Monday, March 10, 2014

Advocating for the Overthrow of Local Government

Our situation with our local charter school is fairly unique, so I try not to get too wrapped up in the politics of "The Charter Movement".  However, there are some things that i just can't accept- one of which is advocating that local communities should have no control over how their tax dollars should be spent.  The following is a direct quote from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' keynote at the California Charter School Association's annual conference:

"Now if we go to the general public and we say, “Here’s an argument why you should get rid of school boards” of course no one’s going to go for that. School boards have been an iconic part of America for 200 years.  So what we have to do is to work with school districts to grow steadily, and the work ahead is really hard because we’re at 8% of students in California, whereas in New Orleans they’re at 90%, so we have a lot of catchup to do"

For just a moment I'll look past the obvious failure of so many schools in Louisiana.  Using them as a model is ridiculous.  But the idea that someone is literally advocating that local communities are not to be trusted to educate their own children?  Who in the hell do these people think they are?  How is it that Hastings thinks he is better qualified to run the Los Altos School District than the people of our own community?

Here's the short highlight from Mr. Hastings' address:

And here's the full address:

I am the first to acknowledge that not every community has a district as successful as LASD.  However, the fundamental principle that the citizens of this country are best suited to make judgments about how we shall be governed- that exists long before the CCSA or Mr. Hastings ever came along.

Folks, if your goal is to subvert the ability of local citizens to govern their own lives, there are places for that kind of behavior.  Many countries thrive under that system of government.  Just not here.