Important headlines for June 11th – The grading system that fails our schools and society
Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them...
Excerpt: As the midterm elections near, the students have been spending days reviewing each politician’s statements, donations and voting records before giving them a grade. “Our parents are helping and supporting us, but Zach and I are doing the major work,” Buchwald said, adding that a few of his fellow students also are a part of the effort.
Parents Promise to Kids’ grading criteria is based in part on:
— Whether politicians accept donations from the NRA.
— Whether politicians vote favorably on safety-oriented measures. For example, those against bump stocks could see their grade go up. If they support gun-show purchases without background checks, it lowers their grade.
— Whether politicians’ views on gun control evolve over time, and if they commit to change. “We’re watching the news and how they react to school shootings and other gun-related events,” Buchwald said.
Florida’s U.S. House of Representatives’ 27 Florida members typically fall this way: No Democrats score lower than a C. Most of the Republicans get a D or an F.
There are two exceptions:
— U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, got a C from the Parkland students. Her grade was better than other Republicans’ because she voted to prohibit suing gunmakers and sellers when a gun is used in a crime, but also have mandatory background checks at gun shows before the purchase of a gun.
— Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, had initially gotten a failing grade. But it shot up to a B because he endorsed a range of gun-control measures
Hot Take: Today I have a two-part story on school spending per student and part one on a series on suicide that I'll continue tomorrow. There's a pretty telling tie-in between the advent of the Department of Education in 1980, the decline in education outcomes in the US, the removal of God, prayer and related morality in our school and the escalation suicides and violence in our schools. It's undeniable in the research. The Parents Promise to Kids organization appears to not only mean well but they are actually pragmatic in the way they're evaluating politicians. However, the premise itself continues to be about as misguided as possible. Once again, the guns aren't new, teenage angst isn't new, mental health issues aren't new and the NRA still hasn't killed anyone in a school.
Though I've been supportive of gun control measures, like what's passed in Florida, I've also been citing with regularity the need to get real about what's really wrong in our society. If guns didn't even exist attackers like Cruz bent on evil would still be the same threat to our schools and society. And out of every school shooting this year his guns were the only ones legally purchased by the attacker in the first place. Attempting to "control evil" is a fool's errand at best. Again – it's beyond dispute that the average lawful gun owner is at least 50% less likely to commit any type of crime and during a ten-year time in which Florida's concealed carry permits increased by 256% to lead the nation – Florida's crime rate declined every year hitting a 47 year low most recently. It's not guns. It's people. I'll say again. Who's interested in politics more than people and who wants an actual solution?