chat rooms traditionally associated with illegal or undercover activities? What if this is the sore…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

Message From Cardinal Burke

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . The Lessons Of Holy Week On Faithful Love

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK As Holy Week is upon us once again, and we join in with the condemnation of the crowd, crying “Crucify Him, Crucify Him,” we relive the betrayal of sin which marks every human life. We accompany the Lord Jesus Christ on His way of the cross and journey with Him all the way to Calvary.…Continue Reading

Is Mary The Mother Of God… Or Only The Mother Of Jesus?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 Responding to a common misconception among separated brethren and ill-informed Catholics: What did the Early Christians believe about the Catholic doctrine on the divine Motherhood? Those men, women, and children who sacrificed everything for the true faith in Jesus — even their very own lives? They were imprisoned, tortured, murdered. Some were burned…Continue Reading

Divine Revelation: Gradual And Progressive

By DON FIER We left off last week reflecting on God’s motive for revealing Himself to us in a supernatural manner. In a word, His sole motive was that of boundless love for mankind. God gratuitously and unconditionally chose to “communicate His own divine life to the men He freely created, in order to adopt them as His sons in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: As readers of this column know, we like to quote Fr. George Rutler from time to time because his weekly bulletin columns at the Church of St. Michael in New York City are sources of both information and inspiration. After starting his March 22 column by noting that history is “replete with the failures of famous figures,” such…Continue Reading

We Have Been Raised With Christ

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Easter Sunday (YR B) Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Col. 3:1-4 John 20:1-9 In the Gospel reading today, we hear about Peter and John entering the Lord’s grave after they had been informed by St. Mary Magdalen that Jesus had been taken away. We are told that when the Beloved Disciple saw the burial cloths there and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Faustina And Divine Mercy

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Divine Mercy Chaplet had never been one of my favorite devotions until my aunt died. As she lay in the hospital during her final hours, I sat in the room, visiting with the endless stream of visitors who stopped in to see their fellow volunteer. By six o’clock, the room was quiet. I decided to read…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of God

By CAROLE BRESLIN In our time, it is common to hear parents bemoan the fact that their child is impulsive, or strong-willed, or irresponsible. Even the Holy Family suffered when our Lord, at the age of twelve, stayed behind in the Temple. How Mary and Joseph must have agonized over the missing Child Jesus. How do you tell God you…Continue Reading