District in a Poke

23 04 2017

Jefferson City

I heard the General Assembly was working on more banal tweaks to the Turner law, instead of what they really should be doing, repealing the Turner law.

The House passed a bunch of tweaks that would change the disaccreditation process to a per-school process instead of a per-district process.  Meaning that if a given school within a district loses its accreditation, its students would have to be transferred to accredited schools within the same district, and if those slots are full, or so many schools within a district lose their accreditation, then they can transfer to another district per the original provisions of the Turner law.

The Senate’s version of this legislative package is different, and if they pass different bills, then it will have to go to conference to iron out the differences, and then to second chamber votes.  There’s not even a month left in the session, so my bet is that no bill will make it to Greitens’s desk by May 19.

The problem with the House version is that I don’t see how the whole could be much different from the sum of its parts, and vice versa, in matters like these.  To put it another way, if some schools in a given district are bad and some are okay, then the okay schools will statistically cover for the bad ones in the district’s average, meaning the district wouldn’t lose its accreditation.  If a district does lose its accreditation, it has to mean that almost every if not every one of its schools are bad, and therefore, under the new system proposed in the House bill, almost all if not every one of the district’s individual schools would lose their creds, and then at that point, we’ll be back to square one, as they’ll have to transfer out of district.

Marching to the Beat of My Own Drummer

20 04 2017


A case that started in Columbia, Missouri is now an object of interest in the District of Columbia.

I march to the beat of my own drummer when it comes to the jurisprudence of non-establishment.  I don’t think a nativity scene in a court house constitutes the establishment of religion, while I think the fact that religious institutions can be (and usually are) 501(c) non-profits does constitute the establishment of religion.  Meaning if I was on SCOTUS, I’d rule “not unconstitutional” on the former but “unconstitutional” on the latter.  Just from that, you lawyers can probably easily make my razor on these matters:  Social and cultural entanglement is not establishment, while institutional and financial entanglement is establishment.  To put it another way, my establishment cause jurisprudence is such that it’s not a prohibition against religiosity in public society, but does ordain that as institutions, the state and religious institutions should have separate lanes.

Whence this case out of Columbia?

My hot inclination would have been to rule for DNR, just based off my personal jurisprudence.

However, after giving it some thought, I’d rule for Trinity.

It is no more an actual establishment of religion nor begging for undue state suasion over church affairs for DNR to give shredded old tires to Trinity to make its kiddie playground safer than it is for the Columbia Fire Department to respond there to put out a fire in one of its buildings.

Full disclosure:  Trinity Lutheran of Columbia is LCMS, and your blogmeister is LCMS.

The Missouri White Death

15 04 2017

Jefferson City

The national trend brought down to state level.

The lack of a statewide script monitoring system gets part of the blame.  Someone forgot to account for this trend in the 49 other states that do have statewide script monitoring systems.  Because, as we’ve been told over and over and over and over and over again for about three years, Missouri is the only state that lacks one.  Though it looks like this will be the legislative session where we’ll get one.

The straw that’s stirring this drink?  You should know by now.   It was in that book published 23 years ago.

While the Blogmeister Is Away, the Danforths Shall Play

11 04 2017

Your Blogmeister’s Hotel Room

In an unidentified major city west of the Mississippi River.

I don’t like these rumors that are making their way to my eyeballs.

John Danforth hearts Josh Hawley, and is thinking about wielding muscle to shove him up the chute to challenge Claire next year?

Remember, the only other corporeal individual I cast an affirmative vote for other than the OCGE last current year was Hawley, mainly because on the August ballot, his name wasn’t Kurt Schaefer, and on the November ballot, we needed someone in the state AG office to do the work that Kim Gardner won’t.  Plain words, I voted Hawley because I thought he was the polar opposite of the Danforths.

On top of that, Hawley just became AG, and really hasn’t made much of a mark yet.  If he winds up running, then he will in essence have to check out of the AG’s office by this fall.

Now It’s Getting Serious

6 04 2017


It was thought that the enrollment decline at Mizzou, whatever its cause, and that is subject to debate, was both temporary and could, in the eyes of the school, be papered over by paying Andy Blunt to bribe enough members of the General Assembly to tweak a few line items in the budget.

The bribing and the resulting tweaking mostly happened.

But the enrollment problem hasn’t gotten any “better.”  In fact, it’s getting “worse.”  So much so that Mizzou is going to shutter three more dorms next school year.

