Saturday, December 10, 2016

Baby Makers or Parents

From Jerry at the DeVos Post
"And you keep waltzing around the idea that the almighty State is the right person to decide who has children, how they are raised and what education they can get. Until you are ready to give people the freedom to make choices in all these things, even bad choices, you have no grounds on which to call them irresponsible. 
Besides, you still have not said how government will control these "irresponsible parents," while you seem unwilling to take even minimum steps to improve the public schools that government already controls. 
If you are correct, which I doubt, we could almost immediately solve 30% of the problem, and then try to figure out the other 70%. Myself, I think if you got the schools where they need to be, the other 70% would start to decline over time. That's the very promise of public schools, was it not?" Jerry
Here is two of my comments that preceded his.
"While disagreeing with Jerry, I decided to stop referring to all adults who make babies as Parents. Here is an interesting link regarding what it means to be a Real Actual Parent.

Not someone who just happened to have irresponsible sex and kept the resulting child. 
And yes I do think society should ensure that kids are raised by Parents, not just people who had sex and kept the resulting child." G2A
"People are often happier when they get to choose. That does not mean their children will get smarter faster. In fact it may mean their children will get smarter more slowly.
I mean the Parent may choose a school because of a charismatic administrator, a curriculum that they agree with, they love the arts, they love religion, the teachers are so sweet or other. And yet none of these ensure the child will effectively learn what is important." G2A
Here is another of my comments from MP Morrison County. (the moderators won't let me reply to Dennis...  so frustrating...)
"I have been arguing with my readers what the most basic Parental expectation should be.
  • Child is prepared for kindergarten. (ie socially, behaviorally, physically, academically, etc)
  • Child is fed, washed, rested and their homework is complete when they arrive at school each day.
  • Child can stay in the same school for years at a time.
  • Parent attends conferences and strives to learn how they can help.
These people made these babies and should be held responsible for raising them successfully. We should not be expecting our education system to be Teachers and "Parents" also. 
Currently we do spend Trillions of dollars per year via government to "fix poverty". You correctly point out that the systems are wasteful and ineffective. I am happy to try something different. 
As for what they will do with that basic knowledge, motivation, self confidence and skills... Only time will tell." G2A
The irony of course is that a Liberal like Dennis has similar views to Jerry...
"What do we do when the parents don't or fail at the responsibility clause? Oliver Twist 101? How are we going to hold them responsible, jail, take away WIC, food stamps, housing vouchers, throw them out in the street, deny them food? Many of these families move 2-3 times a year. Can we restrict their right to move? There seems to be a gigantic over "simple" of how the real world works." Dennis
My thoughts:

  • Jerry is a huge supporter of giving school vouchers (public money) to people who  "make babies" in the name of fairness, civil rights, equality, etc. And yet he is against giving these financially challenged individuals free Long Acting Reversible Contraception which would enable them to choose when to make babies (or not)...  Just like the well off men and women of America.
  • In MN Baby Makers have the choice of status quo public schools, magnets, charters, home schooling, online learning, private schools, open enrollment and moving to a new district, and I support all of these.  I am also for stopping seniority/ degrees based compensation / job security, and replacing it with performance / position difficulty based compensation and job security. Seems to me I support school choice/ school improvement.
  • In my opinion, vouchers may help some of the middle income folks who live in poor districts that have a high percentage of at risk / unlucky children.  The voucher will subsidize what they can afford to pay and they may be able to enroll their child in a Private school that has a much lower percentage of at risk / unlucky children.  So yes some people will be helped. Just as magnets, privates, open enrollment, moving, etc enable others to leave their unlucky peers and community behind.
  • Of course, that means that the density of unlucky and special needs kids left behind will increase, the number of good students and families will decrease and the status quo schools will become worse and more expensive.  Just as when the lucky students and families fled N Mpls over the decades leaving behind all the unlucky students and families.
  • As for stopping Baby Makers from making babies until they are truly ready to be Parents. My simplistic view is that having babies and raising children should be a privilege and not a right. Adults are not allowed to drive a car legally until they can afford insurance and pass 2 tests.  Yet to be a Baby Maker all one has to do is have unprotected sex...  No test required.
  • And ironically it is those who are least prepared, self disciplined and responsible who are more likely to unintentionally make a baby...  Now I think raising a child is far more difficult and important than driving a car.
  • In summary, Jerry wants to give many people who have proven themselves irresponsible even more responsibility for spending our tax dollars.
  • And I think Dennis wants the tax payers to keep spending more money to bear the consequences that should be carried by the baby makers
  • And neither wants to discuss how to promote reducing the number of unlucky kids born each year to Baby Makers who are unprepared or unwilling to be real Parents. I will leave you with this reminder...
Some useful graphs to better understand the problems that have increased over the past 50+ years.
Family Facts Children Living Arrangements
Family Facts Marriage / Family
Family Facts Sex / Child Bearing


