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Sunday, January 22, 2006
Not long ago a liberal friend of mine had new carpet and flooring installed in his home. 1. He shopped six different places before he settled on the individual he felt qualified to put his flooring in. 2. He refused to make a down payment or ANY kind of payment to the individual until the job was done and the results PERFECT. 3. After the job was completed, he made the guy who put it in come back TWO times to fix things that I couldn't even detect were wrong. 4. He also got more out of the guy than he paid for--wood transitions (which cost the carpet guy extra) instead of brass or aluminum. It lead into a GREAT discussion about education which made me ask the following questions: 1. Sam, did you go with the guy who was the most expensive? Was the best deal the most expensive one? No? You went with who you thought would do the best job for the money, huh. 2. Don't you think that there should be just one carpet supplier and installer? (The most expensive one...) because if you give money to one of the small guys, it takes money away from the big guys so they can't do as good a job. 3. Why did you refuse to pay until the job was done? You always seem to be more interested in paying for processes rather than results? Doesn't spending more money always bring better results? Why not pay and just accept what you get? 4. If the carpet and flooring was in, why did you make the guy come back over and over again to get it perfect? Why not pay him more money to come back and fix it? You get the gist... Sam is interested in choice (competition) and performance (outcomes) when it comes to his own money, but loses that concern when it comes to spending other peoples' money. Or is there some other motivation?
posted by Jack Mercer @ 1/22/2006 02:43:00 PM  
  • At 1/22/2006 11:57:00 PM, Blogger Kathy Schrenk said…

    Uh, what's with the dancing baby?

  • At 1/25/2006 11:46:00 AM, Blogger Smorgasbord said…

    My problem with this "logic", Jack, is that it really has nothing to do with education. It's comparing apples and oranges.

    I know you're a fan of the political spectrum, so I'll start there. Public education is a socialist institution, and it always will be. Vouchers and the like will not change its true essence. That said, introducing competition is fine in theory, but what it will truly accomplish?

    If vouchers were made available for all children, eventually the oil would separate from the water. The kids who would succeed will end up in the same schools and the kids who have a harder time would end up in the same schools. The disparity between the good and bad schools would be enormous. At present, private schools have the right to refuse any student they wish - a luxury public schools live without. If vouchers were to get a foothold at all, this right would need to be taken away - but then government would be forcing private industry to do its bidding. I can't imagine private schools would be too happy about that.

    Even if private schools agreed to accept whoever applied, the more under-performing children were let in, the more the over-performing kids would jump ship. It would be an endless cycle of the needy chasing the shadows of their more fortunate or able counterparts.

    Educating a society is just not as simple as finding a vendor to do your floor.

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Miriam Webster defines Snipe as: to aim a carping or snide attack, or: to shoot at exposed individuals (as of an enemy's forces) from a usually concealed point of vantage.

Miriam Webster defines Snippet as: : a small part, piece, or thing; especially : a brief quotable passage.

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