Thursday 27th August 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 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

If You Still Support Planned Parenthood, You Are Simply Not A Decent Person

Another Planned Parenthood video has been released. I promised I would write about every new video that comes out, so here is my write up on the latest. Please read and share. I don’t usually ask you to share things…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Group Sends Cakes to Thank Planned Parenthood Staff After It Sells Aborted Babies

Apparently, Catholics for Choice want their friends at Planned Parenthood to know how appreciated they are since they will be “harassed” tomorrow at the protests across the country regarding their organ harvesting business.  As LifeNews previously reported, tens of thousands…Continue Reading

Facebook’s very (very) suspicious ‘trending’ Planned Parenthood story

Update Aug. 20, ’15 at 7:54 AM EST: I woke up this morning, and lo and behold, the “trending” news topic had changed. It now reads, “7th video critical of organization released by anti-abortion group.” That’s more like it. I…Continue Reading

Questions raised after pro-life activist Twitter accounts suspended without warning: one now restored

ONTARIO, August 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-life activist campaigning against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s abortion extremism as well as a pro-life organization on a mission to show the violent reality of abortion through large graphic billboards had their Twitter…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone thankful for San Francisco teacher contract agreement

San Francisco, Calif., Aug 23, 2015 / 06:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Efforts to promote Catholic culture in the San Francisco archdiocese’s high schools and to agree on a contract acceptable for the schools’ teachers concluded on Wednesday with a new…Continue Reading

Catholic Priests’ Forgotten Flock: Catholic Men

The New Emangelization Project has documented that a key driver of the collapse of Catholicism in the U. S. is a serious and growing Catholic “man-crisis”.[1] One third of baptized Catholic men have left the faith and the majority of…Continue Reading

Shortages in Venezuela mean priests are running out of Hosts

Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 15, 2015 / 03:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis has hit the Church in a unique way: the production of Hosts fell 60 percent during the past month, affecting three states in the South American…Continue Reading

Do We really need a new day dedicated to the environment?

The Pope has decided in the wake of his well received encyclical on the environment to institute a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This day will take place on 1st September. At present the 1st September…Continue Reading

There is no equivalence

Here’s a simple exercise in basic reasoning. On a spectrum of bad things to do, theft is bad, assault is worse and murder is worst. There’s a similar texture of ill will connecting all three crimes, but only a very…Continue Reading

Syrian Bishop: on kidnapping of Christians from Qaryatain

(Vatican Radio) The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo in Syria, Antoine Audo says he believes the so-called Islamic State fighters are seeking to push Christians out of Syria and spread terror everywhere. He also warned that if the war continues, as…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cupich will attend synod, Vatican source says

Vatican City, Aug 7, 2015 / 12:35 pm (CNA).- Originally selected as an alternate synod delegate, Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago will in fact be an attendee at the Vatican gathering on the family this fall, a Vatican source told…Continue Reading

A word of caution about the Society of Saint Pius X

Bishop’s Column Written by Robert C. Molrino, Bishop of Madison Thursday, Aug. 06, 2015 — 12:00 AM The 50 years since the close of the Second Vatican Council have been tumultuous for the Church. Forces both inside and outside of…Continue Reading

Newsmax

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 su
bscribe 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 . . .

Lex Cordis Caritas – The law of the heart is Love

God’s greatest and most beloved treasure is human life by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki The Bible points us to the truth of what lies at the heart of every moral teaching of Jesus Christ and his church. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, we hear him warn the people to “[w]atch carefully how you live” (Ephesians 5:15). He does this not because he wants to control their lives, dictating what they can…Continue Reading

Pope to parents: find time for prayer in busy family life

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday continued his reflections on family life, focusing especially on the importance of finding time for prayer. Greeting visitors from many different countries, gathered for the weekly General Audience in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said families often experience difficulty in devoting time for prayer. But he said a heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or small gesture of devotion into a moment…Continue Reading

Thousands Rally at Planned Parenthoods for End to Tax Payer Funding

United States of America, August 24, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Staff Reporter A national day of protest took place Saturday at Planned Parenthoods across the United States as the federal and local governments are being asked to defund the abortion giant. Though there has been an ongoing call for an end to tax payer funding of Planned Parenthood for years, Saturday’s rallies came in response to a series of undercover videos that have been released in recent…Continue Reading

