On Television: School Choice, NDUS Hypocrisy And Guns In Schools

Here’s the video from my weekly segment with Chris Berg on Valley News Live from last night. It’s split into two segments as Rep. Mark Dosch (R-Bismarck) was supposed to be on to discuss school choice in the first segment but due to technical difficulties didn’t make it until the second. So I ended up in the second and fourth segments.

That’s show biz! Both clips are embedded above as a playlist.

We had an interesting discussion as always.

We touched on the school choice issue, and I pointed out that this war over Common Core is such a distraction from the education reforms we really need. Some education leaders tout Common Core as policy which is going to serve our students better and improve academic outcomes. But really it’s just a shiny object. The latest in a long line of education policy fads (No Child Left Behind came before it) which continues the most fundamental misconceptions about our schools: That they’re factories which take in kids at one end and spit out good citizens at the other end.

Which is why everyone thinks education problems can be fixed if we just make some adjustments to the assembly line.

But schools shouldn’t be factories, and kids aren’t widgets. What we need is more flexibility in education policy. We need more local control. We need more choice for parents and students. Those who benefit from the public school monopoly hate this idea, but since we’ve given them generations to figure out how to improve our public school system and they’ve largely failed, maybe it’s time we stopped listening to them.

We also talked about my post from earlier this week about North Dakota University System officials being enormous hypocrites when it comes to due process rights. Put simply, they want their rights protected but they aren’t that interested in protecting the rights of students. One interesting point I made during the segment, which a lawmaker pointed out to me, is that currently a student facing some sort of a hearing in North Dakota’s K-12 schools would be allowed to bring in an attorney to advise and represent them during the proceedings. But students in the North Dakota University System are specifically denied that right.

How can that be defended? Ask the folks running the University System. And then consider how low their regard for students must be that they won’t afford them even basic due process rights.

We also discussed Rep. Dwight Kiefert’s guns in schools legislation. I honestly don’t understand why people are so worked up about a bill to give school districts this choice. Aren’t we all in favor of local control? And frankly, I think arming school administrators and teachers is a better solution than inviting police patrols into our schools where they can begin treating minor behavior and school policy infractions like crimes.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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