Monday, January 31, 2011

The Real Miracle Is That Some People In Coraopolis Are Still Living In The 1950s

Should a community strangled by too many, too small municipalities celebrate the deployment of scarce resources to prop up a school with seven first-graders?

Minor note: It is surprising to see God taking credit for funding provided by Pennsylvania taxpayers. Isn't God bigger than that?


Vannevar said...

Should a community strangled by too many, too small municipalities celebrate that some people of normal means sacrifice to do better for their children?

Should a community strangled by too many, too small municipalities start utility-testing individual decisions on how to spend their money on their children?

Should a community strangled by too many, too small municipalities realize that this school is reducing the costs born by the taxpayer's public system?

Minor note: I didn't see G^d taking credit for anything. I did see a woman (who dedicates her life to service) giving G^d credit.

Infy, Infy, Infy. You (and the accomplished InfiStaff) have refered to religion as magic and superstition a few times; I think you maybe protesting a bit too much when it comes to this story. There is no villian in this.

There are better targets of opportunity for your admirable skills.

Infinonymous said...

Advocates of taxpayer funding of private education have worked strenuously to divert money from public schools to private, and are shifting to high gear in Harrisburg as this is written.

Stories such as this seem part of that process.

St. Joseph's Catholic School makes roughly as much sense as Wilmerding. Or Kilbuck. Or Glenfield.

People give credit to God for many things (from the seemingly miraculous to obviously taxpayer-funded); does that mean God deserves scorn for the football team that loses, the school that closes, the child who dies of cancer, the town ravaged by flood?

Religion is roughly a wash (similar volumes of good and bad, giving religion a bit of the benefit of the doubt) over the human ages, yet gets a pass on most of the bad. Its adherents have arranged 'heads-we-win, tails-you-lose' advantages throughout society. With respect to public education, however, religious schools seem poor candidates for a pass.

It appears Ben Roethlisberger is back to playing for Jesus, which says something about both ends of the equation. Pardon us for picking the Packers.

Of course, we could be wrong.

Vannevar said...

You may be wrong
for all I know
but you may be right.

Go Packers!

MH said...

Catholic schools do get some public money, but the Diocese of Pittsburgh (which includes most of the region) educates 25,000 students (i.e. 5/6th of the number educated by PPS) at very little cost to the taxpayers and with better results that most of the public districts in the area. It is a massive subsidy to the region. It represents a continuing charitable effort that dwarfs Pittsburgh Promise. Pittsburgh itself would be emptier if it wasn't possible for people without six-figure incomes to find an alternative to the public schools.

Infinonymous said...

The proponents of Catholic, for-profit, and other private schools are vigorously attempting to arrange complete funding of those schools from public funds.

Putting aside the issue of whether any education structured by adults who reject science, claim to believe in miracles and base hiring decisions on religious affiliation and fervor is the type of education a sensible society that intends to compete in a toughening global marketplace should promote, a good public education system is and will be a bedrock of our society. Working to improve public schools is good and imperative; working to divert resources from public schools is worth fighting against.

At a more general level, in no reality-based world do 400-resident municipalities, $10-per-person public safety budgets, seven-pupil elementary school classrooms, 100-student high schools and the like make sense. In InsolvenCity and its environs, that would be an unaffordable luxury even if it made sense.

MH said...

I went to a 100 student high school. I like it and learned a great deal. For example, by dealing with the same small group of people day after day, I learned that spouting shit didn't work as a way to deal with people.

Infinonymous said...

Some -- perhaps many -- Wilmerdingers cherish their 'dingerdom, too. To be charitable, they haven't thought the issues through to a sensible conclusion.

Unless a 100-person high school is funded by extraordinarily wealthy parents, or subsidized by taxpayers to unfair degree, it is unlikely that school could provide the educational foundation today's college freshman should (although often do not) possess. Graduating 25 to 34 students each summer is not the work of a sustainable, first-rate school -- unless the parents are exceptionally wealthy.

If the preferred course were to spout shit about Catholic schools, one would focus on the decades-long, systematic, selfish, criminal facilitation and concealment of sexual abuse of children. But that wasn't the point. Taking public money to prop up an unsustainable, undersized school at the expense of public education (or a tiny municipality, at the cost of a successful region) was the point.

James said...

Infiny, I know you have a major burr up your ass about religion in general and Catholicism specifically, so when it comes to most of your comments on the subject, I don't say anything. Frankly, the church deserves everything its gets for their actions regarding pedophile clergy. However, I do at this time have to point out a few errors in your summation:

1. Priests are not involved in the day to day running of any Catholic School. Schools are run by principals, administrators, and teachers, mostly secular. The few nuns still teaching are near retirement. For any case of molestation in the Catholic schools for the past 30 years, I'm sure I can find 5 in the public ones (oh, if only those teachers were allowed to marry!).

2. Catholic schools teach science and only science in their science classes. The Catholic Church has no problem teaching evolution or Big Bang theory. The last time the church tried to reject science was with Galileo.

3. Teachers are not hired based on their religious fervor, nor are they required to be Catholic (though they do have to be some denomination of Christian, I'll grant you that).

4. Belief in miracles? Really? You're going after people for that? Miracles happen every day. Captn. Sully landing his plane in the Hudson, that was pretty miraculous. A newborn baby, THAT'S a miracle, and you're going to knock people for believing that improbable, extraordinary events might be influenced by a higher power? Come on.

All that said, I agree with the sentiment that public money should not be used to support private schools.

Anonymous said...

"The Diocese of Pittsburgh educates 25,000 students (i.e. 5/6th of the number educated by PPS) at very little cost to the taxpayers..."

Don't know about that...aren't we at the very least responsible for their transportation?