John said...

From MP:
"Easy to Say John: But how are you going to achieve it?
How do you hold someone responsible when they can't afford the basics? Our 'system' is only wasteful in that we don't provide what is necessary for a poverty stricken family to do those things you've mentioned.

Words won't get it done. What we practice is where we fail. I never said that we spend 'trillions' of dollars per year...we don't. That's part of the problem. Please read and comprehend more fully please and don't put words in my 'writings'. I was paraphrasing you.

I don't think you realize what's happening in this country or why. It's not something you spend time thinking about, and not something you've been closely acquainted with.

You have to build a society from the bottom up, not the top down. I don't know what you think poverty is but it's not something someone can just decide to change. Changing poverty is a whole process, not some outline of what should work. It includes the psychological, the physical, the surroundings, the health, the expectations and the availability of a path to a better life, for starters. Just saying 'the Parent' is the answer isn't saying anything useful." John Lord

John said...

John seems to be like many Liberals, he wants to double down on the "War on Poverty". The belief that by somehow taking money from working tax payers and giving poor people money and services, the poor people will magically stop the behaviors that are dooming them to generational poverty.
- low education attainment
- high percentage of single parent households
- consumer spending vs saving / investment
- rebelling against business norms like good English / Normal dress
- Other

John said...

Another interesting Source regarding Family Structures

"The family portrait becomes even more varied when the nation’s children are divided into groups based on parent education levels. Even though they may support the notion that single parents can raise children as well as married couples, when it comes to bringing up their own children, American women with college degrees choose to do so within the bonds of matrimony: 86 percent of children with college-educated parents live in married-couple families. By contrast, less than half (47 percent) of children whose parents have not completed high school live in married-couple families. Almost as many (45 percent) live in single-parent families, most with their mothers only. The higher the parents’ educational attainment, the more likely is it that their children will be growing up in two-parent families. (See Figure 2.)"

"The Census picture of children’s living arrangements is only a snapshot at a single point in time. It does not portray family relationships between children and parents that cross household boundaries. Nor does it show us changes in arrangements and relationships that occur as children grow and develop: for instance, if current trends hold steady, by the time they reach 17 years old, less than half of today’s youth will have spent their entire childhood in a two-parent family. But the Census findings do give an indication of the challenges we face in trying to ensure that all children experience a stable and supportive family life."

John said...

Regarding absolute numbers, there are a lot of kids in these high risk circumstances.

"Twenty million of today’s children—more than a quarter—live in single-parent families, and six times as many of them reside with their birth mothers (23 percent) as with their birth fathers (4 percent). Four million children—about 5 percent—reside with one biological parent and a stepparent, following a divorce or nonmarital birth. Three times as many live with a birth mother and stepfather (3 percent) as with a biological father and stepmother (1 percent). In addition, some 650,000 are growing up with two adoptive parents.

Perhaps the group at greatest risk is composed of the nearly 3 million children who live with neither mother nor father, but with grandparents or other relatives (3 percent) or in non-relative foster care (1 percent)."

John said...

Now I know there are great single Parents out there, however the reality is that they have to work which means it is hard to be there for their children. And if they need to have several jobs, it is even harder.

Single Stats

"Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, single motherhood is now becoming the new “norm”.

This prevalence is due in part to the growing trend of children born outside marriage — a societal trend that was virtually unheard of decades ago.

