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The Illinois Race for Governor: Answering Critics and Rauner on Education

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The response to these articles has been what I was expecting.

We can’t survive four more years of Pat Quinn. Yes, we can. What we can’t survive is an Illinois Republican Party that refuses to clean house or build a winning coalition that can pick up General Assembly seats.

You want ideological purity and the perfect candidate. No, I don’t. For crying out loud I supported Jim Oberweis for governor in 2006, Bill Brady in the general election in 2010, and Kirk Dillard back in the March primary.

What about Reagan’s 11th commandment or the “80 percent” rule? I’ve addressed both often, for example here, where I proposed a thinking person’s 11th commandment and 80 percent rule. Here’s just an excerpt:

Just the application of a little thought actually goes a long way. For example, I know of political players who I agree with on more that 80% of the issues — but I wouldn’t support them for any office at any time. There are similarly a lot of politicos I agree with on less than 80% but I do support them.

Why? The difference is the quality of the things agreed — and disagreed — upon. A lot of important things can be found in that 20%. Likewise, and lot of relatively unimportant things can be found in that 80%.

Last time I said I’d touch on Rauner’s plans for education in this post, so here goes. Rauner says he’s “worked on improving education in Illinois” for 20 years, and I’m sure some kids have been helped by the support Rauner has given. Some kids. Some.

Decades pass and billions are spent and the vast majority of children never experience the promised improvement. Test results show it, and man on the street interviews are as frightening as ever. Have you seen the polling data regarding what business owners say about the education level of the American workforce they need to draw employees from?

The fact is, little to no progress is made because guys like Rauner continue to fall for the gimmicks and are fooled into funding some of the most atrocious lefty “education reform” groups.

We’ve wasted so many years debating things like teacher certification, class size, school size, and charter schools — and ignored almost completely the most basic first question of whether warehousing children in a Lord of the Flies type environment is the best place for them to learn.

Do you know what Common Core is? It’s just the latest way for the education blob to kick up dust and start a debate that will buy them some time so another batch can saunter off into their cushy taxpayer-funded retirements.

It’s time to focus entirely on educational liberty, plain and simple. Parents should control the dollars and decide where and how their kids learn, period. This is not negotiable. Right now school districts own the children that live within its borders — don’t bother telling me that slavery has been abolished in America.

Why isn’t Rauner using his campaign to actually talk about liberating the kids from a broken system rather than hearing him fall for the tripe that the schools in their present form can be fixed? They can’t be fixed, as I said exactly ten years ago this week.

Rauner should’ve learned all of this by now but he instead spends time pandering to teachers: “Teaching is a noble profession,” he says. Oh, please. If we have to continually buck up the self-esteem of teachers than I think maybe too many of the wrong people are in that profession.

The feel-goodism engaged in by wealthy donors of “school reform” groups disgusts me. Especially when I think about the fact that every high school graduating class represents another group of American public school students who have been ill-served during the previous twelve years.

One last thing about Rauner and the public schools. Any candidate that talks about spending more money on the most inefficient, corruption and theft-ridden governmental operation in the state not only proves he’s clueless about the reality of the tens of billions of dollars already being spent annually, it proves he’s no fiscal conservative.

Next time let’s look at what the Illinois Republican Party can learn from Chrysler Motors.

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