Two Seemingly Unrelated Stories that Explain the DC School System (Guest Post)

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There was a brief dust up in the Conservasphere a few weeks ago when it was learned that a DC teacher gave his sixth grade class an assignment comparing George W. Bush to Hitler.

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson responded to the controversy late Wednesday on Twitter, saying no curriculum intended to make the comparison “in any way” and that the district and unidentified teacher are “deeply apologetic” about the matter. Henderson said the teacher has been ordered to apologize to the class.

As far as I can see the teacher was forced to apologize to the class with no further penalty that we know of. The school system would not release the teacher’s name to the public, a move I agree with. The teacher doesn’t deserve to have his private life stormed down upon the Blogospere and the Twitterverse. As one would imagine, there are calls to have the teacher fired over lack of judgment. Personally, I think that a better person to fire would be whatever administrator hired said teacher or renewed his contract.

Just a few days ago DC Council member Kenyan McDuffie weighed in on an important issue facing the DC school system. If you guessed that he addressed the Bush/Hitler teacher issue and the embarrassment it created for the DC school system you would be wrong. Instead, he introduced a bill to address the most pressing need facing the DC schools… forcing them to drop ‘Indians’ or ‘Warriors’ mascots.

Nearly a year after the D.C. Council called on the Washington Redskins to ditch its nickname and mascot, calling them “racist and derogatory,” a lawmaker is turning his attention to some lower-profile sports teams.

Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) introduced a measure Tuesday that would amend the District’s Human Rights Act to prohibit the use of any “race-based nickname, logo, mascot or team name” by educational institutions in the city. Schools could win an exemption if a federally registered Native American tribe grants its consent to the use of the name.

redskins mascot obama
Image appears via The People’s Cube

And this, in a nutshell is how the District spends more per pupil than any other state while 83 percent of its eighth graders are not proficient in reading and 81 percent are not proficient in math. Just like pretending that the Washington Redskins’ name and mascot is a pressing issue among American Indians, as opposed to something trivial like generational poverty it’s much easier to grab some cheap publicity and applause within elitist circles rather than put time and energy into improving a failing school system.

The next time someone tells you that simply increasing education spending is the answer it might be better to look at how schools’ resources are being allocated and what said schools’ priorities are.

Follow Brother Bob on Twitter @Brother_Bob

Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog

Blogging by the credo of "Making the world a more offensive place, one blog post at a time", Brother Bob started writing posts around the beginning of the Obama presidency over at Brother Bob's Blog. A born-again Existentialist and self-professed libertarian with conservative tendencies, he has ironically chosen to live in the Washington, DC area - deep behind enemy lines. He has always loved history, and spent eight years volunteering as a tour guide on weekends, giving over 200 tours to roughly 2,500 mostly foreign guests. His tours were highlighted by stories generally not found in the history books or most other tours, such as the importance of the Battle if Antietam, the origins or Arlington Cemetery, and dispelling the myths of FDR's New Deal. Although his favorite subject to blog about is Economics, as seen in his Economics for Politicians series, his posts try to address angles that other conservative writers and the mainstream media (naturally!) miss. "There's no point in putting up a post on a subject that someone smarter than me has already written". He believes in the "Happy Warrior" approach, and tries to inject humor in his posts, sometimes successfully. Two such examples are his posts comparing the modern left to the horrible Star Wars prequels, and analyzing the laments of a DC woman in search of a feminist boyfriend. Brother Bob lives with his very patient wife known as Sister Babe, and their fantastic son. Little Bob. Little Bob is also the reason that being a tour guide came to an end, as spending Saturdays raising a son takes priority over giving lectures to foreign visitors on the folly of Keynesian economics. BB is also grateful for the opportunity to take his place among the outstanding writers at Flopping Aces, appreciates every person who takes the time to read his posts, and especially those who join him in the conversation in the comments.

11 Responses to “Two Seemingly Unrelated Stories that Explain the DC School System (Guest Post)”

  1. 4


    Brother Bob. Are you personally considering changing careers and going to DC and helping those kids get a better education?
    Or is this something that you think others should do ?

  2. 5



    Or is this something that you think others should do ?

    If the folks who were being paid to educate these kids were actually doing it, rather than wasting their time on PC crap, we wouldn’t need to send others in.

  3. 6

    Brother Bob


    @Steve: I can’t speak for Flopping Aces but anyone who mentions one of my posts on their site gets a mention at the top of the post on my blog – BB

    @John: Easier said than done. Google the name “Michelle Rhee” if you want to understand the forces that are allied against the kids in the District.

  4. 7


    BTW, on the original question…. the answer is: We didn’t have to fail with a bomb under a conference table and then blow up most of Europe to get GWB to leave office when his term was over.

  5. 8


    Does anyone know how the D.C. school district functions? I tried to find a Board of Trustees, but didn’t find one.

    Do they have a board of generally elected members that makes the decisions for the district, or is it all left up to the Chancellor?

  6. 9

    Brother Bob


    @retire05: From my understanding the Chancellor is the highest official and is appointed by the mayor. This was why when a very pro-union mayor was elected Michelle Rhee was forced out. Reform and accountability is a threat to the status quo.

  7. 11


    I taught in DCPS for 11 years. Policy is set by the union. There is an elaborate bureaucracy which sucks up millions of dollars and teaches no one. To get certified I had to take college courses taught by the certifying officer. And so on. The curriculum is set by bribes paid to administrators.
    It is a hideous mess.

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