Well, since y’all know me, I will just say that I was very nervous about guest-blogging at Feministe, but wow, I am having a nice time so far and I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m going to have to think about things, because I have to say that one of the things I find stops me when I’m blogging here is that I often feel like, “Well, of course, y’all have heard about this. Of course you have figured that out.” And it’s kind of nice to speak again to folks who may not know something I know about.
Ha, I don’t know what that says about me that I envision you all as so much smarter and cooler than me, but I do, so there you go.
In other news, the ongoing saga of Nashville not having school books for kids, still, has me so floored I about can’t even tell you. Not only that, but the way that folks in the comment threads over at Pith are just “What is this mother complaining about? Lots of schools in Nashville don’t have books.” (read the comments here and here)
I mean, what the fuck?
Don’t get me wrong. I get that the city’s argument is basically “We’re not racist, we’re just incompetent,” but the amount of people who shrug their shoulders at the incompetence of our schools is just fucking frightening. You’d think that parents whose kids didn’t have the books they needed and teachers who didn’t have the materials they needed would find a way to join in this lawsuit instead of being so hostile to the woman bringing the suit, but it just goes to show that some people really resent it when you remind them of what they should have been doing.
Maybe this is one o’ them there chicken or egg conundrums. Are we a shit-eating ignorant nation because we have such poor citizenship skills, or does our disrespect for education make us into a lot of back-biting tossers who wouldn’t know democracy if it were handed to us from a drive-thru window?
My mom always said you could tell the quality of a place’s public schools by how many private schools there were in the area. The story ranking the most expensive Davidson County private schools had 36 on the list. That didn’t include surrounding counties, obviously.
I guess this illustrates why.
PS: I need to use the word “tosser” more often. Thanks, Sam.
Don’t get me wrong. I get that the city’s argument is basically “We’re not racist, we’re just incompetent,” but the amount of people who shrug their shoulders at the incompetence of our schools is just fucking frightening.
What? The homeschoolers, the parents with kids in private schools, the white-flighters, the people who’ve been agitating for shock-doctrine capitalism (“vouchers”) for public education for the couple of decades? The proud parents who’ve fought busing since Warren uttered the words “separate is inherently unequal” and who are now winning cases before the Roberts Court to give the legal imprimatur to halt integration?
No, nothing to see there. No axes to grind. Their indifference is motivated through hard-bitten experience, not through their political desires to see the end of public education.
I mean, my wife and I are decidedly DINK (double-income-no-kids), but I still understand the value of public education and don’t mind that much of my property tax dollar* goes to fund it. I went to public schools K-12 and went to a state university. I am, however, mortified that this is how the dollars are being spent (or not, as the case may be) in the area.
* This is roughly the equivalent of paying for someone else’s healthcare, innit? I don’t mind funding some other people’s children because it’s in my best interest to have them educated, and I have had the benefit of public education myself. I don’t mind funding some other people’s healthcare because it’s in my best interest to have them be healthy, and I will probably have an opportunity to reap the benefit myself. (But no. SOCIALISM!!! SCARY!!!!1!!!!)