Bingo for Neil Steinberg today:
When the Rev. James Meeks tries to score political points by pinning the problems of the Chicago Public Schools on Mayor Daley, when he says, "These kids who started in kindergarten, they wasn't messed up when they started in kindergarten. ..," he is not only plain wrong, but devious and damaging.
He cites these debilities with which kids come to school already “messed up”:
Half arrive at their first day of school unable to identify the colors red, blue and yellow. Half are unable to speak in complete sentences.
Half do not know how to hold a pencil or a crayon, never mind write with one. Half can't tell you their last names -- heck, some kids show up for school and don't even know their first names, only a street tag -- "They call me 'Lil Man.' " It takes a special parent to send their child to school without knowing his name -- actually, not so special, which is heartbreaking.
This from admittedly 12–year-old surveys,
but the situation hasn't changed. Students are "messed up" at the start -- angry, unaccustomed to learning, unaccustomed to discipline, and ready to fail.
But not bingo! for the screaming headline story, “College Aid Falls Far Short of Need,” which breathlessly announces that some can’t afford the college of their choice even when qualified:
[S]ome students [have had] to take out more loans or work longer hours to pay for school -- on top of loans and work study they already shouldered under federal financial aid formulas. Others have dropped courses or live at home to save money. Still others switch to more affordable two-year community colleges.
And in true daily newspaper sobbing fashion, this change is given flesh and blood by focus on one presumably deserving student, famous for a day, because she can’t go downstate to school. No context is given, just emphasis on deprivation. It’s the sort of story that makes liars out of newspapers. They have to hype it up to sell. Buyers beware.
Finally, truth be told, Chi Trib has its Monday sampling of the Best of Wash Post with Charles Krauthammer levelling with us about Israel in “Passing judgment on Israel-Hezbollah When wantonly attacked, one must disarm aggressor”:
What other country, when attacked in an unprovoked aggression across a recognized international frontier, is then put on a countdown clock by the world, given a limited time window in which to fight back, regardless of whether it has restored its own security? What other country sustains indiscriminate rocket attacks into its cities--every one designed to kill, maim and terrorize civilians--and is then vilified by the world when it tries to destroy the enemy's infrastructure and strongholds with precision-guided munitions that sometimes have the unintended but unavoidable consequence of collateral civilian death and suffering?
And he further dismantles the proportionate-response argument vs. Israel, citing U.S. and U.K. performances which earned no such widespread criticism and/or condemnation. No other country gets this treatment, just Israel, who is supposed to hunker down and head for the shelters, while madmen work for its destruction.