Reforming Delivery
The One-Stop-Shop School
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  • qet

    There is already a model for this. It’s called a barracks. I don’t think progress should be conceived as “streamlining delivery of social services.” I would really really really be interested to know how Via Meadia conceives “quality of life” that it can pronounce with certainty that reducing children to administrative objects is an ethical good. I also want to note for the non-parents who staff Via Meadia that parenting is supposed to be hard work. It seems like many of you may not be cut out for it, so perhaps you should spare the rest of us the burden of having to deliver social services to your future children.

  • El Gringo

    Why don’t we just take the next logical step and keep the children at the school? Parents can come visit on Sunday yet be safe in the knowledge that the government is rearing their children in the best possible manner. Parents will be free to pursue their own interests and breed more children free from the irritating responsibility of actually having to care for them. Meanwhile, Society will be happy to know that future generations are being taught in a sufficiently patriotic and politically correct manner.

    • Thirdsyphon

      This idea isn’t as bad (or as fantastical) as you seem to think it is. Half my friends grew up in boarding schools, and they seem to have turned out pretty well.

      A lot of academically brilliant but economically disadvantaged students seem to have their early promise snuffed out by a dense web of social, financial, and even safety challenges that their teachers, when interviewed, say were so interwoven and intractable that there was almost nothing that they could do about it.

      As of now, almost the only way for poor and middle class children to get into boarding school (unless they’re one of the lucky -and well informed- handful who score a scholarship) is to commit a crime and get sent to a “juvenile hall” as a form of punishment.

      Maybe it’s time to think of offering voluntary boarding schools as a reward for academic excellence.

    • rheddles

      One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest for children.

  • Andrew Allison

    I fear that the comments thus far overlooked the opening: “Imagine you’re a single mother with two kids. You work two jobs, so you have trouble closely watching your children. Even harder is shepherding them around to all the various places they need to go, from doctors appointments (if you can get one) to extra tutoring to soccer practices.” I don’t see anything suggesting that making use of these services should be compulsory; parents who are able to operate a child taxi service and pay for the services of their choice are free to do so. The parents of children in schools where 90-plus percent qualify for free- or reduced-cost lunches can’t, and the children pay the price.

    • qet

      The kids who qualify for free lunches aren’t the ones who need to be driven to the orthodontist at 3, to the tutor at 4, to soccer practice at 5. Social institutions should not be built/transformed on the basis of the needs or convenience of single mothers with two kids who need to get them to soccer practice. I know this is blasphemy, heresy, heterodoxy, all of the above. But this policy provision has little to do with benefits and everything to do with encouraging a benefits culture. The schools–which are coercive institutions, remember; attendance is compulsory–are already fast becoming one-stop shops for every “progressive idea” that someone can dream up; their socialization function has long since eclipsed their educational function. We should not be furthering this transformation.

      • Andrew Allison

        Sorry, but I must disagree. We’re not talking about Soccer Moms here, but about people hanging on by their fingernails: “On a recent afternoon, 43-year-old Maria Gonzalez watched as a dental professional examined her 12-year-old son’s teeth at a clinic in a Grand Rapids elementary and middle school. “This is a relief,” she said. “It’s safer and more secure this way.” You appear to think that the disadvantaged should be denied opportunities readily available to the rest of us. Furthermore, as I wrote, there’s nothing ” suggesting that making use of these services should be compulsory; parents who are able to operate a child taxi service and pay for the services of their choice are free to do so. “

        • qet

          Well then there’s a disconnect somewhere. The Via Meadia post opens with the soccer mom’s headaches. The quoted article speaks of the inner-city poor. OK, but in that case there is nothing new or innovative about this policy, as people have been proposing schools as catch-all solutions for inner city problems for a long time now. And your statement about the “disadvantaged being denied opportunities readily available to the rest of us” is really out of place here. This discussion isn’t about the fact of the government benefits so much as it is the locus and the manner of administering them.

          And don’t fool yourself about the creep of the compulsory. Take school lunches. In addition to the federal dietary mandates, there are routinely proposals to ban allowing kids to bring lunch from home. It won’t be long until one of those attempts succeeds and then that regime will entrench itself quickly throughout the public school system. So schools go from merely providing meals to a compulsory dietary regime. Many people think that’s just great. I am not one of them. And there is no reason to believe that this kind of effort will stop at meals.

          • Andrew Allison

            Wrong. The post opens with, “Imagine you’re a single mother with two kids. You work two jobs, so you have trouble closely watching your children. Even harder is shepherding them around to all the various places they need to go, from doctors appointments (if you can get one) to extra tutoring to soccer practices.” Are doctor and dentist appointments, and soccer practice, reserved for the relatively wealthy on your planet?

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