Jewish World Review Nov. 10, 2005/ 8 Mar-Cheshvan,
Hey, kid, need a ride to a protest rally?
World Can't Wait an anti-Bush, anti-war group, recently staged nationwide protests. The organization coordinated rallies in Chicago, Seattle, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Unified School District took things a step further. The district helpfully agreed to provide buses that's right, buses as well as "adult supervision" to the nearly 800 high school students who walked out of 10 high schools. District officials said they thought it best to provide adults and transportation, since, you know, the kids intended to go to the rally, anyway. "Our issue . . . was safety," said the district's chief operating officer, "and I think we fulfilled our mission, frankly."
Really? Forgive some of us for thinking that the district's mission was . . . education. And, given the less-than-superb academic performance of Los Angeles public school students, the educrats, one would have thought, would have frowned on allowing the kids to skip classes.
In the case of L.A. Unified School District third-graders, according to the 2005 standardized CAT/6 test, 76 percent scored below the national average in reading tests, as did 70 percent of seventh-graders. In math, 54 percent of third-graders tested below the national average, with 68 percent of seventh-graders also below the national norm. For language, 65 percent of third-graders scored below the national average, with 70 percent of seventh-graders failing to reach the national average.
One L.A. Unified teacher reportedly gave students class credit for attending the rally! Now, since the Los Angeles district seems so concerned about student safety, can we expect the district to ferry students to and from, say, a pro-Iraq war/pro-Bush rally? How about a no-new-taxes rally? Or an anti-Roe v. Wade rally?
Consider the L.A. Unified public school music teacher, who routinely calls Republicans "stupid." The school where he teaches, by the way, purports to follow a "code of conduct" that condemns discrimination based on race, sexual preference or religious beliefs. Yet the teacher, according to one of his students, constantly condemns Republicans as "crazy religious Christians." The music teacher excitedly told the class about a "song" someone e-mailed him. He decided to serenade his class by singing the ditty a cappella:
The Battle Hymn of the Republicans
Mine eyes have seen the bungling of that stumbling moron Bush;One student in the class, a self-described "conservative Christian Republican," almost bolted from the room. The student, however, feared the teacher's reputation for vindictiveness that could result in fewer assigned solos, or, even worse, not getting an invitation for the class's out-of-town concerts.
According to the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by a 10-to-1 ratio in the faculty of 150 departments at 32 elite colleges and universities. At 13 of the schools, they found only one Republican. And four of the schools showed no registered Republican in the departments examined.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush once marveled at how "any Republican" gets elected, given the anti-GOP bias in the media. And she admits she did not think her son would win: "I just thought, it's too difficult, and you're not gonna like this, but my gut feeling is that all the media is against George, Republicans, any Republican." Republicans fight not only media bias, but bias in academia.
In any case, the L.A. Unified School District showed great experience and agility in coordinating buses. The mayor of New Orleans is probably impressed. And, at least no college or university supplied a bus to the World Can't Wait rally. But don't give them any ideas.
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