Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A remedial post . . .

Spot gave Katie a once-over lightly yesterday for her column in praise of Ascension Catholic School in Minneapolis. There have been a couple of good comments to that post, and Spot commends them to you, boys and girls.

Spotty was a little crowded for time yesterday, and there are some observations he would like to have made in the original post. That’s the great thing about publishing a blog; there are an infinite number of second chances.

One of Spot’s readers called to his attention a little information about the Core Knowledge curriculum that Katie touts as a source of success at Ascension. It turns out that the eponymous Core Knowledge curriculum is the child of the Core Knowledge Foundation. The always useful Media Transparency site tells us that the Core Knowledge Foundation is located in Charlottesville, Virginia and that it has apparently only two benefactors: the Walton Family Foundation, and the John M. Olin Foundation, Inc. To the tune of $4.2 million dollars through 2003. Spot invites you, gentle readers, to Google these foundations.

What do you suppose is in the Core Knowledge curriculum? Katie tells us that Homer and memorization of the preamble to the Constitution are included, as are ancient Egypt (apparently a crowd pleaser) and knowing all the presidents in order. No mention of Ellison’s Invisible Man or Hanberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Spot has a box of kibble that says they’re not in there!

Mention should also be made of the fact that Ascension is effectively owned and run by Bill Cooper. Cooper of course is the biggest sugar daddy of the Center of the American Experiment. The CAE took Katie off the street and gave her a job for several years before she got the Strib gig. Cooper is the owner of several parochial and charter schools, including the high school where Katie's son graduated last spring. Connect the spots.

The other thing Spot wants to mention is that Katie’s asceticism makes her fawn over the fact that Ascension teachers make 80% of what Minneapolis public school teachers make. But they’re on a mission! Great.

Katie is on a mission, too. Does that mean she accepts only 80% of what everyone else in the newsroom makes? And that she will refuse guild legal representation when she finally gets into trouble for her manifest conflicts of interest and her doctrinaire incompetence?


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