Saturday, November 19, 2011

Showing up on Monday and defending Newt Gingrich 

A strong defense of Newt Gingrich, who sparked a pseudo-controversy by proposing that schools "fire the janitors" and get the kids to clean up.

Politico offers a headline calculated and designed to make you hate Newt Gingrich more than you already do: Newt: Fire the janitors, hire kids to clean schools. And when you click it open and actually read it from top to bottom, you find the former House Speaker is making all kinds of sense, no wonder they want him gone. Hey Politico! Yeah, there is someone I trust a little tiny bit less than I did three minutes ago, but it ain’t Newt Gingrich.

It is a good idea, actually, within limits. If the rising generation is missing anything, it is a basic understanding that successful human existence requires a lot of work (and, no, 37.5 hours a week is not a "lot of work") under even the best of circumstances. And, in any case, many private schools hold the students accountable for some measure of, well, custodial work. Both my children learned a lot and were none the worse for wear for having to clean their schools. I have long wondered why we should not expect the same of public school students.


By Anonymous tyree, at Sat Nov 19, 11:35:00 AM:

I read once what rank in the US Army you had to achieve before they had someone else empty your waste basket. I can't remember but it was high up the chain.

I am thinking that the current budget crisis is ever to be solved we are going to have to find out how much government we need, as opposed to how much they say we must pay for.  

By Anonymous Tom, at Sat Nov 19, 01:40:00 PM:

This is standard operating procedure in Japanese schools. There is a cleaning period every day, and each class is assigned one area of the school to clean during that period. It works quite well for keeping the schools clean, and I suspect it gives the students a good reason not to do things like graffiti up the walls or throw trash on the floor.  

By Anonymous Tom, at Sat Nov 19, 01:42:00 PM:

Oh, except the kids don't get paid to clean. It's just part of your life as a student.

I think that's better than hiring the kids.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sat Nov 19, 04:19:00 PM:

The headline. Always, always, when the headline writer clearly wants you to see an issue or candidate a certain way, resist. Just on general principle.

It's good, in fact, to do this with sources you usually agree with, just for practice. I think I agree. But has he actually made a good case for his point, or is he relying mostly on my prior sympathies?  

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