About 4 out 10 children were born to unwed mothers.1 Nearly two-thirds are born to mothers under the age of 30.2

Of all single-parent families in the U.S., single mothers make up the majority."

John said...

Then people are puzzled as to why we have a HUGE achievement gap and generational poverty problems?

jerrye92002 said...

"...that means that the density of unlucky and special needs kids left behind will increase, the number of good students and families will decrease and the status quo schools will become worse..."

John, you are being inconsistent, again. You tell us that we already have school choice and then turn around and contend that all of the unlucky and special needs kids do not. You tell us that poverty is caused by parents with "low educational achievement" and then tell us that low educational achievement is caused by poverty. Does that not argue for changing the schools to improve educational achievement, thus reducing poverty, which is the classic rationale for having public schools in the first place?

Where you are, unfortunately, consistent is to express support for the idea that government should decide who is a good potential parent and therefore who gets to have children. Wouldn't it be simpler to simply march these "undesirables" into gas chambers?

John said...

School Choice:
Unfortunately demographics show that unlucky kids and special needs kids will stay in the Status Quo Public schools. Some likely reasons:

- Privates and many Charters choose to avoid these students. They are just too expensive and they negatively impact their academic results.

- Choice only matters if the Parents are capable and engaged enough to take advantage of it. Magnets are available in many districts, and capable engaged Parents apply and get into them. Where as the Baby Makers do not.

Regarding poverty, achievement, Baby Makers and Parents:
- I agree that poor academic achievement and high immaturity increases the likelihood of staying trapped in poverty.

- I agree that having poor academic achievement and high immaturity Baby Makers raising a child surrounded by similar kids/adults significantly increases the likelihood that the child will fail in school.

- I think that people in poverty can be excellent Parents and their kids can excel in any school. My Parents in law had ~8th grade educations but they taught their children the important stuff and held them accountable.

- For a school to succeed when the child's "Baby Maker" and community have poor academic achievement and high immaturity, the education needs to start very early. The Baby Makers need to be taught what it means to be a Parent since they had no good role model to learn from. In essence the Teachers become the role models for the adults and children.

Unfortunately many Conservatives say they want the Baby Makers to be held accountable, and yet all they do is complain about the schools...

John said...

Gas chambers... Now talking about drama...

Many of these young adults had TERRIBLE parenting role models and/or are not capable of caring for themselves, let alone a child.

Do you think adoption centers should run back ground checks on prospective parents before giving them a baby, or should they just let anyone come in and pick up a baby or maybe 3?

Do you think foster care centers should run back ground checks on prospective parents before giving them a baby, or should they just let anyone come in and pick up a baby or maybe 3?

And yet you are fine with any person making and keeping a baby... Even if you as a tax payer gets to help pay to raise him/her. I will never understand.

John said...

Using driver's license as an example.

Many people do not have enough money to buy a car and/or pay for insurance at first.

Many people struggle to learn what is needed to pass the written test at first.

Many people struggle to pass the driving test at first.

Do you think we should let them drive without insurance and passing these basic skills tests?

Or should we make them study, save, practice, learn, mature, etc and then give them the privilege of driving?

jerrye92002 said...

"School Choice:

Some likely reasons:"

How about the very simple explanation that real choice does not exist for many of these unlucky parents? There are very real hurdles in every one of the choices you posit as being available – enrollment limits, extra costs, transportation, even parental contracts. Granted that when you hand the parent of voucher they suddenly have the hurdle of making a choice and one expects that many parents will struggle to make that choice "correctly." I believe, however, that the very fact they have a choice will, for the vast majority, make them more engaged in their child's education than they would otherwise be.

"Regarding poverty, achievement, Baby Makers and Parents:
- I agree that poor academic achievement and high immaturity increases the likelihood of staying trapped in poverty."

So why, pray tell, are you so completely resistant to the idea of improving academic achievement? It is not something that occurs naturally; it occurs because we are measuring the extent to which our educational system fails to meet objectives we have set for it. If poor academic achievement [in the current system] is predestined by an unfortunate birth, it is belied by the millions who have managed to escape that fate. So the question remains why inner-city public schools cannot (and will not, it seems) change to improve academic achievement?

