Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Vouchers - the REAL agenda

UPDATE: I've added a link to the source of each quote. The names and quotes are present on these sites as of March 23, 2007, verified at 2:35pm. In case the pages are changed after the posting of this message, I've saved copies.

The Goal:

"I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education."

Paul Mero
President, Sutherland Institute

The Method:

"We see vouchers as a major step toward the complete privatization of schooling. In fact, after careful study, we have come to the conclusion that they are the only way to dismantle the current socialist regime."

Joseph Bast
President, Heartland Institute
(From an essay published by the Cato Institute)

"Incrementalism is a different strategy. It consists of seeking passage of very limited or modest voucher plans with no provisions for later expansion. Supporters of an incrementalist strategy plan to introduce at a future date new legislation that would expand the program."

Design Guidelines for School Vouchers
The Heartland Institute

"Early voucher bills may move us only slowly toward separation. They may include provisions that temporarily prolong the power of unions, school boards, and other remnants of the socialist regime; limit the number of students who can participate; set voucher amounts too low; and place restrictions on qualifying schools. But once established, those programs will be broadened.

Vouchers offer a halfway house to wean the public from their addiction to government provision of education. By removing institutional barriers to privatization and setting in motion a dynamic that ensures further movement toward competition and choice, vouchers are a necessary step toward complete separation."

Joseph Bast

The Intimidation:

“Republicans must not sign these petitions!”

Doug Holmes
President, Parents for Choice

They’ve already spent millions in their crusade to crush public schools and destroy one of our nation’s greatest promises: universal access to a free public education!

They think we’re too gullible to discover their true intentions.

They think that by belittling those who defend our capable and moral public education system and the wonderful people who sacrifice so much to teach our children that we will all cower in silence.

They think they can bully Utah voters with their money and threats. After all, if it worked with our legislature, the rest of us should just fall like dominoes.

But there’s something they didn’t count on – the courage of Utahns to stand up and fight!

Let your voice be heard – SUPPORT THE REFERENDUM!


Paul Mero said...

What is the source of the comment you attribute to me?

Anonymous said...

How do we know you are the "REAL" Paul Mero?

Give me your SS# please.

Paul Mero said...

How do I know you are the real Anonymous?

Rob said...

Well, I'm the "REAL" Rob.

Did you sign a proclamation from Alliance for the Separation of School and State (http://www.schoolandstate.org/home.htm) that states ""I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education."

I looks like you did.

Thanks for visiting The Utah Amicus.

Paul Mero said...

Thanks Rob. Here is what I just sent to my friend Marshall Fritz, head of that organization:

Hey Marshall,

Hope you are well. I need to request that you pull my name off of the website as a signer of your Proclamation. I had a courageous internet citizen named “Anonymous” ding me on the one sentence quote…I asked them to show me when or where I said that…and they linked me to your site.

I remember signing on to a more elaborate statement some years ago (perhaps I am remembering incorrectly). Anyway, my position on education is well-established and well-known and my sentiments haven’t changed over the years: parents need to assume control of their child’s education.

What has changed is that the one sentence Proclamation does not accurately describe my sentiments…and never has, which leads me to believe my memory is correct about a prior version of the statement. I don’t believe in getting rid of government involvement in education any more than I believe in getting rid of government involvement in welfare…I just think it should be very limited involvement and that public policy should encourage self-reliance in education (just we do in welfare policy).

So, if I am being associated with a narrow, one sentence statement, then I need you to remove my name form the list. It’s too bad the courageous “Anonymous” had to point this out to me.

This is no judgment from me about the value of your good work. This is singly and solely about my identification with the exact language of your Proclamation.

Best always, PTM

So, thanks again, Rob. Sorry for describing you degrogatorily as the courageous Anonymous.

BTW, my SS# is 288-34-...ahhh, you almost got me!

Paul Mero said...

Another BTW...I see that your colleague, Craig Axford, toys with the credibility of Sutherland's Utah Schools web site (www.utahschools.org). Not to be overly sarcastic (although I get the sense that these blogs are intended to be somewhat so),but should I be surpirsed that the Utah Democratic Party blog is a "non-responsive" site...meaning I can't leave a comment for Craig? Admittedly, I am not too hip to blogging so maybe I missed something.

Anyway, would you pass this along to Craig in response to his blog today? The schools site is as accurate as the State Office of Education's information. It's not that Sutherland doesn't know anything about your daughter's school, it's the State Office that doesn't know anything about your daughter's school. Lastly, I would be happy to come to one of your daughter's school plays, if only I had received an invitation! It would be bad form, and rather creepy, if I just showed up uninvited.

Craig said...

So we've gone from "ending government involvement" to "very limited involvement."

What's next?

Craig Johnson.

Paul Mero said...

I thought my note was clear...I never was at the posiiton of ending government involvement. It's kind of hard to "go from" when you haven't even been.

Craig said...

You're asking me to believe that Marshall Fritz CHANGED the proclamation without notifying the folks who signed it.

Sure thing, Paul.


Paul Mero said...

We'll see. I am sure Marshall will reply and correct my memory if I am mistaken.

If, indeed, I am mistaken then you may shout from the house top that I am a duplicitous conniver, point a finger, do whatever it is that you guys do that makes you feel better...when someone moves in your political direction. I certainly won't expect a "nice job" from you.

Nevertheless, I will let you know what Marshall says, if anything.

Best, PTM

Rob said...


I want to thank you for your explaination. I also want to thank you for stopping by.

The Utah Democratic blog now excepts comments, and Craig has left some suggestions for your "tool".

One thing about pointing fingers is there are usually three pointing right back at us, I do always try to remeber this reality.

Although we may disagree on many issues (and we do), I want you to know that I was with Todd Taylor and Craig Axford when we read your comments, and very much enjoyed your wit.

I hope you will continue to stop by, and if you ever feel we are shouting from our roof tops too loudly then please feel free to express that opinion.

I actually met you once. Bill Evans introduced us.

By the way, your social security number actually starts with a 529.

With every best wish,

Paul Mero said...

For what it is worth, this is the very first blog I have responded to (to the best of my memory...don't hold me to it!) Very fun technology. Thanks for being a good sport.

Best, PTM

Paul Mero said...

Dear Rob and Craig,

I thought I would update you as promised. As it happened, I ran into Marshall Fritz in Warsaw, Poland this past week (he actually sought me out at the conference we were attending) and he asked for an expalnation as to why I wanted my name removed from the "pledge."

I also should note that he did not receive my email (as copied on your blog)and only knew of my request because I emailed a colleague of his with the same request.

Anyway, Marshall confirmed to me what I thought had happened...and what Craig was suspect of...he has had several iterations of his "pledge" beginning with some rather lengthy ones with more nuanced and elaborate construction.

So, there you go. What you say I believe, or signed on to, I did not. Politics as it is, I will leave it up to you guys whether or not to leave the attributed comment on your blog site.

If you need it, and I hope my word is good enough, I could have Marshall email you or send you a (certified?) letter testifying to what I have just shared.

Then again, perhaps I have simply "cahooted" with Marshall to trick you guys??? (Sorry for the sarcastic fun.)

Best, PTM