Friday, April 27, 2007

Where to tap the money to make kids safe 

Reading Peggy Noonan this AM:

We are frightening our children to death, and I'll tell you what makes me angriest. I am not sure the makers of our culture fully notice what they are doing, what impact their work is having, because the makers of our culture are affluent. Affluence buys protection. You can afford to make your children safe. You can afford the constant vigilance needed to protect your children from the culture you produce, from the magazine and the TV and the CD and the radio. You can afford the doctors and tutors and nannies and mannies and therapists, the people who put off the TV and the Internet and offer conversation.

If you have money in America, you can hire people who compose the human chrysalis that protect the butterflies of the upper classes as they grow. The lacking, the poor, the working and middle class--they have no protection. Their kids are on their own. And they're scared.

And they're in public schools. If you wanted to keep them safe and you had a school voucher, would you keep them there? Public schools have to accept all students, government education supporters would say, so it's not fair to make that comparison. But would it stay that way? If you could opt your kids out of that school thanks to vouchers, do we really believe the public schools would not do more to identify and isolate dangers in their schoolhouses?