Originally published inThe Education Liberator, Vol. 1, No. 4, December 1995/January 1996
Next stop, the Gulag?
An effort to get parents involved in their child's school activities by arresting them and hauling them into court in handcuffs has been an overwhelming success, school and county probation officers say. In fact, the program worked so well, it is being expanded into school districts throughout Tulare County.
The sweep in Visalia was designed to be embarrassing. Officers served warrants at parents' workplaces and led them out in handcuffs in front of co-workers. In court, the handcuffed parents had to tell their story to the judge while television cameras focused in on them and the flash from news photographers' cameras went off in their face.
According to attendance specialist Debbie Terry: "It's been very positive for us. At the end of the year, if we have parents who won't cooperate, we'll do it again. It definitely works."
(Excerpted from Fresno Bee, 11/6/95)
What? No guard towers?
The sprawling new brick building next to the Dallas County Probation Department has 37 surveillance cameras, six metal detectors, five full-time police officers and a security-conscious configuration based on the principles of crime prevention through environmental design.
It is not the Big House. It is a schoolhouse: Dallas's $41 million state-of-the-art Townview Magnet Center, which has been touted as a model for high-tech school security since it opened for the new school year.
(Excerpted from New York Times, 9/22/95)
Collapse of Government Schools Closer Than You Think
Almost 60% of parents would choose private (independent) schools if they could afford them. This was just one of the startling revelations from a recent poll by Public Agenda that concluded that support for government schools among the public is shallow.
The report did not indicate how many parents would be able to afford independent schools if the $316 billion spent yearly on K-12 education was returned to taxpayers. However, release of the report generated many encouraging headlines:
"Support for public schools in jeopardy, researchers say" (Washington Times, 10/11/95)
"Down the tubes?" (Albert Shanker, New York Times, 10/15/95)
"Public education: The beginning of the end" (Daily Report Card, 10/16/95)
"Public backing for schools is called tenuous" (Education Week, 10/18/95)
"Public education: Collapsing?" (Daily Report Card, 11/13/95)
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