Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

27 July 2009

The Children's Scholarship Fund Baltimore

This post follows up on my comments on a commentary by Marta Mossburg on 25 July 2009 about improvements underway in the Baltimore City public school system. She told the story of how the CEO of Baltimore City Schools, Andres Alonso, has battled the teachers union to make improvements, which have now started to yield student test score improvements. Marta was kind enough to respond to my comments on her commentary with an e-mail note. She told me that she does not think Baltimore City students should have to wait for a quality education some time in the future, so she has joined the board of The Children's Scholarship Fund Baltimore.

I checked out their website and concluded that this is a very worthy cause and made a contribution. What do they do?
  • They provided scholarships to over 500 Baltimore City students in the spring of 2009 to attend a private or parochial school of their parent's choice.
  • The average scholarship is $1,798.
  • The average tuition is $5,839/year with the parents paying the difference between the scholarship amount and the school tuition.
  • Recipient families are selected at random from a waiting list.
  • Children start in the program in grades K-3 and then continue on. Their younger siblings are eligible for the program when they start kindergarten.
  • Donations are matched dollar for dollar by the Children's Scholarship Fund and the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation.
I have often commented on the poor quality of public school education, especially in major cities. I have also frequently pointed out that public schools have a major conflict-of-interest problem. One of the principal reasons a free people need an education is to provide them with the mental tools they need to remain a free people. Government-run schools always have reasons to plant the propaganda among their students that government powers must be great to protect the people from various evils. They are inventive in manufacturing these evils and they distort the history they teach to support that propaganda. They push students into identity groups and then tell many of them that they are victims and others that they are oppressors. The victim groups become obsessed with the helplessness of forever being a victim to apparently very powerful victimizing forces, while the oppressor groups come to be overcome with guilt and are taught that anything in their interest, even as individuals, is somehow evil.

Meanwhile, the government will take charge of the social justice problem between the oppressors and the victims. To do so, the federal government must ignore the restrictions the Constitution puts on its powers and claim it is empowered to do anything in the interest of the General Welfare.

Government schools are also crippled in the critical area of teaching morals. Due to religious freedom and due to political pressures from various blocks of voters, they simply cannot discuss many moral issues and many historical issues also.

Some of my readers, like me, are not believers in gods or a god. Many of the children receiving scholarships are using them to attend parochial schools. Because the public school system has largely destroyed private education in America, these are about the only schools available in many big cities that will at least teach children reading and writing, math, science, history, and literature. Might the students be taught some religious ideas also that I might not agree with? Yes, I am sure they will. But, if they have some mental thinking skills as a result of going to a parochial school, then at least they can use those skills to examine the religious ideas they were taught for validity as they grow up and become accustomed to be able to manage their own lives. The dangerous people are those who feel incompetent to live their own lives or those who will not do so because they feel guilty for something their ancestors did or that the ancestors of others of their broad identity group may have done.

An average parochial school does a much better job of preparing a child for life than does the average inner city public school. It may not be the ideal education, but it is an education and that sure beats the alternatives available to most rather poor city families.


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for your kind comment. It will be a delight for me to know that you are reading my writings. I understand that many do not agree with me on many things, but I always try to present reasoned arguments for my beliefs and to welcome counter-arguments. Please feel free to comment, whether to question my points, add to them, or to agree.

CSFBaltimore said...

Thanks so much for writing a post about our organization! We've just put up a new website so if you want to have a look around please do!