Angelus address: “Lord, to whom shall we go?

pope9

(Vatican Radio) Below you can find the full text of Pope Francis’ address at the Angelus on Sunday 23 August 2015: Today is the conclusion of the readings from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of St John, with the discourse on the “Bread of Life,” proclaimed by Jesus on the day after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. At the end of that discourse, the great enthusiasm of the day…Continue Reading

Kenneth D. Whitehead, RIP . . . A Personal Tribute To An Outstanding Layman

By JAMES LIKOUDIS Last April, the Church in the United States lost to cancer one of its most dedicated and well-informed laymen. His life was dedicated to defending the faith from the major errors that have afflicted the Church in the postconciliar period. I had the great privilege of working with Ken Whitehead when for…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Same-Sex “Marriage” And The Crisis Of Leadership

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bi-monthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Carry On The Fight With Faith

By ANNE W. CARROLL Robert C. Cetrulo, J.D. On the Gift of Life, From Eden to Eternity. Northern Kentucky Right to Life Educational Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1202, Covington, KY 41012, 2015. 189 pp. $10.00. “I tell you not for your comfort, yea not for your desire,/ Save that the sky grows darker yet, and…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Sainthood In Married Life

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Journey of Our Love: The Letters of Saint Gianna Beretta and Pietro Molla, edited by Elio Guerriero (Pauline Books & Media, Boston: 2014); 282 pp.; $17.95. Available through www.pauline.org. Many know the courageous story of St. Gianna’s sacrifice of her life for the sake of her newborn fourth child and recall…Continue Reading

Immigration: Issue Of The Century

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “Trump’s immigration proposals are as dangerous as they are stunning,” railed amnesty activist Frank Sharry. “Trump . . . promises to rescind protections for Dreamers and deport them. He wants to redefine the constitutional definition of U.S. citizenship as codified by the 14th Amendment. He plans to impose a moratorium on…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Blindness In The Heart

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 35:4-7a James 2:1-5 Mark 7:31-37 In the first reading God speaks through the Prophet Isaiah telling the people that those whose hearts are frightened should be strong and not afraid because God is with them. He then says that on that day the eyes of the blind…Continue Reading

Novena To Our Lady Of Knock . . . The Family Is Reason To Give Thanks

By MOST REV. KEVIN DORAN KNOCK, Ireland (ZENIT) — Here is the homily given Sunday, August 16 by Bishop Kevin Doran for the 2015 National Novena to Our Lady of Knock, which lasted through August 22. The theme was “Always and Everywhere Giving Thanks — The Gift of the Family.” Bishop Doran heads the Diocese of Elphin, Ireland. ZENIT News…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Our Persecuted Faithful Desire Leadership In Tradition

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Many of our Catholic people today are very insecure in their faith and thus needlessly fearful because they are without the experience of the presence of God in an abiding way. Whether because of Islamic terrorism which is committing genocide against Eastern Christians or attacks through a newly re-paganized society and our unjust and anti-Christian…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Jesus’ Greatest Miracle: His Resurrection

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 16 If we take the Gospels as simple historical records about the life of a Galilean preacher, we’ll find in them a remarkable entry: They say that the man died and rose again. He was crucified, had His side pierced after death, and was buried. No doubt about it. The tomb was found empty,…Continue Reading

Ecclesial Ministry In The Church

By DON FIER The Christian faithful, as we saw last week, are comprised of all who have been incorporated in Christ through the saving waters of Baptism. As taught by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC): “From the baptismal fonts is born the one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aidan

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Church names many saints as patrons of certain professions, troubles, or countries. St. Benedict is the patron saint of Europe. As the father of Western monasticism, he is credited with building Western civilization. St. Catherine of Siena is also a patron of Europe since she played important roles in settling both civil and ecclesiastical disputes. St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernard Of Clairvaux

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Gospel of John, during the Last Discourse at the Last Supper, our Lord prays for unity. Jesus said: “that they may be one even as we are” (John 17:11). During the most challenging times of Church history, God has sent men to restore peace to His Church. Certainly St. Bernard of Clairvaux should be counted…Continue Reading