Monday, August 30, 2010

Governor Herbert v. Mayor Corroon -- Education

In the past few weeks the Governor has taken a few shots at his competition's ideas for Utah education

Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Peter Corroon announced that, if elected, he would like to see an increase in the credits required to graduate from Utah high schools. He cited states like Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico as examples of states that have higher graduation requirements and Utah's increasingly tech-savvy job market as reasons why the state of Utah needs to raise the board.

Governor has responded in a couple of pathetic ways. The first response, was an appeal to the religious centric Mormon majority of the state of Utah. The governor stated:
"I don't know that everybody in Utah is going to think that's a good idea to give up art and seminary release time to have this more rigorous curriculum,"
I understand that Herbert hasn't been in High School for more than a few decades, but it is gross political pandering to the major state religion to monger fear that a Catholic Mayor is trying to Seminary. I graduated just a little over a decade ago, and do you have any idea what my senior year of high school looked like? Electives, electives, and (you guessed it) more electives. Mayor Corroon is right to call the Governor out on his veiled religious swipes. Last year, a senior state legislator and many legislators considered eliminating the senior year of high school altogether. The Governor here is once again proving that he is spineless, idea-less, and a sheep, rather than a shepherd.

The second response was more direct and considered more (possibly) personal by some Corroon proponents:
(Herbert accused) his Democratic challenger, Peter Corroon, of borderline hypocrisy by claiming to champion public education while sending his own three children to a parochial school.

“How can someone who has never had firsthand experience with public education understand how it really works?” the governor asked.

This triggered condemnation from the leader of the Catholic school where Corroon's children are schooled. Madeleine Choir School's pastoral administrator, Gregory Glenn said the following:
"Catholic school parents and leaders resent this cheap shot from Gov. Herbert in support of his own political goals," "Shame on Gov. Herbert for maligning the contribution of Catholic schools in Utah for his own political ends."
Although it is obvious that the Catholic school was reaching in their accusations, the governor didn't miss the opportunity to use it against his opponent:

The governor's campaign spokesman said Monday that Glenn's statement "is a gross distortion," because Herbert never brought up Corroon's religion or made reference to Catholic schools.

"Gov. Herbert believes that the blatant political maneuvering of the Corroon campaign — and the potential community divisiveness that it may cause — is reprehensible and ought to be stopped immediately,"
Let's consider who is improperly using religion on this issue. Governor Herbert, who fully supported the voucher proposal, takes the colossal leap from a plan to make Utah students work harder for their diplomas to the end all of seminary release time when most Utah students and high school graduates will admit that at least one full year of high school is a waste -- the governor knows this assertion is a major stretch, but he is willing to make it because he believes it appeals to the persecution-complex infected majority of this state.

It is also laughable that the governor would piously call the Mayor out as a hypocrite on the issue of private schooling, when a few years ago he fully supported a plan that would have let any Utah parent use state funds to send their children to private schools. The governor is for private schooling on the taxpayers dime, but if someone makes the sacrifice to send their kids to private school on their own dime it is snobbish and it renders someone unable to lead the state's education system.

If the Governor was a leader rather than a politician, he would agree with Mayor Corroon's proposal for increasing Utah's graduation requirements. The state lags behind many of it's neighbors in this regard, and Utah should (per the prevailing religion's own dogma) lead the nation in the quality of our education. However, the governor is a mere politician, and as such good ideas that are not his are a threat and must be crushed by pandering to a far too often paranoid majority rather than embraced for the merit that the opposition's idea possesses.

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