If poverty and poor parenting are not the complete explanation, which they are not, then the best solution is to treat the symptoms, which is poor educational achievement. Fortunately we have a system to treat those symptoms, called the public schools. Isn't it time we hold them responsible to do what we pay them to do?

John said...

"resistant to the idea of improving academic achievement"

You are a one trick pony... Vouchers... And from Washington DC and other examples we have found that they are not any better than what we have.

I see other more productive options. I mostly see vouchers helping those children who do not desperately need help. And dooming many truly unlucky children to even worse problems. Hopefully I am wrong.

jerrye92002 said...

Fine. I have one solution to improving the schools. You appear to have none, is that correct?

John said...

I suppose if you truly believe the only real tool that exists is a hammer...

Then all the other available tools that are in use don't count as a tool in your mind... :-)

Of course, then you have to hope that the only problems are nails.

jerrye92002 said...

Well, when you have a nail that has refused or been unable to be pounded 50% of the time for a decade or more, maybe a hammer is what is needed.

"all the other available tools"? Are there any in general use and, if so, why are we not seeing results?

Anonymous said...

The American Obsession With Parenting

I think that you should stop bashing low income parents who are doing the best that they can.

John said...

I found this an interesting paragraph. I have no doubt that most people want their child to be successful. I mean most people want to be smart and successful themselves. Unfortunately wishes are pointless without the willingness to work, exercise self control, make sacrifices, study, etc.

"“When we do our [research], we find that most parents … of every economic group have high aspirations for their kids and love their kids and want their kids to flourish,” Kalil said. But “for a whole variety of reasons—some of which may have to do with money, some of which may have to do with stress, some of which may have to do with culture and the habits that you were raised with as a child—higher-income parents are just more easily able to convert those really high aspirations into the actual daily habits that make those things come true.”"

John said...

Jerry, They are not vouchers so you truly can not see them...

Why are they not succeeding? I think Laurie and myself have answered that many times before. In fact this whole post explains it.

Laurie or Anon,
Whoever left the link... "Stop bashing low income parents..." "They are doing the best they can..." Really?

It is likely true that most of them are doing the best they can, unfortunately that is not helping their children to succeed in school and escape poverty / crime.

And that does not even include the 600,000 fetus that are scraped out and tossed in the dumpster each year...

John said...

Back to my question above, should adoption centers give babies to single parents who can barely pay their rent, barely passed high school, may be addicted, have no child rearing knowledge and/or maybe have a criminal record?

And if that person already has 2 kids and is on welfare, should that adoption center give them one or two more?

If the answers are "NO that would be irresponsible", why does society accept when baby makers do it?

As I say, which is more important? Driving a car well or raising a baby well?

jerrye92002 said...

"When we do our [research], we find that most parents … of every economic group have high aspirations for their kids and love their kids and want their kids to flourish,”

"It is likely true that most of them are doing the best they can,"

That's it in a nutshell, isn't it? We're trying to blame parents for being "irresponsible" but they WANT to be and CANNOT. Why do they not have the opportunity to do better for their kids? WHAT in our system of education is keeping them from making better choices? Is it, just perhaps, the lack of choices?

John said...

Or because they have the maturity, academic level, self discipline and/or work ethic of a 16 year old. They have been conditioned to be highly dependent and believe that things should be given to them or that others are out to get them. Or since ~18% of Mpls kids have some form of special needs, maybe these Baby Makers still suffer from those limitations. There are many possibilities that your 1 tool will not help in the least.

Again... Should adoption agencies just handout babies no questions asked?

jerrye92002 said...

I don't believe that poor people choose to be poor, or the uneducated choose to be uneducated. Maturity, self-discipline and work ethics have to be taught, and then there have to be ways in which they can exercise those skills. If government simply steps in and hands them a check to survive on, without trying to teach those skills they lack or help them find work, they become dependent in a self-reinforcing loop. The only self-esteem they can develop comes in having someone to love them, and they have lots of free time to seek that out. Then when the inevitable child appears, the government lets the baby daddy off the hook, still refuses to help mama to learn the skills she needs, and then requires her, by law, to send her child to a school she knows will fail them, and may not even be physically safe.

