| Category: 2012
| Posted at: Tuesday, 8 November 2011
“Sadly,” the pundit said, this will “become the most famous [story] of this election cycle. . . To claim that a [story] depicting a pretty blonde woman [and] an African-American politician does not play on the fears of miscegenation on the part of some whites is to ignore history.”
Those were the words of E.J. Dionne, but they were not about Herman Cain. It was what he wrote about a 2006 RNC advertisement against Harold Ford, Jr. when he was running for U.S. Senate from Tennessee against Bob Corker. Being the naive Northern transplant to Tennessee, I was unaware that there was this taboo that the association of black men and blonde women was an automatic appeal to racism. Having been apprised of that by Mr. Dionne himself, I expect to read any day now his sceptical take on the events unfolding about the Cain campaign.
(BTW, don’t mistake this as an endorsement of any candidate. I still adhere to my rule of campaigns past that no normal person is overly interested in presidential campaigns before Christmas. . . I do, however, love pointing out hypocrisy, no matter the season.)
More than 30 parents pitched tents over the weekend at Fairview-Clifton German Language School on Clifton Avenue, more than a week ahead of the Nov. 16 application date. This is the earliest parents have ever started camping out for the so-called “magnet schools” – schools that are sought after for their specialty programs like foreign language or arts or teaching styles like Montessori. The number of campers had swelled to 48 by noon.
Among the campers is my brother, a public school teacher himself, who hopes to enroll his daughter in a highly sought after magnet school.
What an indictment of the Cincinnati Public School system. No matter what the product is, a queue 200 hours long is evidence of a serious mismatch between the demand for a desired service and the available supply. Were education operating in a more free market system, this mismatch would spur expansion of those charter and magnet programs as well as prompt new ones to begin to meet obviously unmet needs. Instead CPS is blind to the problem that has apparently been around for years. They focus only on the symptom of people camping out for days on end who “deny” to non-campers an enrollment opportunity, without ever considering that the root cause of the campouts is that the product they currently deliver has no value to a large segment of the market. That in itself is ample proof that a magnet or charter education, operating outside the CPS mainstream, is a much better product than whatever regular education Cincinnati Public Schools can deliver.
There is no greater evidence than this campout, that my brother and his wife are deserving of our best wishes in their quest to save my niece from CPS.