April 20, 2010

A children's paradox

Image by William Blake.

I attended an event yesterday at which Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children's Zone spoke, along with WV Senator Jay Rockefeller and WV First Lady Gayle Manchin. Canada is a dynamic and entertaining speaker and he said something I wish I'd have written down exactly. Since I misplaced my pen, a not altogether infrequent event, I'll have to paraphrase.

The topic of the gathering was investing in children and it was noted that rhetoric about children (most speakers seem to be in favor of them) seldom matches action. He noted that when advocating that resources be put into early childhood education and development, people are often told that while this or that measure may be a good idea, there isn't any money available to do it.

He said, much better than I'm about to, that while we're often not willing to put more resources into quality education for children, as a society we seem to be more than willing to pay any price to cover the cost of not educating them. He noted that one seldom hears of a judge saying to a young person in trouble that while he'd like to lock him up for a really long time, there are no resources to do it.

More Okinawa pictures to come tomorrow.

THE POLITICS OF EDUCATION are starting to get interesting in El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia.

YOU MUST SEE this New Yorker cartoon.

IS MARRIAGE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH? The conventional wisdom is yes, but it kind of looks like the quality of the marriage is the main thing. In the interests of marital harmony, I will forgo the opportunity to make a snide remark.

MINER'S MEMORIAL. WV Governor Joe Manchin announced a memorial service for the 29 miners killed in the Massey disaster to be held in Beckley this Sunday. At last word, President Obama and Vice President Biden plan to attend.

NOT EXACTLY NEWSWORTHY. Rush Limbaugh tried to blame Massey's Upper Big Branch mine disaster on the United Mine Workers union. The fact that it was a non-union mine may limit the utility of this assertion, although true believers will no doubt keep the faith.



hollowdweller said...

I have heard several people online go ballistic because the gov't wanted to test their children and then offer them extra services.

They cast this as the gov't intruding on what the parents rights are.

But what they were objecting to was identifying kids with special needs and providing early intervention to help them overcome their problems.

The sad part was I'm old enough to remember grown men who talked baby talk and guys around my hometown that fixed bikes for a few bucks because they didn't have access to speech therapy or some simple extra help to overcome their learning disabilities that they had.

It really made me sad that these people somehow made something like that out to be some nefarious gov't plot rather than a way to help a person become a happy healthy productive adult

Really distressing that we almost seem to be regressing into the fear of the unknown and superstition of an earlier age.

El Cabrero said...

Roger that. We seem to be heading for an age of paranoia (as if the last few years weren't enough).

hollowdweller said...

Amen Brother!