BIPPS Communications Director Jim Waters undertook the curious task of rationally comparing the relative amounts of faith required to believe in creationism versus believing in school reform in Kentucky. Waters writes,
You might be surprised to know it takes even more faith for a creationist like me to expect the current bureaucracy to reform Kentucky’s public-education system than to believe the earth, universe, humankind and all life forms happened by accident.
And it takes nearly as much faith to believe Kentucky’s schools will improve without giving parents power where it counts — the right to determine which school gets their children to educate and tax dollars to operate.
To Waters, creationism makes good sense.
Having a localized organizational system of school districts does not.
I wouldn't normally comment on someone's faith - but he brought it up.
I must confess, this position surprised me. I have always taken folks at their word when they described their own political inclinations. Foolishly naive, perhaps. But I had it "on good authority" that BIPPS was a "libertarian think tank." In Waters hands, BIPPS is cast as a faith-based neo-con political effort that would eliminate school distirct organization and move public money into private hands - all while promoting a religious agenda and removing control from local officials. I was immediately suspicious of Water's motives - but perhaps there is another explanation.
Waters finds it "outrageous" that local elected officials are being empowered by state law to decide if and where school attendance boundaries should be allowed to exist - in favor of his proposal that would impose a free-for-all on every local community in Kentucky.
"Parents may send their children to the public school of their choice."Forget school districts. Forget school board authority. Parents can just send their kids wherever they want.
This dangerous and highly inefficient proposal may sound good to the selfish, politically connected and well-heeled, but consider for a moment how that plan would utterly fail to work in real life.
Imagine a young couple selecting their new home right around the corner from the best school in their community. They have children who grow to school age only to be locked out of their neighborhood school because folks from the next county over have filled the school to capacity. I think I know how those parents would feel. Tough luck, Junior. Where should we move now? Such scenarios would happen repeatedly across the state.
One can only imagine the hostility school officials would face from angry displaced local taxpayers. But Waters seems not to care. They're merely "bureaucrats" after all. Maybe that's why BIPPS also likes the idea of guns on campus. Perhaps such disputes could be settled according to the code of the west.
But we should all appreciate Waters for clarifying where BIPPS stands on issues related to religion and public schools. For all of BIPPS's posturing as small-government libertarians, one may have drawn a wrong conclusion about the neo-con aspirations of the Bluegrass Institute if it weren't for Water's clarifications.
Thankfully Waters offered his readers an alternative way to think about his motives in the form of Hanlan’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”