I don’t know how the admins are going to worm their way out of this one.  They can’t do what they did last year, because the state budget only has so much wiggle room.  Off top, they’ll probably recruit hot and heavy internationally for students whose parents can pay full freight.


5 04 2017

Jefferson City

I heard yesterday that the Senate is taking up the matter of letting DESE set up a handful of “adult high schools” through the state.  Since I don’t work directly in the swamp anymore, I’m not keeping up on the day-to-day minute-by-minute blow-by-blow fellatio-by-fellatio of the sausage-making process in that slaughterhouse.

So a quick utilization of Mr. Search Engine leads me to the JCNT from about a week ago, when the House passed the measure:

House passes adult high school bill

Adult Missourians without a high school diploma may have a new opportunity to earn one.

House Bill 680, a new piece of legislation sponsored by state Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, calls for the construction of four adult high schools around the state.

Fitzwater said the bill targets Missourians over age 21.

“Basically, what we have is 500,000 adults who do not have a high school diploma,” he said. “A GED just doesn’t cut it for employers. What we want to do is provide a high school diploma, which looks so much better on a resume.”

The reasons the “a GED just doesn’t cut it for employers” — For one, a very high percentage, even if not a majority, of GEDs, are earned in prison, meaning they’re earned by a captive audience abiding by a warden’s dictates and a group of people that have no control over their lives and have everything about their day-to-day existence laid out for them, so they’re not earned by free people who need self-discipline and time budgeting and prioritization skills, (and that’s on top of the matter that such individuals are convicted felons, which puts them out of bounds for many jobs), and for another, even if the GEDs are earned in the general society by free people, it still doesn’t speak well for them, and employers still turn a side eye to those kind of people. High school these days is so ridiculously easy that if you have a pulse and are breathing on your 18th birthday, and you show up more often than you don’t, you’re going to get a diploma. Adult non-incarcerated GED earners are basically communicating to the world that they were slackers and slackoffs and goof-offs during the time in their lives when the trajectory of their habits should have been going in the other way. Employer thinks: If he was such a lazy ass in high school, I don’t think he’s much better now.

Fitzwater said the bill is based on a similar Indiana program that already provides diplomas to thousands every year.

“These degrees also increase an individual’s earning potential,” he said.

And that’s all based on the simple correlation-causation-problematic statistic of the average lifetime earnings of all HS grads (including those who are also college grads) compared to those who did not graduate from HS.

After all, it’s not as if the job market is both red hot and lucrative for people who have a regular adolescent age-earned high school diploma alone.

Fitzwater said his bill requires the four adult high schools to partner with local businesses to offer skills certification training based on local demand.

They’ll be doing the vocational training that the regular high schools should be doing, and would be doing, if we didn’t insanely think that everyone deserves to go to college.

The awarded diploma be indistinguishable from a regular high school diploma. It will not feature differentiating marks, titles or other symbols.

I presume this is to pull one over on the employers. Of course, the employers will be able to subtract the applicant’s date of birth from the date that he earned this “diploma,” and if the answer is much higher than 18, then into File 13 with the job application.

Course work will be completed at the students’ pace. Students will not be required to satisfy any specific number of class minutes, and classes will be available to students online as may be appropriate.

Preference in admission is given to students who receive any local, state or federal assistance in which a person or family is required not to exceed a certain income level in order to qualify for the assistance.

The bill calls for the four schools to be built in economically different areas of the state, Fitzwater said, and Callaway County is a possible location.

I have a bad feeling about this. My cynicism tells me this is all a scam to allow the school districts where these “adult high schools” will go to increase their high school graduation rates artifically. If I’m right, then you can bet your bippy that St. Louis City and Kansas City will each get one.

It’s Not a Mystery, It’s HBD

3 04 2017

Jefferson City

One of the items that MissouriNet has been running with all morning is that the March of Dimes has released their state-by-state grades for premature births, and they grade for the Show-Me is a mediocre C.  In passing, MoD mentions a statistic we first learned late last current year that in Missouri, black women are 49% more likely to deliver prematurely than non-black women, and in the context of Missouri, “non-black” is almost a pure synonym for “white.”  MoD casts the disparity as a chronic and perplexing mystery.

If they want it not to be a chronic and perplexing mystery any longer, they should crack this book:

They will learn that, because of the r-K life history spectrum, and because of the racial differences therein, the average gestation for black women is a week shorter than for white women, with Amerindian/ish people in between, and East Asians longer than whites. (A racial pattern that seems to present very often in that book). What it means is that MoD is making a problem out of a non-problem because they’re holding black women to the biological standards of white women.