Random Thoughts

Inner City Schools, Affirmative Action and a Child Left Behind

There is a serious problem of ineffective education in inner city schools due to fearful and unenthusiastic teachers, poorly motivated students lacking discipline, inflation of grades without adequate standards for promotion and graduation and admission based on factors other than merit. This leads to graduates without skills or knowledge and permanently inculcates mediocrity and nepotism as a basis for rewards.

It is perfectly understandable that undeserving candidates may be elected to high office due to slick marketing to an unintelligent, ignorant and emotionally manipulable electorate. That is the drawback of a democracy in its oath to equality even though it is mostly lip service and bombastic proclamation and promise without practice, like the vow of chastity of many a male Catholic cleric.

The unfortunate consequence of this unintended consequence is what I call the Roman Hruska syndrome. He was a mid-western senator who championed the appointment of a Supreme Court judge by touting his mediocrity of legal talent. His argument was that the majority of the populace is at best mediocre, so why shouldn't we pack the Supreme Court with someone sharing the talents, intellect and ability of the majority. Even Madison who loathed democracy and was mortally scared of the tyranny of the majority of the uncouth and unclean masses, made only a minimal concession to popular whim in the rapid turnover House of Representatives. He left the more important aspects of power in the longer tenure and experience of the Senators and the veto wielding pseudo-kingly position of the presidency, both thoroughly insulated from the changing gusts of popular madness. Only the state legislators and the electoral college chose the senators and president respectively.

Thus an undeserving candidate who gained admission to educational institutions on the basis of affirmative action of alumni preference and was railroaded through to be granted graduation by inflation of grades without proper merit or education by inner city schools located in New Haven and Boston, is unlikely to interested in public welfare and betterment and very likely to bypass merit and ability in his appointments to federal executive jobs or the Supreme Court. The FEMA disaster in New Orleans, the Miers candidacy for the Supreme Court and the debacle in Iraq stand out as glaring examples of the national disaster that can ensue when a single child is left behind. For the want of a horseshoe, a horse was lost. For the want of a horse, a rider was lost. For the want of a rider, the battle was lost and thus a nation was lost. A single child left behind can destroy a nation.

The other moral to be learnt is that a democracy allows incompetent idiots to be elected to supremely important positions and thus for purposes of checks and balances, it is imperative that unelected appointments be thoroughly vetted and conferred on the best, brightest and most able and not to the level of morons constituting the elected candidates who may be the alter egos of the electorate. This is what John Roberts proved in his hearings and cross examination by the Senate. 


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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