Where in all of this were realistic choices or even desirable alternatives offered? I think what you have here is a massive case of government creating a problem and then stepping in with a "solution" that makes matters worse.

I will make this compromise with you: if we can offer true choice in education so that competition and innovation can begin to improve results and break the cycle of poverty on that end, I am willing to support massive welfare reform, job training and placement, work requirements, parent training, and childcare that will begin to turn the culture around by offering choices (not coercion) in all these other areas. Fortunately for all of us, Mr. Trump is already looking at such a holistic approach.

John said...

I agree with you on one thing... "Maturity, self-discipline and work ethics have to be taught, and then there have to be ways in which they can exercise those skills." Unfortunately the Baby Makers do not have these themselves, so their children have a real problem. (as I have been saying)

And it seems we are back to the original problem, you want the government and/or school to play Parent to the irresponsible adults and their unlucky kids. Instead of holding those Parents accountable.

Now I sincerely hope that vouchers work miracles, but I will not hold my breath based on the DC results, charter results, etc.

jerrye92002 said...

Yes, we do agree. Where we disagree is that I believe those skills need to be taught by our public education system; that they are currently not being taught, and that the key to breaking the cycle of poverty is an effective education system that transmits knowledge, skills AND values.

If you want to call it having the schools "play parent," so be it. To me having the schools "hold parents accountable" sounds a lot like government punishing the victim for government's own mistakes and failures.

I suggest taking a breath now and then. I am convinced that vouchers (call it "funding follows the student" if you find that less objectionable and more politically palatable) will eventually make our schools as successful as those in places like Denmark, which are 100% that way. First, of course, the educrats have to be pushed aside so that vouchers can become available to all children in poverty, and later on for all children regardless. Then we have to remove so many of the restrictions on public schools, such as discipline policies, arbitrary curriculum, steps and lanes pay scales, class size and on and on so they can compete and innovate. Then we have to wait some years for the alternative schools to ramp up capacity, starting in the areas with the highest demand-- those where the public schools are still not competitive. And finally, we probably have to wait 12 years or so until the current generation of kids who have been failed by the system work their way through with as much catching up as we can impart to them in the time they have left.

John said...

You are a lot like the Liberals...

They want society to fund irresponsible folks in hopes that they learn.


You want society to take over Parental responsibilities for irresponsible folks.

Both seem like treating the symptom to me.

One more time... Should adoption agencies just handout babies no questions asked?

jerrye92002 said...

You keep asking that question when you know the answer, but I don't think you realize the implications of it. The adoption agency has control of who gets a baby and tries to approve only those who will work in the best interest of the child. But unless you are willing to give government total control of which Americans are qualified to reproduce, you cannot do what you propose.

Therefore, you cannot solve what you consider the root cause of poor educations EXCEPT by treating the symptoms of that reproductive freedom. Where I disagree with liberals, however, I insist that the money and systems employed to treat those symptoms be efficient and effective. Obviously the current systems are not, and education in particular is mired in a miserable status quo. Like all monopolies it must be broken up to allow true competition and innovation.

John said...

I would be very happy to give society the authority to set base requirements that must be met before one becomes a Parent and is allowed Guardianship of a child. However I do not see it happening since most Americans see having/raising a child as a right... Not a privilege that must be earned.

Get drunk, screw up your birth control, get naked, get laid, have a baby, and you are now a "responsible Parent to be trusted with a baby"... Go figure... That seems easy.

And some people have to study, practice and save before they are allowed to drive a car.

jerrye92002 said...

Ah, euphemism. "Society" has always had the authority to establish standards of behavior that lead to responsible parenting. But someplace along the line, starting with "free love" and down through "don't judge," rampant political correctness and government assumption of all financial responsibility, here we are. So, now what you are talking about is letting GOVERNMENT decide who can have children and that is scary! How will government decide? On the basis of political party? How about convicted felons who have served out their sentence? Worse yet, if you went to a lousy high school and dropped out, are you allowed to have kids? That's what you are arguing, that when government schooling fails you, YOU get punished! When will you hold =government= responsible for their mess?