Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Amazing McIlheran

Patrick McIlheran has got to be the most amazing man on earth. I know of no other person who can drive a car, brush his teeth, type out a column, tie his shoes, or do anything else for that matter, and all the while have his eyes clenched tightly shut, his fingers implanted deeply into his ears, and screaming, "La, la, la, la, la, la..." at the top of his lungs.

At least that what I think he must be doing in order to go through life totally oblivious to the facts in front of him.

Another fine example will be disgracing the Crossroads section of Sunday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In this article he drags out the old, tired bit about school choice again.

McIlheran actually starts out well, pointing out how parents have a right to make choices for their children. I fully concur. A parent does have the right to make decisions for their child. The parent should be able to choose what the child will eat, what the child will wear, which doctor will treat the child, and so forth. This is as long as the child is not put in harm's way of course.

But then McIlheran goes off course and into his own plane of reality again. He states that:
One premise of Milwaukee's school choice program is that parents tend to choose - not always, but often enough - academically superior schools if they have a chance.

He goes on to say that "research" shows that school choice will be shown to be academically better. All that has been debunked so much, I won't bother with it here.

But according to a study released last October-a study done by WPRI nonetheless, a major proponent for school choice-shows reality a bit differently than the one that McIlheran perceives. Said study shows that some 90 percent of parents who put their children into school choice even bother looking at which schools are strongest academically. They instead put their focus on tangents that are more important to them. These could range anywhere from musical programming to religious orientation to geographical location.

Even strong advocates for school choice, like Dr. Howard Fuller, were forced to take a few steps back, at least until WPRI issued a "corrective."

So even though his own side is saying that school choice may not be cracking up to what they had hoped it to be, McIlheran still goes blithely along, arguing lost arguments.

Next, I'm sure he'll be telling us how everything is going splendidly in Iraq.


  1. This is kind of off point but the thought popped into my mind when reading about McIlheran's view of school choice.

    It applies to all of us Republicans and Democrats alike.

    But in the context I am thinking of it applies to the 8 years of George Bush's administration.

    Both sides want to argue about the effectiveness of Bush's policies. I'll address this to the Republican base at this point and if God is willing, the Democratic party will have their day in the sun starting net January 20th.

    So to all of the Republicans praising the works of GeorgeII:

    You have no right to express any authoritave view on his performance in the last eight years.

    Your children do.....Your grandchildren do....All of our decendents do. The impact of his policies should be evaluated by them that will feel the impact and pay the price.

    As many of you that have or had relatives return from the conflict in Vietnam crewed up beyond all belief know, the impact of the Bush Iraq policy will be felt and paid for in the next 4 ro 6 decades.

    The impact on our ability to feed our next generations of offspring, not accounting for trying to be the breadbasket of the world,while we follow policies that stuff our food into our cars and trucks will be felt throughout the world for generations to come.

    Other aspects of wht could have been will never be known. What young man or woman that was killed, or otherwise disabled in Iraq would have developed a cure for MS, cancer, aids, malaria or other diseases of epidemic proportions?

    Which of them may have been a truly non-partisan humanitarian that could brought us a step closer to world peace rather than creating, and I use the word purposefully, the most divided country and world since the beginning of time.

    No we are not the judges. Beyond those that are sacrificing sons and daughters in the failed policy in Iraq, those that will truly have the right to judge are those that will pay the price in years to follow.

    They, of course, will have the benefit of knowing all the consequences. We only know what little we see and are told now.

    Those that write the checks for years to come will have the benefit of hindsight.

    I can only speculate that many of them will say, "What the heck were our parents, grandparents etcetera thinking?"

  2. Next, I'm sure he'll be telling us how everything is going splendidly in Iraq.

    He might also go off on a bender about how great the economy is.